Author: Emily Reimer-Barry

Pregnancy in the Womb of the Church: Gaudium et Spes

This is a guest post by Dr. Maureen Day, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, California. Dr. Day is a graduate of the Graduate Theological Union and teaches courses in moral theology and pastoral ministry at the Franciscan School of Theology. Her research focuses on American Catholic civic engagement. She can be reached by email at maureenday@fst.edu. This is a very pregnant time of year for us as a Church. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sky is growing darker while within the churches, with the lighting of each successive candle of Advent, the light glows brighter. Only a few days before Christmas, the light outside will join that of the wreath and, together, the light will overcome the darkness. Advent is a time of pregnancy, which is necessarily a time of anticipation. But it is not so much the pregnancy itself that excites us, it is the promised child to come that makes pregnancy so amazing. It is a period of looking forward to what is currently growing, a time of, to borrow an eschatological phrase, “the already and the not yet.”  Yesterday, December 7th, was an especially pregnant moment for me. It was the eleven year anniversary of when I became a mother. I finished my nine months of anticipation and looked my child in the face. I heard her cries,...

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The Role of Experience and Community in Adult Faith Formation

This is a guest post by Dr. Maureen Day, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, California. Dr. Day is a graduate of the Graduate Theological Union and teaches courses in moral theology and pastoral ministry at the Franciscan School of Theology. Her research focuses on American Catholic civic engagement. She can be reached by email at maureenday@fst.edu. As I was interviewing Jack Jezreel, the founder of JustFaith Ministries, he recalled the conversion experiences Catholics had when they were first exposed to Catholic Social Thought (CST) at Church of the Epiphany in Louisville,...

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Travel as an Antidote to Fear: Reflections on Christian Pilgrimage

I’ve just returned from a two week pilgrimage, and as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving I offer the following reflections that emerge from my deep sense of gratitude and my renewed sense of the importance of hope in our new political era. My main points can be summed up in three take-aways: It helps sometimes to get away and return to our routines with fresh awareness; The Christian practice of pilgrimage is a helpful method for this leaving-and-returning-with-new-eyes; and The saints provide challenging, confusing and nevertheless inspiring role models as we muddle our way forward in our own confusing times. Why...

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Diocesan Synod on the Family in San Diego: A Time for Discussion, Discernment, Direction

In the diocese of San Diego, we have just concluded our first (and what may be the world’s first) topical diocesan synod. Bishop Robert McElroy announced last May that he would convene the synod. During the summer, delegates were appointed from each parish and listening sessions were held. In early fall, the listening sessions continued and the working group sessions began. Since this is the first time I had ever participated in a diocesan synod, I was sometimes unsure of my role. But I can honestly say that it was a very powerful and Spirit-filled process. It gives me...

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Assaulted by the News: Why Care for Survivors of Sexual Assault Remains a Priority for Catholics

This is a tough election year for survivors of sexual assault. Not only has one of the candidates been caught on tape bragging about sexual assault (“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”- Donald Trump, 2005), which then prompted Anderson Cooper to ask him about it directly in the second debate (“You described kissing women without their consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault,” Cooper said. “You...

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