Showing posts with label announcement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label announcement. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

On a mission from God and I'm up in alms!

(See what I did there?)
Performance art is overrated.

Hi all, how have you been doing?  I hope well.  I have been, um, busy!  Let's see, I've been--
  1. trying to get a second (fully written) book published, called The Gift of Birth
  2. teaching a lot of general education theology in a country where we lost 7.5 million believers since 2012
  3. writing an academic article on reader-response criticism, genre, and the Theology of the Body (trust me, its better than it sounds)
  4. trying to start a second academic article on a Theology of Disability.  The non-academic version is getting published in a couple of weeks
  5. lassoing my five kids into school, back home, to various events
  6. negotiating Alex's great big surgery to alleviate his CP spasticity this coming May
  7. getting named chair of my department at work, because I guess I looked bored (all the responsibility and none of the power)
  8. Pondering my friend Rob Kroese's brilliant statement: "If Pi Day, the Ides of March and St. Patrick's Day could get their act together, they could combine into one awesome celebration of beer, pie, snakes and stabbing."  We so missed an opportunity here.
Oh, and this thing: my husband has been starting a small press devoted to making it easier and more practical for families to pass on the faith!

(Everyone who has started a small business, we are feeling each other's joys and pains right now!)

Here's the thing. We Catholics have a problem, a big problem. Parents are not teaching the faith to their children. They may be taking them to mass, or enrolling them in Catholic schools.  But they aren't talking about the faith--and all the studies say this has devastating effects.  But to be fair, a lot of parents don't know what to do.  They had poor catechesis themselves, or just aren't comfortable being in a teaching role of any sort.  These parents need family faith helps that are as simple as slapping together a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich: good stuff, tasty, solid nutrition for the next couple of hours.

My husband used to work as an editor at a press, and has been doing free lance writing and editing for years.  He's good at design and social media engagement.  he has a solid background (including a master's degree) in Catholic theology.  He can create these books and more.  So in October, he decided to take the plunge and do it.  He created an imprint called Peanut Butter and Grace: books and resources for parents to better teach, pray, and live the faith with their kids, and books for kids to read with their parents.

Amazingly, my teaching career at a small liberal arts mission college and sporadic success as a blogger (erp) has not put us on easy street.  He got a little help to begin this ministry and has made it work so far based on a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  Lack of sleep has factored in too.  But the time has come to fundraise some money to get these items out more quickly.  He has published three books (two books that help children and adults pray the rosary with a classical art image for each prayer, and one book for parents needing ideas beyond saying grace, called 77 Ways to Pray With Your Kids.)

He wants to publish seven more books by the end of the year.  But there are some costs--paying illustrators, copyright permissions, editing costs, and especially marketing.  People love these books so far.  But there needs to be marketing so others know they exist!

To that end, in addition to the top eight items I am also the "campaign manager" for a crowdfunding endeavor to raise some funds to move this press forward quickly and well.  There is a lot more at the website: all about the books, published and upcoming, FAQ, the weekly newsletter with ideas to implement in your family's life this week, and more!  But consider this passing the collection plate.  Brother, if you have a dime, could you drop it in here?  There are perks for this almsgiving, and you have our heartfelt gratitude as well.  

If you don't have a dime, maybe you could spread the word.  Just like you spread peanut butter?  OK, OK, I'm done.  Thanks for reading and blessings to all of you!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

See you at the Theology of the Body Congress July 9-11!

Theology of the Body Congress

If any of the folks reading this blog are attending the Theology of the Body Congress in Phillie this week, let's meet!  It's fun to have these email and social media conversations, but even better when we can put names to faces and meet in person.  If you are not attending, I hope to be tweeting it.  My handle is @ironiccatholic. See you there...?

FYI: a couple of people have asked if the book will be for sale at the conference.  The exhibit tables are really expensive to rent, so, no.  But I will have 5-6 of the signed copies with me, if you want to buy them. They are $25; just talk to me at the conference.  You can even use your smart phone or tablet to order it in my presence, using a credit card, through .  The wonders of technology!  (You can use that link to order it for me to send to you, as well.)

The book is also for sale as an ebook at IBooks, for $15.99.

It's also at Lectio Publishing, and other online retailers (like the one named after a very, very large river), for the regular retail price.  If you are a professor, see Lectio's site for their exam copy policy.

Hope to hear some great speakers and have phenomenal conversations in Phillie!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Happy All Saints: Dear of Communion of Saints released today on Kindle!

St Jerome looking Jeromish.
Happy All Saints Day, everyone!  Go to mass already!

Today is the release date of the Kindle version of Dear Communion of Saints: amusingly apt advice for foolish Christians.  It's only 99 cents, so treat yourself!

If you don't know what this is about, think Dear Abby: only the questions get pointed to the saints above.  Except apparently it is "flippin hilarious," according to one reviewer, and "intelligently witty and wittily intelligent" to another.  Oh, and the writer (me) "writes in such a funny yet reader friendly way that it makes the saints feel closer and more human than they are viewed now."  So its an All Saints devotional (in a "sort of kind of well it won't hurt and you may learn some things" kind of way.

The book received something like a 4.7 star rating, and lots of rating and compliments, on Smashwords.  I'm finally making the leap to the monopoly that is Amazon.  If you read it before, please consider going to the Amazon site and leaving a review.  If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?  Saintly intervention?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Publication news! Theology of the Body, Extended: to be published summer 2014

Everyone, you may not realize it from this blog, but I have another life.  That is, I'm an academic theologian at a Catholic university (gasp).

So firmly wearing that hat, I have news!  A book I have been researching and writing for two years is getting published.  It is titled Theology of the Body, Extended: the Spiritual Signs of Childbirth, Impairment, and Dying.  It takes the first half of the 1979-84 audiences delivered by John Paul II and presents the potential of that understanding of the human being as sign in other defining life events: giving birth, living with impairment (disability, injury, or illness), and the dying process.  The book is getting published by Lectio Publishing, a new Catholic academic press, this summer 2014.  (And I shared some of my self-rejected lines from the rough draft--too ironic and flippant for prime time--here.)

More here.  If you're interested, add the book blog (with ToB reflections, clips from the manuscript, reviews of other books) to your blogroll or feed, and feel free put yourself on the email list (which I promise to use sparingly: announcements of publication dates, sales, etc.).  Thanks all!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Really, it's not you.

You all, I don't know what is going on with Blogger, but I am having a dickens of a time with it.  If I can't figure this out soon, I'll be migrating (ulp) to Wordpress, which I really don't want to do.  But fear not--I'm not dead--just sickened by techie difficulties.

Any encouragement about where to relocate the blog would be appreciated.  Or blogger help--the biggest thing is I cannot post pictures.  Sigh.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Temptation Bangs Forever": the book, the event, the movement

(I'm getting carried away by all the effervescently sweeping talk post-Inaugeration, I know.  But just look at this sign!)

Um, yeah.  Authorial intent may be lost on this one.  (cringe)

Everyone, Joel Bezaire and Rob Kroese (formerly of the blogs Crummy Church Signs and Mattress Police, and Rob is the author of the Mercury Falls/Rises/Rests trilogy and Disenchanted) got together to expose the worst Church signs ever (or at least in the past five years).  Complete with ironic commentary.  These guys both love Christianity but hate bad church signs.  The result: perfectly skewered Church sign kabobs.  Yum.

Yes, I wrote something in it, too.  They kindly asked me to write an intro to the chapter exposing bad church signs vis a vis theology, so I did.  Lots of other blogospheric names writing intros as well (admittedly, the rest are Protestant, but my introduction does mention Thomas Aquinas.  So you Catholic friends can go buy it.)

I have read the book, and once again, many of signs and commentary had me laughing to the point of crying.  It really is a funny book that makes you think.    

As the title is rated PG-13.  Just warning you.

So Happy Book Release Day!  Paperback on sale now at Amazon.  There's a Kindle version, too....

Monday, January 07, 2013

Brave New Garage Sale World

We all have a fiscal cliff to face....
Back to the typical IC blogging soon.  In the meantime, if you want to help us avoid our own familial fiscal cliff before tax returns, please check out our online garage sale at  Items will include girls clothes 6x-12, boys 2t/3t and 10-12, maybe some baby stuff, women's L/XL, books, and small toys.  Right now, its mostly girls' clothes...but new items about every day. 

Also on facebook at .

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Welcome "Sharing Faith" Listeners!

If you are checking this out through the radio interview I did with the kind Judy Zarick from Franciscan Media, welcome!  Don't be afraid!  Sit and stay awhile....

If you have no idea what I am talking about, the five minute edited interview is available as a podcast here

Monday, December 17, 2012

Apocalypse this week? No worries.

Murphy's Law ALWAYS trumps apocalyptic predictions.  And the Mayan prophecy is scheduling the end of time for this Friday, one day after this semester's grades are due.  You know Murphy is not going to allow me to the pleasure of foregoing this crunch week of grading like the wind.  If I try it on the off chance that End is (truly!) Near, Murphy will smack me in the face.  Ergo, the prophecy is a joke.

You're welcome.  We just don't teach enough logic in schools these days.

Monday, October 08, 2012

One Body. Many Blogs: A Guide for Christian Bloggers

Of course a book on blogging would be an ebook!
Oh, lookie, we wrote something!

Seriously, this is a great idea and a fun project for a good cause.  T.J. Burdick ( ) corralled some of us to write our "ten commandments" of blogging and put it together with his own thoughts to make a cool little ebook for charity: One Body, Many Blogs.  (Love the title.  But apologies in advance to St. Paul.)

    T.J.'s description: One Body, Many Blogs is a collection of answers from some of the giants of the Catholic blogosphere to the following question:
    In your opinion, what are the “ten commandments” that Christian bloggers should keep in mind while pressing on in their digital mission?
       Their answers are diverse and extremely helpful for anyone who shares the charism of blogging.  Each response was treated it as if it were a blogpost in length, voice, style and content. As you will see, each blogger has created a unique and informative response that will provide you with ideas on how to develop your own particular voice through the communal blogging charism by which you feel called to participate in.

    (I clarify that this is TJ's description because goodness knows I am no giant.  I'm pleasingly plump in the blogosphere.  Or maybe that's just in real life.  Sigh.)

    Besides TJ, the contributors are:
    - Brandon Vogt (
    - Deacon Greg Kandra (The Deacon’s Bench)
    - Devin Rose (St. Joseph’s Vanguard)
    - Frank Weathers (Why I Am Catholic)
    - Jeff Miller (The Curt Jester)
    - Katrina R Fernandez (The Crescat)
    - Kevin Knight (New Advent)
    - Lisa Hendey (
    - Marc Barnes (BadCatholic and
    -  and moi (The Ironic Catholic)

    I tell ya, its better than a St. Louis Jesuits reunion! 

    All profits go to a Catholic school!
    OK, even if you're not sold on this particular collaboration, buy it for the kids.  We writers don't see a dime of profit, it all goes to San Juan Diego Academy, a Catholic school that serves immigrant children, located in Wyoming, Michigan.  It currently servers over 160 students annually and provides them with the academic and spiritual nourishment they need to build the the Catholic Church and the future of our nation. Their extended school day allows the students for opportunities to be exposed to the English language while still retaining their native cultures. On top of that, they are molded by the sacraments celebrating mass every Tuesday with several Priests and deacons from the area.

    San Juan Diego succeeds through the generous support of the larger community in the form of tuition assistance scholarships.  Parents are given an opportunity to reduce tuition costs through service hours which benefit the school.

    So what are you waiting for, a motu propioIts Latin translation?  A papal blurb on his Twitter feed?  Spread the good news and buy it here!  Thanks everyone!

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    We're coming, Alex....

    If you are long time readers of the blog, you know that my husband and I are adopting (God willing!) a little boy named "Alex" with the help of Reece's Rainbow in Eastern Europe.  Our flight leaves Tuesday.  We hope to be there (that is, a capital city and then a very small town with a hot dog stand and train station) no more than three weeks--and then back home with our new son.  When we get home, we may be very busy adjusting to "the new normal"--it is also possible Alex may have some medical needs (he has CP) that need to be addressed right away.  Please pray for us.  We hope to have some wifi and if we do, you may see a post or two from me. 

    Peace and all good, Susan aka IC

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    A Change Is As Good As A Vacation

    Or we can just call the current blog design my visual midlife crisis.

    ...obviously, a work in progress....

    Monday, December 05, 2011

    Understanding Christian Art: There's an app for that

    (Question: Is this a group of people at a Renaissance Faire playing poker, or a deep piece of Christian art? Flummoxed?)

    ...Here she comes to save the day! An art interpretation app created by my cool friend Eileen!

    Eileen has a doctorate in Religious Education and Art; she knoweth her stuff. She's created an app for IPhone and Android which will be the best thing you can do for yourself after you use IConfess. It's called art/y/fact.Xn . The blurb:
    art/y/fact.Xn is a tool for interpreting and meditating with Christian art. What is the difference between one painting of the Crucifixion and another? Users will be able to figure this out for themselves with the aid of this app. Christian artworks are found in museums, churches, books, magazines and web sites but often users are at a loss to understand the rich meanings of these works. The app offers interpretive tools for artworks about Jesus, Mary, other figures and stories from the Bible, Saints, Angels and Demons. The 100+ articles about themes common in Christian art include Basic Info, a list of What to Look For, and questions that guide General, Personal, and Historical Interpretations of the artworks. In addition, the app provides tools from the worlds of art, history, and theology to help the user dig deeper into the meaning of an artwork. Because a user sometimes wants an inner experience of Christian art, the app also contains six audio meditations. The user selects an artwork to meditate with, plugs in their ear buds, and chooses a meditation that connects to their experience of the artwork chosen. The app is for Christians and anyone else who wants a richer experience of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art, or the Christian art of any other period.
    Listen, I know Eileen and have heard her present on this many times...this will be fantastic. I urge you to give it a try; I'd review it if I actually had a smart phone (how very luddite of me, I know). Be the first of your friends on the block to have this; it's only $1.99.

    Android version.
    ITunes version.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    This n' that


    • Also, Bianca and family's IPad2 giveaway ends tomorrow November 30th. $10 to their adoption fund gets you a chance, and more money, more chances! Bianca's family is adopting Darren, a 2 year old with Down syndrome from Alex's old orphanage in Eastern Europe. Please help them out; international adoption is expensive!
    • Don't forget the Amused Catholic EZine, collected humor pieces from the web. When I can't post, I can scoop. And I will be working on the serious book for the rest of the week, so expect no posting. Ciao, friends!

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011

    Introducing Chic* #5 (we hope)!

    *chic=child of the Ironic Catholic!

    Finally! We've been sitting on this for over a week, and have permission to share it's a boy! Isn't he just beautiful?

    We are trying to adopt a just-turned 5 yr old boy named Alex (well, that's his alias) from Eastern Europe. Go take a look--this picture is from when he was four.

    The reason some family hasn't scooped up Alex and given him a huge hug and a home is that Alex can't walk and is diagnosed with CP. The biggest sadness about Alex is that after (likely) four years of "kinda OK" orphanage life, he was transferred to a mental institution a few weeks ago (this is typical in this country, and we just found this out two weeks ago, just before committing to him). This is a huge step down in care in every case there, and some of these institutions have horrific living conditions. The whole system is basically a holdover from the Soviet Union, when parents with disabled infants were, perhaps not forced, but expected to institutionalize their children--and then those same kids were left to circumstances of incredible neglect to the point of death. Since the country has no real system of oversight for these institutions, the situations vary quite a bit from barely OK to pretty near unspeakable. So when we heard Alex had been transferred--basically, our heart broke, we prayed, and we committed (on his 5th birthday).

    The GOOD news is that the facilitator that works with Reece's Rainbow in that country went to visit said institution this weekend for a social call (that's a small joke) to see if he would be allowed in and take pictures of Alex. He got in, met Alex and got a slew of pictures. One is the picture above. The facilitator said that the institution was "not too bad" by the country's standards. That is actually a really hopeful statement, since the range of options are so poor. But the reality is this is a basic care institution--people assigned there are expected to die there, eventually. No school for sure, and almost certainly no therapy for his CP (although he may not have gotten much or any at the orphanage either). Care is very basic at best. So--our intention was to move this as fast as we can. Although we're glad Alex isn't in the worst of all situations, he still needs out. We're still trying to move fast.

    "Fast" means, at absolute best, an adoption in late February. The country doesn't set any appointments for adoption referrals from November through January. We can't get everything in within three weeks--the INS and other agencies simply won't play ball that fast. So. We do lots of paperwork and pray a lot until he's home.

    Just so you know, we're trying to adopt Alex, but we do not have a formal referral--that is, Alex isn't officially promised to us. The connection on the Reece's Rainbow site means that we can fundraise to adopt this particular child, and others working through RR should choose another child. He could get adopted prior to us arriving there. But that is fairly rare--especially with "older" kids. If Alex has been adopted, we will thank God he is out of his particular situation, probably cry a little bit, and we'll adopt a different child.

    Finally, the biggest request by far and the reason for the post. Please, we ask for your prayers. A lot could go wrong in this process (it's faster than many international adoptions, but more complicated in other ways). And as for Alex, I'm a lot less worried about Alex's CP than I am about what the institutionalization could do to him, and what orphanage life does to a child. Basically, I'm more concerned for his spirit than his body. We're asking everyone we know for 1. prayers of protection for Alex, 2. prayers for the caregivers, that they may see the children and adults there with humanity, and 3. prayers for a smooth and fast adoption process. And maybe a couple of prayers for sic (that is, spouse of the Ironic Catholic) and I--it's been an emotional rollercoaster. But God has been so good throughout this. I've really never been in such an obviously God-led situation in my life.

    If you want to follow along, we're blogging through this at . Once there, you could follow via email or an RSS reader.

    In the midst of all this potential drama, we feel very blessed and happy that we may get to live with him. This is such a gift to us.

    I am doing paperwork like mad, getting ready for a home study visit, and more. People have asked about money, and I will propose something tomorrow, if anyone wants to help. But for now, could you sing with us? Sing praise to the Lord, for He is good, His mercy endures forever!


    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Lo! She Talks!

    For readers in Rochester, MN, home of that huge metal ear of corn and the Mayo Clinic:

    I'm offering a lecture and discussion on "The Life and Dignity of the Human Being as the Root of Catholic Social Teaching" at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 7pm, tonight (9-13-11). I'm there as my real self, not the IC...I'd be happy to see someone show up!

    Probably won't do any of this.

    And hey, don't forget...Talk Like A Pirate Day coming up! Arrrrr!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Congrats to the bloggers...

    ...who were ordained or took first vows ('tis that season!). I know I'm getting old, since I've been around long enough to follow the journey of two young bloggers: now Fr. Mike, at The Night Is Passing! was ordained to the priesthood in late June. Sr. Brittany Harrison, who blogged at Into the Deep for a number of years (but has since ended the blog and transferred to FB), made her first vows as a Salesian sister last week.

    It really is a privilege--even on blogs, or especially on blogs?--to see people struggle, laugh, and dance through this life. Vocation stories are especially touching, because people are honest about what life is: a call from God to love Him, and with him, love others. Both Fr. Mike and Sr. Brittany have great senses of humor and a love for God, and I wish them all the best.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    On vacation

    I'm traveling and visiting family for the next two weeks, with intermittent internet access.  Posts wil be spotty until July 9th....

    In the meantime, here is an old "joys of traveling" post for all ironic Catholics out there.

    Remember to buy a Felon, and tell your friends too as well!  Or try your hand in the giveaway.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Light Blogging, aka "My Day Job" Intrudes

    Everyone, I am teaching in a master's program where blended delivery (that's not a smoothie) creates a residency that is a mere 10 days. It is ever so slightly intense. Whew.

    Ergo, blogging will be light for a few days. But then again, there is this great new snazzy IC ebook called Felon Blames 1970s Church Architecture for Life of Sin to buy and read....

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    New Book Release Today! Virtual Blog Party!

    Some people scrapbook. Some people go to therapy. I do this.
    Hear ye, hear ye! Felon Blames 1970s Church Architecture for Life of Sin: The Ironic Catholic News, Vol. I is published and available as an ebook at Amazon (for Kindle) and Smashwords (for every other e-reader out there, as well as your trusty computer). Other online retailers to come! And the paperback version will be complied with volumes 2 and 3 later this year.

    So: now we party! Cue the tinkly harp background muzak....

    Here's your appetizer. (Yum.)

    This where we clink glasses to celebrate the birth of a literary (and I use that term loosely) baby.

    ...Virtual drinks to your left....

    E-Party updates throughout the day at Twitter. (If you're not on Twitter, there is a Twitter gadget on the top left of the blog.)


    Let's be honest. If you've been here a while, you know what this e-book will be about: fake news stories poking fun at human foibles in a Catholic context. AKA, the mild Catholic Onion. Just call me a shallot.

    If you readers can please spread the word about the book release in one small way today--a blog post, a facebook "like", a tweet, a phone call to your mom, etc...I would be most appreciative. The word gets out through you! And if you buy it (thank you!) and like it, please consider writing a short review on Amazon, Smashwords, your blog, or all three.

    I hope this summer reading makes people smile. Humor gives us perspective, humility, and it tastes great. Happy reading, everyone!

    Peace and all good, the Ironic Catholic