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My interview with S. C. Naoum of EYE OF THE TIBER

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. . . will be my next podcast, which comes out next week! Eeee, I’m so excited! No website more consistently cracks me up than Eye of the Tiber (“Breaking Catholic news so you don’t have to”), and it’s been getting funnier over the years.

Example from the latest edition:

What The Hell Kinda Name Is ‘Marcial Maciel,’ Anyway, New Study Asks

“We ask a few questions in the survey,”  the congregation’s de facto superior Cardinal Velasio de Paolis told the press. “We first ask, what the hell kinda name is ‘Marcial?’ Second, we ask what the hell kinda last name is ‘Maciel?’ Third, we ask how the apostolate can redefine their charism. And finally, we ask how in the living hell you have the last name of ‘Maciel,’ and choose to name your son ‘Marcial?’” Experts say that these are all imperative questions to reflect upon for the new leadership.

Oh, my gosh. Don’t you feel better about eleven different things now?  And I’m not gonna lie, I was already a fan of EOTT before they came out with “Newspaper Fires Staff Writers Amid Allegations They Had Opinions, ” but now I’m a superfan.

So HOW, you ask, can you hear this fabulous podcast with the fabulous S.C. Naoum, who’s recently released his first book? C’est so easy. You simply become a patron of this blog through Patreon. You can pledge any amount a month, even a dollar, and I’ll send you a private link to my weekly podcast. There are also other, ridiculous perks you can earn in return for pledges at various amounts. I’ve been doing the podcast with my very patient husband, but I’ll be adding in more guests as I find my feet in this new medium.

This blog is entirely independent, which means that nobody tells me what to say or what not to say . . . and nobody writes me a check, either. I’d love to keep this site uncluttered and ad-free with the help of readers. Please do consider pledging. A dollar a month is wonderful. Two or three dollars is wonderful. Five is excellent. Ten is stupendous. And so on!

Yesterday’s podcast, creatively titled “Podcast #3,” included absolutely zero mentions of YELLOW JOURNALISM (except for the part where we pledged not to talk about it), but we did discuss parthenogenesis and whether or not the alternative would make Jesus His own grandpaw; whether or not a new model of the causes of addiction (“it’s the cage, not the rat”) seems true, based on Damien’s decade of experience as a crime reporter; which is better, the Roman Catholic Banjo Mass or eating as much lamb as possible at the Greek Orthodox festival; and the opposite of Ernest Borgnine. I also attempt to class up the joint by reading “Marginalia” by Richard Wilbur, with some help from Corrie, even though I TOLD them to keep her out.

Any questions for S.C. Naoum? Post ’em here, and I’ll see if I can work them into the interview. Remember, you can pledge as little as a dollar a month to get access to the weekly podcast.

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Damien and I be chatting with Mark Shea on Radio Maria this evening!

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Mark has the details:

Fellow Patheosi and National Catholic Register blogger and all around Catholic pants expert Simcha Fisher and her rambunctious crew will be on the radio with me today at 6 PM Eastern talking about all things Christmassy (and maybe Hannukkahy too).

To listen to Catholic and Enjoying Live! on line go here at 6:00 PM EDT. The show is live, so feel free to call in at 1–866–333–6279 and you can chat.  And if you want to hear archived shows interviewing such folk as Sherry Weddell, Brandon Vogt, Steven Greydanus, Tom McDonald, Dale Ahlquist, Tricia Bolle, Kevin O’Brien, and Elizabeth Stoker-Bruenig, go here.

I literally can not think of a literally better way you could spend an hour of your Christmas eve, and I mean that literally. Would love to chat if you want to call in!

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Sam Rocha’s new spin on spirituality

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From my new article in Our Sunday Visitor about Sam Rocha and his new album, Late to Love:

[Rocha] experienced his first high liturgy at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and a whole new aesthetic world opened up. “I felt like I walked out of the folk tradition and walked into a marble hall,” he said. “It helped me process the idea that there is a bigger Church out there.”

But stark aesthetic contrasts can sometimes be deceptive. “Whenever I heard a High Mass,” Rocha said, “I would say, ‘No more guitars at Mass for me!’” But then his family moved to a tiny town in Indiana, where the Mass had no music at all. “It was so sad and little,” Rocha said. So he brought in his guitar, and returned once again to his Mexican roots.

Since then, he’s been trying to reconcile all his various aesthetic experiences of the Church — the folk music of his Mexican parents, the slicker sound of Life Teen and the charismatic movement, and his hard-won love of jazz, which he deliberately cultivated out of a desire to understand as much about music as he could.

Read the rest at OSV and check out the Augustianian funk of Late to Love here.

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Dr. Greg Popcak on marriage after baby

I’m putting together an article for Our Sunday Visitor about how marriages change after a baby is born — the good, the bad, and the things that need professional intervention (spiritual and otherwise). Dr. Greg Popcak gave me some wonderful information, and he has reprinted our entire interview on his blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Simcha: I assume you mostly work with Catholic couples. Is the strength of a couple’s faith a good predictor for how well they can work through their problems? This sounds like a softball question – like, “yes yes, of course when we are faithful, we will find life’s burdens light” – but I’m really curious, because I know that a strong religious faith doesn’t always translate easily or directly into good emotional health or strong relationships. 

Dr. Greg: You’re right.  In fact, many faithful couples who have more rigid role expectations may struggle more with birth than other couples.  If you tend to be of the mindset the God made men to do X and women to do Y and never the twain shall meet, you may tend to fail to be there for each other, take on too much for yourself, and make excuses for behavior that would be otherwise inexcusable.

Faith tends to be helpful when it is expressed, not as “rules to live by” but rather as “a call to be generous and understanding regarding each other’s needs.”  Babies have a way of stretching your comfort zones.  If your faith helps you deal with that and respond accordingly, both your faith and relationships will become healthier as you grow as a person.  But if your faith is mainly about having hard and fast rules to live by, you might not adapt as well to the unpredictability that comes with post-baby life.

Good stuff, with lots of practical advice — things we learned the hard way, and are still working on learning. Read the rest here.

I will post a link to the finished OSV article when it comes out; and also keep an eye out for Popcak’s newest book, written with his wife: Then Comes Baby:  Surviving and Thriving in the First Three Years of Parenthood  (Ave Maria Press–Nov 2014).