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Category: Blog

Saints for a #MeToo Era

Many rape survivors have heard Maria Goretti’s story and come away feeling like the Church thinks they’re better off dead. Why doesn’t the Church talk about the bravery of those men and women who suffered rape and abuse and were canonized for the feats they accomplished despite it all? It’s easy to think that in…
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What a rape kit is (and isn’t)

Graphic discussion of sexual assault evidence-collection process ahead. The steps and images used in this article are taken from the New York State sexual offense evidence collection kit.  Nicknames and acronyms are plentiful for this little box.  Most commonly, they are known as rape kits, or forensic rape exams (FRE).  Using one of these kits,…
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Building up and sustaining your inner self

I’ve traditionally had a hard time with boundaries — and if I’m completely honest with myself, I still do. Sometimes it manifests as feeling responsible for managing other people’s emotions. Other times, it means not speaking up when I notice red flags (if I notice them at all!) because of an overwhelming need to show…
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Maria Goretti and the Easy Way Out

Being raped instead of murdered is not the “easy way.” Being a dead virgin is not more worthy than being a living rape survivor.

Self Care & Sacrifice in Lent

This Lent I’ve felt a strong call to get back to basics with my prayer life. My focus has been on actions and now it is time for me to go into the desert and focus on my interior life. My therapist has been trying to get me to meditate for the past year. She’s…
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Scarred and Still Beautiful

My paternal grandfather was from Warsaw and came to the US in 1952 with my grandmother and uncle. I remember that he always had a framed icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa on the wall above his desk. He has since passed away and I now have his icon. Notice the two slash marks…
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Healing from scandal and abuse

Sometimes we hear it in murmurs, posed to us as a question: “How can the Catholic Church heal and move forward in the face of this scandal?” Sometimes it comes in the form of a command, “We must heal and move forward from this scandal!” Healing is good. But healing by definition necessitates acknowledging the…
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Feminism is a Dirty Word

Feminists are what’s wrong with the culture. Feminists are why the Church has problems. Feminists are why the morality of our society is in decline. Feminists are toxic. Not really. But if you’ve ever drifted anywhere near far-right circles, you’ve probably heard those words or something very close. Feminism is a dirty word. Feminists are…
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Abuse, Victim Blaming, and Catherine of Alexandria

When I was a cantor, I loved when we sang the Quaker hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that rock I’m clinging. I would sing those words and hope to someday experience unshakable inner calm. On November 25, we celebrate the feast day of Saint…
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The Witch Trials of Title IX

Recently, we have heard of of new guidelines for the implementation of Title IX.  There appear to be quite a few new changes, and I can’t speak to all of them. Some of them might be positive.  But there is one I definitely cannot support–the suggestion that an accused student should be able to cross-examine…
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