4 Things I Learned When I Saw Pope Francis

This summer I had the opportunity to go to Campobasso, Italy as the youth ambassador and representative for the United States, to meeting of Italian immigrant descendants from the Italian region of Molise. I was excited to learn about my heritage, but I became ecstatic when I learned Pope Francis would be in Campobasso during […]

I Don’t Want to be Popular

I had no idea what to say when I was first called “Jesus Freak.” So I ended up saying, “Wow, okay.” I shrunk because I didn’t think anyone would ever call me that, at least not to my face. And then I went home and cried. I didn’t know how to respond. I took it terribly.

The Sidewalk Missionary: My Divine Appointment from Finland

It was a scorching hot summer day. We left the shade of the high Barcelona city buildings and crossed over a plaza on our way to the pier. It was while we were joking around, probably complaining about the heat and our naive decision not to bring water bottles that God provided a divine appointment.

An Open Letter to Brent: On the Power of Words

Dear Brent, My first year at Life Teen I was the awkward freshman in the corner of the room, trying to go unnoticed, so I understand if you didn’t see me. I saw you, though. You were a confident senior and the center of attention. It seemed like everyone admired you, and with good reason. […]

In Name Only?: When Your Catholic School Isn’t Very Catholic

“All-school Mass today? Sweet, that means no math class first period!”“Pro-Life March? You mean three days off school and a trip to D.C.!”“Would anyone like to say a prayer to start class?” *crickets*Man . . . do any Catholics even go to this school?!I went to Catholic schools my entire life, and I’m not gonna lie: sometimes, I wondered. It often felt like we were Catholic in name only – and even then, it’s not like we wrote it boldly across our t-shirts.

I’m Walking Away: Standing up against Immorality

I’ve always lived a rather sheltered life. I was raised Catholic and sent to Catholic School — there was never any moment when my faith and belief in God was truly tested. But now that I’ve entered college and am studying at a school that’s far from Catholic, within the first week of orientation God […]

No, I’m Not Making the Sign of the Cross!

If you’ve ever been afraid to make the sign of the cross in public, you’re not alone. A lot of us Catholics have done that. Sometimes we make the sign of the cross really quickly, so that people won’t notice. We might even pretend to be swatting a fly or scratching our fore head to begin making the sign as we say grace before lunch in the cafeteria or in a crowded restaurant.

Type Nice: Digital Evangelization

If you're on any type of social media and have an opinion about anything, you've probably experienced this. You type, 'Wendys fries are so much better than McDonald's' as a status update. You walk away from your computer and return to find World War III has broken out on your wall, with friends declaring their allegiances.

10 Ways to Share Your Faith

What's your New Year's resolution? Are you going to study more? Eat your vegetables? Finally watch all those episodes of Honey Boo Boo clogging up the DVR?

How about a resolution to proclaim your faith a little more?

You know, proclaim. To state publicly, to announce, to shout from the rooftops. In his letter on the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI writes that,

'The Church on the day of Pentecost demonstrates with utter clarity this public dimension of believing and proclaiming one's faith fearlessly to every person.'

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

Stop Yelling At Me

St. Peter said that we should always be ready 'to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (1 Peter 3:15). It's important to know what the church teaches and why, so that we can explain it in class, in debates, and defend the Church’s position, even to our friends.

Stop Yelling At Me

St. Peter said that we should always be ready 'to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (1 Peter 3:15). It's important to know what the church teaches and why, so that we can explain it in class, in debates, and defend the Church’s position, even to our friends.

Standing Up For Truth: It’s Worth It

However, I've heard so many people attack what they think the Catholic Church is saying about homosexuality and gay marriage that I want to clear things up a bit.

Don’t Sit So Close to Me

One of the things I hate about flying is the discomfort and awkwardness of sitting very close to a stranger for 4 or more hours (the typical length of one of my flights).

I'm an introvert, but I'm not anti-social. I like talking, but I hate small talk … which is what plane conversations often are. (For me, at least)

It's my luck to always get stuck next to: the creepy, flirty man, the smoker or perfume over-doser who gives me a headache, chatty Cathy who ignores the book in my lap, and many others who have left me with the opinion that I'd rather sit alone.

Exit Row Evangelization

I love traveling, especially by air. Since the time I was old enough to travel alone, I've rarely said ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏno' to a chance to get on a plane.