The Church designates July 26 as a relatively quiet “memorial” of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For me, however, there are few days in the liturgical calendar that evoke more energetic memories of a geographical community and parish family than this one. This is a feast of visceral evangelization that immerses all five senses and brings people together—close together.
Since I first learned the concept of goal setting in fourth grade P.E. class, I’ve been obsessed. New Years, birthdays, beginnings of seasons, the first day of the month: you name the new beginning and I’m there crafting a page of resolutions, a bucket list or a series of S.M.A.R.T. goals around it. I like goal setting because it helps me manage my time in a way that aligns with my values, and it provides me with positive ends to work towards and a sense of accomplishment when I’ve met those ends.
I’m known among my friends and family as a staunch curmudgeon when it comes to technology – particularly regarding kids, teens and our collective use of smartphones and social media. Back in 2007, I peered at ads of the forthcoming iPhone with lots of suspicion and a little fear, much like the way one looks at a feral cat. Surely, it was the beginning of the end.
Valentine’s Day can be awkward for a lot of people. It’s unlikely the holiday will come up in Church conversations, except perhaps in the young adult group. Catholics may see little connection between their faith and the chocolate overdoses of February 14. But it is a day that takes on new dimensions when viewed through a Christian lens.
I read a lot. And for 2019, I made a commitment to be more intentional about what I was reading. I wanted a book list that was not only relaxing, but also fulfilling for my mind and my soul. So, I created this list of 19 Catholic books to read in 2019.