(Part 2) Calling All Catholics: Dear Sisters, You Are Not Alone

Since I published “Calling All Catholics, Can You Please Stand Up?” I have been absolutely humbled by how many encouraging messages I have received. So many amazing Catholic women have expressed gratitude for having a post validate how they have been feeling so long. I feel like I hit a nerve and the feedback has exploded. I am under no delusion that I don’t have a very big blog, so when I compared the number of followers I have against the number of messages I have received?! Well, the percentage is staggering. Below are some of the comments/messages in response to my original post, “Calling All Catholics.”


“I just read your blog, “Calling All Catholics” and I just want to say… YES GIRL!!… You have put into words what I have been feeling for a while and I’m sure many others do as well!!”

“Your post about ‘Calling All Catholics’ really spoke to my heart. For quite some time, I have thought about creating a blog, but I am scared to do it.”

“I’ve been considering starting a blog for similar reasons and your post about your doubts and insecurities you have resonates so strongly!”

“Okay so this read…if I had nodded anymore while reading your post I think I might’ve gotten whiplash.”


There was one message in particular that weighed heavy on my heart and led me to this continuation post…

“I just read your blog post about Catholic blogs… I CANNOT AGREE MORE and I am glad someone has put it out there!! I’m in my twenties…and I have to say, I feel like there are no Catholics like me, my age, mostly because they are not online! I’ve struggled recently to find my place, and almost turned to non-denominational churches who look so fun and glamorous and ‘everyone’ goes and posts about it. I tried looking for Catholic blogs and hardly found anything. Which made me sad…”

 Y’all…

This. THIS. 

Want to know what ignites my soul? You just read it. There are two large ‘elephants-in-the-room’ that I would like to address and I am about to rip off the band-aids.

To all my sisters in Christ,

First, I am sorry. I am sorry that as a Catholic community we have failed to create a presence in which you feel represented, included in, and safe to speak out. I will always be transparent on here and right now… I feel frustration.  There is a reason that so many of our sisters in Christ feel so isolated and I will be the first to admit I have contributed to it.  Alluding to my first post, we, as Catholics, have become too comfortable with being silent about our faith.  Yeah, we may not deny it, but we certainly aren’t offering it up (Of course-I am making a generalization here).  I have absolutely, 100% been guilty of this.  I was SO nervous with my first post, I debated even posting it at all. YOU ALL changed that for me. I now understand that the importance of being bold in your faith far outweighs any doubts or potential criticism. Why is this so important?  Y’all- please refer to the comments above.  The ONLY people we hurt with our silence are our brothers and sisters in Christ. My personal opinion? The secular world (in the most general sense) prefers us to be silent, because then they can control the message of Catholicism as this outdated, archaic, and corrupt institution. Oh man let me tell you, THAT gets me fired up.

I whole-heartedly believe there are vehemently false narratives out there that are steering and contributing to the negative perception of what it means to be Catholic. There seems to be this falsehood that being modern and Catholic somehow don’t coincide with one another. Let me be really clear, they are NOT oxymorons. I disagree with the notion that somehow discussing travel, fashion, health, beauty, or fitness somehow detracts or distracts from your faith. Don’t do our faith a disservice by reducing its theological legitimacy, its truthfulness, to such a fragile state that a simple discussion of fashion trends somehow undermines an individual’s spiritual authenticity. Like forreal, our faith runs so much deeper than that. Yes, you can be radical in your faith, you can hold the sacraments to be completely sacred, you can be a devout and uncompromising follower of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic church AND STILL be a creative, intelligent, fun, loving, beautiful, 21st century, modern Catholic woman.  The fact that this somehow isn’t the narrative- I believe is a result of our vast silence. We can’t change the narrative if we aren’t saying anything to correct it.

Alright, I am going to stay on this topic and bring it to a little bit larger scale. Let’s move beyond just women and discuss the Church as a whole. I believe both can be examined in parallel on this particular subject. In no way do I deem myself credible enough to speak on such a large topic, so I am going to turn to the brilliant Bishop Barron who brings up some amazing points in his book Catholicism. Bishop Barron discusses how John Henry Newman emphasized that the church’s power is derived from its ability to assimilate in that it can, “take into itself elements from the cultural environment and adapt them to its purposes.” Now, this does not mean that the Church changes or compromises. To illustrate this Bishop Barron uses the analogy of viewing the Church as a living organism. Within an organism, there are two indications of disease; the inability to assimilate and the inability to resist– thus this makes the Church incredibly healthy in that it is able to simultaneously accomplish both *gasp*!  Imagine for a moment that the BILLION Catholics on earth flooded all of the secular industries with a Christ-focused framework. We quite literally would change the definition of ‘fashion’, ‘beauty’, etc. and most certainly would reverse the negative Catholic narrative. In fact, this is exactly what Vatican II pushed for! In an attempt to hit this home I cannot state this any more eloquently than Fr. Barron,

“The Vatican II fathers wanted to inspire a generation of great Catholic lawyers, great Catholic business leaders, great Catholic nurses and physicians, great Catholic teachers and writers, in hopes that such people would carry the holiness they learned in the church out to their areas of specialization in the secular world.”

Mic drop. *no further comment*

Okay, let’s move to the second point. CATHOLIC BLOGGERS ARE OUT THERE and you are NOT alone! I promise you, we exist! We are out in cyber-space. There are not many of us, agreed. However, we exist and we are awesome (if I do say so myself 😉 ). I am going to put my money where my mouth is.  I will prove to you we are out there by introducing you to some AWESOME Catholic bloggers. Why are they so awesome? Every single one of these women embody what it means to live out your faith. I haven’t met any of them personally but I follow their blogs and have had the pleasure of getting to have some wonderful conversations. They are all creative, intelligent, well-spoken, strong Catholic women. Each one of these women are beautifully unique. They each bring a different conversation to the table and offer a different perspective on what it means to be Catholic. Some are working mothers, some are single college students, others fall somewhere in between. Just as they are unique as individuals, their blogs are an equal reflection of their diversity.  Some are lifestyle, some are health and fitness, some are beauty, and some are Catholic-issue focused. I love the diversity because not every Catholic has been called to minister through preaching or theological discussion. Sometimes sharing your skills/talents in a faith-informed framework is your ministry!  No matter what your skills/talents/backgrounds are, don’t be afraid to show them to the world while being unapologetically Catholic- you may surprised by the support you’ll get 😉 .

Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit. – Pope Francis


Meet the Ladies!!

Cecilia Pappasimage4 copy

Fashion and Faith

Why did you start blogging?

“God cares about how we clothe the body He created. What we wear is an amazing silent communicator to the world, and it truly does matter! Blogging about fashion and faith is my way of creating a relatable platform for young, Catholic women, showing modesty doesn’t have to be frumpy!”

Check out her blog!   Check out her Insta!


Emily Rippergerimage3

Faith, Motherhood, Marriage, and Beauty

Why did you start blogging?

“I started blogging because I believe in my sisters.  I want to help share the tiniest tidbits Jesus whispers to me with their perfect hearts!”

Check out her blog!  Check out her Insta!


Isabel Rojasimage1-5 copy

Lifestyle, Beauty, Faith and Fashion

Why did you start blogging?

“I started blogging because I always loved fashion, but I also love sharing Jesus with others and my family is super important to me so I decided to document little pieces of my life in hope to encourage and inspire others!”

Check out her blog!    Check out her Insta!


Shalini Cynthiaimage1-5

Faith and Fitness

Why did you start blogging?

“I started blogging because I felt called to share my journey through law school, wife life, finding a new way career wise, and all that was in between.  None of my life makes sense without the realization that God’s hand has been leading the way all along.  I want people to know that it’s okay that things don’t always make sense, that they are not along, and that God’s way is truly one heck of an adventure!

Check out her blog!     Check out her Insta!


Kristinimage2-3

Faith, Motherhood, Lifestyle

Why did you start blogging?

“I started my blog or social media handle to enhance community among women.  To create a group of women who could support each other through prayer and help each other become the best we can be.”

Check out her blog!   Check out her Insta!


Chiara Marieimage3 copy

Lifestyle, Travel, Career, and Fashion

Why did you start blogging?

“Writing documenting and capturing moments have always been a passion of mine.  I wanted to be a magazine editor when I was young. I kept so many diaries on my nightstand. Then came technology and blogging was born.  It just came naturally and I’ve had too many blogs since I was 16.”

Check out her blog!    Check out her Insta!


 “That One Catholic Girl”

Faith, Travel, and Lifestyleimage4

Why did you start blogging?

“Flannery O’Connor once said, ‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.’ That pretty much sums up why I blog! At the beginning of the year, my underwent a lot of change, and I needed a creative outlet to make sense of things. Truly though, blogging has become about so much more than me.  I’ve been blessed to find community, grow in my Catholic faith, and meet incredible people across the country!

Check out her blog!   Check out her Insta!


Grace Hincapieimage3 copy 2

Fashion, Lifestyle, and Faith

Why did you start blogging?

“I started blogging a little over four years ago because I wanted a place where I could encourage young women to know their innate worth and dignity so they can find their feminine confidence in this world. My goal with every post is to inspire women to find the ladyboss within herself and win in all area of her life.”

Check out her blog!  Check out her Insta!


“Milennial Black”image1-5 copy 3

Faith 

Why did you start blogging?

“I felt an overwhelming urge to show the normalcy of talking about faith. Catholicism is more attractive than any trend, and more fulfilling than any purchase–and we as Catholics have an obligation to show that.”

 

Check out her Insta!  Check out her blog!


Lisa Kirkimage2-3 copy 2

Faith, Family, and Fashion

Why did you start blogging?

I started Something Pretty as a wedding blog in December 2010–I was in college and had just completed my first magazine internship. I dreamed up working for a bridal magazine and hoped my blog would become a portfolio that I could show potential employers. As I graduated, landed my (dream) job, got engaged and then married, and had my son, my blog gradually evolved into a lifestyle blog. I now love sharing everyday feminine style, reflections on marriage and motherhood, and simple ideas for liturgical living as a Catholic. It has been the sweetest blessing to connect with women all over the world who share my love for the beauty of our faith–it continually challenges and encourages me to keep turning to the Lord as my ultimate joy and source of inspiration.

Check out her blog!  Check out her Insta!


Katie Waldowimage2-2

Faith, Family, Beauty, Style, and Travel

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging as a way to explore all the things I love. I often felt overwhelmed with having so many interests, but this outlet gave me a way to write, take photos, share our adventures, and also talk about the though stuff. I love being able to connect with other women through this platform, and get to know their individual journey.  It has truly been such a blessing in my life.

Check out her blog!   Check out her Insta!

***Disclaimer: so you don’t feel like I had an alterior motive for this post- this is not just a “follow Friday,” in which I made it a condition that they share my page with their followers in order for me to promote their pages.  Nope, I just asked permission for me to share their blog with you all. (Want to see change? Sometimes you got to be the change right?)  **