And a blessed Holy Year of Mercy! I hope you enjoy your visit. This site is a work in progress and I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Thank you and God bless! Alicia

Many years ago now, I heard a homily from a Marquette University professor about a class he had taught on the (then new) Catechism of the Catholic Church. They were going to study the Catechism over the course of a year, but the students were filled with questions on the first day about abortion and birth control and other hot-button issues. Instead of trying to answer the questions on the spot, he told them to wait. When they got to the part of the Catechism that addressed those particular questions, they would go ahead and discuss them.

The amazing part was, when they finally got to those parts of the Catechism, there were no longer any questions.

When we confront the problem of the culture’s resistance to understanding our beliefs on big issues like abortion, it is easy to complain about those people (we are SO good at whining!) and judge them. The question of context is one I hear very little about. The example above is largely about intellectual context – a framework within which to understand Church teaching on tough issues like abortion. But we should also keep in mind that this idea of context also has spiritual and relational components. When we start to believe in God, we are more open to new ideas that come from his Church. When we meet people whose love and joy amaze and inspire us, we want to understand where that comes from and how to partake in it ourselves.

I would like to propose that we stop just trying to go head-to-head in open battle with each individual that “doesn’t get it”. While there is certainly a place for a good debate, the battlefield mentality is too often pointed in the wrong direction and often leads to misunderstanding and an escalating cycle of judgement, assumption, reaction and hard feelings.

If we can look on another as a fellow broken member of the fallen, but beloved human race, remember that our true enemy is the devil and sin, and offer our lives to God to follow His will, perhaps we can stop and reverse this cycle. God is ready to forge us into living “context” for the world. We are called to incarnate Christ in the world, to make manifest his love and mercy to a world that desperately needs him.

What I’d like to offer here is a kind of guide, especially for parents and their families, to cultivating ideas, attitudes, and spirituality in their own hearts and in those of their children, that will prepare them for this great task that we are all called to do – to go and make disciples of all nations.


This site is dedicated to my friend Katrina Louise Underwood (1969-2012) and my nephew Charles Michael Van Hecke (1990-2014) both of whom taught me a great deal about faith and culture.

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