Life Lines
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One of the great joys—and occasional challenges—of being a writer is getting letters from readers via email, social media and even snail mail. Those messages often lift my spirits and … more
The editor of the Albany diocesan newspaper came into my office recently and asked if I wanted to share a memory of an experience with a religious sister for National Catholic Sisters Week in March. … more
Flannery O’Connor, the American Catholic southern gothic writer, once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” That line has always resonated with me, but … more
With 2020 in our rearview mirror, most of us are hoping for a new year that looks nothing like the old year. As we struggled through past 10 months of pandemic, with one hit after another leaving us … more
Advent in our modern world has long been behind the cultural eight ball. It’s a season of waiting in a world of instant gratification, a season of quiet anticipation in a world of noisy … more
When I was leaving my gynecologist’s office recently, I exited the building with a younger couple leaving the same practice. I guessed that they likely were there for a pregnancy checkup and … more
When I arrived at Pyramid Life Center in the Adirondack Mountains last month to lead a retreat, I was excited but nervous. As is always the case when I lead a group, I want to be sure I give … more
An upstate New York church recently asked me if I would do a Zoom talk for their parish book club, which had just finished reading “Walking Together,” my 2010 book on spiritual friendship. They … more
Chiara, 15, walked into our family room after a socially distanced bike ride with a friend and wisely observed that just a couple of months ago wearing a mask seemed like such a burden, an unusual … more
A little more than five years ago, I stood on land owned by distant DeTurris relatives in Massa Lubrense, Italy, the birthplace of my paternal grandfather, and looked out at the Isle of Capri in the … more
For the past two months, I’ve been receiving emails and private messages from folks who read “Rejoice and Be Glad,” my book of daily reflections for Easter to Pentecost. Although … more
For my entire life, whenever someone asked me to name my favorite season, I would say, without any hesitation, “fall!” There was something about the colors of the trees, the crispness of … more
The past month has been a dance of gratitude and fear. Gratitude that, so far, my family is healthy and together under one roof — all five of us around the dinner table each night, favorite … more
The older I get, the more I like to tackle things I probably have no business tackling. In the course of the past 10 years, I’ve done everything from tennis lessons (I was never much of an … more
Everyone has his or her own story. Our history, family, faith, environment—all of it combines to create a background story that runs through … more
I traveled to Seattle a few weeks ago to give a parish retreat at St. Monica’s Church on Mercer Island. Long before I boarded the plane for my first visit to the Pacific … more
I first got to know Sister Johanne McCarthy, C.S.J., about 18 months ago when she wrote to complain that our Albany diocesan newspaper wasn’t giving religious sisters the same treatment … more
I returned home from work one day recently to see a For Sale sign on the lawn of our elderly neighbors, a retired Army doctor and nurse. They’ve been living on our street since the houses were … more
The feasts and celebrations that surround us at this time in the liturgical year can do a soul some much-needed good. It’s hard to feel like a solitary seeker when we are … more
September always feels like the start of a new year to me, much more so than Jan. 1 ever does. It must be the perennial student in me. I can’t even resist the piles of discounted school supplies … more
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