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If nothing else, this proves to me that I did more than just twiddle my thumbs this week…

My writing elsewhere this week:

If you enjoyed my interview with Lino earlier this week, you might be interested in two other new releases that made me smile (I talk about Saint too): 3 New Books That Will Make You Smile. There’s some middle grade fiction, Saint, and a little gem by Mark Hart.

From my latest at New Evangelizers:

For the last ten years, I’ve been designing what I think is a pretty nice parish bulletin. It’s been part of my evolving job on our parish staff, and it’s something I really enjoy.

And it involves more than just the printed paper we hand to parishioners on Sundays.

As part of my work in the parish, I’m also our parish webmaster, which includes social media.

The two aspects of my role go hand-in-hand: the bulletin and the online ventures use much of the same information. We have a highly visual and graphic-heavy bulletin, and I use many of those graphics in other places.

Recently, our pastor (and my boss) reminded me of what our bulletin is out to accomplish. It “is more than a bulletin of facts and meeting information. It is a vital tool that projects the image of our parish. It fosters community. It engages readers.”

The rest is here: The New Parish Bulletin Is Online.

Want to know what I’ve been reading? Here’s my weekly Book Talk.

Here’s a review of a book that’s already on my “best of 2013” list7 Secrets of Confession, by Vinny Flynn.

And my favorite of my writing for the week goes to the piece on Our Lady of Sorrows that’s up at Catholic Exchange:

… I thought for sure that enough prayer could change the outcome.

It was during those months of waiting and hoping that I learned to pray the rosary. I had just become Catholic, and during our parish’s new Eucharistic Adoration program, I stumbled my way through the unfamiliar rhythm of the prayers. I used my fingers while I commuted and prayed along with a CD I found.

I was certain that Mary would understand. I just knew that she could make it all better.

What I didn’t realize then, in my fervent praying and petitioning, was that suffering isn’t the worst thing that can happen in this life. Sometimes, suffering can bring us great graces, and it can be a line for us to clutch in the midst of our time here on earth.

It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t easy, to bury a baby. I can’t talk about it, even more than a decade later, without tearing up, and it wasn’t even my baby. But in that well of pain and hurt, there’s something else.

That something else is what Mary offers us in her role as Our Lady of Sorrows. We’re reminded of how innocent she was, conceived as she was without the burden of any sin. How much worse was it for someone who had never sinned and could never sin to bear the brunt of her Son’s passion and death?