lanterns nyc

I do not do well with change.

My family (especially Dad—I’m looking at you, Douglas) knows this and loves to mention it. It is a well-documented phenomenon, from the time that I pitched a fit over a non-traditional Christmas tree that my mom tried to slip by when I was two, thinking I wouldn’t notice. I like to think that over the years I’ve gotten better about change, but it’s still something to which I am averse. 

This year, though, I knew change was coming. This was the year of Big Decisions, and Real Life, and Change. 

I didn’t pick a “word to live by” at the New Year’s, like so many mom bloggers do, but if I had it would have been Change. 

Rick decided to change it up big on New Year’s Eve, when he proposed. Then I spent five short months working jobs I loved and going to school and interning, which was wonderful but also, I spent a lot of time being overwhelmed and curling into a ball with Hulu and Chinese food. 

Then I graduated. 

Now, I’m back in East Aurora, the town too twee to be real, and back at the Advertiser. I love local news and I love only working 35 hours a week (may a regular job always feel like a luxury!). I’m also managing social media this summer, which is a whole new challenge. I have been learning a lot and reading more timely content than I have in ages and it’s glorious.

At the end of August I’ll be moving to Harrisburg, where I will be joining Sycamore House, an outpost of the Episcopal Service Corps. I’ll be working four days a week at an undetermined nonprofit, spending the fifth day in spiritual formation, and living in community with six other girls. It’s an adventure, and it’s scary to be doing the new city-new job-new people routine again, but I think I made the right choice. 

Sometimes, change is good. 

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Nature and Mission

One of the lectures that we had on-the-record at the conference I recently attended was on the nature and mission of the Catholic Church. With the Synod on the Family starting tomorrow (read an AP story here), what could be more timely than sharing a few takeaways from this talk by Rev. Paul O’Callaghan?

On Conversion

The first stage of becoming Christian is about the individual and God, the second about the individual and the Church. Ideally the Church is both a product and a producer of Christians, and a family rather than a sect.

A bishop takes a souvenir photo of a friend posing with a Swiss Guard

A bishop takes a souvenir photo of a friend posing with a Swiss Guard

On the Church

The reality of the church is greater than the concept that we have of it, and for this reason we (especially journalists) must dig beyond the surface to discover the real story. The church, to believers, has both visible and invisible aspects, just as the body has the soul.

The church should not be fearful of change, because that is what sustains it. The church is a pilgrim; it adapts to situations and realities and is enriched by reality. It relates in different ways at different times. This struck me, as I read just this morning the Rolling Stone article from February titled “Pope Francis: the times they are a-changin’.” I think many people hope to see the Church change how she relates, especially on family issues. We’ll see if this hope is unfounded.

An aspect of change that I found especially interesting  is the capacity of the Catholic Church to contain within it great figures and great movements, absorbing and nurturing them without a significant disruption. This is something in my opinion woefully lacking in Protestant movements. I’ve been reading recently about Opus Dei as well as intrachurch movements such as Focalare and Schoenstatt, many of which I didn’t know even existed. On the other hand, the Church doesn’t quite have this down, as evidenced by the fact that Protestantism exists.

The lifeblood of the church is mission.

On salvation

What does it mean to be saved? To live in communion with God forever.

On Pope Frankie

O’Callaghan kept it short and sweet: “He’s really keeping us on our toes.”

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Where I’m Writing

Life has been busy lately, my friends.

I recently finished my internship, which was so great. I can’t say enough about the NYPA intern program.

diary of an intern

I wrote a lot of classic small-towny news stories, which I loved, like these:


In the meantime, I’ve been blogging. My posts lately have been a little travel-focused, like the keys to a great road trip, the ultimate cross-country train trip, and the thirty bajillion times I’ve gotten lost.

I would love to travel back to this bakery.

I would love to travel back to this bakery.

I guest posted for some bloggers I love:

  • Packing for college (BEN, READ THIS). Ironically, I’m currently in the middle of packing, again, so I can move, again. UGH. Kriselle is one of the cutest and most upbeat bloggers I know, so I encourage you to read all of her other posts as well!
  • An awesome (and easy) baked strawberry shortcake recipe. I made this all the time for the Boyfriend and I this summer! Katie is super sweet and funny and we have a lot in common, which is always nice to find.
  • My career center career comes to fruition in this post on what you should avoid in a resume, for Megan the Artistic Brunette. Her blog is very clean and adorable, and I love her inspiring posts–especially the travel ones.
I went on some picnics, too. Picnics are the best.

I went on some picnics, too. Picnics are the best.

The Prospect is a great college-admissions website where I’ve been a college writer for about six months now. College and high school students, go check it out.

The Torch, our school newspaper, is near and dear to my heart and I’m so excited to get back to making it great this fall. (Here’s something I wrote last fall about a student who is doing great artistic and Vincentian things!)

Since I’ve been a little light on content here lately, I encourage you to go ahead and check out some of my other writing!

(Also, follow me on Twitter if you don’t already. I’ve been posting all kinds of great articles on there.)

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Five Things I Love About Rome

 1. The history There is absolutely nothing like biking down the Appian Way to make you appreciate history. Rome is chock-full of it, and you can find something fascinating around every corner or down every twisting alley.


2. The church The arms of Bernini’s colonnade are designed to look like a hug HOW CUTE IS THAT GAHH SACRED TRADITION.

Anyway, I very much enjoy all of the churches/relics/saints/icons/statues/etcetc that can be found in bella Roma.


3. The food Gelato. Cannoli. Fresh pasta. Arancini. Seafood. Yes please.


4. The culture My greatest achievement after five months was making restaurant reservations in Italian, but it was a fabulous, interesting peek into a culture that’s in many ways similar and in many ways different to my own.


5. Visiting it  There’s nothing like a crazy, insane adventure, is there? Especially not like missing the first week of school for an impromptu trip to Europe. If you’ve been following my social media (if not, find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) you may already know, but I have the opportunity to return to Rome as the only student at this professional conference. Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis–what could be more up my alley?  I’m absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity, and I can’t wait to head back to Rome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is where I aim to be during the next conclave!

In order to make this amazing adventure happen, I’m on a spending freeze starting last week, and with careful budgeting I’ll be able to make it work with my intern salary and my part-time jobs at school. I’m also working with St. John’s and my mentors to search for grants that may be applicable. I’ve also started a GoFundMe page, and if anyone feels comfortable donating–even $5, seriously, it helps–I would be eternally grateful, and I’ll send you a postcard from the Eternal City to boot.

I’m so very excited to head back to one of my favorite cities on the planet. Look out for more updates in September!

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The Most Interesting People in the World


Writing 101 challenge: describe the most interesting person you met in 2014.


One of the things I love most about journalism is getting to meet and talk to people from all walks of life with all sorts of different stories.

Here are just a few highlights of the people I’ve read about, written about or spoken to in the two weeks since I started my internship.

  • A teenager who is joining the circus for the summer
  • Two Eagle Scouts who restored local trails. Eagle Scouts are close to my heart because my family is huge on scouting, and my brother also did trail rehabilitation for his Eagle project—in fact, it was at the historic mansion at which I was employed.
  • A couple who has been working with the National Weather Service for 53 years. They’ve faithfully taken data about the weather every morning since November 1, 1960. 
  • A family who runs an organic farm, where they raise goats and make soap
  • Two veterans who fought at Normandy on D-Day and don’t want the rest of us to forget
  • A teacher who is spearheading a film festival for students
  • Organizers of an alternative music festival held in a garage
  • Survivors of cancer
  • Local business owners who collaborated with town authorities to plant 32 flower beds on Main Street


All people are sort of interesting in their way, aren’t they? Who has interested you lately? 

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