Saturday, August 01, 2015
Not Your Average Pro-Life Movie
The film Gimme Shelter, which opened in select theaters last month, sets itself apart. It’s the story of Apple (played by Vanessa Hudgens), a foster child who runs away from her broken home upon finding out she’s pregnant. Apple's story is based on the real-life story of Kathy DiFiore. I initially thought this would be a pro-life movie. But it wasn’t.

This isn’t to say the movie didn’t have a message that fits within pro-life parameters. It just isn’t what I’d label “a pro-life movie.” ()

Latest in Reviews & Interviews

Interview with Matthew Lickona

Matthew Lickona is the author of the memoir Swimming with Scapulars: Confessions of a Young Catholic, published by Loyola Press in 2005.

His latest work, Surfing with Mel, is a story in script form and was recently published by Korrektiv Press as the first in a series called “Lives of Famous Catholics.” It is available for $.99 download on Amazon.


  Book Review  
When Love Breaks Through
We all know sometimes great things come out of times of crisis. Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves is the book that came out of the turmoil following the Health and Human Services(HHS) mandate, requiring employers to pay for and provide goods and services like abortion drugs in their healthcare plans against their consciences. The ongoing debate around the mandate highlights the challenge that modern Catholic women face in expressing the joy of choosing paths outside the contraceptive culture. ()

  The Saints  
An Unexpected Community
It is perhaps a delicate thing, reviewing a Catholic spiritual memoir from Protestant shades, and one about saints, no less. But this book, Colleen Carroll Campbell’s My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, felt very close, like a life I recognized almost as my own, a life of lives I was absorbing, riveted, and yet somehow already knew. As a good sermon yields fruit beyond the words and a friend challenges you toward higher aspirations, My Sisters the Saints reverberates outward with its tale of one woman’s Christian pilgrimage, fueled and steered by six heroines of the faith. ()

Single and Sane
I admit, I thought I wouldn’t like it. At thirty and single, I’ve read and heard it all. The normal advice given to Catholic women like me is to use this time to prepare to be the best wife possible. Pray the rosary daily. Focus your time on being a homemaker by learning how to sew, cook, and maintain a clean living space. Babysit when you can, and make sure you don’t work in a too-demanding profession. Pray novenas for your husband. Wait patiently. Suffering is part of the cross, so offer it up. Making it seem like being single is almost your fault. You’re not good enough yet to meet your husband. ()

The Battle Against Nature’s Sexism
As the administration’s healthcare plan is weighed by the American public and the Supreme Court, the debate over the contraceptive mandate continues with high intensity. And for no small reason. Contraception is the only medicine we’ve heard so loudly proclaimed by the government to be completely free of charge. There are many other drugs for diabetes and cancer and heart conditions that are not free to patients and yet are much more necessary for survival and disease prevention. So, why is the administration pushing for contraceptives to be free and not graver health necessities? ()

  Women in Business and Human Rights  
Gayle Trotter Interviews Chai Ling
For Altcatholicah, Gayle Trotter interviewed Chai Ling, founder of All Girls Allowed, a humanitarian organization working to restore value to girls in China. She is the founder of Jenzabar, Inc., a leading higher education software and services provider, prior to which she worked as a consultant at Bain & Company. She holds a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a M.L.A. in Public Affairs at Princeton University, and a B.A. from Beijing University. A key student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement, Chai Ling was subsequently named Glamour Woman of the Year and nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. ()

  Women in Media  
Interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez
For Altcatholicah, Gayle Trotter interviews Kathryn Jean Lopez, syndicated columnist and editor-at-large of National Review Online.

GT: Do you see America as a nation on the rise or in decline?

KJL: I think the answer depends on the decisions we are making now, each hour of every day, in our personal and in our civic lives. ()

  Review of the Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God  
The Book of Ruth
The word “saint” does not typically conjure up images of a Harvard alumna and New England housewife, but it may begin to do so if Ruth Pakaluk’s story gets around. She was only 41 when cancer claimed her life. Her husband Michael has now collected the letters she wrote throughout her adulthood, and her own words compose the bulk of this biography. ()

  Review of Higher Ground  
On Higher Ground
Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, Higher Ground, almost didn't get made. It was difficult to find financial backers for a film tracing the spiritual evolution of one woman from adolescence to maturity, from the blossoming of belief to the dark night of the soul.

Hollywood's idea of a personal journey of faith usually looks something like Eat, Pray, Love, in which Julia Roberts' spiritual crisis leads her to a post-divorce jaunt through Italy and Indonesia, a romance with a handsome Brazilian with a dash of Eastern spirituality. ()

  Women in Radio  
Interview with Irene Lagan of Guadalupe Radio
For Altcatholicah, Gayle Trotter interviews Irene Lagan, general manager of Guadalupe Radio, the new Catholic radio station in Washington D.C., WMET 1160 AM. Lagan’s show, Catholic Matters, airs Tuesday mornings at 8 a.m.

GT: What do you think are the greatest challenges for Catholic women today? ()

  Review of The Help  
With a Little Help
As summer comes to a close and I reflect on vacation time spent with longtime friends, I recently asked myself: Since I’ve personally grown in my Catholic faith, can my former friendships with non-Catholics ever be as close as they once seemed?


  Women in Business  
Interview with Jeri Eckhart Queenan of the Bridgespan Group
For Altcatholicah, Gayle Trotter interviews Jeri Eckhart Queenan, a partner at the Bridgespan Group with twenty-five years of strategy and management experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Previously, Queenan graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from UCLA, received her MBA from Harvard Business School with honors, and served as a White House Fellow. ()

  Review of Chastened  
The Many Meanings of Chastity

After reading Chastened: The Unexpected Story of My Year Without Sex, I've found “year without sex” doesn’t mean what you might think it means.


  Review of Unplanned  
Peeling The Onion
The headline in a recent issue of The Onion blasts: “Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex.”

“Cecile Richards told reporters that the new state-of-the-art fetus-killing facility located in the nation's heartland offers quick, easy, in-and-out abortions to all women,” The Onion breathlessly reported, “and represents a bold reinvention of the group's long-standing mission and values.” ()

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