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Sistas Weekly No. 2

Welcome to the recap of the Catholic Sistas blog for the week of September 3 – September 8! Hopefully you will find this new feature a helpful assist in keeping up with our wonderfully diverse posts. We wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!  😆

As part of our blogging schedule we have agreed, as a group, that we will not be doing individual blog posts on Sundays. Our week in review, Sistas Weekly, is set to auto-post so that we can keep holy the Sabbath and spend time with our families.

 

20 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Large Families, But Were Afraid to Ask

Our family size has been the topic of many conversations.  People are always asking us various questions, some with genuine interest, others out of rudeness.  It never ceases to amaze me what people will ask or will say behind our backs instead of asking us. There have been times where I have been hurt by what I have heard.   Many would be shocked to hear some of the comments we’ve endured from people who think that it is crazy to actually want a large family.  Read more »

 

3,2,1…Get ready to talk numbers.

Remember last February when the Catholic Sistas conducted their own informal survey in response to the media claims that 98% of women who identify as Catholic use contraception? Well, some other Catholic women in Washington, D.C. have done a formal survey using the nationally-regarded primary research and consulting firm, Polling Company, Inc. WomanTrendRead more »

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Veiling Through the Joyful Mysteries

In June I shared ‘Lifting the Veil…’, a post about my decision to begin veiling. In reading the subsequent comments, I found renewed vigor in my resolve to veil and gained insight into addressing many of the questions that arose concerning my reasoning behind this devotional act. Contrary to the objection that veiling is an act of drawing attention to oneself, my logic is much more personal and spiritual.  Read more »

 

 Why We’re NOT Saving for College

One of the first things people used to say to us when we told them we wanted a large family was, “But how do you plan to pay for college for all those kids?” My answer was simple and usually shocked them: “We don’t.”

It’s hard to argue that we don’t encourage an extended adolescence for our children these days. In addition to providing the right clothes and expensive, popular electronics during childhood, we’re now also expected to: Read more »

 

 7 Quick Takes Friday, no. 5: Catholic Apps

For this month’s 7 Quick Takes, I decided to ask the ink slingers about their favorite Catholic smartphone apps and compile a list of our top seven. As busy moms, many of these apps provide us with ways to get to a variety of prayers quickly and/or aid us in our daily prayer life. There are many, many options out there and most of these apps are available for a variety of handheld devices. Please share some of your favorite apps in the comments! We are always looking for more.

So without further ado, the results of our highly unscientific, informal ink slingers poll: Read more »

 

I’m So Pleased to Have Been Wrong – Cardinal Dolan’s Benediction

I’ll have to be honest about my skepticism when it was announced that Cardinal Dolan would subject himself to rubbing shoulders with the party that officially includes abortion and same sex ‘marriage’ in their platform. Then word came down that this party had also excluded the word ‘God’. What a shocking and shameful day for the United States of America! That they rammed mention of our God-given rights back into their platform after the righteous indignation of the People, was not much salve for the wound that lay open from the initial omission of His holy Name. Read more »

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Ruffling Some Feathers

If you know me in real life, you know that there are many things that I’m passionate about. There are also many things that I take a “you’re entitled to your own opinion, and we’ll have to agree to disagree” stance about. Then there are other things that I just get flat out fired up and “preachy” about. I guess in that regard I’m not that different from anyone else. Read more »

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7 Quick Takes Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Our Favorite Things Polls Prayer

7 Quick Takes Friday, no. 5: Catholic Apps

For this month’s 7 Quick Takes, I decided to ask the ink slingers about their favorite Catholic smartphone apps and compile a list of our top seven. As busy moms, many of these apps provide us with ways to get to a variety of prayers quickly and/or aid us in our daily prayer life. There are many, many options out there and most of these apps are available for a variety of handheld devices. Please share some of your favorite apps in the comments! We are always looking for more.

So without further ado, the results of our highly unscientific, informal ink slingers poll:

#7 The Psalms

Ink slinger Charla shared this app on the Psalms as one of her favorites. Created by Black Mountain Apps and available for free, it received one vote in our highly unscientific poll. The app divides the Psalms into groups by topics such as glory, mercy, trust, thanksgiving, and more. I’ve already downloaded it to check it out more and it may become one of my favorite apps soon, too. Available on Apple devises.

#6 Bible Douay-Rheims

Martina’s favorite app is this Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible app by VerseWise. It also received 1 vote in our informal poll. Selling at $1.99, Martina says she loves the footnotes in this one and, of course, the translation. Available for Apple devises.

And as a bonus, Martina didn’t want to forget to add in her other favorite app, Confession. It not only contains a thorough examen, it also keeps track of your last confession and contains lots of prayers. Available on Apple devises for $1.99.

#5 iMissal

Another favorite app of Charla’s is iMissal and it received 2 votes in our poll. At a cost of $5.00 Charla tells us it is completely worth it. Her favorite features are the saint profiles and the calendars. For more information check out the iMissal website.

#4 Holy Rosary Audio

Some of our favorite apps and several more.

Ink slinger Birgit shared this Rosary app as one of her favorites and it received 2 votes in our informal (and did I mention highly unscientific) poll. This app comes in at a cost of only $0.99. Birgit shared that it allows her to be able to say the Rosary along with the audio, it uses the customary schedule for the mysteries for each day of the week, and has really great meditations at the beginning of each mystery. She uses it daily, especially when driving or just before bed. This app is available for Apple devices.

#3 Mary

As for me, Kerri, my favorite app is this Mary app created by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, MA. It received 3 votes in our unscientific, informal poll. My favorite feature is the audio Rosary that is built in. It was great to turn it on and pray along while I held two bottles and fed my twin sons. I didn’t have to worry about beads or losing my place. The app contains so much more as well and is a great one-stop shop for almost anything Mary related. It is a free app and only seems to be available for Apple devices at this time.

As a bonus, check out the Divine Mercy app, also created by the Marians and also free.

#2 Laudate

Looking for an app that has seemingly every prayer imaginable? Look no further than Brittany’s favorite app, Laudate. This one received 3 votes in our highly unscientific, and yes, informal poll. Brittany said it was impossible to list all her favorite features. It contains the daily Mass readings, Liturgy of the Hours, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, changes to the Roman Missal, and a huge list of prayers in both English and Latin. It also has a Catholic Media tab that links to a bunch of other Catholic Media, including EWTN, Catholic TV, and more. This is also a free app and available on both Apple and Android devices.

#1 Mass Times

Birgit also shared Mass Times as one of her favorite apps and it received 5 votes in our poll (you know the highly unscientific, informal one?). Birgit said that she loves this app because no matter where you are you can find a Mass nearby. A must have for traveling! The app is free and available for both Apple and Andriod devices and has a web version as well.

Tell us, what are your favorite Catholic apps and why?

And don’t forget to check out Jen Fulwiler’s blog Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

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7 Quick Takes Ink Slingers Kerri Our Favorite Things Polls

7 Quick Takes Friday, Debut Post

The Catholic Sistas are joining bloggers from all around the blogosphere in the weekly series of 7 Quick Takes posts hosted at ConversionDiary.com.  We thought this would be a great way for our readers to get to know the ink slingers better.  We hope you enjoy this debut post where we polled all the CS writers to find out what our favorite prayers are collectively.  A survey was set up with a list of 19 common Catholic prayers and 30 of our 50 writers responded (an excellent turnout!) by each voting for their favorite 7 (or fewer) prayers.  Continue reading to find out more about what prayers we pray, why certain ones are special to us and much more.  Enjoy!

—7—

Novenas

Coming in at number 7 in our poll was novenas.  Though not a specific prayer but a class of prayers, I included it in the poll because I knew we had some “novena junkies” amongst the ink slingers.  I was pleased to see that it made it into the top 7 with 12 of the ink slingers voting for it.  In the comments to the poll several people mentioned the novena to St. Joseph as a favorite with the novena to St. Monica getting several mentions as well.  Only one ink slinger, Emily, admitted to be a novena junky, but I know there are others out there!  More thoughts from the ink slingers:

“I like novenas because you can focus on one particular saint/intention. Sometimes, I do multiple novenas at once 🙂 Our family has special devotions to particular saints and I find that there’s always a saint for whatever intention I have. So if I need a particularly special request, then I find the saint’s novena and do it.” ~ufgatormama

“The novena to St. Joseph is our go to for almost anything. He was charged with caring and providing for Mary and Jesus so we turn to him when we are in need.” ~Hannah

“My favorite novena is to the Infant Jesus because he is so vulnerable as an infant and I see myself so vulnerable and needing help. I can relate to needing someone (Jesus) to take care of me completely… to fill all my needs and to make sure I am safe, just as an infant needs the same.” ~Michelle

—6—

A tie between the Act of Contrition and the Guardian Angel prayer

Both these prayers received 13 votes from our writers.  I loved the comments the ladies shared about these two prayers:

“We have a devotion to the holy angels, which is why we pray the guardian angel prayer daily.” ~Misty

“Act of Contrition is obvious – just to make sure I have small confessions between the times I get to actually go to the full Sacrament of Confession.” ~Molly G.

“I use the Act of Contrition when I’m feeling anxious about things because I feel that my anxiety is exacerbated by feelings of guilt for sins.  I love the simplicity of the Guardian Angel Prayer for my children.”  ~Erika

—5—

The Hail Holy Queen/Salve Regina

With 14 votes the fifth most popular prayer was this beautiful one in which we ask Mary to bring us to her Son after our death.  Results of the poll overall showed a deep devotion from the ink slingers to Mary.  Molly G.’s comment sums it up nicely:

“I always like the prayers devoted to Mary (Hail Mary, Rosary..etc.) because I feel our Blessed Mother has special guidance for us and can interceded to her Son.”  ~Molly G.

—4—

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

This amazing chaplet is a favorite among just over half (16) of the ink slingers.  We had some beautiful words from our ink slingers about this devotion:

“The Divine Mercy Chaplet really speaks to me and I go to it often. It portrays a child-like innocence by offering something that is not of our making – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus – to God. It reminds me that everything we have and everything that we can offer to God, has its origin with Him, not with us.” ~BirgitJ

“My favorite prayer is the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I feel it is a very powerful prayer (just listen closely to the words in the prayers!). I think the DMC and rosary prayed by the faithful is what continues to gain God’s great mercy for us and our world. God will give you whatever you ask (be it his will) through these magnificent prayers. I plan on naming my first daughter Faustina after St. Faustina as I have such a great love for the DMC.” ~Natalie

“I adore the Divine Mercy Chaplet – it’s a good length and is easy to get to the root of my intentions with that prayer.” ~Emily

“Our local Catholic radio station (1060AM, Boston area) has a 3:00 Holy Hour, beginning with The Divine Mercy Chaplet, followed by the Rosary. I fell in love with The Divine Mercy Chaplet listening to it!” ~Jeanne

—3—

Our Father/Pater Noster

It’s a prayer we all know, we say it every time we attend Mass.  It can start to lose its power and meaning because we know it so well and say it so much (or maybe that’s just me?).  But with 63% of the vote, it rose to being close to the top of our list!!  Obviously it is a well-loved prayer by many.  Here are a few words on why our ink slingers love it:

“When I need to refocus, I like to pray the “Our Father” – “Thy will be done” and “Give us this day our daily bread” really help me to focus and accept God’s Grace in that moment.” ~Amy M.

“The Our Father is compelling to me because it is the only time Jesus teaches us how to pray. It is the perfect prayer.”  ~Sheila

“The Our Father is a favorite of mine because it was a prayer specifically drafted by Jesus for us to use.” ~Adrienne

—2—

Another tie!!  The Hail Mary and the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

What can we say, we love these two powerful prayers!  And who wouldn’t?  Who better to call upon in times of need than the Blessed Mother and St. Michael the Archangel?  Twenty-two ink slingers out of 30 voted for these two prayers, here are some of their comments:

“I also like the St. Michael the Archangel prayer because I feel a lot is thrown at us these days and I like the words of that prayer to ground me again and remind me that our faith is also our protection against evil.” ~Molly G.

“We are a police family so we particularly like to pray to St. Michael the Archangel, who is the patron of police officers. We often pray the prayer to him when my husband is walking out the door to work, and it helps to give me peace, knowing that he is being protected by a mighty warrior.” ~Mary

“The Hail Mary is my go-to prayer when I need a prayer and words escape me.  Through the Hail Mary I feel closer to our Blessed Mother and I know she hears my intentions and brings them before her Son.  It’s also the prayer I pray repeatedly to calm my brain so I will fall asleep at night; works every time!”  ~Kerri

And finally … the number 1 prayer of the Catholic Sistas ink slingers:

—1—

The Rosary

Eighty percent of us voted for the Rosary!  Honestly, I’m not surprised.

“I love the Rosary because it decreases my anxiety and puts me in a better frame of mind.” ~Erika

“The Rosary is easy for my drive home from work.” ~Emily

“I love the Rosary. I find it eliminates stress and calms my spirit. I pray with my five year old daughter every night, doing it has become tradition for us. I remember my grandmother always praying it and how much peace it brought her.” ~Charla

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What do you like about any of the prayers listed here?  Do any of them have a special place in your heart?  Do you have a favorite not on this list?  Share with us in the comments.

If this is your first time visiting Catholic Sistas, thank you for stopping by!!  We hope you’ll come back soon and read more of our amazing posts.

Interested in more Quick Takes posts?  Hop on over to Conversion Diary by Jen Fulwiler, Quick Takes hostess extraordinaire and friend of Catholic Sistas foundress Martina, and check out the amazing list of Quick Takes links from lots of great bloggers.

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Polls Respect Life

RESULTS: 98% Of Non-Mass Going Women Who Identify Themselves As Catholic Contracept – Where Do The Faithful Fall In Line?

If you participated in the poll, thank you! In 17 short hours, we were able to collect 1000 surveys from Catholic women around the US without being picked up by any major news agency.

The point of the poll? The point in all of this was not necessarily to prove the other poll wrong, but rather seek to two things. First, give a voice to Catholic women who attend Mass and do not contracept. Second, we wanted to make people think. The mainstream media paints the Church as being outdated and “behind the times” and challenges the teachings of the Church with no more authority than you are I have. Yet despite the many Catholics who falter in their faith, we can be confident that the Church’s teachings never have–and never will–rely on the holiness of its followers.

Just because the vast majority of Catholics use contraception (often throwing out what I call “the Catholic resume” in advance of their dissent), this doesn’t change what the Church teaches.  The Church is both human and Divine and it’s no surprise that the humans who make up the Church are flawed and imperfect. The Divine part of the Church, however, which is rooted in Christ’s own teachings and protected by the Holy Spirit, is not. We would do well to remember that.

So…like myself, if you are one of several generations who were not taught why the Church teaches what She does about contraception, I challenge you to make today the day that a new chapter begins. Resolve to at the very least understand the teachings. Struggling with a teaching does not make you less Catholic, because most Catholics struggle with some teachings of the Church. Let me say that again: Struggling to understand is not the issue. Defiance is. Deciding that we know better than the Church, which speaks with the voice of Christ, is self-serving and the epitome of moral relativism.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

The survey asked five questions. The answers are shown below. A direct link to the actual survey is below the pictures of the questions for you to view as well.

 

The direct link can be found here.

A friend who conducted the survey had a few words to share about this experience. Read below:

So…98% of Catholics contracept? Really? Wait a minute.  First of all, what defines being Catholic? If a statistic is being circulated through the public sector  as “what Catholics believe and do” it had better accurately represent those who, at the minimum, practice their faith regularly.   So, where do women stand who practice their faith regularly on contraceptive use?  
The results of this survey are revealing.  In a population of about 1000 women, fairly evenly distributed across age groups and generations, we found that of these women, 96.4 % of whom AT LEAST attend Mass weekly, only 18% were contracepting.  We found that a large percent of our readers use a “natural method” of family planning.
First, 8.4% of  the Catholic women polled claim that they are single and not genitally active. Don’t tell me these women don’t count in the stats on Catholics. Of the total population 5.8% (N=58) used the pill, IUD, or other hormonal contraceptive, 4.9% (N=49) used a barrier method, and 7.3% (N=73) had been sterilized or had their partner sterilized. Just 2% cited a medical reason for using the Pill. As an interesting addition, of the 73 women who used sterilization as birth control, more than half of them (44) regretted it.  Something to consider.
Many of these women claimed to use one of three modern and highly-researched methods of natural family planning: The sympto-thermal method, Creighton Model FertilityCare System, or the Billings Ovulation Method. The total percent that claimed to use a natural method was 58.6%. Others claimed that they used no method of family planning at all (13.6%).
Some may say natural family planning is a form of contraception. It’s not.  Even many Catholics are not educated in the difference between contraception and “responsible parenthood” as described in the document Humanae Vitae. If you’ve never read the document, it may be a perfect time.  It may even be an interesting topic for a separate future blog post.
I’m a practicing Catholic who loves my country and the freedom I have to be fully and completely Catholic.  In my opinion, the secular stats don’t legitimatize the mandate.  Most definitely, non-practicing Catholics should not be integrated into a “Catholic” poll when freedom of religion is at stake.
I’ve never been one to succumb to peer pressure, but the 98% threw me for a loop. I have no desire to debate it out. Yea, we did the survey on surveymonkey.  It is what it is.  Even if our stats are slanted because our population is more devout, it leads us to reconsider what really matters.  Didn’t Albert Einstein say, “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”?
Certainly this poll may encourage some of us that we are not alone.
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Polls Respect Life

POLL: 98% Of Non-Mass Going Women Who Identify Themselves As Catholic Contracept – Where Do The Faithful Fall In Line?

 

>>>>SURVEY MONKEY POLL<<<<

UPDATE: The poll is officially closed now that we have reached 1000 surveys in 17 hours, thanks to your help and participation. The results can be found HERE live at 1 p.m. CST, February 15. 

If you’ve seen the lovely gems floating around the internet here and here stating that 98% of Catholic women contracept, you probably have bruises on your chin from picking it up off the floor.

While we would never suggest that some women have fallen into the contraception mentality, we want to take a moment to get an honest poll going about Catholic women. The poll will reflect how these numbers get skewed. When you poll non-Mass going Catholic women who don’t have a firm stake {or understanding} in the Faith, can we really be surprised that the contraception numbers are 98%??

And further, do these statistics even change what the Church teaches on the matter?

The administration would have you think so…98% of Catholic women contracept, therefore the Catholic Church’s teaching is wrong is what they are trying to tell us. 

So, to combat the obvious slant in the polling sample, I thought we would try something that at least attempts to gather honest information. Ya know…just for grins.

We created a poll to hear the voices of ALL Catholic women, not just non-Mass goers. Please visit the link at the top of the post to participate. Also, please help us spread the word about this poll by spreading it to Catholic friends and family, online communities and on your Facebook page. The poll will be open about a week and the results will be posted when it closes.