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beloved. be loved.

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | January 14, 2019

A beloved theology professor of mine in college used to start each class with a simple prayer, repeating, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). One line spoken slowly, one word dropped each time until there was only “be.” Years later, a favorite writing teacher did the same during a week-long workshop.…

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a decade of waiting: Advent in the body

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | December 5, 2018

Advent is a season of strange stories and wonder-full waiting. Angels. Dreams. Miraculous pregnancies. Surprising visitors. But in a season of powerful Scripture and symbols – light, darkness, watching, waiting – we can forget that the first Advent was embodied, too. Without pregnancy and birth – messy, physical experiences – Christmas could not have happened. What…

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the spark of prayer

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 31, 2018

He leans forward, eyes bright. Three Hail Marys are his. Each one he has started, and we have followed. He is four years old, sandy brown curls flopped in his eyes. His brothers have taken turns leading decades for weeks, and now he clamors for his chance, with all the gusto of younger siblings. He knows…

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justice for us: Catholic social teaching at home

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 11, 2018

What does it mean to live justly in the world today? How does our faith invite us to work for peace and justice wherever we are – even at home? My friend Haley wrote a wonderful book on how her family embraced a counter-cultural lifestyle of seeking the Gospel more intentionally – The Grace of…

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hearts of flesh & hearts of stone

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 2, 2018

He and I stare down at the freshly laid gravestone, edged by spring-green grass. “When people come into our office for this,” he trails off, shielding his eyes from the morning sunshine, his weathered face suddenly young in disbelief. “It’s the absolute worst when this happens,” he shakes his head, unable to speak the words…

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holy anger

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 27, 2018

I’m mad. Spitting mad. Irate, outraged, furious, frustrated, livid, fuming. Angry doesn’t have enough synonyms to sum up the fury I feel at the most recent sex abuse scandals to shake the Catholic Church. I can heap adjective upon adjective, yet everything falls flat in the face of depraved evil and systemic injustice. The men who…

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Grieving Together: a book on miscarriage for couples

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 7, 2018

Before we lost our twin daughters after birth two years ago – suddenly, tragically, publicly – there was another loss. Smaller. Earlier. Quieter. Five years ago we lost a baby to miscarriage. I wrote about this loss here and in my book Everyday Sacrament. Miscarriage was devastating. It upheaved what we knew about parenting. How…

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I wanted the miracle. We got the revelation.

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | March 12, 2018

Here is today’s first reading. The promise of the new Jerusalem, part of the prophecy of Isaiah. Here is today’s Gospel. The healing of the royal official’s son, the second sign in the Gospel of John. And here is my whole heart, caught between the two.  The same Scripture passage from Isaiah was read at our daughters’…

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when hearts become ashes

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | February 14, 2018

Two years ago, I had two hearts beating beneath my own.  Twins. I was overwhelmed most of the pregnancy, to be honest. Worry multiplies with multiples. How would we care for two babies at once? What would life look like with five kids? Deeper, darker questions slid underneath, slimy and squirming. How could I love…

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childhood & creation: this sacred everyday

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | January 3, 2018

“Here is your ice cream cone,” he declares. Satisfied and soapy, he hands me a cup full of bubbles. He eyes me intently, underneath wet curls. “What flavor is it?” I know to ask. The joy sparks: she sees it, too!  “It is chocolate-ish strawberry vanilla. It is served in a cone and a dish.”…

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when the hurricane hits

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | September 18, 2017

Last week we watched Irma, that swirling monster of a storm, with twisted stomachs and sick hearts. Friends we love live in Florida. We wanted them to be safe, their homes to stay dry, their schools and workplaces untouched. We read their anxious updates, prayed for protection, watched the weather forecast. It looked like the…

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all that we carry

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 25, 2017

I put off packing the hospital bag as long as I could. I didn’t want to jinx it. I didn’t want to think about the last time I packed it. Mostly I didn’t know what to put inside. The usual necessities, of course. Pajamas. Hairbrush. Baby clothes. But I was bringing so much more with…

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Clear The List 2022

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 16, 2022 |

Thank you to all who have shared their back-to-school lists with us as part of our 1st crowdfunding effort! For weeks now we’ve been telling you about Mothering Spirit, the new ecumenical, collaborative community we’re launching this Labor Day to share stories, prayers, and resources from diverse voices to help you pray through parenting. But…

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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: our home atrium

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 30, 2021 |

Want to learn how to introduce Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to your kids at home? My background Over the past year I’ve shared about our family’s home atrium on Instagram (part 1 and part 2) and in my Holy Labor newsletter (here). After I completed Level I training in the Catechesis of the Good…

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a month that changed the world

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | March 28, 2020 |

One month ago, I was in the hospital. The same hospital where my baby girls were born four years earlier. The same hospital where they each died in my arms, days later. One month ago, I was holding our newborn son. The same baby I pleaded to God to keep safe as I spent day…

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ten years

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | February 17, 2020 |

Exactly ten years ago this month, I started a blog. I told exactly no one. Not even my husband. My first baby was six months old. I was working part-time, overwhelmed and tired. I craved connection and community. I wanted breadth of thought and depth of prayer. I couldn’t find anything like what I wanted…

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the day before Christmas

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | December 24, 2019 |

Wherever they are, they have traveled far. Not at home, known and comfortable. Not on the road, exhausted from the journey. Arrived but unsettled. No room in the expected places, no welcome in the usual way. Whatever they expect, they can only imagine. Preparation leads to prayer’s edge: picturing what might be, trusting what could…

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the whole story

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | December 21, 2019 |

The told story is not the whole story. We tend to grasp onto moments as the whole. In a culture obsessed with tiny tweets and shiny surfaces, it’s easier to outrage or comfort ourselves with sound bytes that echo the thoughts between our ears, daily dulling our curiosity. We take the smallest sliver for the…

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waiting in womb-time

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | December 14, 2019 |

Pregnant women inhabit time in a whole new way. I’m 20 weeks, we declare. As if we were the child within us. As if we were the time itself. Our relationship to these womb-weeks is totalizing. Time means everything: how much time the baby needs, how much time we have left. But womb time is…

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another, again, anew

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | November 15, 2019 |

When we were dating, then engaged, then married, I used to catch a glimpse of him and think—God, please send us daughters. Because I had never met a man like him, so strong and gentle all at once, so humble and quietly confident, so genuinely kind and caring. I watched how he treated his mother,…

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the pitter-patter

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 19, 2019 |

Their feet crush me. Tiny toes curling, ancient reflex. Baby socks lost in the dryer like doll clothing. Toddler tiptoes to reach the sink. Preschool slip-ons for circle time. Sport shoes for season after season—cleats, sneakers, boots.  I know their feet intimately. Kiss them at diaper changes, sweet antidote to stink. Bathe them in bubbles…

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in an instant

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 16, 2019 |

Sitting at my desk, working on words of loss, I watch a thousand cottonwood seeds drift by the window. White wisps rising on the breeze, lifted from my sight. Summer’s snow globe, shaken and set to spin. I remember noticing them, as if for the first time, the summer after our twins died. One afternoon…

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a prayer for mother’s day

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | May 6, 2019 |

Each year on Mother’s Day, my heart goes out to those who struggle with this holiday. Inspired by this column on “How to Widen Our Hearts On Mother’s Day,” I’ve gathered prayers from readers into a litany to be prayed at church or at home – to remember all the mothers. Feel free to adapt…

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how to Holy Week: a guide for where you are

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 17, 2019 |

At the request of readers, I’m rounding up my favorite posts on Holy Week and Triduum. For wherever you are and wherever God may meet you this week…blessings on all of it, the mess and the joy. If you’re expecting: Labor’s Stages: A Triduum. If you have a new baby: Baby’s First Holy Week. If…

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