ESSAYS

Mothering Spirit

Welcome to the new Mothering Spirit

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 19, 2022

Starting in September 2022, Mothering Spirit will become a new gathering place to explore parenting and spirituality.  With storytelling shaped by the liturgical seasons, this collaborative, ecumenical project will offer weekly essays and prayers from diverse voices on motherhood – plus virtual retreats, e-books, resources, and creative ways to connect our stories with God’s story.…

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This Is Why We Give Thanks

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 24, 2016

“One act of thanksgiving made when things go wrong is worth a thousand when things go well.” (St. John of Avila) My children’s favorite grace before meals is—(ducks and blushes from theological embarrassment)—the Johnny Appleseed song. Oh, the Lord’s been good to me / And so I thank the Lord For giving me / The things…

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can these bones live?

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 7, 2016

He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” (Ezekiel 37:3) I miss your writing, she texts me. So I went back and read a bunch of the old stuff. I miss it, too, I write back. The next day another friend listens. (My latest litany of lament.) “So…

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Seven Metaphors For Grief

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | June 21, 2016

1. The pale pink tulips are drooping, stems withered beyond saving. I carry their vase over to the sink, dump out the water, crush the stems into the compost bin. Absentmindedly I wonder aloud. “I really thought we were going to get more time with these.” As soon as the words leave my mouth, we are…

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When You Do Not Want To Give Thanks

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | November 25, 2015

It’s been a hard month, hasn’t it? In our small corner, it was the shock of twins. The exhaustion of early pregnancy. The darkness of morning sickness. And the upheaving of expectations. But in the wider world, it was Paris and Beirut and Syria and so many million more places where the earth is broken and…

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I have a first grader

I have a first-grader

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 2, 2015

Every morning my son goes off to school. He slings a giant shark backpack over his tiny shoulder, and he waves to me as I drive away from the carpool lane. And every morning as he turns into the school’s open door, the same fear catches my heart. What if that is the last time…

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bedtime rituals with kids

See What You Have Done. Know That It Is Good.

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | September 14, 2015

He goes in to look at them. Every night before we shut the door to our bedroom and declare the day done, he goes to see the sleeping boys. Too often I play the part of the tired mother. I have been with them all day. I do not feel the need to watch again, especially now that…

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the joy and relief of birth

Joy, Meet Relief

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 7, 2015

Can you hear it in their voices? Once you cut through the baffled wonder and divide the nagging disbelief and set aside the stuttering astonishment, there it is: relief. He is risen. He is risen? He is risen! It’s not a matter of simple punctuation. There are a thousand reactions to surprising news, and the Gospels cover nearly every one. Mary…

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baby's first holy week

Baby’s First Holy Week

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 1, 2015

Sweet boy, here we are. In the holiest of weeks. It all started on Palm Sunday. You solemnly gumming the long green palm in your father’s hands. Your brothers waving their palms wildly around the air (bonus points for whacking a sibling in the eye). Me watching all of you, half wondering why we bother to bring…

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Lent and parenting

Lent: What We Need Is Here

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | February 18, 2015

And we pray, not  for new earth or heaven, but to be  quiet in heart, and in eye  clear. What we need is here.  – from “The Wild Geese” by Wendell Berry  Deep breath. Eyes closed. Flying leap. Each new Lent feels like this. Jumping into the unknown. Flinging ourselves into the arms of the divine.…

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labor's stages like triduum

Labor’s Stages: A Triduum

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | April 24, 2014

A journey of four days, each unique. Holy Week reveals itself in new shades every year, shadows of dark and light. It pushes through the broken, cold dirt of Lent’s long winter with a fresh green curl of hope. With only a few short weeks to go before baby’s birth, I see these feasts through a new slant. Each…

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motherhood and mortality

Morbid? Motherhood & Mortality

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | March 18, 2014

“Mommy, I don’t want to die.” His big blue eyes stare up at me, full of—what? Worry? Seriousness? Wonder? We’ve been revisiting this conversation for months, variations on a theme: Mommy, I don’t want to go to be with God. Mommy, I want to live to be 100. Mommy, I don’t want you to die.…

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