Seven Things You’re Probably Going to Want to Go Ahead and Freak Out About

by | Jul 11, 2014 | 7 Quick Takes | 31 comments

In case you were having a nice relaxing day, I’d like to call your attention to the following things that you might not be quite worried enough about:


1. Sunscreen

Every other summer, I’ve just hated sunscreen for being messy and having that odd dry-slimy feel and because if, like me, you like letting your kids do stuff on their own you could end up with kids with weird patterns burned onto their faces. And your husband probably wouldn’t like it.

But THIS summer, everywhere I turn I see something new about the DANGERS OF SUNSCREEN and how the stuff you’re putting on to avoid cancer is perhaps causing cancer, and how spray sunscreens are problematic for the very kids they’re meant to be used on, and how women in Sweden are maybe dying of not getting enough sun. Oh and how it could make you catch on fire. No biggie.


But, with a husband who miraculously (?) survived stage III melanoma, we don’t want to ignore the dangers of sun exposure either.

So, here’s what we do to avoid unnecessary sun exposure AND unnecessary sunscreen use:

  • The kids all wear swim shirts.
  • We do most of our swimming before 11am and after 4pm.
  • We use mineral rather than chemical sunscreens. The cream kind. They aren’t even all super high-end. We got ours at Walgreens and it was similarly priced to other sunscreens.

2. The Seal of the Confessional

Remember when a priest being compelled to violate the seal of the confessional by the courts was just a Hitchcock movie?

Apparently it’s happening in real life:

Louisiana’s Supreme Court has ruled that a priest may be compelled to testify as to what he heard in the confessional in 2008 concerning an abuse case.

The priest, Father Jeff Bayhi, faces automatic excommunication if he breaks the seal of the confessional. But he also could face jailing if found to be in contempt of the court should he refuse to testify. (read more at CNS)

The thing that’s difficult to understand is that it’s the penitent herself (and her parents) who are suing to require the priest to testify about her confession. According to The Faith Explained
, my go-to for stuff like this:

This bond of secrecy–“the seal of confession”–forbids the priest to reveal for any reason whatsoever what has been told to him in confession. The penitent himself is the only one who can release the priest from that bond. Not even to the penitent himself, outside of confession, can the priest speak of things which the penitent has told in confession; that is, not unless the penitent so wishes and permits.

So I’m all for protecting the seal of the confessional, but, unless I’m mistaken, it wouldn’t apply here, since the penitent “so wishes and permits.”

Update: People are saying in the comments that Jimmy Akin addressed this on Catholic Answers yesterday. The podcast wasn’t up in the archives yet when I checked, but my understanding is that he says that according to Canon Law, a priest cannot testify in this instance. I’m going to figure that he and the Louisiana diocese in which this is all taking place are on the right side of this, which is clearly a complicated and unfortunate situation.

3. That Soccer is NOT done

I have to admit, I kinda stopped paying attention once we lost. But then I started seeing stuff like this in my Facebook feed:

Love it. You already know my thoughts about those red shoes . . . so I guess I’m going to have to root for Germany.

4. The Copyright Policies of the USCCB

I’ve already mentioned that I’m involved with some other bloggers in a new project, creating a daily online devotional for Catholic women. You can already check out the site and sign up to receive daily devotions by email. You can like us on Facebook or Instagram to receive updates and inspirational images.

But, today . . . we were all in a panic because of the USCCB and its death grip on the NAB, which is the translation of the Bible used in Catholic Masses in the US. We asked them if we could use it. They said we could not.

It’s an issue that was discussed at length last year, when Matthew Warner got over 100,000 people, including me, to sign up for daily emails of the text of the Catechism. And the USCCB made him stop sending them.

Brandon Vogt wrote about it in detail, and started a campaign that I guess didn’t yet soften the hearts of the powers that be.

But, all is not lost for the stalwart ladies of Blessed Is She. I think the current plan is to use an approved translation of the Bible that’s in the public domain, perhaps the Douay-Rheims. The NAB would have been nice because that’s exactly what you’d hear in Mass, but for something you’re using for reflection at home, I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

5. That My Children Don’t Have Nearly Enough Cousins

My completely awesome brother- and sister-in-law are hoping to adopt. Check out their adorable video, featuring my kids being read to and instructed in the finer points of football and legos by their dear aunt and uncle:

If you know of a baby in need of a home, you can contact them through their agency. And please pray for them!

6. That Christina Might Lose Her Dream-Farm

When I (finally) joined Facebook a year and a half ago I grambled up the sign up process almost beyond recognition. Not only did I accidentally send friend requests to anyone I had ever sent an email to, I also somehow sent dozens of friend requests to people I didn’t know in any way at all.

Most people who got those friend requests from a complete stranger just ignored them (or told me to leave them alone or reported me to Facebook), but Christina kept trying to figure out if we did in fact know each other. We didn’t, but we found out that we have a lot in common, like our Catholic faith, and a shared love of Doctor Who, American Girl dolls, and backyard chickens. So we stayed Facebook friends.

Due to unforseen one-time circumstances, Christina and her family are facing the loss of their newly-acquired family farm unless they can come up with $10,000 in the next week.

They are selling things to try to make up the shortfall, but if you could spare anything to help this nice family live their dream, I know they’d be very grateful.

Donations can be made in any amount through PayPal.

7. Pope Francis, but in a GOOD Way

Seriously, mamas, how much do we love this guy?

 Happy Weekend everyone!


  1. Sophie שרה Golden

    I actually thought about e-mailing those football themed pope memes to you, but then hesitated because I am little cautious about American political/religious correctness, never sure what is ok to say 😉
    Very glad you find them cool too 🙂

    Deutschland los geht's! :0)

  2. Wendy Klik

    I am still dumbfounded about the daily readings….I belong to Laudate and they use the same readings as found in the daily Mass. Why would they not want to spread the Gospel?

  3. Rita Buettner

    Keeping your brother and sister-in-law in my prayers! The adoption wait is so difficult, but so worth it, of course. And can anyone have enough cousins? A little confused about the USCCB policy. Hmm.

  4. Amelia Bentrup

    We've never used sunscreen. I've always felt that putting chemicals all over your skin HAD to be worse than the sun itself. Of course, with the exception of my husband, the rest of us have darker skin tones that are not prone to burning. Even my lighter skinned children don't burn easily.

    I don't worry about modertate sun exposure (ie, like at the playground) at all and we tend to just save strong sun exposure (beach or pool) for later in the day when the sun isn't so strong.

    Also, there is a correlation between diet and burning. Of course some of it is genetics but I've read (and noticed myself) that by improving diet (more vegetables, more real food, more vitamin D and A) one is much less likely to burn.

  5. Mary Helen

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't freak about sunscreen. Of course if we are at the beach or outside ALL DAY then I put some mineral sunscreen on them. But I've never been a mom to lather them up the second we go outside, mostly because if they all have shoes and clothes on I call that a win!

  6. Sarah Gerdon

    I'm not sure that The Faith Explained is correct about the penitent's ability to waive the seal of confession. The Catechism states that the seal "admits of no exceptions" (1467). I would be interested in any further explanation/clarification anyone has!

  7. Kate Weston

    On Catholic Answers (I think) yesterday, Jimmy Akin answered the confessional question. The priest cannot tell anyone, even if the penitent gives them permission. This keeps the priests from putting pressure on the penitents to allow them to tell.

    • Kendra

      Thanks Kate, Jimmy's good, I'll look for that once it's available in the archives. That does make some sense. This one just seems a little whiffy since it's the priest who might get in trouble by breaking the seal, not like in the movie where the priest was will to go to jail if necessary rather than break the seal of confession in order to exonerate himself. The movie's great, by the way. Everyone should see it!

    • Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

      If I remember right, I heard Jimmy Akin say the priest isn't even allowed to say whether or not he even heard the girl's confession. No matter what kind of permission she gives.

  8. Nanacamille

    I have to go with Benedict and Germany because it's Benedicts feast day and he gave Jack his first Communion in those great red shoes. I pray for Pat and Brie every day and left their prayer at Lourdes for Our Lady.

  9. Abby S.

    Lucy and John (who are still watching!) can't stop giggling about your soccer popes. Except John thought that was the Belgium flag, so I had to walk him through it.

  10. Katharine B.

    The confession thing is a set up i suspect.. They say the priest told the girl not to report abuse? Any priest who said that probably wouldn't take the seal seriously anyway, ( I have encountered that personally.)

    The USCCB probably doesn't want the NAB used because it's terrible, Duoay Rheims all the way, or at least the RSV CE.

    • Kendra

      Good point, Katharine. I have a lot easier time believing that a court is overstepping it's bounds than that, in THIS climate, knowing what we know now, an entire diocese would be being willfully dishonest about something like this. If he can't do it, he can't do it and God Bless them all.

      It's easy to imagine a scenario in which the priest actually isn't hiding any wrong behavior on his own part, but just can't tell.

  11. Heather

    I had a little precancerous spot removed from my forehead six years ago so I'm very *sun aware* but I also suffer from drastically low vitamin D levels which plays a role in my degenerative spine thing. I try to be outside a little every morning while walking the cat (don't judge). My nieces are redheads, one with freckles and blue eyes so she burns after about ten seconds in the sun. I keep sunscreen by my backdoor so she can slather up before playing outside and I buy her little bottles with clips for her book bag so she can use it at school. I hope it's like – safe in moderation – because I worry so much about sun damage. As far as biblical quotes, I use to get quotes for my blog. I'm sure they have a translation that's both Catholic friendly and internet friendly.

  12. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    I don't think you're enough worried about sunscreen. Have you spend at least an hour online researching every ingredient of the Walgreens brand??? 🙂 It's maddening, isn't it? I found this after a lot of research if you ever care to switch:

    It doesn't have any oxybenzone (which is bad bad bad and still in many mineral sunscreens), all the ingredients check out, it works, and it actually rubs in much better than any other mineral I've used. Probably not as cheap as Walgreens, but waaay cheaper than the fancy organic brands.

    • Kendra

      It is maddening. I feel like all I can commit to emotionally on this is to try to keep abreast of the research (as it comes into my Facebook feed!) and make my purchases accordingly. But it's so hard when experts in different fields give such conflicting advice.

  13. Amanda

    Yeah, I'm a negligent mommy and we don't use sunscreen except when we're around the grandparents so they don't have a heart attack 🙂 I just avoid the sun for the most part. Of course it also helps that half our family is too dark to really get a sunburn unless we did something stupid like fall asleep on the beach at noon….not that I've ever done that myself as a stupid 16 year old 😉

    LOVE those Pope Francis quotes, he's awesome 🙂

  14. Kati

    For people looking for sunscreen options, I just tried Honest Company's sunscreen and I am a big fan. And it's not bargain basement but also not super duper expensive. AND it gets delivered to your house. Having things delivered to me makes me happy. I use their diapers too.

  15. Elizabeth

    I know not everyone has time for this, but the recipe does give a quick shortcut at the end. Add zinc oxide to your favorite (non-citrus) lotion, and you have sunscreen. Of course, you want to be aware of the ingredients of your lotion too! You can make it all from scratch with the longer listed recipe.

    My husband is a geologist, working primarily with groundwater and landfills, who worked in environmental consulting for years — Unfortunately, the bad things in sunscreen, lotions, and cosmetics are really bad for you :/. Doctors and geologists don't communicate often, though. There is a disconnect between specialties. So you here dermatologists saying one thing, endocrinologists saying another, oncologists another, and then those in the environmental consulting industries/outside science fields saying another thing. It's like everyone is talking over each other!

    So to save your sanity, maybe some of these suggestions will help:

    • Kendra

      Yes! This is what's so hard. You can't just do what science says or do what the experts recommend, because they're all recommending something different!

  16. Anonymous

    I have super pale Irish skin and my son does, too. I always put at least a little on him if we will be out for more than an hour-ish. I really dont want him to get a sun burn.

    Perhaps I should examine my sunscreen choices though?

  17. Nanacamille

    PS to my red shoes reply. Emmitt Smith also won DWTS wearing red shoes so they must be good luck as well as very stylish. Pope Benedict was good to us as we had great seats to his first Palm Sunday mass on St Peter's Sq.

  18. natalie g.

    Wow those are beautiful with the quotes from St. Francis! Also how sad it is that the priest is having to decide between jail and excommunication.

    • Kendra

      It's not really a decision though, right? I mean, if the bishop says he can't testify and the Church says he can't testify, he'll go to jail for his faith. I'm a weirdo, but it sounds kind of exciting to me.

  19. Elizabeth

    Modern day martyrdom. I imagine the other prisoners would be hard on a priest. You are right, he doesn't have a choice.

  20. Anonymous

    I just found your blog and I already love it–came here by way of conversion diary. 🙂 Also, wow about the Louisiana Priest! I am going to keep a close watch on that.

  21. Athena Carson

    My mom swears by sunscreen that uses zinc oxide, as it is a physical blocker rather than a chemical blocker. She was telling me at one point that her sensitive skin reacts to the various chemical blockers in sunscreens, and also they don't work as well as the labeling would lead you to believe. I believe she pays a bit more for Neutrogena for that reason.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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