volume one | issue one
IN THIS ISSUE
Who We Are
My Take: You Never Really Run Alone | Jennifer Scroggins
Keep It Simple: Clean Out Your Home,
Mind, and Soul | Susan Vogt
Pop Culture: Blame It on Andy |
Reel Time: To Rome With Love | Christopher Heffron
Black + White + Read All Over: Abraham Lincoln:
Vampire Hunter | Kathleen M. Carroll
Channel Surfing: When Reality Television Gets It Right | Christopher Heffron
At Home on the Farm | Carol Ann Morrow Where faith and family meet
More Than Mere Food | Diane M. Houdek
Its Easy Being Green | Christopher Heffron
Your faith and the environment
In the News | Rachel Zawila
Did You Know?: Can Catholics Celebrate
Weddings Outside? | Pat McCloskey, ofm
Questions about faith
Inspiring Lives: St. Augustine and St. Helena | Kathleen M. Carroll
Saints Among Us: Clark Massey | Judy Zarick
J E N N I F E R S C R O G G I N S
You Never Really Run Alone
Even when youre not running with a
partner, and it feels like its just you and
the road, youre always part of a great big
community of supporters.
Thats one of the first lessons you learn
when you take up the sport: runners love
other runners. They love to talk about
running, think about running, blog about
running, and then listen to other people
talk about running.
If youre training for only a 5K, an
experienced marathoner will cheer you
every step of the way. Shell advise you on
your mileage, your shoes, your pre-race
breakfastyou name it.
It doesnt matter how fast (or not) you
might be. It doesnt matter what kind
of fancy (or not) gear you use. All that
matters to one runner is that you also
are a runner and, thus, you are forever
connected by the power of the pavement.
Running is a sport of great equalizers.
The best runners in the world can be
sidetracked by injury or illness just as
easily as a neighborhood jogger can be.
In any race, every runner has to battle
the same course and the same weather,
whether its extreme heat, bitter cold, or
even the occasional spray of hail.
Theres a unity in the battle of running.
No matter the circumstances, were
always racing against ourselves, fighting
our bodys desire to stop and our minds
doubts and disbeliefs. As often as we think
we cant, we know we mustand we
know we will.
The power in that determination bridges
the gaps between male and female, young
and old, fast and slow. It even can bridge
the philosophical and social gaps that tear
us apart on a global political level.
Never more was that evident to me than
in the Jerusalem Marathon on March 16,
2012, when a Catholic from Kenya won
an event that featured runners from 50
different countriesincluding a woman
running through the streets of Jerusalem in
a shirt that said Palestine.
David Cherono Toniok won the race
in a course-record 2:19:52 and told the
Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service
that, as a devout Catholic, he was thrilled
to have his first marathon win happen in
Toniok covered the 26.2 miles in about
a minute less than it took me to complete
the half-marathon that day.
Yet we are the same. We both set out that
morning to conquer hills, wind, rain, and,
yes, even sporadic hail.
I cant prove it, but I say with certainty
that we both worried about the weather;
obsessed over what to eat and when;
arrived at the start of our races with a mix
of excitement, dread, curiosity, and nerves;
and took off knowing that no matter what
happened, the result would be ours and
ours alone to revel in or to regret.
I suspect we both spent countless hours
after the race dissecting every detail with
our friends and plotting ways to do better
the next time out. And Im willing to bet
that if I ever met Toniok, wed have no
problem striking up conversations about
everything from energy gels and hydration
to pre-race routines and superstitions.
Runners love other runners. The
camaraderie is genuine, and the support is
The bond of the community grows
stronger with each step its members take,
and newcomers are welcomed with open
arms (and plenty of free advice).
Its a powerful thing to call yourself a
runner. It means something. Other people
see it and wonder: Could I do that? Am I
strong enough? Do I have what it takes?
The answer, of course, is yes. It wont
always be easy, but there always will be
another runner along the way when you
need encouragement and inspiration. The
community will be there, accepting you for
all your fears, struggles, and foibles, and
celebrating your milestones and successes.
Running has been likened to a religion,
and theres ample reason to affirm that
At its best, the Catholic Church resembles
the scene at a road race, with crowds of
runners and their families and friends
cheering and supporting one another from
start to finish.
Every shape, size, race, and class can be
seen, and we all have a unique story to tell
about how we got to the start line in the
first place and how our journey is going.
Some miles, we feel great! Were cruising
along, thankful to be enjoying the sights
and sounds and the strength of our bodies.
But seemingly in an instant, we can grow
tired and discouraged and we need a
partner to help us keep trudging toward
At its best, the Catholic Church prepares
us well for the race, and we share our
insights and passion with one another
along the way. As runners love other
runners, so we love each member of our
faith community. And as runners love
to talk about running, so we are moved
to share the beauty of Catholicism with
everyone we encounter.
Both running and religion boil down
to belief. Theyre about learning to trust
our training and push ourselves from our
comfort zones to reach the bigger goals
to which we aspire. We acknowledge
the difficulties with the understanding
that every run is a good runpart of the
process of growthno matter how we
judged it when we were in the moment.
We know that every step we take is
made in faith and that we never really
run alone. +
Pop Culture _________________________________
C H R I S T O P H E R H E F F R O N
Blame It on Andy
Perhaps no other celebrity in history has
been a greater champion of pop culture
than Mr. Warhol. From that alabaster-
white wig, to the oversized sunglasses
that could shame an Olsen twin, to the
monosyllabic way he communicated,
Warhol was the birth father of the modern
pop culture movement. And nowhere was
his keen understanding of it on greater
display than in his art.Who else could
take a bland design concept like a can
of Campbells soup and reinvent it as
something wholly new and stimulating?
Who else could turn a sultry Marilyn
Monroe into a punk-rock painted lady?
Warhol just got it.
Thanks to that modern miracle
televisionpop culture satisfies our
collective sweet tooth every day. And
weve never been hungrier. Browsing a
used bookstore recently, I passed a shelf
of random titles. Nestled in between
Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged and Truman
Capotes In Cold Blood was (are you
sitting?) Snookis bestseller, A Shore Thing.
But I wasnt disgusted. I should have been,
but I wasnt. I was proud of that girl for
using her 15 minutes to conquer every
conceivable medium at her tanned and tiny
fingertips. (Yes, I bought a copy. It was $3.
Leave me alone.)
But pop culture is more than 4-foot-9,
Chilean-born reality stars (though I
wouldnt hate it if it werent). Its about
flavor. Its about fun. Pop culture doesnt
demean. It entertains as it informs. It can
take the shape of MC Hammers parachute
pants, or Linda Blairs pea-green projectiles
in The Exorcist, or Jennifer Anistons coif
on Friends. Pop culture takes a snapshot of
the world in which we liveeven as that
world rapidly changes.
Life would be just a Campbells soup can
without it. +
At Home on the Farm_________________________________
C A R O L A N N M O R R O W
On his familys 27-acre farm in Indiana, Kyle Kramer co