Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mary is my Homegirl

I've seen a couple of references to the "Mary is my Homegirl" shirt lately, and thought this would be a good opportunity to mention that my article that appeared in America, which mentioned the shirt, is now available even to non-subscribers, here's an excerpt:

Laura, though devout, is far from the stereotypical prude. She is petite, her language peppered (more like sauced) with the word “like.” In appearance, she is hardly distinguishable from other young women her age, except that her form-fitting baby-T’s frequently carry announcements like, “Mary is my homegirl.”

Christopher was this year’s homecoming king, and he is trying to bring back the 80’s “popped collar” fashion.

Jessica, who struggles with her relationships in a dysfunctional family, wants certainty for herself and everybody else. She got married this year and speaks enthusiastically about her N.F.P. classes. Without the confidence of her faith, her personal struggles might have kept her from getting this far. On her wedding day, just after graduation, she lit up the church with her smile and raised her arms in triumph.

This is not the homogeneous group one might expect (their names, by the way, have been changed to protect their privacy), and you’d be surprised that, while sharing certain affinities, they are as different in their individual opinions and beliefs as they are in character. This becomes apparent during our meetings, which consist of reflection and conversation about the coming Sunday’s Gospel, as well as a discussion focused on some aspect of the church’s teaching. The latter is usually presented by the students. Some limit themselves to material right out of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but others explore their topic in more creative ways. Despite their seriousness, a few manage to make the presentation comical (albeit in a kind of nerdy way) with “Saturday Night Live”-style dialogues and puns using religious terminology, funny more for being deliberately bad than for their cleverness.

You can read the entire article here.


Blogger Jen P said...

Wonderful article. Thanks for posting it (and by the way, great writing!).

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Jenica said...

Jenica... AKA Amy checking in here. I was just talking to my students about this article. We're covering the rise of Monastic life and I had to tell them about our encounter with the Trapists. Miss you lots Mark. Hope all is well... Oh, and one of my students asked how in the world someone could be a monk... said it seemed like torture. So I of course told him the story of the guy in our Phil. class that said that being in a cloistered order was like being in solitary confinement. hope all is well... and as always, the Pope is so cute!!!!!

1:36 AM  
Blogger mamagiglio said...

It's just really nice to see an article about young people written in a way that shows an appreciation for them. Very nicely done Mark!!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Chris T. said...

Great article—I linked to it over at my place. (link) I know taking students seriously has been something the campus ministry I work for has had a hard time with. We've tried to have more ugrad-centered programming this year and it has borne some incredible fruits.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Gashwin said...

Mark -- that was a great piece! The thing that struck me the most was the love for the students that shines through. (I've put a few more thoughts down on the article in my blog as well.)

12:44 AM  

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