{SQT} When a shirt is more than just a shirt

{SQT} When a shirt is more than just a shirt

St. Francis of Assist purportedly said, “Preach the Gospel always. When necessary, use words.” I think I’ve previously expressed my disdain for this quote, because–hello!–two words: brown habits! Whenever people saw the good works of Francis and his brethren, of course they knew their good works were accomplished in service to the LORD, because they sported attire specifically reserved for those … in service to the LORD! They didn’t have to say anything.

For us modern lay folk, it’s slightly trickier. We can, within reason (and prudence and modesty), wear whatever we like while we’re living our Christian lives and fit right in with the rest of society. There’s usually nothing about our fashion sense that suggests we’re any different than any other human on the planet.

Unless … we make an intentional choice to do something a bit … different.

Being me means I am naturally attracted to the different; at my core, I’m slightly rebellious. Now, since reverting back to the Catholic faith, my rebellion has significantly mellowed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my ways of “sticking it to The Man.” Want to know the secret sauce behind my current counter-culturalism? Here’s my confession:

Hello. My name is Heather, and I am a dynamically orthodox Roman Catholic. I love Jesus, Mary, the saints, and the sacraments. I’ve been married to one man for 16 years, I’m open to life, my Minivan is covered in faith-centric bumper stickers, and … I wear blatant, flagrant, obnoxiously faith-related t-shirts nearly every day. 

So, let’s talk shirts, shall we? I wear them because I enjoy the conversations they illicit. I suppose it’s one way I’ve chosen to delve into the New Evangelization–as a sort of me-shaped billboard for the LORD. I guess it also means I have to remember to behave myself since I’m repping the Faith on the regular. Hahahaha.

Today, I am going to share a few of my favorites shirts with you in hopes that maybe you’ll consider joining me in this growing New Evangelization revolution.

Now, hear me out: Perhaps you aren’t quite ready to wear a Jesus Freak T in public every day like yours truly, but maybe you’re ready to wear one under your hoodie for a jog, or to a service project, or as a nightshirt. Baby steps. And don’t worry–I’m praying for you. Soon enough, you’ll be wearing your faith on your sleeve (actually and proverbially) all the time, too. By the way: If anyone knows who the patron saint for clothing-as-evangelization is, please let me know.

I realize there are many wonderful companies out there selling faith-based t-shirts, and I’m sorry I can’t highlight them all. I’m featuring those I personally wear and can confidently recommend because they come in an array of sizes and are super comfortable–Mama ain’t got time to wear scratchy or stiff shirts!–and because purchasing these shirts benefits sisters in Christ who also happen to be small business owners.

1. From Catholic Threads: BE BRAVE IN THE SCARED

Many of my readers know Mary Lenaburg, a remarkable woman and phenomenal speaker. This original design from the amazing Lorissa Horn of Catholic Threads isn’t just powerful and uplifting–the t-shirt is also a fundraiser to help pay down the remaining $57,000 (you read that correctly) debt incurred by the Lenaburg family while caring for their severely disabled daughter, Courtney. Shirts are currently available via pre-order only, which ends November 21st, so order now! This beauty will arrive in plenty of time for Holiday gift-giving for you and all your philanthropic friends wanting to help this family regain financial stability. P.S. The talented team at Catholic Threads has other amazing shirts (I have several!) … but you must buy this one first. Please and thank you. 😉

2. Rambling Mom: KEEP CALM & SAY A HAIL MARY

The past several months have been rough, with many loved ones suffering natural disasters, chronic disease and other difficulties. One dear friend was recently diagnosed with cancer, and I wanted to send her something to lift her spirits. When I saw Rambling Mom sporting this shirt on Instagram, I knew I’d found just the right gift. While the shirt I ordered wasn’t in RM’s shop last time I checked, word on the street is she might be able to make something just for you in a color you’ll adore; shoot her a message!

3. From Someday Saints: STRONG BRAVE LOVED

My friend Gina and I have known each other for several years now, and she continues to astonish me with her creativity and grace. Gina’s latest offering via her Someday Saints Design Etsy shop is a beautiful t-shirt I. just. love! Not only does it come in a lovely blue color, it conveys a wonderfully poignant message. Don’t tell my teen and tween, but they’re both receiving this t-shirt as Christmas gifts because these are three things I want them to know and believe about themselves. Annnnd I might have ordered one for myself because I might need a reminder sometimes, too! Check out the shirt and all Gina’s other lovelies in her shop today.

4. From Catholic Women Rejoice: REJOICE AND BE FREE

Once upon a time, in 2012, I started a women’s conference called Catholic Women Rejoice. For our fifth anniversary, we asked the fab gals at Catholic Threads (yes! they are that awesome) to design a shirt that was as comfortable as it is stylish. And, boy, did they nail it! This is my go-to sleep shirt, bum-around-the-house shirt, and clean all the things (again) shirt. My eldest daughter, who helped with the conference, lives in hers, too. I also have another, more fitted version for out-in-public appearances. If you’re interested in either shirt, I have limited quantities available. Send me a message indicating which version you’re interested in–slouchy or structured–and your size.

5. From Brick House in the City: ALL THE OPTIONS

I’m not even sure where to start; there are so many amazing (beautiful + comfortable) shirts in wonderful Lauren’s shop, it’s difficult to choose! I have the Everything is Grace shirt in honor of my girl St. Therese of Lisieux, the Love Begins At Home shirt because it reminds me of St. Teresa of Calcutta, and I bought the Cradle Catholic onesie for my sweet baby goddaughter’s Christmas gift. Currently, the Fiat and the Totus Tuus tees are on my Christmas list. Luckily, Lauren is offering a special code (BOGO10) for 10% off your order when you purchase two or more shirts. Hint, hint, Honey. 

Also? Decide which beauty you want soon, because TOMORROW (11.12) is the last day to pre-order guaranteed sizes and flavors of shirts in time for Christmas. Don’t be left empty-handed on The Big Day!

6. From Elly and Grace: NOT TODAY SATAN

I have to admit: My NOT TODAY SATAN shirt from Elly and Grace is a favorite to wear in my particularly heathenistic hometown of Portland, Oregon. Especially in the airport, where there are LOTS and LOTS of people. Ha, ha. I wear it when I need some extra Resurrection attotude, which is often when I am traveling alone for gigs, so this particular shirt has been getting more mileage lately. The funny thing is that I often get compliments on this shirt from perfect strangers–the lady in the bank, the lady at the coffee shop, the lady in the grocery check-out line. Apparently, allll the ladies like this shirt. But it could be that there are other prayer warriors out there like you and me who need the little bit of somewhat cheeky encouragement this shirt affords. Lots and lots of other choices in a broad range of sizes available on the E+G site!

7. Please feel free to comment with your favorite faith-based apparel, and I will update this post with your recommendations as my #7!

Of note: None of these are affiliate links. I just like (and wear) the shirts. 😊 Happy shopping, y’all!

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Bury the dead: an opportunity to help

Bury the dead: an opportunity to help

mary-lenaburg-father-in-law-don-lenaburg-family-1024x1024I can only imagine what it’s like to grieve the death of a close family member during the holidays. But two family members? That just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. And yet that’s exactly what’s happening to my friends Mary and Jerry Lenaburg right now.

As if burying their beloved daughter Courtney two years ago wasn’t enough, the Lenaburgs recently returned home from visiting Jerry’s parents in Oklahoma only to hear that Jerry’s father passed away suddenly last night.

One of the Corporal Works of Mercy is to bury the dead, and that’s exactly what Mary and Jerry would like to do. Unfortunately, with their most recent trip to Oklahoma, they’re tapped and don’t have the funds to return for the funeral.

This is where you come in, friends. Can you help? I know it’s a crazy time of year to be asking. But I also think it’s crazy to think that my friends might not be able to go to their father’s funeral because of money. I firmly believe that we serve a mighty God Who is capable of far more than we can possibly imagine. But we have to cooperate with His generosity to make this whole thing happen.

Will you join me in helping the Lenaburg Family?

For more information about these crazy circumstances, please read Mary’s post. There’s a link at the end of the post to donate toward  the considerable travel expenses from Viriginia to Oklahoma, but if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here’s the link to donate for your convenience.

Thank you so much for generously donating as you’re able, but I know the Lenaburgs are especially grateful for your prayers. As I grieve with my friends, I also have great anticipation of what Our LORD will do amidst these challenging circumstances. May He be praised now and forevermore.

God bless y’all,

heather

Photo (c) Mary Lenaburg. Used with permission.

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Women’s Tea for Life is Sold Out!

Women’s Tea for Life is Sold Out!

I know it’s still Lent, but I really want to say the “a” word – you know, the one that rhymes with balleluia – because the 1st Annual Women’s Tea for Life is sold out!!

Thank you so much to everyone for your support, offering goods and services for door prizes and the silent auction, and especially for your pledged volunteer hours. God knows that this is a team effort, and could never be successful without your material and spiritual support!

For those of you who wanted to attend but weren’t able to purchase tickets this year, we hope to make this an annual event – please join us next year, when we will probably open more seats.

Thank you so much again for your support,  and God’s blessings upon you!

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