{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!

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< king up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for {SQT}!

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Assimilation into The Catholic Conspiracy begins …

Assimilation into The Catholic Conspiracy begins …

… now.

For my loyal readers, don’t worry – contrary to understandable belief, I am not dead. Yet.

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DEFINITELY DEAD. photo credit: Jebulon (own work) – public domain via Wikimedia
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MOSTLY ALIVE. photo credit: H. Renshaw, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Please hold your applause as well as your sighs of disbelief. I’ve just been (as you’ve come to undoubtedly expect) busy with life and work and other unmentionable things that may eventually get mentioned in this space.

If this is your first time at the RCM Blog, welcome!! I invite you to grab a cup of whatever makes you happy yet doesn’t land you in the Confessional and get to know me a bit better. Feel free to ask me questions. All the questions. I will respond. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. Ish. Soonish.

Blessedly, I haven’t been so busy that I was unable to jump (up and down – several times) at the opportunity to join the amazing team at The Catholic Conspiracy. Here’s an explanatory snippet about TCC for your reading pleasure:

The Catholic Conspiracy bloggers are faithful to the Magisterium, in love with Jesus Christ and His Church, and dedicated to bringing Him to the world. We are not a news site. We don’t have correspondents in Rome. We don’t have a secret agenda, and we don’t collaborate from a hidden base somewhere in North America. We’re not hatching plots to infiltrate centers of higher education and government (although that does sound pretty cool!). We’re not here to subvert Church teaching, or promulgate dissent, or foment division. Our mission is our tagline: Catholic bloggers conspiring to bring Christ to the world.

So, without further ado, may the games begin. Until next time, God bless y’all.

heather

P.S. Ad multos annos to Rebecca Frech, Larry D, et al for allowing me to join the party. May they live long enough to not regret their decision.

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31 Days of Unexpected Joy: The Alphabet Version (Day 9)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: The Alphabet Version (Day 9)

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Today’s unexpected joy is brought to you by Seven Quick Takes Friday (aka SQTF) and The Visitation Project (aka TVP). Specifically, this post is a SQTF re: TVP. Hence, the alphabet version.

Annnnd before I lose (even more of) you, away we go!

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That’s right – The Visitation Project is now on ITunes! I can barely believe it myself … it took quite a bit longer than I planned, but I am so grateful that we’re up and running and will be even more satisfied when all our previously broadcast shows are available for y’all to hear whenever and wherever you are. Woo hoo! So! much! yay!

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My diligent co-host, Bonnie, has been burning the midnight oil getting individual episode notes up for your reading pleasure on the TVP website. If you have a chance to thank her, please do. It’s an awful lot of work, but she has stuck it out. Here’s one of the “extras” you’ll see when you hop over to visit.

Glory+Be+TVP

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I love this picture of the three of us co-hosts, and it’s not just because I look so tan and rested (I am really, really not tan, nor am I every actually rested in real life, so while I dunno exactly what happened with this shot #amazinglighting #supersweetfilter, I like it). Anyway, Bonnie, Rebecca, and I were so ready to rock and roll our first round of recording, and I love the looks of enthusiasm, excitement, and sheer joy on our faces.

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Flash forward two days. By the time we completed our first marathon recording session, it was time for a much-deserved break. At our celebratory wrap dinner, I convinced the gals to join me in taking an oyster shot. I don’t remember exactly how I talked them into it, but I can promise that little to no alcohol or bribery was involved. My first oyster shot was at this place during college (which, by the way, is still, I believe, the only public bar located on government-owned land), and they sort of grew on me. Not a hard thing to do when you’ve had a couple of drinks. Anyhoo, I hadn’t had one in quite a long time because my husband is, I think, grossed out (as is, admittedly, any number of the general population), but I thought it was good. Fun times!

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In the studio

This shot, from our second recording round in August, is incredible because a) Rebecca is wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt #rad and b) we all have smiles on our faces. What’s the big deal with all of you smiling? you might ask. Well, consider: poor Bonnie was suffering from incredibly difficult morning / all day sickness; Rebecca had a weird bug that had her puking on the plane home to Dallas; and I was still recovering from the worst case of bronchitis I’ve ever had. So, smiling was hard but we did it.

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We’re hoping to have some TVP products in the store in time for, dare I say, Christmas shopping?? Maybe? Please don’t hold me to it #bigdreams, but so far we have promotional bookmarks. Let me know if you want one. LOL 😉

TVP Bookmark

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Methinks we reallllly need a TVP newsletter. Yes? Yes. We do. I need to quit procrastinating and just make that puppy happen. Yes? Yes.

Okay … that is enough SQT / TVP JOY for one day, IMHO. I pray you have a fabulous evening and I’ll see y’all again tomorrow! Oh, and PS – Catch up with all the other alphabet people over at the magnanimous Kelly Mantoan’s link-up!

heather

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31 Days of Unexpected Joy: The New Evangelization (Day 7)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: The New Evangelization (Day 7)

Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, y’all!

Many of you may not know that I owe much of my understanding of the Catholic faith to what I learned through the excellent programming of Catholic radio, specifically, Mater Dei Radio, based in Portland, OR. It is in no small part because of what I heard and learned on this station that I not only fell back in love with and reverted to the Faith, but am now doing whatever I can to be a small part of the Church’s efforts in the New Evangelization, including blogging, organizing the local women’s conference, producing and co-hosting The Visitation Project, leading retreats, speaking at events, etc.

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Today, my Visitation Project co-hosts Rebecca and Bonnie and I are honored and blessed to appear live (eek!) on-air at 9 a.m. PST to help raise money to keep Mater Dei fully funded. We’ve supported their bi-annual sharathon pledge drive once before, but this is our first appearance as a team! As TVP is produced through the facilities of Mater Dei, we owe them a debt of gratitude and are proud to joyfully support them in their efforts to bring the Truth of the Catholic faith to the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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We hope you will be a part of the New Evangelization, too, and support Mater Dei by calling in your pledge of support: 1-888-823-5286. Please be as generous as you are able … you never know whose life will be changed by what they hear on Catholic radio!

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Joyfully yours until tomorrow,

heather

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Would Jesus buy an iPad?

Would Jesus buy an iPad?

Seriously. This is a real question.

If Jesus Christ were walking the Earth today, would he drop $400 or $800+ for an iPad?

Would He be disappointed or thrilled that some of His followers are coveting this new and amazing piece of technology?

Would He be excited that there is another way to reach out and evangelize those with little to no faith, or dismayed that we are becoming more connected in less “meaningful” ways?

I’m interested in your thoughts, both pro and con. Please discuss!

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