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Author Archive: Siobhan Benitez

After growing up near Kennett Square, PA, the Mushroom Capitol of the World, Siobhan knew she would always live in a bustling capitol city. She earned a B.A. in Theology, History, and Classics at Mount St. Mary's University and an M.A. in Theology (specializing in Systematics) at Villanova University. Now she lives in Washington, D.C. with her wonderful husband where she is still getting used to living with a boy, right down to playing video games and watching football. When she's not hanging out with him or reading novels, she uses her spare time to earn a PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America.

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A Couch Is NOT a Promise

April 16, AD 2015 11 Comments
A Couch Is NOT a Promise

Not too long ago, my best friend moved in with her boyfriend. It’s a big deal: this is her third long-term, serious relationship, but the first one she felt confident enough in to say, “Hey, I like you so much, I’m going to live with you.” I have very mixed feelings about this whole thing. […]

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Truth in Fiction

March 19, AD 2015 3 Comments
Truth in Fiction

Teaching always involves a curve ball. This past fall I taught “Introduction to Moral Theology and Ethics” at The Catholic University of America. For the first class session, I had my students read a casual but thoughtful blogpost titled “The Ethics of Superheroes.” The blogpost draws on the idea of vocation as calling to argue […]

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Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

February 19, AD 2015 1 Comment
Book Review: <i>Divergent</i> by Veronica Roth

As a young mother of a young baby, the opportunity to do something purely for my own entertainment comes around very rarely. On one of those rare opportunities, my husband and I rented a few movies from RedBox and snuggled down on the couch with cups of cocoa and some blessed quiet time. One of […]

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Why English is the Best Language to Talk About “Love”

February 14, AD 2015 2 Comments
Why English is the Best Language to Talk About “Love”

I’m sure you’ve heard it. Your Spanish or French or German speaking friends have mentioned that English is just lacking when it comes to “love.” Maybe you heard in a homily or a talk at a retreat all about the top three Greek words for love (philia, agape, eros), or the seemingly endless list of Latin terms […]

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Holding a Light in the Village Square

November 29, AD 2014 1 Comment
Holding a Light in the Village Square

Here in the United States, religious liberties are fast eroding Last night on the news, I saw a segment about public schools near me (Montgomery County, MD) removing all references to religious holidays from their school calendar. The story goes that Muslim families approached the school board and asked them to make Eid al-Fitr (the highest […]

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ISIS, Just War, and the Words of Pope Francis

September 10, AD 2014 2 Comments
ISIS, Just War, and the Words of Pope Francis

Christians have a complicated relationship with violence. Our founder (Christ) died by violence in absolute meekness—living out to the extreme his teaching that when confronted with violence we must “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39). Jesus taught us “Blessed are the Peace Makers” (Matthew 5:9) and we hail him as the Prince of Peace (cf. […]

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Why I Ride the Metro Backward

August 10, AD 2014 4 Comments
Why I Ride the Metro Backward

Every day I spend about an hour on the Metro train going to school, and another hour coming home. I leave during rush hour in the morning, which isn’t really a big deal because I live at the second-to-last stop on our line so I can almost always find a seat. Once seated, I pull […]

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The Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Fasting and Abstinence During Lent

March 6, AD 2014 2 Comments
The Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to Fasting and Abstinence During Lent

I spent most of my young adulthood as a vegetarian (a life-stage which ended after marriage to a carnivore; you just cannot force that kind of gastronomic commitment onto someone else). As a vegetarian, something always troubled me when Lent came around and my friends and family members were “suffering” on Fridays, sullenly picking at […]

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Salvation Outside the Church

January 26, AD 2014 40 Comments
Salvation Outside the Church

“There is no salvation outside the church” What a frightful assertion. You have probably heard it, but do you know where it comes from? This maxim, as best we know, originates with St. Cyprian of Alexandria, who wrote in a letter that “not even the baptism of a public confession and blood can profit a […]

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Why Satire is Funny: Debunking “Pope Francis Condemns Racism and Declares that ‘All Religions Are True’ at Historic Third Vatican Council”

December 29, AD 2013 32 Comments
Why Satire is Funny: Debunking “Pope Francis Condemns Racism and Declares that ‘All Religions Are True’ at Historic Third Vatican Council”

So there’s an article out there on the interwebs that seems to be causing some confusion amongst Catholics and non-Catholics alike. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the original source here: http://diversitychronicle.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/pope-francis-condemns-racism-and-declares-that-all-religions-are-true-at-historic-third-vatican-council/. Let me lay out some basic facts about the Diversity Chronicle’s amusing piece: First, the Third Vatican Council has neither been […]

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When You Die You Won’t Go to Heaven and You Won’t Become an Angel: the Good News of Purgatory

November 3, AD 2013 10 Comments
When You Die You Won’t Go to Heaven and You Won’t Become an Angel: the Good News of Purgatory

First of all: Happy Halloween, Happy All Saints Day, Happy All Souls Day, and Happy Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time! This sequence of days (okay, it doesn’t always include the thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time) is one of my favorite in the year. I love the children (and adults) dressed up to defy their fears […]

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Being Pregnant on Respect Life Sunday

October 7, AD 2013 0 Comments
Being Pregnant on Respect Life Sunday

This weekend I visited my parents for my dad’s birthday. Sunday morning the family went to church where my mom and I climbed the stairs to the choir loft to sing for Sunday Mass. It was so good to be “home”–before I got married, I sang each Sunday and practiced each Thursday with these people. […]

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Three Hearts Beating as One

September 9, AD 2013 1 Comment
Three Hearts Beating as One

I read somewhere that one reason soldiers screaming as they run into battle, or football fans cheering their team at the top of their lungs feel a sense of camaraderie, of brotherhood, with each other is because raising your voice at the same time and in the same way as another person causes your hearts […]

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A Secret, an Eulogy, and a Prayer

August 11, AD 2013 13 Comments
A Secret, an Eulogy, and a Prayer

Here’s a secret: I’m a bad person. On June 5th I found out my friend Kacie died of a Heroin overdose. She was 23 years old. On June 6th, she would have been 24. Why does this make me a bad person? When we were in elementary school, Kacie and I were best friends. We […]

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Praying in the Strawberry Field

July 14, AD 2013 2 Comments
Praying in the Strawberry Field

Living in the city is hazardous to my prayer life. For about 10 years, my most profound moments with God have occurred in one of two places: the deafening silence of a chapel or the softer quiet of nature. The city, the beautiful, bustling, loud, vibrant, engaging city, shelters neither of these places. I am […]

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