May is Mary's month, which often commences with the annual "May Crowning" at Catholic parishes and schools around the world. Today, Ellyn von Huben offers her signature hilarity and graceful reflection on this timely Catholic tradition.
"If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now. It's just a spring clean for the May Queen.”
Those of us living in the Midwestern United States have had a springtime in which it really feels that we “know that all creation is groaning in labor pains…” (Romans 8:22) After a disappointingly mild winter – the disappointment being the lack of a picture book “White Christmas”- which ended in several weeks of multiple snowstorms, the wintery gloom and chill have dragged on. The groundhog who predicted an early spring should look into a new career. The labor of the earth bringing forth new life has been painfully stalled. At last, there have been some blessedly warm days, finally bringing the beauty of buds on the trees and the first flowers of spring. On the sixth Sunday of Easter, I can look out my window and safely say that spring has sprung. Though I wouldn’t say I’m packing away my winter coat just yet.
Each spring I enjoy one of the happiest perks of my job as a church secretary: a good perch for viewing the procession of school children to the annual May Crowning. There are the eight graders, trying to look casually grown-up as they wait for one of their own to crown the statue of the Blessed Mother. We are always especially touched by the gravity of the second graders, wearing their First Communion clothes for a second time. They are so pious and serious as they walk past in single file. I think of the impression this is making on their young hearts, helping form a lifetime of devotion to the mother of Our Lord...
Last week, we released our anticipated CATHOLICISM companion study program for middle and high schoolers — The CATHOLICISM Pilgrimage Journal. The program encourages cross-generational conversation and faith sharing between adults and their students or children, all the while moving everyone closer to Christ. Presenting the material in an engaging, compelling and digestible way, author and blogger Amy Welborn tackled the writing of the Journal, which is has benefited greatly from her knowledge, understanding of and enthusiasm for CATHOLICISM the series and Catholicism the faith. We asked Amy some questions about working on the Pilgrimage Journal, and today we share her thoughtful answers with you.
What is your background? How did you start writing professionally?
My background is in education, writing, and parenting. I have an MA in Church History from Vanderbilt University. I've taught theology in Catholic high schools and been a parish DRE.
I started writing over twenty years ago when I had a column in The Florida Catholic newspaper. I moved to a Catholic News Service syndicated column specifically for youth, then a general spirituality column for Our Sunday Visitor. I started writing books in 2000 - The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints was my first book, followed by the Prove It series for Our Sunday Visitor. Since then I have written many books for adults and young people, and I have an online presence on my blogs. It's all just a form of communication and teaching, which I enjoy.
What was your familiarity, if any, with Father Barron and/or Word on Fire before you were tapped for this job?
I had been familiar with Father Barron's work long before he produced the Catholicism series. His book, “The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path,” has been very helpful to me. I worked with Word on Fire a couple of years ago to produce the discussion guide for the Conversion series and was delighted to be asked to participate in this project...