A Couple of Catholics

A blog about faith, intentional living and the joys and struggles of married life.

Tag: Pope

How to Come Down from Your Pope High

It was bound to happen…the dreaded letdown after Pope Francis returned to Italy. We soaked in every moment of the journey: the weeks and months of unbridled anticipation of his coming, the countless hours we spent glued to EWTN hanging on to his every word, but then on Sunday it all came to a screeching halt.

And now here we find ourselves…a nation with no more pope fanfare…in a slump of depression, too tired from watching all the media coverage to even drag our weary selves out of bed in the morning.

Pope Francis left before I could get my commemorative papal selfie.

We knew it would come to an end because Christmas can’t be every day. Humph…and so time ticks on.

But fear not dear faithful, we have come up with a list of six things you can do to help you slowly come down from your papal high.

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6 Ways to Follow Pope Francis’ Visit to America Digitally

Pope Francis Motorcade

Image: ABC News

There are many ways to celebrate Pope Francis’ first visit to America. But what is the best, unfiltered and easiest way to follow Pope Francis’ visit? I thought I would share six ways I’m engaging online during his time in the US and how to get unfiltered, honest, non-secularized news and updates about his visit.

After all, the pope will mainly be speaking in Spanish while he’s in the states, so the last thing you want is something lost in translation.

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Top 13 moments from 2013

I love New Years. It’s a time to reminisce on the past and reflect on how you’ve grown. It’s an opportunity to dream, hope and resolve for a better self…a better future. It’s a fresh start, and no matter who you are we can all use those from time to time.

As 2013 draws to a close, Patrick and I have reflected on what this year has meant to us… as a couple and individuals. So here it is the top 13 from 2013.

1. We got married!

Nicole says: While most of this year was spent in the whirlwind that is wedding planning on November 23rd we made it official.

Pat says: WOOHOO, we finally made it! I married such a beautiful bride. I am so thankful to be done with engagement… it was like purgatory.

2. Honeymooning in Italy – We met the Pope…and then took a selfie.

Nicole says: As if getting married and enjoying a honeymoon in Italy wasn’t enough of a blessing, thanks to the Archdiocese of Kansas City Kansas Pat an I were fortunately able to attend a Wednesday audience with Pope Francis and afterwards we were able to meet him. YES, we met the Pope–a life goal checked off my list.

Pat says: This was an amazing trip. Between the food, the sites, the spiritual journey and my travel partner, I feel so blessed. I look forward to posting more Italy photos online soon.

3. We started a blog

Given that you are on our site right now, we’re guessing you know this. We’re only a year into this endeavor and so far it has been a fun way for us to recount our experiences as a couple and share them with you. We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with us. Here are a few of our recommended posts:

We often post on Twitter too. You’re welcome to follow us!

4. HuffPost Interview

Pat says: Ok, so this was completely unexpected. I got an email from one of the editors from HuffPost LIVE (Huffington Post’s  live-streaming network) and before I knew it we we’re being interview about our choice not to live together before marriage.

SEE: A recap of our Interview with HuffPost LIVE 

5. Moving in together

Nicole says: While we didn’t live together before marriage, we did start going through all our things and got settled into our new house where I lived until the wedding. Safe to say that the majority of my summer was spent cleaning, sorting and organizing our new home…every teacher’s dream for the summer months. 🙂 Also, I can’t forget the many trips to drop off car loads of donations at our neighborhood thrift store.

Pat says: I am so thankful to not be driving home to my parents house each night! I feel like multiple people told me it would be a big adjustment, but honestly I just feel like I am living with my best friend and get to come home to her all the time. Can’t wait to get into a routine now that we are back from Italy.

6. Retreats and Reflections

Pat says: I had an amazing time at a men’s retreat with a Catholic Community up in Minnesota. It was a great reminder that we as men are called to be fathers and imitate God the Father. We were made in His image and we act like The Father by providing and bringing people to the Lord.

7. We’ve kept Hallmark in business

Pat says: Nicole and I love cards (especially our hometown company Hallmark). We love finding unique cards for our friends and family. Also, Nicole and I exchange cards often. However, this year in particular had some gems (especially since we could count down till the wedding). Watch this singing birthday card Nicole got me!

8. Pat STILL didn’t join a gym

Pat says: I know, I know… (thanks for calling me out Nicole!!) Unfortunately this year I did not keep up with my Insanity workout routine like I planned. At least now we can save money with a YMCA family pass. Look for an update on this in 2014.

9. The year of transition (a.k.a. weddings and babies)

Nicole says: Without a doubt, this year will be known as the year of transitions. The transition to engagement and newlywed life was obviously at the forefront for us both. However, for me the transition of moving back to KC, starting a new job and graduate school cannot be overlooked. Aside from the transitions in our own lives, some of those closest to us were experiencing their own transitions as well from weddings to babies and sometimes both.

10. Partying with family and friends

Nicole says: No doubt marrying Pat was wonderful, but truth be told my favorite part of the wedding weekend was spending time with all our family and friends. There is something so humbling in the knowledge that all these people, from all different aspects and eras of our lives came together to celebrate our entrance into this lifelong vocation. Words could not begin to describe my appreciation for each and every one of those people.

11. We traveled

Nicole says: We really got around this year. Here is a short list of places we were lucky enough to visit together. Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Atchison, KS, Lincoln, NE,  and of course Italy (Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Assisi, Siena and Venice).

Pat says: I also did a whirlwind tour for work including Memphis, TN, Boston, MA (for the 2013 Catholic New Media Conference), Austin, TX, Marianna, AR, Los Angeles, CA.

12. We started learning and using NFP

Nicole says: It has been a journey for sure and they weren’t kidding when they told us it would be difficult. Difficulties aside I can without a doubt see the benefits of using NFP as opposed to any other form of family planning. It is giving me a deeper appreciation for my husband and is teaching me how to love him WELL. While it isn’t a cake walk, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

13. The continual rise of online entertainment

Pat says: It’s no surprise that this year brought a slew of new online hits. We learned what the Fox says, heard inspiring messages from Kid President, saw Taylor Swift do a duet with some goats and many other Internet sensations. I hope that the New Year brings with it a fresh crop of videos with higher standards than twerking and the Harlem Shake. So I thought that this baby joyriding on a Roomba is probably the best way to end 2013… and it is ever-so-appropriately set to the 2006 hit “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire.

We look forward to sharing another great year with you. So many good things to come. God bless and have a Happy New Year!

We met Pope Francis and took a selfie with him!

As you may know, we recently got married. For our honeymoon we are in Italy. Today we paid a visit to the Vatican for a Papal audience. And guess what? We met Pope Francis! (YES, we said met Pope Francis)

We captured this special moment in our own way by snapping a ‘selfie’ with the Holy Father on Saint Peter’s Square. See our Pope selfie photo in our tweet below:

We are so grateful to share this experience (and our papal selfie) with you and his blessing of our friends/family. A quick shout out to the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS for getting us special newlywed or “Sposi Novelli” tickets. This was an incredible way to start off our marriage (with a blessing from Papa Francisco)… and Pope Francis is clearly a master at taking selfies.

Anyway, we bring back his blessing for all our friends, family and readers. We prayed for all of you while we were in Rome. God bless!

5 Catholic News Sources for Honest Reporting

With the surprise announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, I thought I would share the top five places I go to for unfiltered, honest, non-secularized Catholic news. These fives news sources for me allow me to not get skewed information regarding the Church or any major news regarding Catholicism.

  1. Vatican News – The official news site of the Vatican offers the faithful brief news articles on the Pope and the Church, videos of His Holiness and multiple news outlets. They tweet @newsva_en
  2. National Catholic Register – The National Catholic Register began in Denver in the late 1920s as the Denver Catholic Register. Exchanging several hands, it eventually was purchased by EWTN from the Legionaries in January 2011. The paper prides itself on being a daily news outlet that is faithful to the Magisterium and professional in presentation. Amongst many supposed Catholic media companies, the NC Register remains a resource for faithful Catholics seeking to understand their Church and their world. It hosts a myriad of correspondents and gives opinion through their various and well-known bloggers. Follow NC Register on twitter @NCRegister
  3. Catholic News Services – The mission of Catholic News Service is the mission of the Church itself — to spread the Gospel through contemporary means of communication. Serving since 1920 as a news agency specializing in reporting religion, is the primary source of national and world news that appears in the U.S. Catholic press. Their website is a little outdated, but decent reporting. You can find them on twitter @CatholicNewsSvc
  4. Rome Reports – Rome Reports is a great source for Catholic news videos. Updated on a regular basis, Rome Reports is faithful to the Church and reliable for up to date videos on Catholic news and papal events. Check out their twitter @romereports
  5. Zenit – Zenit has some of the most comprehensive Vatican News coverage. When the Holy Father issues an Encyclical or Document it is on line within 24 hours. It also prints important news on the international Church and comes in several languages. Follow them on twitter @zenitenglish

Stay away from the following:

National Catholic Reporter – Lovingly called the National Catholic Fishwrap by popular blogger Father Z and others, the supposed Catholic newspaper is a festering wound of heresy and dissent. I call it the National Catholic Distorter.

Mainstream Media “Faith Blogs” – Sites like the Huffington Post on Religion and the CNN Belief Blog are complete froth and generally only host those religious thinkers who are either atheists or angry ex-members of a given religion.

What are your favorite Catholic news sources?

[Note: this blog post was originally posted on PatrickPadley.com]