Posted by: Christine | January 10, 2012

Book Review: “Sinner” by Lino Rulli

SinnerSinner: The Catholic Guy’s funny, feeble attempts to be a faithful Catholic by Lino Rulli

Lino Rulli, the host of “The Catholic Guy” radio show, writes this easy-to-read book of anecdotes about his life as a sinner trying to get to heaven (just like most of us Catholics). He uses wit, knowledge of his faith, and a great sense of humor to weave a tale of his coming-of-age and adulthood. This book is a great read for Catholics who have a sense of humor, and for anyone who enjoys humorous memoirs.

Rulli’s memories include everything from joining his father’s sideshow business to conversing with a Thai prostitute to coping with his crazy Italian family. He’s not ashamed that his heroes include not only the predictable (Blessed Pope John Paul II), but the endearing (his mom), and the unexpected (Howard Stern).

It would be difficult *not* to relate to Rulli, as he opens up honestly about his own insecurities and Promethean (or so he describes) efforts at living a life of holiness.

He’s funny, seriously.

View all my reviews at Goodreads

Posted by: Christine | November 20, 2011

Love Revolution – and subway craziness

Today I had the joy of going to a Love Revolution conference, hosted by the Archdiocese of New York, at the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel on 90th Street.  It was co-sponsored by the Sisters of Life (yay!), so I got to see some of the Sisters and some new postulants.  They are so happy & beautiful!  Also, I got to see some friends at the conference, and go to Mass & confession!  Score!

The conference was beautiful, and had three talks:

1. Generation Life – Enthusiastic young adults speaking about how they address chastity and life issues with teens.

2. Anna Halpine – Young adult founder of World Youth Alliance, spoke about life issues worldwide, and how programs are being developed that seek to educate women about their bodies and help them to make good decisions for themselves and their families (not just throwing condoms or hormonal birth control at them).  She also talked about the frightening prospect of the Philippines adopting a population control policy.

3. Father Roger Landry – This engaging preacher spoke about Theology of the Body issues, Blessed JPII, and how we humans are called to love others selflessly if we want to fully become who we are meant to be.


After the conference, I did some exploring.  First, I spent a couple of hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, mostly exploring their European paintings collections.  I noticed they had two beautiful impressive paintings by El Greco that I hadn’t noticed before (on account I wasn’t familiar with his work last time I was there).  Since it’s a “suggested donation” for admission, I elected to donate a small portion of the recommended value; I got an unhappy look from the ticket clerk.  But hey, I’m a poor student.

Next, I took the subway downtown to visit my dad at work at night.  I tried to take the 6 down directly to Canal Street, but I had to change onto the (Q, N, R, maybe) at Union Square for one last stop due to construction.  On that one last leg (between one stop and another), a hullabaloo arose.  It was a pretty crowded subway car, and I was on one end of it.  In the middle, there was some shouting, but I thought it was just someone performing trying to pass around a hat.  A minute later, people were yelling “stop” because apparently, it was sort of fight going on, because one fight-prone guy had gotten disproportionately offended when another guy on the train did something.  Lots of yelling (on the part of my fellow passengers) ensued, including my own (very loud) shouts of “stop” and “who do you think you are…fighting on this train, and “do it on your own time in your own place” (ok, that one was a bit mean), as well as my urging the male passengers next to me to stop the fight.  To his credit, one of the three men next to me reluctantly proceeded to the middle of the train car, and talked down one of the guys from fighting.  Thank you, Mr. Stranger who broke up the fight at my teacherly insistence, for being a man.  The fight mostly stopped when the train arrived at the Canal Street station.  Arriving at the station, I stood in the sliding doorway for a good minute to try to spot an official/cop of some kind, but there were none.   I was the last one trying to keep the door open, so I asked the guy (victim? who had gotten pushed around by the other guy) if he was getting out.  Since he said “no” and seemed (oddly)  a-ok, I left and went to the restaurant where my dad works.

[Note – the subway fight freaked me out because I’ve seen The Incident, and I never want to be a bystander in that level of a situation, nor a victim.  Hence, I should take up karate].

I had a nice little dinner and got to talk to my dad a bit; they had a decent-sized crowd of 20-something lawyers regaling each other with the finer points of a trial.  Kinda felt like L&O-ish.

After leaving my dad’s work, I stepped out towards Canal Street and who should I spot?  Three CFRs (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal)!  I walked right up to them and introduced myself, and I ended up travelling with them on the subway until we got to stations where we all departed.  It was such a nice breath of fresh air to see them (as well as their parents (so sweet!) and their friend). The CFRs have a beautiful ministry in the city with the poor and with young people as well, and the witness of these men is amazing.  Praise God!

So, I suppose my subway travels ended up a net positive.  The Friars cancelled out the fight, and then some.

Tomorrow I’m going to hang out with my Grandma, then go to St. Rose of Lima for 5:15 Youth Mass with Father Briar Barr.  All are welcome (to St. Rose, not my Grandma’s, at least not without notice).

Posted by: Christine | September 19, 2011

Hey! That Looks Familiar!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted regularly.  School, work, and personal stuff have been driving me bonkers, so this blog has taken the back seat, just like so many objectified women in Bruce Springsteen songs.

Whilst shelving new books at work today, I noticed a work of fiction that shares its cover photo subject with my WordPress profile photo.  The lounging lady is in the Camposanto, or cemetery for the rich, in Pisa, Italy.   Beautiful locale!   See the cover art here: (Note – I haven’t read the book, and in fact, have no idea what it’s about.  If anyone can recommend it, go for it.)

Posted by: Christine | June 7, 2011

Fun Summer Updates

What’s new for Christine:

1. My good friend Father H. Todd Carter was ordained to the priesthood of Christ in the Diocese of Trenton over the weekend.  The Ordination Mass was beautiful, and was a testament to God’s love for His Bride, the Church, providing us with such holy young men to do His work.   Moreover, his first Mass was amazing, and he didn’t mess up at all. He will make a great priest.  I’m exceedingly proud of Fr. Todd and so overjoyed for his happiness in his vocation.  God is good!  (If you’re my f/b friend, take a look at the non-stop posts I made on Sunday night).  Please pray for him and all priests.

For more information about the priesthood, or for resources about discerning your vocation (God’s plan for your life, including married life, religious life, the priesthood, etc.), visit  Also, take a look at Fr. Brian Barr’s Long Island Priest for testimonials and an introduction to the priesthood, and see Peter’s Boat for some great homilies and meditations for young adults.

2. I signed on an apartment in Farmingdale/North Massapequa, and I’ll be moving on Saturday July 2nd.  So, if you know any groups of strong young men who can carry furniture with care, in exchange for large amounts of pizza and cake and moderate amounts of beer, please tell me.  Once I’m settled in, I plan to invite folks over for lots of classic movie nights, complete with homemade food and surprise pre-movie Chaplets of Divine Mercy, and other fun stuff (I’m dangerous like that).

3. I did well in my courses.  My only non-A henceforth is for my ridiculous intro to technology course that bored me to pieces, and I still managed with a B+ for minimal studying.  (Note – Don’t get the impression that I’m a lazybones; my other courses have required my most dedicated efforts).

4. I’m trying to get more involved with the local Catholic young adult community in our diocese.  One of my new friends from this group, Trista, is part of a great group of young Catholic gals who blog on issues that affect the faithful of our generation – check out their Bright Maidens page on Facebook.   So, I’ve been going to lots of the events, and I’m hoping to try to help out more with planning and doing social and spiritual things as group….which relates to…

5. At the end of the month, I’m going to Latin Mass (a High Mass!) for the [almost] first time.  (When I was around 10 years old, my dad took me to a local parish, I suspect purely for the nostalgic aspects.)  A new friend invited me and I’m excited to finally experience this particular liturgy.  I’ve been to Byzantine Divine Liturgy twice before, and I’ve been told that it will feel similar to this.  I’m very thankful there will be booklets to follow along with, though!

6. I don’t have Pentecost plans yet.  As I recall, I spent last year in NJ with some Spirit & Truth friends.  I somewhat remember seeing a lot of people dressed in red at St. John’s, so that must’ve been it.  I’d love to go to a parish that feels alive in the Holy Spirit for this special feast.  Any recommendations?

Posted by: Christine | May 28, 2011

There Be Dragons – Movie Review

Childhood friends part and chose to see the world through different lenses during the Spanish Civil War. Manolo has connections and seeks to avoid letting anyone get the best of him and doesn’t see beyond the here and now. JoseMaria is a young priest who helps the poor and teaches his friends to foster peace. The film is based on the true story of St. JoseMaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, a movement to appreciate the sanctity of daily work done with love and trust. This film really makes a person ponder their own self and their spiritual and moral strengths and weaknesses. We can relate to the different characters in many ways, and we feel for them even when they make a wrong decision. This film has beautiful and captivating cinematography, and tells a historical story in a very engaging way. The narrative captures the essence of St. Escriva’s philosophy and makes it more of a tangible reality for the modern man. I highly recommend this movie!

This film is in limited release, so if it’s playing your local theater, get

there fast!  Otherwise, I’ll be purchasing it on DVD so I can re-watch it with friends.  Excellent film and a topic I love!

Older Posts »


%d bloggers like this: