I have always sat in the front pew during mass. My father had us sit in the front pew growing up, and I continued that with my own family. I know my father liked to sit there because he loved to show off his four daughters. We had our hair slicked back in buns, our cutest dresses on, and shiny Mary Jane shoes every Sunday. He would march us all into the front pew, beaming with pride. Everyone in the church could see us because we were in the front pew, and my father loved that. People would wave to…

Working with teenagers at a Catholic school, I often get asked why I think God allows suffering in this life. I can’t say that’s just a teenage question because I’ve wondered that myself.

What I’ve learned through my own sufferings is that there is always some good to be found in it. We just have to look for it. I use the story of my sister’s life as an example.

When Sue was in her 20’s, she was living a very dangerous lifestyle. I won’t go into detail, but if she had continued as she was, my fear was she’d…

Why are people left-handed? My oldest son is left-handed, which technically could be considered “abnormal”, right? I mean, it’s not “of the norm”. Guess how many people have asked me at what age I realized he was left-handed. Guess how many people have asked him if he was born left-handed or chose to be left-handed. Guess how many people have suggested I talk him into using his right hand even if it doesn’t feel natural to him.

Why are people gay? Does the reason matter? Some people want proof people are born gay. Is it because scientific proof would make…

Catholic Mom of a Gay Son:
How I reconcile my faith and my support of my son

I was born into an Irish/Scottish Catholic family. I attended Catholic schools growing up and I have worked in Catholic schools for years. I teach Sunday school and have done so for many years. I know the Catechism well. I respect the teachings of the Church, and would never be so arrogant as to suggest the Church has it wrong.

My son’s invitation to the White House has gotten some attention. Most of the responses have been supportive and loving. Some people seem concerned about Aaron’s and my understanding of the teachings of the Church. I’d like to address this…

Patti McNeil

Catholic wife & mother. I’m passionate about my faith, my family, my students and matters of equality.

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