Thursday, February 12, 2009

little c

When I told you about my most recent visit to the school in Philly, and how the "disabled" girl pointed to the Sacred Heart icon and said, "Do you know that guy?" Well, I left out one tiny detail, that I only later "unpacked" and realized the import of it. After I assured her that yes, I did know "that guy," she said, "Well, you SHOULD, you're Catholic!"

But I'm not Catholic.

Not with an upper case "C" anyway.

I live in a Catholic community.

My kids go to Catholic schools.

Every best friend I've ever in my life had, have been, or are, Catholic.

But I'm not.

When I was telling a dear Catholic friend about my trip East, and I added the part about, "Well you SHOULD, you're CATHOLIC," she said, "You better find out what the real definition of Catholic is, because that was a message."

And wouldn't you just know it, I was looking up big "C" Catholic and coming up empty, but when I tried little "c" catholic, I got it.

The message.

According to Wiktionary, catholic, spelled with a lower case "c," means all inclusive; pertaining to all mankind.

And I got the whole reason I was visiting that school in the first place.


For all.

I'm proud to call myself catholic.

* Photo from


Anonymous said...

Good, because calling yourself "Catholic" is all EXCLUSIVE.

Love you.

Michelle O'Neil said...


Stacy Quarty said...

Inclusion is a wonderful thing.

Amber said...



Lori said...

For the first time in a long time, so am I. :)

Thanks, Carrie. Great story. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm Catholic (with big and little C), and my mom is Batholic. She stayed baptist but attended Mass with the family each Sunday. We also went to both Mass and Sunday School with both grandmothers. Nice breed, eh?

As for my own 3 kids' parochial inner city school, it is the most Non-elitist school anywhere around. Inclusivity at its finest with a broad mix of faiths, races and abilities. Yes! Hugs and I'm so glad you're still getting the almost-daily guidance and doses of grace for your journey. :)

jesswilson said...

wow - that gave me the chills.

i am by no means Catholic, but i am by every means catholic.


Nancy said...

Now I understand why, as an Episcopalian (former Catholic) we still say "one catholic and apostolic church."

Big difference between "Roman Catholic" and catholic.

Wanda said...

For once, being a lower case letter is the better road.

Michelle O'Neil said...

BTW, I think 'lil C is a great new nickname for you!

Jess said...

Wow, that's so cool! Interesting too, the things that some religions end up doing that are not very catholic. They should consult you more often.

Deb Shucka said...

I've got goosebumps here! Maybe your new name - Fully catholic.

deb said...

I have always found ironic that catholic and Catholic means such very different things.

Anonymous said...

This is just lovely. :) Thank you!