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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • How do you defend the Church from fallen family members who are angry and defensive regarding their choice to leave the faith?

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 7:19 AM by unknown

  • We just had a priest speak at our parish who touched on this problem. Here's his advice (as I remember it): First, determine if the person wants to talk about the faith or if he/she just wants to be angry and defensive. If rational discussion is off the table, then just pray for him/her, but don't engage in the defensiveness. You could even say, "If you want to talk about this, I'd love to do that, but otherwise, please know that my faith is important to me, and I don't want to hear negative comments without having the chance for an open and calm discussion." If you think the person really wants to talk about it, then ask questions about what he/she thinks the Church teaches. Ask why he/she left the Church. What are the reasons? Then, without getting defensive, try to answer the questions and clear up misconceptions. If there's something you don't know, be honest about that, but try to find the answer and follow up with the person. The point is that the best strategy isn't to try to convince the person that he/she's wrong, but rather to explain the truth of the Church calmly and truthfully and let things go from there. Hope this helps!

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 8:27 AM by MR

  • Can someone help me with something dumb? I need to know how to freeze chocolate chip cookies successfully. I am quite paranoid they will not taste the same as when made fresh. I have First Holy Communion party this weekend and want to eliminate the small stuff on this special day. I really don't want my communicant to see me stressed or being short with her or her siblings on this special day. I also don't want to short change my guests with yucky cookies. I know this is low on the scale of important issues but right now it's up there on my list. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 11:01 AM by KMB

  • unknown, if they're just ranting (or making snarky comments) with no intent to have a real conversation about the faith, I'd stick with a calm "I'm sorry you feel that way" (which is a handy phrase for all sorts of ongoing issues with chronically angry/irrational people) and not engage further. If it's a one-on-one conversation, then I think MR's suggestions are really good. But in a group, or with someone you know is just picking a fight, then "I'm sorry you feel that way" (repeat as necessary) is a handy way to show disagreement, but not engage in the looked-for battle.

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 12:24 PM by Anna

  • Hi unknown (the first one) I agree with Anna, and that is a very handy phrase. Sometimes, if I want to know more, or they seem to want to share more, I may ask, "How did this start?" or "Is there anything I can do to help you in this transition?" because sometimes this opens up the lines of communication...good luck! Hi KMB, I think chocolate chip cookies are VERY important! {Grin} From my own limited experience, it's tough to make frozen cookies taste fresh out of the freezer. So, my idea is this: unless your oven will be busy all day, make the triple batch of dough ahead of time--even today, and then freeze the dough by wrapping it and putting foil over the top very tightly to avoid freezer-burn taste. Taking the dough out and tucking it in the fridge a day or two ahead {I just cook them frozen--flatten the dough a bit so it cooks evenly} , And on the day pick someone {not you, as you have other things to do} to be in charge of putting fresh cookies out. This will be the best of both worlds...the dough and messy ingredients will be cleaned off, the house will smell amazing and if someone *needs* something to do while the other guests arrive, you can hand them an apron, and the hot mitts and ask them to "keep the cookies coming". Hope it is a blessed event!

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 1:35 PM by Donna L.

  • To the second unknown: My mom makes chocolate chip cookies and freezes them on a regular basis. She makes a double-batch and then sticks half in a ziplock freezer bag or a tupperware container to put in the freezer, and they stay fresh for months! Just allow them to cool completely before you put them away. Easy peasy!

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 3:12 PM by DW

  • I freeze coolies all the time. Make sure they are completely cool, layer with parchment or wax paper in between and stack them all up in a freezer bag (not a storage bag) laying flat, get out as much air as possible. Take them out the day before to defrost. Congratulations and enjoy the special day with your family!

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 3:55 PM by Danielle M.

  • Thanks for the helpful hints, everyone. I am so grateful to have one less thing to worry about. I'm such a cleaning maniac right now. Why is it the more you clean the more and more dirt you find? What a domino effect around here. Ugh!! Thank you!!

    Posted on Apr 30th, 2013 at 7:50 PM by KMB

  • Have any of you read a book about Pope Francis? If so, what book do you recommend to a busy mom who needs one that is very easy to read. Thank you! Unknown, I will pray for your family members. I will pray that you're given wisdom and fortitude and that they receive grace. Be as loving as possible when speaking of the church. Ask them many questions about their feelings and thoughtfully listen to their answers. Never argue. God bless you.

    Posted on May 1st, 2013 at 8:24 AM by Holly