Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA. www.HellBurns.com  Twitter: @srhelenaburns

Progress is a myth. What?! Progress is non-existent? No, but “progress,” if it is to be embraced with enthusiasm, must truly be progress.

“Feminism” is not a dirty word. At its most basic level, I define feminism as “the protection and promotion of women.” “Radical feminism” denies any significant differences between men and women beyond a few reproductive body parts, which, of course, is patently false, unscientific and demeaning. I was a radical feminist for a good portion of my life until I discovered John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

Since the Daughters of St. Paul have always printed papal encyclicals and works of the popes, we naturally collected and published John Paul II’s extraordinary “Theology of the Body” — a series of catechetical talks he delivered in the early 1980s.

There has been a massive resurgence of a kind of Neo-Apocalypticism of late, due in no small part to the persisting coronavirus pandemic with all its fallout; the embrace of Socialism/Marxism/Communism by the West (particularly among the young); racism in the spotlight again; civil unrest and violence; emerging globalist totalitarianism; the dominance and imposition of gender ideology; the undermining of the family and rights of parents; ever more radical abortion and euthanasia policies; “surveillance capitalism”; the rise of “fake news”; and now, sweeping censorship of free speech by left-leaning Big Tech.

How often have we heard (or declared ourselves): “I can say what I want! Last time I checked this was a free country!” Um, when was the last time you checked?

A much-ballyhooed documentary entitled The Social Dilemma has been making the rounds on Netflix. It’s about some major players in the world of Big Tech, Silicon Valley and social media who have called it quits and are now on what I call “the apology tour.”

The first haiku I ever wrote was about home. I was in sixth grade French class staring out the window as usual (zut alors!), and it came to me wholly formed, in a flash of insight.

Isn’t it fascinating how, back in spring 2020, at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the first impulse for comfort and familiarity was an urge to watch Christmas shows? The goodwill and good feels of Christmastime pageantry is powerful medicine.

The “nuclear family.” Such a strange phrase. Does it glow? What exactly is it?

I was recently asked by a parish to do a (virtual) workshop on “News Literacy.” I was told by the families that invited me: “The confusion goes way beyond just ‘fake news.’ There are so many voices on so many digital platforms, speaking both without and within the Church — we need some guidance!” All sides produce legitimate-seeming data, evidence and documentation. Who and what to believe?

Page 1 of 2