7 Quick Takes: End-of-Year FOMO Edition

I know, I know, 7 Quick Takes isn’t a thing anymore. But Rita over at Catholic Review keeps up with it, and I thought it would be a good way to try to stay active in this space for more than just book reviews. So away we go! This week, among other things, we’re talking about why I probably should be avoiding social media right now.


One: I’m exasperated with the Pope Benedict coverage.

Yes, I want to keep up with the story as much as any other Catholic. But yesterday (and the news only came out yesterday that he was likely in his last days) there were already articles popping up about his legacy. Could we maybe wait to break stories with a legacy angle until after he’s actually dead?

(For the record, I’m fine with tweets urging people to pray for him and others who are dying. It’s always good to remind people to pray for the dying. And I’m even OK with seeing people reminisce about Benedict’s impact on their spiritual lives. But please … don’t frame it as a legacy while he’s still alive.)

Two: I’m generally grumpy.

It’s a bad idea to go on social media when you’re grumpy. You’ll only wind up feeling worse. Even though I’ve worked hard to curate my Instagram feed to avoid the Manufactured Perfection™ crowd, that kind of thing creeps in sometimes. And tempting as it may be, it’s not nice to subtweet.


Three: FOMO caused by everyone’s “Word of the Year” and “Saint of the Year” posts on All The Socials.

Picking a Saint of the Year is an excellent spiritual practice. So excellent, in fact, that Franciscans have been doing so for years, in a ritual known as “Extraction of Saints” that takes place around Epiphany.

In my Secular Franciscan fraternity, we pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us, and then a patron saint for the year, a virtue, and a maxim (usually from the writings of St. Francis of Assisi) are chosen for each member, along with the name of another member who’s your Prayer Partner for the year. This means YOU are interceding for THEM in prayer (the term’s a little vague, but that’s the intent). My fraternity, though, doesn’t meet until the end of the month, so I’ll have to wait until January 28 to find out my saint and virtue for the year.

So I’ll get a saint for the year, but it’ll be a while yet.


Four: What about last year’s Saint of the Year?

This is the second time I’ve had St. Angela of Foligno as my patron saint. Clearly I hadn’t learned enough the first time around, and I don’t think I’ve done better this year. We’re supposed to spend some time studying about our saint, learning about their lives. I know that St. Angela had a radical conversion experience and was a mystic and poet. Being the practical sort, I tend not to even try relating to a saint who was a mystic and poet.


Five: What’s for dinner?

Tonight we had Barbecue Chicken Shepherd’s Pie. I had some leftover potato filling from last week’s pierogi, and I didn’t want to waste it. Probably wouldn’t have had leftover pierogi filling, but the children insisted that we try filling some pierogi with buffalo chicken dip. (I didn’t try those.)

Anyway, the shepherd’s pie with the pierogi potatoes? Highly recommend.


Six: What’s the plan?

I’m road-testing a new-to-me planner this New Year: the Saintmaker planner. It’s got a LOT going on, and I think I’ll be easing into it, but I spent some time today working through some goals in the extensive goal-setting section right up in the front of the book—and that was definitely a useful practice. This planner is a combination spiritual journal/planner, and I’m excited to try it out, since it’s completely different from other planners I’ve used before.

You can use code FRANCISCANMOM to save 10% off your planner, and expect some peeks inside on Instagram in the near future.


Seven: What am I looking forward to?

Tomorrow, Notre Dame plays in the Gator Bowl. I’m ready! My daughter gave me ND pajamas, and I don’t care that the game starts at 3:30 PM: I’m wearing them. I’ll also have my Joe Montana jersey, ND socks, and leprechaun sneakers to complete the Obnoxious Fan look. Still need to think up a good meatless game-day dinner (something quick that I can whip up during halftime). But at the moment, I’m not motivated (see also: take 2).


You can tell this is a stock photo and not really me, because nail polish doesn’t happen around here.




Copyright 2022 Barb Szyszkiewicz
Images: Stencil
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5 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes: End-of-Year FOMO Edition

  1. I am looking forward to my own Word of the Year and Saint of the Year…. This has been a practice of mine for many, many years too. I look forward to discovering your when you can make the announcement. 😇Hugs to you until then!!

  2. I’ve never heard of the “Extraction of Saints”–that is so cool! I think it’s neat that the saint chosen is paired up with a maxim. What a cool practice! It’s also neat to hear about your ND game festivities. I’m not a huge sports person, but one of my brothers is currently a student at ND, and it’s fun to hear him talk about it 🙂

    Also, I’ve definitely noticed myself getting more and more sucked into the internet and social media over the past couple months–and it is so easy for it to have a negative effect on me! I see a lot of good in it (it’s a very nice way to share books, ideas, and photos with others), but I’m trying to think of a realistic way I can temper my use.

    • I’m not sure if this is a general Franciscan practice or particular to Polish Franciscans or those associated with a particular province of Conventual Franciscans–I’m kind of in the middle of the Venn diagram of all of those!
      There’s definitely a need for me to cut back on the socials; I use “work” as an excuse but that only works so much of the time. Or maybe I just need to stay off Instagram.

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