I just came across this Call for Essays for a book about being single and Catholic. The deadline is April 30, which is very close, but the essay length is 500 words or less. Something that could be whipped up in a hurry and still adequately revised in 6 weeks time. The call includes a list of provocative questions to get the juices flowing, too.
I’m not sure if I’m qualified to submit to this market right now, since I’m newly (and unexpectedly) in love and spending much more time pondering relationships than singlehood these days. Even so, I want to say THANK GOD that this book is being written. As someone who has been Catholic since they day I was born (or maybe baptized?) and single for most of my adult life, I’m all-too-aware of the invisibility singles experience in Church settings. I attended church alone for years, and never once did anyone approach me to learn who I was. All the “women’s” events at my parish were really events for wives and mothers. And despite living a very full and fulfilling life, I couldn’t always keep the insecurity of somehow being “less than” at bay (less pretty? less mature? less compassionate? or the big fear lurking at everyone’s core — less lovable?).
This book will be like water in a desert to Catholic, perhaps all, singles. And ultimately, that’s what’s most precious to me about books, and writing: the ability they have to make us feel less alone. When I speak to teenagers for my library job, I often assure them that, no matter what they’re experiencing and how alone it makes them feel, there’s probably a book written about it — proof that someone else has been there, has thought about it. When it comes to this issue, I have been there, and I’m so glad that someone is writing about it.