Fish Out of Water

Fish Out of Water

At work, I live and breathe Catholic theology. I edit books on Church history, apologetics, and doctrine. But at home, my religious discussions with my Episcopalian husband are usually limited to my revisiting a topic that perennially confuses me. For no particular reason, I’ll fix a furrowed brow on him and ask:

“Do you know who founded the Catholic Church?”

“Yup. Jesus.”

“Do you know who founded your Church?”

“Yup. Henry the Eighth.”

“And you’re OK with that?”



Every Lent, though, the poor man has to remind me that Episcopalians are not precisely the unchurched pagans I am sometimes guilty of imagining them to be. As we sat down to dinner last night, I apologized for the fish: “Sorry. It’s a Catholic/Lent thing.” My youngest and I exchanged a glance that communicated a certain superiority and pity for the man’s soul.

“I know. We do Lent, too.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Yes, we do.”

“Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure, yeah.”


We seem to focus so much on what separates us from other people—nationality, creed, political views, dietary habits—that it is always a surprise, somehow, to see how much we share with one another. This Lent, I’m going to dust off some of those comparative theology textbooks and try to understand a little more about beliefs that are unfamiliar to me. Meanwhile, I hope to invite a few neighbors to Mass so they can learn a little about the faith I cherish.

Who knows? By Easter, I might be charitable enough to roast up a big Henry VIII-style turkey leg for my groom.


About the Author

Kathleen M. Carroll is the managing editor for the book department at Franciscan Media. She loves reading, gardening, animals, babies, baby animals, and extreme recycling. She is the stay-away-from-home mother to four really good-looking children. And no, she will not read your manuscript.
  • Evelyn Roberts

    Not that I have a manuscript; however, why do you take time to say you will not read anyone’s manuscript?

    • Katie

      Hi Evelyn!

      Great question! It’s because no matter where I am–the bus, in line at the grocery store, out to dinner–the first question I hear when I tell people I’m an editor is, “Will you read my manuscript?” I’m not sure what line of work you’re in, but I’m sure you would soon tire of mentioning your profession only to have people respond, “Oh, you’re a teacher? Could you teach my nephew to read?” or “Oh, you’re a doctor? Would you take a look at this goiter?” I love my work, but I like to keep it separate from the other things I do in life.


  • Liz Kayne

    Katie, there are some great books out there to help .. Even though your husband is an Episcopalian, try Karl Keating’s book, Catholicism & Fundamentalism. I found it gave me a great “grip” on my faith and provided me with great “arguments’ – it is a book for true apologists. Then look at some of Raymond E. Brown’s books on biblical exegesis; lighter side – read Patrick Madrid. I left Catholicism for 35 yrs and was an Episcopalian. It is still a protestant religion. I am glad to be back to Roman Catholicism.

    • Katie

      Hi Liz!

      Thanks for the comment and the great advice. Welcome back across the Tiber!

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