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Author Archive: Julie Machado

Julie Machado is a 30-year-old Portuguese-American who grew up in California, but moved to Portugal to study theology. She now lives there, along with the rest of her family, her husband and her children. She believes the greatest things in life are small and hidden and that the extraordinary is in the ordinary. She blogs at Marta, Julie e Maria.

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The Message of Fatima for Mothers

August 1, AD2017 1 Comment
The Message of Fatima for Mothers

One hundred years ago an angel, then Our Lady, appeared to three poor shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Much was recorded by Sister Lucia, one of the children, who was asked to write about this event by the Bishop of Leiria, now the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, and by priests, journalists and historians since then. Although […]

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Pope Francis Visits Fatima: An Interview with Two Pilgrims

July 4, AD2017 0 Comments
Pope Francis Visits Fatima: An Interview with Two Pilgrims

Pope Francis came to Fatima, Portugal on May 12-13, 2017, which marked the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to the three shepherd children. I live in Portugal, but unfortunately I was unable to be present. I did interview two of my friends who were there. Vanessa Machado is 34 years old, a […]

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Pornography and Mortification

May 6, AD2017 6 Comments
Pornography and Mortification

Pornography as we know it is still a very new reality. New studies come out with frequency that reveal pornography’s harmful effects on users. Addictions used to be thought of as only linked to substances, but we now know that what triggers pleasure in the brain without any substance, such as pornography, can also cause […]

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The Stories of a Snack, Capris, a Mint, and a House

April 4, AD2017 1 Comment
The Stories of a Snack, Capris, a Mint, and a House

I recently heard for a second time the story of why a friend feels called to be a stay-at-home mom. I had heard it before, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. When I heard it the second time I realized: Wow, this is really the story behind why she made this enormous, self-sacrificial, […]

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A Reflection on La La Land

March 2, AD2017 6 Comments
A Reflection on La La Land

(Spoiler Alert: This reflection contains information about the movie’s ending.) The recently released movie La La Land from director Damien Chazelle, featuring actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, is stunning. The singing and dancing explode on the screen and the human body is portrayed through dance in its full beauty. Ryan Gosling plays a charming, […]

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If You Love, You Change

February 4, AD2017 0 Comments
If You Love, You Change

We have just gotten over some minor illnesses here at home, colds and pink eye. Even though we are just a family of four, it seems like what we catch already goes around. I’ve heard that in large families, illnesses travel through each family successively, whether they are four or fourteen. I guess that’s family: […]

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Show Me Your Sportsmanship: I’ll Show You Your Culture

January 5, AD2017 5 Comments
Show Me Your Sportsmanship: I’ll Show You Your Culture

Having grown up in the United States, I thought it was common knowledge that playing sports is a school of morality, character training, and indispensable to a child’s upbringing. Now that I live in Portugal and am raising my children here, I see that is not the case in other places around the world; such […]

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No Condemnation, Even for a Pedophile

December 8, AD2016 12 Comments
No Condemnation, Even for a Pedophile

A few months ago, I defriended someone on Facebook not only because I barely knew this person, but because a post of his bothered me so much and haunted me for days. He had posted a news story about a person I knew from high school who had been arrested for sexually abusing children. As […]

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Trump Embodies the American Spirit

November 6, AD2016 3 Comments
Trump Embodies the American Spirit

Like most people, I avoid talking about politics. Living in Europe, and during this presidential election, that means especially American politics. I think Trump, everything he is and stands for, particularly shocks Europeans. They are very fond of Hillary: tax the wealthy until the last penny (the word “socialist” is a compliment here), make everything […]

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The Nature of Woman is Gestational

October 6, AD2016 9 Comments
The Nature of Woman is Gestational

I have chosen to be a stay-at-home mom, so naturally, I spend a lot of time at home. Now that I have a newborn, though, I feel like a recluse. We still have to get out at least once a day because my two-year-old needs it, but I feel very immobile. We carefully plan, organize nap […]

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The Devil Wants You Isolated

September 3, AD2016 13 Comments
The Devil Wants You Isolated

  I write this article thinking about a friend. This friend is Catholic and recently got into a situation which is obviously not very good for her, involving renting a room and a single, older man. Instinctively, I am sure she knows deep down this was a bad decision, although she tried to play it […]

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Childbirth, Abortion, Contraception and Violence on a Woman’s Body

August 8, AD2016 0 Comments
Childbirth, Abortion, Contraception and Violence on a Woman’s Body

I recently had my second baby and informed myself a lot more on natural labor and birth than the first time around. It was amazing to learn how the woman’s body works in labor and birth, especially the uterus. The woman’s uterus thins at the bottom, thickens at the top and pushes the baby out […]

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In Defense of the Journey

June 11, AD2016 5 Comments
In Defense of the Journey

I think getting married early, even as early as 18 or 20, is a wonderful thing. Maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age and there is no guarantee that getting married later will help you stay married longer. I also think that having children early, in your twenties, is a wonderful thing. Your body is much […]

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Christian Projects: a Drop in the Ocean of Negativity

May 12, AD2016 0 Comments
Christian Projects: a Drop in the Ocean of Negativity

Here in Portugal, as in most parts of the world, there are a lot of heart-wrenching political changes being made. Abortion was legalized in 2007, same-sex “marriage” in 2010 and adoption by same-sex couples just last year. Now euthanasia is being “discussed”, what is referred to as “sexual education” is being more and more pushed […]

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Motivated by Love: Working Despite Criticism

April 12, AD2016 9 Comments
Motivated by Love: Working Despite Criticism

One of the hardest maxims to put into practice has got to be Mother Teresa’s advice: We must deliberately renounce all desires to see the fruit of our labor, doing all we can as best we can, leaving the rest in the hands of God. What matters is the gift of yourself, the degree of […]

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Homeschooling and Over-schooling

December 20, AD2015 5 Comments
Homeschooling and Over-schooling

Homeschooling is a radical proposition. Not sending your kids to school, an institution that has been a centerpiece and hallmark of our society for hundreds of years, is extreme. How many movies and books feature scenes that happen at school? How many childhood memories revolve around school activities, teachers, festivities? Homeschooling is a drastic choice, […]

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Human Trafficking, Portugal and Prayer

October 22, AD2015 3 Comments
Human Trafficking, Portugal and Prayer

The Pope’s prayer intention for the month of October is that “human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated”. Having grown up in a small town in California, I never encountered or seriously thought about human trafficking for sexual exploitation. As soon as I moved to Europe, however, that changed. Perhaps just as […]

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Compassion: The Refugee Crisis

September 29, AD2015 2 Comments
Compassion: The Refugee Crisis

While watching the movie The Good Lie about refugees from Sudan last weekend, I couldn’t help thinking about how vulnerable one must be as a refugee;  to have absolutely nothing, not even the basic necessities of life. It is not even to be dependent on another for these necessities, but to be looking for another […]

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Full-Time Mother: My Decision Of Vocation

August 28, AD2015 7 Comments
Full-Time Mother: My Decision Of Vocation

I have recently taken the plunge of quitting my job and officially becoming a full-time mother. This might sound cliché on these circles of Catholic blogs, but for me, especially living in Portugal, it is outrageous. While about 29% of mothers stay at home in the USA, only 6.3% do so in Europe. Plus, Portugal […]

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