She also happens to be a contributor, along with myself and a number of notable Catholics, in a new book - The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet. It will be released at the end of the summer. Jennifer agreed to a short interview and I ask that you keep her in your prayers, because she is due to give birth to another baby very soon.
Here is my interview with Jennifer:
MARCEL - Jennifer, you attended classes at A&M, but were not Catholic at the time. Can you tell our readers a little about your story?
JENNIFER - I spent my freshman and sophomore years at A&M (class of '99). It never occurred to me that I wouldn't graduate as an Aggie; I come from an Aggie family and always thought it was the best school in the world. But at the time I was an atheist, and was really struggling with a lot of the implications of my own worldview, and found that living in such a heavily Christian environment exacerbated my problems. I transferred to the University of Texas for my junior and senior years, but always felt a certain sadness when I thought of not graduating from A&M.
MARCEL - What do you have to say to our non-Catholic readers (esp. atheists and agnostics) about the Catholic faith?
JENNIFER - I encourage them to take just ten seconds to say a sincere prayer and ask God if he wants them to find out more about the Catholic faith. Then listen for an answer -- which may or may not come immediately. Even if you don't believe in God or aren't sold on Catholicism, it couldn't hurt, right?
MARCEL - If you had us read one post from your blog, which would it be?
JENNIFER - I would have them read this one about a prank call gone awry, since it took place in my dorm at A&M (Haas Hall):
MARCEL - Can you tell us a bit about some of your writing? I know you are working on a book. When can our readers buy a copy?
JENNIFER - In addition to my personal blog, I'm blogging at the National Catholic Register and am working on a book about my conversion. The book has been one huge exercise in trusting in God's plan, since it's moving much more slowly than I'd like. I started it in 2008, scrapped a first draft, finally finished a totally new second draft, and my literary agent came back with epic revisions that will take months to complete. Unfortunately it won't be available for purchase any time soon. But the good news is that I think that whenever it is done, it will be very good, and will appeal to a wide audience -- not just Catholics.
MARCEL - What plans do you have for the future?
JENNIFER - To be honest, I don't have any. One of the biggest changes since my conversion is that I really do just take life one week or month at a time. I focus on discerning what God wants me to be doing *right now* and don't worry too much about where I'll be and what I'll have accomplished a year from now. Interestingly, my life is so much more fun and exciting -- and I get a lot more done -- ever since I started living that way.
MARCEL - What advice would you give to the average college student of today?
JENNIFER - I can't emphasize this enough: The path to fulfillment is to discern your vocation and then throw yourself into it. There's so much pressure these days to think that things like career, travel, accomplishments, etc. will make your life awesome. As I know from personal experience, they won't. Sure, having a cool job or traveling to interesting places is nice, but it won't bring you deep, lasting happiness. It won't even bring you that much excitement. If you want to live life to the fullest, try radical obedience to God.