Why subscribe?

I don’t believe in boring writing.

Who are you?

I’m Renée.

I studied theatre and theology at the University of Notre Dame and journalism at Columbia University. I am an artist, first and foremost. And art has given me a framework to think about religion, life, and labor that has led me to theology, journalism, and the Catholic Worker. I write plays for fun, which is how it should be, and write about the world as work, and you can read some of my recent writing below.

What do you write?

  • The Catholic Worker on the internet in US Catholic, March 2024. Read here.

  • Two Essays in Gracie Morbitzer’s lovely Modern Saints Collection. Purchase here.

  • “iAge of Anxiety,” Notre Dame Magazine, Summer 2023, Read here.

  • “The Anarchism of the Catholic Worker,” The Nation, May 2023, Read here.

  • “Should liturgical items be the work of human hands?” US Catholic, March 2023, Read here.

  • “In a Violent Economy, People of Faith Try Cooperatives,” Sojourners, Dec. 2022. Read here.

  • “Across the U.S., Catholic pilgrims are walking together for racial justice,” America, September 2022. Read here.

  • “What's the State of Maternity Leave in the US Catholic Church?” FemCatholic, March 2022. Read the original story here. And an update here.

  • “The People vs. Mammon,” The Tablet, February 2022. Read here.

  • “Evidence of Dorothy Day’s radical sainthood heads to Rome,” RNS/Associated Press, Dec. 2021. Read here.

  • “Meet Peter Maurin,” Grotto Network, Sept. 2021. Read here.

  • “Catholic Politics Beyond the Catholic Vote,” the revealer, Dec. 2020. Read here.

Also, pieces about Marshall McLuhan, internet religion, the Synod on Synodality, New York City transit, and Catholic Workers all over the wee globe.

What’s the whole Keats thing about?

Some of our literary lineage is concrete and logical, and other artistic and intellectual godparents are more opaque. I love John Keats. His writing, his life, his consumption, his dingy death room by the Spanish Steps have always been the smudgy cerulean horizon behind, around, and before me as I learn how to work well with words.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and to write something so good it becomes a cliché is quite a feat and so true it stays truth despite the cliché is quite the fate.

Why should I give you money?

My writing is my gift to you. Some of it is the spaghetti stick figures of toddlers, some of it may be more excellently crafted, but it is all in various stages of completion, offered with love.

Paul Magno, writing on Peter Maurin’s philosophy of labor says this:

Whatever you have is your gift to offer to others. So he says to workers that they need to see their labor as a gift to offer rather than a commodity to exploit.

Please, accept my gift. And I do welcome gifts in return: a letter, a subscription, your own art and craft. We live in an economy of gift.

In the interest of financial disclosure, your financial contributions will probably go toward student loans, very un-tax-exempt cash gifts to beggars, Thanksgiving and Christmas travel home, and books.

Who were Keats’ subscribers?

If Keats had had a Substack, his Inner Ring of subscribers might have included:

  • Benjamin Robert Haydon

  • Fanny Brawne

  • John Hamilton Reynolds

  • George and Georgiana Keats

  • Charles Brown

And, of course, spiritually, Ben Whishaw, who should—I’ve always been saying this—win a Nobel Prize for his portrayal of Keats.

Who are your subscribers?


To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to Sweet Unrest

imagine if Keats had a newsletter


writing stories for pages and stages