Being Human Podcast - Episode 111: Insights from the East (Part One), w/ Mother Natalia & Her Parents

podcast Jan 01, 2020

Welcome to Episode 111 of the Being Human Podcast: Insights from the East (Part One), w/ Mother Natalia & Her Parents

Joining Dr. Greg to discuss the differences and complementarity of the traditions of the East and the West is Byzantine Catholic nun, Mother Natalia (and her parents)!  In this first of a two-part episode, Mother Natalia reveals fascinating and surprising differences she’s experienced between the two traditions, and shares her journey from the Roman Rite to falling in love with the Eastern liturgy and eventually joining a Byzantine Catholic monastic community of women. 

Discussed in this episode:

  • Meet Mother Natalia and her parents, David and Barbara Olsen; 
  • Mother’s struggle with scrupulosity and its impact on discernment; 
  • How the diversity of rites that exist within the Catholic Church can all be in communion with Rome;
  • Differences between the East and West despite the fact that there is no actual East/West split in the body of Christ;
  • The lack of Eucharstic adoration in the Eastern tradition;
  • How “the cure fits the disease” and the specific traditions that developed in each rite as ways to counteract particular heresies;
  • The East as a more feminine counterpart to the more masculine West, and how we can look to both to learn more about complementarity;
  • The particular ways that all five senses are engaged during celebration of the Eastern liturgy;
  • Differences between the East and West as impacting spirituality but not what is fundamentally Catholic;
  • Making room for the cultural differences that impact the liturgy;
  • Our call as Catholics to “breathe with both lungs” of the Church and grow through complementarity as manifested in the Eastern and Western traditions.

Resources mentioned or relevant: 

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About Mother Natalia 

Mother Natalia entered Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton, Ohio in 2015 and has been a rasophore nun since 2016. She made her life profession on September 26, 2021. As a military kid, Mother Natalia grew up in a variety of places from Cuba to Denver.  She earned her B.S. in Engineering Physics from Colorado School of Mines.  Her route to monasticism passed through urban missions both with A Simple House of Sts. Francis and Alphonsus and teaching high school math in the inner city.  Though her role in the monastery is wide, Mother Natalia spends much of her time coordinating all the guest logistics ensuring visitors are received with hospitality.  She co-hosts the What God Is Not podcast with Father Michael.


About Dr. Greg and the CatholicPsych Institute

Dr. Bottaro is a clinical psychologist and founder of the CatholicPsych Institute. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound, empirically validated psychology.

Before his degree, Dr. Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs). He lived four years in the Bronx, serving the poor in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. Under the mentorship of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, this experience helped him form a spirituality based on Abandonment to Divine Providence which he now applies to psychological principles in his practice. He learned from Fr. Benedict how to discern God's voice and live a life in service to others.

Six years after leaving NYC as a friar, he returned as a psychologist. The CatholicPsych Institute began there in 2012 and has since grown to 5 offices with 12 therapists serving clients around the globe.

Dr. Bottaro now lives in Connecticut with his wife Barbra and their seven children. He actively avoids watching the news and spends his free time thinking up crazy new ideas on how to make the world a better place.