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Archives for September 2015

I’m at World Meeting of Families… some links, photos, and an espresso shot Among Women to get started

I’m at World Meeting of Families… some links, photos, and an espresso shot Among Women to get started

There’s been so much to do in the last few days, and I’m hard pressed for time to share it all, but here’s a few posts that review some my journey to the World Meeting of Families, plus a new podcast with the jubilant voices of some of the participants I’ve met from around the world… from the sidewalks of Philadelphia and PA convention center hallways.

Listen to the Among Women Espresso Shot #2: the World Meeting of Families


I’m blessed to be sharing this with my globe-trotting good friend, Lisa Hendey –– who is truly in her element. This is how I see Lisa several times an hour… sharing her experiences on social media. She is breathtakingly committed to sharing this far and wide…. and I’m in awe of her.


This will be how I will remember seeing her… discovering all that is good, and in a relentless search

In search of coffee...

for coffee…

Read Lisa Hendey’s posts here and here.

And don’t miss Lisa’s Aleteia report on her mid-week trek to see and hear the Pope in Washington DC.


There was much time spent around the Ave Maria Press booth.


With Helen Alvare, Teresa Tomeo, Lisa Hendey, and Catherine (Helen’s daughter).

And several reunions with friends so far…


Meeting the amazing Diana von Glahn, center.



With Terry Polakovic, who is soon to be retired from Endow.



with the Daughters of St Paul.



With “Ben.”



And with a liberty bell replica at the media center.


We did get to see the real Liberty Bell, in front of Independence Hall.


Hope to be back with more soon!




Schedule for Ave Maria Press Book Signings at #WMF2015. Meet me & others at Booth 742!

Schedule for Ave Maria Press Book Signings at #WMF2015. Meet me & others at Booth 742!

Awesome book resources from many of Ave Maria Press’ authors can be found at booth #742 at the World Meeting of Families! Hope to see you this Wednesday at 2pm!

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015
4 p.m.–Live broadcast with Greg and Lisa Popcak

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015
9:45 a.m–live broadcast with Grace Urbanski
10 a.m.–Grace Urbanski and Susie Lloyd book signing
11 a.m.–live broadcast with Sr. Terry Rickard
12:45 p.m.–live broadcast with Teresa Tomeo1-59471-370-7_
1 p.m.–Teresa Tomeo book signing
2 p.m.–book signing with Pat Gohn and Lisa Hendey
3:15 p.m.–live broadcast with Lisa Hendey and Pat Gohn

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015
9:45 a.m.–live broadcast with Marge Fenelon
10 a.m.–book signing with Marge Fenelon
12:45 p.m.–live broadcast with Lisa Duffy
1:30 p.m.–book signing with Lisa Duffy
1 p.m.–book signing with Fr. Michael White
3 p.m.–live broadcast with Fr. Michael White
5:15 p.m.–book signing with Carmen Santamaria and Angelique Ruhi-Lopez
5:45 p.m.–live broadcast with Carmen and Angelique
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It’s like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl. #PopeIsHope #goodiswinning #PopeinPhilly

It’s like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl. #PopeIsHope #goodiswinning #PopeinPhilly

I feel like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl! And we’re all rooting for the same team! It seems to me that the World Meeting of Families (WMF) has morphed into the World Meeting with Francis, and I could not be happier. So many details, so many people coming to see him. I’ll be part of the Philadelphia audience for Pope Francis’ first ever visit to the US!

IMG_0057I’ll be on the road with one of my favorite globe-trotters, and good friend, Lisa Hendey. I know she’ll be in high demand, media maven that she is, and I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two. Look for her tweets and mine, and follow us on Facebook. I’m not yet on Instagram and Periscope but Lisa is! And be sure to follow and use the hashtags #goodiswinning #PopeIsHope #PopeinPhilly and #PopeInUS.

We’re looking forward to interviewing people about this experience as well! And writing it about of course. I hope to get some good Espresso for Among Women!

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The WMF’s theme is “Love is Our Mission.” Spend the $10 on this book that is about 100 pages and breaks out this mission. It’s wonderful.

Want to know more about World Meeting of Families, go here. Read about its themes here. 

It all started with the World Meeting of Families that was scheduled to meet in Philadelphia September 22-26. And then the Pope decided to join us too, and now there’s not just #PopeinPhilly, the Pope is coming to Washington DC to address Congress, and canonize Blessed Junipero Serra* at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception — another saint for the Americas! — and visit the city of my birth, NEW YORK! Check out the papal schedule for the US.


Oh and that’s not all, before he flies to the US, Francis is making an important visit to Cuba. Here’s more on that from my friend, Maria Morera Johnson…For her, it’s a faith pilgrimage as well as a personal one.


*See my post about my pilgrimage to Blessed Serra’s mission and grave with Lisa Hendey.


My thanks to Terry Polakovic…

My thanks to Terry Polakovic…

Those of you familiar with Among Women, or my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, may recognize Terry Polakovic’s name. Terry was one of the founders for Endow, a wonderful ministry to women that specializes in educating on the nature and dignity of women. She later became its President and one of the more public faces of the organization over the last 14 years. Endow’s growth has been powerful, and has now spread to hundreds of women’s groups throughout North America.

Over the years, I’ve endorsed Endow — a fabulous collection of studies for women on the feminine genius and so much more — and I will continue to do so.

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Terry Polakovic

Terry graciously penned the foreword for my book, and was a guest on my show, in the early days when I was just getting Among Women off the ground. (Terry was a guest on AW #24.) We also worked together on a webinar for Ave Maria Press when my book was published. She has been such an inspiration to me.

I have just learned that Terry Polakovic is stepping down from her position at Endow. She will be missed. But I’m so happy that our paths crossed along the way.

Thank you, Terry, for your wonderful and prayerful support of my book and my work. Your graciousness and friendship have been a true blessing, even from across the country, and amidst a busy calendar. I’m grateful for the few projects we’ve shared, and I wish you all the best in the years ahead.

In other news, Terry Polakovic is slated to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. I hope to see her there!


Here’s the letter that Terry wrote to Endow’s followers about her news of her retirement and introduces the new President, from the Endow newsletter.

There is a beautiful passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes, which tells us: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” I am one of the founders of Endow and for nearly 14 years, I have had the privilege of leading this organization.  I will be forever grateful to God for giving me this opportunity as I have loved every minute of it.  However, during this past year, I have come to realize that my season is over.  Consequently, I will retire from Endow on September 30, 2015.

When we began this apostolate, I was terrified.  I felt certain that it was a call from God, but I was completely unprepared for the task ahead.  I had grown up Catholic, but I was not accustomed to speaking openly about my faith.  Added to that is the fact that I honestly didn’t know very much about my faith.  But there was a pull in my heart to say “yes” and once I did, God literally did the rest.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., who was the Archbishop of Denver at that time gave us his support, as well as an office in the Chancery.  Sister Prudence Allen, RSM, Ph.D., who is a world expert in Catholic feminism providentially moved to Denver to help start our new seminary at exactly the same time that we were starting Endow. For five years, she taught us about the writings of Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and other Catholic thinkers and saints. Additionally, then-Bishop José H. Gomez, S.T.D. (now the Archbishop of Los Angeles) joined our board of directors and it was his guidance that helped launched the organization.  All of  these years later, Archbishop Gomez still serves as our spiritual director.

Most importantly, through all of these years God has sent women to Endow and He is still sending them.  Thousands of them.  All of these women are open and eager to learn, as they search for something different than what the current culture has to offer.  Inherently, as women we know that we are made for more than what the secular world proposes.  Thankfully, Endow provides a place to look for answers to these important questions.

When I think of what I will miss the most as I leave Endow, it is definitely the men and women I have met along the way. People have asked me if there is one story that stands out more than the rest, and truly there isn’t.  Every single person I have met has a unique story, and each one is on his or her own journey, a different journey ordained by God.  As far as God is concerned, each one of us is an only child.

I will carry your stories in my heart and I thank you for enriching my life in ways that were unimaginable to me when we began this apostolate.  A special thanks to Archbishop Chaput for believing in me, to Sister Prudence Allen for teaching me, and to Archbishop Gomez for walking with me every step of the way.

In closing, I am thrilled to tell you that the Acting President is Martha Reichert.  Martha has been involved with Endow for many years, and she started our Outreach Program, which serves women in homeless shelters, jails, and other vulnerable situations. Two years ago, we honored Martha at our annual gala, and if you click hereyou can see the short video that we used to introduce her. As you will see from her letter below she is a women of trumendous faith.

I could not be happier to have Martha follow me in this apostolate that I love so much!

Your Sister in Christ,
Terry Polakovic

Splinter from the Cross – this little poem never ceases to inspire me

Splinter from the Cross IMG_3401

Little headaches, little heartaches
Little griefs of every day.
Little trials and vexations,
How they throng around our way!
One great cross, immense and heavy,
so it seems to our weak will,
Might be borne with resignation,
But these many small ones kill.
Yet all life is formed of small things,
Little leaves, make up the trees,
Many tiny drops of water
Blending, make the mighty seas.
Let us not then by impatience
Mar the beauty of the whole,
But for love of Jesus bear all
In the silence of our soul.
Asking Him for grace sufficient
To sustain us through each loss,
And to treasure each small offering
As a splinter from His Cross.

– Author Unknown –

Today is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross, as I grew up calling it. Today it is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. But to my meager mind, if you do not understand what a triumph this is, you will never know how to exalt in the cross.

A couple years back I wrote a series of posts related to this theme. 

This makes me think… Jesus is the friend who always has the time…

“There is always a way open to each of the faithful: the way of prayer. Whoever sincerely believes the words “Ask and you shall receive” is given consolation and courage to persevere in every need. Even if it is not the immediate help which, to some extent, the person conceives of and desires, help does come.

For every Catholic there lies ready an immeasurable treasure: the proximity of the Lord in the holy sacrifice and in the most holy sacrament of the altar. Whoever is imbued with a lively faith in Christ present in the tabernacle, whoever knows that a friend awaits here constantly – always with the time, patience, and sympathy to listen to complaints, petitions, and problems, with counsel and help in all things – this person cannot remain desolate and forsaken even under the greatest difficulties. He always has a refuge where quietude and peace can again be found.”

Edith Stein, Edith Stein, Collected Works II, Essays on Women

(Later known as St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

Remembering 9/11: a tribute to Yolanda, a tour of the Memorial in NYC, and a call to service

Remembering 9/11: a tribute to Yolanda, a tour of the Memorial in NYC, and a call to service

Many of us remember where we were 14 years ago today.

I’ve written about it before here, and here, and here and here and elsewhere.

Today, among the others my extended family knows who died that day, I’d like to focus on one person that we lost.

My mom’s friend, Yolanda Dowling, as my mother tells it, was excited to get a job more local to her home on Long Island. She went into the World Trade Center that morning for what should have been her last day on the job. It was her last day on the planet.

Mary Yolanda Dowling July 22, 1955–September 11, 2001

Mary Yolanda Dowling
July 22, 1955–September 11, 2001

Let us pray for her soul, and all those who mourn her, and all those who mourn this day.


That space in lower Manhattan is holy ground, and Pope Francis is set to visit it for a prayer service on September 25.  The memorial also recalls those lost in Washington DC and in Shanksville, PA.

I’ve yet to be able to make a visit to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. But I’ve benefitted from seeing the memorial site online.

You can do an over-view tour of it here. 

And here’s a short 10 retrospective of the building of the Memorial.

The 9/11 Memorial has its own YouTube channel and there are plenty more videos there to explore.


Finally, there are many people who want to remember 9/11 with a day of service. Being a volunteer in the community is a positive thing. There are many good ideas here. Of course, you don’t just have to volunteer today, you can do it anytime.

Banner photo is a screenshot of what Yolanda’s name looks like on the Memorial Wall,  from here.