Learn more about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious or order a signed copy!
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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A post for Mary’s birthday…. overcoming my misperceptions about Mary…

Today is Mary’s birthday!!!  And I’m so happy that it is. But I was not always Mary’s fan girl.

From my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious…

I was slow to follow Mary’s example in my life. Earlier, I did not trust her example. I’ll share the roadblocks I’ve had, in case you’ve had some. So let’s consider my early misgivings about Mary.

I mentioned how I came to know Jesus in my teens, and as I did, I read the bible more and more. Of course I came across Mary in the New Testament. Broadly speaking, I never discounted Mary’s role in God’s plan. I just never included her in any of mine. I kept a cordial distance and never openly disparaged her or the people devoted to her. I adopted a kind of live-and-let-live attitude towards her devotees.

Mary had little influence on me in my teens and twenties. Even though I had a Catholic upbringing, I have to say that the socio-political influences often held sway. The culture stressed a powerful feminism; it preached a woman’s empowerment. I was schooled in the cultural cliché that told women that you are what you do. My generation was among the first expected to compete with men––not rely on them or trust them. “I am woman, hear me roar” was a common mantra. There was so much to achieve, and I was an eager achiever.

There was very little appreciation for the Blessed Virgin Mary in me, let alone an urge to follow her example. I had no personal connection to Mary save that I had inherited my grandmother’s Rosary beads. (I had little gratitude for that gift until years later.)

From the gospel accounts, I knew Mary was necessary for the Incarnation to take place so that Jesus, who is God, could become a man. Mary also showed up at the foot of the Cross when Jesus died. Other than that, Mary and I had a passing acquaintance. I saw her as a religious figure in history rather than someone significant to me.

I loved Jesus although I lived as if Mary, his mother, were optional. She was outside my radar. I dismissed her as unnecessary to my spiritual growth and life. Jesus was enough for me.

My dulled ideas about Mary came through the opinions of others. It was like I believed gossip about Mary, never giving her the benefit of the doubt. Looking back and pondering Mary’s role in my life now, I regret my mistakes. I would never want people to trust gossip or falsehoods about me, but I easily adopted others’ opinions of Mary. No questions asked. I claimed I loved scripture, but my impressions were neither rooted in scripture nor Church teaching.

My misconceptions about Mary came from three sources.

First, some Catholics treated Mary as “old school,” a relic from the past. After Vatican II, in the New York area where I grew up, many churches dropped formal devotions to Mary and the saints. The Rosary and other prayer practices like novenas and chaplets were not emphasized. Basically, I ignored Mary.

Second, there was the feminist argument. What could a first-century Galilean woman possibly have in common with a woman like me? What did Mary know about my life? What did she know about going to college, getting a job, and having to earn a living? After all, she lived in a repressive patriarchal culture. She had no power. These days, women are powerful. We need strong heroines, not “handmaids”, as Mary had called herself. I viewed Mary as weak.

The third source of my disregard came from non-Catholic friends and colleagues. A few accused Catholics of worshipping Mary. The Ten Commandments prohibit false gods, and that would include worship of any creature. Since I did not know much about Mary, I could not defend her against such accusations.

Today I know that the Catholic Church teaches that we worship Jesus alone. Mary is not some goddess. She is a flesh-and-blood human creature created by God. Indeed, the Church teaches that Mary worships Jesus like we do. We worship Jesus with Mary and with the saints and angels. The honor we give to Mary and the saints is veneration. Therefore, we hold them with the highest human esteem, with a special kind of devotion and love that is lower than our worship. Adoration is reserved for God alone. Catholics don’t pray to Mary. We ask for her intercession, just like we ask a good friend to pray for us and with us. Catholics pray with Mary.

Eventually, as I pondered my own conversations with Jesus, I learned two things. One, that my early ideas about Mary were incorrect. And two, I was ignoring someone Jesus loved.

Get the rest of the story.

Ladies: The Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious one-day retreat comes to Elkhart IN – May 9! Join me!

Ladies: The Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious one-day retreat comes to Elkhart IN – May 9! Join me!

I’m hoping you’ll join me for a day-long retreat just for us girls! This women’s event, even though it is on Mother’s Day Weekend, is not just for Moms! We love Moms, of course! But the day is a celebration of the feminine genius — and that’s all women! I’ll be offering three talks on the three aspects I covered in Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious — our blessed dignity, our beautiful gifts, and our bodacious — most excellent — mission!

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Catholic Women’s Ministries

This event is sponsored by “Be It Done” Catholic Women’s Ministries representing women from six different parishes from the Catholic Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, and hosted at St Vincent de Paul parish in Elkhart.

Come one, come all!  Sign up here! Buy the book here!

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Give yourself and your girlfriends the gift of faith, fellowship, food, and fun! All the details are here. 


Too many snow storms = Too many books left over! Take advantage of my overstock discount on Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious!

Too many snow storms = Too many books left over! Take advantage of my overstock discount on Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious!

There were three New England events that I was speaking at this past winter where snow storms were a factor in attendance. In other words, I’ve got extra books on hand that I’m selling at a discount. I’ll send you a signed copy for $10.95, plus shipping. This price is lower than the current retail price and many of the prices online.

Order your signed copies here. (US orders only.)

This is a perfect book for Mother’s Day, bridal or baby showers, graduations, and more!

Looking for a great book club book for the women in your life? Order your copies during this sale and get personalized copies! Then email me (pat.gohn@comcast.net) and request the free study guide to duplicate for your group members!

This sale will last until May 1 or until the supply is gone! Order today! 

Note: Any orders that come in now through April 5, will ship the week of April 6.

I must thank St John Paul II and Ave Maria Press: Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is now in Polish!

I must thank St John Paul II and Ave Maria Press: Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is now in Polish!



What a thrill to see this book now in print in the mother tongue of St John Paul II — the author of all good things related to the feminine genius.

Super that the book will be available for when World Youth Day comes to Krakow, Poland in 2016.

(I did not know that this was in the works… my publisher totally surprised me… I was innocently opening the mail and found 4 copies of the new book.)

Do I have any Polish speaking readers here? Contact me!


My #BBB book plus all Ave Maria Press titles NOW 35% OFF thru Nov 30!

My #BBB book plus all Ave Maria Press titles NOW 35% OFF thru Nov 30!

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Use the BLACK14 code when you place an order at Ave Maria Press. 

Lots of great new titles from Lisa Hendey, Fr Robert Reed, Sr Miriam James Heidland, Eve Tushnet and more. Check out this great sale! 

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Here’s my book too: Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious.

Thank you, WINGS at St John The Baptist, Folsom!

Thank you, WINGS at St John The Baptist, Folsom!

The WINGS team and me: St John the Baptist, Folsom CA

The WINGS team and me: St John the Baptist, Folsom CA

Another Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious retreat was experienced in the Garden Room of St John the Baptist, Folsom. I am grateful to the WINGS leadership for bringing me out there to pray and share with the women in attendance — including my pal, author Lisa Hendey, who decided to be my ride and wing-woman for the event!

A special shout out to Tricia and Bonnie — Among Women listeners (pictured at the top of the page) who traveled to the event!

Over 1100 women have experienced this retreat. You can too! Invite me to your parish, diocese, or retreat house.

My next event will be at St Joseph’s in Babylon, New York.

In 2015, I’ll be in Southington CT, Billings MT, and Elkhart IN. Stay in touch with future bookings at my speaking page.

Thanks to St Marello’s Bookstore for a great event!

Thanks to St Marello’s Bookstore for a great event!


St Marello Bookstore, next to St Joachim’s Church.

Following my recent talk at the Diocese of Fresno Congress, I traveled up north for a book signing and a talk in Madera, CA. St Joachim’s Church is blessed to have an amazing Catholic book and religious supply store right on its campus, St Marello Bookstore. 

I was privileged to visit and offer a talk for women there, as well as offering some encouraging remarks at the end of the English speaking Masses there. The talk also dovetailed nicely with the parish’s kick off of Endow — where I got to share the podium with Emily Espinosa – the new Program Director for Endow.

Emily Espinosa, program director at Endow.

With Emily Espinosa, program director at Endow.

My good friend and favorite California girl, author Lisa Hendey, dropped by the event and wielding her trusty smartphone, shot a few more photos.


Me and Mary Ann Hutcherson, store manager.

It's always an honor to sign a book for a reader.

It’s always an honor to sign a book for a reader.


You are amazing. You are enough. So am I.

You are amazing. You are enough. So am I.

Ok, I just love this…

Once upon a time, I had my own “mirror” moment… a moment when the truth of love shot straight to the heart… only it wasn’t with a mirror — it was with a well-traveled, well-prayed rosary.

I talk about it in my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious…

Sensitivity is a profound orientation in women that makes them quick to sense, or detect, people needing love, care, or nurture. A woman’s sensitivity picks up the cues or signals others give, and it makes her receptive nature ready to respond. It is easy to see the connection with a woman’s receptivity. Sensitivity is also deeply attuned to a woman’s maternal sensibilities (as we find out in the next chapter).

Sensitivity is both emotional and spiritual; it leads a woman to be present and ready to love and serve someone in terms of direct care and intentional prayer. A woman’s sensitivity makes connections between people and thoughtfully assists those in need.

Many times I have been on the magnificent receiving end of another woman’s sensitivity, most especially when it flows from women who are my family and friends. I have also experienced it through the different women’s ministries in my local parish.

Some of my fondest memories from my stay-at-home mothering years in New York come from my belonging to a parish prayer group for mothers. It was a weekly group, dubbed “Mothers’ Morning of Prayer,” for mothers and children to visit together to pray the Rosary aloud for one another’s intentions and needs. It was a strong source of spiritual support and friendship for me for many years.

In time, my husband’s work necessitated a move to Massachusetts. We were not looking to move away from our longtime home, so it was a hard decision. Before we left, the mother’s group gave us a lovely sendoff, complete with a Mass, a dinner, a keepsake photo album, and parting gifts for our new home. Most important, however, was their promise of their continued prayers. Not only that, the women challenged me to start a new Rosary group in my new town if one did not exist. In time, those prayers were answered. After finding some receptive women, Mothers’ Morning of Prayer was born in my new parish.

Two years later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Talk about tears! The physical lump in my breast was nothing compared to the silent lump that formed each day in my throat. It was often hard to talk aloud about this situation, since my young children were always around me. Yet I let the tears and fears wash my face when I was alone or with Bob, so as to minimize the impact on my children. When I was in public, at school with the children, or at church, the women who knew my circumstances helped me keep it together.

 I found endearing comfort—and the rhythm of normalcy—praying the Rosary each week in the company of those women from my parish. One day, without my knowledge, someone passed around a set of Rosary beads to all the women in the group. Each woman prayed for me on those beads. Then, again, unbeknownst to me, they sent the same Rosary beads to my former prayer group in New York, where the women there did the same thing.

Shortly before my surgery for a mastectomy and reconstruction, I walked out to the mailbox to retrieve the daily mail. A box arrived addressed to me with the recognizable handwriting of a dear friend from New York. I did not even make it back into the house. Right there I had to open it. Out came the well-traveled, well-prayed Rosary, plus dozens of cards and letters from all the New Yorkers who lifted prayers to heaven for me.

I cannot tell you the blessings I experienced in those minutes. For a few moments, time stood still, worry and stress dissipated. Joy at being spiritually and emotionally cared for, mingled with invisible long-distant hugs from friends and old neighbors, flooded my heart and leaked profusely from my eyes. I just sat in the grass in the front yard, as tears poured out of me, and grace poured over me.

These women and their families had been reaching out to heaven on my behalf for weeks and weeks. Then they found a tangible way to share those prayers with me, through the gift of that Rosary and their written messages of hope. My kitchen soon became wallpapered in well-wishes and cards.

That was just the beginning; their spiritual concern would turn into full-fledged physical compassion and beautiful service in the days to come.

A six-week recovery followed my surgery, when I needed rest, medication, and help orchestrating the family’s schedule. I had a limited range of motion and was banned from driving—a tough situation for a busy suburban mom with children who were three, six, and nine. It was not a worry for these faith-filled women from the local Rosary group. Together with my sisters and parents, they made sure meals and carpools and laundry and housework were covered. If there was a need, someone was there to fill it, almost immediately.

What a boon—a godsend—to my husband, my children, and me. Just as Mary and others walked with Jesus on the way to Calvary, my support group was with me all the way. I was not alone in carrying my cross.

Four years later, deep into my cancer survivorship, another beautiful moment came from the hearts of these same sensitive women. For my fortieth birthday, the same two groups of women threw a surprise party at a geographically central location in Connecticut. There, the two groups from Massachusetts and New York were united for one special afternoon.

I cannot thank these beautiful women enough. Through them I healed in ways that could only come from God—thanks to their hearts being sensitive to his Spirit. Not only was I touched on the occasion of my birthday—each one a milestone for a cancer survivor—but their concern for my inner life brought an additional blessing. Missing my family and friends in New York was always a small emotional cross in relocating to Massachusetts. Through the new Rosary group, I put down roots in a new town, and survived a major health crisis with phenomenal support. On that birthday, looking across the room at the faces of those women was overwhelming. Through their prayer and care, the two sides of my heart, my old life and my new life, came together.