Too many snow storms = many events with books left over! Check out my book sale going on now! Learn more about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious or order a signed copy!
Ten Principles of Civil Communication: A great way to engage conversation and the new evangelization!

Ten Principles of Civil Communication: A great way to engage conversation and the new evangelization!

Yes, you too can be an evangelist in your own way.

Thanks to Catholic Voices, a lot more people are being trained in communication of the Catholic faith in the media and marketplace of ideas. I really benefitted from their training, and I heartily recommend Austin Ivereigh’s book, around which much of the training revolved: How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice.  

With this great  pamphlet, “Ten Principles of Civil Communication”, you’ll get a short cut to remembering the best ideas and best practices for sharing our Catholic faith in the media, and in conversations with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.

The Top 3 principles are these:

1. Look for the positive intention behind the criticism.

2. Shed light, not heat.

3. People won’t remember so much of what you said, but how you made them feel.

P1703_300Oh, and look! Defending the faith with a combative chip on our shoulder does not make the top 3. Or the top 10.

Find a PDF version for your review here.  Go read it. It’s most excellent. Purchase it here.

A note of caution, you’ve got to buy this pamphlet in sets of 50, that’s just how its sold. Naturally, the publisher thinks the majority of people buying it are purchasing it for parishes, dioceses, or organizations. And if you work in a church, or a Catholic organization, you should share these principles with your membership. My bible study group and local friends are getting a copy of this as soon as my batch of 50 is shipped to me.

Meanwhile, I’m writing to the publisher today and suggesting it be able to sold in smaller quantities, too. But in the absence of actually buying a personal copy, by all means read through the PDF pamphlet and get a tune-up on your ability to witness for the Church.

Among Women 189: Leading with Humility — talking about “The Prodigal You Love”

Among Women 189: Leading with Humility — talking about “The Prodigal You Love”

In this latest episode of Among Women, I discuss the unscheduled hiatus of the show in the last couple of months, as well as my forays into the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. I also welcome my guest, Sr Theresa Aletheia Noble FSP, author of a new book from Pauline Books and Media, The Prodigal You Love: Inviting Loved Ones Back to the Church. St Theresa is a former atheist who returned to the Catholic faith after encountering Catholics whose authentic faith and joy won her over. In this conversation Sr Theresa offers three tip for helping us invite our loved ones back into the Church… the most important of which is to lead with humility.

Finally we explore the life of a 14th century saint, St Dorothy of Montau, whose humility and gentility won the hearts of her husband to Catholicism, as well as many others. Don’t miss the return of Among Women with this newest episode.

Listen now. 

New Radio Shows with Allison Gingras and Lisa Hendey

New Radio Shows with Allison Gingras and Lisa Hendey

A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras — Catholic book enthusiast, Allison Gingras, unpacks a new book each week. Whether you read along or choose to just listen along, Allison promises that anyone with a seeking heart will always be glad they tuned in. The website says that the book selections will span all genres, from faith sharing to murder- mystery; biographical to bible study, and much more.  Listen on Real Life Radio.  I’ll be a guest on Allison’s show this Friday, talking about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious! 

 

Lisa Hendey has re-invented her former podcast, Catholic Moments, on Radio Maria. Listen to Catholic Moments, and enjoy her first show here with guests Fr Robert Reed of Catholic TV, and author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle.

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I’m so excited for these good women, who are good friends. Listen to them!

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9 Days for Life: Join the Novena and Share it!

9 Days for Life: Join the Novena and Share it!

The US Bishops are encouraging us to join in prayer, penance, and pilgrimage to protect life in our nation. Sign up to pray the novena and to receive other prompts by text, email, and more at the USCCB website.

The annual novena “9 Days for Life” takes place Saturday, January 17 – Sunday, January 25. Pray for the respect and protection of all human life with new intentions, brief reflections, and more each day. Download the novena online, or participate through Facebook, email, text message or an app. Join at www.9daysforlife.com! 

I can’t be at the March for Life due to obligations I have at my church, but I can “be there” in prayer — so can you! Let’s do this!

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SQPN’s post-Christmas Podcast Marathon This Saturday!

SQPN’s post-Christmas Podcast Marathon This Saturday!

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A podcast Marathon? Yes! Among Women listeners and others may enjoy this fun fundraiser for SQPN, the Star Quest Production Network– a day long event hosted by many of the SQPN podcasters and affiliates. Tune in from 8am-8pm Eastern at SQPN.com. Among Women is an affiliate and I’m happy to ask you to kindly support the mission of SQPN.

Details here. 

Coming Up Nov. 8:  Long Island NY’s Women’s Conference — with yours truly & team

Coming Up Nov. 8: Long Island NY’s Women’s Conference — with yours truly & team

Come join me for a day-long event this Saturday, November 8th! The day features Mass plus three main talks adapted from my award-winning book, Blessed, Beautiful, and BodaciousI’m pleased to be womens_conference_2014_231x273_231x273joined by three dynamic women — Peggy Clores, Bridget McCormack, and Angela Rizzo — who will share the podium and with testimonials on the how the feminine genius shapes their dignity, gifts, and mission. Eileen Benthal will provide the music ministry.

It will be a privilege to present this day “back home” in New York, after my move to New England twenty years ago. The event will be at St Joseph’s Church in Babylon, NY. Register here.

The Catholic Apologetics Academy came to the Boston area

The Catholic Apologetics Academy came to the Boston area

I had some unexpected space free up in my weekend, courtesy of a change in a church calendar, and my husband being away on a business trip. So I asked the Lord — what should I do with my time?

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 3.33.35 PMI think I was one of the last ones to sign up for the Catholic Apologetics Academy  being held in Massachusetts. I was fortunate that there was a seat available, because the meeting room at St William Church in Tewksbury was full of 100+ eager students from around MA, New England, and some folks coming even farther distances!

Patrick Madrid’s Envoy Institute brought together not only the man himself, but also the always amazing Peter Kreeft, and Kenneth Hensley. 

From Thursday night, to two full days on Friday and Saturday, and Mass and a morning program on Sunday, all three gentlemen offered talks to help us learn to defend the faith better, and to do it all with love and gentleness and reverence for Christ and the other. (See 1 Peter 3: 15.) And they did it all — from offering lectures, to taking questions and tackling thorny problems — without an ounce of ego between them. What very calm, yet strong teachers. I’m grateful for their service and commitment to passing on their knowledge and conversational tips and etiquette to the rest of us.

I think Patrick said it best when he offered: “This is not about winning arguments, it is about winning souls… authenticity must accompany our apologetics.” That could be a billboard for New Evangelization 101.

"Pat and Pat" (Gohn and Madrid)

“Pat and Pat”
(Gohn and Madrid)

Finally, adding a touch of class and aural beauty to our experience, was the unexpected gift of Anna Maria Mendeita, a world-class harpist, who sat in on the weekend talks — and sat behind a harp she borrowed from a generous local person. Anna Maria played at Masses, and accompanied our meals and wine and cheese gatherings. Magnificent!

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Some photos courtesies of Catholic Apologetics Academy website.

 

What is the missionary impulse? Find out!  Details about Proclaim 2014!

What is the missionary impulse? Find out! Details about Proclaim 2014!

 

What is the missionary impulse?

This missionary impulse is implicit in our baptism. We Catholics are baptized into the Church. The blessing of our baptism is not only that it brings us into relationship with God, and into relationship with every member of the Church, but we are baptized into the mission of the Church.

What is that mission? Jesus made it plain.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

-Matthew 28: 19-20-

Our mission is to not only BE disciples ourselves, but to help MAKE disciples. The Gospel is not only an invitation, but also our marching orders: To be like Jesus by following him and imitating him. That’s the missionary impulse.

The emphasis is on “GO”.  We’re talking verb, not noun. We must go out and do this. We build the church by discipleship.

The missionary impulse is the church on the move to reach others, even the ones we may not like. It is a measure of our success or failure.

This is a most challenging and provocative call. And Pope Francis’ vision, above, above requires a kind of courage and boldness to not only be about our faith life, our own spiritual needs, but about the needs and hopes others. It is a call way outside of a private way… As if it is just me and God. It is a call to be with, to do for, and to grow alongside in relationship with others.

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Proclaim 2014 is a Catholic Missions Conference. Here’s the scoop from their press release.

Excitement is building for Family Missions Company’s 2nd annual Proclaim – Catholic Missions Conference. Join us for a powerful weekend, November 1-2, at the Ramada Conference Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Come and be a part of the missionary impulse that will transform the world. This year Proclaim has something for everyone; individuals, families, youth leaders, and even whole parishes will be infused with new life and passion for the Gospel. Dynamic conference speakers include Bishop Sam Jacobs, Fr. Louis Merosne, Dr. Carole Brown, Michael Gormley, Frank and Genie Summers.

This conference will challenge you to deepen your faith, and leave you with a heart and conviction for evangelization. At Proclaim, hunger for Jesus becomes zeal for the Gospel. Inspired by Pope Francis’s exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Proclaim is uniquely committed to being a catalyst in the missionary transformation of the Church. Fuel your missionary zeal and be inspired to passionately live Gospel joy!

Eager to learn how to share the Gospel? This breakout session: Gospel Catholicism is for you! Learn the basics for sharing God’s word, and be transformed into a modern-day evangelizer.

Pope Francis calls us to “transform everything”. Is your church parish, ministry, or family, ready to embrace the missionary impulse? Learn how in this breakout session: The Church’s Missionary Transformation.

Feeling Called to greater commitment to Christ? Be inspired by full-time Catholic lay missionaries in the session The Challenge of Missionary Spirituality. Discover why the Gospel is the Good News that is worth giving everything for!

This year, Proclaim includes a Youth Leaders’ Track and Children’s Ministry and promises to be unlike any other conference you have ever attended! Beyond inspiring you to embrace God’s mission in your life, Proclaim will reach hearts and lives around the world! Every penny of profit from this conference will be used to advance the Gospel in Asia.

To learn more about Proclaim – Catholic Missions Conference, visit www.Proclaim2014.com or call 337-893-6111.

Family Missions Company is a Catholic ministry founded in 1996. This ministry is dedicated to spreading the gospel and serving the poor both here and globally. FMC trains and sends out families, as well as single men and women who have heard the call of Jesus to leave everything behind and follow Him. FMC relies totally on God’s providence through the generosity of others who support our ministry and works of charity. FMC’s home base is in Abbeville, LA. For more information, go to www.fmcmissions.com or www.facebook.com/fmcmissions.

You might also appreciate this video:

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To be honest, I’ve never traveled to a foreign country to evangelize or be part of a mission trip. When I was growing up I was never encouraged to do that, but I do have a Catholic school memory of collecting funds and praying lots of prayers for the missions. When I was older, I didn’t travel much because of its expense. I took my first plane ride when I was 22.

In the years of working and raising a family, my husband and I tithed to support the mission of the church. Part of that support has always gone to those in need, and some of that support has gone to mission work in foreign countries. These days, many Catholic school encourage mission-mindedness among their students. I’ve been inspired by my children’s participation in mission endeavors and by the works of others.

We have financially supported the missionaries we know, whether they traveled for a short-term trip or for a long-term placement. That brings me back to Family Mission Company. Among Women listeners and readers of this blog may recall my conversations last year with Jonathan and Kristen Weiss, my friends who live the missionary lifestyle with their two boys.

Thanks to the internet, I have had the experience of having my written words and my recorded spoken words reach to foreign nations. About 20%  or 10,000 of the last 50,000 downloaded Among Women podcasts have reached listeners in countries outside the USA. 3% of that number have reached into Canada, and the 17% remainder have reached listeners on other continents. So as one little catechist and a microphone, I’m learning the ways of online evangelization, one download at a time. Yet online evangelization never can replace face to face conversations. That is why we must meet people in person. That is how the church first came into existence and it is the way of evangelization still today. Someone shared the good news with me. I must, in turn to do the same.

Share this with your parishioners and friends. Share the video on Facebook and Twitter or whatever social media network you enjoy. Help us spread the word about Proclaim 2014.

The world is waiting.

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Photos and video courtesy of Family Missions Company.

SQPN looks ahead to a 2015 Catholic New Media Conference + a prayer for the new evangelization

SQPN looks ahead to a 2015 Catholic New Media Conference + a prayer for the new evangelization

2014 brings a decision from SQPN to take a year off from hosting the conference and look toward 2015.

From SQPN’s press release: 

The next Catholic New Media Conference will be held in the spring of 2015, ten years after Catholic podcasting took off around the events of the death of Saint John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

Since the first CNMC in 2008 in Atlanta, the Catholic New Media Conference has brought together Catholic communicators from all over the world to share experiences and exchange knowledge and insights on evangelization, catechesis and information using new media like blogging, podcasting and internet video.

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With the rise of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, more and more people, parishes and religious organizations have discovered the possibilities of these new forms of communication. Podcasting technology, which enables people to listen to audio recordings on their computer or mobile devices and cellphones, has given many Catholics a voice and an opportunity to share their message with the world.

The next CNMC will pay special attention to the 10 year jubilee of this particular form of new media and explore the future possibilities of this medium for the church.

The CNMC is organized by the Catholic organization SQPN, the Star Quest Production Network.

To keep informed about the exact date and place of the 2015 Jubilee CNMC, subscribe to our newsletter (link) and follow CNMC on Twitter @CNMC and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SQPNCNMC)

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If you or your church are looking to learn about digital media, or find ways to use it better while you wait for the 2015 CNMC, check out the Catholic Media Conference happening later this month, June 18-20 in Charlotte, NC, or see the Digital Church conference events for an event in your area.

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As you may know, my podcast Among Women is an affiliate of SQPN. Thanks to the inspiration I received from their first 2008 Catholic New Media Conference and my longtime mega-media friend, Lisa Hendey, the podcast is five years young.

I’ve enjoyed working with the SQPN team over the years to help organize and work behind the scenes at the CNMC in 2010, 2011, and 2012. I had the privilege of speaking at their conference in Kansas City. A calendar conflict prevented me from attending in 2013, short of finding a few good friends in Boston after the fact.

We’ll see what 2015 brings! Pray for the new evangelization, and when you do, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide the church and these various media apostolates.

Prayer for the New Evangelization
Lord Jesus Christ,
You have given your Church
the mission to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations.
May our efforts to fulfill this mission be guided by the Holy Spirit
so that we might be a leaven of new life,
salt of the earth and a light of the world,
worthy missionaries and faithful to You.
Make us valiant witnesses to the Faith of the Church
 and inspire us to speak the truth with love.
Help us to communicate to others the joy that we have received.
Permit us to be united, but not closed.
humble, but not fearful
simple, but not naïve
thoughtful, but not overbearing
contemporary, but not superficial
respectful of others, but boldly Your disciples.
May we bear into the world the hope of God, which is Christ the Lord,
who rose from the dead and lives and reigns with Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. ­Amen.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Pray for us!
St. Peter and St. Paul, Pray for us!
St. Thérèse, Patroness of Missionaries, Pray for us!
St Thomas Aquinas, Pray for us!

 

 prayer source