Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious wins a 2014 Catholic Press Association Award, as do others from Ave Maria Press!

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious wins a 2014 Catholic Press Association Award, as do others from Ave Maria Press!

What a honor! Thanks to the Catholic Press Association! Let me also extend my deep gratitude to publisher Tom Grady and the great editorial, marketing, and creative teams at Ave Maria Press for their support of my book and those titles and authors listed below.

Ave Maria Press made this announcement via this press release:

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We are very pleased to announce that multiple Ave Maria Press books were selected as Catholic Press Association award winners this weekend. Congratulations to all these wonderful authors!

Check out all the results at the Catholic Press Association website.

Pastoral Ministry Category (First Place) 

Rebuilt by Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran

Spirituality (Soft Cover) (First Place)  

Atchison Blue by Judith Valente

Best Trade/Seasonal Catalog Category (Second Place) 

Ave Maria Press Fall 2013 Trade Catalog by John Carson, Chris Tobin, and Heather Glenn

Professional Book Category (Third Place) 

Redeeming Administration by Ann Garrido

Gender Issues Category (Third Place) 

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious by Pat Gohn

Design and Production Category (Honorable Mention) 

Rebuilt by Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran (Design by John Carson)

More here. 

I’m on the road again…

I’m on the road again…

I may be a bit scarce around these parts and over at Facebook and Twitter as I go off the grid to take some coursework in spiritual direction.

There. I said it.

Putting it out there. 

It is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to test drive it — the first phase of a three year program. Lord knows if I’ll have the fortitude and the right stuff to take it to the end. Anyway, education is never wasted, and sometimes you gotta just plow on into a field to see if it’s worthy of the seed planting.

The classes will certainly help my retreat work and, Lord knows, everything can help my writing. Anyway, its 60 hours of classes over a two week period.

You can bet I’ll be living on coffee. And prayer.

May I beg a few prayers from you as I get started?

Loving Father, I stand before You in the midst of confusion and complexities of life. My future sometimes seems distant and unknown. Give me, O Lord, the vision to see the path You set before me. Grant me the courage to follow Your way, that through the gifts and talents You have given me, I may bring Your life and Your love to others. I ask this through Jesus, Your Son and my Brother.
Amen.

A Student’s Prayer

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!

It’s no coincidence Francis is calling us together on Pentecost to prays for peace in the Middle East

It’s no coincidence Francis is calling us together on Pentecost to prays for peace in the Middle East

Pope Francis is calling for peace in the Middle East, and especially in the Holy Lands, by inviting Israeli and Palestinians to pray together with him at the Vatican. And how marvelous that it is taking place on Pentecost! Have you seen the Scripture readings that the global church will be proclaiming and praying over this weekend? I think the Holy Spirit did a very fine job of bringing these leaders together on such a day.  There’s nothing coincidental about this event in my mind. Our job here is to pray, pray, pray.

At Pentecost, our Sunday readings bring us the Pentecost account from Acts of the Apostles in the first reading, and the Gospel for Pentecost, recalls Jesus bestowing the gift of peace and the Spirit in a powerful post-resurrection display.

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.” 

John 20:19-23

 

During his recent Holy Land pilgrimage, Pope Francis invited Israel’s President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to the Vatican to pray for peace. They have accepted his invitation and will be with the Holy Father tomorrow on Pentecost. Also in attendance will be Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

Prayers will be prayed by Christians, Jews and Muslim together around 7pm Rome time. Details from the VIS news are here. The full text of the prayers and program can be read here.

The program outline from the Vatican:

May the Lord give you peace!

We have gathered here, Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, so that each of us can offer his or her own that each of us can express his or her desire for peace for the Holy Land and for all who dwell there.

Together with Pope Francis, who greatly desired this moment, Patriarch Bartholomaios of Constantinople and all those present, Presidents Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas will join in this calling, voicing the desire of their respective peoples to invoke to God the common longing for peace.

This evening’s meeting will consist of three parts, followed by a conclusion.

Each part will be devoted to an invocation by one of the three religious communities, in chronological order: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Each part will itself unfold in three moments. The first moment will consist of an expression of praise to God for his gift of creation, and for his having created us as members of the human family.

In the second moment, we will ask pardon from God for the times we have failed to act as brothers and sisters, and for our sins against him and against our fellow men and women.

In the third moment, we will ask God to grant the gift of peace to the Holy Land and to enable us to be peacemakers.

Each of these three moments will be framed by a brief musical interlude. A musical meditation will conclude each of the three main parts.

Be sure to read the prayers and watch the proceeding if you can.

May the Holy Spirit fall anew on each of these leaders and their people. May God bring about something new. From the Sequence from Pentecost Sunday:

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.

Come, Holy Spirit!

 

“Love is stronger than terror.” – Dear World project #BostonStrong (the ’13 Boston Marathon survivors)

“Love is stronger than terror.” – Dear World project #BostonStrong (the ’13 Boston Marathon survivors)

Needs some inspiration? Come to Boston next week for the running of the Boston Marathon.  These are some of the people you will meet.

Dear World has given us a thoughtful photo essay: Read the stories of survivors who talk about their thrivership after being victimized by the bombings at last year’s Marathon. Check out their amazing photos posed at the finish line.

Here’s a little video to get you started.

Dear World, a love letter from Boston marathon bombing survivors. from Dear World on Vimeo.

 

The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 21.

36,000 runners will compete — 9000 more than last year.

Area marathon runners who missed the chance to finish last year’s race gear up to come back to Boston.

 

Banner photo: Screen shot of Alyssa and Brittany Loring Photo (copyright 2014 Dear World)

The F.U.N. Quotient… women’s Olympic style

The F.U.N. Quotient… women’s Olympic style

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Screen shot from WCVB video, Team USA Women’s Hockey, Boston Logan Airport

 

So proud of these great women from the silver-medal winning US hockey team — some of them returning to home here in the Boston area.

Watch the video of their comments after landing at Logan Airport in Boston, via WCVB-TV.

Also here’s some top Olympic moments for Team USA’s Women in other sports at Sochi. 

Lisa Hendey on Inter Nos on Catholic TV– a great synopsis of her life and work!

Lisa Hendey on Inter Nos on Catholic TV– a great synopsis of her life and work!

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 2.41.56 PMI first met Lisa Hendey at the end of 2004 through an email. Who would have known what would become it? Eventually I was writing regularly for Catholic Mom, back then when there was a little more than a dozen of us offering columns there. Today there’s close to 150 writers at CatholicMom.com and over the years, and I’m still there.

But I’m more than happy to be one of Lisa’s friends in real life.

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She’s been a friend in the trenches of motherhood, writing, and podcasting. I was pleased to write a sidebar for her back when her first book came out, The Handbook for Catholic Moms. And I was even more pleased when Ave Maria Press asked that I record portions of the Audiobook version for it too. And I’ve been a cheerleader for her successive books along the way.

What began as a small apostolate in her kitchen at her computer has mushroomed into a writing and speaking career, with travels around the USA, Canada, Rome, the Holy Land, and most recently, to Rwanda with Catholic Relief Services. Yes, she’s impressive, but she’s really got both feet on the ground, and a heart that is truly grounded by her love of God, the faith, and her family.

You can learn about Lisa, her family, and her work, in this television profile of all that we love about Lisa Hendey on Inter Nos, hosted by Fr. Bob Reed, the president of Catholic TV.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 2.41.01 PMWatch the episode on Catholic TV. 

 

Helen Alvare in action before a Congressional Committee reviewing on H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

Women Speak for Themselves (WSFT) is a pro-woman, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family women’s advocacy group I’ve recommended to my readers and listeners before. More recently here.

Please make yourself familiar with it on Facebook too.

Here’s a video below of WSFT founder Helen Alvare as she testified today at the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice hearing on H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” This legislation would make the Hyde amendment permanent and government-wide and would stop funding abortion insurance coverage in the “Affordable Care Act” (P.L. 111-148).

Professor Helen Alvare, from George Mason University, in action.

For the Love of Francis…

Lovely book of photos and quotes for the Pope’s birthday yesterday at the Vatican website.

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<–no, not this one… this one’s from Catholic Memes.

(But you’ll like them, trust me!)