Learn more about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious or order a signed copy!
Offer a bookclub for your girlfriends and walk closer with Jesus with… Walk in Her Sandals

Offer a bookclub for your girlfriends and walk closer with Jesus with… Walk in Her Sandals

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-9-51-13-amIt’s here!

I’ve shared about this book before its release, but now you can get it in your hands! Its a great book to share with the women you know, whether through church, or right around your kitchen table.

Walk in Her Sandals: Experiencing Christ’s Passion through the Eyes of Women  is a labor of love for Christ, and it was written in support of a powerful Catholic women’s ministry called WINE or Women in the New Evangelization. 

Here’s the book’s summary from Amazon:

What if you could have been a witness to the events of the last days of Jesus’ life–walking with him as he entered Jerusalem, observing his crucifixion, and embracing him on Easter? What would you have thought and done? How would you have been changed?

Walk in Her Sandals, edited by popular Catholic author and speaker Kelly M. Wahlquist, takes you deeper into your relationship with Jesus by helping you relate to him in a profoundly intimate way. Looking at six universal gifts of women through the eyes of women in the gospels, the book guides you on a prayerful and creative journey through the days of Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.

As you imagine the experience of the women who met Jesus, you will discover how each of them expressed one of six, distinctive, feminine gifts identified in the writings of St. John Paul II. Through the eyes of an imagined woman who watched Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, you will understand how she conveyed the gift of receptivity. Through the hands of Veronica, who reached out to wipe the face of Jesus, you will discover how sensitivity is present and can grow in your own life. These gifts, along with generosity, prayer, maternity, and the Holy Spirit, come to life through the vivid portrayal of women who walked with Jesus. Their imagined stories are complemented by the real accounts of contemporary women who share their own stories of receiving and cultivating these gifts.

This book offers Scripture study, reflections on the feminine genius, and powerful storytelling in a kind of you-are-there way that makes the bible come alive. You’ll also find dynamic personal testimonies from women who are trying to walk with Jesus today. And naturally, there are reflection questions for you (or your group) to help foster discussion about the deeper truths of Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.

This book was a group effort with these wonderful women, and our fearless leader, Kelly Wahlquist:


You may very well enjoy reading this book for yourself, but we wrote it to be shared! The benefit of getting together with other women, will deepen your experience. So ask yourself, and ask the Lord, who might you invite to a six week experience with this book? I recommend doing this during Lent, so you can buy the book now, but plan for something in the new year. (But really, you can do this little study any time of the year! It’s up to you!)  Read it now, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to plan for that group event in Lent 2017!


This just in: Ave Maria Press is now offering 20% off of the book’s cover price. Go here to order and use the promo code #walk. Now thru Oct 31.


Among Women podcast listeners may enjoy this interview with Stephanie Landsem, who wrote a large part of this book. In this interview, we talk about her love of writing historical fiction with a view toward the women in the bible. We also talk about the writing process for Walk in Her Sandals. Listen here. 


See all the books to which I’ve contributed here.


Among Women 215: Prayer Companions

Among Women 215: Prayer Companions

Need a prayer companion for your motherhood vocation? CatholicMom.com has got you covered! Not only is CatholicMom.com a great source of inspiration and community for mothers, but its also a tour de force when it comes to book publishing, thanks to the ongoing work of CM founder and Catholic author, Lisa Hendey.

This episode of Among Women brings together Lisa Hendey and author-editor Sarah Reinhard together to discuss their latest collaboration with a cast of thousands, The Catholic Moms’ Prayer Companion: A book of daily reflections. 

I’m happy to have been a contributor to this book and give it my highest endorsement. Here’s some notes about it from Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 12.06.41 PMthe CatholicMom.com website:

Whether you are a new or seasoned mom working in or outside of your home, this inspiring collection of reflections for every day of the year will help you

~stay in touch with the seasons of the Church year;

~remember Mary’s loving presence on her feast days;

~keep company with both new and familiar saints;

~see the spiritual meaning of secular holidays; and

~make you smile with occasions such as Houseplant Appreciation Day and National Popcorn Day.

Each day begins with a brief quotation from scripture, saints, recent popes, or important spiritual writers. A personal reflection—written by contributors including Danielle Bean, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Lisa Mladinich, Elizabeth Scalia, Carolyn Woo, Mark Hart, and Jeff Young—focuses on some dimension of your spiritual, emotional, intellectual, or physical life. Each day also includes a brief prayer and a question or thought to ponder throughout the day.

This latest podcast also profiles the life and work of Blessed Maria Ludovica De Angelis, a 20th-century woman. Listen here, or subscribe to Among Women on iTunes.



Building a Relationship with Jesus – A Christopher News Note (by yours truly)

Building a Relationship with Jesus – A Christopher News Note (by yours truly)

Over a year ago I was contacted by The Christophers to draft one of their famous inspirational News Notes! I was honored to be offered this subject of “Building a Relationship with Jesus.”

Here’s a sample…

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

You’ve likely seen this famous bible quote from John 3:16, but to explore its depth, let’s personalize the message:
God so loved me that He gave His only Son that I may believe in Him and not perish but have eternal life.

The Good News is that God’s love comes to rescue us in the person of Jesus. In John 14:6, He taught, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.”

Those are pretty credible reasons for wanting a relationship with Jesus. But what truly shapes our belief is to know deep down within ourselves, not only that we believe in God, but that God believes in us. God wants us to know His love.

God Makes the First Move

God initiates our relationship. Indeed, the God of Glory has a vested interest in us. Building a relationship with Jesus means we have to trust this truth. Our belief is a response to God’s revelation of Himself and His love. Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 5.49.54 PM

The attraction of Christianity is not that we are in search of God, but that God is in search of us!

God desires to make us sons and daughters—a family! By faith we respond to Him, offering our intellect and will, our minds and hearts. This is known as “the obedience of faith.”

No matter who we are, from popes to prodigals, all are invited into a loving relationship with Jesus. But we must choose. As it states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “Faith is a personal act—the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals Himself.”

Steve Nelson, from Stillwater, Oklahoma, recalls a time during his graduate school years when he started to drift away from the Church. He said, “I became terribly self-centered and started down the road toward a very un-Christian life. One day, in the church parking lot, I encountered a friend of mine who was in his second year of seminary. When he challenged me on my lifestyle and absence from the Church, I remember saying something like, ‘If God exists, He should prove Himself to me.’ My friend would have none of it and told me that I had to at least meet God halfway by putting myself in the pew on Sunday morning. That was the turning point.”

Nelson soon went on to make Christ the priority in his life: “My relationship with Jesus is important because I remember what it is like not having one. [That] chance encounter in a parking lot [was] not exactly a burning bush, but it was a definite message by God to look towards Him rather than away.”

We are not alone in the building of this relationship. God strengthens us through grace, which is like jet fuel to launch our faith. The prayer of Jesus’ apostles inspires us: “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

You can read the whole thing here. You can even order the pamphlet for your parish or ministry group or retreat team.

I’m a guest at the WINE blog today… talking about wine and music and wisdom

I’m a guest at the WINE blog today… talking about wine and music and wisdom

A little proverb in the book of Sirach gets me started…

“Wine and music gladden the heart, but the love of wisdom is better than both.”
—Sirach 40:20

Ah, wine and music! Two of my favorite things! Yet the proverb from Sirach offers much to consider as we examine the love of wisdom.

The sound of a cork pop remains a signal to my heart that life is good. The influence from the French side of my family taught me the beauty of wine on the table. I grew up a wine drinker and to this day, it is a joy to shop for wine, to taste new labels, to pair a special vintage with a good meal. Even the delicate nature of wine glasses signals to us that we must handle wine with care, savor its bouquet, and drink temperately. Every glass of wine was years in the making. It ought be respected and consumed with gratitude.

Wine is an occasion waiting to happen; through it we toast the gift of family, we honor friends, and celebrate milestones. For Catholics, we intuit the wisdom of Jesus in bringing us together for the Eucharistic meal whereby he shares his very self under the guise of bread and wine. That knowledge alone elevates our notion of wine as a gift that must be shared with love.

I also grew up a music lover and a musician. For me, music is a way to sing, to dance, and to pray. Music moves us, not only to sing and dance, but it moves the heart.

I’ve seen the right choice of music change someone’s day. I’ve been privileged to choose and sing music at weddings where the memories of those songs will last a lifetime. Music offers a soundtrack to some of the most important moments of our lives. Music is the language of the heart.

Wine plus music equals a celebration! From simplest gathering to the more elaborate events—whether an intimate gathering for two, a party with friends, or a wedding reception—wine and music are complementary sensory gifts that make life better, joyous even!

Yet, Sirach reminds us, even as we find the gifts of wine and music enjoyable and inspiring … “the love of wisdom is better than both.” Why might this be?

Read the rest at the WINE blog.


(WINE = Women In the New Evangelization)

WINE has many events throughout the year, mostly in Minnesota, although its mission is growing.

The 2016 Women’s Conference Feb 6th

The Italy tour – June 2016

My contribution to Word by Word – Slowing down with the Hail Mary

My contribution to Word by Word – Slowing down with the Hail Mary

9781594716409.jpg.232xI’m a contributor to the new book, Word by Word: Slowing down with the Hail Mary, edited by Sarah Reinhard. 

Today, I’m over at CatholicMom.com talking with Sarah about my contribution to the book.

I loved what author Amy Welborn had to said about this book: “Reading Word by Word is like participating in a warm, honest, faith-sharing session among good friends. A marvelous way to enter into more intimate communion with the Blessed Mother, which means, ultimately, gazing more deeply into the face of her Son.” Yes, it is! I recall when Sarah first approached me with this idea — I knew it would be a book someday and I’m glad to see it come to fruition — anything for the Blessed Mother!

Read my thoughts over at Catholic Mom.

You can browse or buy the book here.

I’m writing a series on prayer in CATECHIST magazine, order a free copy or subscribe here

I’m writing a series on prayer in CATECHIST magazine, order a free copy or subscribe here

Are you a parish catechist? You should subscribe to Catechist Magazine or ask your Director of Religious Education to get a parish bulk order.

I’m currently writing 7-part series on Prayer.

Get a sample copy or subscribe here. 

I’m at Catholic Mom today with another installment from “Tales from the Empty Nest”

I’m at Catholic Mom today with another installment from “Tales from the Empty Nest”

Over the years, it has been a gift to write for Catholic Mom. Though my frequency there is not what it used to be, I love to add a piece over there a few times a year. Having just launched my youngest into the real world of work and rent-paying, I’m sharing these thoughts from “The Last Serenade” about my son, Peter. You can read the whole piece here.

Maybe your mind pictures a dashing minstrel serenading his beloved beneath her window to win her heart… this wasn’t that. Actually, the last serenade was live classical music floating in from my living room accompanying my morning breakfast prep. I scrambled eggs and fried bacon. Later that same day I would pack the car with my Hubby to move our youngest out of state, the last child to leave home.

This boy-turned-man had won my heart years ago, and his twilight serenades were a staple in my midlife musical diet. Often a private concert just for me, these sessions were much more than recompense for 12+ years of shuffling to piano lessons and recitals.

This breakfast was the last one I would prepare for my son for a long time…

Read the rest over at Catholic Mom.

Honoring Momma Mary, a new book: Word by Word, edited by Sarah Reinhard

Honoring Momma Mary, a new book: Word by Word, edited by Sarah Reinhard

9781594716409.jpg.232xToday is the feast of the Queenship of Mary, so it’s a great time to share this forthcoming book that honors Momma Mary!

My pal, Sarah Reinhard, is an energetic author and a good ideas person. Her latest brainchild is this forthcoming book, Word by Word. So happy to have been able to add my own itty bitty prayers to the pages of this book! When I contributed to this, I just knew it would make a dandy book of meditations on the Hail Mary! So many good writer friends are in this book. Check it out!

From Ave Maria Press: In Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, popular Catholic author Sarah Reinhard compiled an accessible, profound, and unique meditation on each word of the Hail Mary, one of the most important prayer traditions in Catholic life. Each of the reflections encourages readers to “slow down” with the Hail Mary and experience previously unseen dimension in the popular devotion, making it come to life in a new way. This unique, formative, and informative exploration of the beloved prayer is a gift to anyone who wants to be continually changed through it—learning to slow down and examine things more closely.

The book is based on a blog series Reinhard facilitated with popular Catholic writers and social media experts, including Lisa M. Hendey, Brandon Vogt, Paula Huston, Kate Wicker, Pat Gohn, Kevin Lowry, Lisa Mladinich, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Fr. Patrick Toner, and Jeff Young.

Order your copy of Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, edited by Sarah Reinhard. Note: This is pre-order time, the book become available in October — the month of the Holy Rosary!

My Year to Write Forewords: 3 great books coming from Melanie Rigney, Lisa Mladinich, and Maria Morera Johnson

My Year to Write Forewords: 3 great books coming from Melanie Rigney, Lisa Mladinich, and Maria Morera Johnson

When the first request came in, I was a bit shocked and humbled. Within a couple weeks two more invitations came in. Last winter, amidst the trials of being cooped up by continual snow storms, God gave me three new assignments in support of other writers with new books.

It is with deep gratitude that I share with you three forthcoming books in which I have been privileged to write the forewords.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.09.42 PMThe first one is new this month. You’ll be hearing more about it here on the blog soon — Melanie Rigney’s Blessed are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith. The book’s blog tour stops here next week — look for it here on August 27. However the blog tour is currently underway this week, so go visit MelanieRigney.com for a list of where and get clickin’!

This book is a wonderful mash-up of the Beatitudes-meet-saints stories. If you’ve never had a firm grip of what the beatitudes might look like in daily life, this book will help! I’ll brag on it a bit more when the blog tour gets here! Regular listeners of Among Women may remember when Melanie was my guest when her last book about the saints came out.

Get Blessed Are You by Melanie Rigney now!


The second book I want to share is Lisa Mladinich’s True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of LifeThis book is due out in October, but I had the pleasure of catching up with Lisa at the Catholic Writers Guild conference that paralleled the Catholic Marketing Network show last month in New Jersey. It was great to see an early proof of the book.


Me with Lisa Mladinich at CMN and a copy of her new book!

Can you say “I’d like to grow old gracefully?” Its something we all ought to aspire to for ourselves and others. I love how Lisa’s new book points us toward the glory of heaven while keeping our feet down to earth. Lisa is also a longtime friend of Among Women and you’ll find two conversation with me that I retrieved from the Among Women archives here and here.  A lot of good things have happened in Lisa’s life since those two recordings, and this new book is just one fine example… pre-order it today! 

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.33.17 PM


Third, but not least, is Maria Johnson’s My Badass Book of Saint: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live. Yeah, that’s a mouthful to say but its a great story book… you’ll meet gun-toting nuns,  women who worked in the French Resistance,  and the author herself, a first-generation Cuban-American whose family fled Cuba, telling stories of badass women who kept faith first despite oppressive odds. I can’t wait to see this book finally in print.

Maria and I do a lot together as friends and as colleagues but what a joy to be asked to collaborate on this eye-popping title! Look for it this November, but hey – go pre-order it now! 


Ok, look for more about each of these books in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here’s one amazing photo that really brought me joy…. two friends with two new books with forewords by moi. They had never met before but they shared their books with each other, and took a photo for the sake of me…. Too funny…


Maria Johnson (l) with Melanie Rigney (r) both holding each other’s books! (Photographed at the Edel Conference, 2015) (Facebook photo courtesy of Maria Johnson)

For a look at all the books I have contributed to in recent years, go here.