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A Prayer to the Holy Family, from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, (plus links) #AmorisLaetitia

A Prayer to the Holy Family, from Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, (plus links) #AmorisLaetitia

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A photo from my trip the Carmel Mission, Carmel CA

Prayer to the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love;
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Graciously hear our prayer.

Amen.

 

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The English translation of Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation on the family is out today. You can read a PDF of Amoris Laetitia here. It’s over 200 pages long and there is much to read.

Vatican Radio offers a shorter summary of what the document contains here.

Perhaps beginning with the prayer offered within the document (found on the last page of the document, that I’ve capture above) might be a good place to start.

 

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.

NO FOOLIN’ !! Ave Maria Press has a pretty incredible Overstock sale… up to 80% off some titles!

NO FOOLIN’ !! Ave Maria Press has a pretty incredible Overstock sale… up to 80% off some titles!

Now through APRIL 22nd — go shop at Ave Maria Press!

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Here’s the list of books that are on sale! You are bound to find a book or two that you would like. Go visit the Ave website!

(And yes, Ave Maria Press is my publisher but “BBB” is not part of this sale — boo! — but a whole bunch more are on sale, so don’t miss it!)

Keep the Joy of the Easter Octave Alive!

Keep the Joy of the Easter Octave Alive!

Easter is not just a day, but a season! We’re in the middle of the Easter Octave… on our way to Mercy Sunday!

Turn up the volume on your favorite hymns and rejoice!

Here’s one that moves me!

Or that oldie accapella one I posted from last Sunday, “Be Ye Glad”…

Oh yes, I love the traditional ones, too…

Among Women Podcast #206: Happy 7 Years!

Among Women Podcast #206: Happy 7 Years!

This special episode of Among Women celebrates the 7th anniversary — or 7th birthday — of the show, begun in March 2009. This episode explores Among Women has covered, plus links to blog posts (see below) that offer dozens of links to archived shows.

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In our “Blessed Are They” segment we pray a Litany of saints — including many of the saints that have been profiled on Among Women.

In our “Among Women” segment, I answers questions sent in by listeners — about myself, and about the podcast.

If you’ve been reading previous post from this week, you’ll find a comprehensive retrospective naming significant shows from our podcast archives:

Blog Post #1: A retrospective on Among Women’s early history, themes of the feminine genius and the dignity of women, plus conversations with theologians and wonderful Catholic authors!

Blog Post #2: A retrospective on saints, ordinary women in the pew, religious sisters, parents, and more!

Blog Post #3: A retrospective on sharing the faith, great music, and special editions of the podcast.(Plus a free drawing! Enter win Pat’s book by leaving a comment!)

You can find the entire Among Women archives here.  You can also search the side bar on that page as well.

If you like what we do at Among Women, please promote the podcast in your social media circles, your church bulletin, or leave a positive review and rating over on our iTunes page.

You can also enter the drawing to win a copy of my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious. Just leave a comment in the combox.  I’m going to give away three copies of my book, to three women at random who leave me a comment on this post, or the previous one here at my blog, now through April 8th at 11:59pm. (US residents only, please. Winners will be contact via email.)

Among Women is 7 years old! A retrospective on sharing the faith, great music, and a host of special editions featuring our listeners’ voices!

Among Women is 7 years old! A retrospective on sharing the faith, great music, and a host of special editions featuring our listeners’ voices!

This is our third and final post celebrating the seven years of conversations Among Women!

Previous posts have focused on the many themes that have been the hallmarks of Among Women: the feminine genius and the dignity of women, the lives of women saints, and all out encouragement for the grace-filled living of our Catholic faith –otherwise known as the call to holiness.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 6.50.37 PMYou might want to bookmark this post for future reference!

We’ve explored the how-to’s of sharing your faith, going to adoration, offering your testimonyreaching out to prodigals, and the process of joining third orders (for lay people) with the Carmelites or the secular Franciscans.

Listeners have added their own wonderful voices on our AW Special Editions like “Among Women 200”,  “Listeners talk about their Lenten Practices“, “What I Love About Mary”“The Bible and You”“AW 100”,  “Prayer”“JOY!”and “What We Love About Pope Francis”.

Oh, and the music! Who can forget going “behind the scenes” to the studio of those singing nuns — the Daughters of St Paul? Plus I got to go back to my deejay roots as we enjoyed the musical talents of recording artists Sara Hart and Kitty Cleveland!

Last fall I launched a shorter AW podcast — the ESPRESSO SHOT! It was an idea that came up as I was meeting with a few listeners in Florida last summer.  The Espresso Shot even broke with our precedent and had a guy show up on Among Women — a priest — as a guest! This new format has really added a certain breadth to the show and allows me to podcast more “on the fly” when I’m traveling. So I’m grateful for the good feedback you’ve given me on them!

How can I say thank you for listening? 

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 12.41.15 PMIn the only ways I know how — I’m praying my rosaries in thanksgiving to Momma Mary for her graceful patronage and inspiration, and asking her to intercede for your needs. Don’t worry, she knows who you are.

Plus I’m going to give away three copies of my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious, to three women at random who leave me a comment on this post now through April 8th at 11:59pm. (US residents only, please. Winners will be contact via email.) After all, “BBB” was borne from my many conversations and prayers with women over the years.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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So where to next? What do you want to hear? Send me your thoughts in the comments box, or send off an email at amongwomenpodcast@me.com. You can still find me at the Among Women Podcast Facebook page and on Twitter as @PatGohn and @among_women.

And please, keep sharing Among Women!!

 

Thank you, Mother Angelica, for teaching us the art of networking for Jesus…

Thank you, Mother Angelica, for teaching us the art of networking for Jesus…

Jesus was her spouse and Eucharistic Adoration was the center of her television ministry. That’s what stands out for me as the Catholic world mourns the passing of Mother Angelica, foundress of two religious orders of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration and Franciscan Missionaries, and the Eternal Word Television Network, EWTN. 

IMG_1975With prayer and holy chutzpah Mother Angelica, together with others, launched what would become a global Catholic network in 1981 to bring Jesus to the world. Donations from faithful Catholics around the world continue to sustain the mission today.

Mother Angelica taught us a lot about the beauty of the Catholic faith, as well as the feminine genius, in the way she lived.

Mother is definitely not a stereotypical nun. She appears stereotypical, but beneath the habit is this gutsy, determined woman who wields an incredible faith.

Her feminine genius resides just there I think: in her radical faith, in her abandonment to God’s will in the present moment. Additionally, she had an intuition that allowed her to see events as they were and to follow her heart and God, always.

We need that feminine aspect in the Church today. Mother used to say that the faith had become too “heady,” too theoretical. And I think she is right…

…she says, “Most people today are seeking master’s degrees, then they forget the Master.” She never forgot her Master.

Isn’t it curious that some of the same people who were the most outspoken advocates of “women’s power” in the Church, were the first ones trying to shove Mother Angelica back into the cloister once she appeared on the scene?

The idea of an orthodox, faithful woman leading people to Christ was a threat somehow. It shouldn’t have been. Time has shown that it was actually a blessing. – 2007 Zenit interview with Raymond Arroyo

Raymond Arroyo from The World Over at EWTN announces Mother Angelica’s passing and offers a few notes on her legacy…

Thank you, Mother Angelica for your wit and wisdom as a catechist, intercessor, and a spiritual mother to millions.

Oil painting of Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, outside the chapel area.

Oil painting of Mother Angelica, outside the chapel area at EWTN

Thank you for loving Jesus and teaching us not to keep that love to ourselves, but to spread it to others… and that sometimes we are asked to do that with a microphone or camera in hand. You built a network for Jesus both in the relationships you grew in religious life and in your expression of the faith person to person.

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In 2013, I visited EWTN as a guest to record a few programs with “Women of Grace” host, Johnette Benkovic, I took time to pray in the Adoration Chapel and attend Mass. (The banner photo above is the monstrance above the chapel altar at EWTN in Irondale, AL. I took the picture during a period when Mass or adoration was not taking place, so there is no Host in the photo.)

Find more of my photos from that visit here, and here.

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No doubt you can search the internet for hundreds of tribute to Mother Angelica, but I’m happy to recommend a few.

 

 

Among Women turns 7! Enjoy this retrospective of saint stories, ordinary women in the pew, religious sisters, parents, and more!

Among Women turns 7! Enjoy this retrospective of saint stories, ordinary women in the pew, religious sisters, parents, and more!

This is the second of three posts dedicated to the Among Women podcast’s 7th birthday!

Greetings from the humble studio, located down a country lane in New England! I’m so grateful to our manyIMG_3256 listeners from around the world, and to our hundreds of guests from within the Catholic Church. Recent iTunes reviews from listeners praise Among Women

“…wonderfully inspiring program that keeps igniting questions and providing beautiful answers and explorations…”

“…like sitting down with an old friend who is always there for you. Well written, well researched, professionally produced, and fantastic content…You have blessed my life.”

“Pleasant to listen to, great information about saints, interesting interviews and conversations!”

“…real life discussions that inspire in a soul-soothing manner… a breath of fresh air for any woman who is busy, stressed, and searching.”

In yesterday’s post, I shared some of our early history and links to shows about the feminine genius, theology with theologians, and conversations with Catholic authors. Today I’ll continue sharing more links for great content found in shows from our archives. You might wish to bookmark this post for your future reference!

Screen Shot 2012-11-19 at 2.47.00 PMA hallmark of Among Women have been the saints stories that I’ve been able to share in our “blessed are they” segments. Many fine authors have also done the same for us!

We’ve met saints who inspire Moms, those who embody the beatitudes of Jesus, plus saints that build us up in virtue, saints that follow us around, and even a few badass saints.

We’ve also been riveted by the testimonies of ordinary women who’ve dared to combat difficulties with faith, hope, and love, and a dose of good old-fashioned perseverance — like these women…

Tracy shared her struggles and victories dealing with her husband’s incarceration…

Margaret reclaimed her life and her faith after repeated sexual abuse…

TJ walked out on her Catholic faith as she gained material success only to have it all come crashing down…

Jenny’s IVF story and her healing and recovery from many losses…

The unique friendship of Marie and Mary — a birth mother and an adoptive mother of the same daughter — in an open adoption…

Kathleen, who dealt with an unexpected pregnancy in college and chose life for unborn son…

Dorothy, whose best friends were killed alongside her in a tragic car accident, and whose survivorship included recovering from a broken neck and multiple debilitating injuries…

Leticia Velasquez, and Earline Tweedie, whose children were born with Down Syndrome….

Anne Marie who describes her infant son’s hospitalization and near-death, and the Christmas miracle they experienced as a family and a parish…

And the powerful story of the ultimate loss experienced on family camping trip, told with faith and courageous conviction by blogger Mary Ellen Barrett, reflecting fives years after the search for, and the discovery of the death of her dear son, Ryan.

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Used with permission from Sr Grace Remington OCSO.

We’ve met religious sisters share about finding their vocations and making their vows, teaching us about the Angelus, and discovering vocational discernment for our lives. We even got permission to speak with a wonderful cloistered Trappist whose artistic “doodle” of “Mary and Eve” has become one of our most popular downloads. (See drawing at right. –>)

Parents have been encouraged by podcasts about prayer in the home using a little oratory  (one of our most downloaded programs!), starting to teach their littles the faith, using different styles for praying with our kids, to valiantly raise saints for heaven, and “small steps” for Moms to have devotional time with popular authors Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss.

We’ve been on pilgrimage to Lourdes, RomeEphesusFatima, and to the only approved Marian apparition site in the US near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Most recently, we talked about seeing the #PopeInPhilly!

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Be looking for another post in this series tomorrow, complete with a free drawing for a book giveaway too!

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So where to next? What do you want to hear? Send me your thoughts in the comments box, or send off an email at amongwomenpodcast@me.com. You can still find me at the Among Women Podcast Facebook page and on Twitter as @PatGohn and @among_women.

Please keep sharing Among Women!!

Among Women turns 7 years old! An awesome retrospective (with links galore) and a big thank you!

Among Women turns 7 years old! An awesome retrospective (with links galore) and a big thank you!

YAY! Happy Birthday Among Women! 7 years old!

Whew! Where did the time go? I feel like the Mom who is looking at her “baby” getting on the school bus or making First Communion. You just stop and stare and have to take it all in for a precious moment. Then you offer a prayer of thanksgiving for getting to see the growing years unfold.

AW-1400x1400-logo-300x300It’s been a labor of love, this apostolate, with over 200 episodes and growing, despite investment in two computers, and a few different websites and blogs later. I’m happy to say that I still have my trusty old analog Shure SM7 microphone that harkens back to my radio days decades ago… but I’ve burned through three sets of headphones and a lot of Skype payments for my long-distance interviews!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my dear listeners!! 80% of you come from the United States, and the rest of you are international listeners! Thank you for downloading Among Women!

Please keep sharing us with your family, friends, and with your parish church community!

There’s been so much faith sharing, teaching, and conversation… and a whole lot of coffee consumed…

A host of guests over the years have made me look good and taught me so much! From notable Catholic women in the news and the writing world, to women next to us in the pew. Among Women has interviewed and profiled so many fascinating and intelligent and faith-filled women! We have laughed and cried and prayed and shared experiences while discussed many, many things about our Catholic faith and what it looks like in real life.

We discovered numerous women saints and women in the bible who’ve given us their inspiration and their holy intercession — and most of all, our podcast patron, Mary, the Mother of God — who is truly BLESSED AMONG WOMEN — and whose “Hail Mary” prayer our “among women” theme is drawn.

Oh!! The people we’ve met! The places we’ve seen! Yes, you’re gonna wanna bookmark this post for future reference! (Each of the links below go back to archived shows for your listening pleasure.)

I’ve been delighted by our many forays into the depths of the feminine genius with shows about the theology of what the feminine genius is, how to understand St John Paul II’s groundbreaking document about women —Mulieris Dignitatem, how it relates to working women. We’ve talked about the call to spiritual motherhood, and what that means for midlife and senior women, plus the rise of new feminism with respect to being pro-life and pro-woman, as well as in foreign nations like Africa. And what exactly does “MOMNIPOTENT” mean?

Listeners have benefitted by theologians sharing their specialties, like Drs. Virginia Kimball on Mariology, Mary Healy on the beauty of  bible reading and the gifts of women, Maura Hearden on the feminine genius, Angela Franks on the moral life and contraception, Elizabeth Dreyer on “grassroots” theology, Mary Ward on St Paul, and philosopher Ronda Chervin on women saints.

Gosh, the books!!!! We’ve explored many conversations with numerous Catholic authors and experts who’ve tackled prayer, miscarriage, midlife, divorce, anger management, growing in virtue, “everyday” or “beyond-the-bedroom” theology of the body, chastity, dating, making peace with body image and eating disorders, and the real hope of healing from the wounds of abortion, or sexual trauma as a child.

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So where to next? What do you want to hear? Send me your thoughts in the comments box, or send off an email at amongwomenpodcast@me.com. You can still find me at the Among Women Podcast Facebook page and on Twitter as @PatGohn and @among_women.

And please, keep sharing Among Women!!

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The early history of Among Women… I may have to blame Lisa Hendey. At her invitation to meet-in-person with her and some of the other east coast Catholic Mom writers,  I attended the first Catholic New Media Celebration (CNMC) hosted by SQPN in Atlanta in 2008. I had no idea what I was getting into, but it was a lot of fun. A lot of work went into it by today’s well known podcasters, Greg and Jennifer Willits, Fr Roderick Vonhogen, and Mac and Katherine Barron, and others. They were the Catholic pioneers in this sphere.

Among Women started because, as a radio deejay in my younger years, I thought “new media” was a combination of radio-like fun, with the potential to reach people with the message of the Gospel. Since I’ve been a longtime beneficiary of Catholic woman’s groups and prayer groups it seemed only natural to do a show that harnessed the kind of conversations that had blessed my faith over the years, and encouraged my growth, over the years.

Early artwork for AW in 2009.

So in the summer that followed my newly minted Masters degree in theology, and my attendance at the CNMC, I had a significant amount of time off to tend to my first hip replacement, I began dreaming about a show that would combine those two ministry loves… using my catechetical skills and passion for the faith, alongside providing a comfortable space for women to share their faith and grow.

It took me a while to get the technical side down… and to afford to buy a new computer… but I saved enough money to buy my first Macbook Pro. I already had the audio equipment so it was a done deal.

I’ll never forget the first few shows after which a review or two came into our iTunes page, or when someone would leave me a Facebook comment, or a personal email. Trust me, folks, those notes — especially the emails — really kept me going. So thank you for that fellowship!

I’ll have two more posts for you tomorrow and Wednesday with more great AW links! (Look for a giveaway in Wednesday’s post!)

 

“O death, where is thy victory?”

“O death, where is thy victory?”


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“O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15: 55-57

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And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 
but when they went in they did not find the body. 

Luke 24 2-3

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From my house to your, a very blessed Easter!