Learn more about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious or order a signed copy!
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!

The Great Silence and Stillness of Holy Saturday… from the Catechism

The Great Silence and Stillness of Holy Saturday… from the Catechism

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Christ Descended into Hell

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell”—Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek—because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him. (1033)

634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption. (605)

635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Jesus, “the Author of life,” by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.” Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades,” so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began.… He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him—He who is both their God and the son of Eve.… “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son.… I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.” [Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday]

 Catholic Church. (2000). Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed., pp. 164–165). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.

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Benedict XVI is a master theologian. You might also enjoy his reflections on Holy Saturday here.

Good Friday… Jesus is the Answer

Good Friday… Jesus is the Answer

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Stained glass window found at St Francis of Assisi Church, Springfield, IL

There is not a single aspect of the Christian message
that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, par 309)

Jesus is the Answer.

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Other resources:

A 2015 post featuring the poem, “Splinters from the Cross”.

An older post from 2014 that features a prayer before the crucifix from St Francis de Sales.

An even older post from 2011 from my Patheos archives: “The Scandal of Evil is No Match for the Cross of Christ”.

You might also like this short video from Diana and David von Glahn,from the “The Faithful Traveler”series…

Via Dolorosa–the Way of the Cross from The Faithful Traveler on Vimeo.

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with me — a new Among Women Espresso Shot!

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with me — a new Among Women Espresso Shot!

In this latest Espresso Shot version of Among Women I produced a reusable podcast featuring the recitationAW-1400x1400-logo-300x300 of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we continue the Year of Mercy, and enter into Holy Week. The Chaplet is very efficacious to be prayed during the Novena of Divine Mercy that begins on Good Friday.

It only takes 10 minutes to pray the chaplet. The first 10 minutes of this podcast are the prayers, and the last 5 minutes are some history about the chaplet and the promises associated with it.

Pray with me! Pray for mercy! Be an agent of mercy!

Listen and download here.

Among Women Espresso Shot: The Wisdom of St Katharine Drexel

Among Women Espresso Shot: The Wisdom of St Katharine Drexel

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.50.29 PMListen to Episode 7 of Among Women “Espresso Shot”– a short strong coffee break of faith sharing and teaching from Pat Gohn.

Today’s topic: The Wisdom of St Katharine Drexel

Following up on my recent post, this short podcast dives into some of the writings of St Katharine Drexel. We recently passed her feast day, March 3, and as we press on in Lent, I share some timely inspiration from this American saint.

FYI: Among Women 18 (Dating back to 2009!) also has more biographical information about Katharine Drexel. Listen here.

A visit to the Shrine honoring St Katharine Drexel

A visit to the Shrine honoring St Katharine Drexel

My ongoing recovery from surgery has me doing some minimal blogging and writing… I’m a little late for Katherine Drexel’s feast day, but maybe you’d still enjoy the blog post below that hopes to honor her!

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Last fall I enjoyed a marvelous visit, alongside my good friend, Lisa Hendey, to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and to see Pope Francis. One of the bonuses of driving there was that on the way home to Boston we got to visit with our mutual friend, Barb Szyszkiewicz. Barb is a blogger at Franciscan Mom, and together with Lisa, is an editor and contributor with over 300 articles over at Catholic Mom.com. We journeyed as a threesome to the National Shrine honoring St Katharine Drexel.

Here’s a few photographic highlights: (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

The Shrine attached to the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, PA.

The Shrine attached to the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, Bensalem, PA.

 

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PA road sign at the Shrine

 

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Outside the chapel with Barb (l) and Lisa (r)

 

The Visitor's Center and mission offices

The Visitor’s Center and mission offices

 

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Stained glass illustrating the mission and work of St Katharine and the Blessed Sacrament sisters.

 

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More stained glass in a stair well in the visitors center that welcomes pilgrims.

 

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Chapel interior

 

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Chapel altar, note the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance.

St Katharine is buried in the crypt area of the Shrine, and there is also a small museum with artifacts from St Katharine’s life.

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It was an honor to pray at St Katharine’s tomb.

 

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Above her tomb is a lovely representation of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament being perpetually adored by angels.

 

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The description… “she fell asleep in Christ, March 3, 1955.. in the 97th year of her life.”

 

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Some of the diorama describing the mission of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament… to imitate Jesus in making a “total gift of self” to Him and to those the sisters serve in their apostolate.

 

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Katharine is a modern saint, so we have the saint’s baptismal record!

 

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A place to leave prayer intentions under the saint’s most recognizable portrait.

 

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Katharine’s ring

 

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Chapel kneeler and pew that Katharine used.

 

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John Paul II’s papal bull declaring Katharine a saint of the church.

“The Eucharist is the continuation of the Incarnation.
In it Jesus communicates Himself to me and to every human heart.”
St Katharine Drexel

 

Visit the National Shrine website.

You might also like this short video about her life…

You might enjoy this earlier Among Women podcast from 2009 in which I share Katharine’s biography. I intend to talk more about her writings and thoughts in an upcoming podcast later this week.