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Among Women 219: Almsgiving and Fasting

Among Women 219: Almsgiving and Fasting

In the latest episode of Among Women, author and Catholic.Mom found Lisa Hendey shares her amazing trip to India and her ongoing association with the mission of Unbound.org. We talk about how personal sponsorship can be a loving almsgiving plan.

I also discuss my own struggles with fasting and disciplines when their demands begin to pinch. Plus I share the life story of St. Juliana of Cornillion and her impact on the life of the Church.

Listen here, or find Among Women on iTunes.

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.

 

 

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.

Among Women 204: Lenten Almsgiving and CRS Rice Bowl #4Lent4Life

Among Women 204: Lenten Almsgiving and CRS Rice Bowl #4Lent4Life

Welcome to Lent 2016! This episode of Among Women introduces a simplified and practical way to accomplish Lenten almsgiving — with CRS Rice Bowl.

In this program we look at the art of giving — specifically, alms-giving this Lent. Together with my guests, Sherry Brownrigg and Lisa Hendey, we talk about the work of almsgiving this Lent through the mission of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its Lenten apostolate called “Rice Bowl”. Both Brownrigg and Hendey recently toured CRS’s mission in Colombia’s coffee country and share their pilgrimage stories and their passion for Rice Bowl as a powerful means of almsgiving and personal transformation.

Don’t miss how you can enhance your personal or family almsgiving through the Rice Bowl.

Listen to this latest episode of Among Women!

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Two New Among Women Podcasts feature #PopeInPhilly

Two New Among Women Podcasts feature #PopeInPhilly

I had a great trip to Philly for the World Meeting of Families and the Papal Mass accompanied by my dear friend, Lisa Hendey.

There’s so much to unpack spiritually and professionally, but let’s start with the two new podcasts… one short and one long.

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The new ‘espresso shot’ length of Among Women has been fun to institute and the most recent one uploaded today has women responding to this question: “What would you like to ask Pope Francis?” Check it out here. 

Then there’s a long special edition podcast — a conversation with Lisa Hendey as we drove home in my car.

Buckle up as we drive home and record this podcast examining the World Meeting talks, homilies, the city of Philadelphia, music by Matt Maher and Andrea Bocelli, praying with saints, the people we met, and the fun we had with the global convention known as the World Meeting of Families that sparked the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the US.

We covered the high points, the things that were meaningful to us. Its hard to reduce 8 days of travel into a single conversation, but we cover a lot of ground. This rambling conversation took place IN a MINI, but it ain’t a mini conversation. It clocks in at 90 minutes. We are two friends in real life who love to travel together and gab! I hope you enjoy it.

Lisa and I, Papal Mass.

Lisa and I, Papal Mass.

 

I’m at World Meeting of Families… some links, photos, and an espresso shot Among Women to get started

I’m at World Meeting of Families… some links, photos, and an espresso shot Among Women to get started

There’s been so much to do in the last few days, and I’m hard pressed for time to share it all, but here’s a few posts that review some my journey to the World Meeting of Families, plus a new podcast with the jubilant voices of some of the participants I’ve met from around the world… from the sidewalks of Philadelphia and PA convention center hallways.

Listen to the Among Women Espresso Shot #2: the World Meeting of Families

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I’m blessed to be sharing this with my globe-trotting good friend, Lisa Hendey –– who is truly in her element. This is how I see Lisa several times an hour… sharing her experiences on social media. She is breathtakingly committed to sharing this far and wide…. and I’m in awe of her.

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This will be how I will remember seeing her… discovering all that is good, and in a relentless search

In search of coffee...

for coffee…

Read Lisa Hendey’s posts here and here.

And don’t miss Lisa’s Aleteia report on her mid-week trek to see and hear the Pope in Washington DC.

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There was much time spent around the Ave Maria Press booth.

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With Helen Alvare, Teresa Tomeo, Lisa Hendey, and Catherine (Helen’s daughter).

And several reunions with friends so far…

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Meeting the amazing Diana von Glahn, center.

 

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With Terry Polakovic, who is soon to be retired from Endow.

 

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with the Daughters of St Paul.

 

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With “Ben.”

 

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And with a liberty bell replica at the media center.

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We did get to see the real Liberty Bell, in front of Independence Hall.

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Hope to be back with more soon!

 

 

 

Schedule for Ave Maria Press Book Signings at #WMF2015. Meet me & others at Booth 742!

Schedule for Ave Maria Press Book Signings at #WMF2015. Meet me & others at Booth 742!

Awesome book resources from many of Ave Maria Press’ authors can be found at booth #742 at the World Meeting of Families! Hope to see you this Wednesday at 2pm!

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015
4 p.m.–Live broadcast with Greg and Lisa Popcak

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015
9:45 a.m–live broadcast with Grace Urbanski
10 a.m.–Grace Urbanski and Susie Lloyd book signing
11 a.m.–live broadcast with Sr. Terry Rickard
12:45 p.m.–live broadcast with Teresa Tomeo1-59471-370-7_
1 p.m.–Teresa Tomeo book signing
2 p.m.–book signing with Pat Gohn and Lisa Hendey
3:15 p.m.–live broadcast with Lisa Hendey and Pat Gohn

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015
9:45 a.m.–live broadcast with Marge Fenelon
10 a.m.–book signing with Marge Fenelon
12:45 p.m.–live broadcast with Lisa Duffy
1:30 p.m.–book signing with Lisa Duffy
1 p.m.–book signing with Fr. Michael White
3 p.m.–live broadcast with Fr. Michael White
5:15 p.m.–book signing with Carmen Santamaria and Angelique Ruhi-Lopez
5:45 p.m.–live broadcast with Carmen and Angelique
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It’s like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl. #PopeIsHope #goodiswinning #PopeinPhilly

It’s like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl. #PopeIsHope #goodiswinning #PopeinPhilly

I feel like I’m going to the Catholic Super Bowl! And we’re all rooting for the same team! It seems to me that the World Meeting of Families (WMF) has morphed into the World Meeting with Francis, and I could not be happier. So many details, so many people coming to see him. I’ll be part of the Philadelphia audience for Pope Francis’ first ever visit to the US!

IMG_0057I’ll be on the road with one of my favorite globe-trotters, and good friend, Lisa Hendey. I know she’ll be in high demand, media maven that she is, and I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two. Look for her tweets and mine, and follow us on Facebook. I’m not yet on Instagram and Periscope but Lisa is! And be sure to follow and use the hashtags #goodiswinning #PopeIsHope #PopeinPhilly and #PopeInUS.

We’re looking forward to interviewing people about this experience as well! And writing it about of course. I hope to get some good Espresso for Among Women!

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The WMF’s theme is “Love is Our Mission.” Spend the $10 on this book that is about 100 pages and breaks out this mission. It’s wonderful.

Want to know more about World Meeting of Families, go here. Read about its themes here. 

It all started with the World Meeting of Families that was scheduled to meet in Philadelphia September 22-26. And then the Pope decided to join us too, and now there’s not just #PopeinPhilly, the Pope is coming to Washington DC to address Congress, and canonize Blessed Junipero Serra* at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception — another saint for the Americas! — and visit the city of my birth, NEW YORK! Check out the papal schedule for the US.

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Oh and that’s not all, before he flies to the US, Francis is making an important visit to Cuba. Here’s more on that from my friend, Maria Morera Johnson…For her, it’s a faith pilgrimage as well as a personal one.

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*See my post about my pilgrimage to Blessed Serra’s mission and grave with Lisa Hendey.

 

The Feminine Genius and reading ’round the Web… Don’t miss these posts!

The Feminine Genius and reading ’round the Web… Don’t miss these posts!

There has been, in the last two weeks, much important reading on subjects close to my heart, and many women’s hearts, relating to the feminine genius and the beauty of womanhood — and our loss of that sensibility and truth. Much of my writing and speaking in the three years has been to point out the basics of woman’s dignity, gifts, and mission as presented to our through the teachings of the Catholic Church, which is more pro-woman and pro-life than any other institution or organization you could name. (To learn more on this perspective, see my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious. Or come to one of my events.)

Sadly, I have been unable to comment on these posts, save for the briefest ideas,  due to my current writing work load and travel schedule

I am, however, linking to a few of those posts here. It’s Lent, after all, so I invite you to read and reflect on these in light of the Gospel, and our call to live it.

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1. Mary Eberstadt’s piece on Jailhouse Feminism over at National Review online is jarring as it is astutely on to something… the rage of women in the media and elsewhere is pointing to their abuse and abasement by themselves and others all in the name of freedom. This is must reading. Warning: course language here.

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2. Read Our Emotions, Our Bodies, Ourselves by Carolyn Moynihan as she comments on a female psychiatrist, writing in the NY Times about a boom in the number of women (1 in 4) talking medications… it was most emailed article on the New York Times website over the weekend, “Medicating Women’s Feelings”. I admit I have not had time to read the NY Times article but this reply references offers much quoted source material.  It is worth reading this piece by the ever-wise Carolyn Moynihan.

A few of my thoughts: One of the powerful gifts of women is their sensitivity, or empathy. It is more than emotions, for sure. But if we don’t understand the body-soul connection of a woman’s great ability of “seeing” with her heart, she might not understand that what breaks her heart also points her in the direction of holy actions: To be deeply rooted in prayer and clinging to Christ, and to be ready to acknowledge the the persons in their midst in need of care and nurture.

Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out to them and help them. In this way the basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in the variety of vocations, that beauty—not merely physical, but above all spiritual—which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women.

(St John Paul II, Letter to Women, 12)

How many women may have been medicated, or told they were crazy or unbalanced, when, really they are not — just normal? I can’t take that in now, but it grieves my heart.

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3. Yet another post on one of the gifts of women, this time, maternity: Motherhood is the Strongest Bond written by a blogger who describes the heart of women… and how we need to stand alongside one another, mother to mother, when we encounter the toughest of all crosses, the death of a child. I’m reminded here how mothers are well disposed, as St John Paul would say, not only their own children, but to all children. The author of the piece has this central message: “You’re a mother, you know.”

Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman’s womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and “understands” with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the “beginning,” the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings—not only towards her own child, but every human being—which profoundly marks the woman’s personality. (St John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, 18)

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4. The Christophers’ Tony Rossi has a piece up includes some compelling lyrics from singer Kelly Clarkson, and others who are trying to combat the madness of sexual imagery that is everywhere.

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5. Some hope here from Lisa Hendey in her piece on The Blogosphere as a Mission Field, with lots of commentary from women leaders, including myself.

While I really appreciate this well written piece, it’s important to remember Lisa’s end point: we are all called to the new evangelization. For many of us, it’s the call to be saints whose mission is to rescue the culture from its confusion and chaos regarding the gifts of masculinity and femininity.

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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