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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.

 

 

Mama, This One’s For You – Beth Hart

I just came off another Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious retreat last week… the subject of motherhood is always a bittersweet one for many women. I love to speak about the joys and the trials of spiritual motherhood (what all women are called to) and of physical motherhood (what many of us are called to in the vocation of marriage). Then, there’s Mother Mary — who always loves us. In the order of grace, she is our true Momma, too.

It’s still May – the month of mothers and Mary… so here you go. Listen to this one and if you are able, go call your mother.

All that said, I get teared up when I see a video like this. I may have to add it to the retreat line-up.

A little hat tip to my pal, Heather Rice Fahey  (Go listen to her sing “Amazing Grace”!) for sharing it with her Facebook friends.

Among Women Podcast 203: An online Catholic Conference 4 Moms #FacesOfMercy

Among Women Podcast 203: An online Catholic Conference 4 Moms #FacesOfMercy

Calling all Moms! Sometimes mothers have trouble taking time out for themselves — so how about participating in an online conference this Lent?

This episode of Among Women is a timely message with a call for all “the Marthas” in our midst — women who know how to get things done! Or, women who know how to give the gift of hospitality and encouragement — Mom-to-Mom! This podcast is about getting on board this Lent with the Catholic Conference 4 Moms. This online conference launches Feb 20, 2016, and its super easy to plan it for your parish or home-based gathering.

Join me, and conference founder and organizer Tami Kiser, AKA Smart Martha as we discuss the good stuff that Moms will experience in this unique online conference — The Catholic Conference 4 Moms! You can offer day of encouragement for you and the Moms in your parish or neighborhood… for a very low price of $59 for “conference-in-a-box”.

This is also a chance to watch this conference in your home with friends! This is available for $14.99 — In fact, you can get a discount off the price if you use my affiliate promo code: AMONG WOMEN! Use my coupon code AMONG WOMEN and get that for $10.99.

Also, in our “Blessed are They” segment, we learn about St Waltrude from Mons, Belgium. She is a saint who was inspired by the saints in her family and lived in such a way as to inspire saints in her children.

Listen to the podcast here!

Register for the conference here.

Watch the trailer for the online Catholic Conference 4 Moms…

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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.

The F.U.N. Quotient… this one’s for the Mom’s

The F.U.N. Quotient… this one’s for the Mom’s

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And if you’ve raised toddler’s, this one’s for you. Hope you smile!

 
Finally, here’s a cheerful soundtrack for your day!

Saint-Making Starter Kit: Parents Who Love God and Live It In The Home

Saint-Making Starter Kit: Parents Who Love God and Live It In The Home

Happy All Saints Day!

One of the key teachings of Vatican II — is the universal call to holiness — or more simply, everyone is called to be a saint. As I read and share many saint bios and hagiographies  in my writing and on Among Women, I often discover that would-be saints often start out in devoted Catholic families. Not all mind you, but I’d say most.

Vatican II called married couples to live the graces of Matrimony in a daily way… walking the talk — to make of their homes, a domestic church… specifically that parents are to be the first preachers of the faith.

Today in the Huffington Post, there’s a quote that echoes what Vatican II taught us, from University of Notre Dame Sociologist Christian Smith, lead researcher for the National Studies on Youth and Religion. 

“Parents, for better or worse, are actually the most influential pastors … of their children,” Smith said.

Just for history’s sake, let’s dial back 50 years to Lumen Gentium – the key document from the Second Vatican Council.

From the wedlock of Christians there comes the family, in which new citizens of human society are born, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism are made children of God, thus perpetuating the people of God through the centuries. The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state. [LG, par. 10][Emphasis mine].

We’re a society that loves research and its findings. Today we have more data on faith and the family from the National Studies on Youth and Religion.

The HuffPo piece “No. 1 Reason Teens Keep The Faith as Young Adults” reiterates what the Church’s wisdom has been all along…

The holy grail for helping youth remain religiously active as young adults has been at home all along: parents.

Mothers and fathers who practice what they preach and preach what they practice are far and away the major influence related to adolescents keeping the faith into their 20s, according to new findings from a landmark study of youth and religion.

Just 1 percent of teens ages 15 to 17 raised by parents who attached little importance to religion were highly religious in their mid-to-late 20s.

In contrast, 82 percent of children raised by parents who talked about faith at home, attached great importance to their beliefs and were active in their congregations were themselves religiously active as young adults, according to data from the latest wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion.

The connection is “nearly deterministic,” said University of Notre Dame Sociologist Christian Smith, lead researcher for the study.

Other factors such as youth ministry or clergy or service projects or religious schools pale in comparison.

“No other conceivable causal influence … comes remotely close to matching the influence of parents on the religious faith and practices of youth,” Smith said in a recent talk sharing the findings at Yale Divinity School. “Parents just dominate.

Parents, if you need a place to start, to recapture this calling to praying and living the faith in your home, here is an easy way to start: In the last 48 hours I posted the latest Among Women interview with Leila Marie Lawler, co-author with David Clayton of The Little Oratory: A Beginners Guide to Praying in the Home. Listen and start with what works for you. I highly recommend this book!

Here’s a few more resources:

Written by me:

Raising Them for Jesus, at CatholicMom.com

Raising Saints for Heaven (from my book Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious)

The Powerful Light of the Family Table, at CatholicMom.com

Among Women Podcasts:

Raising Saints

The Mom Podcasts

 :::

H/T to Deacon Greg Kandra for sharing the HuffPo story that got me to the keyboard.

image credit

 

Among Women: On Faith, Grace, and Prayer in Marriage and Family Life

Among Women: On Faith, Grace, and Prayer in Marriage and Family Life

UnknownThis week’s episode of Among Women talks about many things that are close to my heart — marriage and family — and the calling to make Christ the center of those relationship and in our home. I hope you’ll join me as I reflect back on 30+ years of marriage and family life, plus have an inspiring conversation with the woman who is part of the team behind the Like Mother Like Daughter blog, author Leila Marie Lawler. Together we discuss one of my favorite new books of the year, The Little Oratory: A beginner’s guide to praying in the home. 

There’s even a chance to win a signed copy of the book from the authors — hear the details on the podcast! 

Finally, I hope you’ll enjoy a look at the little-known mystic, St Umilta, as I read some of her passionate writings about our faith.

Don’t miss this episode of Among Women!

Among Women 185: The Life of Ryan, with Mary Ellen Barrett

Among Women 185: The Life of Ryan, with Mary Ellen Barrett

This latest episode of Among Women may require a box of Kleenex handy. My most wonderful and gracious guest is  Mary Ellen Barrett.

This week we look at the difficult subject of losing a child to death. Blogger and Long Island Catholic columnist Mary Ellen Barrett reflects on the fifth anniversary since the death of Ryan, her 14 year old son, who died during a camping trip. The search for Ryan, who at first was thought to be lost, went on for some time, and many, including myself, were glued to the internet for news of him during that search as prayers stormed heaven.

Listeners or blog readers familiar with this event will be encouraged by the musings and memories of Ryan’s mother, Mary Ellen. Those uninitiated will be blessed by the faith of this Long Island family who suffered the keenest of losses.

Since this is Respect Life Month, my goal with Mary Ellen is to talk about the beauty and dignity of Ryan’s life — his Christian devotion even as a young boy with special needs — as well as the ups and downs that he faced in family life and elsewhere. Finally, we discuss the outpouring of support from near and far for this grieving family, plus offer tips for helping others facing a similar grief.

In our saint segment, I once again look at the life of St Anna Schaffer, whose life of prayer and acute physical suffering offers a witness to us for how to make our heartaches and pains a path of redemptive suffering.

If you’d like to read a little bit about Mary Ellen’s life with Ryan, you might enjoy this recent article in Seton Magazine, or this one from Catholic Digest. I’ve left a few more, plus blog posts from Mary Ellen’s blog, over with the episode notes for Among Women 185.

Listen to Among Women 185 right now!

If you enjoy Among Women, kindly leave a rating and a review over on iTunes!

 

Among Women 183: Falling in love with the Trinity — and the feminine genius

Among Women 183: Falling in love with the Trinity — and the feminine genius

This latest episode of Among Women features the faith story of Nan Balfour, whose love and faith in God led her to knowing her feminine genius .

Speaker_BalfourTogether we explore the gift of faith and what it means to fall in love with God, and how it changes the way we love and live. Nan Balfour shares pivotal conversion moments in her life — a life of on-going conversion — and how they led her to what she does now. Nan is a leader with the Pilgrim Center of Hope, and the conference coordinator for the Catholic Women’s Conference in San Antonio coming up Sept 19-20.

In our “Blessed are They” segment, we pray along with Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity — whose faith was wrapped up in love of the Holy Trinity.

Don’t miss this episode, and share it with your friends on social media, and put an announcement in your church bulletin for Among Women.

Don’t forget to like Among Women Podcast on Facebook, and leave a positive rating and a review on our iTunes page. Thanks!

For details on upcoming conferences and retreats with me, Pat Gohn, go here.