Learn more about Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious or order a signed copy!
Ladies: The Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious one-day retreat comes to Elkhart IN – May 9! Join me!

Ladies: The Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious one-day retreat comes to Elkhart IN – May 9! Join me!

I’m hoping you’ll join me for a day-long retreat just for us girls! This women’s event, even though it is on Mother’s Day Weekend, is not just for Moms! We love Moms, of course! But the day is a celebration of the feminine genius — and that’s all women! I’ll be offering three talks on the three aspects I covered in Blessed, Beautiful, & Bodacious – our blessed dignity, our beautiful gifts, and our bodacious — most excellent — mission!

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Catholic Women’s Ministries

This event is sponsored by “Be It Done” Catholic Women’s Ministries representing women from six different parishes from the Catholic Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, and hosted at St Vincent de Paul parish in Elkhart.

Come one, come all!  Sign up here! Buy the book here!

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Give yourself and your girlfriends the gift of faith, fellowship, food, and fun! All the details are here. 

 

I’m speaking in Wayland MA this Wednesday night April 29 at 7:30pm! Please pre-register!

On this Wednesday April 30, the Elizabeth Ministry of Good Shepherd parish welcomes all guests to a woman’s event featuring a talk on the “The Gift of Womanhood: Answering the God’s call to lead through Spiritual Motherhood”.

This evening will be held at St Zepherin Center at Good Shepherd parish in Wayland, MA. 7:30-9:15pm. The event is free, but kindly pre-register by phoning or emailing Lucy Prunier at 508-988-0338 or Luciana.prunier@gmail.com.

Recap: Photos from the Sisters In Faith Conference, Billings MT

Recap: Photos from the Sisters In Faith Conference, Billings MT

Thank you, good women of Montana, and sponsor KJCR –Billings Catholic Radio, and all the other sponsors, for an unforgettable two days of wine, women, and song! (and prayer, and talks, and sisterhood, of course!)

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Joining me as a co-presenter was the gifted singer, Jaime Thietten.

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The event coordinators, Julie Koerber (r) and Pam Purinton (l).

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Yours truly, presenting on Saturday.

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Trust me, Jaime Thietten has great pipes and a beautiful testimony. Find her music here.

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Momma Mary, front and center!

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Wine, cheese, light fare on Friday night!

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A guest appearance by Pope Francis’ stunt double!

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I really enjoyed having Jaime Thietten along for this event. Her music really complimented the message of the talks I gave on Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious and our morning and evening prayers. We were able to collaborate in a way that does not often happen between conference speakers, and I’m very grateful to the conference leadership for the opportunity to craft a program with Jaime where we could share our gifts alongside one another.

I hope to have Jaime as a guest on an episode of Among Women in the weeks to come!

In the meantime, I wanted to share this video of one of Jaime’s songs. In her testimony talk over the weekend, she shared how her the Lord has led her to sing and to be a voice for the unborn. This song is a powerful reminder of the deep heartache that often accompanies a woman’s life, even years after an abortion. Keep a tissue handy.

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Finally home after this 4-day jaunt. I was amazed at the mild temps in Montana and no snow! I flew home via Minnesota and they didn’t have snow either! We’re still looking at the white stuff here in MA, as we got a few inches while I was away. There’s about a 18-24 inches covering the yard, and a 6-foot high plow pile at the end of the driveway. But my heart sure felt the surge of spring while I was away! I love those Montana women!

I must thank St John Paul II and Ave Maria Press: Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is now in Polish!

I must thank St John Paul II and Ave Maria Press: Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is now in Polish!

BBB cover art. POLISH EDITION-1

 

What a thrill to see this book now in print in the mother tongue of St John Paul II — the author of all good things related to the feminine genius.

Super that the book will be available for when World Youth Day comes to Krakow, Poland in 2016.

(I did not know that this was in the works… my publisher totally surprised me… I was innocently opening the mail and found 4 copies of the new book.)

Do I have any Polish speaking readers here? Contact me!

 

Among Women 189: Leading with Humility — talking about “The Prodigal You Love”

Among Women 189: Leading with Humility — talking about “The Prodigal You Love”

In this latest episode of Among Women, I discuss the unscheduled hiatus of the show in the last couple of months, as well as my forays into the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. I also welcome my guest, Sr Theresa Aletheia Noble FSP, author of a new book from Pauline Books and Media, The Prodigal You Love: Inviting Loved Ones Back to the Church. St Theresa is a former atheist who returned to the Catholic faith after encountering Catholics whose authentic faith and joy won her over. In this conversation Sr Theresa offers three tip for helping us invite our loved ones back into the Church… the most important of which is to lead with humility.

Finally we explore the life of a 14th century saint, St Dorothy of Montau, whose humility and gentility won the hearts of her husband to Catholicism, as well as many others. Don’t miss the return of Among Women with this newest episode.

Listen now. 

I’m speaking in Connecticut this Sunday! Sign up and Join me!

I’m speaking in Connecticut this Sunday! Sign up and Join me!

I’ll be at Mary Our Queen’s parish women’s retreat, 12-5pm on Sunday March 1. You don’t have to be a member of the parish to attend. Note: There will be no registrations at the door, so you must register early. 

I’ll be give talks based on my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious. Books will also be for sale.

A Catholic Writer’s Prayer

A Catholic Writer’s Prayer

This has been my prayer for many years. 

I reread it often. Rather, I pray it often. 

I’m happy to share it with you, and if you do pray it, kindly send one up for me too. Thank you.

 

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Heavenly Father,
there have been fits and starts to my creative life.
Help me to live more deliberately
in the creative flow of your Holy Spirit.
Let Jesus, the Word made flesh,
show me, by true incarnation,
how to use my words
for good and not for evil —
to bring comfort, hope, and healing…
to evangelize and catechize…
but always, always, with love and in love.

Lord, give me the ability
to trust you as the Creator of my life,
and the Giver of my gifts.
Help me to trust the gifts you have given me
and to use them for your glory.
Help me not to worry who gets the credit
and to be generous in what I give>
Let me provide the quantity and
leave the quality to you.

Let me start and let me finish with You, Lord,
and in You — let me be assisted
through the gentle mediation of Mary, my Mother.

Lead me not into doctrinal error
and do not let me lead anyone astray…
only close to You, Lord —
for me and for whatever audience you give me–
whomever they may be, wherever they may be.

Use me, Lord.
I’m ready to do your Will.
Thank you for the gifts and
thank you for the years of my life that remain.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hail Mary…  

St Francis de Sales, pray for us.

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Top Post for 2014: Saint-Making Starter Kit: Parents Who Love God and Live It In The Home

Why is this no surprise? It is a topic that also coincided with the most downloaded podcast at Among Women.

The Family. It’s all about the family. For lay Catholics, this is Job One. We must support marriage and the family. (I’ll be going to the World Meeting of Families in Philly come June. Maybe I’ll see you there?)

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My family, Christmas 2014. L to R, Back row: Son-in-love Benjy, daughter & middle child Katie, eldest son Bobby, youngest son Peter. Bottom row, Bob, Brady, and me.

So here’s the top post on The Back Porch from the last year: Saint-Making Starter Kit: Parents Who Love God and Live It In The Home. It’s got links to a study on faith in family life and links by me and others on the subject.

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In other statistical date: The most popular place on this website was not the blog at all. The page that out-distanced any of my blog posts was the book page. I guess I ought to be grateful that folks are still looking for it, so humble thanks to you, dear readers. Let me also again thank the Catholic Press Association for the award given to Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious, too. I’m sure that did not hurt my stats much either.

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Then again…

Stats are a funny thing. You learn things like what search engine traffic brings you…. for example, these two posts from 2013 still send this little blog crazy traffic:

4 Magazines for Catholic Women – which really is a bit dated now as only ONE — Catholic Digest is still in PRINT. Verily and Regina are only online. (Verily had a great print product but it was too costly for them to maintain.) And Radiant’s team is on hiatus… (a problem for a small press.) So, today I say: go subscribe to Catholic Digest! Yes, yours truly writes for them.  FWIW, if my blog stats are any indication, editors, many Catholic women are still looking for magazines…

You are the apple of God’s eye — I guess that’s what happens when one of your posts stays in Google’s top 10 for the search of that bible verse. It was a little bitty sharing from my morning prayer and, well, there you are.

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Thank you for reading in 2014. And if you also listen to Among Women, thank you for that too. We’ll talk again soon.

The Top 5 Among Women Podcasts from 2014

The Top 5 Among Women Podcasts from 2014

Here’s a list of the most popular episodes of Among Women from 2014.

1. AW 186 with Leila Marie Lawler: “On Faith, Grace, and Prayer in Marriage and Family Life”

This episode of Among Women looks at keeping good company with Jesus in marriage and family life. After passing my 32nd wedding anniversary, I opined on some of the wisdom I’ve gained from the graces found in the Sacrament of UnknownMatrimony. In keeping with the gift of the home and family life, I’m thrilled to share an extended conversation with author and blogger Leila Marie Lawler about the book she co-wrote with David Clayton, The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the HomeWe discuss making prayer the center of your family life by establishing a home altar, or little oratory, as a place to daily celebrate the liturgical year in our families.

This episode also introduces the inspirations from the little known mystic-saint, St Umilta (or St Humility). Listen. 

 2. AW 185 with Mary Ellen Barrett: “The Life of Ryan”

Maybe one of the most poignant Among Women episodes… where we look at the difficult subject of losing a child to death. My guest, blogger and Long Island Catholic columnist Mary Ellen Barrett, reflects on the fifth anniversary since the30440_409147118913_1842833_n-540x285 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 many hours. Many, including myself, were glued to the internet for news of him during that time. Listeners familiar with this event will be encouraged by the musings and memories of Mary Ellen, his mother. Those uninitiated will be blessed by the faith of this Long Island family.

Mary Ellen and I celebrate the life of Ryan — his Christian devotion even as a young boy with special needs — as well as the ups and downs that he faced. We discuss the support from near and far for this grieving family, plus offer tips for helping others facing grief. In our saint segment, I look at the life of St Anna Schaffer, whose life offers a witness for how to make our heartaches and pains a path of redemptive suffering. Listen here. 

3. AW 179 with Danielle Bean: “Momnipotent”

This episode is dedicated to mothers — the physical and spiritual mothers in all of us. I start by exploring danielle_beanthe idea of Mary as a mother to us all. Then in our Among Women conversation, I welcome author and editor of Catholic Digest, Danielle Bean, who discusses her new book and study: Momnipotent! The not-so perfect guide to Catholic Motherhood.  This great book is for Moms who are busy raising families. It’s perfect for personal reading or group study!

Listen to this episode of Among Women.

4. AW 181 with Jennifer Fitz:”Spiritual Muscle for Life’s Curves”

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This Among Women podcast finds me conversing with author-blogger Jennifer Fitz. Jennifer shares her life as a blogger-catechist-author and discusses the good work of the Catholic Writers Guild. She also opens her heart describing how her past experience as a competitive cyclist enlightens her faith today as she powers through suffering when it comes.

Also: I unpack seven spiritual weapons found in the writings of St Catherine of Bologna — especially dealing with the spiritual warfare that increased as her faith and love for Christ increased.

Listen.

5. AW 177 with Mary Wallace: “Working Women, Leadership, and the Devotional Life”

She’s back… Mary Wallace, PhD, from Louisiana State University — Mary, for the second year, makes Among Women’s end of year list of “most downloaded” shows. Together we discuss the feminine genius, and the particular leadership mary-300x205strengths of women in the world, and list suggestions for strengthening the devotional life in working women. In this episode, rather than focus on one particular saint, I offer commentary on adoration of the Blessed Sacrament drawn from the writings of several women saints. We’ll explore the thoughts of St Jeanne Jugan, St Therese of Lisieux, St Elizabeth Seton, St Bernadette Soubirous, St Catherine Labore, and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Listen now.

Honorable mentions:

AW 177 with Kitty Cleveland: “Winter Chill Gives Way to Blue Skies”

1688392_601752809894102_357447804_n-393x285Who doesn’t love great music? A truly enjoyable podcast spotlighting the release of Kitty Cleveland’s jazz album, plus inspiring conversation about Kitty’s life in Christ. Listen! 

AW 171 with Sr Grace Remington, OCSO: “The Joy of the Incarnation”

This one ranks among the most listened to Among Women podcasts of all time, but since it was released late in December of 2013, many more downloads occurred into 2014. In this episode, I discuss Christmas through the eyes of  Mary, as told by St Ephrem the Syrian, a 4th century Doctor of the Church. Our guest is a cloistered contemplative nun — Sr Grace Remington OCSO, a Cistercian Sister of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, Dubuque, Iowa. Together we discuss the life of a Trappist nun and Sr Grace’s portrait of Mary and Eve (below)… as well as the abbey’s candy-making endeavors! Listen now! 

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Note: The Top 5 Popular Among Women episodes are determined by “most downloaded” in 2014.

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Other “best of” collections…

Best of Among Women 2013

12 Podcasts for Moms

7 Podcasts On Prayer

7 Podcasts About Conversion

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Among Women on iTunes – Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Among Women website – Subscribe and never miss an episode!