Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Feast of the Visitation

The Blessed Mother Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth.

Dear Lord, Jesus, help me to put my needs aside to "go in haste" to help others. Amen.

Give me the Scoop!

Hello Moms,

I will be a guest on a monthly radio show for Moms with Teresa Tomeo on the "Catholic Connection" show on Ave Maria Radio. What would you like us to talk about? What kinds of tasks in your mothering present challenges? What tips about parenting would you like to share with other Moms? Why is it important for you to pass on your Catholic faith to your children? Feel free to leave comments below and perhaps your suggestion will be used for the show! You will also be able to call in to the show to present a question or comment.

I will give you some more details about this soon. I hope you'll take a moment to leave a comment for me. May God bless your day!

The HPV Vaccine: Should Your Daughter Receive It?

Read Heidi Hess Saxton's article, "The HPV Vaccine: Should Your Daughter Receive It?" at Catholic Exchange today. It is a very informative article that will give you something to ponder.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"A New Day" TV show

Last night I was taped for three segments of a TV show. I was interviewed by TV host, Daphne Clarke Hudson. When I get the information about times and dates for the shows, I will pass it on to you.

Have a BLESSED day!
God bless,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prayerfully Expecting!

My new book,Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be is out! It was a busy week end launching it at the Borders book signing and then at my parish, doing book signings after all of the Masses. I pray that this book will serve expectant mothers well. It is now available through this weblog and also my website and here. It will be available in stores and on the Web in a few weeks.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pope Benedict reminds the Church of her origins and mission

From Catholic News Service:
ROME, May 27, 2007 / 11:44 am (CNA).- On an overcast, humid Pentecost Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI met with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to give the last Regina Coeli address of the year.

The Pope began by calling to mind that, "today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost." This feast is especially important for the Church since "we can say that the Church had its solemn beginning with the descent of the Holy Spirit."

Moreover, Benedict explained that "in this extraordinary event, we find the essential characteristics and qualifications of the Church." First, "the Church is One, like the community at Pentecost, united in prayer." Second, "the Church is Holy, not by her merits, but because, animated by the Holy Spirit, she keeps her eyes fixed on Christ."

The Church is also Catholic "because the Gospel is destined for all people and for this reason, from the very beginning, the Holy Spirit makes it so that she speaks all languages." Lastly, "the Church is Apostolic because she was raised on the foundation of the Apostles and faithfully guards their teachings through the uninterrupted chain of Apostolic Succession."

Read full article which also speaks of about the evangelization of all peoples.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fr. James's Homily: Pentecost Sunday

Every time we pray together the Profession of Faith we proclaim that “we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life...”.

It is the Lord, the giver of life who “hovered over the water” at the beginning of creation (Genesis 1: 2). It is the Lord, the giver of life who on Easter Sunday filled the Apostles with the power to bring back to life the spiritually dead through the forgiveness of sin (John 20: 22-23). It is the Lord, the giver of life who gave birth to the Church born on Pentecost (Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-13).

However, the greatest act of the giver of life was when the Word was made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Again, in the Profession of Faith we proclaim: “ the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man”. This man is the Lord Jesus. He is the Incarnate Word. He is true God and true Man. He is the way, the truth and the life.

Pope John Paul II in his courageous encyclical letter “Evangelium Vitae” affirms that there is a “conspiracy against life”. He wrote that “we are in fact faced with an objective conspiracy against life, involving even international institutions engaged in encouraging and carrying out actual campaigns to make contraception, sterilization and abortion widely available” (Evangelium Vitae, 17.2).

See entire homily here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two days and counting...

I will be launching my newest book, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be this Saturday, May 26th at Borders (details at "Appearances")! I wrote this book while on complete bed rest during a high risk pregnancy with my fifth child, Mary-Catherine. Blessed Mother Teresa whom I knew at that time, gave me a foreword for the book. Pope John Paul II blessed it. It is a book to celebrate pregnancy as a wonderful time of anticipation as mothers await childbirth and it offers the expectant Mom the opportunity to transform her pregnancy into a novena of prayer to God. It's a "baby book" for the unborn baby! An expectant Mom will be able to follow her baby's progress and record her thoughts and prayers as well as save her ultrasound pictures to cherish in years to come.

Watch this video!

Suzanne posted this on her blog. Watch it!

Temper tantrums, outbursts and tips to handle them while training your child

Mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers may want to visit Lissa over at HERE AT THE BONNY GLEN to see how she helps her children to handle anger and outbursts...very clever!

Pope Benedict insists that Evangelization did not destroy native cultures

From Catholic News Service:

Vatican City, May 23, 2007 / 12:42 pm (CNA).- During his weekly general audience, Pope Benedict reflected on his recent apostolic trip to Brazil and insisted that, despite the shadows in the process of announcing the Gospel in the new world, the Evangelization did not destroy but instead ennobled the native cultures.

Speaking before more than 25,000 people on a sunny day, the Pontiff said that his journey to Latin America, where he inaugurated the 5th General Conference of Latin American Bishops, "was primarily an act of praise to God for the 'wonders' worked among the people of Latin America, and for the faith that has animated their lives and culture over more than 500 years."

The Holy Father acknowledged that the "remembrance of a glorious past cannot ignore the shadows that accompanied the work of evangelization on the Latin American continent: ... the suffering and injustices inflicted by the colonizers on the indigenous peoples whose fundamental human rights were often trampled underfoot."

Read entire story here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

US bishops respond

From Catholic News Service:

Washington DC, May 23, 2007 / 03:58 pm (CNA).- The 18 Democrats who recently criticized Pope Benedict XVI when he answered questions about Mexico City’s legalization of abortion, both misrepresented the Pope’s remarks and defied freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement in response to the allegations of the 18 Democrats who attempted to correct the Pope.

“In an unfortunate May 10 statement, 18 of the 88 Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks concerning Mexican lawmakers legalizing abortion. The Representatives’ statement misrepresents the Holy Father’s remarks and implies that the Church does not have a right to voice its teaching in the public square.”

see entire story here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What's your vocation?

Read a post from Bishop William Lori's blog about the ordination of four new priests and a call to young people to pray to discern their own vocation.

He said, "Every member of the Church has a vocation – to priesthood, marriage and family, or consecrated life. I appeal to our young people to pray seriously – to ask for the grace to discern their God-given vocations and then to respond affirmatively – with trust in the Lord’s love."

Our Blessed Mother and Juan Diego

"Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my Arms? Do you need anything more?"

Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego

Do WE need anything more? Don't you just love these words?
Have a BLESSED day!

A reflection from Fr. Tom, a Fransciscan Friar I know

Click here for a beautiful reflection on Sunday's Gospel.. This is not OLD NEWS, it's worthy of reading today!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pope Benedict speaks about his trip to Brazil, the media and the Ascension

From Catholic News Service:

ROME, May 20, 2007 / 04:31 pm (CNA).- Thousands of pilgrims flocked to St. Peter's square to hear the Pope's first public address since his trip to Brazil last week. Benedict speech was filled with relevant topics—his trip to Brazil, the annual World Day of Social Communications, and the celebration of the Ascension.

The Holy Father wasted no time in mentioning his desire to "renew my thanksgiving to the Lord for the apostolic trip to Brazil." He also added his thanks to "those who accompanied me with their prayer."

The Pope then reminded everybody that "the reason for my pastoral visit . . . was the inauguration of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops." However, "before this great ecclesiastical event, I had the chance to meet with the Brazilian Catholic community."

Read entire story here.

Our Lord tells us to take courage...

In today's Gospel: Jn 16:29-33 we read:

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

What wonderful words to ponder today...we WILL have trouble in this world but we should TAKE COURAGE and we can have PEACE because our dear Lord has CONQUERED THE WORLD!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fr. James's homily

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven is the completion of the Paschal Mystery. He shows us that where he has gone, we are to follow. His physical presence in eternity shows us that the new heavens and the new earth will be a physical reality where "He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness" (Revelation 21: 4).

For the past seven weeks we have been celebrating the most joyous season of the Catholic liturgical year. The Easter season has filled us with immense joy and profound hope. The barriers of time and space no longer apply to the Lord. He appears and disappears with shocking suddenness. He continually demonstrates his physical reality. The Apostles and the disciples see him, hear him, and eat with him. Thomas is told to touch his wounds. The stone rolled away from the entrance, and the carefully folded burial cloths direct our gaze to the physical. He has truly risen.

Read entire homily here.

A Radio interview with Teresa Tomeo at "Catholic Connection"

You may listen to an earlier radio interview with Teresa Tomeo at "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria radio by clicking here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Calling all skywatchers...

See Venus Next to the Crescent Moon on May 19

It will be quite a sight: Don't miss Venus and the crescent moon when they pair up on the evening of May 19.
Get details, a chart and a timetable for North America here.

A "Breath of Divine Power..".

"She is a breath of divine power, a most pure effusion of the Most High; hence nothing sullied can ever contaminate her. She is a reflection of the eternal light, a spotless mirror of God's activity, an image of his excellence. She is indeed more beautiful than the sun, surpasses all the constellations, and compared to light itself, she is more brilliant."
St. Maximilian Kolbe on the Blessed Virgin

Catholic Democrats chide Pope based on wrong information, says Catholic League

From Catholic news Service:
New York, May 17, 2007 / 10:16 am (CNA).- Catholic League president Bill Donohue said the 18 House Democrats, who chided Pope Benedict XVI, “are twice a disgrace.” The Democrats took it upon themselves to correct the Holy Father for allegedly saying he agreed with the Mexican bishop who reportedly invoked excommunication against the Catholic lawmakers who voted to legalize abortion in Mexico City.

The Democrats wrote: "Religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs about the role of democratic representatives in a pluralistic America -- it clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. Such notions offend the very nature of the American experiment and do a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done."

The problem for the Democrats is that they got their facts wrong, thus disgracing them for the first time, said Donohue.

“What happened was at first confusing, but was quickly clarified,” Donohue acknowledged. First, no Mexican bishop ever invoked excommunication against any lawmaker for legalizing abortion. In fact, the Mexican bishop in question merely noted that support for abortion is incompatible with receiving Communion, and politicians who have done so should not attempt to receive it.

Read entire story by clicking here.

Honduran cardinal clarifies interview on Communion and pro-abortion politicians

From Catholic News Service:
Tegucigalpa, May 17, 2007 / 06:27 pm (CNA).- In statements to Carlos Polo, director for Latin America of the Population Research Institute, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, said he agrees that Communion should be denied to politicians who publicly support abortion.

In an interview with Time magazine, Cardinal Maradiaga was asked, “Do you agree with the Pope’s statement that pro-choice Catholic politicians merit excommunication?” The cardinal responded by saying: “It is canon law that everyone who works for abortion is excommunicated. It’s not something the Pope invented. If you favor abortion, you are outside the communion of the Church. And it was necessary to say that. There are people in Mexico saying I am Catholic and I support abortion rights. This is a contradiction in its very essence. As a teacher of the Church, the Pope has a responsibility of teaching when something happening is wrong.”

Later he was asked: “Do you agree with bishops who deny giving Holy Communion to these politicians?” The cardinal replied: “This is a different point. For who am I to deny Holy Communion to a person? I cannot. It’s in the tradition of moral theology that even if I know a person is living in grave sin, I cannot take a public action against him. It would be giving scandal to the person. Yes, he should not seek [communion], but I cannot deny it from him.”

Read entire article by clicking here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ascension Thursday

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.
(Luke 24: 46-53)

Over the top!

My son, Joseph cleared eleven feet at pole vaulting during his track meet and now goes into the states! It was truly exciting to see him make it over on that very windy day down at the track meet. Some of the best vaulters did not make their goals that day due to the very windy conditions. After I recovered my heart from my throat as my son made it over the pole on his third attempt at 11 feet, the excitement and relief was heightened watching his team mates run over to him afterwards in a big group hug!
(click on photo for better view)

Check out this great website from the Holy See about John Paul the Great!

Check this out from the Holy See about Pope John Paul the Great!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I met Luke's Aunt today. Luke has brain cancer.

I gave a talk this morning to a lovely group of women at a "Women In Faith" Brunch. They were all very welcoming and wonderful. I spoke to them about a "Woman's Call to Prayer." Afterwards, I met with a lot of them personally to inscribe my books to them and to chat. One woman told me through tears about her little nephew, Luke who has brain cancer. She was getting my books for his Mom. She asked me to beseech Blessed Mother Teresa whom I knew to help this boy. I promised my prayers for him and for his Mom. I told her that I would ask all of you for your prayers, too. Please take a few minutes out and pray for Luke. If you'd like to learn more about Luke, you may visit here at a Care page that his parents set up. I visited the page and found that it takes less than a moment to register as a visitor. If you do visit, his full name is: Luke Thomas Gilligan. You will need to put in his full name without spaces to get to his page. If you don't care to visit to see his photos, please offer a prayer for him as he gets another round of chemo and more surgery at his tender little age.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Guess what I got for Mother's Day?

My children gave me the lilacs (with my breakfast in bed) and my husband gave me a handful of dandelions (in lower right corner) that he pulled out from behind his back, presenting them to me with a smile on his face (without knowing about my post about the lilacs and dandelions.)!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


In the Eye and the Heart of the Beholder...

Dandelions decorate our lawn. My daughter, Mary-Catherine thinks they are very pretty. My husband is annoyed by them and thinks I should allow him to put a weed killer on our lawn to get rid of them. I have vivid memories of when I was a little girl and would pick dandelions any time I saw them, hiding them behind my back. I would then run up to my Mother clenching them tightly in my fist behind my back so that I wouldn't lose them. Then I would surprise her by revealing the beautiful bouquet of happy flowers. She was always happy to receive them. Mother's Day was certainly one of these occasions.

Now, with five children of my own, I relish every moment of Mother's Day. Isn't it wonderful that God gave Mother's this day at a time when lilacs have just come in bloom? I think that is just wonderful! All I need to make me happy on Mother's day is to have all of my kids around me...and maybe a bouquet of lilacs, too! I see some lilacs up in the tree. maybe someone will pick some for me...if not, dandelions will be just fine!

What makes your Mother's Day happy? Please feel free to leave a comment. And may our good Lord and His beautiful Blessed Mother bless your day in great abundance!

Fr. James's homily for Mother's Day

There is no doubt that motherhood is a very high calling. But, to whom can mothers look as the real model of motherhood? Today’s modern culture offers many role models through television, movies, and women’s magazines. However, often these role models are either all together wrong or they offer a very limited and unrealistic view of true motherhood.

All mothers who wish to be true to their high calling, need only look to the woman who became the greatest mother of all. Born into humble surroundings, she was called by God to be the mother of the Son of God. She affirmed her obedience to the call of God, and lived out her vocation throughout her entire life. Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, is the true model of motherhood.

For Fr. James's Mother's Day homily click here.

Blog your blessings Sunday at Standing Under the Sky

Visit Standing Under the Sky to see some Mother's Day inspiration including a prayer from my new book, Prayerfully Expecting" Happy Mother's day!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sharing the back cover with you too!

Getting excited about my new book, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be being launched in about two weeks. Check here for more information and to order a signed copy.

Our Blessed Mother Mary and Motherhood

How can the Virgin Mother of God, the first disciple, a member of the Holy Family, and the Mother of the Church also be my mother? How does the Blessed Mother’s life affect mine? How can a simple mother like me aspire to imitate such an amazing mother?

When we think about Mary, we may recall instances in her life that we have learned which illustrate her gentleness, humility, holiness, and her selflessness. Images from our Catholic tradition and what we have learned from Scripture may come to mind. We are reminded of Mary as a little faithful Jewish girl praying with her people in Palestine for the coming of the Messiah, fulfilling God’s promises. Mary also prayed for the restoration of Jerusalem as the gathering place of the chosen people. Mary was familiar with Isaiah’s words that a virgin would conceive and bear a child called Immanuel-“God with us.” Throughout her faithful prayers, however, Mary never imagined that she would be that virgin...

Click here to read my article, "Our Blessed Mother Mary and Motherhood" at Catholic Mom.Com

Friday, May 11, 2007

Magazines: Gifts for Catholic mothers and families

"Faith & Family appeals to the whole family — but especially to the heart of the home, the mother." In case you are not familiar with a wonderful resource for Catholic families: Faith and Family magazine, I encourage you to check it out by clicking here.

In case you are not familiar with this wonderful magazine for Catholic Women, Canticle; I encourage you to take a quick moment and click here at the Canticle website which is affiliated with Women of Grace.
Just a few things that Canticle Magazine offers...
*An understanding of authentic womanhood in clear language;
*An uplifting fellowship among women of faith who think, "I must be the only one...!";
*Education concerning the meaning of human sexuality and marital love;
*Positive suggestions for the restoration of a culture of life and love; and
*Joyful testimonies and profiles for women, by women, and about women.
There's really so much MORE!
Visit Heidi for a special offer on Canticle.

My radio interview today with Teresa Tomeo on Catholic Connection

To hear my interview with Teresa Tomeo, radio host from the "Catholic Connection" radio show on Ave Maria Radio, click here.

"For Author, Pregnancy is a Living Novena"

Click here for an article by Patricia D'Ascoli in The Catholic Transcript about my work and my new book, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be which will be out in 2 weeks.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lisa Hendey's review of my book, "The Heart of Motherhood"

During May, Mary’s month and the month in which we celebrate the vocation of motherhood, it seems fitting to write about what is undoubtedly one of my favorite mothering books in recent years. The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home by noted author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle offers and encouraging and inspirational look at the vocation of motherhood.

In her introductory remarks, Donna-Marie shares that today’s mothers need encouragement and recognition. Her mission statement for the book comes in these early pages:

“My hope is that I can help more mothers realize and embrace the sublimity of their missions as mothers, responsible for the souls entrusted to our care.”

Having savored the pages of this book through several readings, I would say that Cooper O’Boyle manages to hit that mark head on. Among the highlights of this book, along with Donna-Marie’s warm and engaging writing style, are the many quotations she shares from two luminaries of our Church: Pope John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, with whom the author shared a personal correspondence. The Heart of Motherhood is the type of parenting book I favor most. Concise enough to be read in a few short settings, yet thought provoking enough to invite its reader back repeatedly for in depth illumination. Each chapter ends with dual prayers, inspiring pause and reflection upon the content discussed.

READ FULL REVIEW by Lisa at Catholic Mom.Com.

I will be on "Catholic Connection" live radio show tomorrow

I will be interviewed by Teresa Tomeo on "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria Radio tomorrow, Friday, May 11th at 9:45 AM Eastern Standard Time. You may tune in here on the Web from your computer!

Refections for Mothers

Sandy Carlson has put together some excerpts from my books at Standing Under the Sky. Please take a moment and visit here for words to lift the spirits of Moms.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mary, Our Supermodel

For the month of May and the month of Mary our Blessed Mother, here are two articles at "Lay Witness" about Mary in our lives. Check here for . the introduction to the articles. and check here for my article, A Woman for all Vocations.

Canticle magazine

In case you are not familiar with this wonderful magazine for Catholic Women, Canticle; I encourage you to take a quick moment and click here at the Canticle website which is affiliated with Women of Grace.

Just a few things that Canticle Magazine offers...

An understanding of authentic womanhood in clear language;

An uplifting fellowship among women of faith who think, "I must be the only one...!";

Education concerning the meaning of human sexuality and marital love;

Positive suggestions for the restoration of a culture of life and love; and

Joyful testimonies and profiles for women, by women, and about women.

There's really so much MORE!

Visit Heidi for a special offer on Canticle.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Mother's Day: Sandy Carlson has posted excerpts from my books on "Standing Under the Sky"

Sandy Carlson has posted some excerpts from my books for Mother's Day at "Standing Under the Sky."

Happy Mother's Day!
God bless,

Our lovely Catholic Mom, friend, Karen Edmisten's kind words on my book, "Prayerfully Expecting"

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is prayerfully expecting the imminent publication of her new book, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine-Month Novena for Mothers-to-be. I recently had the privilege of a sneak peek at this book, and it is beautiful! When I was pregnant with each of my daughters, I kept a pregnancy calendar/journal, but those were of a secular nature. To transform the records of development, first-times and precious memories into a lived and recorded novena is an inspiration. I cannot wait to buy copies of this book -- three of them, one for each of my daughters -- and tuck them away for that special someday when I'll present my girls with this prayerful companion for their first pregnancies.

You can read about the illustrations, beautifully rendered by Donna's daughter, Chaldea Emerson, here.

You may visit Karen Edmisten here.

Pope Benedict consecrates his trip to Mary

From Catholic News Service:
ROME, May 7, 2007 / 07:52 am (CNA).- Scattered sprinkles did not stop thousands of pilgrims from gathering in St. Peter's Square yesterday to hear the Pope's Regina Caeli address. In his first address of May, his Holiness drew attention to the fact that May "is the Marian month par excellence."

see remainder of article here.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

American Academy of Pediatrics warns families not to have home trampolines

Recently I wrote a post concerning trampoline safety for kids. It is my opinion that trampolines are too dangerous for home use and I stated the reasons why. This morning I found that one person that had done a search about trampolines and safety was directed to my blog. When I saw their referring URL, I decided to check out some of the articles that were listed on their Google search. There are plenty of articles stating the reasons why trampoline use is dangerous. One article from the American Academy of Pediatrics that I think is important to share.

"The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants you and your family to be safe when using trampolines. The CPSC estimates that in 2001 there were 91,870 hospital emergency room-treated injuries associated with trampolines. About 93 percent of the victims were under 15 years of age, and 11 percent were under 5 years of age. Since 1990, CPSC has received reports of 6 deaths of children under age 15 involving trampolines. Injuries and deaths were caused by:..." (read the article from the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more information)

This article states, "Trampolines may be lots of fun and a great way to exercise, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that they're hazardous to kids and aren't worth the risk." It also details the kinds of injuries to kids that are prevalent.

The AAP says trampolines aren't meant to be used as play equipment and - because of the high rate of injuries - advises against having trampolines at schools, on outdoor playgrounds and in your own backyard.

Another article on the web from a lawyer says, "Take it from a lawyer: A trampoline in the yard is just an invitation to disaster. Avoid the temptation. The risk of injury to your own children is too great, and the risk of a lawsuit if any other kids are injured is JUST NOT WORTH the trouble." There's much more to this article it would be worthwhile to read as well as Canada's Leading Medical Journal which says, "Playing on trampolines in the backyard is such a high-risk activity that it accounted for 80 trauma-related admissions to a Winnipeg hospital over 2 recent summers, researchers say.

Most of the injuries involved fractures or fracture-dislocations, but 1 case, involving fracture-dislocation of the cervical spine, resulted in paralysis for an 8-year-old boy." This article explains that most of the injuries occur from falling on the mat of the trampoline and not even off of the trampoline.

I encourage those interested in learning more about trampolines and kids to seek more information by doing a Google or other search and you will see how many other articles from reputable sources will come up about trampoline safety or lack thereof. Please think twice before allowing your kids to jump on trampolines. It's not worth the risk!

Fr. James's Homily: Fifth Sunday of Easter

Living Easter Every Day

Many years ago in Dublin, Ireland, two women were spending the afternoon together shopping at their favorite clothing store. They had grown up together in the same neighborhood and were life long friends. As they left the store with their bundles, they began to cross a busy street in order to get to the parking lot where they had left their car.

One of the ladies was distracted with her bundles and could not see a rapidly approaching car. The other woman noticing the dilemma, pushed her friend forward and took the entire impact of the oncoming car. The woman was killed instantly.

This woman was the mother of a Catholic priest. I am sure that the woman was able to make this heroic sacrifice of her life because the pattern of her life had always been characterized by the qualities of a true mother and a true friend. I am sure that the priest was just as able to answer the call of God to love unconditionally because his mother taught him how to do so.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13: 34-35). These words from this Sunday's gospel passage synthesize the whole meaning of the Paschal Mystery: Jesus died for us because of his unconditional love for all of us, and we are called to live this new life of unconditional love.

Anyone who wants to live true Christianity is called to live selflessly. Does a true mother complain when she must waken in the middle of the night to care for her sick child? What father who really loves his family will complain about the daily sacrifices that he must make to support his family? Will a Catholic priest, enamored of his priestly calling, not be filled with a profound joy as he gives himself untiringly to his parish family?

Selfishness will prevent us from the giving of ourselves unconditionally. If we live selfish lives, we will not experience the profound joy of Christianity. True Christians are always laughing because they are men and women who are completely selfless. Despite the many challenges and sufferings of daily existence, a life of selfless love energizes the true Christian in such way that they are able to soar above every challenge.

This donation of our lives manifests itself in many concrete ways throughout the day. Simple little acts like saying hello to someone and being of good cheer, helping out in the kitchen during meal times, assisting a needy school friend with their homework, helping an elderly neighbor with the chores, and volunteering time in the parish are just a few of the numerous ways that the true disciple of Jesus can love in a very practical manner.

Married love and celibate love can only be understood within the dimension of total donation of self.

Mother Teresa gave the modern world a visible example of total donation. Everyone has been moved by her selflessness. She would always say, "Love, until it hurts". Here we find in her simple words the antidote for the crisis facing modern society

Daily, total giving of the self is not an easy enterprise. The tendencies of fallen human nature pull us into ourselves. This is why we need a daily encounter with the God of unconditional love hidden in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church.

Whether through daily Mass or a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament, it is Jesus who will give us all of the graces that we need to love just like he loves you and me. But, in order to truly love we must first die to ourselves. Total and complete detachment from our selves is essential.

During the height of the Vietnam War, an Afro-American second lieutenant led his small company on a patrol through the jungle. As they were making their way through the dense tangle of trees and vines, he suddenly noticed that a sniper had dropped a grenade in the middle of his men. Without hesitation the second lieutenant pounced on the grenade and saved his company by sacrificing his own life. Shortly after this incident, President Nixon awarded him the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, which was presented to his mother.

Perhaps we will never be in a situation to sacrifice our lives as heroically as the sergeant did. However, it is quite possible that he was able to make the supreme sacrifice of himself, because his entire life was made up of many heroic moments of self-giving. This pattern thus established made it easy for him to give of himself without hesitation.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13: 34-35).

Visit Fr. James here.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Prayers for Gabriel

Please pray for a three and a half year old boy named Gabriel who was just diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. Visit Heidi Saxton's blog for more information.

Praying for Heather

Please continue to pray for Heather and her family.
Go to Especially Heather for updates about Heather, a homeschooling Mom of three who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and just came out of surgery.

President Bush remined Americans to pray

President Bush reminds Americans of the importance of prayer

From Catholic News Service:
Washington DC, May 3 (CNA).- This morning at the White House, President Bush commemorated the National Day of Prayer. He called upon Americans to remember that their nation is one founded upon a tradition of prayer and that prayer has greater power than is often recognized.

The President began by noting that, "We're a prayerful nation. I believe that makes us a strong nation." Harking back to President George Washington, Bush recalled that, "It's the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and to humbly implore his protection and favor."

See full story from Catholic News Service here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Drawing upon inspration

Drawing upon inspiration
Mother, daughter team up on pregnancy prayer journal

By Patricia D'Ascoli

Author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle and her daughter, illustrator Chaldea Emerson, have a new book coming out this month titled Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be.
When New Milford author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle turns the pages of her new book, "Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be," she feels a profound sense of fulfillment.
Although this is O'Boyle's third inspirational book to be published in less than two years, "Prayerfully Expecting" has special significance to the mother of five. It was written more than 16 years ago, when the author was on complete bed rest during her difficult fifth pregnancy. And the keepsake prayer journal book is illustrated by her daughter Chaldea Emerson, who drew images of O'Boyle and her five children when they were babies.

It's not the first time the mother and daughter have worked together as writer and illustrator, however. Emerson, who lives in Gaylordsville, provided several illustrations for O'Boyle's second book, "The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home" and also for newspaper articles written by O'Boyle.

"Prayerfully Expecting," which features original prayers written by O'Boyle, transforms a nine-month pregnancy into a nine-month novena. The book was blessed by Pope John Paul II and includes a foreword written by Mother Teresa, with whom O'Boyle shared a special relationship, particularly during her last pregnancy.

"At that time, I knew Mother Teresa very well and she prayed me through that pregnancy. Mother Teresa had a big influence on me with my spirituality and my writing," O'Boyle said. "She encouraged me and praised me and told me it's so important to get this information out there for moms."

Providing inspiration to mothers is central to O'Boyle's writing, and a topic about which she is passionate. As a stay-at-home mom for many years to her children, Justin 30, Chaldea, 25, Jessica, 21, Joseph, 18 and Mary-Catherine, 15, O'Boyle believes that motherhood is a vocation that should be celebrated and appreciated. And her new book seeks to establish pregnancy as a sublime and amazing time in a woman's life.

Emerson, who is a graduate of Temple University, was delighted to collaborate with her mother on this project, which is the first book she has completely illustrated. She notes that in keeping with her background in fine arts, she chose to render the drawings in pencil. Mother and daughter spent time together looking at old photographs of Chaldea and her siblings, choosing those that would be featured in the book.

"It was especially neat when we went through the old baby pictures," said Emerson, noting that it was a much more personal illustration process than those she has previously worked on.

Although the artist has sketched faces in the past, she has never done baby faces before, and O'Boyle is quite pleased with the result.

"Her pictures are identical to the photos," O'Boyle said proudly.

In addition to the baby pictures, sprinkled throughout the book are icons Emerson created, and at the beginning of each of the nine chapters there is a beautiful rose that unfolds until it is in full bloom, meant to symbolize how a mother blossoms throughout a pregnancy.

Emerson is also engaged in painting and printmaking, and recently had a show at the Grand Patisserie featuring her landscapes, both urban and rural, rendered in oil pastel. A collection of her linoleum block prints will be shown at Roxbury's Minor Memorial Library in June. She also creates greeting cards which have been sold in the past at the Brookfield Craft Center.

"My art is of the different places I've been in life "" my local surroundings," explained Emerson, who works in the greenhouse at Maplebank Farm in Roxbury and also part-time at Thompson Studios in Waterbury.

"Prayerfully Expecting" will be available in mid to late May, said O'Boyle, who has a number of local signings planned in connection with her new book. She will launch the book on May 26 at Borders Books in Danbury at 2 p.m. and will also have a booksigning following the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in New Milford.

For more information about Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle and her works, visit her Web site Her blog "Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration" can be found at To contact Chaldea Emerson about her artwork, call (860) 355-5355.
See story here at the News Times Live.

Full Moon Rises Today, May 2nd

Check this out to learn about the full moon rising and lots of other interesting details about the May moon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Good Saint Joseph, Today is the feast of "St. Joseph the Worker"

St. Joseph
Feastday: March 19, May 1
Patron of the Universal Church


Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture and that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.

We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55). He wasn't rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph's genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as "son of David," a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" (Luke 4:22)

We know Joseph respected God. He followed God's commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus' birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.

Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus' public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.

There is much we wish we could know about Joseph -- where and when he was born, how he spent his days, when and how he died. But Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was -- "a righteous man" (Matthew 1:18).

Unbelievable images of the birth and death of stars from Hubble telescope!

View these incredible brilliant images taken from the Hubble telescope from this AOL "Skywatcher" link

ALSO: you can explore the universe from home! Through an arrangement with AOL's partner,, AOL visitors can set up a free trial Slooh account and view the universe live from an observatory in the Canary Islands. I think this is pretty cool! Check out the Online telescope here.

Pope Benedict supports Archbishop receiving death threats

From Catholic News Service:
Vatican City, May 1, 2007 / 12:57 pm (CNA).- According to the BBC, Pope Benedict XVI has lent his support, by phone, to Italian Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who has received death threats in recent days over his public opposition to same-sex marriage.

Over the weekend, the Archbishop received a live bullet in the mail along with a photo of himself with a swastika cut into the photo paper. This act however, was just the latest in a string of threats which began last month when the doors of his cathedral in Genoa were defaced with graffiti.

The Archdiocese has stepped up security around the prelate, who now has armed guards regularly nearby.

The BBC reported that the Holy Father expressed solidarity with the Archbishop in his call, and charged him to continue working for human and religious rights, without which "it was impossible to build a true, free and stable democracy."

Archbishop Bagnasco was recently made president of the Italian bishop’s conference and the one of the Church’s primary spokesman against a proposed Italian law which would grant marital rights to same sex partners. The legislation, he has said, undermines the traditional and ancient position of the institution of marriage within society.

Quiet Yesterday

I'm sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. I was very busy putting the finishing touches on my new Mother Teresa book which is due to the publisher today! It has been a busy time lately for sure. In a few weeks my book, Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be will be out which bears a foreword by dear Mother Teresa, whom I knew. It was also blessed by Pope John Paul II!

I will leave you with some words from Mother Teresa. "If faith is scarce, it is because there is too much selfishness in the world, too much egoism. Faith, in order to be authentic, has to be generous and giving. Love and faith go hand in hand."

May God bless your day as we all go out to serve Jesus in each other.

Have a blessed one!