Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Check out SQPN!

Take a moment to check this out to get connected with great podcasts and shows! Lisa Hendey's "Catholic Moments" is listed here too! There's a Catholic TV show here called "This is the Day" which I will be profiled on in June. There's so much here, check it out!

Mulieris Dignitatem's affect on women today...

I was recently interviewed by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS for her "Breaking News" archives at "Women of Grace" about the International Congress I attended recently in Rome.

She begins her article, "Twenty years have passed since Pope John Paul II introduced the world to a whole new version of the feminine mystique. In the apostolic letter entitled Mulieris Dignitatem, (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) issued on August 15, 1988, he made it quite clear that “man and woman are human beings to an equal degree”; distinct, and yet at the same time, “they complete and explain each other...” (Please see entire article continued here.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The reviews are coming in!

Catholic Saints Prayer Book
by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle
Our Sunday Visitor, 80 pages

The Church’s hagiography has inspired whole libraries of books, the best of which paint a distinctive portrait of one or more of our beloved spiritual mothers and fathers. We love to hear and tell these stories over and over, for these stories provide our only real connection in this life with our spiritual forebears, our only opportunity to know them as we would like.

The Catholic Saints Prayer Book reminds us of another important reason to ruminate on the lives of the saints. This reason is perhaps best summed up in the words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the spiritual mother of the author of this charming little book: “The Church of God needs saints today. This imposes a great responsibility on us. We must become holy not because we want to feel holy, but because Christ must be able to live His life fully in us” (p.10).

Each of the thirty-two saints contained in this book remind us that the pathway to holiness is not easily traversed. It is a way of suffering. Of grief. Of struggle against our basest impulses. In the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “There is no better wood to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross.”

Above all, it is a way of prayer. And for this, the Catholic Saints Prayer Book provides a simple yet eloquent resource for those who want to grow closer to our heavenly family. Each chapter includes a list of patronages, brief biography, and closing prayer to lead you gently yet deeply into that “blessed communion, fellowship divine.” Delicate illustrations are scattered throughout, making this a wonderful gift for birthdays, Mother’s Day … or simply for your own prayer corner.

Heidi Hess Saxton
Editor, “Canticle” Magazine
Author, Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert


In a time of profound confusion and chaos, the books of Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle provide meaning, inspiration and direction for all those who are seeking the truth in these troubled times. The Second Vatican Council reminded the Church that we are all called to holiness. This book will help us attain our goal.
Fr. James Farfaglia, Pastor
St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church
Corpus Christi, Texas

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lent began in an interesting way this year...

Lent approached me in a different manner this year. About a week before Lent began which was also a week before my scheduled trip to the International Congress hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity for the occasion of the twentieth year celebration of Mulieris Dignitatem, my daughter and I became victims of a car accident. We were just minding our own business - driving home from some errands, allowing a pedestrian to cross the street, when a truck came up from the rear and failed to stop behind us and instead plowed through the back of our SUV.

There's much to say about the accident and all that it entailed and I did start to blog about it over at my "Embracing Motherhood" blog. However, I couldn't continue because of the injuries. But, I think it's pretty interesting that two EMT's just happened to be steps away from us at the time of the collision. God was clearly looking out for us. I am also certain that something very profound happened in the Emergency Room during a conversation between myself and the young man who hit us. But that will have to be told at a later time.

For now, I'll just say that Lent approached in this way - bringing some very good penitential suffering for me and my daughter through our injuries. Even so, on Ash Wednesday morning, by the grace of God, my daughter and I were sitting in the very front row of Pope Benedict's Wednesday audience at the Vatican, just counting our blessings and thanking God. God is so good!

Later that day we would be looking for ashes. There we were in Rome where Catholic Churches are a plenty. However, not knowing Italian or the various schedules, we hoped we would be able to be in the right place at the right time. After we found out about a Mass at St. Peter's, we tried to get in but were shooed away by the guards because the Mass had already started and we were considered to be tourists and not real Church goers. No amount of pleading worked with this guard. We came to find out that there would be a 5:00 PM Mass with ashes at St. Peter's.

Knowing that we had a Mass we could go to, we were off to do a bit of touring around Rome and returned for the 5:00 PM Mass. When the ashes were distributed during the Mass we could see the people returning to their seats with clean foreheads. Where were the ashes? When we reached the front of the Church we were given our ashes - sprinkled on top of our heads! So, that was my first experience receiving ashes in Rome - and what a blessing to receive them at St. Peter's! I felt very relieved in my heart that evening because I didn't want to begin Lent without our ashes. Our Lord had it all taken care of. :)

I'll fill you in tomorrow about another blessing in Rome.

Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity with delegates

Here is a photo sent to me today from Rome of Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity with some of the delegates (I'm on the right) who attended the International Congress. It was indeed a great pleasure and honor to meet him and we all expressed our gratefulness for the Congress. This photo was snapped shortly after our audience with Pope Benedict.

Go on over to my "Embracing Motherhood" blog for more news and photos.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pretty scary stuff

Sorry to interupt the happy tone here with the photos of my trip and all but this is pretty scary - sorry but I have to tell you. Read Sue Brinkmann's piece here.

Vatican and Rome photos

Pope Benedict speaks of St. Augustine's relevance today

Vatican City, Feb 20, 2008 / 10:59 am (CNA).- At today's general audience Pope Benedict XVI returned to his catechesis on St. Augustine of Hippo saying that his works are able to teach Catholics even now. Before going into the Paul VI audience hall, the Pope greeted an overflow crowd of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Basilica.

St. Augustine, the Holy Father began, was "a great witness of Christ, much loved by my predecessors and whom I also have studied and meditated upon often. He is the Father of the Church who has left us the most works, some of which are of vital importance for the history of Christianity."

Benedict XVI turned to Augustine’s "Confessions" first, saying that in them "we can follow, step by step, the inner journey of this extraordinary man who was passionate about God". (Continued here.)

A few of my Vatican photos

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My interview with Teresa Tomeo regarding our trip to the Vatican Congress

Here is the link to listen to Teresa Tomeo of "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria Radio and I discussing our Vatican trip as delegates of North America on the air yesterday morning. Just click here to listen from your computer.

Clinton lashing out at Pro-lifers

Steubenville, Feb 18, 2008 / 06:29 pm (CNA).- At a Sunday night campaign rally for his wife in Steubenville, Ohio, former President Bill Clinton was greeted by pro-life students protesting legalized abortion. In response, he volleyed allegations that the pro-life position requires jailing women who have abortions.

After shouts and calls from the protesters, President Clinton responded angrily. A video posted to YouTube recorded his reply.

"You want to criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree. I reduced abortion. Tell the truth, tell the truth, If you were really pro-life, if you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother as an accessory to murder in prison. And you won't say you want to do that because you know, that you wouldn't have a lick of political support," President Clinton said. The video can be found at: (Continued here.)

Breaking news by Sue Brinkmann

Do you want to read some news that you won't find in the major media? Check out Sue Binkmann's breaking news spot at the "Living His Life Abundantly" website by clicking here. Sue reports about such things as former President Clinton recently lashing out at pro-lifers, being careful of "Dear Abby," and many breaking news stories that you won't necessarily find in major media. She says she "gives the whole story!" She also reports on many Catholic news topics and she'll be reporting very soon about the Vatican congress that I recently attended. Check her news spot out daily.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My interview with Joan Lewis on the Vatican Insider

UPDATED with new link: You'll be able to hear my interview with Joan Lewis the EWTN News Bureau Chief by clicking here then scroll down to the photo of Joan Lewis, "Vatican Insider" on the bottom left and then click on "MP3" to hear the recent interview with me at the Vatican Congress. Joan begins the segment with some Vatican news, a question and answer segment and later converses with me. Joan is a very gracious, lovely and faith-filled woman that I was completely drawn to and I plan to stay in touch with her.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Discussing the Vatican trip with Teresa Tomeo PLUS...

Hi, Everyone,

Tomorrow morning (Monday) at about 9:05 AM Eastern Standard Time, Teresa Tomeo, host of "Catholic Connection" and I will be discussing our very recent Vatican trip to the International Women's Congress in celebration of twenty years after Pope John Paul II penned Mulieris Dignitatem. I hope you can tune in at Ave Maria Radio. Just go here and then click the "listen live" button and be ready about 9:00 AM. This will be an informative segment sprinkled with some humor! :) Feel free to call in to the show if you have an opportunity. The phone number will be announced on the show.

I hope you'll join Teresa Tomeo and me tomorrow morning to learn more about this celebration. Feel free to tune into "Catholic Connection" at Ave Maria Radio and perhaps call in to the show or comment here to this post with any questions or comments.

Also, this afternoon at 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time my interview with Joan Lewis, the EWTN Vatican Bureau Chief will air again if you missed it yesterday. Just go here and then click the "listen live" which is on the top at the right.

It will also be archived some time during the week and I will link it to my blogs.

Have a BLESSED Day!

Book Contest for "Catholic Saints Prayer Book"

You still have time! Don't forget that I am running a book contest for my new upcoming book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book. The details are here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

My interview with Joan Lewis on Vatican Radio

Hello Everyone,

I just heard from Joan Lewis, EWTN's Rome Bureau Chief who tells me that my interview with her will air tomorrow and Sunday. Here are the details:

Interview will air this weekend on EWTN. You can hear on your computer by going to, then click on RADIO, then click on LISTEN LIVE. Do this at either 9:30 a.m. Saturday (East coast time) or 4:30 p.m. Sunday (ET). Should you miss those, you can hear it in the archives the next week - starting Monday or Tuesday. Here is a link to Vatican Insider archives:

I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Joan this past week while in Rome and while participating in the International Congress for Women which celebrated the twentieth year since Mulieris Dignitatem was penned by our late and dear Holy Father Pope John Paul II.

When Joan interviewed me I was pretty sleep deprived! I had had three sleepless nights prior to that interview - the first being the night flight over (I can't sleep well on planes and the injuries from the car accident prevented sleep) and the next two nights - same problem with pain and also a lot of traffic that passed my hotel/apartment window throughout the night. So, we will see how coherent I sound on this interview. But, I have to say that it was a sincere pleasure to meet and spend time with Joan while in Rome. She is one in a million with her graciousness and hospitality!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Home sweet home!

Hello Everyone!

I'm back from Rome. We arrived late last night. After a nine hour flight, the two hour trip from the NY airport to get home turned into a five hour trip since we were right in the middle of a snow and ice storm! Needless to say, I am both exhausted and overwhelmed with God's grace. I am very thankful that God is so good and kept us safe!

I will be back to you soon with some news and photos. I have to give an out of town talk tomorrow and must focus on that.

Thank you for all of your generous prayers! I am very thankful. I prayed for all of you and all of your intentions while I was there in the Eternal City! I have so much to share with all of you!

God be with all of you!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thank you...leaving for Rome!

Thank you everyone for your prayers! We'll be leaving tomorrow (Monday) evening on a flight to Rome to attend the International Congress for Women! I so very much appreciate all of your prayers for a speedy recovery for my daughter and for me and for safety for our trip.

God bless you all!
I hope to bring back a lot of photos and a lot of grace and blessings to be shared!

Pope Benedict XVI and Lent

Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life. Thus, the Lenten season offers us an ascetic and liturgical journey that, helping us to open our eyes in the face of our weakness, makes us open our hearts to the merciful love of Christ."
Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, February 1, 2008

I can't blog for a while...

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that I am sorry but I won't be able to blog for a while. There is just too much pain and discomfort in my head and neck due to the car accident. If you can spare a few prayers for my daughter and me for a speedy recovery and safety for the upcoming trip, we will greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so very much!
God bless you all!