Saturday, October 31, 2009

Radio interviews about my Mother Teresa book: Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship

If you have a little time to listen in, here are two interviews about my Mother Teresa book coming out in November...

Here's a link to my interview on a "Morning Air" segment in which I spoke all about my new Mother Teresa book coming out very soon! Just click here to listen!

In case you didn't get a chance to tune in to my recent segment with my dear friend, Teresa Tomeo on our "Mom's Corner" segment, you can listen right now. Just grab a drink, pull up a chair and click here! Teresa and I were chatting about my friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa and my new book about her.

Friday, October 30, 2009

New York Times refuses to print Archbishop Dolan's oped piece

"New York City, N.Y., October 30 (CNA) .- The New York Times declined to publish an op-ed presented by the Archbishop of New York, Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, in which he made the point that the "Gray Lady" has been reporting stories with a strong anti-Catholic bias.

In his new blog on the archdiocese's website, Archbishop Dolan explains that his article was submitted in a slightly shorter form to the New York Times as an op-ed, but the Times declined to publish it.

In the blog version, Archbishop Dolan says that next to baseball, "sadly, America has another national pastime, this one not pleasant at all: anti-Catholicism."

"If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church," writes the Archbishop, "look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks."

On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community.

"Yet," Archbishop Dolan observes, "the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency."

"Given the Catholic Church's own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so... but I can criticize this kind of 'selective outrage,'" he insists..." Continued here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Pitts Stupak Amendment

Please take a look at this

Basically it says:
"On September 16, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI, pictured on left), co-chair of the pro-life caucus, expressed concern that Chairwoman of the Committee on Rules Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would not give the House of Representatives a chance to vote on the Pitts-Stupak Amendment to ban the use of taxpayer dollars to fund health plans that pay for elective abortions. He is in the process of organizing a coalition that is committed to refusing to allow the House bill to be voted on unless the House is allowed the opportunity to vote on the Pitts-Stupak Amendment. Tell your Representative that it is unacceptable to allow any vote on health care reform that does not include a vote on the Pitts-Stupak Amendment. And demand that when they do vote they refuse to allow your hard-earned dollars to be poured into plans that pay for elective abortions!"

Click on the link. It helps you send the email or letter to your Federal representatives in no time at all.

From the Susan B. Anthony List team: "Thank you so much for taking action to protect unborn babies from government funded abortions.

The matter of the Pitts-Stupak Amendment is urgent and critical. If the measure comes down to a handful of critical votes like the D.C. Abortion Funding Amendment, every vote is critical and one or two letters or emails from their constituents to wavering representatives could make all the difference. If you have any friend or family member that you do not think has voiced their concern to their representative, please urge them to take action to protect the unborn.

Thank you for standing up for life

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Review for Catholic Saints Prayer Book

"The saints are here to inspire, guide, and pray for us. They started out as ordinary people, just like us. But they chose to be saintly. This choice was not an easy one for any of them and the temptations of this world were not always easy to overcome. Who then will better understand our plight as we strive toward holiness?

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle has put together a beautiful little book. Perfect for purse, pocket or backpack. Each saint entry includes an inspirational peak into the life of the saint, their feast day, a relevant quote, an illustration of that saint, and a brief meditational prayer. The only thing I would have liked to see in this book is an index listing the saints by their feast day.

Saints include: St. Anne, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Augustine, St. Benedict, St. Bernadette, St. Bridget of Ireland, St. Catherine Laboure, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Faustine Kowalska, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. John Chrysostom, St. John Neumann, St. Joseph, St. Jude Thaddeus, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, St. Maria Goretti, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Monica, St. Padre Pio, St. Patrick, St. Peregrine, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Thomas More.

'Let us invoke the saints often, asking for their holy assistance, even praying along with them, striving to imitate their virtues while praying to become saints ourselves.'

This little book will help you do just that."

(This review can be found here.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize...

This is from Rush Limbaugh:

"George Bush liberates 50 million Muslims. Ronald Reagan liberates hundreds of millions of Europeans, saves parts of Latin America. Any awards? No. Just derision. Obama gives speeches trashing his own country and he gets a prize for it. This actually makes total sense when you look at who these Nobel people are, these elite Norwegians, Europeans. They love what Obama is doing. And this fully exposes, folks, the illusion that is Obama. This is a greater embarrassment than losing the Olympics bid was, and Obama got it right. He knows exactly why he was given this award.

The elites of the world are urging him, a man of peace to not do the surge in Afghanistan, they are urging him not to take on Iran. If you want to get serious about this for a minute that is what this is really all about. How can he now send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan after that cotton candy speech he just gave this morning, of which we have sickening sound bites that I am going to make you listen to. Because I have to listen to them, you do, too. None of you will be allowed to turn off the radio. None of you will be allowed to change stations. I am going to play excerpts of it, and everybody is going to damn well listen to it right along with me. You didn't do anything, I'm just not doing this alone anymore.

We're in this together, we're in this together. But the Nobel Peace Prize just told Obama, "Look, we love what you're doing, you are destroying your country as a superpower. Keep it up, Bud. This is what we expected, and you're doing a damn good job." Those are accomplishments, folks, and in the eyes of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, these are the accomplishments they're looking for. He's basically emasculating this country and they applauded today with this award. They love a weakened, neutered United States. This is their way of promoting the concept and it's a slam dunk." - Rush Limbaugh, Friday October 9

Motherhood's Dignity

My article at Catholic Exchange today.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Our friend, Joan Rome reporting from Joan's Rome...

"The last few days have been quite incredible. The group from Hawaii, as I mentioned, has been in Rome for Sunday’s canonization of Blessed Damien of Molokai, and they were at the Holy Father’s general audience yesterday. Audrey Toguchi, whose cure from lung cancer was credited to Damien’s intercession and was the miracle needed for his canonization, met Pope Benedict yesterday and was speechless at that privileged moment.

Another memorable moment yesterday was when I learned that a very dear friend of mine, Msgr. Bernie Hebda, was named the new bishop of Gaylord!! Bernie has been in Rome for 13 years and worked at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the last few years as under-secretary. I am totally delighted for Gaylord but there many of us who are heartbroken at the thought of losing such a wonderful, dear friend, our soft-spoken, always-there-when-you-need-him friend, lots-fun-to-be-with Bernie. And did I mention he is a truly wonderful priest! I know that Bernie, who is from Pittsburgh, has enjoyed his years but I also know he was yearning for some time to go back and be a pastor, to be a parish priest and administer to the faithful. Well, now Pope Benedict has given him a more sizeable flock! May God sit on your shoulder, Bernie!

Last evening at the Lateran University in Rome, Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, presented his latest book, “The Difference God Makes.” University officials and invited guests, including the new U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Diaz, were present. I will be interviewing the cardinal about the book on Saturday morning so you can stay tuned in future weeks to “Vatican Insider” and learn how God makes a difference! Cardinal George is in town for the annual meetings of the top officials of the USCCB – the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – with officials of the various congregations and councils of the Roman Curia. They also meet with Pope Benedict.

Today, Thursday, 30 wonderful young men from the North American College were ordained deacons, and 800 people came from the States – family members and friends - to attend the ordination in St. Peter’s Basilica. A huge reception followed in the courtyard at NAC which this year, by the by, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1859 by Pius IX.

My EWTN colleagues and I were there, not only to rejoice in the new deacons, but to film a “Joan’s Rome” spot for TV and to interview three men to talk about the priesthood for the EWTN spots, “The Call.” Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore spoke to us as did Fr. David Songy, O.F.M. Cap., director of counseling services at NAC, and one of the new deacons, Jacob Bertrand from San Diego. Jacob is very excited as he will be ordained a priest on June 11, 2010 – month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the end of the Year for Priests! I was privileged today to meet his truly beautiful family, starting with his amazing parents!

Finding a table in a restaurant these days has been a bit of a challenge, and anyone who came to Rome this past week without a hotel reservation was really out of luck! But there is so much joy visible on the faces of the pilgrims in town for the canonizations and the ordination that such happiness took your mind off the potentially long wait for a table!


Today we will start our visit to Kalaupapa, now a National Historical Park, but once a no man’s land, inhabited by lepers, banished here for the rest of their days, about whom Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: “They were strangers to each other, collected (sic) by common calamity, disfigured, mortally sick, banished without sin from home and friends. Few would understand the principle on which they were thus forfeited in all that makes life dear; many must have conceived their ostracism to be grounded in malevolent caprice; all came with sorrow at heart, many with despair and rage. In the chronicle of man there is perhaps no more melancholy landing than this of the leper immigrants among the ruined houses and dead harvests of Moloka'i. But the spirit of our race is finely tempered and the business of life engrossing to the last. As a spider, when you have wrecked its web, begins immediately to spin fresh strands, so these exiles, widowed, orphaned, un-childed, legally dead and physically dying, struck root in their new place . . . fell to work with growing hope, repaired the houses, replanted the fields, and began to look about them with the pride of the proprietor. . . . And one thing is sure, the most disgraced of that unhappy crew may expect the consolations of love; love laughs at leprosy; and marriage is in use to the last stage of decay and the last gasp of life.”

As I traveled throughout the small peninsula, learning about Fr. Damien De Veuster, Mother Marianne Cope, OSF, who tended to the ill of Moloka’i for more than 30 years after Damien’s untimely death at the age of 40, “Brother” Joseph Dutton, and the 8,000 patients who lived and died here since 1866, I became aware of a great tragedy – the tragedy of people treated as the worst kind of outcasts and exiled to a small plot of land because of an illness they neither sought nor could cure (it seemed). Yet, far more than the tragedy, I became aware of a great love story, the love and charity and humanity of one man for his people, a man who saw “man’s inhumanity to man” on a small Pacific island which had become for the ill “a living tomb.” Damien sought not just to care for the health of the prisoners of Kalaupapa but to restore their innate human dignity.

I will tell just a brief story today in photos. In coming days we will visit Kalawao, the site of the very first settlement for victims of leprosy.

As you recall I flew from Honolulu to Moloka’i, then from Topside Moloka’i with Maria Sullivan to the peninsula of Kalaupapa. Maria and I were then driven by Gloria Marks to a clearing beyond the Settlement, where the patients live, along with workers from Hawaii’s Department of Health and the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Here we met the group that had come down the pali – the cliffs - on mules as you will see in these photos, including one man intent on filming every moment of his journey. A man after my own heart!

Go on over to Joan's blog to see her story and photos here.

Is your donation going to Planned Parenthood?

Poll: 23 Percent to Donate to Breast Cancer Research, Funds Go to Abortion Biz

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 8, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- A new poll finds that 23 percent of Americans plan to donate money to go to support breast cancer research. But what these donors may not understand is a portion of what they give to the Komen for the Cure organization may wind up supporting the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

A new Rasmussen survey released today shows 23% of adults plan to donate money toward breast cancer research this month.

Another 60 percent have no plans to donate while 17 percent are unsure whether they will contribute.

The Rasmussen poll showed 39 percent of Americans plan to purchase pink products from groups like Komen and another 9 percent say they will participate in a charity walk such as the Race for the Cure.

When they support Komen, Americans may not be aware that Komen's own figures show it gave $711,485 from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006 to Planned Parenthood abortion businesses and at least $726,445 for 2006-2007.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson previously confirmed that at least 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants totaling $374,253 to Planned Parenthood during the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

The amount of the grants from Komen affiliates to Planned Parenthood appears to be on the rise and 25 Komen affiliates now have a partnership with the abortion business.

Since then, the grants have continued.

In April, the Denver Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure awarded a $35,970 grant to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which runs multiple abortion businesses in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

In June, Komen for the Cure teamed up with Planned Parenthood of Idaho and provided the abortion facility with funding.

Komen officials have dismissed the grants saying they are for breast cancer screenings, but pro-life advocates say the money is fungible and that it frees up funds Planned Parenthood could use for breast screenings but instead uses on abortions.

Jim Sedlak, a representative of the watchdog group STOPP previously said the numbers are concerning given that millions of pro-life Americans will participate in Komen events and donate to the group.

"More and more people are speaking up about the fact that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer research foundation, supports Planned Parenthood," Sedlak told last year.

He pointed to studies showing abortion increases a woman's chances of contracting breast cancer and said that makes the donations extremely questionable.

"The fact that Komen Affiliates give money to Planned Parenthood contradicts Komen’s claim that it works to end breast cancer," Sedlak said. "This is ridiculous and must stop."

Sedlak urged pro-life advocates to disassociate themselves with any Komen events until the organization's affiliates stop giving money to the abortion business.

He also urged pro-life people to make Planned Parenthood's pro-abortion mission clear to Komen officials and event participants.

Donations during the 2006-2007 fiscal year from Komen affiliates to Planned Parenthood abortion businesses include:

PP of Texas Capital Region received $62,886 from the Austin Komen Affiliate.
PP of Idaho received $15,000 from the Boise Komen Affiliate.
PP Association of the Mercer Area received $20,000 from the Central and South Jersey Komen Affiliate.
PP of Albuquerque received $30,000 from the Central New Mexico Komen Affiliate.
PP of Sandoval received $15,000 from the Central New Mexico Komen Affiliate.
PP of New Mexico received $60,000 from the Central New Mexico Komen Affiliate.
PP of Northern New York received $2,000 from the Central New York Komen Affiliate.
PP of Central Texas received $45,000 from the Central Texas Komen Affiliate.
PP of the Rocky Mountains received $7,163 from the Denver Metropolitan Komen Affiliate.
PP in El Paso received $5,410 from the El Paso Komen Affiliate.
PP in Grand Rapids received $14,661 from the Grand Rapids Komen Affiliate.
PP in Greater Amarillo received $11,500 from the Greater Amarillo Komen Affiliate.
PP of Nassau County received $75,000 from the Greater New York City Komen Affiliate.
PP in Madison received $30,000 from the Madison Komen Affiliate.
PP of Wisconsin received $42,077 from the Milwaukee Komen Affiliate.
PP in Milwaukee received $13,143 from the Milwaukee Komen Affiliate.
PP in Triangle received -$317 from the North Carolina Triangle Komen Affiliate.
PP Health Systems received $21,000 from the North Carolina Triangle Komen Affiliate.
PP in North Texas received $32,400 from the North Texas Komen Affiliate.
PP of Orange and San Bernardino Counties received $90,805 from the Orange County Komen Affiliate.
PP of Delaware received $39,987 from the Philadelphia Komen Affiliate.
PP in Phoenix received $24,850 from the Phoenix Komen Affiliate.
PP of Western Washington received $750 from the Puget Sound Komen Affiliate.
PP of San Antonio received $31,496 from the San Antonio Komen Affiliate.
PP of West Palm Beach, Florida received $36,000 from the South Florida Komen Affiliate.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An encouraging update on A. J. - the girl we have been praying for

This is from A. J.'s neighbor, the woman who has been keeping us updated.


"Well, you are all miracle workers.

About three weeks ago, we didn't know if we were about to say goodbye to this glorious child. Hearts were breaking everywhere. Neighbors could not speak without collapsing into tears. Her parents could not be consoled. (Her mom is a longtime ER nurse/dad is Oprah's technical director.)

A.J. came home from the hospital a week ago. Slowly, miraculously, she got better and better. Her heart suddenly began to work better, and then on its own. Her kidneys got strong enough so that she only has to come in for dialysis three times a week, but not remain hooked up to wires and tubes of panic at CMH 24 hours a day.

She is devastated that they will not allow her to return to school. She is being tutored at home until she receives the H1N1 vaccine later this month. I personally think that some of A.J.'s weeping (completely out of character for her) is due to the fact that she is on Cytoxan for the Wegener's Disease. It is a strong chemo drug (I've been on it) and it does a number on the hormones. So, we are all trying to be as comforting and patient as we can. The poor kid just wanted to start high school with all of her friends--but she has kept up so well from a hospital bed that she will stay in all of her honors classes. She is amazing, and so are all of you. Keep those prayers coming, and thank you for saving our girl. Still, she has a long road ahead."

Thank you everyone, for your prayers!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saint Faustina

"St. Mary Faustina's name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy (celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter), the divine mercy chaplet and the divine mercy prayer recited each day by many people at 3 p.m.
Born in what is now west-central Poland (part of Germany before World War I), Helena was the third of 10 children. After age 16 she worked as a housekeeper in three cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She worked as a cook, gardener and porter in three of their houses.

In addition to carrying out her work faithfully, generously serving the needs of the sisters and the local people, she also had a deep interior life. This included receiving revelations from the Lord Jesus, messages that she recorded in her diary at the request of Christ and of her confessors.

At a time when some Catholics had an image of God as such a strict judge that they might be tempted to despair about the possibility of being forgiven, Jesus chose to emphasize his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. “I do not want to punish aching mankind,” he once told St. Mary Faustina, “but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart” (Diary 1588). The two rays emanating from Christ's heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus' death (Gospel of John 19:34)

Because Sister Mary Faustina knew that the revelations she had already received did not constitute holiness itself, she wrote in her diary: “Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God” (Diary 1107).

Sister Mary Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993 and canonized her in 2000."
(From a Saint a Day at American

Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill recieve prestigious award

EWTN Foundress Mother Angelica and

Deacon Bill Steltemeier Receive Papal Honor

"Irondale, AL (EWTN) –Pope Benedict XVI has awarded EWTN foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, Chairman of EWTN’s Board of Governors, the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to the Church. The medal, officially known as “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” (literally “For the Church and the Pope”), is the highest honor that the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.

Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham conferred the awards in a brief ceremony following Sunday benediction at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

“The Holy Father’s recognition of Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill Steltemeier is a much-deserved honor. It acknowledges the tremendous faith, hard work and incredible sacrifices that each of them have made throughout the years in founding and building up the Network,” said EWTN President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw. “Their recognition is also a great honor for EWTN and is a clear sign of the importance of the Network’s mission for the Church and the Pope. We are grateful to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and to Bishop Baker for this honor.”

Mother Mary Angelica, 86, is a Poor Clare Nun of Perpetual Adoration. She came to Alabama in 1961 to found Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale. In 1981, she began Eternal Word Television Network in a garage on the monastery property. In 1999, Mother Angelica relocated the Monastery to the grounds of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama. She continues to reside there with her community of Nuns.

Deacon R. William Steltemeier, 80, was a successful Nashville attorney who left his law practice to join Mother Angelica with her fledgling television network. He served as EWTN’s President for many years and continues to serve as Chairman of the Network’s Board of Governors.

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 28th year, is available in over 150 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website and publishing arm, EWTN, is the largest religious media network in the world."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

"The Sacrament of Marriage represents a lifelong commitment on the part of the spouses. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part; marriage is forever.

As we read in this Sunday's gospel passage, Jesus' teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is very clear. "Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate" (Matthew 19: 6).

Increasingly the dominant American culture has intensified the barrage against marriage in the media. Every day millions of living rooms are inundated with the lustful images depicted in soap operas, situation comedies, movies, talk shows, and music videos. Magazines extol immoral lifestyles. Weekly tabloids play up the scandalous sexual proclivities of film, sports, and television celebrities

This onslaught against marriage has been relentless, seemingly working toward discrediting the notion of Christian marriage as an institution and cornerstone of society. Since there is so much confusion about marriage even among Catholics, it is important that we remember some basics facts about marriage as a sacrament..." (Continued here)

Happy feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Go on over to my saints' blog to learn about St. Francis of Assisi.