Saturday, August 7, 2010

The recent CMN conference

The recent CMN conference

Review of my book in the National Catholic Register

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle was raising a family 20 years ago when she unexpectedly met Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Over the next 10 years, not only did the correspondence she began with the saintly nun grow into friendship, but Cooper O’Boyle’s life was changed by her exposure to the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity. She became a writer, speaker, blogger and a lay Missionary of Charity.

Although to claim friendship with Mother Teresa could be seen as boasting, Cooper O’Boyle manages to relate her story in a spirit of humility, keeping the focus on Mother Teresa’s words and wisdom.

In fact, she writes, she initially kept her correspondence with Mother Teresa quiet for fear of succumbing to pride and because she thought people might not understand.

Cooper O’Boyle had her first personal encounter with Mother Teresa while in Washington. A priest suggested that her family visit the terminally ill residents of Gift of Peace House, part of a Missionaries of Charity convent, and while there, they were invited to Mass at the sisters’ chapel.
Cooper O’Boyle was pleased to discover that Mother Teresa was present at the Mass she attended. Not only that, she hugged her 6-year-old daughter and approached her 2-year-old daughter, asking, “Is this the baby who was singing at Mass?”

Cooper O’Boyle decided to send Mother a thank-you note and was amazed to receive a reply a few weeks later. “More than her words, it was the realization that Mother Teresa had taken the time to respond to a suburban mom in America that moved me so deeply,” Cooper O’Boyle recalls in her book. The letter would be the first of 22 over the next decade. Some are reprinted in the book.

Mother Teresa’s letters always seemed to contain just what Cooper O’Boyle needed to hear. On one occasion, when the author was in desperate need of prayer and guidance for a problem she does not disclose, she was able to speak with Mother by phone.

Hearing and receiving counsel regularly from a woman who would be beatified after her death saw Cooper O’Boyle through many difficulties, including two high-risk pregnancies. During one, she was required to rest, which gave her time to begin writing about motherhood. She later shared her manuscripts with Mother Teresa, who read them and urged her to continue writing.

If there is a flaw in the book, it is that we only know Mother Teresa’s side of the friendship from her letters, which often sound as if they could have been written to almost anyone.

But overall, Mother Teresa and Me tells the story of this relationship very nicely, weaving in details from her life and lessons she learned from Mother Teresa. The photos showing Mother with the author’s children complement the text beautifully.

Judy Roberts writes
from Graytown, Ohio.

[While I feel the review is not entirely accurate, I am thankful for the writer's efforts and especially thankful that the National Catholic Register published a review of my book. You may order an autographed copy of my book through my website: www.donnacooperoboyle.com]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Bliss or Summer Stress?

My newest summer article for Catholic Moms is below. Just click on the link under my name.

By the way, did you know that my new series on EWTN TV has premiered? It's called "Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms." I hope you can catch some episodes this summer. They are short five minute bursts of inspiration sprinkled throughout EWTN's fine programming.

God bless and hugs!

Donna-Marie
Summer Bliss or Summer Stress?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Powerful You Tube from an EWTN homily on the Precious Blood



Essential for every serious Catholic! Please take a few minutes to watch.

Pope heads to Castel Gandolfo to write new encyclical, book :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope heads to Castel Gandolfo to write new encyclical, book :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope Benedict asks for prayers...

ACLU presents inaccurate image of Catholic hospitals on abortion, say experts :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

ACLU presents inaccurate image of Catholic hospitals on abortion, say experts :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Jesus at Starbucks?

I hope you get a chance to read my post about a recent encounter...
Jesus at Starbucks?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

»The Catholic Review Online | Catholic newspaper, Archdiocese of Baltimore, world and national Archdiocese news, CNS

»The Catholic Review Online | Catholic newspaper, Archdiocese of Baltimore, world and national Archdiocese news, CNS

Baltimoreans will experience a special connection with Blessed Mother Teresa June 30-July 2 when relics of the “saint of Calcutta” will be made available for veneration as part of a tour of the U.S. and Canada marking the 100th anniversary of the missionary’s birth...(Click on link above)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fr. James's Sunday Homily - June 27, 2010

Check out Fr. James's Sunday homily...

"Mike Christian came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He enlisted in the Navy at seventeen. During the Vietnam War he was captured by the North Vietnamese in 1967In the same group of captives was Senator John McCain.

McCain gave an account of Christian's determination. Resolved to keep the spirits high among the other prisoners as they were being cruelly tortured, Christian was able to gather small items of clothing from some packages the few delivered to the prisoners from the U.S. With the bamboo needle he had acquired and little strips of cloth ripped from the clothing, he painstakingly assembled an American flag and concealed it inside his shirt... Continued here

Audio podcast homily here...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

St. John the Baptist - happy feast day!


"John the Baptist spent his adult life preparing the way for Jesus and proclaiming that “the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.”. He was born to Zachary and Elizabeth, an elderly married couple. The Angel Gabriel had visited Zachary and told him that his wife would bear a child, even though she was an old woman.

Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin and Zachary was a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem. As a baby in the womb, John recognized Jesus’ presence in Mary’s womb when Mary visited Elizabeth. Both women were pregnant at the same time..." (Continued here)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mother Teresa's sainthood cause...


Mother Teresa sainthood cause awaits another miracle, postulator says

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CNS) -- Father Brian Kolodiejchuk of the Missionaries of Charity, postulator for the sainthood cause of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, told a gathering at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven June 1 that her cause is "still waiting for one more miracle" for her to be declared a saint. With worldwide events now under way to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth Aug. 26, Father Kolodiejchuk was in New Haven to talk about her life and mission as part of a current exhibit at the museum, "Mother Teresa: Life, Spirituality and Message." "So far, that hasn't been one case that is strong enough to pass the medical board" of the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes, he said. "But we're still hoping and praying." Father Kolodiejchuk also serves as superior general of the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, the religious order of priests founded by Mother Teresa in 1984 and now based in Tijuana, Mexico. "Someone has to ask Mother Teresa's intercession, then Mother Teresa has to intercede, God has to (perform) the miracle, someone has to report the miracle ... and then we can continue with the process," he said of the canonization process.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vatican announces Adult Stem Cell Initiative

New York City, N.Y., May 25, 2010 / 10:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican issued a communique on Tuesday announcing a joint initiative with an international bio-pharmaceutical company to raise awareness and expand research of adult stem cell therapy.

Neostem Inc. and the Pontifical Council for Culture will combine the efforts of their respective foundations, the Stem for Life Foundation and STOQ (Science Theology and the Ontological Quest) Foundation, to advance research and explore the use of adult stem cells in regenerative medicine.

Fr. Tomasz Trafny from the Council for Culture remarked in a May 19 press release, "Considering the potential implication of scientific investigation, medical applicability and the cultural impact of research on adult stem cells, we view the collaboration with NeoStem as a critical effort."

"Through educational initiatives with NeoStem and sponsorship of scientific research programs involving cutting edge adult stem cell science which does not hurt human life, we come one step closer to a breakthrough that can relieve needless human suffering,” he said...Continued here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Monday!

More news and interviews coming up. It's been busy here. I pray you too are BLESSED!

Have a happy Monday!
God bless and love,
Donna-Marie

Friday, May 14, 2010

EWTN's Bookmark show coming up!


From the EWTN newsletter: "Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle and Doug Keck talk about two of her latest books: 'The Domestic Church,' an exploration of Catholicism as it relates to our roles as women, wives, mothers, and citizens of the world; and 'Grace Café,' a treasure trove of resources to guide and instruct mothers in shepherding their families to Heaven."

My interview with Doug Keck will air on Pentecost Sunday - May 23rd at 9:30 AM Eastern time and then re-air on other days. Here are the times and days for EWTN's Bookmark: Sun 9:30 AM ET • Mon 5 AM ET • Wed 5:30 PM ET • Thur 1 PM ET • Fri 11:30 PM ET.


God bless!

Donna-Marie

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My interview on Christopher Closeup on Mother's Day!

My “Christopher Closeup” interview is scheduled to run on Mother’s Day, May 9th at 7:00 am and 7:30 pm Eastern on Sirius-XM’s The Catholic Channel (Sirius Channel 159 / XM Channel 117). It will also run on the Relevant Radio network at 2:30 pm Eastern/1:30 pm Central. A podcast of the interview will be available on The Christophers web site the following day. I just heard that they will try to make the podcast available on Mother's Day for those who don't have Sirius Radio.

In this interview you'll hear about my book Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship, my personal relationship with Mother Teresa and more. I hope you can tune in.

God bless!
Donna-Marie

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Unveiling the cover!

Unveiling the cover!

Posted using ShareThis

My interview with author Brian O'Neel


I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brian O'Neel, author of the soon to be released book 39 New SAINTS You Should Know.

First a bit about Brian...

Brian O'Neel is a husband and father of six living in central Wisconsin. A Catholic writer and editor, he has edited books by Francis Cardinal Arinze, Archbishop Jose Gomez, and Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Archbishop Fulton Sheen's St. Thérèse), as well as the Amazon best seller, Go to Joseph by the late Fr. Richard Gilsdorf. As a journalist, he has written over 150 articles for mostly Catholic periodicals. For 15 years, Brian also worked in politics on several US and state Senate races, on Capitol Hill, and in the California State Legislature, where he focused on pro-family and budget issues. It was in his capacity as a political aide and writer that Brian helped write the third to last speech ever given by late President Ronald Reagan. In addition, he has served as guest host on radio programmes such as The Eric Hogue Show in Sacramento. As a side endeavor, he leads groups on affordable pilgrimages to Rome (see www.sacredhearttours.com for more information).


Now our interview:

DONNA-MARIE: Knowing that you worked hard and researched well so as not to write about the typical hagiography of saints, how long did it take to write your book?

BRIAN: It took about six months. I would get up at 5am and research and take notes. Then after I got home from the office and the kids were in bed, I would work some more. It would have taken a lot longer, however, Donna, were it not for the Internet. It gave me the opportunity to use non-English language sources and to easily find the fastest way of getting in touch with the postulators of the various causes of these incredible men and women. Of course, as you well know, there's the writing, and then there's the editing and tightening you do to make the text better, which takes even more time.

DONNA-MARIE: Yes, the Internet can be used for much good! It’s great that you were able to communicate with postulators to know more about the causes of these saints. Have you always been interested in the saints?

BRIAN: No. Actually, growing up, I couldn't have told you anything about any saint, even St. Francis. One parish I attended was St. Isidore in Danville, California, another was St. Juliana in Fullerton, California, and as a young adult, I attended St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington, VA. I had absolutely no interest, no curiosity whatsoever in who these people were. But then my Catholicism was cultural. I went to Mass because I felt better afterward or because it was what my dad made me as one of the conditions of his paying my college tuition. It wasn't until after I had a conversion experience in 1992 and, really, after my marriage four years later, that I finally started reading about the saints, and I was about 30 then. Since then, I can’t get enough of them. They've become sort of a way for me to reconnect with God. When I feel myself getting off course, slacking off in this or that aspect, I read saints stories.

Usually, I come away feeling like a complete and utter schmuck. I'm just kidding, but I do realize how much better I can do. And they make me want to be better. Plus, I think if this person who went through XYZ situation can persevere and overcome and become a saint, hey, there's hope for me. And I think that's the point of saints' stories. They’re meant to provide us an example and give us hope. That's why I wrote the book.

DONNA-MARIE: The saints are wonderful like that, aren’t they? They give us tremendous hope. Do you remember the first saint you learned about?

BRIAN: Ever? No, and given how much I love them now, I wish I did. It was probably Our Lady, because in the early 1990s I was very much enthralled with the seemingly dozens of alleged Marian apparitions that were swirling around at the time. If we're talking about for the book, however, then probably Padre Pio.

BRIAN: Which saint did you find to be the most like yourself?

In terms of the book? Why, Padre Pio, of course! Don't I wish. Probably a cross between Bl. Jakob Gapp and Bl. Bartolo Longo. Gapp because he was arrogant and proud, and he thought he knew better than God. He was an atheist (which I never was), but he came to see his dependence on Our Lord's salvific act. Longo was a satanic priest. That’s something else I never was, but I did functionally live as a pagan for many years, and like Bl. Bartolo, it was the Rosary that enabled me to see how unhappy I was living that way and which brought me to the happiness that only Jesus Christ can bring. If I’m honest with myself, I probably also have a strong dose of Bl. Anna Schaefer, who, putting it mildly, didn’t like not getting her way.

DONNA-MARIE: Thanks for your humility and honesty, Brian. Which of the saints in your book may have struggled most?

BRIAN: All saints struggle terribly because they see the perfection they ought to achieve (cf. Matt 5:48), but which, humanly speaking, is absolutely impossible. But none of those about whom I write struggled more in a temporal sense than Bl. Anna Schäffer. She basically became a paralytic and fought against that for 8-9 years, hoping and praying for a miracle, refusing to accept that this was God's will for her life, and she suffered much unhappiness as a result. The flip side of her coin is Bl. Karl of Austria, who one day was an emperor and the next day an exile and a pauper. In fact, it was his poverty that literally killed him because his living conditions were so poor. But the words that were always on his lips as he lay dying were, "Fiat voluntas tua (Thy will be done)." It's what's written on his tombstone.

DONNA-MARIE: That’s very beautiful. We can learn so much from the saints if we’d just take the time and read about them and study them as well as ask for their intercession. Why do you think it's important to write about the saints?

BRIAN: Saints stories are important for the simple reason that a person's capacity for self-deception is limitless, isn't it? We think we're doing just fine. We're right with God, "Jesus and me are buddies," and all that needs to happen immediately after our death is for us to smile down upon our canonization ceremony, which, naturally, will take place at our funeral. When you read the saints' stories, however, you understand you are not a saint. At the very least you come to understand how to tweak your spiritual performance. Saints stories act as God's way of telling us, "Uhm, I love you, but really? Look at this other son or daughter of mine. You’re not there yet. We have some work to do together, if you’ll let Me help you." They provide us examples of holiness and how to act on those examples

DONNA-MARIE: That’s a very nice way of explaining our imperfections, our need to improve, and Our Lord’s loving willingness to help us. Do you have a favorite saint?

BRIAN: As a husband and a father, I really love Franz Jägerstätter. He was a man who’d gone from being a man without God to a man who deeply loved God and yearned to serve Him. After he married and had four daughters, the Nazis came to power, and through some interesting twists and turns, he refused to serve in German infantry, which was just as good as saying, “Hello, here I am, execute me.” It was an automatic death sentence. But for him it was clear that he could not in good conscience serve evil in such a direct way. And even though he had so many people telling him that his first obligation was to his family, he said, “I cannot believe that just because one has a wife and children, he is free to offend God. Did not Christ himself say ‘He who loves father, mother, or children more than me is not deserving of my kingdom’?” Because he would not relent, the Nazis guillotined him on the same day that St. Edith Stein lost her life.

As a parent and spouse myself, I am just so utterly impressed with his stance because it must have been beyond incredibly hard. In a last ditch attempt to sway him, the Nazis arranged for his wife to travel from Austria to Berlin, a 460 mile journey by train, and she presented him with a photo of their cute little daughters in their Sunday best holding a sign that read, “Daddy, come home soon!” That must have been worse than any torture the Nazis could have inflicted on him. Still, he stuck to his guns. To his death, he stuck to his guns. That’s why I title the chapter about him in the book, “A modern-day St. Thomas More.”

DONNA-MARIE: Wow, incredible story of courage beyond courage! I guess we all need to remember that Our Lord will always give us sufficient graces to accomplish His holy will, no matter what it is! I can tell that readers will come away with an awful lot from your weaving of words about the saints in your book. But, can you give me an idea of what you think readers may gain from your book?

BRIAN: My hope and prayer is that every person will gain an appreciation that while being a saint is not easy – because if it was, being a saint wouldn’t be so special – it is possible for all of us. In the book, you read about the depressed, the gifted, the dim-witted, men, women, children, adults, clerics, religious, and married people, and I have tried to show that all of them experienced the very same things you and I do. Maybe in different degrees, maybe in much different ways. Padre Pio, after all, was singularly blessed. After St. Joseph and St. Francis, he is arguably the greatest male saint the Church has ever produced. But he still had his struggles.

For instance, and I only learned this after the book was put to bed, his father had come to live with him toward the end of his life. As his papa lay dying, he begged a miracle from his son – this holy priest who was so uniquely touched by grace that God had allowed to work so many miracles for others. “Gain for me a miracle,” he asked. And St. Pio responded, “God never answers my prayers.” In other words, God granted his petitions on behalf of others, but He never gave him what he personally asked for. Have you ever felt like that? I know I have. I felt that way quite recently. And yet Padre Pio was a saint. He struggled. Of course he did. He was human. Humans struggle. But many have this sense that being a saint is living some almost-in-heaven-while-on-earth experience where they just sit around communing with God. In reality, they experienced some amazing difficulties. And if we follow their example by persevering through our own struggles in a holy way, we’ll become saints. That is what I hope people gain, that perspective.

DONNA-MARIE: Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, Brian. I love what St. Therese said about a call to holiness. I used it in my Introduction of my book Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship. She pointed out that she was certainly not “swimming in consolations.” However, she said, “My God, I choose everything. I will not be a saint by halves. I am not afraid of suffering for Thee.” Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said that together with the blessings that come to a soul who opts for holiness comes also “renunciation, temptations, struggles, persecutions, and all kinds of sacrifices.” Saints were human beings who would strive to rise above the struggles with God’s grace and ultimately viewed the challenges and struggles as opportunities for grace and a means to their sanctification and for others too. What do you think readers may find most surprising about your book?

BRIAN: Probably several things. Most people don’t know John Paul II created more saints and blesseds than pretty much all the other popes combined (although it’s a little more nuanced than that). Very few know a former satanic priest is on his way to canonization. Many still don’t know Bl. Mother Teresa had a very long period where she felt nothing but God’s absence, which would have caused many to give up their work for him. I think another thing that will surprise is that most of the people in the book are those no one has ever heard of, in a relative sense. They’ll be surprised, probably to see that these individuals were just like them, and hopefully that will lead to the biggest – and most pleasant – surprise of all, that sanctity is possible for all of us.

DONNA-MARIE: Yes, so true, we are all called to become a saint! Is there a short excerpt you would like to offer us to give us a sense of your book?

But it isn’t as though [Bl. Alberto Marvelli] was some “add water and stir” saint. According to his friend and vice postulator of his cause Don Fausto Lanfranchi, he struggled daily with his faults. Father says Alberto wrote, “How many times at the foot of altar have I promised to become purer and more sincere, but just as many times, I have failed. Lord, help me to vanquish my quick-trigger impatience, to contain my often unhealthy curiosity and my inordinately unbridled imagination, my readiness to speak badly of others, and pull down the walls of my pride and haughtiness.”

Still, he understood what it took to become a saint: “For us to proceed in the spiritual life, our efforts must be constant and determined. We need to continuously progress step-by-step, day-by-day, minute-by-minute, always aspiring to that which is our highest summit: God.”


DONNA-MARIE: Very nice excerpt. Thank you. Why do you think you were drawn to write about the saints?

BRIAN: I’m what I call a Catholic geek. I love everything having to do with the Church that is good, and I’m voracious. I can’t get enough of it. But I wasn’t always that way. I used to have a revulsion to anything remotely pious. And a big part of the change in me came about as part of the saints. As such, I love saints stories. I love looking at their pictures. I love praying at their tombs. It’s one reason I lead pilgrimages. I’ve even begun building a database of saints and where they are buried. At this point, I have 62 pages on the saints of Italy alone, and I’ve really only just begun. My hope is that if people are ever in Italy or France or Chile or even Wisconsin, and they’re near some town, they’ll look on my website www.sacredhearttours.com or e-mail me through the site to say, “Hmmm, are there any saints’ tombs nearby where we can pray for our intentions?”

When you fell in love with your husband, didn’t you want to tell the world about him? When you’re children were born, didn’t you love showing them to others? When we love something, we want to share it with others. I love Our Lord, I love His Blessed Mother, but I’ll never be a corner evangelist. It’s just not me. But I can share the saints’ stories with others, and maybe that way, God will allow me to accomplish the Great Commission and spread our holy religion.

DONNA-MARIE: I think that’s great, Brian. I love the saints so much too. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

BRIAN: Fall in love with the saints, because they will help you more fervently fall in love with Jesus, and thus help you more firmly attain the salvation He won for us.

DONNA-MARIE: Do you have plans to write another book?

BRIAN: I have plans for several, actually. One is a sequel to this book because when I finished writing my first draft, I had too many stories. Another is one I've written on the churches of Rome that I will probably end up making available as a download or an iPhone ap at my website, www.sacredhearttours.com. And then I’d like to do a study of parents whose children who have left the Church who are broken up about it. As someone who regularly begs God that none of his descendents ever loses their Catholic faith, and who has spoken with dozens of parents who are heartbroken about their children becoming lapsed, I want to speak with the parents of those who have fallen away to see what sort of commonalities there are between them. That way maybe I and others can take steps to avoid the heartache these good men and women must be suffering.

Finally, I would like to write a secular book about the “Life on Mars” sensation one experiences when one moves from a place like California to a place like Wisconsin. First, this one has to sell, though, so everything else is putting the cart before the horse. God willing, however, I’ll continue to write books for a very long time to come. That’s the hope, anyway.

DONNA-MARIE: I hope you will. You have much to offer us. Finally, where can we get your book?

BRIAN: At your local Catholic bookstore! Go to CatholicStoreFinder.com, type in your zip code and choose the radius from your zip code that you're willing to drive, and then call that store and ask them to carry that book. Really, I know times are tight, and when certain online outlets offer near wholesale prices, they're hard to pass up. But those outlets aren't dedicated to bringing the light of Jesus into the world. They're not there when someone who is not Catholic has questions and walks into the store with no place else to turn. If we don't patronize those businesses, then how are they going to keep their doors open? They provide a valuable service to the Church, and we owe it to ourselves to support them. And a lot of times, they're willing to ship to you.

DONNA-MARIE: Yes, absolutely. Let’s support the local Catholic bookstores whenever it’s possible. Thank you very much, Brian for your time and insights. It has been a great pleasure to interview you. I pray that your book will deeply inspire others to want to become a saint! God bless you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mary Kochan's article on Catholic Exchange

"I took three of my grandchildren to see The Perfect Game yesterday. My daughter is a manager at a mall theater and she had told me that the movie opened Friday and no one went to see it. I knew it was unlikely that it would stay past the weekend without a major change.

I did what I could. I sent an email blast out to dozens of my correspondents and I told my local friends where it was playing. I pleaded with those further away to please check their local listings and see where it might be playing. I even talked to my priest before the Spanish Mass so he would alert them about this movie.

The kids and I comprised over half of the audience in the showing we went to.

When we left, I asked my 10-year-old grandson what he liked best about the movie. “I liked it when the coach told them that they would rise or fall together,” he said. “That’s how it is when you are on a team.”

Right on..."

Continued here at Catholic Exchange today.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Opportunities are all around us


Small Opportunities to Be Saintly Surround Us

No, we don’t need to take a course in sanctity to become a saint one day– it’s all mapped out for us and right under our noses...

Check out my latest installment about the saints for youth at the Goodness Reigns website here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms premieres Monday, April 12th!


Praised be to God! I just got word from my EWTN producer who told me that "Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms" will premiere this Monday, April 12th! The first one will air right before the Mass which is broadcast at 8:00am Eastern. So, if you turn your TV on about 15min before the Mass you should catch it. Another spot is set to air at exactly 6:20pm Monday night. These will be two separate episodes. I'm looking forward to seeing how they come out. :) I hope they will be inspiring to Catholic Moms everywhere. I hope you'll be able to catch them on Monday to hopefully give you a healthy dose of inspiration for your day. Please stop back and let me know what you think. Twenty five episodes have been taped so far and if they are well-received, God willing, I will do more.

God bless your week end, especially Divine Mercy Sunday!

hugs,

Donna-Marie

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fr. James's Easter Homily!

The resurrection of Jesus is a reality beyond doubt. The liturgical season of Easter fills us with immense joy and profound hope. However, each time we contemplate the gospel passages detailing the resurrection of Jesus we are faced with a sense of strangeness. The barriers of time and space no longer apply to him. The Lord 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.


The disbelief and uncertainty evidenced by those who saw him testify to an apparent strangeness in the appearance of the newly risen Christ. Slowly they came to recognize him, but they still struggled with doubt. Their response shows us that although the risen Jesus is the same Jesus that died on Calvary; his physical reality is now different than before. The body of the risen Lord is indeed his physical body, but he now moves about with a glorified body... Continued here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear Pope John Paul II


Wow, was it five years already? Our dear holy Father Pope John Paul II left this earth and went to his eternal reward on this day. I constantly call upon him for his intercession.

John Paul 2, We Love you!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

From the National Catholic Register on the sex scandal

"The level of vitriol being directed at Pope Benedict by the mainstream media right now is truly extraordinary. It’s primarily drive by desire for cash (scandal sells), followed closely by hatred, along with a hefty dose of ignorance.

Reading Maureen Dowd’s latest opinion column is just a cringe-inducing experience.

Even in ostensible news pieces the misrepresentation of facts is staggering. That’s where the ignorance comes in. Reporters in the mainstream media are seldom well versed in the matters they are reporting on, and it is clear that—even when outright malice is excluded from the equation—they simply do not have the background to properly understand or report on how the Vatican works and what its actions mean.

I am not saying that the Holy See’s handling of abuse cases can’t be legitimately criticized. I’m not saying that then-Cardinal Ratzinger/now-Pope Benedict XVI didn’t experience a learning curve on this point. And I don’t know what else is out there that remains to be discovered.

But I am saying that the media is getting this story wrong, particularly in the case of Fr. Lawrence Murphy, the American priest whose case was dealt with by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was its head.

The New York Times has done a great service to those wanting to look into this story by putting online a large number of primary source documents pertaining to the case. No doubt they mean these to incriminate Pope Benedict, but if you read them carefully—and if you know the relevant background—they don’t. (The documents are also posted here in .pdf format.)

So let’s look at the facts of the case in light of the documents:..." (Continued here)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fr. James's Palm Sunday Homily

When we encounter Jesus and the Gospel, we immediately sense that we are dealing with something that is not of this world. To be a Christian is not the same as being a member of an organization. When we join an organization, we make a commitment to the goals and objectives of the organization, but we still have our own private lives that we live outside of the meetings and activities of the organization.


Christianity is essentially different. When we embrace Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, we are faced with the reality that Jesus encompasses our entire being. Christianity is a way of life. Jesus wants to send his Spirit through every door and window of our soul.


Pope John Paul II once wrote: “It is urgent to rediscover and to set forth once more the authentic reality of the Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent. Rather, faith is a lived knowledge of Christ, a living remembrance of his commandments and a truth to be lived out. A word, in any event, is not truly received until it is put into practice. Faith is a decision involving one’s whole existence. It is an encounter, a dialogue, a communion of love and of life between the believer and Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life. It entails an act of trusting abandonment to Christ, which enables us to live as he lived, in profound love of God and of our brothers and sisters” (Veritatis Splendor, 88).


On Palm Sunday, we come face to face with Jesus. Thus, we come face to face with the reality of how we are to live our lives each day.


Jesus, the Savior of the world and the king of the universe was born in the humility of Bethlehem. All throughout the Gospels he taught his apostles and disciples the importance of humility.


His followers had already heard his piercing words: "blessed are the meek" and "blessed are the peacemakers". But, he continued to affirm the importance of the virtue of humility when he held a child and said: "unless you become like a child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God". The Apostles continued to struggle with pride and Jesus continued to teach its importance. "Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave".


When the first Palm Sunday took place, Jesus, the king of heaven and earth, once again gave a lesson of humility. He entered into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey.


His humble entrance into Jerusalem clearly illustrates that God is humble. God in his might, power and majesty, is also a humble God. He is not like the gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He is not like the powerful people of yesterday and today that will do anything in order to gain prestige, power and money...( Continued here)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Fr. James gives us his Sunday homily and begins it with what he says are strong words about the health care issue. Just click here for the audio version.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interview with Zenit

Mother Teresa Shows Families How to Be Holy


Interview With Author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle


By Genevieve Pollock


NEW YORK, MARCH 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Mother Teresa encouraged working with the poor not only in the slums of India, but primarily in our own families, says the author of a new book about the nun.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is the author of the recently published "Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship."

She spoke with ZENIT about her experiences with Mother Teresa, now recognized as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and the ways in which the nun taught the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation she founded, and others to love Christ in the poor.

Mother Teresa encouraged O'Boyle, a wife and mother, to live her vocation well and to help other families thrive. Over the years, the author has also written other books with this goal, including "The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home," "The Domestic Church: Room By Room," and "Grace Cafe: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering."

As well, she is a host for Eternal Word Television Network, and will soon be premiering a new series, "Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms."

O'Boyle has written for several newspapers and magazines, and maintains various personal blogs, including a new saints' Web site for youth.

In this interview with ZENIT, she spoke about the holiness of Mother Teresa, and the ways in which her teachings can be implemented in families today.

ZENIT: In one point in your book, you talk about Mother Teresa's unshakeable faith coupled with a feisty attitude; in another part you mention that she was called extraordinarily ordinary. Yet you also say that you have no doubt about Mother Teresa's eventual canonization. What makes you so certain? How does the normality of your relationship affect your belief that she is a saint?

O'Boyle: My relationship with Mother Teresa was certainly normal but I feel that it was extraordinary as well because I never had a doubt that I was visiting and corresponding with a living saint.

I saw great holiness in everything about Mother Teresa -- in her speech, her posture, her demeanor, the "glow' about her that radiated Christ's love, peace, and joy.

I knew that she truly lived the Gospel of Matthew: "Whatever you do to the least of these that are in my family, you do to me."

She lived her life, her every moment to satiate the thirst of Christ for souls... Continued here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Breastplate prayer


I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My brand new saints' blog


The Stuff of Saints


“God knows just what each of us needs to become a saint. It’s when we decide to respond in love to all of the little details of life we are immersed in that we are heading in the right direction.” Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Take a look at my brand new saints' blog on the Goodness Reigns website for youth by clicking here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh my gosh!

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The event was part of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which concludes this week.

The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about... (Continued here)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Dominican's Post-Oprah...

Isn't this great?

Ann Arbor, Mich., Mar 9, 2010 / 06:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In February, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Since then, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive the sister's mission director told CNA/EWTN.

During their appearance, the sisters fielded questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. “I think the main excitement for the sisters comes from the fact that we are glad to have had the chance to tell our story in such a positive, balanced manner to such a large audience,” Sister Maria Guadalupe Hallee, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA/EWTN.

“One of the sisters here put it really well when she said that the focus of the show really seemed to about ‘who we are’ rather than ‘what we do,’” she added. “We are really pleased with this, because although it seems like a very small distinction, it’s really quite important.”

On the show, “many of the sisters spoke about experiencing a desire for something more, and I would say that it is our identity as religious (brides of Christ, which Oprah found so fascinating) that fulfills us more than our activity – again, the primacy of ‘being’ over ‘doing,’” Sister Maria Guadalupe explained.

Since the show aired, the sisters have received positive feedback from all sides. Sister Maria Guadalupe reported that while traveling by plane, a flight attendant asked her... (Continued here)

Circle Press is offering discounts on two of my books for Lent!


DISCOUNTED FOR LENT!
Enrich your faith this Lent and SAVE 10% when you order
Mother Teresa and Me or Grace Cafe
by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle!


USE PROMO CODE: LENT10


TWO MOTHERS IN LOVE WITH THEIR LORD


Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle will never forget the first time she laid eyes on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Hunched over, frail, shorter than one of Donna's own children, the aging servant of the poorest of the poor cut an unassuming figure awaiting the start of Mass with her Missionary of Charity sisters. They would speak briefly after the liturgy (Mother Teresa wanted to meet the mother of such reverent, grace-filled children) and then spend the next ten years intermittently sharing hopes, dreams, and prayers through the mail and in face-to-face conversations. With Mother Teresa and Me, Donna-Marie invites you to step inside her deeply personal experiences with one of the greatest souls of modern times. Take her up on the offer and don't be surprised if you, too, find your heart blessed and your soul inspired by the diminutive nun who left an enormous impression on Donna-Marie... and on the whole world.

Order now and receive 10% off!
MOTHER TERESA AND ME
Ten Years of Friendship
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
192 pages
$14.95



THIS LENT, COOK UP A MOTHERLY MASTERPIECE...
Ever wish you had a cookbook for life as a Catholic wife and mother... a step-by-step guide for various "domestic church" situations? Consider your prayers answered. The recipe theme may be lighthearted, but there's real nourishment to be had here too. Inspiriting entrees - practical ways Catholic women can live out their familial vocations - are seasoned with simple suggestions for answering Christ's universal call to holiness.


A special section of lovely poems and prayers end the book on a note of warmth that will lift hearts beyond the kitchen and up toward heaven.

Order now and receive 10% off!
GRACE CAFE
Serving Up Recipe for Faithful Mothering
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
236 pages
$14.95



CIRCLE PRESS PRAYS THAT YOU HAVE
A RICH AND MEANINGFUL LENT

USE PROMO CODE: LENT10


CIRCLE PRESS
www.CirclePress.org
888.881.0729

Friday, March 5, 2010

Boston Pilot article today about my recent conference


[Photo caption: A sell-out crowd of nearly 2,000 pack the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the 2010 Boston Catholic Women’s Conference. The day-long event featured adoration, confession and inspirational Catholic speakers. Pilot photo/ George Martell, The Catholic Foundation]

SOUTH END -- A sellout crowd of women, estimated at about 2,000, from parishes across the Archdiocese of Boston gathered for spiritual renewal and solidarity at the 5th annual Boston Catholic Women’s Conference at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Feb. 27.

“It’s nice to see 2,000 women who are on the same page -- from all different nations and all different nationalities,” said Claire Nicholson, a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Sudbury who has attended all but one of the conferences to date. “It’s a great day.”

Annamarie Monks, a parishioner at St. Mary Parish in Mansfield, attended her first conference this year.

“It was very uplifting,” she said. “I felt a lot of joy.”

Monks recalled her father who recently passed away. She said he was a staunch Catholic whose faith inspired him to be active in the 1960s civil rights movement.

“I feel like I was honoring him too by being here today,” she said.

The all-day event included four speakers, confession, adoration, praise and worship music, a chance to meet with exhibitors in the adjacent Cathedral High School gymnasium, and Mass with Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

Saturday’s first speaker was Leah Darrow, a former participant in the television show “America’s Next Top Model,” who spoke of her Catholic upbringing, modeling career, and return to Christ.

Darrow was followed by Patti Mansfield, a Catholic author who has also participated in Catholic Charismatic Renewal, who spoke about the role of Mary in the lives of today’s Catholic women.

After lunch, noted Catholic author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle spoke to participants about how they can share their faith with others, using the example of Mother Teresa.

The speakers’ portion of the program was rounded out by Sister Olga Yaqob, an archdiocesan hermit and chaplain at Boston University, who spoke of her journey from Iraq to becoming a nun in the United States.

Saturday’s program concluded with a 4:00 p.m. Mass.

“The conference provides an opportunity for women all over the archdiocese to come together in a community of women and be nurtured in their faith and grow closer to God and one another,” said Jennifer Schiller, a member of the conference’s leadership team and master of ceremonies for each of its five years of existence.

This year’s theme was taken from Phillipians 4:13; “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”

Schiller said that the theme was appropriate this year because of the challenging economic and cultural times that mark today’s society. She said St. Paul wrote those words while in a Roman prison.

The article in the Catholic Pilot newspaper is continued here.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Boston Catholic Women's Conference

I returned home late last night from the Boston Catholic Women's Conference which was truly wonderful. It was a day filled with grace! I will give you some highlights later on, but now I'd like to tell you that it will be aired on Catholic TV at noon (Eastern Standard Time) today. You'll be able to see all of the speakers (myself included) and the beautiful Mass.

To find information to tune into Catholic TV from your computer or TV click here Just scroll over until you see the Boston Catholic Women's Conference and you'll also see my name which you can click on.

You can see my talk here..

Friday, February 26, 2010

Heading for Boston!

I am leaving for Boston to give a talk tomorrow at the Boston Catholic Women's Conference. It's a snowy blustery day here so please pray for every one's travel and all to go according to God's holy will. Thank you for your prayers. Here's a short Youtube: here.

Thank you for your prayers! I'll post again when I am finished with the conference about my radio show coming up on Monday or Tuesday morning.


God bless!

Donna-Marie

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

President Obama's latest health care proposal is "unacceptable."

Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2010 / 06:55 pm (CNA).- Pro-life Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) released a statement on Tuesday morning, calling President Obama's latest health care proposal “unacceptable” on the issue of abortion.

Rep. Stupak, who has been outspokenly opposed to abortion during his political tenure, said on Feb. 23 that he “was pleased to see that President Obama’s health care proposal did not include several of the sweetheart deals provided to select states in the Senate bill.”

“Unfortunately, the President's proposal encompasses the Senate language allowing public funding of abortion,” the Michigan representative stated. “The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable,” he added.

“While the President has laid out a health care proposal that brings us closer to resolving our differences, there is still work to be done before Congress can pass comprehensive health care reform.‬”

Rep. Stupak stepped into the national political spotlight when he introduced an amendment to the House health care reform bill that maintained the Hyde Amendment ban on using federal funds to pay for abortions. The Stupak Amendment passed in the House by a vote of 240-194 last November.

The story is continued here.

Pope John Paul II's beatification process is almost complete

La Paz, Bolivia, Feb 23, 2010 / 12:53 pm (CNA).- Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was John Paul II’s personal secretary for 40 years, told participants at a Colombian conference that the late-Pope's beatification process “is practically finished.”

In Colombia, where Cardinal Dziwisz traveled to participate in a conference on the legacy of John Paul II, the cardinal remarked that the beatification process of the pilgrim Pope “is practically finished.”

“In order for the beatification to take place, it is important that the Church recognizes a miracle in which he has interceded. There is a case that is currently being investigated and it is of the miraculous healing of a French nun suffering from Parkinson’s.”

Regarding the date of the beatification, the cardinal said, “It is not known, but his tomb is visited by thousands who thank him for favors.”

“Not only do Christians want to see him made a saint, but Jews and Muslims as well.”

Story is continued here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Interview with Author Barbara Janet Cooper


I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author Barbara Janet Cooper about her latest book, Jadon and Gabe: The Not So Saintly Horses.

I enjoyed reading it and wrote a review:

This enchanting book for children and families alike is written from a horse's point of view. It is illustrated with sweet pictures throughout. If you're looking for a book that will both entertain your child and teach worthwhile life lessons and good values at the same time, this is the book. Books like this are difficult to find these days. This one is a treasure for sure. The engaging chapters flow together with ease and many valuable life lessons are woven through the delightful and entertaining text.

Jadon and Gabe: The Not So Saintly Miniature Horses contains a spiritual element as well, while we watch the two horses look to God for direction and help as they navigate their lives through the challenges and the joys that beset them. Each new adventure or challenge played out in this book opens up opportunities for discussion between parent or caregiver and child. I highly recommend this wholesome and delightful book for your family!



Thank you very much for this interview, Barbara. Your newest book: Jadon and Gabe: The Not So Saintly Horses is a sweet children's story of adventure and seeking God for help as told from a horse's perspective. I really enjoyed reading it. Can you tell us why you decided to use Miniature horses to tell the story?
We always had at least one horse as part of our family since my children were very young.

In the early 80’s, we met and became friends with Sister Bernadette Muller. The Poor Claire Nuns, in Brenham, Texas raise miniature horses and Sister Bernadette introduced us to our very first mini. Although Sister Bernadette has since passed on, the sisters still raise the miniatures for their livelihood.

After a while we had a small herd - not all from The Monastery. They were not related to each other. I loved to sit in the barn or out near the pasture and just watch, for hours on end, these wonderful little horses interact with each other. Each horse has their own personality, but each horse, has the same goal as the other, which is pleasing their Master. Just like our human children, they may forget their manners from time to time, but their mothers, will help to lead them back on the right path.

When I decided to write this book, it felt it only natural to allow Jadon and Gabe, to tell their story and share their perspective on life.

What age range do you think your book will serve best?

I feel that Jadon and Gabe is a book that the whole family will enjoy.

Can you tell us about the writing process for this book? I understand that you have a co-author.
Yes, I do have a co-author, my ten year old grand-daughter, Brittany Jean. At the age of nine, she has won three story contests which were published, in our local newspaper. She also won a blue ribbon at a horse show when she was just three years old.

I feel blessed to have her as a co-author and the reader will receive the perspective of one of their peers.

That’s really wonderful. I’m sure it’s a blessing working with your grand-daughter on your book projects. What are your hopes for this book?
My hopes are that, Jadon and Gabe: The Not so Saintly Horses, will not only entertain, but also encourage the reader to reach higher in their efforts in settings a good example for their peers. I also hope that the words of Jadon and Gabe will remind the reader that it is much better to please God than to succumb to peer pressure.

Can you tell us about the illustrations?

Yes, Brittany Jean drew all the illustrations for this book. It is her way of introducing the characters to our readers. Her illustrations also help to tell the story. The cover of the book is an image of the real Jadon and Gabe, Jadon being the smaller of the two.

That’s very interesting. Do you have any plans for future books?
Yes, we do! Thank you for asking. Brittany and I are working, at the moment, on the 2nd in the series of the Jadon and Gabe books. I don’t want to give too much away. I can tell you that they will learn the hard way, that God gives us parents, to protect us from the evils of the world.

Jadon and Gabe: Missing in Action, will be available, late summer of 2010.

Well, I will certainly be looking forward to the next in the series. Finally, where can we purchase your book?

If ordering a signed copy, you may send a check or money order, in the amount of $7.00 plus $3.95 S/H to: B.J. Cooper-Schonert, P.O. Box 9077, College Station, Texas 77842

Jadon and Gabe: The Not so Saintly Horses is also available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

Also on my website at, http://wordsfromthehayloft.blogspot.com

Thank you very much for this interview, Barbara! Have fun writing the next Jadon and Gabe book. May God bless you and your whole family!

Fr. James's Sunday Homily in Audio

For an audio format of Fr. James's Sunday homily click here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pope Benedict's Lenten Message


Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Each year, on the occasion of Lent, the Church invites us to a sincere review of our life in light of the teachings of the Gospel. This year, I would like to offer you some reflections on the great theme of justice, beginning from the Pauline affirmation: “The justice of God has been manifested through faith in Jesus Christ” (cf. Rm 3, 21-22).

Justice: “dare cuique suum”

First of all, I want to consider the meaning of the term “justice,” which in common usage implies “to render to every man his due,” according to the famous expression of Ulpian, a Roman jurist of the third century. In reality, however, this classical definition does not specify what “due” is to be rendered to each person. What man needs most cannot be guaranteed to him by law. In order to live life to the full, something more intimate is necessary that can be granted only as a gift: we could say that man lives by that love which only God can communicate since He created the human person in His image and likeness. Material goods are certainly useful and required – indeed Jesus Himself was concerned to heal the sick, feed the crowds that followed Him and surely condemns the indifference that even today forces hundreds of millions into death through lack of food, water and medicine – yet “distributive” justice does not render to the human being the totality of his “due.” Just as man needs bread, so does man have even more need of God. Saint Augustine notes: if “justice is that virtue which gives every one his due ... where, then, is the justice of man, when he deserts the true God?” (De civitate Dei, XIX, 21).

What is the Cause of Injustice? (Continued here at Catholic News Agency)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"All in this book is a MUST read:" Review of "Mother Teresa and Me"


"Donna-Marie is up there as one of my favorite Catholic authors..I have all but 1 (or 2) of her books..She is a superb author..So when I saw that her new book "Mother Teresa and Me" was on the list for review, I didn't hesitate to pick it..

I enjoyed the endorsements & the Foreword by Teresa Tomeo, but I couldn't wait to start reading the book itself..From the moment I started reading the book, I was filled by a warmth that you get when your sitting or chatting with an old friend..Ms. Cooper O'Boyle's way of describing her friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa is so sincere, loving & respectful in every way possible..

I love the typed letters at the beginning of each chapter from Blessed Teresa..How she took the time to convey her wisdom to Ms. Cooper O'Boyle..It's like a loving mother offering advice to her own child..And the pictures of Blessed Teresa with Ms. Cooper O'Boyle's children to me represented a loving grandmother, who gushes over her grandchildren..

As I got further into the book, the warmth & love continued on in my heart..It was like Blessed Mother Teresa was speaking directly to me..This was no ordinary woman..She was extraordinary..

The personal stories that Ms. Cooper O'Boyle wrote in this book are inspiring also..Especially the story of her & her daughter being in a car accident & the forgiveness of the teenage driver..That was amazing..All of the stories in this book are incredible..You will absolutely be in awe..

There were two things that I really liked in this book..The "Take Time" saying & personal reflection that Ms. Cooper O'Boyle gives is a reminder to all of us to take time in our lives to think, pray, laugh, play, love & be loved, give, read, be friendly, work & do charity..Ms. Cooper O'Boyle goes into detail on these in Ch. 13 called "Take Time"..And the Express Novena..Blessed Mother Teresa called saying "The Memorare" nine times in a row an Express Novena..And there is an example in the book of how it worked for her..

All in all this book is a MUST read..I learned a lot about Blessed Mother Teresa, & how Ms. Cooper O'Boyle had the most interesting & blessed friendship with her..Ms. Cooper O'Boyle also talks about the late Fr. John Hardon..

I take away from this book life lessons..Like how to see Jesus in every person..To love the poor, and to be a light in the world..I also am thinking of joining the lay Missionary of Charity movement..You too will also be transformed by this wonderful book..I highly recommend it..

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Mother Teresa and Me."
__________________________

Thank you very much, Carmela for your kind words in your beautiful review. May God bless you and your family in great abundance and may dear Mother Teresa watch over you!

Visit Carmela at her blog here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Al Kresta And Me Speaking About "Mother Teresa and Me"


I hope you can join Al Kresta and me tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM Eastern time. We will be chatting LIVE on Ave Maria Radio aired through EWTN and all of its affiliates and through Sirius Radio. We will be chatting about my book: Mother Teresa and Me: Ten years of Friendship and of course, my friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa. I am honored to be Al's guest again. He has a great inspirational show every afternoon called "Kresta in the Afternoon" where he "talks about things that matter most." I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Al's show and also being a guest on Al's show both in person LIVE at events I have attended around the country and over the phone LIVE as well.

The latest news on the "blogfront" is the new webcam on Al's blog. You can watch the webcam during our interview! You can join us by tuning into Kresta In The Afternoon.blogspot.com

See you tomorrow!

God bless and hugs,

Donna-Marie

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Protesting the Mother Teresa Stamp?


It's unbelievable! Well, actually, why am I surprised? An atheist group (small but loud) is complaining, actually they're protesting because Mother Teresa will be on a US stamp and the group is claiming that this violates regulations against honoring individuals whose achievements are associated with religion.

When I first heard about this earlier today, I said to my friend, "Well, that's ridiculous because Mother Teresa doesn't only represent a religion, she was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a humanitarian!" When I read the article, I was happy to see that the fact that she was a humanitarian and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient were both mentioned in the article.

Here's the news article from Fox News...

An atheist organization is blasting the U.S. Postal Service for its plan to honor Mother Teresa with a commemorative stamp, saying it violates postal regulations against honoring "individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings."

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is urging its supporters to boycott the stamp — and also to engage in a letter-writing campaign to spread the word about what it calls the "darker side" of Mother Teresa.

The stamp — set to be released on Aug. 26, which would have been Mother Teresa's 100th birthday — will recognize the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her humanitarian work, the Postal Service announced last month.

"Noted for her compassion toward the poor and suffering, Mother Teresa, a diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years," the Postal Service said in a press release. "Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations."

But Freedom from Religion Foundation spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor says issuing the stamp runs against Postal Service regulations...
( Continued here at Fox News)

At the end of the article, it says, "The Foundation is encouraging its supporters to purchase the new stamp honoring the late actress Katharine Hepburn, who was an atheist, instead — or any of the other 2010 stamps, which include cartoonist Bill Mauldin, singer Kate Smith, filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, painter Winslow Homer and poet Julia de Burgos."

And I say, why don't we all buy up tons of Mother Teresa stamps when they are released August 26th, the anniversery of her birth (she would be 100) and use them abundantly! Let's bring back the art of letter writing. In fact, I am going to highly encourage everyone when it comes that time, to write a bunch of letters, getting in touch with loved ones and old friends and use that beautiful stamp to do so. :) What do you think?

Another idea is to buy a bunch of these beautiful stamps and then donate them to the Missionaries of Charity convents! The Sisters can sure use the stamps.

The Reality of "You-Know-Who"!

Rome, Italy, Jan 28, 2010 / 04:28 am (CNA).- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver followed his keynote address to the Emmanuel Community of Rome's conference on "Priests and Laity in the Mission" with a short reflection on the "disappointing times" he is experiencing. He also elaborated on a major theme of his talk—the reality of Satan and the importance of "spiritual combat."

Just before launching into a question and answer session, Archbishop Chaput gave a reflection on his years as a bishop to stimulate discussion, saying, "I thought that after 20 years more of my life things would change and things would be a lot better but I don't think they are.

"I think we live in disappointing times, in times of confusion, and in some ways that is the result of our failure to understand that we have an enemy in the Devil, but also we have enemies in the world around us."

He pointed to a "great talk" from an American Protestant pastor he once heard which was titled "We preach as though we don't have enemies," and reflected that this sentiment "is true in the United States... .”

"I think it's important to understand the we are in a battle, we really do live in a time of spiritual combat and I think we've lost that sense of the Church," Archbishop Chaput stated.

He continued with a comparison of the temptation we face to be like "everyone else" like the Israelites from the Old Testament wishing for a king like the other nations. They wanted a king ... they got Saul and he was a good man, and then he became a politician and he lost his faith. We're just like that."

"In America, we don't want to be different than our Protestant brothers and sisters, or the secular forces around us. And, I think that's the great danger of our time, we don't love God enough and we don't enter into combat with the enemy enough and we need to recommit ourselves to doing that," the Archbishop of Denver urged.

During his keynote address, Archbishop Chaput had also referred to the importance of recognizing that evil exists and that "Satan is real."

Responding to a question from CNA about where he sees the Devil's presence in society, the archbishop said, "Well, one of the most obvious...( continued here)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Catholic Church and blogging

"Pope Benedict XVI is boldly making use of new technologies of communications to spread the Gospel message. In his discourse for World Communications Day, the Holy Father teaches that the digital use of modern technologies such as the World Wide Web, internet blogs and other electronic tools are an essential part of the priest’s resources in spreading the message of the Catholic Church. One should really not be too shocked about the Catholic Church’s use of technology as a method for evangelization. Most of the inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries that enabled mass communications were adopted by the Catholic Church in it educational and evangelical activities from their inception.

In 1886 the Vatican had ten telephones and used them to communicate inside the complex array of Vatican offices. In 1929 after the Lateran Pact, the Vatican initiated telephone service with the help of contributions from the United States inside the newly independent Vatican City State and the rest of the world..." ( Continued here)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CT Deacon and His Wife Rescued From Rubble in Haiti

Southbury, Conn., Jan 21, 2010 / 06:22 am (CNA).- A permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Hartford has spoken about his rescue from the ruins of his destroyed mission house in earthquake-struck Haiti. Though death “filled the night,” he said he believes God still has plans for him and he intends to return to help the country.

Deacon Chuck Dietsch, 66, has served at Sacred Heart Church in Southbury, Conn. for fourteen years. For the past two years he has worked with Haitian Ministries for the Diocese of Norwich.

Last week he was working at Norwich Mission House in a suburb of the capital city Port-au-Prince. There, he helped provide food, shelter, and education while supporting orphanages, parish communities, and medical missions.

The deacon, a stocky man with graying hair, bore several gashes on the left side of his forehead in his appearance at press conference on Monday. He said that he had been in the mission house with its acting director Jillian Thorp when the earthquake struck... (Continued here)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Immense Upset Victory"

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown pulled an immense upset victory in Massachusetts’ special election Tuesday night, overtaking Democrat Martha Coakley by five points with three out of four districts reporting.

A meeting of key pro-life leaders in the nation’s capital erupted in cheers as 75% of districts confirmed Brown’s lead over Coakley, swinging open the door to a possible defeat for the health care bill widely decried as the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

Brown, who unexpectedly exploded in popularity in the deeply Democratic state, promised to be the 41st vote against the health care bill and shatter the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

President Obama placed calls to both of the candidates after the results came in, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

In her concession speech, Coakley said that Obama told her “that we can’t win them all, and he knows that better than any, as he told me. But he appreciates what I did and what you did, and he said to extend his heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked on the campaign.”

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the results mark a “pendulum swing” for the majority party on Capitol Hill.

“Americans love freedom. If Washington ignores the will of the people, as the Democratic party has been doing in so many issues, the people respond at the voting booth to reclaim their own voice,” said Pavone.

“When the people feel powerless to change the minds of those in power, they change those in power.”

Interview with Elena Maria Vidal


Here is my interview with author Elena Maria Vidal about her newest novel: The Night's Dark Shade. You can see it here at Catholic Exchange today.

Speaking to God

"However softly we speak, He is near enough to hear us. Neither is there any need for wings to go to find Him. All one need do is go into solitude and look at Him within oneself. Since He does not force our will, He takes what we give Him; but He does not give Himself completely unless we give ourselves completely."
--St. Teresa of Avila

Lots of food for thought here, huh?

God bless!

Donna-Marie

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pope Benedict entrusts Haiti to the Blessed Mother

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2010 / 01:31 pm (CNA).- After praying the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI remembered those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. He prayed that patroness of Haiti, the Virgin Mary, protect and assist them so that they might "find aid and comfort."

The Holy Father mentioned that through contact with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, he is keeping "constantly informed" as to the situation on the ground in the island country. Pope Benedict said that he heard from Archbishop Auza of the death of Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Serge Miot, and so many other priests, religious and seminarians.

Pope Benedict assured the charitable organizations who are "taking charge of the immense need of the country" that they have his support.

"I pray for the injured, for the homeless and for everyone who has tragically lost their life," he said.

Following the Angelus, as Benedict XVI addressed the French-speaking pilgrims, he entrusted the care of the "dear Haitian population" to the protection of the Holy Virgin in their current trials, so that they might "find aid and comfort."

The Pope finished by exclaiming in prayer, "May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haiti, protect her children!"