Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Among Women Podcast #63

This week, Among Women is on the road --literally!  Pat records her monologue from the car en route to Rochester NY.

Buckle up as Pat shares about the martyrdom of St. Barbara, and the many people who still revere her legacy.

Plus spend time getting to know the life and writings of the famous G.K. Chesterton through the musings of the talented Nancy Brown, an author, wife and mother who writes, blogs, and podcasts about all things Chestertonian.

Don't forget to contribute to the Among Women special "What I love about Mary" by sending in your thoughts via email at, or via voicemail at 206-338-6077.

(Photo: Just love this image of women young and old sharing cookies and pondering life in an English garden.  May you have quiet moments to sit and share with those you love this summer!)

Monday, June 28, 2010

This makes me think...

(reposted from earlier today, now without formatting issues, I hope!)
The "god within" and “theosis” 
Here is a key point of contrast between New Age and Christianity. So much New Age literature is shot through with the conviction that there is no divine being “out there”, or in any real way distinct from the rest of reality. From Jung's time onwards there has been a stream of people professing belief in “the god within”. Our problem, in a New Age perspective, is our inability to recognise our own divinity, an inability which can be overcome with the help of guidance and the use of a whole variety of techniques for unlocking our hidden (divine) potential. The fundamental idea is that 'God' is deep within ourselves. We are gods, and we discover the unlimited power within us by peeling off layers of inauthenticity. The more this potential is recognised, the more it is realised, and in this sense the New Age has its own idea of theosis, becoming divine or, more precisely, recognising and accepting that we are divine. We are said by some to be living in “an age in which our understanding of God has to be interiorised: from the Almighty God out there to God the dynamic, creative power within the very centre of all being: God as Spirit”.(64)
In the Preface to Book V of Adversus Haereses, Saint Irenaeus refers to “Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself”. Here theosis, the Christian understanding of divinisation, comes about not through our own efforts alone, but with the assistance of God's grace working in and through us. It inevitably involves an initial awareness of incompleteness and even sinfulness, in no way an exaltation of the self. Furthermore, it unfolds as an introduction into the life of the Trinity, a perfect case of distinction at the heart of unity; it is synergy rather than fusion. This all comes about as the result of a personal encounter, an offer of a new kind of life. Life in Christ is not something so personal and private that it is restricted to the realm of consciousness. Nor is it merely a new level of awareness. It involves being transformed in our soul and in our body by participation in the sacramental life of the Church.

---Excerpt from Paragraph 3.5 of Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water or Life, A Christian reflection on the "New Age."

Read the entire document here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gotta Go See Sarah Reinhard's 7 Quick Takes about CNMC Boston!

Have we convinced you to come yet???  Register here

Marriage, An Intimate Partnership

I'm talking living and loving the sacrament of Matrimony over at Today's Catholic Woman on Catholic Exchange.  Here's a snippet:

Young (and old) lovers would do well to carefully examine the wise and ancient counsel from a great saint and Doctor of the Church, St. John Chrysostom (4th century) regarding such a holy union.
CCC 2365:
St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.
What a sublime example of the heroic love to which Christians are to aspire. This is way beyond Hallmark sentimentality, and all the externals that go into wedding planning. This is about planning a life. This little quote reflects some of the inner essence of what a sacramental marriage is at its core.
Read the whole piece here.

Among Women Podcast 62 is up on

 Episode 62 features the prayer of Mary, Star of the Sea (Ave Maris Stella)... and guest Maria Johson, from SQPN.  A wife, mother, teacher, blogger, and author of several books... come hear Maria's take on growing up Catholic, but later rediscovering her faith as an adult.  She also has informative perspectives on the power of Catholic new media.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Where, oh where, is episode 62 of Among Women??

At the moment, it is on iTunes... and it is here.  (It is not yet posting well on my own site! *arghhh*)

It will soon be posted up at SQPN courtesy of the ever-valiant and courteous Steve Nelson, the SQPN executive director.

So, thanks to those who are patiently waiting to download the program thru that channel.

It seems that, despite the joy of having a brand new page at SQPN for AW, yours truly has yet to unravel the mysteries of modifying the podcast feed coming from my Apple software-for-dummies.  Therefore, this techno-phobe is meeting with the Apple techs today, and hopefully, this will be resolved soon.

(Pray for me, for I am easily daunted by these technical technicalities.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More from the Catholic Writers of LI event last Saturday

From Net NY: Using Media to Evangelize – 6/22/10 : Currents

Update, June 24: The Long Island Catholic's review of the day.

Update, June 24: From Cause of our Joy.  And Dr. Gerard Nadal weighs in.

A Lesson in Subsidiarity (Check it out if you don't know what it is.)

Archbishop Timothy Dolan keeps a blog called The Gospel in the Digital Age.  This week his comments give us a brilliant example of the principle of subsidiarity -- something all Catholics should know as it pertains to social teaching.

Before you read Bishop Dolan's post, keep this in mind:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1883:
The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Happy Recap* -- Catholic Writers of Long Island, "The Word Made Flesh"

John 1:16 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. 

Last Saturday, I was happy to be a presenter and team member for a day of enrichment for writers, "The Word Made Flesh", sponsored by a fledgling group, the Catholic Writers of Long Island. (Being a LI native, now living in exile in Massachusetts, they graciously invited me back.)  It was one part prayer, pep talk, and practicum for both new and veteran writers alike.  A wonderful spirit of community emerged between these writers; a good thing indeed for people who often toil at a very solitary endeavor.

It was just the kind of event that the mission of the Catholic Writers' Guild has sought to spawn.  CWG President, Ann Lewis, was on hand to present a lifetime achievement award to keynote speaker, Rick Hinshaw, editor of the Long Island Catholic.

Two blog posts have showed up touting some of the positive messages of the day.

First, go read this inspiring homily, offered by Monsignor Charles Fink, as he preached on John 1: 1-5, 14-16.  That will give you just a hint of the nourishment we all received by one another, and by our Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.

Then read Elizabeth Scalia's round up at The Anchoress (It was certainly a highlight for me to meet Elizabeth in person, after years of experiencing her great wealth of soul in her words.)

I couldn't let this recap conclude without finally high-five-ing my friend and colleague, Lisa Mladnich, founder of Amazing Catechists. (When Lisa's new book comes out on being a catechist, you'll hear about it here, so stay tuned.) (And come meet Lisa in Boston Aug 6-7, as she presents at the children's track at the CNMC.)

Lisa was a gracious and well-spoken MC, and a tireless leader in bringing this event to fruition, along with a wonderful team made up of the Amazing Catechists' crew:  Peggy Clores, Alex Basile, Catholic bloggers, Mary Ellen Barrett, Leticia Velasquez, and Alice Gunther. Click around the AC site to learn about all of them. Besides being catechists, many are authors too!

Did I mention yet that this was an event at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception?  Many thanks  to our generous hosts, especially, Rector Monsignor Peter Vaccari, and Monsignors Richard Henning and Charles Fink, and their seminarians.

COOL UPDATE: June 23rd: Check out this video from NetNY.

COOL UPDATE #2: June 24th: Check out this recollection article from the pen of Alice Gunther of The Long Island Catholic.

COOL UPDATE #3: June 24th: My writer-gal-pal Leticia Velasquez describes her experience.

COOL UPDATE #4: June 30, but this post was dated June 23rd, from Dr. Gerard Nadal.

*Being born in Queens and growing up out on Long Island, I was a Mets fan. (Apologies to those AW listeners who are taken by the mystique of the woman who now coos about living down "a country lane in New England.)" But back to the Mets... at the end of a winning game, Bob Murphy, their original longtime announcer, would set up the break before the post-game show, by saying he'd be back in a moment with "the happy recap." Thank you Bob -- you had a great voice, a great love of the game, and a tag line that forever remains with me whenever I recount or recall a happy event.

I'm over at Sarah's place today...

I'm looking forward to the Catholic New Media Celebration and hearing a talk from my friend and fellow writer, Sarah Reinhard.  Today, Sarah has invited me to be a guest over at her delightful blog, Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering.  Former horse-woman that I am, I'm especially appreciative of the horses' backsides in the banner...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Moms: a great one by Kate Wicker on your important work

Kate Wicker was a guest back on Among Women podcast #15.  Check it out.  Or find it on iTunes.

The Catechism series continues on Faith and Family

with this post about the Holy Trinity.  Here's a snippet:
Growing up Mom used to say, “Actions speak louder than words.”  A person’s actions disclose hints about the truth of who they really are. The better we know a person, the more likely we will understand their actions, and what is communicated by those actions.
Applying Mom’s wisdom, the reason Christians know about the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is due to the actions of God breaking into human history. God chose to reveal the truth about Himself, and hence, the Trinity, over time.
Today we have the beauty of hindsight.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Don't know if I've ever posted a picture of me and my Mom. Here we are back in May. 
Thanks to everyone who prayed for Mom's health this year. 

"Dad Sense" video

After the amazing success of her "Momsense" video, Anita 
Renfroe returns with a version for he Dads... just for fun...

Thanks be to God for all the Fathers in our midst! We love 
you and support you! And that's no joke!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Meandering Missive about Singing

My latest over at talks about singing... 
In my heart – besides being a writer – I am a singer.  Not because I can sing well, mind you.  I am a baritone… singing quite below the “normal” feminine ranges of alto and soprano, and I am a bit self-conscious about it.
But I am a singer because I have heard the music of my heart… and have “felt” my heart sing at the most amazing moments…

Read the rest here. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Among Women Podcast #61: now also found on our new page at SQPN!

This week, Among Women profiles two young women of faith. The first is St. Teresa of the Andes, a young women of the early 20th century from Chile. Her life is one of simplicity, letter-writing, and a deep abiding love and joy of Christ. Her life was cut short by illness, yet she was prepared to meet Jesus, the Captain of her heart.

My guest this week is Angela Santana, blogger at Catholic Media Girl, and a new media affectionado working at the Pilgrimage Center of Hope in San Antonio.  Angela is a recent college graduate whose Honors thesis studied new media and its potential for evangelization within and beyond the Catholic Church.

Also, I'm proud to show you our new Among Women page over at SQPN's updated website. Go check out all the great podcasts on

Details about the Catholic New Media Celebration, August 7th in Boston, are here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Early Christian Images of Sts. Peter and Paul

Hey there art history fans: some of the earliest Christian artists created more than graffiti on walls... they were decorating the catacombs! Here are some of the oldest images found recently of St. Peter, and St. Paul.  These were found in the catacombs of St. Thecla in Rome, by the careful and painstaking work of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaelogy. (Betcha' didn't know we even had one of those!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Catholic New Media Celebration (CNMC) in 60 Seconds

Check out this video over on Facebook
There's still room for you to sign-up!

Among Women is a pleased to be an affiliate of SQPN
the sponsor of the CNMC.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A bonus podcast from Among Women and SQPN...Ok, it's an info-mercial!

Pat Gohn of Among Women, joins with members of the SQPN team to talk about the upcoming CNMC -- The Catholic Media Celebration -- coming to Boston August 6-8.

This short 15-minute podcast captures a conversation between SQPN CEO and host of The Break, Fr. Roderick Vonhogen, and SQPN friends and podcasters, Maria Johnson, Steve Nelson, and Pat Gohn.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Embracing the Catechism - The Back of the Book

My latest article at Today's Catholic Woman on Catholic Exchange is a primer on how to find one's way through the 200+ pages at the back of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Its waay more than just a general subject index. There are actually 4 sections.

The first is the Index of Citations that summarizes all the quotes taken from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Everyone who ever has a reason to study the Catholic faith, or teach it, should familiarize themselves with it.

The citations index is followed by the comprehensive general Index, the Abbreviations pages (very helpful in doping out the primary sources of many church documents), and the ever-popular Glossary.

Learn more here. has exclusive interview with Archbishop George Pell

...and there are many fascinating observation on the modern culture front.

A snippet:
The sex abuse scandal has been dragging on for some time and undoubtedly there is more to come. Do you think that the Catholic Church can ever recover from this crisis?
There is no doubt the Church, and its moral authority, have been damaged and this wound is being exploited by the enemies of the Church. But life goes on. We are called to repentance and renewal.
It is certainly not a crisis equal, for example, to the French Revolution, or the rise of Communism or Nazism, or World War I or World War II. It varies in intensity even in different places in Australia, in different countries. Right across the nation we have had good procedures in place since 1996.
The first and most important element is to face up to the truth and do what we can for those who have suffered, the victims. Then we have to have procedures in place to deal with crimes and abuse. We are certainly heading in the right direction in this country. We have faced up to, and are facing up to, this terrible and wounding challenge.
You seem very impressed by the Fatherhood of God in Christianity. Does that give it an edge on Islam?
Christianity, Catholicism in particular, has an edge on Islam. I am tempted to say: in every way. Islam is a regression, culturally as well as religiously. I do not think it compares in any significant way with Christianity. I say that because there is much less about love in the Koran than there is in the writings about Christ in the Gospels and the New Testament.
Islam is fundamentally handicapped because it does not recognise the divinity of Christ. The Incarnation is an immense advantage. In Christ, God came down to our level. So when we see Christ teaching and acting, we have an insight into God himself. Another point is that while Christians certainly endorse and explain and emphasise the differences between men and women, we believe in a fundamental equality between men and women in God’s eyes according to the teachings of Christianity. That is very different in Islam.
 Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Among Women Podcast #60

Among Women #60 deals with some of the tougher issues in life: confession, forgiveness, and --watch out!-- anger!  This week we find inspiration in the confession and humility of the sinful woman from Luke 7. Plus we welcome back Professor Ronda Chervin, author of the book Taming the Lion Within.

Find out information on these two special events:

Catholic Writers Guild of LI: "The Word Made Flesh"  and the
3rd Annual Catholic New Media Celebration.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Word Made Flesh - An event for writers

"The Word Made Flesh" is the theme for a day of encouragement for writers who are Catholic, whether they write within Catholic media or beyond. It is also the launching of the Long Island (NY) chapter of the Catholic Writers Guild.  Mark your calendar for this June 19th event.

The Long Island Catholic says:

Lisa Mladinich, founder of Catholic Writers of Long Island and organizer of the event hopes the day will bring together a wide spectrum of people interested in writing from a Catholic perspective.
“We really want it to be open,” she said. “It is for anybody interested in Catholic writing, from high school and college students, creative writers, journalists, novelists, bloggers, the mom writing poetry at her kitchen table, the volunteer who writes the parish bulletin, the catechist who uses the written word.”
Writing is usually a solitary pursuit, she explained. “It’s a lot more fun, a lot more productive, when you are hooked into a writing community that can provide encouragement and feedback.” The event will also serve as a fundraiser for Catholic Relief Services by raffling off Catholic books, theater tickets and other prizes. The conference is called “The Word Made Flesh,” emphasizing the connection of Catholics in the Body of Christ.
The keynote speaker, Rick Hinshaw, editor of The Long Island Catholic, will receive the Catholic Writers’ Guild’s “Lily” award for Meritorious Achievement in Catholic Arts and Letters. The Catholic Writers’ Guild is a professional group of writers, artists, editors, and illustrators, whose mission is to help build a vibrant Catholic literary culture. 

Yours truly gets to give a little talk about getting starting with new media.

The date for this event is June 19, and it will be held at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY.

Full program and registration details here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More on the Catechism: Faith in One God

Here's part of my continuing look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church over at Faith and Family Live.

Andrea Bocelli, one of my favs...

Okay, in this video, Andrea reveals something I never knew about him, and it gave me pause to consider his message...

And just in case, you don't know who Andrea Bocelli is, and what his day job is... this will give you an idea:

Ah yes, that is the Ave Maria, (Hail Mary).

HT: To Marika Donders for the first video.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This makes me think...

There comes a time when you have to admit that you can't do it alone.  You don't have the information or the skill or the time or the will.  Yet you keep hanging on to the task, thinking you can force progress. Well, progress doesn't respond to force. It's time to ask for help...

Years ago I took an editorial position at a new company. When I attended my first editorial lunch... I let it slip that I was taking work home almost nightly.  When our editorial director heard that, he explained what I should do when a project was slipping behind and how asking for help early was better than getting overwhelmed down the line.  Another editor, a woman who had been there a few years, said to me, "Vinita, look in the mirror and repeat this to yourself: 'I am not Jesus.'" Well, everyone at the table burst into laughter at that bit of advice, but I have remembered it every since.

It's good to remind yourself that you do not have superpowers. Drop whatever else you are doing, and figure out what kind of help you need-- then ask for it.

---Vinita Hampton Wright, Simple Acts of Moving Forward, (2009).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Among Women Podcast #59

This week's Among Women looks at the shape we are in, both in the world, and in our personal lives.  This week's show opens with a call to be intercessors for the crises we read about in the world and national news. Then Pat and her guest, Christian fitness expert Peggy Bowes, examine how spiritual fitness can work together with our needs for physical fitness in The Rosary Workout

This week's saint story features St. Germaine de Pitrac, a young French women with a love for the rosary who died in 1601.

The new Roman Missal (click & learn about the coming changes):

Watch Catholic TV here! Find Women's programs: "WINGs" and "Woman at the Heart of the Church"

A Lovely Reminder for Every Day

Coffee drinkers! Support AW by drinking Mystic Monk Coffee!

Ship a Cake, and Share a Blessing