Tuesday, August 30, 2011

End of Summer Hiatus continues for Among Women Podcast... see you in September!


I'm planning a new podcast coming out after Labor Day Weekend. Thanks for dropping by! Looking for something to listen to?  Check out the AW index for a selection of topics, saints and guests from previous shows! Some great shows from SQPN are here!

Monday, August 29, 2011

This makes me think... The Universal Prayer

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER (attributed to Pope Clement XI)

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith. 
I trust in you: strengthen my trust. 
I love you: let me love you more and more. 
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.
I worship you as my first beginning, 
I long for you as my last end, 
I praise you as my constant helper, 
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom, 
Correct me with your justice, 
Comfort me with your mercy, 
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you; 
My words: to have you for their theme; 
My actions: to reflect my love for you; 
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me: 
In the way you ask, 
For as long as you ask, 
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding, 
Strengthen my will, 
Purify my heart, 
and make me holy.
Help me to repent of my past sins 
And to resist temptation in the future. 
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses 
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, 
my Lord and my God, 
And see myself as I really am: 
A pilgrim in this world, 
A Christian called to respect and love 
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.
Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, 
Greed by generosity, 
Apathy by fervor. 

Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.
Make me prudent in planning, 
Courageous in taking risks. 
Make me patient in suffering, 
unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer, 
Temperate in food and drink, 
Diligent in my work, 
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear, 
My conduct without fault, 
My speech blameless, 
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses. 

Let me cherish your love for me, 
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.
Teach me to realize that this world is passing, 
That my true future is the happiness of heaven, 
That life on earth is short, 
And the life to come eternal.
Help me to prepare for death 
With a proper fear of judgment, 
But a greater trust in your goodness. 
Lead me safely through death 
To the endless joy of heaven.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm speaking at the Gather Us In women's conference in Worchester Nov. 5

I'm happy to be presenting a breakout session at the Women's Conference in the Diocese of Worchester on November 5, 2011.  Get your parish group together and join us in Worchester at the DCU Center!

My talk: What Return Can I Make to The Lord For All He Has Given to Me? Exploring Active Responsiveness and Spiritual Motherhood.

The full conference speaker team  and program is here.

Among Women ReadHer... 8.27.11 has some website suggestions

Among Women ReadHer is not here in its usual format, simply cuz I'm not here. However, allow me to suggest a few sites that you might find praiseworthy for your reading this week.

- Sure, there are alot of parenting sites on the web. Not too many take the Catholic approach. Over 100+ columnists, including yours truly, full of faith, family and fun. 

Anthony Buono's Catholic and Single column
- Um, yes he's married. Don't hold that against him. He's got a great ministry for singles.

Catholic/Newsy Roundups:
Headline Bistro
- Good news roundup from a Catholic perspective, don't miss the columnists in the right sidebar.
New Advent
- a daily collection from the Catholic blogosphere

Other notable blogs that women may enjoy:
Faith and Family LIVE
Conversion Diary
Happy Catholic

If you love photography:
Our House of Joyful Noise
The Pioneer Woman

Speaking of the Pioneer Woman -- she's got a new show on the Food Network that premieres today. And I'm kinda braggin' a bit cuz my son is doing some of the PR for the show. So check it out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Among Women Podcast is on hiatus... be back after Labor Day Weekend!

<--The microphone was complaining it needed a little bit more summer vacation. Who was I to argue? We'll talk soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This makes me think... the Queenship of Mary

Let all, therefore, try to approach with greater trust the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and beg for strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in sorrow; above all let them strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin and offer an unceasing homage, filled with filial loyalty, to their Queenly Mother. Let her churches be thronged by the faithful, her feast-days honored; may the beads of the Rosary be in the hands of all; may Christians gather, in small numbers and large, to sing her praises in churches, in homes, in hospitals, in prisons. May Mary's name be held in highest reverence, a name sweeter than honey and more precious than jewels; may none utter blasphemous words, the sign of a defiled soul, against that name graced with such dignity and revered for its motherly goodness; let no one be so bold as to speak a syllable which lacks the respect due to her name.

--Pope Pius, XII, On Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, 1954.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

UPDATED: Among Women ReadHer... 8.20.11: WYD & Mercy, unholy families, time for Mom, #fb, & more

Among Women ReadHer
UPDATE: Mercy at WYD
--Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Catholic Register.
Lopez is one of the most insightful and gifted writers out there. Read it! (Sorry this was not included in the original post, seems I uploaded a previous draft that omitted this link.)  AW 75 talks about post abortion recovery.

When the Catholic Family is NOT Holy
--Sofia loves wisdom (pseudonym) at Vox Nova
The author discusses domestic abuse and violence. Important reading.

Longing for Loveliness 
-- Hallie Lord, AKA Betty Beguiles 
Here's a way to break out of a funk. Hallie was a guest back on AW 84.

The Issue is Always Your Relationship
--Tracy Transecost at Accepting Abundance
Oh, a goodie here.

Mom Time
Margaret Bern at her blog, Minnesota Mom
Go get some. If you read my article about M.O.M.S. this week, you'll know it's about my relationship with Mary and how she is the Mother Of My Sanity, etc.... however, my girlfriends --these other Moms --that Margaret talks about also keep my little boat afloat. 

Two Minus One: the shocking practice of singleton abortions
--Deacon Greg Kandra at The Deacon's Bench
A different take on selective reduction, sadly increasing. Same subject, different post by moral theologian Pia Di Solenni.

Two Women of Character
--Carolyn Moynihan at Mercater.Net
Noble women with great accomplishments. 

7 Stupid Mistakes We Keep Seeing on Facebook
--Ruth Manuel Logan at All Facebook
Important reminders here, especially for newbies to social media, especially for parents of small kids.

You Can Never Afford Them
--Matt Archbold from his blog at National Catholic Register
Poignant write up from a Dad confronting the tired question regarding his kids, "Are they all yours?"

Don't Miss This: "Beautiful For Me" - (sure it's from a Veggie Tales video -- still, a great song for girl in every woman's heart!) Artist: Nicole Nordeman

Here's another song from Nicole... a great praise song that brightens any day... two easy-to-learn verses! Sing it for all you are worth!

Friday, August 19, 2011

SQPN offers it's 4th CNMC --This year's Catholic New Media Conference

For a young non-profit organization, SQPN (Star Quest Production Network) has an impressive worldwide following of professional colleagues, friends, and admirers in the still-emerging field of Catholic new media. For four year in a row, SQPN's intrepid podcasting priest and CEO Fr Roderick Vonhögen, along with Executive Director Steve Nelson, and the Board of Directors, are presenting a conference that is one part learning, one part inspiration, and one part community-building -- for Catholic folks from all vocations who have ventured into this digital mission field within the new evangelization.

From CNMC's website:
The Catholic New Media Conference (CNMC) is a festive, educational, and international conference focused on evangelization and building community through the use of new media. This event is designed to connect, guide and inform Catholic communicators as a response to the Church’s call for new evangelization.

“The 2011 CNMC will focus particularly on social media, its impact on culture, and how the Church and its institutions can effectively use it,” says Fr. Roderick Vonhögen, CEO of SQPN.  “We will be exploring how social media can be used with quality content; authentic catechesis and, a true sense of mission,” he says.
All interested in Catholic communication, new media, and social media are invited, including young adults (18+), ministry leaders, and priests and religious, to whom Pope Benedict appealed in his 2010 World Communications Day message, to “become an ever more pastoral presence on the web.”

For specifics about the schedule, please see the Program page.
There will be an amazing array of media veterans, like Sean Patrick Lovett from Vatican Radio, and Blogger Sr. Anne Flanagan from the Daughters of St. Paul and Pauline Books and Media. And there'll be lots of training and inspiration for newbies and up-and-comers from talented and savvy media geeks like Matthew Ward, Jeff Geerling, and Lisa Hendey.

I've attended the three previous CNMCs, and helped to coordinate last year's event in Boston. This year is no different, and I'm pleased to join in the fun once again, this time as a presenter. So I'll ask for your prayers for this event, and for the entire team that is diligently preparing and planning the CNMC, to be held in Kansas City, KS.

I hope I will see you there! Register here.

The F.U.N Quotient... Coffee with Jesus

Thursday, August 18, 2011

WYD: A Grace for the Youth, and for the Whole Church

My column today, A Word in Season, recognizes Pope Benedict's arrival at World Youth Day (WYD) today, and reminisces about Blessed John Paul II's exuberant heart for youth in the pre-WYD days.

In everything JPII and BXVI have preached and written for WYD, they emphasize that WYD's are less about having youth meet the Pope in person and more about having youth encounter Jesus in a personal way.

That being said, Pope Benedict recognizes these days are not for the youth alone; they are an opportunity for all of us to, indeed, make a spiritual retreat. Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Your Word is My Delight" - Come to a Catholic Writer's Retreat Oct 5-9

I am happy to have been invited by the Catholic Writer's Guild to contribute a few talks to their first-ever retreat for writers. This is going to be a great escape in a lovely setting. Come bring a manuscript you are working on, or start on one! Imagine what you and God can write together! There will be talks, Mass, adoration, critique sessions, and more. Come mix and mingle with other Catholic writers and publishers -- or hide out and writewritewrite to your heart's content! Take time to be alone with God, with an opportunity to be refreshed by Word and Sacrament! This is interior development for your career development!

Here's a preview of my talks:

1. Psalm 119 for Writers: "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path." (Ps 119:105.)
Psalm 119, the longest in the Psalter, praises God and offers timely instructions to live by. This talk unpacks selected verses from this psalm as a devotional foundation for the retreat by offering inspirational delight and counsel for the writer's interior life. Writing prompts for personal journaling will be suggested.

2. Encouraging Words: What the Church says about writers, their craft, and the creative life.
This talk celebrates the role of Catholic writers and their call to put the divine spark of creativity into action for the sake of the Church and the world. This talk draws on the words and catechesis of John Paul II's Letter to Artists and Benedict XVI's Verbum Domini.

3. Hope - in theory and practice: "I have placed my hope in your word." (Ps 119: 74, 84, 114, 147.)
The theme of hope resounds in Psalm 119 and elsewhere in Scripture. This talk offers insights and practical tips for overcoming discouragement or setbacks by growing and nurturing hope in the writing life.

A team of other presenters will round out the experience. 

A full brochure is here. (.pdf)

The full schedule is here. (.pdf)

The retreat house website is here.  


Among Women Podcast # 107 - Making Peace with Your Body

Among Women 107 welcomes writer and blogger Kate Wicker back for another visit - this time to talk about her new book Weightless - Making Peace with Your Body. Together we discuss body image, food temperance, eating disorders, and more.

This episode also features a look at a young saint and martyr, St. Margaret Ward, whose rescue of a priest ended in her becoming one of the 40 Martyrs from England and Wales facing religious persecution in the late 1500s.

Two important reminders:

Vote for your favorite websites, blogs, and podcasts this week over at the Catholic New Media Awards. (Look for Among Women, hint, hint!)

Also your chance to win a beautiful handcrafted rosary from Rustic Rosaries can be your if you send in audio feedback or written feedback on "What I Love About the Rosary" for an upcoming Among Women Special Edition. All commenters will be entered in the free drawing for this one of a kind rosary, featuring blue pearls and a silver cross and medal to be awarded on that Special Edition program. Here's a photo of this rosary that I am giving away:
Send your voicemail feedback to 206-203-2024 or write to me at amongwomenpodcast@me.com, or send us a note via our page on Facebook: Among Women Podcast (community).

NOTE: The Among Women Podcast will be on hiatus until after the Labor Day Weekend. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

This makes me think... The Assumption of the BVM

The Feast of the Assumption is a day of joy. God has won. Love has won. It has won life. Love has shown that it is stronger than death, that God possesses the true strength and that his strength is goodness and love.
Mary was taken up body and soul into Heaven: there is even room in God for the body. Heaven is no longer a very remote sphere unknown to us.

We have a mother in Heaven. And the Mother of God, the Mother of the Son of God, is our Mother. He himself has said so. He made her our Mother when he said to the disciple and to all of us: "Behold, your Mother!". We have a Mother in Heaven. Heaven is open, Heaven has a heart.


Mary is taken up body and soul into the glory of Heaven, and with God and in God she is Queen of Heaven and earth. And is she really so remote from us?

The contrary is true. Precisely because she is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us.
While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is close to us, actually, "within" all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a "mother" to whom we can turn at every moment.

She always listens to us, she is always close to us, and being Mother of the Son, participates in the power of the Son and in his goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to this Mother, who is not far from any one of us.

On this feast day, let us thank the Lord for the gift of the Mother, and let us pray to Mary to help us find the right path every day. Amen.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

M.O.M.S. the Word... my latest at Catholic Mom

It's no secret I have a friend and mother in Momma Mary. Here's a little tribute for her in gratitude for all she has given me as we come upon her Solemnity of the Assumption.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 8.13.11

Among Women ReadHer

--Elizabeth Foss from her blog In the Heart of my Home
An on-going discussion of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "10 Habits of Happy Mothers"

Alicia von Stamwich at AmericanCatholic.org
Some good tips. For related subject matter, you might also like to listen our recent episodes about "Little Ones in the Domestic Church: AW 104 and AW 105. Others about fostering faith in family life: AW 90, AW 76, and AW 15.

--Mary Beth Hicks, over at CatholicMom.com
Packing someone up for college? Here are a few tips plus sound advice for the parents who've yet to reach this milestone.

--Deacon Greg Kandra from The Deacon's Bench
You might disagree, but in recent months, the amount of time that I spend online for work and pleasure has come under closer scrutiny. Anyway, a good reminder for all of us. 

World Youth Day Website - worth bookmarki ng for the upcoming week
World Youth Day on Catholic TV - Watch it on your cable provider or online

--Julie Davis from Happy Catholic
Enjoy a giggle.

You Are a Super Hero!
--Rachel Balducci at Faith and Family Live
Some more fun: I have a few aprons for when things get messy in the kitchen... but one of these would certainly bring some fun to my culinary projects... or they could be my next Halloween costume! 

Early August Gardens, At Our House
--Laura Lee Richard at Our House of Joyful Noise
Laura takes some of the best photos in the blogosphere. Check 'em out, you'll smile.

This is the Good News story of the week, imho...

This remains one of my favorite songs from the past year...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dumping My Assumptions about Mary -- my latest column at Patheos

My column, A Word in Season, over at Patheos is one part reflection of the road I've taken toward friendship with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and one part a refresher on the joy of Mary's Assumption that we will celebrate on Monday August 15th.

Here's where it starts...
I once thought Mary irrelevant. 
I am ashamed to admit that when I was a younger woman I had little use for the Blessed Mother. 
I was raised Catholic, but when it came to Mary and Marian devotion, my post-Vatican II religious education lacked that punch. My Protestants friends, claiming to know the Bible better than I, had little respect for Mary beyond the historical footnote as being the mother of Jesus, and I believed them. Even some Catholics I knew dismissed Mary as just too “old fashioned” for the times.  Stated plainly, Mary was no feminist icon. 
Even worse, I had absorbed a subtle lie: if I imitated Mary, I would become weak, passionless, and boring -- the antithesis of the modern woman. Mary was an old-school relic that had nothing to do with me.  Little about her life was applicable to mine. 
Then I became a mother. 
My first pregnancy, sadly, was a miserable experience. I was sick, overwhelmed, and sick some more. For. Nine. Months. I could barely keep my head up and go to work each day.
My theories about strength, passion, and my remarkable destiny suddenly faltered. For those months, nothing about motherhood seemed “blessed” and I simply had no confidence for the task. 
Hope came in the form of a dear Catholic friend. She was a farther down the mothering road than I was, and definitely more mature in her spiritual journey. And she had joy.
She saw I was adrift and needed some real mothering, and an introduction to Mary was the solution. My friend taught me how to turn to the Blessed Mother in prayer.  She told me that Mary “gets” me, even if I didn’t “get” her. And that Mary “gets” motherhood, and would help me do the same. I had nothing to lose, except maybe my breakfast.
Read the rest.

If you'd be so kind, consider subscribing to this blog, you'll see the RSS feed in the upper right sidebar. And if you like my column, A Word in Season at Patheos, kindly consider subscribing to that over here.

Remembering a friend's holy influence

Today in the feast of St. Clare of Assisi. I had the great blessing of praying before St. Clare's remains in Assisi alongside my husband and daughter, back in 2004. Clare remains a good spiritual friend in heaven. But my thoughts today turn also to another spiritual friend. Today is also the 5th anniversary of her death. May she rest in peace, and may I ask you to lift a prayer on her behalf?

Judi was a wife, mother, grandmother, and a writer. She was also a lover of Jesus. She stepped boldly into my life when she heard I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. And when the crisis was over, she hung around. Our lives were in different orbits most often, and our get togethers rare treats. But when we did get together, she and I talked and prayed and laughed and lunched and read each other's works-in-progress.

If I have written anything worth reading in the last 15 years or so, it is because Judi's words and example coaxed me out of the cocoon where the writing had retreated when I gave up my career in radio to be at home with my children. I was always a writer, but for many years I simply diverted that creativity into other things. Judi reminded me of that love and nudged me to produce something more than journal entries. I will always be grateful.

The end was hard, and every August as I have celebrated another year cancer-free, I remember her too.

My former pastor would always talk about God's little saints... the people whose names may never make it onto the canonization roles in heaven... but who have done our souls great good by their prayers and loving service. I'm sure you can name a few in your own life. Judi was one in mine.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.

St. Clare, pray for us!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Among Women Podcast # 106 - A Pilgrimage to Mary's House; WYD too!

Among Women 106 features chats about the value of going on pilgrimage, as Pat is joined by Sarah Vabulas, creator of the Catholic Drinkie blog, and a recent pilgrim to Rome, the island of Patmos, and a visitor to the Virgin Mary's home in Ephesus, Turkey. (Mary's home is featured in the photo at left, with our guest, Sarah Vabulas.)

Together Pat and Sarah talk about the power of new media, person to person evangelization, and how faith comes alive when one is blessed to go on a pilgrimage.

Pat shares prose from Christian authors Caryll Houselander and Fulton Sheen on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that will be celebrated August 15. She also looks at the event of World Youth Day in Madrid, to be taking place during the Octave of the Assumption. Listen to the new episode here.

Finally, let us hear your voice on an upcoming Special Edition of AW on the Rosary in early October. To participate, contact Pat by sharing what you love about the Rosary. Please phone our voice feedback line at 206-203-2024, or leave a facebook message, or email Pat at amongwomenpodcast@me.com. Entries must be received by 6pm EST, Monday Sept. 26th.

Monday, August 8, 2011

This makes me think... about New Media religious dialogue

[O]nline religious dialogue almost always evokes detractors... Instead of worrying about whether detractors will arise, however, [Catholic] leaders should assume they will, and then prudently decide how to best engage them. What they shouldn't do is let the fear of detraction prevent any type of discussion.

If dialogue is practiced in full awareness of these dangers, it can flourish. Dialogue is at the heart of growth and community, both securely -- see Socrates -- and religiously -- see Jesus. Discussion gives the Church a human element, revealing her to be a living organism rather than a static institution.

Through prudent New Media dialogue, leaders can help people develop a closer relationship to the Church, and therefore to Christ.

--Brandon Vogt, The Church and New Media, Our Sunday Visitor, 2011.

Brandon Vogt's newly released book, with essays from a stellar cast Catholic New Media enthusiasts, is important reading for Catholic parish and diocesan leaders, as well as for any Catholic with a heart for the new evangelization.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Among Women ReadHer... 8.6.11- Vacation stuff, parenting, a movie tonight!

Among Women ReadHer

What Works: Vacation Advice from the Pope
--Phil Fox Rose, at Busted Halo.
If you listened to AW 105 recently, recounting my trip to GA last week, (or my trips last spring to Rome on AW 95  or Paris on AW 89 ), this will make a lot of sense. Vacations should have something that also helps us become re-created in Christ, if at all possible.

Are Aborting Mothers Victims? 
--Jill Stanick
It is an interesting question, but I come down on the side of mothers being victims because of the trauma that follows them -- most are never informed of the true effects of abortion on their lives and their other relationships (not to mention the obvious lethal trauma to the babe in the womb) prior to having an abortion. I wonder what your take is. 

Preserving Our Faith 
--Archbishop Timothy Dolan, from his blog in the New York Archdiocese
How many times have we heard various groups - or certain women's groups -- decry "the Vatican" regarding a church teaching in some shape or form? Archbishop Dolan offers a great explanation on why the Church's magisterium does what it does.

--Simcha Fisher from her blog at National Catholic Register
Take it from a Mom who's been there. Rock on, Simcha!

"Who Is Simon Miller?": Family Movie Night is Back 
--Lisa Hendey at CatholicMom.com
Hey! This is tonight! Thanks, Lisa!

The Privilege of Responsibility 
-- Michigan State's QB Kirk Cousins
A video on what he has learned playing in the Big 10. As a Mom, I think this is a great 7min. video to show the athletes in our lives. 

Modesty Helps Women Be Friends
--Jennifer Fulwiler, her blog at Nat'l Catholic Register
Very interesting angle on modesty. Read the comments too.

The Invisible Woman -- this is an oldie but a goodie. Moms: this message is especially good for you. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The F.U.N Quotient... The hook!

This is both funny and wildly instructional...

Monday, August 1, 2011

This makes me think...

“To love anyone is to hope in him for always. From the moment at which we begin to judge anyone, to limit our confidence in him, from the moment at which we identify him with what we know of him and so reduce him to that, we cease to love him and he ceases to be able to be better.”

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