Saturday, March 31, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 3.31.12... Papa Benny, Cuba, confession, sex, weirdness...

Among Women ReadHER

First, a few posts about Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Visits to Mexico and Cuba...

You can read his addresses and homilies on these trips here. There were lots of my favorite quotes, but here's one to give you a taste:

Dear friends, do not hesitate to follow Jesus Christ. In him we find the truth about God and about mankind. He helps us to overcome our selfishness, to rise above our vain struggles and to conquer all that oppresses us. The one who does evil, who sins, becomes its slave and will never attain freedom (cf. Jn 8:34). Only by renouncing hatred and our hard and blind hearts will we be free and a new life will well up in us. 
Convinced that it is Christ who is the true measure of man, and knowing that in him we find the strength needed to face every trial, I wish to proclaim openly that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. In him everyone will find complete freedom, the light to understand reality most deeply and to transform it by the renewing power of love. 
The Church lives to make others sharers in the one thing she possesses, which is none other than Christ, our hope of glory (cf. Col 1:27). To carry out this duty, she must count on basic religious freedom, which consists in her being able to proclaim and to celebrate her faith also in public, bringing to others the message of love, reconciliation and peace which Jesus brought to the world. 
If you only have time for one, read the rest of this one... pretty powerful words about religious freedom spoken aloud in Mass setting within a country with a communistic regime.
The Pope blesses image of Our Lady of Guadalupe...

He picked up a few new hats along the way...

By Maria Morera Johnson, a guest at my column at Patheos this week
I recommend this piece by my friend, blogger and co-host of SQPN's Catholic Weekend Show, Maria Morera Johnson, a Cuban-American, writing about subjects close to her heart.

Other goodies....

Vatican Approves a Blessing of the Womb
Posted at Zenit
Well, here's a powerful pro-life move! Yay! Will watch for more details in the days ahead.

Confessing Who We Really Are
By Lori Miller at Catholic Mom
A good one. If you still haven't gone to confession this Lent, let this be a loving nudge.

By Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress
When Elizabeth raves about something, I always pay attention. 

By Maria Morera Johnson at Snoring Scholar
Yes, it just worked out that way, here's another one from Maria, this time in a continuing series on the words of the Hail Mary, hosted by the delightful Sarah Reinhard at Snoring Scholar.

The Glories of Being Weird
By Emily Stimpson at
Another great take on life and love and simply being "counter-cultural" simply by living this awesome cannot-be-denied faith.

The Dark Night of the Soul: Or Why a Failing Lent Isn't
By Chris Capolino at Catholic Mom
Ok, might be the best piece from Chris ever. 

How to Pray with Your Spouse: 4 steps
Posted at the USCCB's "For Your Marriage" page
Some good advice.

Nothing Subtle About this Photo
By Mountain Butorac at Catholic Traveler
Just click on the link for a moment. Beautiful. 

Christopher Hitchins and Groaning During Sex
By Marc Barnes at Bad Catholic
If you've never read Marc Barnes, you might find that he is somewhat irreverently reverent... but he's young and he is on to a great career as a writer and apologist. 

Important Safety Information: Girls Around Me APP will make you tighten up your online privacy.

This song has a beautiful prayer within it: "Lord, break my heart with what breaks yours...."

10:50am: Here's a late update from today's Wall Street Journal:

When the Archbishop Met the President
By James Taranto at the WSJ
The continuing HHS Mandate saga...

Friday, March 30, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient... for mothers

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. ~Spanish Proverb

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep
A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan
It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son, and another twenty minutes for another woman to make a fool of him. ~Helen Rowland
God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb 
The phrase "working mother" is redundant. ~Jane Sellman
Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease. ~Lisa Alther
My mom is literally a part of me. You can't say that about many people except relatives, and organ donors. ~Carrie Latet
If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle
When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont

Oh, and then, there's this.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Entrusting Cuba to Caridad... a guest post by Maria Morera Johnson

Photo by Maria Johnson

I've written about this subject before.... the lovely story of Our Lady of Charity "coming" to the people of Cuba over 400 years. Ah, but it is so much more than an story of sweet devotion to Mary, though it is very much that... today it has socio-political and religious ramifications for the tiny island of Cuba.

If you've ever thought that the story of salvation history ended with the coming of Christ 2000 years ago, think again. The history of salvation continues in the very lives we lead. The will of God continues to unfold in the world today, and Mary, the Mother of God is often playing a decisive role. In the last century and a half we've seen it happening in Lourdes, Fatima, Akita, Kibeho, and elsewhere. Many have believed that Mary has played a role in assisting the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, in the wake of Pope John Paul's consecration of Russia, and the entire world to Mary. Now, I can only guess what Our Lady's intercession may bring to Cuba in the future.

For now, Cuba's patroness, Our Lady of Charity, has brought two papal visits to this tiny nation within 15 years... and there are more and more public displays of faith taking place in the face of government oppression.

This week, my good friend, Maria Morera Johnson, who has taught me so much about this devotion to Our Lady of Charity, and about Cuban history, takes a turn as my guest at my column at Patheos. It is a pleasure to let her share her love of her Catholic faith, her love of Mary, and her heritage in her observations regarding Pope Benedict's visit to Cuba this week.

Here's a little excerpt....

Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba, the country of my birth and the country my parents and I fled in 1966, both delights and pulls on the heartstrings of many Cubans and Cuban-Americans like myself, watching his pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre from afar, yearning to be present with the Holy Father in this Jubilee Year. 
So much of my identity lies bundled within the mantle of Cuba’s patroness, La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, that I too easily forget who she is. 
To my child’s heart she is a constant companion, my ever-present friend whose image in the homes of family and friends, doctors’ offices, and storefronts in the Cuban neighborhoods of Atlanta and Miami where I grew up identified a little piece of home. The sight of her, especially in an unexpected place, is cause for joy -- as an adult I learned Cause of Our Joy as one of Mary’s many titles -- back then I just knew her as “la virgencita”, a sweet diminutive denoting the closeness of my relationship to her. 
Wherever she was, there was Baby Jesus nestled in her left arm. As a child, I never paid any mind to the object in her right hand, a cross. This juxtaposition of the Incarnation and Crucifixion, the dichotomy of joy and human suffering, speaks volumes to me today. 
Cuba’s history is also a dichotomy, a history resplendent with the natural beauty of an island paradise and a people filled with goodwill that contrasts with periods of oppression and abuse. In all of this, the Blessed Mother has remained present, watching over her children. 

Read it all, please.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Among Women Podcast #131 celebrates new life in Christ!

Among Women 131 celebrates women who find new life in Christ. In our first segment, "Blessed Are They", Pat relates the story of St. Mary of Egypt, a former prostitute from the 4th century whose instantaneous conversion leads her to give up her old ways for a new life in Christ.

In our "Among Women" segment, Pat is joined by Sr. Emily Beata Marsh FSP, a newly-professed sister from the Daughters of St. Paul.

Sr. Emily graciously shares her vocation story and tips for strengthening our relationship with Jesus, especially through prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Pat also shares a new timeline for Among Women podcasts over the next several weeks while she meets some important deadlines in he professional life, and can attend to some important family events.

Don't miss this uplifting episode in preparation for the celebration of the New Life we receive at Eastertime.

Monday, March 26, 2012

This makes me think... about loving Jesus above all...

Love [Jesus], then; keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to the glory of Him who alone can help you when all others fail.

65Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another—He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you.

You will find, apart from Him, that nearly all the trust you place in men is a total loss. Therefore, neither confide in nor depend upon a wind-shaken reed, for “all flesh is grass” and all its glory, like the flower of grass, will fade away.

You will quickly be deceived if you look only to the outward appearance of men, and you will often be disappointed if you seek comfort and gain in them. If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him. Likewise, if you seek yourself, you will find yourself—to your own ruin. For the man who does not seek Jesus does himself much greater harm than the whole world and all his enemies could ever do.

-- Imitation of Christ, Book Two, Chapter 7.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 3.24.12... tap dancing, baptisms, serious stuff...

Among Women ReadHER
Stay informed on the HHS story...  

The War on Men
By Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online
Always on point.

Women and Religious Liberty
Kathryn Lopez interviewing Jeanne Monahan from Family Research Council on NRO
Ok, yes, giving you a double-header from Kathryn Lopez. So be it. It's worth it.

Religious Liberty, Blood Transfusions, Cigarettes, and Contraception 
By Janet Smith, PhD at National Catholic Register
Alway appreciate Dr. Smith's balanced and rational discussions of complicated subjects. Worth your time. 

Catholic Medical Association Doctors (who are women) Respond to Women Senators' Column
Posted at the Catholic Medical Association website
More worthy reading.


The Pope's Apostolic Journey to Mexico and Cuba
From the Vatican website
The list of the Pope's itinerary... coming up this week!

Suitable for Sex but Not to Marry
By Meg Meeker, MD, from her blog
Dr Meeker's commentary on a recent stats about single mothers.

Can "Good Faith" Still Be Assumed?
By Elizabeth Scalia from her column at First Things
The climate for polite discourse among people who disagree is increasingly a mine field to walk through. It takes very strong people, who value the human person who is both their opponent and a child of God, to find ways to engage in debate and dialogue.  

Not Alone
By Ginny Kubitz Moyer at Random Acts of Momness
Why we cry at baptisms. Love it.

Religious Easter Ideas for Kids
By Lacy Rabideau at Catholic Icing
Ok, she had me at 'resurrection rolls'...

Jesus and Me: It's Personal
By Katie DiFato at Faith and Family

Tap Dancing Seminarian leaves Broadway for a Ministry life...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Here's a preview of Among Women's two part series on miscarriage with author Karen Edmisten

Don't miss these important Among Women podcasts dealing with miscarriage and healing with author Karen Edmisten.

Part One

Part Two

Here's a sample of some of the content.

Please pass this on to women you know who may need this encouragement and support. Thanks!

The F.U.N. Quotient... a drumroll please...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Entering into Scripture as we approach Holy Week... my latest at Patheos

The name of my weekly column at Patheos is A Word in Season... so, this week, I'm hoping to give you exactly that!

I have a few suggestions for finishing out Lent and entering Holy Week. Some of these practicing regarding Scripture reading and making forays into the Catechism might be helpful if you are feeling a little sluggish in your devotional life, or perhaps, like you've heard it all before...

Check out "The Drama of Scripture: Enter more deeply"

Among Women Podcast #130 Dealing with Miscarriage, Part 2

Among Women 130 is another helpful conversation with author and blogger Karen Edmisten on the subject of her new book, After Miscarriage. This week we continue to examine the subject in terms of healing from the trauma and moving forward. This week we tackle the question of "invisible families", Mother's Day, depression, and the impact on husbands and siblings.

Also, Pat shares insights from Pope Benedict on the life of St. Veronica Giuliani, a Christian mystic and stigmatist.

Don't miss this week's episode, and be sure to listen to part one of the discussion on miscarriage from last week. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

This makes me think... about how to live with the passion of a saint.

Let thy desire be
the vision of God,
thy fear the loss of Him,
thy sorrow His absence,
and thy joy in that
which may take thee to Him,
and thy life shall be in great peace.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 3.17.12... St Pat's edition & more

Among Women ReadHER 3.17.12

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St Patrick is my patron saint, and yes, I am of Irish descent, among other nationalities. I wrote about my favorite prayer from Patrick at my column at Patheos. You can read about Patrick's life here. (If you dig that icon of St Patrick, above, you can order one here.) (If you are in/near Boston today, here's what's doing.)

The Strange Happenings at the Unreal Hotel
By Anthony Esolen at Crisis Magazine's website
I dare say, this might be the strongest piece I have read thus far in 2012. Don't miss it. Then share it. (H/T to The Anchoress.)

Free Webinar/Support for Infertility
By Lisa Hendey at Faith and Family
This is March 29th. Check it out.

The Great Coffee Fast
By Lori Miller at
I admit that I have never fasted from coffee. I was decaffeinated for almost ten years, and then I went back to college in my 40s for a Masters, and, the rest is history. 

One More Way the Culture Undermines our Nation's Girls
By Mary Beth Hicks at Family Events
A must read for parents of girls.

Whose Children are These?
By Rachel Balducci at Testosterhome
Funny, poignant.

Pain Avoidance and the Acceptable Time
By Betty Duffy at Patheos
I dare anyone not to relate to this on some level.

The Power of Introverts
By Susan Cain at TED talks
A 9 minute video that is very worthwhile whether you are introverted or extroverted. Very good to pay attention to in terms of our children and "activities" are concerned, too.

Here are some more articles on the HHS mandate and the fight for our religious freedom... most are quite short.

By Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online
Always on target. Keep reading and staying informed on this issue.

By Rebecca Teti at Faith and Family
If you view the video of Gloria Purvis on this post, you may recognize her from one of the women's forums that I posted back here on this HHS post from March 3.

Evidence on Winning the Mandate Fight
By Thomas Peters at Catholic Vote
Read it. Share it. Be involved.

The Bishops Latest Statement and Some Next Steps
By Pia Di  Solenni
A short report, check it out.

Dear Readers: I am on retreat today. Please pray for me, thank you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Keeping the "Pat" in Patheos... here's my latest column there: "Praying St. Patrick's Breastplate"

You don't have to be Irish to find St. Patrick's famous prayer a treasure. I'm off on retreat later today, so I'll make this brief. Here's hoping you'll just head over to Patheos and read the whole thing.

Let us pray for one another.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Among Women #129 Dealing with Miscarriage, Part 1

Among Women 129 features the first of a two-part series on miscarriage, featuring the writing and practical wisdom of author Karen Edmisten. Drawing on her latest book, After Miscarriage, A Catholic Woman's Companion to Healing and Hope, Karen and Pat have an extended conversation on this tender subject, that is so often hard to talk about. On this episode, they discuss the emotional upheaval of miscarriage and ways the Christian community can offering prayers of support, masses of remembrance, and assurance of the mercy of God toward a child that does not live to experience the sacrament of baptism.

This episode also explores the Old Testament's biblical account of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Hannah's life is a profound example of a praying woman dealing with infertility, and, later, as a witness of a praying mother as God grants an answer to her prayers. Listen to the podcast here, or download it from iTunes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

This makes me think... about the things I might pass on to my daughter.

In general, I would want to witness to my daughter that it is worthwhile to "lay down one's life" for others in imitation of Christ. I would hope she would see from my own example that one does not need to be perfect to be a wife and a mother. Nor need one be perfect to be a single woman for Christ or to be a consecrated religious -- for Christ is all-forgiving, eager to erase the past and give us fresh energies to bear the burden of our womanly roles.

By being close to Christ, in the sacraments and in prayer, we can fulfill our great feminine vocation: to live our our love for others day by day in faithfulness.

Finally, I would have my daughter steep herself in Marian devotion and frequently read the lives of women saints so that she could see how beautiful they were in their feminine warmth, charm, and faithfulness...

I would want my daughter and all women to study John Paul II's apostolic letter "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" (Mulieris Dignatatem). It is a remarkable document...

It this letter, the Holy Father insists that no matter how badly treated a woman may be, her essential dignity comes not from attitudes of weak and often sinful human beings, but from union with God. "This dignity consists in the supernatural elevation to union with God. (n.4)" Indeed, how many times have we faithful women of the Church found ourselves, after being beaten down by the world, kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament sensing gradually that, no matter what, we are beautiful in the eyes of God.

--Ronda Chervin, Feminine, Free, and Faithful, (1995)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 3.10.12 ... Anniversary of Japan Earthquake/Tsunami, bible, charity, children & more

Among Women ReadHER 

Okay, here's the best video I've found this week illuminating the HHS Mandate struggle:

I hope you had a chance to read and listen to some of the women who speaking out on this subject... there are some good women's forums to watch/listen to here on my blog.


Why Am I Still Catholic? Wrong Question Huffington Post
By Emily Stimpson at
Everything I've every tried to relate about the dignity of women on multiple episodes of Among Women, succinctly summarized by Emily's thoughtful rebuttal.

Love is the Thing, Even If I Want to Judge
By Lisa Mladinich at her column at Patheos
Please read this and share it. Lisa is very dear; we were first friends online and became friends IRL because of the kind of work we do. It is a blessed thing to have a friend who wishes to be a saint. 

Tackle the Stress of Being a Mom: A good video clip featuring advice from Dr. Kevin Lehman.
allowscriptaccess="always" allownetworking="all" allowfullscreen="true" src="">

The Sacrifice of Isaac
By Marcellino D'Ambrosio PhD at Catholic Lane
I found this after the fact, but it is a great treatment of last Sunday's First Reading. There is still profit from reading it, as it points to the sacrifice of Lent and more.

The New Scar on my Soul
By Anonymous at American Thinker
Speaking of child sacrifice...the decision of selective reduction during an IVF pregnancy, and its effect on the father who describes it.

It's a Girl
Trailer posted by Shadowline Films
The sacrifice of our children is not just a respect life issue in the United States, it is a literal "gender-cide" problem on a global scale. This documentary will help tell the story... Viewer warning: this is not for the eyes and ears of little children. 

Planned Parenthood and the Video Every Parent Must See
By Gerard Nadal, PhD at Coming Home
Warning: a graphic video that should not be viewed with children within earshot range. I'm just providing a link, you view it when your kids are not nearby, and when you think you can stomach exposure that will incite you to help close down funding to PP.

Ok, that was yucky, but needed. Here's a palate cleanser...
Video with thanks from Japanese Earthquake victims...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Crucible of Conscience... my latest column at Patheos

The news is filled with conscience discussions where religious freedom and conscience clauses are concerned. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council give us one of the most profound definitions of conscience, and from that we discern the reason we must defend its preciousness. My latest column at Patheos addresses the subject. Here's an excerpt:

The conscience is hidden deep, yet it defines us; it is our interior sanctuary where we meet God. The interior defines everything we are exteriorly. 
We find out how deeply we know this God when we are in the crucible: when our conscience, seared by the heat of painful circumstances, is tried for all we are worth. 
There comes a point when you must reach into the deepest part of you and make a decision for or against… or you have to survey the landscape and say this is as far as I go and no further
These are the moments when you admit that life isn’t just a random freefall or that everything is unrelated or of no consequence. But rather, it is more about connections and integrity and things holding together in an abundant web of life and time in eternity. 
These are the places where we ascend or descend to…  where the boundaries of truth, beauty, and goodness leave off… and falsehood, ugliness, and evil begin. Our conscience helps us find and run our fingers along the outer edges of precarious ledges. Otherwise we might slip and fall, hurtling into danger. Or worse.
 There's more here. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Among Women Podcast #128 talks about the Liturgy of the Hours -- in less than an hour!

Among Women 128 features an conversation with writer-blogger Daria Sockey who is devoted to the Liturgy of the Hours and posts regularly about it on her blog Coffee and Canticles. Joins for a discussion on how you -- yes, you! -- can get started using this universal prayer of the Church this Lent.

This podcast also features a look at Blessed Jacoba's life and friendship with St. Francis of Assisi, plus an encouragement to stay informed about the fight for religious liberty over the HHS Mandate.

Listen today!

Monday, March 5, 2012

This makes me think... we've heard a lot about conscience in the media, how about from the CCC?

1795 "Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (Gaudium et Spes, par 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Don't be afraid or discouraged by the HHS mandate. Listen and learn from these women speaking out against religious liberty.

"Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God's own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God." 

Ok, so I thought it was best to start out with the hope we have.

I'll admit that, earlier this week, I was a discouraged by the way the Senate voted on the Blunt amendment with regard to the current assault on the Catholic Church, and others, regarding the HHS Mandate. I think Kathryn Lopez said it rather succinctly: "The majority of the Senate did not want to protect the First Amendement. Thanks, guys." She reminds: "Elections matter."

I'm not a political pundit, and I may not have all the compelling political arguments about this down pat. But I'm someone who takes our moral obligations as Christians seriously.

I know one thing. Silence is great virtue when it comes to prayer. But not so much when it comes to issues of justice. Better stated, perhaps, we must draw strength from the silence of our prayer and move out from there into the world.

We must meet God in the sanctuary of our conscience, and then live in such a way so as to protect the rights of conscience in the individual, and in our country at large, in terms of our First Amendment right to religious liberty in the Constitution

The dignity of the human person demands that we protest this affront to conscience and religious freedom. The law of love demands that we act based on our care for our neighbor.

The world needs your credible witness and mine. Sure, it's scary. But it is necessary. 

This is Lent. We've got the spiritual tools to combat sin and injustice.

We've got the social and political tools to defeat this mandate and to be a force for good in our world.
The most important tool is our own voice in our spheres of influence.

You may have heard claims that this is a contraception issue and a women's issue. But it is first and foremost an issue of conscience and religious liberty, an issue dear to women and men of many religious traditions. 

Let's not have people wonder, where are the women who care about this?

Let's make sure we can say: Here. We. Are.

While there are many people across the country speaking out about this. We need the passionate voices of women to be seen and heard, and not just Catholic women.

So I'd like to offer the rest of this post as a roundup of women speaking out on this subject.

As reported on NRO, Helen Alvare and Kim Daniels sent this reply to the Obama administration. And they have a petition going that I encourage women to sign over at

Here's the Heritage Foundation's Women Speak Out: Obamacare Tramples Religious Liberty panel:

Here's another good panel -- listen to the audio from the Catholic Information Center's event, partnered with AltCatholicahWomen Challenging the HHS Mandatewith a lively panel of very qualified women from the legal and medical professions discussing this subject matter.

I'm adding my voice here...

You may have already heard this, but Kathryn Lopez and Elizabeth Scalia reviewed the basics of this debate a few weeks back on Among Women. 

I love the hope in that opening video that we have as Catholic Christians. I have always loved that quote from Pope St. Leo. Let me encourage you to strongly consider your role in this struggle.

Pray. Hope. Act.

Other women speaking out in related articles:

Earlier posts on this blog about with links to this subject:

The AW podcast on this subject.

Among Women ReadHER 3.3.12 ... Jesus, families, faith, miracles, poetry, motherhood, suffering...

Among Women ReadHER 
By Marcia Morrissey from her column at Patheos

By Karen Rinehart at Catholic Lane
Oh, sooo humorously familiar. 

By Elizabeth Scalia at The Anchoress
I like this piece for so many reasons. There's a reference to one of my favorite beaches in the world that I know so well, there's a great music video, and a meditation by Benedict XVI. And there's this... about hurt and pain we bring to others, and its remedy.

Posted at Vatican News
So says the Pope and his bishops. This in the prelude to Benedict XVI's coming trip to Milan for the Seventh World Meeting of Families in May. 

By Mary Beth Hicks at
In the wake of the tragedy of another shooting rampage at a school, let us pray for the dead and their families, and let us re-double our own efforts to bring faith to life.

By Maureen Locher
Just this week I was at a women's group meeting where I was talking to a woman I've known for years.  We have middle children the same age. The only difference is that her son died 4 years ago. She has never recovered from this grief. We must keep our hearts tender toward those who have lost children, and if we ourselves are in this situation, all we can do is repair to Our Sorrowful Mother... which is what we were doing at that meeting... praying this rosary.

By Maria Morera Johnson at Catholic Lane
SQPN co-host from Catholic Weekend is a poet in her spare time. She's writing now at Catholic Lane. This one reminds me of the spiritual friendships I've observed between saints, such as between St. Francis of Assisi and St Clare, or St Clare and St Agnes of Prague, and others. Maria was a recent contributor AW's Special Edition for Lent.

Posted at Fox News
A story of a young woman surviving a car accident and a coma, and now sharing her faith on national television and in a book.

By Emily Stimpson at OSV
How well are we engaging the culture? In many cases, not well enough. Very important commentary on the dearth of arts and letters that speak of a Catholic Christian worldview.


For the foreseeable future, it is likely we will discussing the HHS Mandate's affect on Catholics (and others) and themes of religious liberty... so I'll keep posting the things that add to the discussion... but now I'll just keep them grouped as below...

By Lisa Mascaro at the LA Times
Oh, sadness. 

By George Weigel at The Denver Catholic Register
Ultimately, this piece figures into the current religious freedom issues at hand with the Obama administration, but Weigel presents an interesting history lesson with regard to the Church's position on religious freedom (especially since Vatican II) and how it intersects US politics today.

By Robert George, Sherif Gregis, and Ryan T. Anderson at the Witherspoon Institute
I highly recommend this article.

This is strong homily on the subject of religious liberty from Fr. Sammie Malletta from Indiana. It's 11 minutes. Watch it and pray for our priests and bishops to stand up for what it right. Then pray for us to stand alongside them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

If you haven't heard this episode of Among Women featuring a wife's forgiveness of her husband's crime, you should... here's a preview!

"Tracy", a longtime listener to Among Women shares her secret to forgiveness, and the cure for her anger over her husband's crime and punishment...

"Coffee Break" / Among Women 127 (mp3)

The F.U.N. Quotient... treat yourself to 7 mins of smiles

Smile. It's a Friday.

Need more? Go here.  (It is a 7 minute video.)

You just might smile the rest of the day. Or the weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Doing What We Are Called to Do... Remembering Fr. Larry Penzes. My latest column at Patheos

The lives we lead have ripple effects for good or for ill.

Here's my remembrance of Fr. Larry Penzes, a priest whose quiet zeal had a lasting impact on me and others. Tragedy struck him and those who knew him on March 12, 2002, as he was gunned down as he was saying a morning Mass in his parish. It's the subject of my column, this week, at Patheos. Here's an excerpt:

I was eighteen when I met Fr. Larry Penzes, a newly ordained diocesan priest assigned to St. Pius X Church in Plainview, New York. Fr. Larry was buoyant yet quietly hardworking. Generous and friendly, he was always finding ways to bring people together for a Mass, for a special project to help others, or for fellowship. 
I have Fr. Larry to thank for instilling in me a desire to serve the local church. I remember how he talked me into running for a seat on the parish council. Then he encouraged our pastor to hire me as a youth minister. 
The young people I knew trusted Fr. Larry. He made himself available to hear their halting confessions, or to give talks or pray the Mass in their homegrown chapel on youth retreats. He never shied away from the tougher problems teenagers faced. He taught that the only way to get out of being stuck on oneself is by taking time to serve people in need. 
Fr. Larry’s witness was a clear and honest living of the faith, not over-intellectualizing it, or underselling it. His life as a priest was not just a job, nor was his military career as an Air Force chaplain just a duty. Life was faith and faith was life and they all blended together seamlessly without being broken into compartments. He was a man with a ready smile, a ready handshake, and ready service. His priesthood was engaging because he engaged people and delighted in life. 
Fr Larry was simply one of the folks. He loved the New York Jets, and he was always ready for a celebration. I’ll never forget his dressing up in a tuxedo, zipping around the dance floor at a formal event that brought church personnel and parishioners together. Or, the day he playfully donned clown make-up and became a mime in a youth workshop. 
Fr. Larry was my first priest-friend, but not the last. 
Read the rest.

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