Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to Among Women!

Among Women is One Year Old today
Send a little birthday gift by way of a positive review on iTunes!

Go here.

Or feel free to sing Happy Birthday to Among Women 
or send your birthday greetings

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

15 easy ways (and even low-tech ways) to promote Among Women

1.   Tell a friend.
2.   Tell your mom.
3.   Tell your priest.
4.   Send out a tweet.
5.   Text your best friends.
6.   Email your contacts list.
7.   Send 5 postcards to friends.
8.   Burn a CD and give a show away to someone.
9.   Leave a review on the Among Women iTunes page.
10. Join the Among Women Podcast Friends group on Face Book.
11. Put an announcement in your church bulletin. Pre-written samples here.
12. Write the url address in the dirt on your car: ""
13. Put a link on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, leave a comment about a recent episode on someone else's blog.
14. Send a letter to the editor of your diocesan newspaper extolling the virtues of new media and making special mention of Among Women and
15. Pray for the ministry of Among Women, especially when you pray the words "among women"in the Hail Mary.

Among Women Podcast #51

Among Women 51 celebrates the first anniversary of the podcast with feed back from listeners and a free drawing for Among Women coffee mugs.  (Send Pat feedback via email at or facebook to enter your name.)

This week, Pat's guest is Dr. Ronda Chervin, a professor of philosphy with over 50 book titles.  Today's conversation focuses on the Treasury of Women Saints.

We also take a look at the life of 4th century Christian martyr, St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This makes me think...

Whatever did not fit in with my plan 
did lie within the plan of God.  

I have an ever deeper and firmer belief 
that nothing is merely an accident 
when seen in the light of God, 
that my whole life 
down to the smallest
has been marked out for me 
in the plan of Divine Providence 
and has a completely coherent meaning
 in God’s all-seeing eyes.  

And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory 
wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me.

           --St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)  

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sr. Olga of the Eucharist -- video of the Boston Catholic Women's Conference

If you listen regularly to Among Women you may recall my interview with Sr. Olga of the Eucharist, the campus minister from Boston University. Sister is an Iraqi born Christian who became a religious sister, and in recent years became a US citizen. You can go back and hear that interview here.

Sister Olga gave a very stirring presentation about her life with Christ and the Catholic Church last month at the Boston Catholic Women's Conference. Catholic TV was there and their video presentation of that talk is available here.  Give yourself an hour to hear her story.

As you watch or listen, offer up prayers for those Christians in Iraq who continue to suffer persecution... especially these Dominican nuns currently defending their convent in the face of terror. 

Letting Scripture and the Catechism inspire our Holy Week

My latest over at Today's Catholic Woman talks about about plugging in to Holy Week in a deliberate and mindful fashion. It also gives some suggested reading within the Catechism of the Catholic Church for your inspiration.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation.



Big words.  

Total Truth.

Luke 1:26- 38:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."

And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy,the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.

For with God nothing will be impossible."

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. 

A special Happy 17th Birthday greeting to my son, Peter James.  What a blessing to have a son whose birth shares this feast! Love you, Mom.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A review: Hope for Hard Times

Got troubles of epic proportion?  Got hard times that are downright biblical?  Need help?

In Hope for Hard Times, author, television host, and professor of theology, Dr. Scott Hahn provides a renewing Scriptural prescription for hope in the midst of woes.  This short new book from Our Sunday Visitor, part of the "30-Minute Read" series, traverses the well-worn path through trials and sufferings as trod by the saints before us.  

Hope for Hard Times by Scott Hahn outlines the deep spiritual truth that our happiness and our hope are anchored in a love more timeless thank our current situation... our hope is found and fixed in God's fatherly love.

Indeed, Hahn writes:
"God has spent thousands of years showing the world time and again how he brings the greatest good from the greatest evil.  The Crucifixion was the most horrific sin mankind ever committed against God. Yet it brought the greatest good: our salvation."
Using realistic examples from Scripture, the saints, and the sacraments, Hahn shows us how to re-set our spiritual compass to our true north: the redemptive and empowering act of hope that transforms our ills.

And yes, you really can swallow this book whole in 30 minutes, but you'll only feel its effects once you apply it. As with any supplement, take only as directed.

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 Hope for Hard Times .

Among Women Podcast #50

This week Among Women turns 50! (Episodes, that is!)  And we'd like to celebrate our First Birthday on the next show, so give us your feedback this week by email at or voicemail at 206-338-6077.

This week, as we bring our Lenten series to a close, Pat talks about the importance of leaving a legacy of faith as she explores the life of Blessed Joan of Aza, mother to St. Dominic.  Pat also talks to wife, mother, and author, Heidi Hess Saxton about passing on the faith to children via family bible reading, as they discuss Heidi's latest book project: My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories.  

Plus there's a link to the US Catholic Conference of Bishops' statement on the latest health care legislation.

Enjoy these upcoming conferences in New England for Men and Women.

In other news, take the Among Women survey online now! Plus enjoy the new Master Index that links all topics, saints, and guests for all 50 AW podcasts.

Finally, help promote AW in your home parish with these handy bulletin announcements.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

50 episodes catalogued!

Among Women has reached episode 50 and we're celebrating one year!  Something that might be useful for new listeners is our new Master Index.  Every episode is listed according to subject matter.  There are three categories: Subjects, saints and women of the bible from our "Blessed are They" segments, and the names of our guests from our conversations "Among Women".
Check it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Scandal of Evil is No Match for the Cross of Christ

In my latest article at Catholic Exchange, I share some of my favorite quotes that soothe my heart in the face of evil.

Here's a snippet:

We’ve all been victims of pain, hurts, other peoples sins, and our own.  And yes, we are victims of evil. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) calls it “the scandal of evil” since it derails the providence of God that we are meant to know.  In fact CCC 309 boldly states:

There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

A few passages in the Catechism bring me great comfort in regard to evil and the reality of the devil in our world. Oh, by the way, the Catechism reminds us that the devil exists too. (Though his marketing campaign would have us believe otherwise.) 

Read the rest here.

This ain't no Stevie Wonder song... Signed, Sealed & Delivered!

No, it's my latest over at Faith and Family Live!

On the Feast of St. Joseph

From John Paul II's Redemptoris Custos:

25. The same aura of silence that envelops everything else about Joseph also shrouds his work as a carpenter in the house of Nazareth. It is, however, a silence that reveals in a special way the inner portrait of the man. The Gospels speak exclusively of what Joseph "did." Still, they allow us to discover in his "actions" - shrouded in silence as they are - an aura of deep contemplation. Joseph was in daily contact with the mystery "hidden from ages past," and which "dwelt" under his roof. This explains, for example, why St. Teresa of Jesus, the great reformer of the Carmelites, promoted the renewal of veneration to St. Joseph in Western Christianity.

26. The total sacrifice, whereby Joseph surrendered his whole existence to the demands of the Messiah's coming into his home, becomes understandable only in the light of his profound interior life. It was from this interior life that "very singular commands and consolations came, bringing him also the logic and strength that belong to simple and clear souls, and giving him the power of making great decisions-such as the decision to put his liberty immediately at the disposition of the divine designs, to make over to them also his legitimate human calling, his conjugal happiness, to accept the conditions, the responsibility and the burden of a family, but, through an incomparable virginal love, to renounce that natural conjugal love that is the foundation and nourishment of the family.

This submission to God, this readiness of will to dedicate oneself to all that serves him, is really nothing less than that exercise of devotion which constitutes one expression of the virtue of religion.

27. The communion of life between Joseph and Jesus leads us to consider once again the mystery of the Incarnation, precisely in reference to the humanity of Jesus as the efficacious instrument of his divinity for the purpose of sanctifying man: "By virtue of his divinity, Christ's human actions were salvific for us, causing grace within us, either by merit or by a certain efficacy."

Among those actions, the gospel writers highlight those which have to do with the Paschal Mystery, but they also underscore the importance of physical contact with Jesus for healing (cf. for example, Mk 1:41), and the influence Jesus exercised upon John the Baptist when they were both in their mothers' wombs (cf. Lk 1:41-44).

As we have seen, the apostolic witness did not neglect the story of Jesus' birth, his circumcision, his presentation in the Temple, his flight into Egypt and his hidden life in Nazareth. It recognized the "mystery" of grace present in each of these saving "acts," inasmuch as they all share the same source of love: the divinity of Christ. If through Christ's humanity this love shone on all mankind, the first beneficiaries were undoubtedly those whom the divine will had most intimately associated with itself: Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Joseph, his presumed father.

Why should the "fatherly" love of Joseph not have had an influence upon the "filial" love of Jesus? And vice versa why should the "filial" love of Jesus not have had an influence upon the "fatherly" love of Joseph, thus leading to a further deepening of their unique relationship? Those souls most sensitive to the impulses of divine love have rightly seen in Joseph a brilliant example of the interior life.

Furthermore, in Joseph, the apparent tension between the active and the contemplative life finds an ideal harmony that is only possible for those who possess the perfection of charity. Following St. Augustine's well-known distinction between the love of the truth (caritas veritatis) and the practical demands of love (necessitas caritatis), we can say that Joseph experienced both love of the truth-that pure contemplative love of the divine Truth which radiated from the humanity of Christ-and the demands of love-that equally pure and selfless love required for his vocation to safeguard and develop the humanity of Jesus, which was inseparably linked to his divinity.

Image credit.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This makes me think...

One day when a certain man who wavered often and anxiously between hope and fear was struck with sadness, he knelt in humble prayer before the altar of a church. While meditating on these things, he said: "Oh if I but knew whether I should persevere to the end!" Instantly he heard within the divine answer: "If you knew this, what would you do? Do now what you would do then and you will be quite secure." Immediately consoled and comforted, he resigned himself to the divine will and the anxious uncertainty ceased. His curiosity no longer sought to know what the future held for him, and he tried instead to find the perfect, the acceptable will of God in the beginning and end of every good work.

"Trust thou in the Lord and do good," says the Prophet; "dwell in the land and thou shalt feed on its riches."

There is one thing that keeps many from zealously improving their lives, that is, dread of the difficulty, the toil of battle. Certainly they who try bravely to overcome the most difficult and unpleasant obstacles far outstrip others in the pursuit of virtue. A man makes the most progress and merits the most grace precisely in those matters wherein he gains the greatest victories over self and most mortifies his will. True, each one has his own difficulties to meet and conquer, but a diligent and sincere man will make greater progress even though he have more passions than one who is more even-tempered but less concerned about virtue.

---From Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My latest over at Catholic Mom...

After 20 years of frequent flying.... my husband gets a job where he works from home (mostly).  Advice for the "frequent flyer widows" among us!

Among Women Podcast #49, tho' late, is up!

This week's Among Women episode is titled, "A Flood of Joy and Mercy".  

<--You can see the flood part to the left... 
in Pat's backyard! But seriously, folks!  

Spend an interesting hour with Pat as she talks about how Lent really does equip us for Joy. Plus enjoy a delightful conversation with the Happy Catholic herself, Julie Davis.  Plus get ready for the flood of mercy that comes from Jesus and the celebration of Divine Sunday. 

Also, AW is getting ready to celebrate its first anniversary... send Pat your audio feedback! See below.

Links for this episode:
Divine Mercy Novena (Good Friday to Mercy Sunday)
Divine Mercy 101 - articles by Dr. Robert Stackpole STD
Julie Davis’ links:
St Patrick’s Breastplate - the long version of the prayer
Note from Pat about the cover art: Yes, that really is my backyard, covered over by a flooding pond due to the March Nor’easter of ’10. And, yes that little white figure is a statue of the Blessed Mother. And yes, this podcast is posting late due to that storm.
or phone your feedback to 206-338-6077.(Remember Among Women is celebrating its first anniversary with Episode 51-- give us your feedback!)  
Leave us a rating or a review on iTunes! Or leave a comment below.  Reviews on iTunes help us grow!

UPDATE on 3/19/10:  that phone number is red above is not the phone number I gave out on this podcast.  If you wish to call and leave a message, go to 206-338-6077. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Patrick Madrid gives "Apologetics 101" (Methuen, MA)

Tickets available NOW!

Learn more about the Catholic Faith from apologist Patrick Madrid!

Patrick is  the host of four EWTN shows and the author of Pope FictionSearch and Rescue, and Does the Bible Really Say That?.

Saturday March 27 8am-3pm
St. Monica Parish,
Methuen MA

Come listen to "Apologetics 101"

Topic 1: Pope Fiction: Answers to Common Myths and Misconceptions about the Papacy
Topic 2: Surprised by Truth: Why Are So Many Protestants Becoming Catholic?
Topic 3: Is Everything Up for Grabs?: A Catholic Critique of Moral Relativism 

You can learn more about Patrick on his website, 

Sat, March 27 | 8am-3pm | St. Monica | 212 Lawrence St. | Methuen, MA
Tickets required, includes lunch ($20 by March 17, $30 after) For tickets contact Jan at 978-851-9885 or

Friday, March 12, 2010

Give Among Women a review...

Go to iTunes and leave a review HERE.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catholic Conferences for the MEN in your life

In Massachusetts, the Boston Catholic Men's Conference is Sat. April 17th. Get tickets here!

2010 Boston Catholic Men's Conference Speaker Program from George Martell on Vimeo.

And coming to New Hampshire for the first time, another Men's Conference on Sat. April 24th!

Get tickets here

Special Note to SQPN and Catholic podcast fans: Joe McClane, of The Catholic Hack, Behold the Man, and Finding Your Keys is speaking at this conference!

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This makes me think...

Maybe the greatest threat to the church 
is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism,
not even moral relativism, 
but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, 
therapeutic spirituality 
that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, 
asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, 
but only soothes and affirms. 

— Archbishop Timothy Dolan (now Archbishop of New York) during a 2007 lecture on preaching.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Among Women Podcast #48

This week on Among Women, meet two SFO's:  St. Margaret of Cortona, and Barb Szyszkiewicz, aka SFO Mom.

What's an SFO?

It's not a speeding flying object, or a San Francisco organization, or a senior financial officer... it's a Secular Franciscan or someone who is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. And yes, they profess to follow Jesus as they imitate St. Francis of Assisi.

Learn how Franciscan spirituality is not only for those who take religious  vows, but for laity who choose to follow in Francis' footsteps.

First, we meet St. Margaret of Cortona, who is sometimes seen as a second Magdalene, who went from wanton mistress to sainthood, after joining the SFO's!

Then meet Barb, a New Jersey wife and mother, and the woman behind the SFOMom blog... as she shares what modern-day Secular Franciscans pray and practice as they live out a Franciscan way of life.

Continue the Lenten journey as Pat describes the need for daily prayer. Plus check out your chance to win Scott Hahn's Hope for Hard Times in this week's free drawing. You'll find it all on the Among Women podcast.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Word of God Speak by Mercy Me

Let us listen keep trying to listen to God speak to us this Lent.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Seven Petitions to Our Father

My latest installment of "Embracing the Catechism" on Catholic Exchange.

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Interesting Configuration...

...of recent episodes of Among Women. Or so says this Wordle:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Got faith? We've got more in common than you think...

to see what common characteristics 
your faith shares with mine!

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This makes me think...

The one Word God always hears...

as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
CCC 2769:

[T]he Lord's Prayer signifies new birth into the divine life. Since Christian prayer is our speaking to God with the very word of God, those who are "born anew. . . through the living and abiding word of God" [1Peter 1:23] learn to invoke their Father by the one Word he always hears. They can henceforth do so, for the seal of the Holy Spirit's anointing is indelibly placed on their hearts, ears, lips, indeed their whole filial being. [Emphasis mine.]

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Among Women Podcast #47

In this expanded episode of Among Women, Pat explores themes of reconciliation and healing, both in our Lenten journey and as it pertains to recovery from sexual abuse.

Two unnamed women give us insight into this subject matter.

In "Blessed Are They", the nameless Samaritan Woman, (aka the Woman at the Well) gives us an example of personal transformation in Christ.

In "Among Women", "Margaret"  (a pseudonym) describes her life story and her recovery from sexual abuse as a child and a young adult. "Margaret's" story is one of faith, grit, painful honesty, truth-seeking, and, finally, hope.  Episode 47's show notes lists retreats and resources for women who have been sexually abused.  (Note: this show contains content unsuitable for children.)

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Great Catholic Conference for Lent: March 19-21! (New Orleans area)

Register for your tickets HERE!

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Save the Date: Oct 30: Faith and Family "Mom's Day Away" in Massachusetts

I'll be posting more details as they are available, and of course, the Faith and Family Live website will too.

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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