Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'll be there, how 'bout you? #CNMC12

The best yet - 3 days of the Catholic New Media Conference! 
Are we crazy or what?
It's a great line up of speakers! Come for one day, or all three!

Among Women ReadHER 6.30.12 Wow - Obamacare, Vat II, Cancer, SSA, and Crucified Love all in one post!

Among Women ReadHER 6.30.12

RE: Supreme Court Upholding Pres. Obama's "Affordable health care act"& the Fortnight of Freedom underway

HHS Mandate Lawsuits Charge Forward as Only Remaining Challenges to "Obamacare"
Posted at the Becket Fund
The Becket Fund does great work, and their legal perspective and prowess is vital to people of all faiths who oppose health care initiatives that step on human dignity and religious freedoms.

Here is the Official Supreme Court Decision in a .pdf file

Video: Fortnight for Freedom Forum on Catholic TV
You'll find very excellent talking points in a town hall-style show featuring commentary from Cardinal Sean O'Malley- Archdiocese of Boston, John Garvey - the President of Catholic University of America and a constitutional lawyer, Carl Anderson - leader at the Knights of Columbus, Kim Daniels of Catholic Voices, and Angela Franks, PhD- The Institute of the New Evangelization. Note: this show is 57 mins long... if you don't have time for the whole hour, listen to the first 25 mins... you'll get a lot in the opening commentary.

Launching the Fortnight for Freedom
By Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. of Philiadelphia at First Things
Necessary reading, that is fortunately, very readable. 

US BISHOP's website on Fortnight for Freedom
Articles and information.

Why Freedom of Worship is Not Freedom of Religion
By Peggy Luksik at Catholic Online
An awesome analogy that you can use to train others in the rhetoric that sticks and makes sense of these issues. I recommend this article to be shared within the family with youngsters learning the civil discourse needed in this fight for religious freedoms.


Why We Don't Dress Up Anymore
By Jennifer Fulwiler at her blog at National Catholic Register
Are we getting too casual at Mass and at other special events? Good observations here.

Apple Launches Stand Alone Podcast APP
By Fr. Roderick at this blog
iPhone users may appreciate this for their Among Women fix!

Diary from Vatican II
By Fr Robert Barron at Real Clear Religion
One of my favorite classes in grad school was learning the history while reading and discussing all the documents of Vatican II. If that makes me a theology nerd, so be it. But I think you'll like this article with its look "behind the scenes" through journal notes made by Fr. Yves Congar, a leading theologian of the 20th century.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen Becomes Venerable
By Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register
Sheen is one of my favs, this is welcomed news for the new evangelization.

Life Interrupted: Fighting Cancer and Myself
By Suleika Jaouad in the New York Times
As a cancer survivor, I cannot help be drawn to articles on the subject. This young writer is writing a series of articles. I do not know this young woman, but I can pray for her all the same. Maybe you will too as she learns the hard lessons of surrender... she poignantly brought me right back to the hardest reality that anyone chronically ill faces: "It is difficult not to equate sickness or weakness with a feeling of failure." 

Change and Same Sex Attraction in Women
By Dale O'Leary at Crisis Magazine
Just another area where the church needs to expand her ministry.

Stunning Spoken Word Performance: Crucifixion Type Love
Posted by Angela Sealana at Inspired Angela
Wow, so glad to find this on Angela's blog... 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Peace I Give You, by Dawn Eden: A book review.

Author and speaker Dawn Eden has penned a book that travels bravely into the dark and daunting forest of sexual abuse as it simultaneously calls out hope for survivors. My Peace I Give You, Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints (Ave Maria Press, 2012) is an illumined path for survivors of sexual abuse, packed with reassurance that no one is lost, alone, or doomed in their suffering.

Eden, herself, is not alone in this trek; she’s brought along an entire search and rescue team in the Body of Christ. While discreetly telling her own painful memories, Eden unpacks the solace of divine graces found in her conversion to Catholicism, and within a sacramental life. What’s more, Eden carries a sure compass pointing toward hope as she looks to the Passion of Christ, as well as biographies of saints  -- women and men -- who have suffered in mind and body.

In My Peace I Give You, Eden declares that peace is possible in Christ by reflecting on the pains of the past in order to purify them.

Christ’s sufferings, like all his acts, are of infinite value; they have meaning and purpose. The Christian believer’s sufferings share in this purpose, for she is, through her baptism, united to Christ…

The beautiful truth is that even past sufferings, in the light of Christ, take on profound meaning, because they are part of the believer who is united to Christ in the present moment…. memory does not have to be the enemy. On the contrary, our healing becomes possible when we admit our memories are an integral part of who we are.  Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick,” (Mt 9:12). If the Divine Physician is to operate on me, I must have an opening through which he can reach my heart. I must admit that I am wounded, and that my wounds remain. Such a painful admission is yet possible with the aid of God’s grace. (Eden, My Peace I Give You, Ave Maria Press, 2012, p. 43.)

Peace not only comforts, it opens an opportunity to grow. Within the book, Eden quotes Blessed John XXIII reminding us that each saint is “holy in a different way.”  Just as sexual wounds are very particular to each person who has been victimized, so, too, the path toward holiness is specific for each person. Eden profiles Saints Josephine Bakita, Gemma Galgani, Thérèse of Lisieux, Maria Goretti, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, Margaret of Costello, Maximilian Kolbe, and more. While not all of these have suffered abuse of a sexual nature, Eden finds noteworthy virtues and inspiration relevant for the topic at hand.

My Peace I Give You helps readers find spiritual friends for the often arduous and circuitous journey toward hope and healing. While support and professional counseling are good, making friends with certain saints – human persons who have undergone suffering on earth yet are now perfected in heaven -- offers supernatural direction and hope. Indeed, the saints are boon companions, safe confidantes, and shining examples that good can come from evil, that the light of faith, eventually, overcomes any and all darkness.

I was asked to review this book by the Book Club at Patheos where I write a column. As the topic is one we've dealt with on Among Women several times, I thought I'd offer this post for your interest. I'll work on getting Dawn Eden as a future guest on the podcast, but in the meanwhile, you may find this book beneficial, as well as previous episodes of Among Women that deal with the topic of sexual abuse. Those episodes are 47, 75, 79, and 103.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Testing, testing... Hey, is this thing on? (Among Women gets a new feed!)

Testing... testing... hey, is this thing on???  
It's great to be back. 
Well, almost! I'm a wee-bit buried under a few things that have been piling up around here... and today we're debuting a new feed for the podcast... a very important step in creating a new website for Among Women and yours truly.... it is all still a bit under wraps and in desperate need of my attention... but at least we can get back to podcasting...

Those of you who use iTunes... kindly see if you found a 2-minute short podcast named AW 136. It is just a test as we switched the feed as part of the website migration that is still to come. But if you got that short "test" in your feed you should be all set for when the next "normal" podcast comes along sometime late on Friday June 29. 

Feel free to leave me a note here in the comments if you did find it in your iTunes feed. If not, try unsubscribing and re-subscribing to AW. 

And, kindly say a little prayer for me... these techy things make me nervous.... 

Monday, June 18, 2012

On a blog break...

Some travel, making a retreat, and moving to a new website, necessitates a break... It's all good!

I'll be back around the first week of July.... I'll try to get a new podcast up at the end of the month... and I'll be moving Among Women to a new website too. If things go well, I might be back sooner.

Stay tuned.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 6.16.12... the Lourdes edition

Among Women ReadHER 

"O my mother, in your heart I placed all my anguish of my heart 
and it is there that I gain strength and courage."
Sainte Bernadette Personal Notebook p.28 

As you are reading this today, I am in Lourdes, praying for YOU. I'm praying for all the Among Women listeners and readers. See the Lourdes Grotto on a live TV link. There are not too many links below since I departed the States a few days ago. So, enjoy reading, and let us pray for one another. Thanks for coming by.

Called to Hope
By Emily Stimpson at her new column at National Catholic Register
A chunk of wisdom from a great writer for the single women who feel called to marriage, but still hoping. Don't miss this one, and share it around to those needing a loving reminder.

Don't Be Worry, Be Happy, Sing the Ave Maria
By Kathy Schiffer at her blog Seasons of Grace
What I love about Kathy's blog is her sweet news with a quirky twist. Don't miss the fun video at the end that includes Bobby Ferrin and a cast of thousands singing the Ave Maria.

The McDonaldization of Sex - Part 2
By Timothy Muldoon at his column at Patheos
A Catholic theologian, Tim always has compelling commentary on relationships between men and women, the family, and the ways of love. This is a series that we should pay attention to. Here's part 1.

Catholic Weekend podcast: The Pick of our Life
An SQPN podcast hosted by Captain Jeff Nielsen, Maria Johnson, with guests  Sarah Vabulas and Sarah Boyle.
On this episode, the crew is recording a show at the Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta (last weekend). Normally, at the end of program, they do a segment called "the pick of the week" in which the guest leave a link or a suggestion of something cool or Catholic that they like..... in the midst of this segment, something unexpectedly beautiful happens and derails it... but in a good way. The show is an hour long, but if you only have a few minutes to give to it, move the scrubber on the player and drop in at about 55:00 into the show... and listen.

If you dig the window seat... 50 of the Best Shots taken from an airplane... enjoy! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient... the father's day edition...

This Dad and son not only had fun, they had joy....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious... a forthcoming book for women

Yes, it's true - a first for me - I have written a book.
Drum roll please....

 Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious
Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood
Coming in 2013

That's the title and the theme, and I put it up there front and center since I've got to get used to the public side of writing a book. The side that is out there. Not the in here, nice and comfy with with my favorite coffee and keyboard, and my select tunes playing... in the serene life that I'm so gratified to live. So aren't you lucky... you get to be alongside my test-drive of putting the message out there. Trust me, it's still a pretty new idea for me, this book journey, and a bit more scary to say all this out loud to the world outside of my family and few close writerly friends.

(Let me let you in on a little secret, I feel the same sort of awkwardness when I see my name and a talk title in a conference or parish program... "Pat Gohn, speaking on..."  Like, really, I'm just here to be with all of you nice folks to have a conversation about some stuff I really love. And that's what I hope will come across in the book. Not the awkwardness, the me that likes to have coffee and talk about things.)

Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious is a conversation about the blessing of our dignity, the beauty of our gifts, and the bodacious mission we have in serving Christ in and through our womanhood. It's also about my own life, and how these things came to be important to me... the growth process if you will, warts and all, to understanding my worth in the eyes of God, and what my response ought to be to his unfathomable and indescribable love and plan. If you've been around Among Women for a while, you know that She who is blessed among women has a starring role.

There's still a long road to getting the book published, I've only written a manuscript. There will be editing, re-writing, and a host of talented people who do more than mix ink and run presses. No one publishes a book alone. Not even the self-published author. So I'm grateful to the publisher, Ave Maria Press, and the editorial and marketing teams that work there for giving me this opportunity. 

Do go and check out Ave Maria Press' website and facebook page. Tell them Pat Gohn sent you. And if they say "who?" just mention the book with the word bodacious in the title.

Suffice to say that I had to laugh out loud at the Blessed Mother's sense of humor when I first got an email from an associate editor at Ave Maria Press just before Christmas asking about my writing interests... I love Momma Mary and the way she loves me. 

By the time you read this I'll be winging my way to France to thank Mary in person, in Lourdes, not only for the book, but specifically for the grace of being her daughter, and for the wonderful husband I'll be with -- as we come up to 30 years together! -- as well as for my family, and all of you cool people too. 

So that's all I've got time for right now. More to come over the course of time. Meanwhile I humbly request your prayers, comments, or suggestions in the days ahead. 


And for my writer-friends out there, and anybody else that's interested, here's a bit more about writing...

When I was first out of college and spent my years working in radio, and a year in a advertising agency. I primarily wrote radio commercials, they were anywhere from 100-150 in length.

Years later, I wrote articles ranging from 500-1500 words in length. I still do that.

Still later, in grad school, I wrote papers that rivaled small books at 3K, 5K and 10K words in length.

So here I am writing in the long form... and feeling a bit out of my element, but taking it chunk by chunk. As I was writing this book over the last several weeks, I was standing pretty much in awe of all my friends who have already published books, especially all my friends in the Catholic Writers Guild and throughout the blogosphere. I salute you.

I am relieved at having finished the manuscript... for several weeks now, that took all the words out of me each day I spent writing. And strangely, when I work up the next day, more words seemed to appear. Then I'd send those words out to a few readers, and they'd send me feedback and corrections, and that would generate more words.

Since I'm not a great multi-tasker, I had to re-adjust my priorities. That's why I've had to slow things down with the podcast, and some of my other writing outlets. This may sound silly, but for me, as a writer, there were only so many words in me each day... especially if they are words that I care about... words that share my heart, or something about our faith. There are plenty of other kinds of writing that do not sap my strength or emotions.

Among Women, the podcast, you may care to know, is actually a kind of writing each week. It requires research, crafting a saint's story, and working with my guests in learning their stories, or their books, and then editing our conversations and my own thoughts in trying to make it a unified whole. Plus there are the prayers and the blog posts that accompany it. I care about AW, so it takes something out of me to do it. Again, words, and more words.

Let me say, if I have failed to say it yet, thank you for reading these, and the other words I have written. Both here and elsewhere. And thank you to those who've given me the give of their words in return...  especially those that have taught me something, inspired me, or made me smile.

Let us pray for each other.

Monday, June 11, 2012

This makes me think.... about justice, politics, faith and reason

The just ordering of society and the State is a central responsibility of politics. As Augustine once said, a State which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves: “Remota itaque iustitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia?”. Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Mt22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere. The State may not impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony between the followers of different religions. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.

Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics. Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life: its origin and its goal are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now. But this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice? The problem is one of practical reason; but if reason is to be exercised properly, it must undergo constant purification, since it can never be completely free of the danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.

Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. From God's standpoint, faith liberates reason from its blind spots and therefore helps it to be ever more fully itself. Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.

The Church's social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest. Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. As a political task, this cannot be the Church's immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically.

The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply.

--Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, God is Love, Encyclical, 2005. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Corpus Christi Sunday... a perfect reminder that God is NOT Dead!

Spirit Juice Studios has done it again... excellent video!

How shall I make a return to he LORD
for all the good he had done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.

Psalm 116:12-13

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 6.9.12 On forgiveness, helping hands, and making lunch...

The Church Pushes Back
By Mark Rienzi at National Review Online
An essay by a constitutional lawyer speaking in clear language what is going on with the upcoming courts cases regarding the HHS mandate. Very compelling read, and worth sharing with others.

Our Feather-Strewn Sins Can Teach Us Mercy
By Elizabeth Scalia at Our Sunday Visitor
Must-reading for your week. Wisdom from lived experience, the sacrament of reconciliation and a dear saint.

Wife Confidential: Why I make His Lunch
By Theresa Thomas at The Integrated Life
Hey! I love "love in a lunchbag" from home. Read Theresa's motives for making her hubby's lunch each morning. And if you'd like to hear Theresa, she guested on AW last fall on episode 117.

When Your Heart Hangs By A Thread
By Timothy Dalrymple at Philosophical Fragments
The beauty of life in full view in the pediatric ward.

Celestial Magazine
A new magazine for Catholic Women looking for Subscribers

The Gift
From's newsletter of encouragement, this post (very short) is worth the read. If you or someone you know is facing divorce, you may wish to listen to Lisa Duffy, co-founder of talk about divorce and hope on Among Women 97.

My Dream for My Daughter
By Denise Hunnell, MD at Human Life International
A good piece that upholds the value of womanhood and a reminder that fertility is not a disease to be treated... we can hope to have our daughters grow up without thinking their dreams rely on their fertility being suppressed or obliterated.
Are you opposed to sex-selection abortions? They are happening in the USA and only a few states have bans. Information at this website operated by LiveAction, complete with a video that reveals what's is being said on the inside.

Africa E-Book Project
Catholic author Brandon Vogt and others have a great project here. Consider giving your support to support seminarians in Cameroon.

Inspiration sportsmanship by a woman at a Track Meet in Ohio. State Champ helps a competitor after a fall. Two thumb up!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Bended Knee - My latest column at A Word in Season, at Patheos

My latest piece at Patheos talks about what is borne is from fallow fields and quiet seasons. Here's an excerpt... "On Bended Knee."

O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
(Psalm 95: 6)

To kneel before God is a blessed thing. We are the only creatures who roam the earth with a free will… and the only ones with the freedom to give homage by kneeling to the One Who is worthy of it.

Of course, I’ve struck kneeling postures for many reasons besides prayer. As a wife and mother, I’ve often knelt beside the sickbed of a loved one… or to pick some thing off the floor… or to clean…

But there is nothing quite as peaceful as kneeling to adore the One Who made your heart, to sink slowly onto a bended knee before The Presence.

I’ve written before about the transforming power of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. For each person the experience is different and I can barely describe the sacred intimacies that come from those moments of yielding before the Lord… the One who made us and loves us with an unending bounty and unfathomable kindness.

To be sure, I’ve learned some things better on my knees than in other stances. Posture preaches. Gestures have interpretations.

Kneeling makes me smaller. It takes effort. Kneeling is a yielding out of love. I cannot jump up from that posture, at least at my age I cannot. I have to stay put at least for a little while.
When I kneel something physical unlocks; the upper and lower back muscles relax. My quads stretch. The heart rate lowers.

When I kneel, my focus sharpens. I am closer to the ground, or maybe, I just feel more grounded. I become aware of the heart in the left center of my chest.

Kneeling is reserved. I use it most when I am with God alone, and when I am with the Church. For me, kneeling signals prayer. It slows me down. It opens up a mental space, a zone where I concentrate only on what it in front of me, and what is within. In a curious paradox, despite the vulnerability of kneeling, I feel more open than closed when I kneel.

Kneeling is a posture of surrender. 

Read the rest.

Monday, June 4, 2012

This makes me think... worry ain't good for us!

Do not look forward in fear
to the changes of life;
rather, look to them with full hope
that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cared
for you today will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering,
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace and put aside
all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

--St Francis de Sales
(from a letter to Mme de Granieu)

I have long loved this quote. You'll find it in a previous article I wrote honoring St. Frank. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Among Women ReadHER 6.2.12... kids, Not-Cosmo, tech, and outrage....

Archbishop Lori and the First Principle
By Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online
The fight for religious liberty continues, and whether Catholic lawsuits against Obamacare undo it or not remains to be seen. But the ramifications of this fight are huge. 

By Betty Duffy at her blog by the same name
About casting the first stone... and the occasion of being disappointed in a priests' bad behavior.

Tech Talk Now a Daily Feature at
By Sarah Reinhard at
Always the go-to page for Moms, now even techier and geekier! Android and iPhone users rejoice! Sarah is my guest this week on AW 135.

Growing Up Without a Dad Affects [our] Concept of God
Posted at Zenit (The World Seen From Rome)
Part of a transcript of Pope Benedict's catechesis at the May 23rd General Audience in Rome. 

The Antidote to Cosmo
By Elizabeth Kantor at The Huffington Post
A new women's magazine -- Verily -- available online by subscription. Looks interesting in its inaugural edition... as their website says the women's mag's out there don't talk about real women... Note, this is not an article about a Catholic or Christian magazine, but it looks like a women's mag headed in a good direction, one that wants to uphold the beauty of women rather than exploiting it. That being said, I'm not endorsing anything here, just offering something that might be worth a look, and something that could grow. The blog for the new Verily magazine is here.

Do We Spend Enough Time with Our Kids?
By Mary Beth Hicks at Family Events
A great post as we head into summer, with additional articles listed as well. On this subject, don't miss this week's Among Women with Sarah Reinhard talking about her book about Catholic Family Fun.

H/T: Thanks for fine women at the Of Sound Mind and Spirit blog for linking to this:

H/T: One more, just for fun, via Lisa Hendey on Pinterest...

Friday, June 1, 2012

The F.U.N. Quotient... dirty dishes edition

One silly and spoofy... 

One somewhat serious... but you'll love this one... (Go ahead, Mom, crank it up!)

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