Monday, April 28, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes...

I just heard this little story this morning...

"A teacher and her young students were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted. A little girl said, 'I know all about adoption, I was adopted..'

'What does it mean to be adopted?', asked another child.

'It means,' said the girl, 'that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!'"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Praying for children to come back to the fold...

Recently a friend shared with me that her adult son, who has been searching for direction - for purpose - for God - had asked her directly one day out of the blue, why she had decided to become a Catholic. He had been thinking about all other religions and what they were all about.
This Mom had been praying for her son passionately each and every day, concerned for his soul, as did St. Monica for her dear son, Augustine. This friend told me that the best way she could answer her son was in the form of a letter. She shared her beautiful sincere words with me privately. I asked her if I could share her letter here at "Embracing Motherhood" to give others inspiration and hope and possibly the idea to pray for this son of hers and all sons and daughters who are out there searching in this big world of choices, mixed messages, and confusion.

Here is this Mom's private letter to her son with names left out, of course:

Why Did I Decide to Become a Catholic?

Dear xxxxxxx,

You asked me about me, so I will just tell my story. I know that you are you different from me, and your story is and will be different. I am going to tell it as "story", or rather as a narrative.

As you know, I started out as a protestant, and at some point in high school I felt I was coming up short, that something was missing. I went seeking. I didn't want to just go from church to church, and see which one I liked from the services and the people. I wanted to know first what they believed. Something made me interested in a Unitarian church in town (maybe a friend at school?). So I did a bit of research and found out they didn't believe in the Trinity, so I said: Forget that one, I believe in the Trinity (though I don't remember it actually being taught to me as such, but I knew it from a song we sang frequently at my childhood church: Praise God from whom all blessings flow...Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost." ). Well, after looking into that one church, I just drifted along with my church, and didn't really look actively anymore (I'd really looked hard, huh? :) ), but I remained kind of open.

Then one day my best friend told me she had hidden a Green Scapular in my wallet and had been saying the prayer on it for me, which was a little prayer to Mary, and she explained to me about devotion to Mary. When I was a younger kid, my Dad had made disparaging remarks about Catholics being devoted to Mary. Then one day, probably when I was about nine or ten, I was reading my Bible and I came across something interesting. It was Mary speaking to St. Elizabeth, "From henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." I rushed out to show Grandpa that this was in the Bible! So when my girlfriend talked to me many years later about devotion to Mary, it made sense to me that if she is blessed, that we could go to Jesus through her, as well as to Jesus directly. I knew no other religion that honored Mary, and I also liked the idea of having a Mother with me all the time that I could look to for help and guidance.

The next day my friend told me that "the Catholic Church is the one true Church" and she showed me in a book how all the other churches broke off from the Catholic Church. I swallowed hard. It was very hard on my pride to think of "one true Church" after all those years - to think that I'd been taught wrong, and that I had been wrong. But I had learned in my own Sunday school when I was a bit younger that the Church Jesus founded took the name Catholic at some point. And as part of a Girl Scout project in junior high, I had even studied the history of my church, including where it had come from, tracing it back along a long line of splits from one denomination to another, seeing that each denomination was just a split from another denomination, and ultimately a few were splits directly from the Catholic Church. So, when she talked to me about the Catholic Church, I just started thinking: Since there is a Church which was originally founded by Jesus, why would I want to go with any other?

The third reason I chose to be a part of Catholicism was the Holy Eucharist. I can't say that I have always "felt" the presence of Jesus in an emotional type way every time I've ever been in a Catholic church. However, in general, unless something is in the way, being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament is a peaceful feeling for me. Back when I was in high school, my girlfriend once took me to make a visit to a church, and I felt so much peace there. One day a few weeks or months later, I arrived at my church early for youth group, so I walked on over to the Catholic church again and went in. I felt again that peace. It was similar to the feeling of peace that I would find sitting on my nightstand watching a storm outside my bedroom window.

I had always felt close to God in nature, but when I learned that He is present in a special way in the Blessed Sacrament, it was a similar joy to realizing that He had founded a Church. It was where I wanted to be as often as possible...there with Jesus for a few minutes' visit or to receive Holy Communion. When I was young and single (and even married before children), I attended daily Mass...not because I thought I "ought to" but because I wanted to be there where Jesus was present in a special way.

So those are basically my reasons for choosing the Catholic Church rather than a protestant sect. My explanations aren't terribly intellectual, I suppose, but my reasons and feelings were deep enough to see me through and out of a cult (when I left it, a couple friends in xxxxxxx were surprised that I stayed Catholic. I was like, "Um, yeah, why wouldn't I??"). My reasons have been strong enough to see me through a lot of other things, as well.

Someone who has studied apologetics could probably tell you more about each of these factors in my decision, and others as well, but this was my story.

Love, Mom


Let's say a special prayer today for this Mom and son and for all sons and daughters around the world who are trying to find their way. Families need our prayers, especially today.

Let's try also to hang onto our family times and be sure to insert the prayer - always. Pray in the morning, at meals, in the evening, and all throughout the day. Let's make our life a prayer and be an example to others, especially our children who are watching our every move and listening to every word. Our Lord wants us to raise all of our little saints to Heaven. Without prayer, we will fail.

Please dear Lord, look kindly upon families all around the world, families who are struggling to survive, struggling to find their way, families who don't know You or have turned their back on You. Please give us strength, an increase in faith, in hope, and in love, so that we may be an example to our own family, families out in the world, and to the society that mocks You. Dear Lord, we love You! Amen

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Please pray for this mother of young children

I just found out about this young mother, Emilie who has very young children, one is a baby, who needs prayers right now. She and her family need our prayers. In a note to her friends she said, "Thank you for all your prayers and support, and please keep them coming. I need to hold onto hope that miracles are possible. And even if there is no miracle, or not the kind I wish for, I need your support to stay strong and face this with courage. And Steve needs your support, too. And our poor, sweet boys. Thank you."

I'll send you over to her blog here so you can see for yourself and read Emilie's own words about her situation. Please say a prayer for her today and continue, if you will. We all have to pray for one another throughout life's journey. Emilie and her family need us now.

Dear Blessed Mother Mary, please bring this family peace and healing. Wrap them in your mantle of love. Dear sweet Jesus, give them strength, increase their faith, their hope, and their love. Amen.

If you can please spare a few moments, I invite you to pray a Memorare novena for this family right now. Mother Teresa used this form of prayer often. She had her sisters pray nine Memorares in a row whenever there was an urgent need. Then, in thanksgiving, no matter what happens, it's good to pray another Memorare novena of thanks.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens..and my brain MRI."

(This is not me in the photo, however this person is wearing a similar helmet as I did and is about to go into a similar MRI machine.)

I shared with you recently that I was going to have an MRI on my brain and I asked for your prayers, since I wasn't wild about the idea of the MRI's tight quarters and the fact that one part of the test called for dye to be inserted into my veins. I have had severe allergic reactions to medicines in the past and I don't like putting anything in my body that shouldn't be there. I was more concerned about the test than the results.

Just before I left the house for my brain MRI a few days ago, I quickly made a CD with some of the happy songs from "The Sound of Music." I was planning to do a mix of Christian songs and a couple from "The Sound of Music," however, my lack of time and a computer glitch produced a CD with the songs just from "The Sound of Music." That would be perfectly fine for me, I thought, as I tucked it in my purse before leaving. These days, the MRI technicians actually expect you to bring some of your favorite music on a CD that they will play for you while you are in the MRI machine with all of the jackhammer pounding sounds around your head. It really helps to hear something more pleasant at that time. Trust me. :)

I'd like to thank you all for your prayers for me for my brain MRI. It was tough staying in one place for almost 2 hours without moving one iota. My head and neck were already hurting prior to the test, due to the car accident, so laying on hard metal bed (more like a slab!) of the machine, and being completely flat wasn't easy. The images of the brain must be consistent, so even in between the images that are taken (which take 5 to 8 minutes or more for each one), one cannot even shift one's head even a fraction of an inch. Your breathing is shallow because you don't want to move and you don't want to swallow very hard either! The quarters were very tight and a "good" place for many prayers to be offered. I was holding a plastic (metal not allowed near MRI's) rosary that belonged to my dear friend, Fr. Bill (my former spiritual director, now deceased).

While I was in that monster machine with "Climb Every Mountain," "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things," and other "Sound of Music" tunes blaring behind the almost deafening magnetic imaging sounds of the MRI testing, I was truly thinking of all of you who offered your prayers and I was praying for you! Thank you very much for your prayers. I'll meet with the doctor in a few days to go over the images and results.

Another nice gift God gave me that morning was being able to speak to each of my children prior to my test. I have five children and they just so happen to be spread around the world right now. One is in India, one in Ireland, one away at college, and two others closer by. It was so nice to hear all of their voices. They all would be praying and that was a comfort. When I reached my daughter, Chaldea on her cell phone in Ireland, she told me that she was planting tomatoes on a farm right at that moment. She was working on a farm and it was amazing that my call got through out in the fields of Ireland. I told her that I would be praying in the MRI, listening to "The Sound of Music" and thinking of all of my children. I told Chaldea that if it started to get too claustrophobic in there, I would envision her planting tomatoes over in a sunny, happy field in Ireland, having a great time out in nature. And that's what I did.

God is in control at all times. We pray and we trust. It's always nice to surround ourselves with the prayers of loved ones to envelope us. God is so good to us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'd really like to know...

Hmmmm, I wonder if dear Sarah over at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering got her copy of Canticle magazine today. Please don't tell me that she received it before today!

Just so you all know, my issue arrived safe and sound in my mailbox today! If you are a new visitor to this blog or don't know about Canticle magazine, let's just say that it's something we have been talking about the last few months...trying to be patient while waiting for the latest issue of Canticle to arrive!

Oh, did I tell you that my article, "A Mother's Life of Prayer" is in this issue?

Well, Sarah, I hope you stop by and let me know if you have your issue. And for those of you who may be curious, Canticle's Editor, Heidi Hess Saxton says, "Anyone who is thinking about subscribing to the magazine who would like a free sample issue can call 800-558-5452 and place their order. You will receive a free copy plus an invoice, which you would return with payment (if you decide to subscribe) or write "cancel" and return (if for some reason you decide not to subscribe)."

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Trying to catch up...

I told you recently that I would catch up with you. I have been so busy! My new book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book was just released! I have been doing book signings as well as planning and preparing retreats that I will be giving. One is coming up on April 26th in Connecticut and will be very beautiful because it also includes an opportunity for Mass in the morning, two talks, lunch, a time of Eucharistic Adoration and an opportunity for Confession, plus a book signing. Details are on the appearance section of my website here.

I've been so busy with family, projects, my book launch and all, that I forgot that a Television series that had been taped about me a few months ago was airing! I missed the first episode which aired last Thursday! However, I thought, well, that's okay because the Part One will air again next week. Guess what? Missed that one too! I have the tapes, so it is not a big deal. Parts Two and Three will be aired this month, as well. Maybe I'll find some time to sit down and watch them with my family.

Let's see, what else? Want to get your house in tip top shape? It happens when the TV station calls and asks if they can come over and feature you on their show because of your recent trip to the Vatican Congress! Need I say more? You certainly don't want anyone zooming in with their TV camera on a little stray "dust bunny" or a possible smear or anything on the window as the sunlight streams in, now would you? I even allowed the photographer into my little office which is a big mess! I am trying to get it organized. My husband had just brought another set of shelves into my office. I had my papers and things in piles on the floor to sort and put away nice and neat and organized! You know, some good old spring cleaning. However, with all of the busyness with book signings and appointments at physical therapy and doctor's offices, writing articles, as well as dealing with major head and body pain, needless to say, my piles of stuff that were to be organized did not get done in time for this interview. I told the photographer and the reporter that no one had been allowed in my office except family, so far. But, they wanted to see my office to get a few shots in there. So, you'll get a peak at where some of my books "come from!"

This show will air around Mother's day. I will also be able to link it to my blogs and website as I have done with this ORTV Crossroad's Magazine television show (same people) before when they featured my Catholic Prayer For Mothers book and my relationship with Mother Teresa.

In addition, there were reporters to my house and phone interviews with others about my new book and the Vatican experience.

I've also been busy getting details worked out and flights booked for my trips to Chicago and EWTN in Birmingham, both in May. The Chicago trip will be to the RBTE (the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit) which is the largest Catholic bookseller conference! I have been invited by Our Sunday Visitor to be one of their three chosen authors to do a book signing there with my newest book. Straight from there, I fly down to Alabama to be featured on four segments on the "Faith & Culture" show moderated by host, Colleen Carroll Campbell about the Vatican Congress and Mulieris Dignitatem with a few other women whom I was very honored to get to know while we attended the congress together. They are: Genevieve Kineke, Teresa Tomeo, Dale O'Leary, and Elizabeth, Kirk. I'll let you know when EWTN will air the segments as soon as I know.

I've posted this before, but here is a reflection I wrote for Lay Witness magazine about the International congress that I attended which was held in Rome in February.

And by the way, I am scheduled for an MRI on my brain on Thursday, April 17th. The doctors want to make sure there's a brain in my head somewhere! :) Actually, it's really because of the car accident that my daughter and I were in which has caused some problems. If you could spare a prayer, please pray for me for Thursday. I'm more concerned about the procedure, to tell you the truth, than the test results. It's the dye they'll put in me and the fact that I have had severe allergic reactions to medications in the past. Plus the tight quarters of the MRI and all. But, with prayer, and God's good grace, I'll get through it and then, God willing, back on my feet to do my Barnes & Noble book signing this Sunday in Danbury, CT.

So, there you have at least a bit of an update on what's been going on here. Oh, and throughout all of this, I had to say, "Good bye" to my artist daughter, Chaldea who went to Ireland and Scotland to work on some farms for a couple of months. She's like me, she loves nature. She deserves this bit of time enjoying Ireland, a place some have called "a piece of Heaven."

I'll bring you some more news soon and will be posting a beautiful letter from a Mom to her son about her faith. Stay tuned for that.

God bless your day! Wherever you are in this great big world, give your smile away and brighten someone's day. Hug your children a little tighter, hang on to those family times. Be understanding of the grumpiness of some people - maybe they just need a little love. Pray, pray, and pray some more.

I hope you experience the sites of some bright blooming forsythias or early spring flowers. It's happening here and it's gives a fresh feeling of rebirth.

Be good, be happy, take care of the people around you and love them with all of your heart!

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

God bless!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

What a beautiful post from Anne in Australia!

I just happened to find this very beautiful post from Anne (Under Her Starry Mantle) in Australia tonight. Anne was sharing her sentiments about my book Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers.

"My Perfect Mother's Prayer Book"
She begins, " After the birth of my little girl in January, I posted a lovely picture of her and mentioned briefly that I had a new prayerbook, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers, that was really 'feeding' my soul - and it was. And I still feel that, so much so that I want to write more about it. I understand that the mother who wrote this book, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle was very much encouraged by Mother Teresa to write and publish it. Here are a few encouraging words from Mother Teresa inside the book:

"My gratitude is my prayer for you that you may grow in the love of God through your beautiful thoughts of prayer you write and thus share with others."

"Your books on mothers and expectant mothers are much needed. Yes, you may use some of the things I said on motherhood and family...I pray that God may bless your endeavors."

"I pray that it does much good."

I had alot of physical suffering after the birth of my little girl and it had the good effect of scouring my soul and softening it. It was time (I believe through the blessing of St Anne) for a greater renewal of my motherhood, a deepening of it. This book has been the perfect prayer manual companion to keep my heart soft and continually directed to my children and my eternal destination. And I know that it is only through daily prayer that it is possible. The prayers a written in such a way to speak to my heart as well as directing my petitions for my children's heart and soul...
(Please read Anne's post here. It is just so heart warming!) Then, after you read her post, come back and finish reading this post to Anne. :)

Anne in Australia, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about how my book has helped you. You did it so beautifully and even showed off the beautiful colorful pages. It warms my heart and I am so thankful to Jesus and His Blessed Mother that the inspiration has touched you and now you are passing it further along to others!

Anne, interestingly, you posted your beautiful thoughts on March 13th, the anniversary of my mother's and my grandmother's death.

Because you said you like to have extra copies on hand to give out, please send me your address and I will send you another copy to have on hand along with a copy of my newest book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book and a blessed Miraculous medal that I brought to Rome recently when I was at the Vatican that was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI! You can send your address to DMCooper OBoyle(at)aol(dot)com.

God bless you and your beautiful family!


PS By the way, after you have read Anne's blog post you'll know about her heart stickers. She told me that she also gives heart stickers along with the book to the recipients of the gift of this book. Isn't she creative and generous? :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Papal Visit 2008 News and Views" at Our Sunday Visitor's Blog

Our Sunday Visitor has a great place to check out our Holy Father's visit. It's called, "Papal Visit 2008 News and Views" by John Norton, OSV Editor; Mary DeTurris Poust, OSV Contributing Editor and Russell Shaw, OSV Contributing Editor check it out!

Christ Our Hope! Pope Benedict's Apostolic Journey to the United States

Check out this website for Pope Benedict's Apostolic Journey to the United States.

Pope Benedict will carry the pastoral staff of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Benedict XVI processes to the altars where he will celebrate Mass in Washington and New York, he will be carrying the pastoral staff of Blessed Pope Pius IX.

Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, told Catholic News Service that the 19th-century pastoral staff, topped with a cross instead of a crucifix, "is becoming the usual one for papal celebrations."

On Palm Sunday, March 16, Pope Benedict started carrying the older staff, which was used by every pope from Blessed Pope Pius to Pope Paul VI.

"This is the typical staff used by the popes because it is a cross without a crucifix," Msgr. Marini said April 10.

It is taking the place of the staff with the rugged crucifix on top that was created by Italian artist Lello Scorzelli for Pope Paul in the mid-1960s. The Vatican's yearbook, "Activity of the Holy See," includes a photograph of Pope Paul holding the Scorzelli staff on Easter 1965.

But the piece has become closely identified with the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and is placed alongside a photograph of him in the renewed "Vatican Splendors" exhibit currently touring the United States.

Msgr. Marini said there actually are two copies of the Scorzelli staff: the one in the exhibit, open in St. Petersburg, Fla., through May 11, and "the other which is here in the pontifical sacristy."

The Scorzelli crucifix remains the model for the crucifix on the rosaries Pope Benedict gives to his guests.

Editor's Note: More information about the pope's schedule while he is visiting the United States is available online at:

Welcoming pope with open arms

Welcoming pope with open arms: Locals say NYC visit is just what the country needs now


In his first visit this month to the U.S., Pope Benedict XVI will find an American flock wrestling with what it means to be Roman Catholic. Lay people and priests have conflicting ideas on parish life. (AP Photo/Plinio Lepri)

Mary Gentile, of Waterbury, won't be traveling to New York City next weekend to attend Pope Benedict XVI's Mass at Yankee Stadium. But she's thrilled that he's coming.

On April 15 Pope Benedict XVI will fly into Andrews Air Force Base on his personal aircraft, Shepherd One, where he will be greeted by President George W. Bush. His first papal visit to the United States has been named "Christ our Hope" and is meant to send a message of faith, hope and love to the Catholic community, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"I'm very, very pleased about it and I feel he's coming close to home and Heaven knows we really need something like that," Gentile said. "Our country is in such a cesspool right now and I'm sure there's going to be an awful lot of young people attending, and maybe they'll be more aware."

She said she'll be watching the Mass on television, noting that she is fond of Pope Benedict and thinks he's following well in Pope John Paul II's footsteps.

However, studies have shown that not everyone favors the pontiff. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, together with the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, found that one in five Americans have an adverse perception of Benedict. However, in the Catholic community, 89 percent are partial to him.

A group of 30 from Hartford County plan to protest the pope's visit when he arrives in D.C. on April 15.

"The peaceful protest will be in front of the White House," protestor Anthony Ramos said. "The protest will be against what the Catholic church calls celibacy."

He noted that the recent sexual abuse cases by priests needs to be dealt with by the pope.

Others dislike Pope Benedict because of comments he's made regarding the Islam faith, in which he said that the Prophet Mohammed had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things. The Vatican later retracted the pontiff's statement and has since reached out to various faiths.

Local reaction, however, reveals high regard for the pope.

Oxford resident Christina Watkins said she feels some people are a bit leery about Pope Benedict because of his age. He will be 81 on April 16. "When Pope John XXIII was elected he was rather old and only lasted a few years," she said, noting "The Good Pope" who was elected in 1958 and died in 1963 at age 81.

But age hasn't proven to be much of a plight and she said she's happy with the job Benedict has done thus far."Benedict now has granted those who wish to return to the Latin Mass the full chance to do so," she said. "For this, we are grateful."

The Tridentine Mass, or Latin Rite, was replaced in the 1960s by English Masses, as well as other predominant languages.

According to The Washington Post, The Tridentine Mass was codified in 1570 and remained the common Roman Catholic liturgy for nearly four centuries, until church leaders known as the Second Vatican Council ushered in major changes from 1962 to 1965.

The Rev. Bill Considine of Lourdes in Litchfield lived in Rome for 12 years and has met both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

He remembers when Pope Benedict was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith whose mission is "to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world."

Considine said Ratzinger would walk every day, with briefcase in hand, from his apartment on one side of the Vatican, across the piazza to his office on the other side.

"He would always smile at people, and when people would say 'hello' he would nod," Considine recalled.

When Pope John Paul II died in 2005, it was Ratzinger who presided at several of the Masses, including the funeral Mass. "He did it with a great dignity and a great power that really touched many people," said Considine, who considers Ratzinger to be a natural leader.

"When he was elected pope, at first many people were a little nervous," he said."But almost right away from his first sermon, what he showed was more like a shepherd. He's a much more shy man than Pope John Paul II but nevertheless he has a warmth and a real care that started to come through from the beginning."

John Paul II, the "people's pope" was extraordinary with massive assemblies, Considine added.

"He just connected with vast crowds but if you met him one on one, he was sort of a little distant, almost looking over your shoulder to the next person, whereas with Pope Benedict all his attention was right on you, with his eyes, with his questions, with the way he responded to you, it was very impressive," Considine said.

[Caption: New Milford author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle was one of 260 people from 46 countries and five continents to serve as a delegate at the Pontifical Council for the laity's International Congress. She heard Pope Benedict speak twicwe while she was in Rome for the conference.]

Mary-Catherine McCarthy, 16, hasn't met Pope Benedict, but heard him speak in Rome earlier this year. She went to Rome with her mother, New Milford Author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, and sat in the front row at his weekly general audience.

"It was pretty cool," McCarthy said. "It was just really awesome to be in a room with this man who is so holy and known around the world."

She said Pope Benedict spoke, with an accent, in several languages.

O'Boyle heard Pope Benedict speak twice while she was in Rome for the conference, "Woman and Man, the Humanum in its Entirety," once with her daughter and once when he addressed the congress attendees.

"At the time I didn't know what he was saying, it was in Italian, we were waiting for a translation and were all on the edges of our seats trying to take it all in," she said. "It was a very, very beautiful experience for me to be so close to who I consider the vicar of Christ, our shepherd in the Catholic faith."

She said Benedict is a humble, regal, serving man.

"He exudes that spirit of service and love and I believe he really lives the Gospel message. It's very apparent in just watching him," she said.

O'Boyle won't be traveling to New York City for any of the upcoming papal events, but said those who are going are in for treat.

"I think that it's just going to be an unforgettable day for them, they're always going to remember it," she said.

She saw Pope John Paul II in New York City in the 1970s and again in Rome in 1988.

"It's a very memorable experience when you see the Holy Father. It stays with you," she said. "They'll definitely be blessed by it. ...

"I believe that the grace from God will help them in their own journeys by being able to have met him and hear what he had to say."

She noted that people of all faiths loved John Paul, and she feels that people are still unsure about Benedict. "He's a very loving pope but people don't know him enough yet, they want to see what he's like," she said.

Pope Benedict will celebrate his third year as pope at Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on April 19.

Republican-American faith reporter Tracy Simmons will be covering Pope Benedict's visit to New York City April 18 through 20. For additional insight on the pope's visit, check out her blog at; also, daily updates and multimedia presentations will be available at

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Promise to catch up with you soon!

Hi All,

It's been extremely busy here, however I promise to catch up with you shortly. I hope that you may be enjoying a beautiful day and sharing your smile with everyone you come in contact with today! :) If it's a not such a beautiful day, perhaps maybe even filled with some challenges or strife, try to offer it all lovingly to our dear Lord who will sanctify our little splinters from the Cross and use them for His glory!

God bless and hugs,

Friday, April 4, 2008

The latest issue of Canticle magazine!

As you can see from this cover image of the May issue of Canticle magazine I have an article (click here to see the cover of this issue of Canticle magazine larger) about Mother's Prayer in this issue just in time for Mother's Day! I am told that you can even get a free copy of this beautiful Catholic woman's magazine.

Canticle's Editor, Heidi Hess Saxton says, "Anyone who is thinking about subscribing to the magazine who would like a free sample issue can call 800-558-5452 and place their order. You will receive a free copy plus an invoice, which you would return with payment (if you decide to subscribe) or write "cancel" and return (if for some reason you decide not to subscribe)."

I love how Heidi says, "...if for some reason you decide not to subscribe" because once you see this magazine and read it, you'll just love it! I know subscribers who were lamenting when their issue hadn't arrived as fast as they were expecting and they were trying very hard to be very patient! Ask Sarah at "Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering." She'll tell you!

So, what are you waiting for? You can get a free issue. This one looks great. You'll get to read all of those great articles and mine too which is on Mother's prayer! So, give that toll free number above a ring and set yourself up for some uplifting and inspiring reading to help you along your journey. :)

Author invited to Vatican

News-Times, The (Danbury, CT)

Date: March 27, 2008
Section: News
Article ID: 8717300

Author invited to Vatican
Author: Deborah Rose Staff Writer

To visit the Vatican is a trip many folks only dream of. But for New Milford resident Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, her recent trip to the Italian city-state ruled by the Pope was an opportunity of a lifetime, one that provided further insight into a theme to which she has devoted her adult life.

Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle was one of 260 people chosen from around the world -- only one of six from the U.S. -- to participate in the Pontifical Council for the Laity's International Congress at the Vatican in February.

The event marked the 20th anniversary of the apostolic letter "Mulieris dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women," written by the late Pope John Paul II.

"I felt excited about the anniversary and that the church was recognizing the anniversary to reflect on the document and its relevance to women today," Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said during a recent interview.

The letter's milestone is especially significant to her. She has quoted segments of it in some of her books, which focus on the theme of women, children and mothers.

"It was a pilgrimage/mission for me to travel to Rome," Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said of her experience. "It was such an honor."

The soft-spoken, petite mother of five said she believes she was invited to attend the Congress in recognition of her continued work celebrating women and mothers by writing articles and books and giving presentations to various groups.

The author has had a respected relationship with the Catholic Church for more than two decades, having first traveled to Rome 20 years ago (while pregnant with her fourth child, Joseph) to hand-deliver papers from her spiritual director, Fr. John A. Hardon S.J., to then-president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity Cardinal Eduardo Pironio.

In addition, she met Mother Teresa in the mid-1980s and corresponded with her over the years, and has received letters from both Pope John Paul II and reigning Pope Benedict XVI, all in acknowledgement of and praise for her work while encouraging her to continue.

This trip was especially close to Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle's heart. It gave her an opportunity to be "part of a history-making event" and reflect on her faith, and her role as a woman, mother and writer, she said.

Plus, she was able to take two of her daughters, Chaldea, 26, and Mary-Catherine, 16, with her for some family time away from her attendance at the Congress.

"It was amazing to me to be in the same room with people from five continents, from some 48 or 49 countries, [who] were there for the same mission and reason -- to go deeper into our Catholic faith and the apostolic letter," she said of her experience at the Congress.

The purpose of the three-day event was to "review the progress made over the past 20 years in the field of the advancement of women and the recognition of their dignity... [and address]... the new cultural paradigms and the difficulties faced by Catholic women as they strive to live according to their identity and to collaborate with fruitful reciprocity with men in building up the Church and society" among other things, according to the letter of invitation Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle received from the Council on Laity.

Delegates attended several conferences led by theologians, Biblical scholars, women authors and others, some of whom presented panel discussions, and a workshop of their choice.

Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said she found the workshop she attended, which focused on technology and consumerism and their relationship to women, informative and reaffirmed her belief in the importance of "hang[ing] on to family time, not allow[ing] technology to take over and not allow[ing] the demands of our culture to" impact our children.

"Women are the target of mixed messages in our culture and the demands of perfection in the workplace and home are really tough for women," Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said.

As a delegate, Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle also attended a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Papel Palace, which turned out to be one of the highlights of her trip.

"We were all on the edges of our seats trying to get closer," Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said, noting the Pope thanked the delegates for their attendance at the Congress and offered them a special blessing.

Another highlight was hearing the encouraging words of Cardinal Rylko during the Congress' closing ceremony.

Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said Cardinal Rylko suggested the delegates "come down from the mountain and go against the current -- be a contradiction giving witness" and reminded them not to be concerned with being a minority.

"Salt is a minority but it gives flavor, yeast is a minority but makes the whole dough rise," he said.

These words touched a special chord in her heart, Mrs. Cooper O'Boyle said, noting she has used similar words in her presentations and books.

Hearing his words "resolidified my vow to do what I feel God calling me to do," she said with a quiet confidence.

"I'm so happy if God can use me," she said. "I'm not hiding my light under a bushel."

Copyright, 2008, The News-Times (Danbury, CT)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

"Catholic Saints Prayer Book" is out!

My book signing at the Borders store in Danbury, CT went very well. The event was called, "Tea and Fellowship" which combined the news of my recent Vatican trip (as you can see boards around me with photos and articles) and the release of my new book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book!

You may order a signed copy of this book through my website or this blog (look at the right hand column) or from The Catholic Company, Amazon.Com, and many other places.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for April

Pope Benedict's general prayer intention is: "That Christians, even in the difficult and complex situations of present-day society, may not tire of proclaiming with their lives that Christ's resurrection is the source of peace and of hope".

His mission intention is: "That the future priests of the young Churches may be constantly more formed culturally and spiritually to evangelize their nations and the whole world".