Monday, April 27, 2009

Another update

My son's friend is doing well. He didn't get beat up, just roughed up. Sorry to use the word, "just" because getting roughed up is certainly bad enough. Thankfully, because my son, pushed the guy off of his friend, he was able to run away and escaped harm.

Many thanks for continued prayers!

Hello Everyone,

I can't thank you all enough for coming to the rescue to pray for my son, his friends, our family and the situation. I apologize for the startling urgent plea for prayers yesterday. It was all this devastated mother's brain could come up with after just getting off the phone with my son and with about only 2 minutes before I had to jump in the car and leave. I just knew I had to get the word out to ask for prayers. I knew that you would all come through. God is so good to give us each other on this journey through life, isn't He?

I had forgotten all about my plea on this blog for prayers because of all that unfolded after I left the house to join up with family and then travel out of state. So, when I checked my phone when I needed to make a call I was so surprised to see that so many messages had come in from you all to offer prayers and comforting words. I can't thank you enough. I will also pray for all of you!

Now for a bit of an update. First of all, I can't thank our dear Lord and His Blessed Mother enough for protecting my dear son. My son is doing okay. I say "okay" because I can't say yet that he's doing fantastic or anything because as his Mom, I am truly affected by what happened to him. These kinds of things should NEVER happen. But, this is the world we live in. But, the swelling in his face is going down. The CAT scan at the ER last night came out well, thank God! He has a prescription for the pain which he will use sparingly. But, now, no matter how he feels, he has to take his final exams. Please dear ones, continue with a prayer or two for him so that he can end the college school year well. He's such a great student and works tremendously hard. Also, please pray for safety for all others in that area and for continued healing for my son and all involved. The attackers need our prayers too.

Thanks so much for all of your generous and heartfelt prayers!

God bless and love,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More on the story...

Check the comment box on the post below for an update from me since I am on the road and writing all of this from a cell phone and it's difficult to type it again in a moving vehicle.

Please pray for my son!

Please pray for my son who was just beat up by a gang of 8 or ten men outside his college dorm. He was protecting a friend who they were beating up and they said they were going to kill my son! He says he is doing okay. More later but putting out a urgent request for prayer.

God bless and love,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is the new movie Angels and Demons Anti-Catholic?

From the National Catholic Register Blog:

"The Hollywood director and actor isn’t an angel, that is, when it comes to disseminating anti-Catholic propaganda through his movies.

Howard has taken issue this week with Catholic League President Bill Donohue’s assessment that Howard’s about-to-be released film Angels & Demons is guilty of being grossly anti-Catholic.

Howard is the director of Angels & Demons, which is based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same name. Howard also served as director of the cinematic version of Brown’s notoriously anti-Catholic novel The Da Vinci Code, which is a sequel to Angels & Demons.

In a commentary at The Huffington Post, Howard complains Donohue’s criticism of his upcoming film is unfounded. Writes Howard, “Let me be clear: neither I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic.”

The film version of Angels & Demons hasn’t even hit theaters yet, so it’s difficult to judge exactly how anti-Catholic it is.

But Howard’s earlier direction of The Da Vinci Code makes a mockery of any claim that he’s not anti-Catholic. Both Brown’s historically fraudulent potboiler and Howard’s screen version of it are replete with calumnies against Christianity and the Catholic Church. And unfortunately, many credulous readers and moviegoers assume those calumnies are based in fact.

Go here to learn more about the shortcomings of The Da Vinci Code.

Entertainment Weekly speculates here that Howard is actually happy to be singled out as being anti-Catholic and indeed is trying to draw more attention to this criticism by penning his Huffington Post article.

Why? Because, according to Entertainment Weekly, Howard hopes the controversy will hype box-office receipts for Angels & Demons to the same stratospheric levels as attained by The Da Vinci Code.

“Well played, Mr. Howard,” remarks Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Labrecque. “Donahue might be your biggest critic, but he’s also your greatest publicity tool.”

Entertainment Weekly’s theory may be plausible, but either way Howard’s role in translating Dan Brown’s novels onto the silver screen reflects little credit on the Hollywood director.

After all, it’s debatable whether it’s more objectionable to have disseminated nasty anti-Catholic bigotry because you are really are a nasty anti-Catholic bigot, or to have disseminated the same nasty anti-Catholic bigotry simply because you’re willing to do almost anything to make money from filmgoers."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

From the National Catholic Register blog...

"On Sunday, CBS is airing Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. While not a household name, she should be as well known as Schindler. Sendler was a Polish Catholic credited with saving the lives of 2,500 Jewish children during World War II.

Using a network of largely female social workers and others, she smuggled children out of Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto to safety. Academy Award-winning actress Anna Paquin portrays Sendler in the made-for-TV movie. You can read an interview with her at
Catholic Digest.

Her story was largely unknown until the fall of 1999. For it was then that a rural Kansas teacher showed four high school students a short clip from a March 1994 issue of News and World Report that mentioned Sendler’s name. The students set to work on a year-long National History Day project, researching and looking for primary and secondary sources on Sendler.

In the end, the students wrote the play, “Life in a Jar”, which portrays the life of Sendler. They’ve performed the program more than 250 times in the U.S. and Europe. You can learn more about Sendler, the student’s History Day project, and the play at the Irena Sendler website."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter JOY!

Poor Joseph looks squished in the back (left). Actually he liked it there I think. I would have other photos to post, but not too many of them didn't have bunny ears and goofy faces! :)

St. Bernadette's feast day

Today is St. Bernadette's feast day...Visit my saints' blog to learn more about this beautiful saint who was visited by The Blessed Mother in Lourdes.

I have St. Bernadette in my book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book (OSV, 2008).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fifth Day of the Divine Mercy Novena

Fifth Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Rosary for the Unborn and for the end of terrorism on Good Friday

Going around the Internet...calling us to unite out Rosaries today between noon and three o'clock...

“Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in the world would pray a Rosary on the same day!

“We have an example in October of 1573, when Europe was saved from the invasion of the mighty Turkish fleet. Europe was saved by the praying of the Rosary by all Christians!

“So, on Good Friday, let’s all pray a Rosary for the intention of ending abortion, including an end to Terrorism. If possible, please pray your Rosary between noon and 3:00 p.m.

“Also, please e-mail this message to every Catholic on your address list, and ask them to pass it along to every Catholic on their lists. Let’s unite in praying one of the most powerful prayers on one of the holiest days, for these two increasingly urgent intentions.”

The Cross on Good Friday

"The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will -- above, below, without, or within -- you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.

If you carry the cross willingly, it will carry and lead you to the desired goal where indeed there shall be no more suffering, but here there shall be. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you cast away one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one" (Thomas a' Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book II, chapter 12).

Don't forget to start your Divine Mercy Novena today. Details are at "Daily Donna-Marie."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Catching up on Holy Thursday...

At a time when I would have loved to be posting and offering bits of inspiration on my blogs, I haven't been able to due to the circumstances. Instead, I was praying and offering everything up to Our Lord.

Here's a couple of photos of what I have been doing lately. My husband snapped a few pictures with my cell phone while I was getting an IV infusion at the hospital due to a serious infection. This was one of the eleven infusions that I needed.

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your many prayers. I am humbled and blessed by them. I'll fill you in some more soon now that the IV ports are out of my arms and I can type a bit. However, I have to catch up on my book writing with a deadline fast approaching. Thanks so much in advance for your continued prayers.

May God bless you all in great abundance on this Holy Thursday and the Holy Triduum!



PS Don't forget that the Divine Mercy Novena starts tomorrow. Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another Brave Mother's Group!

The "Graceful Gals" from Corpus Christi, Texas have been studying my book, The Domestic Church: Room by Room: A Mother's Study Guide.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If you can spare a prayer or two

Donna-Marie would appreciate your prayers for a speedy recovery for her as she receives IV antibiotics for a serious infection.

Thank you in advance for your prayers

God bless,

her family

"In Person" article from the National Catholic Register this week on Donna-Marie

Holy Week in the Domestic Church
Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle, author of The Domestic Church: Room by Room, speaks about her life and work.

(Go to the National Catholic Register here.)

BY Joseph Pronechen

April 5-11, 2009 Issue

"Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle had a busy 2008. In February, she was one of 260 women invited from around the world by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, to participate in the International Women’s Congress in Rome to mark the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem (The Dignity and Vocation of Women). She also published three books: The Domestic Church: Room by Room, and Grace Café: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering (Circle Press, sister publisher to the Register), and Catholic Saints Prayer Book (Our Sunday Visitor).

To bring inspiration to women daily in their role as mothers, O’Boyle also keeps up several blogs. She and her husband, David, are the parents of five children, the youngest of whom is 17.

O’Boyle took time out from working on her latest book, The Heart of Catholicism, to talk about her life and work with Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen.

You’ve written several books on motherhood. How does your family observe Holy Week?

Holy Week is such an integral time of the year for Catholics. It’s a week that we can look forward to celebrating, during which time we can strive to become more intimately united to Jesus’ passion. Even when the kids were very young, I have always encouraged the family to partake in as many Masses and services at church as possible this week, particularly during the holy triduum. At home in our “domestic church,” we attempt to retreat from the secular and focus on the holy, which means less or no TV, Internet, telephone, and the things that take up our time and attention. We focus more on prayer and penance as a family and individually.

Did your background prepare or influence you in your work today?

I grew up in a tight-knit Catholic family with eight kids. It was natural for us to go to church. My mother and grandmother made an impression on me because of their faith, and I recounted that in a chapter in Grace Café: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering (Circle Press, 2008) called “Unforgettable Teachings.” I wrote it to help encourage families and mothers to put the sacred images of the domestic church in their households. Their example of going to church and praying with the family makes an impression on their children as unforgettable teachings that stay on their hearts.

What particular impression did your mother and grandmother make?

My mother, Alexandra Mary Cooper, had a tough life, but remained faithful and prayerful. Keeping us kids on the straight and narrow spoke volumes. She would gather us together in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother to pray the Rosary together, especially on feast days and for special needs in the family. We prayed the Rosary on a regular basis, and that really stayed with me. The Rosary would become an important part of my life and showed how the Blessed Mother was watching over me.

To walk into my grandmother Alexandra Mary Uzwiak’s home, with its many statues, pictures and images, was like walking into a church. She was a woman of great faith and expressed it in the images and her example and many prayers for the family. She made quite an impression on me because of her strong faith in God. I developed my love for John Paul II from my grandmother.

How did you start publishing your writing while raising a family?

God had a plan that unfolded during the pregnancy of my fifth child, Mary-Catherine. I had to be on complete bed rest during the pregnancy because of a serious problem in my pregnancy. During that time, I got word to Mother Teresa and asked for prayers. She sent me a Miraculous Medal to wear during that pregnancy and said I should trust the Blessed Mother that all would be well. She told me to pray a simple prayer: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now.” And that would work miracles. It’s so simple. I now teach it all the time.

I had a bustling household with four older children around me, but I had to stay put on the couch and bed to preserve the life of my unborn baby. Being on complete bed rest afforded me the time to do something I had never expected to do during that pregnancy. I was inspired to see a pregnancy as a nine-month novena of living prayer to God, and I started writing a book for expectant mothers that would be an actual journal to record their reflections and prayers — and hopefully be inspired by writings of saints, the Church and holy fathers.

By God’s grace, I wove a novena of prayers to some of the popular saints we invoke during pregnancy, as well as original prayers and teachings from the Church, that would uplift the dignity of motherhood. My purpose was to follow that inspiration and help mothers and expectant mothers to recognize the sublimity of the vocation as a mother. That’s how Prayerfully Expecting (Crossroads Publishing, 2007) came to be.

Other books came out of it, as well. God kept pushing and prodding me to get the message out to mothers and women and families about the dignity of the human person and of motherhood.

I sent them to Mother Teresa, my mentor, spiritual guide and friend. She went over them and had her spiritual director go over them. She surprised me with a foreword for my books Prayerfully Expecting and The Heart of Motherhood.

Tell us about your friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa and her inspiration.

About 20 years ago, I went to Washington to visit (now Servant of God) Father John Hardon. I was very privileged and blessed to have him as my spiritual director. He took us to the Gift of Peace house which was attached to the Missionaries of Charity convent. We visited those sick with cancer and AIDS.

The Missionaries of Charity told us Mother Teresa was in the convent at the time and invited us to come back the next day for either of two Masses in their chapel. Father Hardon asked if I’d like to meet her, but I didn’t want to interfere with her work.

Then, at the Mass we went to, Mother Teresa knelt down beside us.

Our connection happened to my family after the Mass. My daughter Chaldea, who was 6 at the time (now 27), genuflected before the Blessed Sacrament. A nun came up and gave her a big hug. I looked and saw it was Mother Teresa. She went into another room, then came back and walked straight toward me. I was holding Jessica, who was not quite 2. She asked, “Is this the baby who was singing at Mass?” That’s where the conversation began.

We had a beautiful talk about families and family life. She gave us each a blessed Miraculous Medal that she kissed. I felt a strong inspiration on the drive back to Connecticut to get in touch with her to thank her for the medal and prayers. I wrote to her, and within a couple of weeks, I got a letter back from Calcutta. That was the first of 22 letters she would write to me. At least 12 other times I had visits, some of them private, with her in New York.

What were your thoughts about being a delegate to the Holy See’s conference for the 20th anniversary of The Dignity and Vocation of Women?

I was very honored, humbled and surprised to be invited. I’m generally anchored home. I wasn’t even able to go to Mother Teresa’s beatification. But I went as a sponge to absorb as much as I could. It spilled over into my book writing. The Domestic Church: Room by Room and Grace Café: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering came out of it.

With all of your writing and speaking and engagements, not to mention your family, how do you keep everything balanced?

It’s totally the grace of God: by trusting and asking and constantly praying and offering and surrendering my life. And God does the work. I’m just his servant, and I pray God lives and speaks through me so I can be a light to others.

Staff writer Joseph Pronechen is based in Trumbull, Connecticut.

Go to the National Catholic Register here.