Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review for Grace Cafe

This review is from Barry Michaels:

"I came upon Grace Cafe before my wife did. It’s for mothers, but familiar with Donna Marie Cooper-O’Boyle’s work, I took a look and knew my wife would like it. I quickly found out I was right, because she made several comments to me as she read it about how good it was. When I picked up the book later, I noticed that she had highlighted several passages and even made notes to her self in the margins. Seems to have been worth her time! And it led me to spend even more time with the book, too. Much of her wisdom is just as relevant to being a good dad and husband as to being a good mom and wife.

Donna Marie eaily weaves practical, personal experience together with the wisdom of the saints and the teaching of the Church. I love that she can write about teaching a child to pray, doing laundry, and handling family dinners that are less than Norman Rockwell-perfect as comfortable and helpfully as she can draw out the teachings of Pope John Paul II and the Second Vatican Council.

This book is a sure recipe for a healthier, happier family life."


Thank you very much, Barry for a very nice review. I'm glad that you and your wife enjoyed my book!

God bless!


Check out Barry's blog here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The winner is...

The winner is...

Well, I told you I would announce the winner today. Suffice it to say that EVERYONE who entered the book give-away contest WON! Each person will win at least one book. Congratulations!!!

I will give you more details about this tomorrow because it's been a very long day and I need to get to bed.

God bless your night!


Ash Wednesday thoughts

God bless your Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time to repent and repair. We should be prayerful, of course and mindful that we need to make up for our past sins. What more better time to do so than Lent? As Catholics, we are blessed with the Liturgical seasons and now here we are in Lent. A great time to ponder and pray.

We may wonder what to give up, how about "getting up" a little earlier for those of us who can to get to at least a couple of extra Masses during the week. If we can't get out due to small children health issues, or other obligations, we can use that extra time to pray. We can commit to a daily Rosary which will take fifteen or twenty minutes of our time but will be life-changing!

If you get a chance, please listen to the radio segment which is posted under this post some place to hear my conversation with Teresa Tomeo when we discussed some Lenten ideas. Then, afterwards, take a few minutes to think about which "thief" you will be, the one on the left or the right of Jesus? You'll need to listen to the segment to understand fully what I mean.

You can also go over to "These Forty Days" for Lenten inspiration. The information is in a post below. That's it for now. It's a busy day.

God bless you as you embark upon your Lenten journey! Let's pray that it's the best one yet!

God bless and hugs,


Taking time to speak with Our Lord

Some words to calm us and guide us during Lent..."It is good when a soul loves solitude; it's a sign that it takes delight in God and enjoys speaking with Him."~St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Announcing the winner...

I will announce the winner of the book give away contest tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.

God bless!


More on Lent

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Penitential Practices for Today’s Catholics:

“Fridays During Lent — In the United States, the tradition of abstaining from meat on each Friday during Lent is maintained.

“Fridays Throughout the Year — In memory of Christ’s suffering and death, the Church prescribes making each Friday throughout the year a penitential day. All of us are urged to prepare appropriately for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday.”

Ash Wednesday, Good Friday

Canon 1251: “Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Canon 1252: “All persons who have completed their 14th year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their 60th year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.”

Canon 1253: “It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.”

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Penitential Practices for Today’s Catholics:

“Traditionally, the canonical obligation of fasting has been understood in the Church as the taking of only one full meal a day.”

Radio segment about Beginning our Lenten Journeys

Here's the link to this morning's radio segment about starting our Lenten journeys with Teresa Tomeo and me. Just click here.

God bless!


Lent Stuff

Hi Everyone,

I'll be posting my segment soon (maybe later today) from my radio show with Teresa Tomeo this morning. We discussed things to do and maybe not to do during Lent. I'll be having regular posts over at "These Forty Days" Blog all throughout Lent. The link is in the post below this one. Check that out when you get a chance because there is a lot of great stuff there from others too.

I'll also offer suggestions here for your Lenten journey.

God bless you!


Check out my Lenten article...

Check out my Lenten article, "A Mother's Lenten Strtegies" over at These Forty Days

I'll be posting excerpts from my book, "The Domestic Church: Room by Room" throughout Lent over at "These Forty Days."

God bless you as you prepare for Lent.


Monday, February 23, 2009

"A Generous Serving of Love at Grace Cafe"

This review is from Dawn at A Helping Hand blog:

Donna Marie Cooper-O'Boyle has given us just that in her beautiful book Grace Cafe.

She fills you up with truths from Church documents, encyclicals and inspiring words from such saints as Therese of Lisieux and St. Joseph. She truly shines her light on Christian motherhood.

Donna Marie shows us mothers how to turn our everyday lives into one constant prayer and offering to the Lord. Beginning our day with prayer for our families. Asking Our Lord to bless our families and our husbands.

As wives and mothers we are placed by specially appointed keepers of our domestic churches. The opportunities to holiness are endless. Holiness is found in the teaching of prayers to your children, in fixing supper for your husband and even in the laundry piled high.

I highly recommend this book for those occasions when you feel overwhelmed by it all. This book ends with some beautiful prayers and poems that will renew and refresh you.


Thank you very much, Dawn, for your lovely review!

God bless you!


Tune in tomorrow for "Mom's Corner"

I may be on a little sooner than 9:15 AM Eastern time tomorrow morning on my "Mom's Corner" segment with Teresa Tomeo on Catholic Connection, Ave Maria Radio. Check below in the post with the photo of Teresa and me for details for tuning in.

God bless!


Review of the Domestic Church: First Chapter

This is a review from Sarah at "With a Hopeful Heart" blog

I've decided to post a book review of the above by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle in weekly segments as I read it. The book is done in a format that I think will work well for a weekly review.

In case you haven't heard of this book, hopefully my very amateur review will help you decide if it is one you'd like to add to your own library. It is available from Circle Press. This book can be used as a part of a study group or for individual use. Each chapter is broken up into 'rooms' for the reader to contemplate different topics and identify them as rooms in their domestic church. My hope is that each week I will read the chapter for that week and then be able to give you several points to ponder and excerpts as well in Monday's post. Hopefully. I think it will also serve as a wonderful way to walk the journey of lent as I focus on my domestic church in the process.

I am really enjoying this book so far and in the first chapter I have already repeatedly gone back to re-read what I've highlighted in order to refocus my meditations on the subject. As I said, this book is written in Study Guide type format for weekly meetings with other women and mothers. It comes complete with thought provoking discussion questions at the end of each chapter as well. It is much more than a study guide though, because it brings to light Catholic teaching through Scripture, papal encyclicals, apostolic letters, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the words of our great Saints. They are sprinkled throughout as a wonderful addition to the eloquent words of the author.

This Week's focus:

The Foyer: Our Blessed Mother Mary and Motherhood

How can I aspire to imitate such an amazing Mother as Blessed Mother Mary? That's a big question. Mary's "Yes" to the angel Gabriel was a courageous "Yes" to God. It was not a mediocre surrender to God's Will. It was a full, complete surrender to her becoming the Mother of Jesus. What is my answer when I am asked for that surrender in my vocation of wife and mother? I must admit, it is not always the full-hearted "Yes" that Mary gave. I should consider all of my responses to God as a mother, reflecting upon my willingness-or lack thereof-to accept everything that God has for me. This is not always easy as a mother, but I desire that complete "Yes" to my motherly vocation. Like Mary when she visited her dear cousin, Elizabeth, while with child herself, I desire to have Mary-like sensitive attentiveness to the care and needs of others. I love that phrase! Sensitive attentiveness. I will admit that sometimes I do not have sensitive attentiveness towards members of my family and that it does not always come easy. This will be a wonderful phrase to stick on my fridge for this week so that I may become more aware of improving it in my domestic church.

How can we as mothers and women follow Our Blessed Mother more faithfully and discover peace as we follow her "Yes" with sweet surrender? Here's a few things to ponder from the book that I picked out for this week:

A mother can learn from Mary by asking for God's grace to entrust herself completely to him with the "full submission of intellect and will".

For mothers, it means service first in her family and then reaching out to the world. At times, good intentions and a mother's loving heart may cause her to stretch herself too much to administer to the needs of others outside her home. It's wonderful and holy to want to help, yet mothers must remember that their love begins first and foremost at home. Being sure that her family is properly cared for before she embarks in other areas of ministry will ensure that she is not inadvertently neglecting her family in the process of helping others.

Silence can ironically be found in the busyness of a mother's day as a mother learns to retreat to her heart even as she is involved in the care of her family. Within the "silence" of a mother's heart, Our Lord can speak.

It is when she realizes that Our Lord actually wants to use her attentiveness to her family's needs that she will understand the value and prayerfulness in performing little things with great love. The mother becomes an everyday example to her family as she raises her children in holiness and goes about with a prayerful heart, striving to emulate the Blessed Mother's virtues.

Isn't that just beautifully said? I think these are all such important things to remember as mothers. I am striving to keep in mind that my small acts throughout the day and my little prayers and offerings in my mind and heart bring holiness and blessing to my home. How important are the needs of my family and the manner in which I attend to them! They are my simple offering that I give daily, along with my morning offering of all my works,joys and sufferings that I pray before the day begins pulling me in all directions. This week I have a lot to focus on and meditate upon as I enter the season of lent. I will need to write some of the quotes down in order to call them to mind frequently this week. I just wonder if I'll have enough room on my bathroom mirror and my fridge to hold them all??

Blessings this week as you focus on your domestic church's foyer!

Next Week: The Garage!!


Thank you very much, Sarah, for your beautiful review! Your blog is so lovely, by the way. Enjoy your journey in The Domestic Church: Room by Room!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tune in on Tuesday to "Mom's Corner!"

Tune in to "Mom's Corner" on Catholic Connection at Ave Maria Radio on Tuesday, Feb. 24th at 9:15 to 9:30 AM. Teresa Tomeo and I will be chatting about ways to get your Lent kick-started. I hope that you can join us. Feel free to call in with a question or comment.

Tune in at 9:15 AM Eastern Standard Time by clicking here at and then click "listen live."

Talk to you then!

God bless!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Taking a moment here to say that I have been totally inundated as of late with writing my new book, "The Heart of Catholicism" for Penguin publishers. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to blog and hope you will understand that I have to make my deadline which is fast approaching!

In the mean time, I thought I'd run a little contest. :) You only have a short amount of time to enter. The acceptance for submissions will be closed on Tuesday, Feb. 24th at 5:00 PM so that I may pick the winner before Ash Wednesday which is the following day. The winner will receive an autographed copy of one of my newest books: The Domestic Church: Room by Room: A Study Guide for Mothers" or Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering AND a copy of my book, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers! You get to choose which of the new titles you would like and I will throw in my Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers so that you will have something that will hopefully give you cause to pause and ponder about your marvelous vocation of Motherhood during Lent. :)

You can send your entries to me at: DMCOBoyle(at)aol)com. Please put "book give-away contest" in the subject line. Oh yeah! You need to know what to do...In a paragraph or less, tell me in the email why you want one of these books for Lent. The winner's reason will be published on my blog. I will pick the one that I feel inspired to pick based on your reasons.

I should also mention that it's okay if you're not a mother yet or if you are not even married yet. :) You can still enter. Hopefully these books will help pave the way! :) And you may enter for someone else that you feel is deserving of these books. Just tell me the reason why.

Okay now, what are you waiting for? You don't have much time until next Tuesday the 24th when the contest closes!

God bless and hugs!


Monday, February 16, 2009

New Review for "The Domestic Church: Room by Room"

"One of the hardest tasks in the world is to stay home alone all day with small children, doing all the minuscule yet vital tasks which keep a family physically and spiritually healthy, but which the world no longer values. Work is measured in terms of how much money it makes. It is forgotten that children have only one childhood and the love they don't get from their parents they will never get at any other time. What greater success in life is there than the raising of happy, faith-filled children? To do that properly requires one's entire being.

There is a wisdom about life and people which can only be learned by being a mother. The Domestic Church: Room by Room by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is redolent with such wisdom. We have forgotten the secret to sanctity that past generations possessed. Holiness is to be found in the present moment, in the humblest tasks which, when performed with love, are of greater merit in the eyes of God than works that are magnificent but loveless. Donna-Marie discusses the nature of a mother's sacrificial love, as follows:

The list of sacrifices and sufferings is endless, as is a mother's love. If we really love our children properly, there must be sacrifice; otherwise, there is no real love. A mother's connectedness to her child, which continues even after the umbilical cord has been severed, allows her to truly experience a sacrificial love- a love that puts her own interests and needs on hold, a love that continues to give even when it hurts. (pp. 156-157)

Donna-Marie explores many issues which at times beset mothers of families, saying:

Mothers, as we know, have a difficult job in the home coupled with the fact with the fact that society oftentimes demeans the role of a mother by 'measuring' her worth by the size of her paycheck. There are areas that a mother may try to 'escape' to in order to feel more accomplished while inadvertently neglecting her family....

Diapers, demands, laundry, and dishes are not the only activities filling a mother's time. However, a mother may begin to feel frustrated and dwell on what she feels is her lack of accomplishments. She may also fail to see Our Lord's hand in her housekeeping because of the mixed messages from our society aimed at mothers and also because she may be exhausted and in need of encouragement. Mothers should strive to help one another with Christian camaraderie and encouragement for the journey
. (pp. 113-114)

The book integrates the basics of Christian spirituality with the practical side of running a home. Although the means of giving apostolic witness may seem limited for housewives, we are reminded about the power of the little things which are at our disposal. To quote:

While remembering that our example speaks louder than our words, we can feel confident that even out at the grocery store, the post office, the bank, and other places where we do our errands, God is sure to put people in our path. A simple smile, a door held open, a listening ear to someone we meet who has an immediate need, giving a hand to a mother with many children in tow- all kinds of situations arise in which we can lend a hand....Through little acts of kindness, miracles do happen. A simple smile and a kind word may have been just the little act of love that a lonely person absolutely needed so as not to fall into despair that particular day.... (p.213)

Donna-Marie is an excellent teacher; after reading The Domestic Church it came as no surprise to discover that the author is a lay Missionary of Charity, following the path of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. I am especially impressed by the order and clarity with which this book is written, complete with study guide that would make it perfect for a parish discussion group or a wonderful companion on a retreat. Quotes from Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI about the condition of marriage and family life in the modern world make the book particularly relevant to the present time. I am looking forward to next reading Donna-Marie's newest book, Grace Café."


Thank you very much for your beautiful review, Mary-Eileen!

(To visit Mary-Eileen's blog, click here)

Monday, February 9, 2009

My review of FIREPROOF, the movie at the National Catholic Register

Capt. Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) and his wife Catherine (Erin Bethea) are engulfed in more than a mere “seven-year itch” in their marriage in the movie Fireproof.

The couple’s frigid demeanors are keenly felt through the screen as the first scene opened. Coming in from work, the couple passes by one another in the kitchen, avoiding eye contact, and speaking only when necessary.

Without a doubt, the flame of their devoted love had extinguished with no sign of stray embers to be stoked. As the movie dramatically and realistically unfolds, the couple is forced to decide if what they once had is at all worth saving.

On Jan. 27, Fireproof the DVD hit stores and will be available in English and Spanish, complete with bonus features that include ministry tools. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, chairman of the Committee on Marriage and Family for the U.S. bishops’ conference, said, “Fireproof is an excellent film that makes marriage commitment real and attainable with Christ’s grace.”

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with the producer of Fireproof, Stephen Kendrick, about the making of the movie, behind the scenes scoop, and how he has experienced God’s hand in all of it. The storyline for the movie Fireproof came as an inspiration to Stephen’s brother, Alex Kendrick. The brothers who both hold ministry roles in the Baptist church are co-producers and writers with Sherwood Pictures.

(Continued by clicking here)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Review of The Domestic Church: Room by Room

"It’s truly a privilege to write a review on The Domestic Church - Room by Room by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, for The Catholic Company.

The title of the book intrigued me. As the mother of a large homeschooling family, it’s not too difficult for me to see our home as the Domestic Church…our faith is rooted in everything we do and our home reflects our rich, Catholic heritage.

I was immediately taken by the warm, friendly and inviting tone set by the author as she seeks to lead us “room by room” on a spiritual journey of self-discovery…one that ultimately leads us to a deeper appreciation of our role as “the heart of the home. I’m quite sure the sweet metaphor of each “room” will charm you, so I’ll not give much away…

The Domestic Church - Room by Room is well written, with thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter. This book is well suited to large group study, and yet, was a delight for this busy mom to curl up with, all alone at the end of the day. As a wife and mother with more than a quarter century of experience, I can honestly say I found great encouragement in the words of Donna-Marie, the beautiful scriptural passages, quotes from papal encyclicals and from Bl. Theresa of Calcutta.

If you find yourself in need of a “mini-retreat,” this is the book you’re looking for. Set aside a bit of time each day and allow Donna-Marie to lead you gently through your Domestic Church…you’ll enjoy the journey!"


Thank you very much, Kimberly for your lovely review. I'm glad that you enjoyed my book and I appreciate that you have passed the word to other busy Moms. :)
God bless your journey!


Visit Kimberly's blog here

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mother's Study Group!

Here's a Mom's Study Group "LIFT-ID" (Ladies In Faith Together), in Idaho studying my book, The Domestic Church: Room by Room: A Mother's Study Guide.

They said, "We all absolutely love the quotes, lines for answering the questions, clear type, wide margins for jotting thoughts, and the way it all speaks to a mother's heart. Thank you and God bless."

Review of Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering

Book Review: Grace Cafe by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

I’m so blessed to be a part of The Catholic Company’s blogger review program. I get little pieces like this book, the title in it’s entirety is Grace Cafe: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering.

It is written very much like a letter that your good friend across country would write you. It was a very easy read (3 days with two preschoolers underfoot and a household to run, AND a 13 hour birth I doula-ed for). Each chapter has a Theme Ms. Cooper O’Boyle addresses. All of which are very applicable to every mother out there.

I took from this book many examples from my personal favorite holy person, Pope JPII the Great, as well as Blessed Mother Teresa and various other saints in our history… our current Pope, Benedict XVI is quoted with his feelings on motherhood, and parenting in general.

You might be surprised if you’re expecting an A, B, C “guide” per se to being a faithful mother. This is more a work of encouragement- that being a mother IS a true, valuable vocation- even if society devalues a woman that has the “luxury” of staying home. Truth be told, I work a business from home because we cannot afford, on two incomes, daycare for our children. So we budget and do without a lot of things my husband and I took for granted when we were a family of three. I came from reading this book refreshed that I am valued for what I’m doing, regardless of what our bank balance is.

This book also gave me a bit of encouragement that I can be a loving mother and a spiritual woman at the same time. God wants us to lift up the elevated blood pressure and dirty dishes. A “God please help me on this” is just as valuable in His eyes than the Litany of the Saints…at the same time, He wants the “Thank you Father” when your 3 year old FINALLY has an accident-free (toilet) day…

Another point that struck me is the emphasis on making Sunday a day for God and your family. While my husband works evenings on Sundays, we make sure to have breakfast and family time after mass, before he has to go to work. I’m sure it’ll pay off with interest when our children are grown and on their own, as well as when I’m watching my life with God in Heaven.

I really recommend this book if you’re feeling a little jaded or overwhelmed being a mom (and that goes for working moms too!).

Visit the reviewers blog here: Superdoulamom

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Helping the Welborn-Dubruiels

Go on over to Lisa Hendey's blog at Catholic Mom.Com to see how you can help. Lisa suggested that we bring Michael Dubruiel's (the beloved husband and father who died suddenly yesterday at the gym) ranking at Amazon sky high! He was a fine Catholic author and was married to Amy Welborn.

Thanks for your help and prayers especially,


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Please pray for Amy Welborn's family and her husband's soul

Please dear friends, pray for Amy Welborn and her family. Her husband, Michael Dubruiel died suddenly today. Here's a link. They are very well known and beloved in the Catholic world. The family is devastated over this sudden death.

Thank you for your prayers.

God bless,


Monday, February 2, 2009

Presentation of the Lord

"The portrayal of the Presentation of the Lord in this magnificent stained glass gives us an opportunity to reflect on the great gift the Holy Family of Mary and Joseph is offering to the world. Their gift of Jesus, the Lord remarkably is one that heralds not only the Jewish requirement of presentation for young males into the faith of Judaism, it is also a seminal moment for all peoples that have in the past or will in the future faithfully believe in the Father’s promise of salvation and redemption for all peoples.
This poignant scene reminds all of us that the unfolding of Jesus’ life brings many significant events that affect the life of the Holy Family. Jesus still a baby is presented to Simeon and Anna by Mary and Joseph who will frantically search for the child Jesus, presumed lost but actually discussing scriptural passages with the elders. Later, after the crucifixion the proverbial, Temple of the Lord’s Body Mary once again presents Her Son to the world through the Cross..." (Continued here)