Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A few thoughts to ponder about Our Blessed Mother today excerpted from my book: The Domestic Church: Room by Room: A Mother's Study Guide...

"If Mary, who was the Mother of God, can be his handmaid, taking delight in serving others, I can certainly strive to be a handmaid, too. Within my vocation of motherhood I will find a deep and lasting peace when I become intimately united to Christ while striving to be a servant to others, especially within my own family. Through the gift of myself, I receive so much in return—much more than I can ever imagine.

A life of prayer is necessary to come closer to Jesus and to understand God’s holy will for my life. Prayer and the many graces that are bestowed upon me in my vocation will ultimately give me the necessary strength to carry out my duties within my household, as well as to increase the love for my family.

It would be a lie to convey that a mother’s daily life is only one of blissful loving embraces and constant “warm fuzzies.” Motherhood is intrinsically beautiful, but while she is in the “trenches” with whiny demands, diapers, overflowing hampers of dirty laundry, and the constantly refilling kitchen sink, mothers know that the feeling of love for her family may not always emerge easily in every circumstance..."

You can see the excerpt here at Catholic Mom.Com.

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

We have a very beautiful feast day today to pause and ponder during our penitential Lenten season.

From Catholic Culture: "A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy bishop and martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden... (Continued here at Catholic Culture)

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Review of "The Domestic Church: Room by Room" by a husband and father

This review is from "Unam-ecclesiam."

"Although I am a Roman Catholic father and not a mother, which this book is written for, I am preparing this review as its usefulness to the home, to which the father is the head and must ensure his household has the tools and resources to make his household a 'domestic church'. Authored by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, The Domestic Church - Room by Room offers the Catholic mother a hands-on way to sanctify, what some may refer to as, the daily grind of life. With references to Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the words of Christ, our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux (a personal favorite of mine) and others, Donna brings spiritual meaning and strength to the mother longing for a deeper understanding of her vocation. Most striking is the author's choice of referencing our Blessed Mother in Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary as the model of motherhood.

In the book, the author discloses that this mother's study guide works very well in a group setting for mothers, mothers-to-be, and engaged women. However, I can see where it can also work well in a private spiritual retreat. Since silent time away from the children isn't always possible and since many of us parents including myself, rely also on camaraderie for support, a group study of 3 or more would be ideal. Nevertheless, this study guide shouldn't be overlooked just because other mom's weren't available. There is a "How to Use This Study Guide" section in the beginning which provides valuable recommendations for the group setting which can be easily modified for private use.

Each chapter features room for notes that the reader can write in the answer to specific questions, ideas, or other notes that the author presents. This feature is valuable in that studies reveal that we are more likely to accomplish a task if we have first written it down for ourselves. There isn't a more important task in the world than parenting. This book leaves plenty of opportunities to hand-write your personal thoughts, goals, and ideas to give us that additional motivation.

The author emphasizes the husband's participation in the home early in the book. Chapter 2 notes that a kingdom divided itself cannot stand. This chapter offers practical direction, without micromanaging our homes, in communication, problem solving, spirituality, and more. Again there is room for notes so the goals and direction are ultimately the reader's not the author's.

This book will provoke personal challenge, generosity, and a changing of one's old habits to sow more fulfilling seeds of personal and marital growth. This book is recommended to every couple with or without children who seek to deepen their marriage and who seek climbing a higher rung of the ladder to holiness in our own 'domestic churches'."

You may see the blog where this review is posted here.


Thank you very much for your excellent review! It is very refreshing to read a review of my book from a husband and father who values his Catholic faith and sees the importance of encouraging Catholic families.

Thank you again and God bless you and your family!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Word from Peace Garden Mama

From Peace Garden Mama:

"What a treat to find the latest book by my friend Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle in my mailbox last week. I’d won it through a giveaway on her blog, "Embracing Motherhood," and its arrival was perfectly timed with my Lenten mission of seeking spiritual food. Any mother needing a little injection of encouragement in facing the seemingly mundane tasks of motherhood will be refreshed by Donna’s latest, Grace Café: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothers. In the introduction, Donna alludes to the importance of mothers connecting with other mothers in today’s world: “Like-minded women are feeling a vital and even urgent need to communicate with one another, comparing notes to discover the best approaches to mothering with grace as is very apparent in the many Catholic mothers’ blogs that have been popping up all over the Internet...” (I would add that this applies to mothers of all faiths and types.) Regarding prayer, Donna says, “The busyness of our motherly vocation may cause us to fear that we cannot be as prayerful as we should. However, we need to remind ourselves that our Lord certainly knows about our lives. After all, isn’t he the one who has put us in this place, the heart of the home, as mother to our children?” In other words, we need not feel guilty if our prayer life is not as we wish it to be. As long as we are seeking and praising God in our everyday tasks, we are praying!"

You can visit Roxane's blog here.


Thanks, Roxane. I'm glad that you are enjoying Grace Café!

God bless your Lenten season!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Praying for Kate and her baby...

Let's pray for Kate who will be giving birth really soon. She shares a post here and also at Faith & Family Live.


Note to Kate: I'm glad that "Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering" is soothing to you at a time like this. I pray that you will have a smooth and easy childbirth and that soon you'll be holding your precious baby against your heart!



Happy Feast of Saint Joseph!

Have a wonderful feast of St. Joseph! I love him, he's awesome! Of course, he's included in my book, "Catholic Saints Prayer Book" (OSV, 2008).

Here's a prayer from the Roman Missal:

Father, you entrusted our Savior to the care of St. Joseph. By the help of his prayers may your Church continue to serve its Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen."

Here's an excerpt from my book:

Dear St. Joseph, you were an ordinary man, a humble carpenter. But you were a prayerful, holy soul, the foster father of Jesus, a model for us all. Please guide me in my own journey through life, and help me be aware of God's specific call to me. Help me to see that in my own life God is calling me to greater things for His glory. Please pray to the Blessed Trinity for me to be granted the graces that I need most. I pray that I can be faithful to my state of life, totally trusting in God's divine providence for me. St. Joseph, pray for all who invoke your aid. If it is in God's holy will, please grant me (here mention your request). Amen.

Have a very BLESSED feast day!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reflecting on our Blessed Mother...

Can a woman like me aspire to emulate such an amazing woman—the Virgin Mother of God, the first disciple, the matriarch of the Holy Family, and the Mother of the Church? Recalling instances in Mary’s life, we call to mind her gentleness, humility, holiness, perseverance, selflessness, and unwavering faith.

I ask myself this because I know I will never accomplish what our Blessed Mother has, or even come close to her holiness. Yet all women are called to holiness—whether in the sublime role of raising children, as a wife, as a single woman, or as a woman religious. And Mary demonstrates attributes and virtues that all women can emulate, whatever their vocation...

Go on over to CatholicMom.Com to see a reflection I wrote about the Blessed Mother.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Feast day!

"St. Patrick's Breastplate" prayer

(A special treat below this prayer!)

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of demons,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

(also sometimes called "The Deer's Cry" or "The Lorica")

And put to music here (thanks to Karen Edmisten).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Reviews - Coming up!

I am very excited to be reviewing these books by Teresa Tomeo, Molly Miller, and Monica Cops. They are a breath of fresh air for today's girls!


Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

updates at "Daily Donna-Marie" regarding Wednesday's rally at the Capital

Be sure to check out "Daily Donna-Marie" for updates about tomorrow's rally at the Capital in Hartford to oppose the proposed Bill 1098 which affects the Catholic Church and is a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Action needed now for the Church

Please go over to my blog, "Daily Donna-Marie to read about what you can do to help Connecticut and the Catholic Church! Just click here,

Lenten Reflection: Searching

We are constantly searching for signs and wonders, never satisfied, always looking, seldom quiet or still enough to listen. Pope Benedict said, “As long as we live in the world, our relationship with God consists more in listening than in seeing; and even contemplation comes about, so to say, with eyes closed and thanks to the inner light lit within us by the Word of God.”

He said, “Human life is, in fact, a journey of faith and as such, progresses more in the shadows than in full light, and is not without moments of obscurity or even complete blackness.”

Each day we get up to face a new day. We may feel we have our lives figured out to a certain extent, but in actuality, we are always venturing into the unknown, walking in faith. Our Holy Father also told us that the Blessed Virgin “advanced in her own pilgrimage of faith day after day.” We should remember that although she was the mother of Jesus, she was human like us and needed to be steadfast in prayer to walk in faith.

Humbly listening to the voice of the Lord, Mary meditated on the Word of God through Scripture and through events in the life of her Son in which she knew and accepted as the voice of God.

By remaining close to our Lady, we can progress in our faith through the shadows of this Lent and the uncertain days ahead in our lives. We can seek the Blessed Mother’s help in our journey, asking her to teach us to be quiet so that we will be able to listen.

Our Lord is always present even when He seems obscure or absent. He is always waiting for us to communicate with Him and listen to His loving words to us. We have to learn how to be still to hear Him. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament help us to quiet our thoughts and move aside the clutter of our minds that gets in the way of a real communication with our Lord. Resting in our Lord’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament will refresh our souls. Seeking out more time for prayer in the stillness of our hearts wherever we are in our walks of life will help us come closer to our Lord and His holy will for us.

Our Holy Father specifically told the faithful during Lent to “listen to Him in His Word, conserved in Holy Scripture…listen to it in the events of our own lives, seeking to read therein the messages of Providence,” and finally, “to listen to it in our brothers and sisters, especially in the smallest and the poorest, towards whom Jesus Himself calls for a concrete display of our love.”

Jesus gives us this message through His Vicar on earth asking us to begin to truly listen for Him. We can take some time out each day to pick up the Bible, the Divine Office or the Readings of the day and after reading, pause to listen. We can be more attentive to the nitty-gritty of our lives and the events that fill our days. Nothing is a coincidence. Is our Lord speaking to us?

We need to look outside ourselves and find the “smallest” and the “poorest” in our families and in our neighbors and coworkers and respond with a “concrete display of our love.”

Pope Benedict told us that our Lord “always speaks to us, and expects us to pay the greatest attention, especially in this period of Lent.” Our Lord is speaking to us. Do we hear Him?

Go on over to These Forty Days and see my Lenten Reflection.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Feast of Saint Frances of Rome

Merciful Father,
in Frances of Rome
You have given us a unique example of love in marriage
as well as in religious life.
Keep us faithful in Your service,
and help us to see and follow You
in all the aspects of life.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
From the Collect of the Mass on the Feast of St. Frances of Rome

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My new book: The Heart of Catholicism

Many of you know that I have been working away on writing my new book, "The Heart of Catholicism" for Alpha Penguin. I'm on the home stretch with it now. It is due to be released this fall and you can pre-order through my website: Donna Cooper O'Boyle.Com or through Amazon.Com right here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grace Cafe: Serving up Recipes for Faithful Mothering Review

A review from Elena Maria:

"I started reading Grace Café by Donna-Marie Cooper-O'Boyle in Cool Beans Coffee Shop in Bellefonte on one frozen February morning. My husband and I can often be found there on Sundays while CCD classes are in progress. Cool Beans has comfortable arm chairs and a gas fireplace; it is the perfect place to curl up with a cup of coffee and read a wonderful book. It was especially suited for reading Grace Café, which further develops many of the themes put forth in The Domestic Church, but in a more personal and conversational style.

Once again, Donna-Marie shows us the meaning in the meaningless. That is, we have been convinced by the world that everything we women do in order to run a home is meaningless, since we are not bringing in a pay check to do what we do. Here are some lines that I highlighted in my copy of the book:

We live in a society where, sadly, a woman's value is most times measured by the size of her paycheck or lack of one. If a mom decides to devote her time to her family's care without pursuing outside employment, she may be considered to be less significant or inferior....

I have experienced jabs of jealousy and criticism from others at times because I was committed to raising my children full time....Others would say, 'Oh, it's nice you have the luxury to stay at home.'

Yet I believe that it is not a luxury~ it is a choice and a decision to do without some material things and comforts to be there for our little ones; it also requires putting aside our own aspirations for achievement in a particular field or direction. We have brought children into the world or accepted children through adoption, we should care for them assiduously. (pp.24-25)
While Grace Café is an immensely charming book, it takes a searing look at the attacks upon the family and upon women which masquerade as liberation.

A woman is given a role to care for others, specifically because she is a woman, because she is feminine. Femininity is a beautiful thing! Radical feminism is ugly. Woman have to realize that from their femininity will blossom many graces and blessings for society and for their families. Attempting to change a woman into a man does nothing but confuse matters and destroys families in the process....
Since not all women are called to be mothers in the physical sense, Grace Café explores the different ways of "mothering:"

Obviously, not all women are mothers; however, they can be mothers to others in their midst because women are given motherly hearts. I know many women who are not mothers but who are mothers to so many around them. (pp.96-97)

Rich in quotations from Scripture, saints, and pontiffs, Grace Café combines simplicity and profundity in an amazing manner. With Our Lady and St. Joseph as companions, we can find holiness in the fulfillment of the everyday duties of our states of life. Even when Donna-Marie is pointing out the flaws in our society, her tone is always one of hope and encouragement; it is a book which uplifts and energizes, not just in a sentimental way, but in a manner that inspires transformation in behavior as well as in attitude."

(Visit Elena Maria's blog here)


Thank you very much, Elena Maria for such a lovely review!

God bless you and your family!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grace Cafe Review


"I chose to read and review Grace Café: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering based on this description: “Ever wish you had a cookbook for life as a Catholic wife and mother…. a step-by-step guide for various “domestic church” situations.” While there are no recipes for tasty dinners, the author does give ‘recipes’ for ways to incorporate our Faith more fully into our daily personal and family life.
From the beginning, O’Boyle acknowledges that a mother’s life is busy but still our Lord is calling us to holiness. She reminds readers that our Lord “placed mothers in the heart of the home” and that we can be sanctified in the everyday tasks of wife and mother.

We are reminded to find time for prayer, teach our children to pray and to remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day. O’Boyle shares a long list of practical suggestions to make Sunday a more special day in our family while acknowledging that the world doesn’t share the same outlook.

I love the way the author inserted quotes from Scripture, the Catechism, saints, encyclicals, and even a Catholic dictionary. Each chapter begins with a quote and ended with a ‘recipe card’. The only thing missing from this book are discussion questions. I will be recommending this book to our parish's Moms’ Ministry for consideration for reading and discussion next year."

You may visit the reviewer's blog here.


Thank you very much, Renee, for a lovely review. You can check out my book, The Domestic Church: Room by Room: A Mother's Study Guide for study questions. :)

Along with all of my books, it's at my website:

God bless you and your family!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The winners!

It's been extremely busy here. However, I wanted you to know that the the entries in my latest book give-away contest were phenomenal! I was supposed to pick one winner who would receive an autographed copy of one of my new books for mothers (winner's choice) and an autographed copy of my Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers for some Lenten reading.

There was no way that I could pick one winner. The entries were all so compelling. After I read the first one I already knew that each person would be a winner. :) I will be emailing you all who have entered to get your addresses so that I can send out your books!

God bless!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Oops, oops, oops!

So sorry about the lack of post regarding the contest. I have been inundated here. I shall post the details on Tuesday. :)

God bless!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yes, yes, yes!

Yes! I will fill you in on the details of my latest book-give-away contest. I'm sorry that I haven't yet. It has been a very busy start of the Lenten season. I'm planning to write a post later on today or tonight with the contest winner details.

Stay tuned...

Enjoy your Sunday!


New Review of Grace Cafe

"It arrived at just the perfect time. On a bright Friday afternoon, coming home from the hospital with our newest baby, we stopped by the mailbox, and there it was, all wrapped in white: Grace Cafe by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, my newest review book from The Catholic Company. I was looking forward to it because I hadn't liked either of my other two review books and, well, I figured something had to give. I was delighted from the start. I loved this book for its conversational style, its short, easy to read chapters, its encouraging tone, and its very practical advice. In fact, I'll likely read it again before fall, just to make sure all that encouragement and good advice sinks in. :-) I loved it best of all for its clear portrayal faithful Catholic mothers as dignified, beautiful, and, yes, even heroic. Now when was the last time you thought of yourself as heroic?

Weaving into her own experiences advice from Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle encourages us toward holiness with warmth and wisdom. She covers everything from finding time for prayer to self sacrifice to raising our children to be saints to keeping the Sabbath to living in the present moment. There is a lot to think on and glean here. Just to keep it real, though, I'll air my only complaint about this book. (Of course I have a complaint. I'm a picky reader.) There are way too many exclamation points. Those things should be used sparingly, in my opinion, and never twice in a row. Still, that's pretty minor, don't you think? You'll like this book. I think it would make lovely Lenten reading, if you haven't settled already on something else. As for me, I already have another of her books in my shopping cart. Even over-used exclamations can't keep me away."

Visit Jennie's blog here.


Thank you very much, Jennie, for your lovely review. I'm glad that you enjoyed my book. Congratulations on your new baby!

God bless!


PS The exclamation points hopefully convey a much needed expression of joy in our lives. :)