Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Mother Teresa and Me" on the Among Women Podcast

If you'd care to listen to the "Among Women" podcast by the very talented and gracious, Pat Gohn, please click here. Pat recently interviewed me about my friendship with Blessed Mother Teresa and about my new book about to be released: Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship. You'll also hear Mother Teresa's beutiful inspiring voice!

Visit Pat at her blog here.

Happy feast day!

Go on over to my Saints' blog to read about St. Padre Pio whose feast day is today by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Among Women...coming up soon!

Stay tuned...

God bless,


Tune in this morning to "Mom's Corner"!

I hope you can tune in to my chat with Teresa Tomeo this morning on Ave Maria Radio on "Catholic Connection." Just tune in at 9:15 AM Eastern Standard Time by clicking here at and then click "listen live."

It's the first day of Autumn! I'll be back later to post a link a little later on in case you can't tune in.

God bless!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Tomorrow's "Mom's Corner"! Join us!

I hope you can tune in to my chat with Teresa Tomeo this tomorrow on Ave Maria Radio on "Catholic Connection." Just tune in tomorrow, Tuesday at 9:15 AM Eastern Standard Time by clicking here at and then click "listen live."

I'll be back some time after the show to post a link in case you can't tune in.

God bless!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

My review of The Lost and Family Family

Here's my review of The Lost and Found Family at Catholic Exchange...

"The Lost and Found Family (rated PG) is a heart-tugging and inspirational family drama starring: Lucas Till (Hannah Montana: The Movie and Walk the Line), Ellen Bry (TV’s St. Elsewhere) and Jessica Luza (Downpour) which will debut on DVD on September 15, 2009.

The story opens and we are introduced to Esther Hobbes (Ellen Bry) who lives a high society life until the sudden death of her husband. Esther loses her grip on her comfortable lifestyle when it’s suddenly stolen away with her husband. She is flabbergasted to discover that she had been living a façade all along. Due to her husband’s bad investments her only inheritance is a rural Georgia house which had seen better days. Esther realizes that her only option for survival is to evict the tenants, sell the house and secure a suitable place to live.

As the story unfolds Esther makes her way down to the southern town clad in her big city clothes and flashy jewelry to take necessary measures to get on with her life. She meets the family consisting of foster parents, rebellious teenagers, played by Lucas Till and Jessica Luza, and three younger children with their own set of issues. Once a seemingly composed and adept woman, Esther wrestles with conflicting perspectives and feels as an orphan herself. Tension swells between the characters facing the fact that the unwanted stranger suddenly showing up may take their home and the only semblance of family stability they’ve struggled to establish.

As Esther is thrust into a dingy room with not much more than a twin bed and a dresser, she starts to shed some of her jewelry, begin to soften up and go through a metamorphism of sorts. She lightens her need for material possessions, the Armani power suit is ditched and she begins to slowly embrace a faith she had previously avoided and gradually gives away the little she has left.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Ellen Bry from her California home and got the scoop about her personal experiences in filming and working with the cast and crew. During our interview, Bry joyfully expressed, “I feel like this movie fell from Heaven! On some level I feel I was destined to play the role.”

Bry wasn’t seeking this film but it found her. She was scouted out among several dozens of actresses for the part of Esther. Bry says she is not exactly like her character Esther but that she is similar in some respects. She said Esther is “sweet but no push over, nobody’s fool.”

Bry found the Jackson, Georgia set “an amazing place to film this movie,” Bry surmised that “Esther was a fish out of water and so was Ellen.” It was an actual culture shock for urban Bry. But the townspeople embraced the cast and crew with excitement in ways Bry said “that you just don’t get in the urban, sophisticated and jaded communities that I typically film. They showered us with love – they rolled out the welcome mats. It was so uplifting.”

The townspeople invited the cast and crew to their restaurants and shops. “It was kind of magical,” Bry said. She explained that the producer didn’t need permits for filming since the town was so willing to help, volunteering their stores; honored to have their restaurants and homes in the movie. The Lost and Found Family helped to create civic pride because it was “one of the biggest things that happened to Jackson, Georgia in a long time,” Bry explained

Most of the story took place in “a real house one step away from being condemned, so it was perfect for the film” Bry explained. “It smelled a little funky and you didn’t want to walk around in your bare feet,” she added. The house was scheduled for demolition after the completion of filming. Another possibility was to remodel it and turn it into a restaurant called, “Mrs. Hobbe’s House” if it wasn’t demolished.

Bry enjoyed working with a cast and crew. She liked the fact that “there were no divas, struggles, or people pulling rank. Everyone was happy to show up and work.” She said the children were “all quite different and just wonderful.” She said the positive attitudes of all brought “good energy to the set.”

Bry sees this film as inspirational on many levels but claims it’s “not preachy and will appeal to a general audience.” She hopes that the movie will “raise awareness to the special plight of foster kids.”

The movie is entertaining and engaging both for the spiritually oriented and those merely seeking a wholesome and enjoyable family movie experience. Faith-based nuances are woven throughout which will undoubtedly be recognized by Christian audiences. I hope this film won’t be pigeon-holed as strictly Christian since the messages supporting family values, as well as the virtues of faith, hope and love so desperately needed in our world today emerge vividly and can appropriately reach a broader audience. The Lost and Found Family also exemplifies the need for foster care and enlightens us to the depth of compassion and selflessness identified by foster parents giving their lives and homes, welcoming strangers into their families.

Visit the Lost and Found Family website to see a movie trailer and to learn more: "


While I didn't state this in my review, I would like to mention that I was once a foster mother. I became a certified foster mother just so that I could take in a 16 year old mother and her baby. I was told that no other foster family in our state wanted to take them in or was not able to do so. Because of this, God blessed us with additional family members for a time. I discovered a short time later that this young mother was also pregnant with another child. The mother and baby lived with my family for about six months or so, learning mothering skills until such time when she was emancipated and was given an apartment by the state.

You may see the review here at Catholic Exchange.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Your prayers are appreciated

Hello Everyone,

I pray you all have a blessed day! Please say a prayer for me as I travel today to head down to give a retreat to a wonderful group of faithful Catholic women in PA.

Thank you in advance!

God bless and hugs!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"The Lost and Found Family" DVD Debuts today!

My review should be out very soon and I'll post it here. Go get your DVD which debuts September 15th. I had a lovely interview with Ellen Bry the lead actress (which you'll read about in my review very soon). The movie is wholesome. inspiring and heart-tugging! Get it for your family!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Holy Name of Mary!

Today is the feast of the Holy Name of Mary

"This feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3); both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters.The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513 and in 1671 was extended to all of Spain and the Kingdom of Naples. In 1683, John Sobieski, king of Poland, brought an army to the outskirts of Vienna to stop the advance of Muslim armies loyal to Mohammed IV in Constantinople. After Sobieski entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he and his soldiers thoroughly defeated the Muslims. Pope Innocent XI extended this feast to the entire Church."

(From Saint a day)

Speaking at the Abbey

If you click here you'll see a lovely brochure of where I'll be speaking in October. It's at a beautiful abbey!

My talks are: 1) "If only I could Touch His cloak" and
2) "Guiding Others to Christ's Cloak."

Go on over to View From the Domestic Church to see another brochure about an upcoming retreat day I will be giving next week end in PA.

God bless your Saturday!




Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oh happy day!

Happy Feast of Blessed Mother Teresa

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. ”Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire: “to quench His thirst for love and for souls.”

This luminous messenger of God’s love was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, a city situated at the crossroads of Balkan history. The youngest of the children born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, she was baptised Gonxha Agnes, received her First Communion at the age of five and a half and was confirmed in November 1916. From the day of her First Holy Communion, a love for souls was within her. Her father’s sudden death when Gonxha was about eight years old left in the family in financial straits. Drane raised her children firmly and lovingly, greatly influencing her daughter’s character and vocation. Gonxha’s religious formation was further assisted by the vibrant Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart in which she was much involved.

At the age of eighteen, moved by a desire to become a missionary, Gonxha left her home in September 1928 to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. There she received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In December, she departed for India, arriving in Calcutta on 6 January 1929. After making her First Profession of Vows in May 1931, Sister Teresa was assigned to the Loreto Entally community in Calcutta and taught at St. Mary’s School for girls. On 24 May 1937, Sister Teresa made her Final Profession of Vows, becoming, as she said, the “spouse of Jesus” for “all eternity.” From that time on she was called Mother Teresa. She continued teaching at St. Mary’s and in 1944 became the school’s principal. A person of profound prayer and deep love for her religious sisters and her students, Mother Teresa’s twenty years in Loreto were filled with profound happiness. Noted for her charity, unselfishness and courage, her capacity for hard work and a natural talent for organization, she lived out her consecration to Jesus, in the midst of her companions, with fidelity and joy.

On 10 September 1946 during the train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her “inspiration,” her “call within a call.” On that day, in a way she... (Continued here)

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm embracing my motherhood with all of my might.

I've been embracing my motherhood for over 32 years! That's hard for me to believe! Aren't I still 32 years old? :) But, I have been quiet on the blogging front with the exception of getting the Mother Teresa novena out there for everyone and the Obama stuff going on as well as a little of this and that.

I did run a week of back to school stuff recently over at my blog, View From the Domestic Church and I need to announce the winner of a beautiful Rosary soon. The winner can use it to pray many Rosaries for the college-bound or school-bound children or the children that they home-school. Or give it as a gift to their college-bound "child."

I have a lot coming up too that I'll tell you about soon. I'm preparing for a big retreat day in PA. I'll be flying down to EWTN to do do some taping of something really special coming up that I'll also be telling you about soon.

I've also been busy getting some articles completed, finishing touches on a book due out very soon and working hard on another one due out next year. I can't wait for you all to see my new book about Mother Teresa, "Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship." It should be out later this month.

In addition to the above, I have been tremendously busy of late with getting two of my "kids" ready and off to college. One has left :( and one will leave very soon. :( When I asked my daughter, Mary-Catherine what will I do without her, she responded, "I don't know...write a lot of books."

So, I'm sharing a snippet of how my life is lately. Bittersweet times (I talk about this in my book Grace Cafe) lately for me. Sending my "children" forth to spread their wings - so proud of them, and feeling a bit sad for me. :( But, truly, I know that it is a special part of their lives and I am living in this precious moment and embracing it with all of my might.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Update on Obama's video


"President Obama's plan to inspire the nation's schoolchildren with a video address next week erupted into controversy Wednesday, forcing the White House to pull out its eraser and rewrite a government recommendation that teachers nationwide assign students a paper on how to "help the president."

Presidential aides acknowledged the White House helped the U.S. Education Department craft the proposal, which immediately was met by fierce criticism from Republicans and conservative organizations who accused Mr. Obama of trying to politicize the education system.

White House aides said the language was an honest misunderstanding in what was supposed to be a inspirational, pro-education message to America's youths.

Among the activities the government initially suggested for prekindergarten to sixth-grade students: that they "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president." Another task recommended for students immediately after listening to the speech: to engage in a discussion about what "the president wants us to do."

The novel curriculum plan brought sharp criticism from conservatives, including some who complained that classrooms were being used to spread political propaganda. In response, the White House last night confirmed they were revising the lesson plan that was distributed last week by the U.S. Department of Education.

"We're clarifying that language," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

By Wednesday evening, the sentence asking children to think about how they can "help the president" had been replaced. The rewritten line said students should "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals."

Mr. Vietor said the reaction to the lesson plan may not have been so strong had the curriculum been circulated after people heard the speech, which he said does not mention any political issues and does not stray from a clear message encouraging children to excel and stay in school.

The speech is "about the value of education and the importance of staying in school as part of his effort to dramatically cut the dropout rate. It's not a policy speech," Mr. Vietor said."
(From the Washington Times)

Obama's video to be shown to school kids

I just received an email from an alarmed friend who said,

"Someone I don't even know forwarded this to me. I don't usually read the comments underneath the videos, but I did this time. Boy, there is a lot of outrage. The schools are going to show this to children across the country on Tues. Imagine if George Bush or ANY president attempted to do something like this.

The president is supposed to serve the people but Obama wants everyone to make a pledge to serve him.

It doesn't start off so bad, but get to the last minute. You will understand why I'm alarmed. Read some of the comments."

So, see for yourself... Click here to view the video that will be shown in our schools.

I know parents who are opting to have their kids sit this one out. Please watch and pass this on.