Category Archives: Catholicism

Do Something Beautiful with Leah Darrow

I had the pleasure of sharing my story with Leah Darrow for her podcast. It was a very fun conversation where we also chat about Lord of the Rings, growing up in big families, having brothers who go out of their way to annoy us and A LOT more! LOL You can listen to it here: “Do Something Beautiful Podcast”


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The Catholic Feminist Podcast

I recently shared my story with Claire Swinarski and had a wonderful conversation about the healing power of Forgiveness! You can listen to it here at: The Catholic Feminist Podcast

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Raise to Shave! A fundraiser for FSU Newman Center

My brother Fr. Charles is sporting a beard these days that in my sisterly opinion is OUT. OF. CONTROL! Fortunately he has Padre's Crazy Beard agreed to shave it off if the Newman Center at Ferris State University in Big Rapids MI where he is assigned, can raise $3,000 by THIS Saturday, March 1st!

The Newman Center is raising money for a mission trip to work in inner-city Memphis, several retreats throughout this year, and continued outreach on the campus of Ferris State University.

Not only is this a great opportunity to support Catholic college students grow in their faith and live out the works of mercy but we can shave this crazy beard off the Padre! 😉

Go here to ‘Quick Give’ on the bottom right of the website to DONATE

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Gotta admit… Not a fan of the Pope on the cover of Rolling Stone

I know some Catholics are excited that Pope Francis made the cover of Rolling Stones Magazine but I can’t say that I am… at all. Why? There are many reasons but the main one being that the article bashes Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus describing him as Freddy Krueger and suggests that Pope Francis is changing Church teaching! I’m sure that many who are excitedly posting the photo have no idea what the article says. Perhaps we should hold back some of our enthusiasm of this ‘super hero’ Pope  constantly grabbing the attention of the mainstream media and learn the content of what the latest journalist has to say about this new celebrity (and his predecessor) before we post our joy of him making  yet another cover of a magazine.
“After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, by publicly scolding church leaders for being “obsessed” with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion (“Who am I to judge?” Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests) and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss’ son.”
PopeFrancis RollingStones


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Feliz día de la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Virgencita, ora pro nobis!

Basilica of OLG

“Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear sickness, nor any other anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.” ~Our Lady of Guadalupe

“Your love for Our Lady should be more lively, more supernatural. Don’t just go to the Virgin Mary to ask her for things. You should also go to give! Give her your affection; give her your love for her divine Son; and show her your affection with deeds of service to others, who are also her children!”
– Saint Josemaria Escriva

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Pope Francis has sent this Message to the Americas to mark the Dec. 12th Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: “Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas. I would like to greet all my brothers and sisters on that continent, and I do so thinking of the Virgin of Tepeyac. When Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, her face was that of a woman of mixed blood, a mestiza, and her garments bore many symbols of the native culture. Like Jesus, Mary is close to all her sons and daughters; as a concerned mother, she accompanies them on their way through life. She shares all the joys and hopes, the sorrows and troubles of God’s People, which is made up of men and women of every race and nation. When the image of the Virgin appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego, it was the prophecy of an embrace: Mary’s embrace of all the peoples of the vast expanses of America – the peoples who already lived there, and those who were yet to come. Mary’s embrace showed what America – North and South – is called to be: a land where different peoples come together; a land prepared to accept human life at every stage, from the mother’s womb to old age; a land which welcomes immigrants, and the poor and the marginalized, in every age. A land of generosity. That is the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it is also my message, the message of the Church. I ask all the people of the Americas to open wide their arms, like the Virgin, with love and tenderness.”
bishop and tilma
Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
San Juan Diego, ora pro nobis.

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Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today, Wed Dec. 4th is the first day of the novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe! These nine days of praying this novena lead up to her feast day. There are several beautiful novena prayers but here’s the one that I will be praying. I hope you join me and in bringing your intentions to our beautiful Mother of Guadalupe for her intercession!

I’m including the intentions of all of my Blog, Twitter, FB page, Instagram, and G+ followers as I pray this novena this year so be assured of my prayers for you!

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of Holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my prayer, offered with deep-felt confidence to beg this favor…(mention your intentions here).

O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to thee under the glorious Aztec title of “Guadalupe”–the Virgin who crushed the serpent.

Queen of Martyrs, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Invoke the Holy Spirit of Wisdom to fortify my will to frequent the Sacraments so that, thus enlightened and strengthened, I may prefer God to all creatures and shun every occasion of sin.

Help me, as a living branch of the Vine that is Jesus Christ, to exemplify His divine charity always seeking the good of others. Queen of Apostles, aid me to win souls for the Sacred Heart of my Saviour. Keep my apostolate fearless, dynamic, and articulate, to proclaim the loving solicitude of Our Father in heaven so that the wayward may heed His pleading and obtain pardon, through the merits of your merciful Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ora pro nobis


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Give gifts that keep on giving!

In light of all the gift giving moments this month and next month what with St. Nicholas’s feast day, Christmas, and Epiphany I thought I would share some gift ideas! While times have been tough for all of us there are many who are struggling significantly more than most of us could ever imagine. Many of them are right here next to us in the USA. So perhaps as we’re giving gifts to celebrate these wonderful feast days and holidays we can give a gift of time, material or a financial donation to help those who are struggling in concrete and very helpful ways. You can give on your behalf or perhaps on behalf of a family member or friend. Here are five of my favorite organizations who are all doing incredible work and are looking for donations so that they can continue to help those who desperately need it:

Charity Orgs

1. Dig Deep – You may recognize the name from the organization that hosted the 4 liters of water a day campaign that I participated  in. They bring clean water and education on how to use and live with clean water to those who do not have access. Today they launched THE NAVAJO WATER PROJECT. They are raising money to build a well in Smith Lake, New Mexico. Smith Lake is a Navajo Indian Reservation that suffers from water poverty. Learn more from this video and at their website.

2. The Burrito Project – They meet every third Thursday of the month where they make burritos and then pass them and water out to the homeless on skid row in downtown Los Angeles. For the months of December and January they are having a blanket drive so that they can pass out blankets as well since it’s so cold out now. To donate blankets  contact Alan at BurritoProject1 [at] gmail [dot] com for when/where/how you can drop them off.  Or you can make a financial donation here at The Burrito Project website

3. Manto de Guadalupe – This organization has several different ways that they reach out to the poor and homeless (like leading mission trips and building homes around the world) but in 2010 they opened a new clinic: The Guadalupe Medical Center that provides medical assistance to low – income pregnant women. They provide medical consultations, ultrasounds, analyses, vitamins, medicines, treatments for infertility and high-risk pregnancies among many other services. I was able to take a tour of the medical center a couple of years ago and it’s beautiful to see many photos of the happy women and their babies who have benefited from this wonderful clinic. You can donate here at their website. 

4. Mary’s Meals – They provide meals for children living in impoverished places all around the world so that these kids can attend school and have nourishment. They feed about 822,142 hungry children a day! Watch this moving documentary about Mary’s Meals Child 31 to learn more about the work the are doing! You can donate to Mary’s Meals here.

5. Los Angeles Pregnancy Services (LAPS) – They provide help to women struggling with an unexpected/crisis pregnancy in one of the poorest neighborhood in Los Angeles. They offer pregnancy support through medical referrals and parenting classes.  They also provide information on adoption for clients who want to carry their child, but aren’t ready to parent. They give out diapers, baby clothes, formula, etc… to help these mothers in need. You can sign up to volunteer or you can give a financial donation.

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Novena for the Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

On October 13th Pope Francis is going to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! In preparation for that many Catholics are coming together and praying a novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which begins October 4th.

A wonderful website makes it easy to join in and pray together. Visit the Pray More Novenas website, sign up and they’ll send you an email with the novena prayer everyday of the novena. So far  63,197 people have already signed up to pray this novena! What an exciting way to pray and prepare as a universal church for this incredible consecration to our Mother.


“De Maria Nunquam Satis!”

Immaculate Heart of Mary Icon

Immaculate Heart of Mary, ora pro nobis!


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Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

I’ve been tweeting and posting on facebook for the last month about how I’m renewing my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I renew it once a year and it is an incredible journey deepening my relationship with Christ and his Mother every time. The first time around was profoundly life changing and with every renewal it continues to be.

I can’t encourage people to make this beautiful consecration enough! For some people the effects aren’t dramatic or immediate but I’ve never met someone who wasn’t in someway changed or moved by making this consecration.

The most common way to make the consecration is the Preparation for Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort. 

Fish Eaters offers St. Louis de Montfort’s preparation for Consecration online  It also gives some great information about making the consecration.

A new guide for making your Total Consecration is with a book called 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley who I had the pleasure of meeting and going to confession with (it was one of the most incredible experiences of confession I’ve ever had) last month at the Catholic Family Conference in Ontario, California where we were both speakers. In this book Fr. Michael includes writings and marian devotions from St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed Pope John Paul II…. all who had enviable (in a holy way) devotions to Our Blessed Mother!

The most popular date to make your Total Consecration is March 25th, the feast of the Annunciation. But there are several marian feast days that you can choose to make your consecration day. If you want to start immediately you can begin today: Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 and make your consecration September 15th, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

If you scroll down on this website to Step 2, Choose a day for the Consecration you’ll find a chart with different dates to start and what marian feast they end on.

A couple weeks ago at a Mass and meeting for Catholic artists in the entertainment industry Fr. Don Woznicki offered to help guide artist’s wanting to make their Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. Fr. Don will begin the next Total Consecration preparation on September 2nd with the consecration taking place on October 7th the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (my name day!) If you’re an artist in the entertainment industry and are interested in taking Fr. Don up on his generous offer you can contact him at frdon [at] new-ethos [dot] org

“De Maria Nunquam Satis!”

(Translation) “With Mary there is never enough” 

-St. Louis De Montfort

Totus Tuus

Totus Tuus


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“We need saints.” A beautiful call for saints! A poem INSPIRED by Bl John Paul II

The following poem is said to be inspired by Blessed Pope John Paul II

“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints – saints for the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change. We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. we need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.”

Blessed Pope John Paul II

Blessed Pope John Paul II

 Everyone keeps asking where this poem came from. Here are two resources that I’ve found: 

Mario St. Francis Website and The Deacon’s Bench

I think it is very important that the correct person(s) be acknowledge for their work. But I don’t think we should disregard the message because there’s a debate over who said it. Which is why I’m not deleting this post.


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