Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast #27 - Michael McCarthy

In this podcast, we spend a "moment" discussing The Sun Farmer: The Story of a Shocking Accident, A Medical Miracle and a Family's Life and Death Decision with Catholic author Michael McCarthy. I share a few of my New Year's Resolutions and would love to hear yours too! Don't forget to donate to the SQPN giving campaign - every little bit helps! To share your comments, email us at or comment at or call our new telephone feedback line at (206)339-9272.

Links for this Episode:
The Sun Farmer: The Story of a Shocking Accident, A Medical Miracle and a Family's Life and Death Decision by Michael McCarthy
The Sun Farmer Web Site
SQPN Giving Campaign
Catholic Exchange's Women's Scripture Study Program

Click here to listen to episode: cm027.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am signing off the blog to celebrate the holidays with my family. During the next several days, it is likely that I will not have access to an internet connection, so I wanted to wish you all a very wonderful Christmas and a happy New Years! During the next few weeks, stay tuned for new episodes of the Catholic Moments Podcast and daily guest posts at Productivity @ Home. Thank you for all of your love, support and encouragement during 2007. I am blessed to have each of you in my life! Lisa

Sunday, December 23, 2007

1 Corinthians 13 - Christmas Version

Hat tip to Tanja C. from CWO for sharing this:

First Corinthians 13 - Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strings of twinkling lights, and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family and others, I am just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family and others, I am just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crystal snowflakes,attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child, or kiss the husband or bless the needy.
Love is kind, though harried or tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids or other family to get out of the way, but is thankful that they are there to get in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.
Love never fails.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Catholic Moments News Flash - CM Podcast becomes an SQPN Affiliate Podcast!

Please take a "moment" to celebrate with us! We have been named one of five new shows on the Star Quest Production Network (SQPN) as an affiliate podcast! This weekend, we share a brief "newsflash" podcast with this news giving an introduction to our show. To share your comments, email us at or comment at or call our new telephone feedback line at (206)339-9272. Merry Christmas everyone!!

SQPN Giving Campaign
Catholic Mom Logo Store
Lisa's Facebook Profile

Click here to listen to episode: cm_sqpn.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Friday, December 21, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast #26 - My Christmas Wish List

Today, my Christmas wishes come true as so many of you chime in to share Christmas greetings with me and with one another. We hear from Catholic musicians, authors, our Catholic Mom columnists, my internet buddies, fellow podcasters, my family and more! To share your comments, email us at or comment at or call our new telephone feedback line at (206)339-9272. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Links for this episode:
Sarah Bauer
Deacon Chuck Stevens
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to episode: cm026.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Contest Reminder!

Today is your last day to enter to win the John Paul Rudolph "Reflections" CD. Don't forget to send your email to with "John Paul Rudolph contest" in the subject line and be sure to include your mailing address. I know you will love this CD!

Two Donna-Marie Updates

Our friend Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle has been busy for the past few weeks - she taped an interview earlier this week for her Mom's Corner segment with Teresa Tomeo on the Catholic Connection radio program. You can listen to the interview online by clicking here.

In other news, Donna-Marie's latest book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book, is now available for pre-viewing at Knowing Donna-Marie's work, this is going to be a tremendous resource. It will be available in March, 2008, so we have another great book to anticipate!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thought Provoking Article

Thanks so much to Catholic author Phyllis Zagano for sharing this very compelling article entitled "Do You See What I See?" Phyllis' words have challenged me to look beyond the surface this week and to seek out true opportunities to use this season to bring comfort to those in need in my own community. Check out Phyllis' article here.

Be a Winner!!

This month, we've got two great contests going on at and you can win some terrific music.

The first contest is for John Paul Rudolph's "Reflections" CD. You can listen to my interview with John Paul Rudolph on Episode #19 on the Catholic Moments Podcast. To enter this contest, send me an email to by December 20, 2007 with the words "John Paul Rudolph CD" in the subject line.

The second contest is for the new CD by Jars of Clay entitled "Christmas Songs". To enter this contest, send me an email to by January 6, 2008 with the words "Jars of Clay" in the subject line.

Everyone has been so busy Christmas shopping that very few people have entered these contests, so if you take a few moments and enter you will have a very good chance of winning a free CD!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Get Your Gear

Capt. Jeff, who runs our Catholic Mom Logo Store, will be taking some time off to celebrate the end of Advent and Christmas with his family. If you would like to order your logo t shirts or coffee mugs before the holidays, please get your orders in soon. Remember that along with helping you look great and make your coffee taste better, your purchase of these items supports and enables us to continue to grow!

Catholic Mom Logo Store

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Reason to Love Lisa and Milo

Please take a few minutes to watch this wonderful trailer for the latest Milo book from our friend Lisa Umina. This latest book looks to be the best yet! I love this inspirational statement:

"No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

Check out Lisa's web site:

Please Join Me in this Women's Study

I hope that you will join me in participating in this wonderful study, slated to begin in January 2008. I just completed my online registration and am looking forward to making this study one of my spiritual resolutions for 2008. Won't you please consider joining me? What a lovely way to begin our new year! The following information was shared by Cheryl Dickow of Bezalel Books who will be running the Women's Study:

Woman’s Study Sponsored by Catholic Exchange

In 1988 John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of Women titled “Mulieris Dignitatem.” He began the letter with two very critical references. His first, appearing in the initial, opening paragraph, was taken from the Second Vatican Council and states, "The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling." The subsequent reference, appearing in the second paragraph of his letter is a quote from one of Paul VI’s discourses which states, "Within Christianity, more than in any other religion, and since its very beginning, women have had a special dignity, of which the New Testament shows us many important aspects...; it is evident that women are meant to form part of the living and working structure of Christianity in so prominent a manner that perhaps not all their potentialities have yet been made clear."

Together, these statements lend additional historical authority to the crux of John Paul’s Apostolic Letter in which he goes on to say that A woman is to be found at the center of this [Christ’s death] salvific event. John Paul’s words on this important subject are absolute poetry and reveal the way in which he truly moved and had his being with God. John Paul’s understanding and mission to empower women to acquire the influence and power to aid humanity from ‘not falling’ was clearly evident. Further on John Paul writes The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness.

To celebrate the twenty years since John Paul’s 1988 Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and Vocation of Women, Catholic Exchange is presenting a unique, timely look at some of these women John Paul referred to when he gave thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine “genius.” This enlightening ten week course will begin January 7, 2008 and conclude March 10, 2008 and can be enjoyed from the privacy of your own home while conversing with women around the world. There are three components of the women’s study where the overall objective is for each participant to get to the heart of her worth and value in Christ by knowing, more intimately, her sisters in faith. Women will receive the book “Renewing Your Christian Self in a Secular Word: Wisdom from Old and New Testament Women” by award winning author and speaker Cheryl Dickow and access to Catholic Exchange podcasts and online discussions. Registration is now beginning. The cost of the program is $35.00.

To register for the program download the registration form from Catholic Exchange and send it, with your check or money order to: Bezalel Books P.O. Box 300427 Waterford, MI 48330. You will receive your book, an introductory letter outlining the course, and your password for the podcasts and online discussions within three weeks.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Christmas Present Wish List

Hi friends,

I hope your Advent is off to a wonderful start - our family has been truly blessed this year and I'm very mindful of God's greatness in my life as we journey towards Christmas.

Since you are a regular reader of this blog, I consider you a friend and I feel comfortable asking you a favor. As most of you know, one of my new projects this year is my "Catholic Moments Podcast" at - the show has aired 25 episodes and is off to a great start, despite my being such a rookie.

My "wish list" item is related to the podcast. I am preparing a Christmas show, and would love to share your voice on it. I am looking for brief Christmas greetings that will be shared on the podcast - heartwarming, funny, sweet - you decide! I've set up a telephone number that you can call to record your greeting for the Catholic Moments audience/me. You simply call 206-339-9272 and leave a brief message. If you're really organized and could send me your feedback in mp3 format, feel free to do that as well. I am preparing the show for Wednesday, 12/19 so I would need your feedback by Monday, 12/17. Feel free to mention your book, CD, website, podcast, or just the fact that you love me (hint to my Mom to call!) - I would love to include as many voices as possible to emphasize the fact that our wonderful community of friends continues to grow and blossom.

I know you are all busy, so I truly appreciate your considering taking the time to participate. If you would prefer to share your feedback in written form feel free to email me at and I will happily share your feedback!

Thank you all for the ongoing gift of your friendship and encouragement and may your remaining days of Advent be truly blessed!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Need a Laugh?

If this video doesn't compel you to giggle and to reach for your PayPal account to donate, I don't know what will! To donate, click here for SQPN and here for Rosary Army. If we donate, maybe Greg will do more dancing!

Catholic Moments Podcast #25 - David Howie

We rock out for a moment with "David Howie" and share some of his great music. The show also includes updates on our two current contests. Drop an email to for your chance to win either: 1) John Paul Rudolph's "Reflections" CD (by 12/20) or 2) "Christmas Songs" by Jars of Clay (by 12/22). Be sure to include your name and mailing address. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
David Howie
Kids for Jesus (K4J)
Maureen Wittmann's Blog and Book Giveaway
That Catholic Show - DVD Now Available!
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to episode: cm025.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Monday, December 10, 2007

Did you have a great weekend?

I did! Here are a few "stream of consciousness" thoughts about the past few days to let you know how truly crazy/wonderful life is in our home these days:

My Christmas tree is up, but only has about one quarter of the ornaments hanging. I purchased, wrapped and gave away a few gifts this weekend, most to our "Project Santa" program at church - I still need to shop for family gifts, which may arrive a bit late this year. We took Christmas photos of the boys to use for our card, but I can't decide which one to pick... they are all good of one kid or the other, but none of them are good of both boys. We went to the Right to Life banquet Friday night and I beamed with pride watching my Eric work as a waiter and spotter for the live auction. It was one of those "I'm so proud" moments when you truly feel like your kid is turning out ok!! Speaking of proud, Adam won his first fencing medal this weekend, placing 8th at a tournament in the Bay Area. Given that this is only his second tournament, we're so happy for him - his hard work at training is paying off. Speaking of training, we had the Football banquet yesterday and Eric was awarded "Lineman of the Year" for his JV team...what a stud. And guess what, football practice started again this morning after a three week break with weightlifting at 6:45 AM! Yikes! The weekend passed by in a total blur, but it was a fun blur! The best part: three masses in a twenty four hour period (the Feast Day, Saturday vigil with Adam and Sunday mass with Eric) - no wonder I'm in a good mood!

Friday, December 07, 2007

On My Wish List...

This set, available through our Catholic Company Store, is on my wish list for sometime in the future. It looks wonderful!!

Click here for more information

Advent and Christmas with Thomas Merton
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Padre Pio
Advent and Christmas With Fulton Sheen
Advent and Christmas With the Saints
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Pope John Paul II
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton

Ahoy Maties!

From Tim Bete, author of the hilarious Guide to Pirate Parenting and the equally funny In The Beginning...There Were No Diapers: Laughing and Learning In The First Years Of Fatherhood: now includes the complete text of the award-winning book, "Cap'n Billy 'The Butcher' MacDougall's Guide to Pirate Parenting." The site also includes other fun features such as a random name generator for your pirate minivan.
Pilfer a peek at and feel free to let others know that the site is ready to be plundered. So set sail to and shout, "Prepare to be boarded" when you arrive.
Happy sailing and don't let the bilge rats bite,

Meredith Gould Blogs!!

I am so happy to share the great news that Meredith Gould, author of The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day has joined the blogosphere! Check out Meredith's blog for faithful insights with wit and intelligence.


Also just in time for Christmas, there is a great new CD out from Cat.Chat featuring the 30 favorite Cat.Chat songs all on one disk! They have some great discounts for Christmas, so check out Cat.Chat for additional details and give your kids the gift of faith this Christmas!

That Catholic Show Now Available on DVD!

Just in time for Christmas, the wonderful "That Catholic Show" series by Greg and Jennifer Willits of the Rosary Army and SQPN fame is now available for purchase on DVD. I was fortunate enough to share these wonderful videos here on the blog. Funny and informative, the videos cover some of the basic tenants our our faith from a faith-filled and uplifting perspective. You can order a copy of the DVD which includes all eight videos, special features, and even bloopers. Click here for more information and please consider purchasing this DVD as a gift for someone special in your life in support of this greatly needed apostolate.

CUA and National Shrine to Hold 19th Annual Charity Christmas Concert

Thank you to Maria Davis, Catholic Mom of Angelina, for sharing the following information. This looks like a wonderful program! If you are able to watch the program on EWTN, watch out for our Angelina, who sings with this choir.

CUA and National Shrine to Hold 19th Annual Charity Christmas Concert
Donations Collected at the Event will Benefit Providence Hospital’s Perry Family Health Center

Musicians from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America will present the 19th Annual Christmas Concert for Charity in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church on Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Donations will benefit Providence Hospital’s Perry Family Health Center. The center is a community-based, comprehensive primary health care outreach serving residents of all ages in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Prior to the concert, the university will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The 5 p.m. event will feature Christmas carols, readings and prayers. For more information on this, and other Christmas related events, click here.

The concert will highlight performances by the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine, led by the National Shrine’s director of music, Peter Latona, and the CUA Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music Leo Nestor and Director of Orchestral Activities and Conducting Studies David Searle.

The musicians will present a concert of carols and Christmas selections spanning several centuries that will include works by Bach, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Villa-Lobos and Vaughan Williams. Catholic University’s portion of the evening will open with the premiere performance of “Hodie Nobis de Caelo” by Jason Lovelace, a CUA doctoral candidate in composition.

Lovelace’s piece continues what is now a seven-year tradition at the concert — an original fanfare composition by a member of the university’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music. The CUA Chorus and Symphony Orchestra also will perform the premiere of “Carol of the Magi” by Andrew Earle Simpson, associate professor of music and chair of composition. Other musical settings by CUA faculty will include “Alma Redemptoris mater” by Joseph Santo, assistant dean of music, and “I Wonder As I Wander,” by Nestor.

The audience will be invited to join the university chorus, accompanied by the orchestra and the National Shrine’s organs, in singing carols interspersed throughout the CUA program.

As has been the case during the preceding 18 years, a free-will collection will be taken up during the concert to support a local charitable organization, in this case the Perry Family Health Center.

Previous concerts have benefited the Spanish Catholic Center, SOAR (Support Our Aging Religious), SOME (So Others Might Eat), St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home and the Jeanne Jugan Residence for the elderly poor, among other local charities.

This year’s beneficiary, Providence Hospital’s Perry Family Health Center, opened in 1998 in the renovated Perry School — the first school for African-Americans in Washington, D.C. It provides access to family-oriented care to a predominantly African-American population in Northwest, D.C., although there has been an emerging community of Hispanic residents seeking care.

“This concert is such a gift to the people we are privileged to serve,” says Robert Hutson, executive vice president of Providence Health Foundation. “The money raised will be used to help purchase prescription medications, medical supplies and prenatal vitamins. This will be a great blessing for patients who tell us that they go without medicines prescribed by our physicians because they do not have the money to pay for them.”

Perry Family Health Center serves a neighborhood with high rates of infant mortality, obesity, substance abuse and untreated chronic medical conditions. It conducts more than 18,000 patient visits each year, of which 20 to 30 percent are uninsured.

The long-term goal of the Perry Family Health Center is to vastly improve the manner in which primary family health care is delivered to vulnerable populations. The staff at Perry works toward Providence Hospital’s mission of serving with joy, care and respect.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at 202-319-5414 or the National Shrine at 202-526-8300 or visit The shrine is located at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C.

EWTN will broadcast the concert on its cable station on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 2 a.m.; Friday, Dec. 21, at 5:30 p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 9 p.m.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Podcast

Be sure to check out a special podcast by Susan Bailey for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This podcast features an interview with Ray and Theresa Herrmann of Little Lamb Music about the release of a unique Rosary CD featuring the music and meditations of Redemptorist Fathers founder and Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori. Click here, scroll down to the podcast player and enjoy!

Faith and Family Flix

Thanks to Rebecca for sharing the following information with me. This looks like a great service for our families:

Hi Lisa, I wanted to tell you about a new Catholic business that focuses on bringing pure entertainment to families. It's called "Faith and Family Flix". The idea is that it works like NetFlix - as a movie rental service online - but we only offer movies and videos that reflect our Catholic values and defend against the huge amount of impurity in entertainment. Take a look here at and if you like the site, spread the word! Thanks for taking the time to look us up. We're really excited about being a source of wholesome entertainment for families and helping other parents keep their kids' viewing clean. In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Rebecca

Keeping Up at Christmas

They're supposed to be about family and fun, these weeks leading up to Christmas, right?! When a friend forwarded me this You Tube video today, I couldn't help but smile and hear a bit of my own voice in the beautiful singing of Tajci. How many of us will spend this weekend rushing places, crossing items off of our "to do" lists and frantically shopping? We accomplish one thing and ten more seem to pop up and demand attention.

I intend to take time this weekend to enjoy the season with my children: to assemble a gingerbread house, to mess up my kitchen baking cookies just because, and to brew some hot chocolate and decorate our tree in a leisurely fashion. Rather than being caught up in the daunting tasks that lie ahead, I hope to truly enjoy and savor this special season. Enjoy the video, and your weekend!

p.s. We're trying to help spread the word about this great video, so feel free to link to it or share it on your own blog.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast #23 - Eddie Ensley

Deacon Eddie Ensley teaches us that in "moments" of stress and anxiety, we can rest in the consolation of God's love. We discuss Deacon Ensley's book Prayer that Relieves Stress and Worry,get caught up on some news at, announce our latest giveaway, and look at the top songs for Advent. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
Prayer that Relieves Stress and Worry by Eddie Ensley
Dynamic Parish Missions
Sadie McCurry's Resources for Helping Military Families
Cay Gibson's Recipes for Diabetic Fruitcake and Meme's Blonde Brownies
Catholic Exchange's Women's Scripture Study Program
Grapevine News Minute Interview with Nick Alexander
Deacon Chuck Stevens - Day of the Lord

Click here to listen to episode: cm024.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Friday, November 30, 2007

Advent at

The Advent elves have been busy this week preparing our Advent Resources over at We have tons of great stuff, including Children's Activities, Books, Music, devotions and more. If you have a favorite Advent or Christmas resource to recommend, please drop a comment below or email with your recommendations.

Shop at iTunes and Support

Apple iTunes

Just in time for Christmas, you can now shop at iTunes and a portion of your purchase price will be donated to Look for the iTunes button on the right and click through our iTunes link to help our site continue to grow. Thanks!

Give the gift of music with iTunes gift certificates

Ten Commandments CD

Do you have a kid in your home that's into the Rap/Hip Hop genre? (Or maybe you're a Hip Hop Mom or Dad!) If so, please check out the work of Nick T. (aka Nick Tancraitor) over at Along with being a world class producer, Nick T. is a Catholic, pro-life Dad! Check out the 10 Commandments CD and some of the other amazing music he's got going on at his MySpace. You can also check out Nick's production work - he has worked with some great artists. His work is really amazing!

Last Day for Bead by Bead Rosary Contest

Speaking of contests, today is the deadline for the Bead by Bead Rosary Book (Joyful Mysteries) contest. To enter, send an email to and include your complete mailing address. To learn more about this great book, check out Catholic Moments Podcast #19.

We have three copies of this fabulous book to give away, so be sure to get your email to me today!

Christmas Photo Contest

If you enjoy photography and love Christmas, you might want to check out the Christmas Photo Contest over at St. Maria's Messenger. The contest deadline and other details can be found here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast #23 - Trish Foti Genco

To help get us in the spirit of Advent, we spend a "moment" with Trish Foti Genco to discuss her new Christmas CD and the work she is doing to support the post-Katrina recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
Trish Foti Genco
Spirit Wing Records - Catholic Christmas CD
Ann Ball - Shop at Amazon or the Catholic Company
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to episode: cm023.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Media Discernment Guide

There is a certain movie coming up that is provoking a lot of discussion and consternation among Catholic families. This week, at, Pat Gohn shares an incredible resource for Catholic parents - The Catholic Conscience as Moral Compass: Media Discernment for Families. Also, over at her blog, you can read Pat's review of the movie. I want to thank Pat Gohn for taking the time away from her graduate studies to research and write on this topic, shedding illumination for parents seeking the best for their kids. Thanks Pat!

The Birth of Christ

This looks like a wonderful program. Click here to view the program schedule.


THE BIRTH OF CHRIST brings the Nativity Story to Life this Christmas premiering on Public Television.

Sony BMG Masterworks released the CD and DVD on November 6.

“Destined to become a classic. Aside from the transcendent beauty of the work, this piece has already demonstrated its power to unite people.” -Liam Neeson

After decades of sectarian conflict and bloodshed, Protestants and Catholics recently came together for a special evening in Dublin, Ireland to celebrate what unites them: The Birth of Christ. Hosted and narrated by Liam Neeson, Andrew T Miller’s The Birth of Christ (SONY BMG Masterworks 2007) musically brings the Gospel of Luke to life, and revivifies the passion, unity, and peace found in the Nativity story. Miller commented “I hope that people realize that grace and peace often come in unexpected ways, to places overlooked and ignored.” This historic world premiere of The Birth of Christ reunited the very same Protestant Choirs of the Christ Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals that Handel used to unveil his “Messiah” in 1742, along with St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral Choir, a Catholic ensemble.

“The Catholic and Protestant singers involved in this project put aside their differences for “One Blessed Night” and raised their voices in unison around the central mystery of their faith,” Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Gangs of New York, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) said. If you listen closely, you will not only hear their unity, but experience the inspiring peace it generated.

Accompanied by a full orchestra in Europe’s revered Christ Church Cathedral, The Birth of Christ is a contemporary classical piece scheduled to air on Public Television, nation-wide, throughout the 2007 Christmas Season. The CD and DVD will be available from Sony BMG Masterworks on November 6th.

Composer, Andrew T. Miller, a Seattle native, said, “I was determined to premiere this work abroad to underscore the universality of the Christmas story, and the power of music to overcome strife and conflict.”

“The birth of a tiny Child in a Bethlehem manger has fascinated mankind for centuries. In this dramatic cantata Miller and his accomplished soloists take us back to the first century,” said Raymond Arroyo, Executive Producer of The Birth of Christ and host and creator of EWTN’s international news magazine The World Over Live. “Each of the characters are faced with a choice, a personal choice to obey the call of God or to reject it. These are choices that we all face each day.”

Monday, November 26, 2007

Even Though It Says "2008"

This is one book you may want to order this week, to help you make the most of Advent and the upcoming liturgical year. Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2008 compliments the wonderful Sacred Space web site and is perfect for morning prayer, quiet Eucharist Adoration, or something to keep in the car when you're toting kids around town. (Can you guess how I use mine?).

Rock Single Dedicated to Pope Benedict

Thanks to Syte Reitz of Oremus Music for sharing the following piece of news:

MADISON, WI—What do Benedict XVI, Pontius Pilate and rock n' roll have in common? Not much, it would seem at first glance. It turns out, however, that they do all have one thing in common—they are featured in a Madison, WI-based rock band's newest single, due to be released December 8, 2007.

The Song of Benedict will be Oremus' first release since their self-titled debut album in 2006. “We sat down to start planning another album, but out came The Song of Benedict instead,” Chris Reitz, the band's guitarist and co-vocalist said.

Chris, 23, and his brother Tom, age 20, started the band in 2004 with the goal or reclaiming rock. “We all know what 'rock culture' means,” says Tom. “It's not pretty, and it sure isn't family friendly. We wanted to show people that rock could be used creatively and beautifully, and to glorify God. It isn't done often, but that doesn't mean it can't be done at all.”

So, what's to expect from the Song of Benedict? Close and complex harmonies were a staple of Oremus and there's more to be had in The Song of Benedict. There's lots of guitar, backed up by Tom's keyboard work. And lyrics. Benedict’s haunting theme repeats itself several times throughout the song: “Speaking from my window / hope someone will hear. Listen to the Truth, now, Romans, lend me your ear.”

In another verse, Pilate agonizes about whether to allow Jesus to be crucified. His words echo at us across the millennia, “What is Truth?......” if it costs you your head?

What about the rest of the album the brothers were planning? Chris and Tom decided that The Song of Benedict couldn't wait that long – this song deserved to be released on its own.

For more information, including lyrics and a sneak preview of the Song of Benedict, visit the Oremus website, .

Children's Literature Blog Resource

Just in case you missed it in the comments below, thanks to Alice Gunther for sharing the following resource, which is truly wonderful!

My best friend, Melissa Wiley, is a literature blogger, author and Catholic homeschooling mother who reviews Children's Literature extensively. Her blog is called Here in the Bonny Glen: If you are interested in a review of a specific work, you might even want to email her privately. My guess is she's probably already read whatever it is and would love to post a review!

Wayside Shrines in Miniature

Be sure to check out our latest, adorable "Living the Liturgical Year" craft by Alice Gunther. These little "wayside shrines" can be decorated for your favorite season or saint. Thanks Alice!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Catholic Superhero Runs First Marathon

Come along with Greg Willits of the Rosary Army and SQPN as he runs his very first Marathon in Atlanta. During this video, Greg mentions several times that he is offering his run/pain for the intentions of his listeners and for success in the Rosary Army/SQPN giving campaign. Through the Giving Campaign, you can support Greg and his wife Jennifer to devote themselves full time to Catholic new media efforts. I hope that you enjoy the video and that you'll join me in supporting the Giving Campaign. Click here to share your donation - any gift, small or large, will help this important Catholic media effort.

Catholic Contests

Want a chance to win something wonderful? Feeling lucky? Then check out, a new web site with free Catholic contests. This week's prize is a statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

Check it out at

Catholic Songwriter Seeking Someone to Sing His Songs

I had an email this week from Guy Sudano, a Catholic songwriter who is looking for Catholic singers/bands/artists to record his songs. If you are looking for a songwriter, contact Guy at

If you have any music connections to share with Guy, he'd be happy to hear from you!

Critical Weekend for Catholic Filmmakers

Keep One in Theaters, Get the Other
into Every Catholic Home

Thanksgiving Weekend is a critical weekend for two sets of Catholic filmmakers. While the team at Metanoia Films appeals to Catholics to keep Bella in theaters this coming weekend, the filmmakers at Catholic Exchange appeal for a blockbuster response to our multi-award winning DVD, Champions of Faith: Baseball.

Just as important as ticket sales for theatrical releases, DVD sales support and sustain films released straight to video and in this instance will enable Catholic Exchange to create more films featuring cultural icons who embrace and affirm our beloved Catholic faith.

This Thanksgiving weekend only, you can buy a special “Christmas 6-Pack” for just $69. Keep one for your family and give the other five away as Christmas gifts. That's nearly 50% off the retail price and a full $30 less than the regular price for a Champions of Faith 6-PK! CLICK HERE or call 1.877.263.1263 right now to order!

By now you've heard a sampling of the reviews for Champions of Faith:

“A nine-inning faith classic!” – Bishop Ignatius Catanello, Archdiocese of Brooklyn

“A great testimony to how rich our lives can be when filled with faith .” – Dennis Heaney, President, The Christophers

“A healthy reminder that men of character do still play the game .” – Russell Shaw

“An answer and an antidote to the tidal wave of scandal.” – Arlington Catholic Herald

Anyone with a spiritual bent is sure to be moved by the experiences of these men.” – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Film and Television

Champions of Faith is being called “the greatest gift of Catholic evangelization this decade” – greater even than The Passion of the Christ, which was limited to adult audiences. That is why it is being shown to enthusiastic audiences at Catholic grade schools and high schools across the country with a special license permission granted through Champions of Faith. Call 1.888.488.6789 for information on how to participate.

But great reviews and accolades on their own cannot make Champions of Faith the success it needs to become in order for more such breathtaking films to be made for the Church.

Only you can make it such a success – and in just one weekend!

The Best Christmas Gift You Can Give!

Do you know five Catholic families that love movies or sports? Or five families that may be weak in their faith who would profit from seeing such a film as Champions of Faith?

Do you want to see more first-rate Catholic films that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with mainstream Hollywood films in terms of production values? Do you believe the culture can be changed by them and the Faith spread through them?

We ask that you help Catholic filmmaking by supporting this exceptional film – and in doing so help your neighbors, friends, co-workers or family members by giving them this important gift this Christmas.

Even if you typically do not give Christmas gifts to your neighbors or your children's friends or the people you work with, make this year an exception. Touch them with the gift of faith and help ensure that high-quality Catholic filmmaking is here to stay.

There is nothing more inspirational than to see and hear superstar athletes at the top of their game talking about something greater than winning the World Series or being named a Major League All-Star — that is, their faith in God, devotion to the Blessed Mother and love for Christ in the Eucharist. For the first time, there is a tool available to hand to those people in your life who are the most difficult to speak with about God. Champions of Faith is that tool.


Again, right now, and through this Thanksgiving weekend only, you can take advantage of a special offer to buy a “Christmas 6-Pack” for just $69. Keep one for yourself and give the other five away for Christmas. That's an almost 50% discount off the retail price and a full $30 less than the regular price for a Champions of Faith 6-PK! CLICK HERE or call 1.877.263.1263 right now to order your DVDs and Free Poster!


If you want to go the extra mile and impact 100 people with a gift of faith this Christmas, buy our 100PK for only $999 – a full 50% discount off the retail price! Buy one of these special packs and, JUST FOR THANKSGIVING, get an autographed baseball or autographed film poster signed by six of the athletes in Champions of Faith (while supplies last) plus your name or parish added to the credits for the next Champions of Faith film. Click here to order your 100 PK and get your free autographed memorabilia.

Champions of Faith has been the best-selling Catholic product of the year, but we need to get thousands more out there to really make the impact needed for future versions of this powerful new series to become a reality.

Buy a STEEPLY DISCOUNTED 6-PK or 100-PK this Thanksgiving weekend and make a gigantic impact!

This multi-award winning DVD will inspire the people in your life to not only “keep Christ in Christmas,” but to keep Him at the center of everything they do!

Not one of's “Hit Movies for the 2007 Christmas Season” deals with faith. Help us change that! We are celebrating the birth of Christ after all! By helping distribute Champions of Faith, you are providing your neighbors, friends and family with a phenomenal resource to enhance their faith and their life. Order your Christmas 6-Pack today!

New Book on Lourdes by Elizabeth Ficocelli

Here's some news on a great new book by our friend Elizabeth Ficocelli!

Elizabeth Ficocelli, Catholic author and convert, has released her eighth book entitled Lourdes: Font of Faith, Hope, and Charity (Paulist Press, October 2007) The Foreword was written by Father Benedict Groeschel, a highly respected priest, theologian, author, and Catholic television host.

To write this book, Ficocelli was sent as a guest of Our Lady of Lourdes North American Volunteer Association to experience the Sanctuary as both a pilgrim and a journalist. There, she was introduced to Father Regis-Marie de La Teyssonniere, a world-renowned expert on Lourdes, who agreed to review her manuscript for any inaccuracies. He also made it possible for the author to have personal interviews via translators with the Bishop, the Medical Director, the Father General, several chaplains, hospitality workers, volunteers, and others at Lourdes. Their insights provided Ficocelli with a fresh and insiders' look at one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world today.

Lourdes: Font of Faith, Hope, and Charity has been released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Lourdes.

Ficocelli is the author of The Fruits of Medjugorje: Stories of True and Lasting Conversion and Shower of Heavenly Roses: Stories of the Intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux for adults. For children, she has authored The Imitation of Christ for Children as well as a series on the sacraments. She has also published numerous articles in publications such as America, St. Anthony Messenger, Liguorian, Catholic Parent, Columbia, and others.

Check out
Lourdes: Font of Faith, Hope, and Charity

Reader Request

Can you help offer any suggestions on this question? I'm stumped!

Dear Lisa,

Do you know of a site online which reviews secular children’s books and popular authors for young people from a Catholic perspective? I know of several such sites which review movies, but was looking for one re: children’s literature. There’s a lot of scary stuff being marketed towards children these days, as you know, and I don’t have the time to pre-read everything (for all my children, and especially for my book-hungry 12 year old who is picking out his own books now).

Thanks for any info you have, God bless,


Need Entertainment for Your Holiday Event

If you are in charge of planning a holiday event and are in search of great entertainment, please check out this new service from our friend Sally Edwards:

Would you love to laugh this holiday season? Better yet, would you love to laugh with friends without the fear of being embarrassed or offended? There is now a reliable way to bring clean humor to your holiday party. I am introducing my new business and web site that will help you through your event planning stages.

At you will find a full service site offering referrals for the top clean comedians in Chicago. You will not view countless videos of unfamiliar comedians. Rather, state your needs and we'll do the legwork. Simple. Effective! No extra cost to you.

Thank you from all of your favorite Clean Comedians


Sally Edwards

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast #22

Our "Thanksgiving" podcast features interviews with Author/Saint Expert Bert Ghezzi and Rocker/Mom Laurie Collins. We talk a bit about faith-parenting kids on your own, a new book that is seeking prayer stories and more. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
Bead by Bead Rosary Book Giveaway
Grapevine Magazine
The Heart of a Saint: Ten Ways to Grow Closer to God
Bert Ghezzi Website
Laurie Collins Website
Submit a Prayer Story for 101 Inspirational Stories of the Power of Prayer

To listen to this episode online, click this link: cm022.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Fostering an Attitude of Thankfulness in Our Children

As we embark upon another year of holiday celebrations and commence our new Liturgical year with the season of Advent, it is good to reflect upon the many blessings that fill our lives. While Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, it offers Catholic families the perfect opportunity to teach our children about the quality of thankfulness, both in prayer and in personal life.

I was blessed to grow up in a home filled with thankfulness. In turn, I'm trying to foster that same attitude of appreciation in my own sons. I've learned much from my own parents, who taught their five children to always be grateful for lives rich in blessings as opposed to looking at what we might not have. This "glass half full" outlook on life has served me well, enabling me to look at even life's most mundane gifts with a heart that perpetually gives thanks to God.

To help create a spirit of thankfulness within your family, make time to explore the following suggestions:

As a family, routinely pray together. Include prayers of praise and thanksgiving and invite your children's prayers as well. Some of my fondest family prayers include my boys precious "thanks" prayers prior to bed times when they were younger:

"Thanks God for the anthill I found at preschool today"
"Thanks for helping me find my missing lego monkey"
"Thanks for the soccer game, even though we lost"

Sure, some of these might have been thinly veiled attempts at stalling bedtime, but they always taught me to remember to say thanks for both the big and the little moments that made up each day.

Encourage the writing of "Thank You" notes. Little ones can be taught from an early age that every gift and kind gesture deserves a note of appreciation. Those too young to write can draw a picture or pose for a photograph of themselves and their gift to send to the giver. Older kids need to be taught that this social grace is also one that will be essential to them professionally and personally in the future.

Model everyday thankfulness for your children. Let your children see you take time to truly thank the clerk who helps you at the grocery store, the person who offers directions when you are lost, or the friend that helps drive the carpool. If everyone in the malls this holiday season took time to thank the employees who helped them, the world would be a nicer and friendlier place. Encourage your children to remember to say "thank you" in socially appropriate situations, such as when they are departing a friend's home or receiving a ride from another adult. If they forget to say thank you, politely prompt them frequently and eventually they will remember.

Remember to thank your children. Sadly, this is one area where families sometimes fall short - we forget or neglect to express appreciation to those we most love. We take small acts of kindness for granted or see only shortcomings. My father is an excellent "thanker" - his small notes of encouragement to me always raise my spirits. It's not unusual for me to receive an unsolicited email from my Daddy saying something akin to "Thank you for being such a wonderful person." Granted, he's my Daddy so he's a little biased, but the point is that when he takes time to thank me, it encourages me to do the very same for my own children. Next time your child brings home a test that falls short of your expectations, why not try genuinely thanking him for his efforts in school prior to launching into an interrogation? Thank the child who helps with chores, lovingly helps a sibling, or is kind to a friend. Take the time to say you appreciate the person they are becoming.

As we pause this week to count our blessings, I thought I would share with you the following prayer of gratitude. May God richly bless you and your family this holiday season, and may each of us make time each day to express our heartfelt gratitude for His eternal goodness in our lives.

Prayer on Thanksgiving Day

Heavenly Father,

This is the day set aside to give you thanks for your surpassing goodness to human beings. You have created us in your own image and set us over your wonderful creation. You chose us a people to be your won and to carry your message of salvation to all people. You carried out your redemption in Jesus, your Son, and his saving fruits are passed on to every generation to all who believer that by his death and resurrection Jesus has given them a new freedom in his Spirit. Let me give you proper thanks for your blessings - those I am aware of as well as those that I habitually take for granted. And let me learn to use them according to your will.