Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I hope you enjoy this video from Fr. Roderick!

Catholic Moments Podcast Episode #18

A "moment" with me! Today, it's an odds and ends podcast with some news and updates. I share my farewell to a good friend, Sheree and prepare for All Saints and All Souls with a recipe from Ann Ball for Pan de Meurtos. Also, please join me for a special project to support our troops by sending a card to James Terbay, son of our Catholic Mom columnist Susan Handle Terbay. You can send a Christmas card to Jimmy at this address:

SSG Terbay, James C.
G4/319 AFAR
Unit #31458 Box #18646
APO AE 09139

Links for this episode:
Taste and See Faith Giveaway
Catholic Mom Columnists
Trish Foti Genco - Catholic Musician
Fr. William Holtzinger - Catholic Podcaster
Ann Ball

Direct download: cm018.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Monday, October 29, 2007

Serving the Lord in Music Ministry

I didn't want anyone to miss Pat Gohn's exceptional comments below on Larry's guitar plea. Thank you to Pat for sharing her wisdom and encouragement. Here are her insights:

Dear Larry,

I have been a church musician for 30 years. And I compliment you on your willingness to come forward and offer to play for your church. It is a joy and blessing to serve the Lord in music ministry, but it is also a responsibility not lightly entered into if you are in a position of leadership.

I have a few suggestions.

1. If you haven't already, seek guidance from your pastor and/or parish staff to see A) which Mass or masses would be the proper liturgical setting for the kind of worship music you wish to offer: chant, contemporary worship & praise, or traditional hymn singing; and B)see if the parish can offer any budget for the purchase of sheet music, hymnals, or the creation of a custom hymnal.

2. Once, you figure out those two items in #1, then you have a better path of direction. Make sure that if your church has a liturgy team to help with planning, that you get involved with that process. The point is, get plugged in with the decision makers in your parish. In short, your musical selections should tie in appropriately with the themes of the liturgical calendar.

3. A caution: There is very little "free" music. All music has licensing fees for use--especially if you intend to have copies of the words and/or music for the members of your congregation. (After all, this is how composers and music publishers earn a living.) There are certain hymns that have little to no fees affiliated, and these are usually called "public domain." Many people mistakenly believe that if one is performing music for God in a church that there should be no costs involved, but alas, that is not the case. Frankly, a church can get into legal hot water if it violates copyright laws, especially for the distribution of songsheets, etc, without proper licensing.

4. If your church gives you the green light, then do your research! There are many pre-fabbed hymnal collections out there already, but you may want to start out will making weekly songsheets/worship aids if your church is really small. For starters, get an education at this website: You'll find that church music publishers charge based on the size of your church and the number of reprints you make. Another idea, is to go to your diocesan office--each diocese usually has a "worship or liturgy" office. They can direct you to other resources and possibly other musicians in your area who may be of help.

5. Once you have the necessary permissions, and a plan for what kind of music is called for... practice, practice, practice! We want to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities.

6. Learn how to use the church sound system properly! Many a church musician falters in this critical last step. If you are not heard, all of the other preliminary work is in vain.

7. Once in front of a microphone, make sure you possess a leadership style that is inviting and welcoming, not "showy" or "haughty". Give glory to God by being a servant-leader with the focus on the Mass, not the music.

8. Encourage others to join in. Find out if any parishioners belong to a community choir and ar local orchestra, etc. You may find others are willing to share their gifts.

9. Finally, some advice from St. Francis of Assisi: "First, do what's necessary, then what's possible, then before you know it, you're doing the impossible."

Pat Gohn

Friday, October 26, 2007

Part of a Faith Family

This morning's school mass typified why I'm so in love with my parish. Every Friday morning, our school community celebrates mass together. I sat with some of my fellow moms this morning, since Adam was altar serving. Seated in the rear of the church, my heart swelled with gratitude at being a part of such a wonderful faith family.

Today's mass was very special for many reasons. Sadly, earlier this week we lost a dear friend - our first grade teacher Mrs. Ray. Sheree had begun the school year quietly fighting a battle against cancer and refusing to give in. The school brought in a team teacher to help her when it was apparent that she would only be able to work mornings due to fatigue and pain. In late September, she left her classroom when her pain and treatments made it impossible for her to teach. She vowed to be back and fought valiantly for the last month and half. On Sunday, during our 9:30 mass, we received word that she had died peacefully. Today's mass was dedicated to her memory - we will gather again as a faith family on Monday to celebrate her life at her funeral liturgy.

Today was also our Pastor's final school mass. He will leave on Monday to minister to a new parish. Our principal reminded us how Msgr. John has challenged each of us to dream big and to be better Christians every day. Msgr. leaves behind a legacy of new buildings, new computers, and new attitudes - he will be missed.

Also during Mass, we celebrated the baptisms of two children of one of our teachers. To be present at a family baptism is always a treat, but to celebrate our welcome of these two little souls into God's family on the day we were all missing Mrs. Ray so much was a special blessing. Somehow, the circle of life felt vivid and present in the glory of this sacrament.

I love my parish because it is my home, my faith home. I love the fact that we can gather in prayer to love and support one another in painful times, in goodbyes and in loss, and that we can lift one another's spirits when we celebrate joyously together. I love that we can gather as one in the Eucharist to nourish our souls and hearts in Jesus. I love that I am part of this family, the Body of Christ. Today, as on so many days, I realize that I am blessed beyond measure.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tim Brown Talks about the Spirit of Notre Dame

Sorry for the football blast, but I'm trying to cheer myself up after last week's devastating loss to USC. I enjoyed this video and though you might too! Go Irish!

Catholic Moments Podcast Episode #17

A "Moment" in the Kitchen. Today, I chat with Marie Wilson, author of Taste and See Faith: Recipes for the Soul a great book that blends cooking, prayer, and our liturgical calendar. Congratulations to Chuck Stevens, my favorite new Deacon! We take a peak at "Bella", a new movie that looks great. To win your copy of Taste and See Faith, send an email to by November 15, 2007. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
Taste and See Faith: Recipes for the Soul by Marie Wilson
Small Talent Music - Chuck Stevens
Spirit Wing Records
Bella the Movie
To Teach from USCCB
Tupelo Catholic Podcast

Direct download: cm017.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Guitarist Needs Your Help!

Once again, please chime in if you can offer any suggestions for Larry's plea:

I am trying to play guitar for my small church in Texas but need some sheet music with guitar chords that has hymns for the different parts of the Church year. I am not an accomplished player but we do not have any music at all and thought I could at least try to add something. I was hoping you might have some free sheet music or some that is reasonably priced. Thank you for any help or if you know of any other sources that may be of help. Sincerely, Larry

Thanks Shirley!

In case you missed her comment below, thank you so much to Shirley for sharing the following information for those who want to sew costumes:

If you want full-up then Simplicity has a Nativity pattern (I think around $8?):

More casual - this site has ideas for dressing Mary as in a Nativity play:

While not specific to Mary, this site has ideas for making tunics etc

Thanks Shirley!!

Amazing Catechists - Lisa M. Needs You!

Lisa Mladinich and her Amazing Catechists website need you! A questionnaire has been designed to develop content for a new website and on-line forum in English and Spanish (coming soon!), Amazing Catechists seeks to breathe new life into the religious formation of Catholic children, teens and adults. Amazing Catechists are sacramentally active, loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and persevering humbly, day-by-day, in their relationships with Jesus Christ. Download the questionnaire here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Reader Request

Reader Fran needs our help! She would like to teach her students how to sign the Hail Mary and the Glory Be. Do any of you have resources or web sites you may be able to recommend? If so, post your ideas in the comments or drop me an email! Thanks!

Free Candy

Thanks to our "Freebies" coordinator Michelle for sharing the good news about this offer from KMart for a free bag of candy!

Another Way to Support!

Support A Ministry

Just in time to help you prepare for the holiday season, we have a new way for you to support our ministry. By making purchases at Spirit Wing Records, you make a donation to while buying wonderful Catholic music for your family! Spirit Wing is the home of the Catholic Music 2007 and 2008 CDs and also the wonderful Catholic Christmas CD featuring so many of our favorite musicians! Check out Spirit Wing Records, and and thanks, as always, for your support!

Free Adoption and Foster Care Conference

For anyone who is interested in adopting or considering foster care, please check out this free conference in Texas being held on Saturday, November 3rd. This looks like a wonderful opportunity for anyone living in that area. Thanks to Heidi Hess Saxton for bringing this to our attention!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Deep Freeze Your Credit to Protect Your Identity

Because I am so passionate on this topic, I wanted to share my post today from Productivity @ Home. You wouldn't leave the door to your family home unlocked and wide open to predators, so don't leave your family finances unprotected.

This recent article from CNN Money brings more good news for those of us fighting the war against the growing problem of identity theft. For anyone who is about to tune out and think, "That will never happen to me...", let me beg you to take steps to thoroughly protect your credit and identity. As a victim of identity theft last Spring, I am still sorting out the details that left my credit a complete disaster. I thought I was sufficiently protected - I was wrong.

In her article Putting a Freeze on Credit, author Gerri Willis reports that by year's end consumers in all fifty states will have the option to place a "security freeze" on their credit. These freezes essentially place a lock on your credit, requiring you to call in with a PIN and ID prior to the approval of new credit. You would not believe how easy it truly is for someone to assume your identity and immediately accrue thousands of dollars of debt in your name without any challenge. While there is a charge for freezing and unfreezing your credit when you apply for new accounts, the charge is minimal in relation to the time and money it takes to retrieve your credit once it has been compromised.

As long as I'm on this topic, I would strongly recommend that every family invest in some form of credit monitoring. Had I known what a hassle I would have to live through as a victim of this crime, I would never have objected to the monthly fee.

Do some homework today regarding your state's options for freezing credit and consider it time well spent!

Win Free Tickets to 10 Commandments Movie!

Over at his Inspirational Christian Stories and Poems blog, my friend Chris Cash is offering you the opportunity to win two free tickets to see the great new 10 Commandments movie. Click here and enter quickly, as the deadline is midnight tonight, Thursday, October 18. Learn more about the movie here. This looks like a great movie to see with our families. We need to support those who produce great family content. Thanks Chris!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast Episode #15

We spend a "moment" with Alec Colchico, Imagination and Activity Expert for the PBS show "A Place of Our Own" and Cheryl Dickow of Bezalel Books. We belatedly celebrate the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel with a great Ann Ball recipe and a song from Steve Rougas. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
A Place of Our Own PBS Show
Bezalel Books
Bezalel Family Book Club
Catholic Musician Steve Rougas -
Ann Ball
Catholic Mom Logo Store - Nielsen Design Studio

Direct download: cm015.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

If You're Not Already Sick of the Sound of My Voice

If you haven't already heard enough of me lately, please head over to Chris Cash's great Catholic Spotlight for an interview!

Seriously, I'm so grateful to Chris for the opportunity to talk about and the new Catholic Moments Podcast. If you have a moment, please drop Chris a comment to thank him for helping to spread the word about what we do around here.

Reader Request

Alba needs your help! Please post comments, links, and or suggestions below if you have any ideas:

My child wants to dress as Virgin Mary for Church and I need some help on getting ideas on how to sew it myself. Could you be so kind as to point me in the right direction?

Beautiful Mother Angelica Tribute

I wish I could locate this at You Tube, but haven't been able to find it there. Please take a moment or two to watch the beautiful Mother Angelica update at EWTN - it really is very touching!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Funny Lady Edwards at It Again

Sally Edwards wrote me to share the following:

A Night of Comedy with Catholic Stand up Comedian Sally Edwards and WGN Radio's Very Own Funnyman, Steve Cochran, at Zanies in Vernon Hills.

For Immediate Release – Vernon Hills, IL Comedian and Author, Sally Edwards, who excels in clean comedy and music and who performs her own one-woman show "Family Lunacy!" and the very popular radio host, Steve Cochran, will be at Zanies in Vernon Hills on October 20th, 2007 at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m.

Steve Cochran has often proclaimed Sally Edwards, a frequest guest on WGN Radio - "America's Funniest Mom".

Seating is at 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. Tickets are nonrefundable and are available at $25/ea. plus a 2 item food/bev. minimum.

Go to

While I'm talking about Sally, I thought you might enjoy this video clip of her performing in Denver!

Blog Action Day

I hope you enjoy the following, written for my Productivity @ Home blog:

Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers all over the country are gathering forces today to blog on the topic of the Environment and to make charitable contributions to environmental charities. It is humbling to be a part of this effort, which will include over 15,000 blogs being read by over twelve million readers. My voice, though small, is inspired by my sincere hope that we are creating a better world for our children. As a mother, so many of my goals in life revolve around giving my children the best in this life, and that includes helping them learn about protecting our precious world.

Being concerned with the environment and working from home go hand in hand. We who "telecommute" minimize impact on the roads, consume less fuel, use less paper, and generally contribute towards a positive impact on our environment. But there are ways in which we can all get better about being more "green". These are just a few simple suggestions for running a more environmentally friendly home office:

  • Purchase "energy star" appliances and computers
  • Participate in electronic recycling programs
  • Print less and PDF more - when printing or using paper, make an effort to use recycled materials
  • Shred documents and files no longer needed and recycle the shreddings
  • Situate your home office to benefit from natural lighting
  • Install energy efficient bulbs and fixtures
  • Manage your home office thermostat to maximize energy efficiency
  • When leaving the home office to run errands or take meetings, group your activities to minimize time spent on the road

These are only a few of the tips available to help office workers, both at home and in traditional work settings, be kinder to our environment. I'd love to hear your suggestions - feel free to email me at or to post a comment below.

Cutest Craft Ever for All Saint's Day!

I'm so happy to announce the arrival of Alice Gunther of the wonderful blog Cottage Blessings as our newest columnist. Alice will be sharing her wonderful craft and project ideas for living out our beautiful Church year in our homes in her "Living the Liturgical Year" column. This is something I've prayed for years would someday be a part of, so Alice is truly a gift from the Holy Spirit. Please check out today's column entitled "Saints of the Season" where Alice shares all of the simple instructions you and your family will need to create your own saint parade! Thank you Alice for sharing your talents with all of us!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Catholic Moments Podcast Episode #14

In today's Catholic Moments Podcast, we visit with Barbara Calamari, co-author of Saints: Ancient and Modern and Sharmane Adams, an inspiring musician who is working on an Impact Project to help fund children's cancer research. To share your comments, email us at or comment at

Links for this episode:
Saints: Ancient and Modern by Barbara Calamari and Sandra DiPasqua - Sharmane Adams' official web site
Download "I Surrender" and support St. Jude's Hospital cancer research
Sharmane's MySpace
Catholic Mom Logo Store - Nielsen Design Studio

Listen by Direct download: cm014.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Subscribe to Catholic Moments in a Reader

Knock, Knock...

Who's there?

Thanks to those of you who have shared resources for great, clean jokes to use with kids. I'm posting them here in case you might have missed the ones suggested in the comments:

Have additional suggestions? Keep them coming!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Reader Request

Hi guys! Here's another reader request from Lucy. I'm out of jokes, but maybe you have a suggestion for good resources:

My daughter and I are first time Catechists for 3rd graders in first year catechism classes and I was wondering if you have any Catholic jokes for this age group. I thought it would be nice if we could begin class with a joke since the children are so serious.

Reader Request

Michigan DRE Barb wrote me to request help with the following. If you can help out, please drop a comment below or email me. Thanks!

I’m hoping you can help me with something. About 10 years ago, my youth group presented an Advent skit, ”John the Baptist Meets Santa Claus.” It was really a neat 10 minute skit where Santa and his Elves come face to face with John the Baptist and his followers. I have not been able to find my copy or find it one line. Do you happen to know about it, where I can get a copy of it? I’d love for our high school youth group to present it for our Family Faith Day on Dec. 2. If you can be of any help I’d greatly appreciate it.

Bezalel Family Book Club

I'm so happy to announce that is working with Bezalel Books to promote their new Catholic Family Book Club. Bezalel is a Catholic publishing company owned by the wonderful Cheryl Dickow. You can learn more about this wonderful opportunity at For one price, you can have a supply of wonderful Catholic family books sent to your home. You will also have access to online moderated sessions with the authors of these great books. This is a great idea for Christmas - a gift for your whole family! In addition, when you join the Bezalel Family Book Club, a portion of your subscription price is donated to to support our work.

Click here for additional information.

Catholic Moments Podcast Episode #13

In this episode, I explore the issue of the Catholic Church in China with Tom Grace, author of the newly released novel The Secret Cardinal - our October 2oo7 Catholic Mom Book Club fiction selection. Fresh back from the Notre Dame vs. UCLA football game, I share a hilarious Notre Dame spoof song and some feedback from listeners. To share your comments, email us at or give us a call at (206)222-2325.

Links for this episode:
The Secret Cardinal by Tom Grace
Tom Grace Web Site
Secret Cardinal Book Web Site
Catholic in a Small Town Podcast
Catholic Mom Logo Store - Nielsen Design Studio

Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes
Listen via direct download: cm013.mp3

Fr. Geek at the Podcast Expo!

Thanks to Fr. Bill Holtzinger for sharing this great video podcast of this year's Podcast Expo! If you want to have a little taste of what I experienced, take a few minutes to enjoy this. My family may even recognize the back of my head in a few shots! Thanks Fr. Bill!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Congratulations Angelina!!

Proud mom and manager Maria Davis wrote in to share the following great news about the results of this weekend's Unity Awards for Catholic music. Congratulations to Angelina and all of the other winners!

Angelina is recipient for Three Unity Awards for 2007

Catholic musicians and producers from around the world gathered this weekend to honor the achievements of fellow artists at the Unity Awards, which has been dubbed the Catholic Grammy's.

Gulfport native and Catholic recording artist Angelina attended this years 8th Annual ceremonies held at the Historic Orpheum Theatre located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Angelina was the recipient of three awards this year. Her newest CD release "Assembled" was honored with "Best Liturgical/Sacramental Album of the Year" and "Gospel Song of the Year", "Wade In the Water". Angelina was once again honored by having the "Best Video Award" for her song, "Touched by His Love", a song for St. Padre Pio, which is shown periodically on the Eternal Word Television Network in over 80 countries.

Angelina was honored to attend this years event. Her enthusiasm was evident when she took the stage after the announcement of her song, "Wade in the Water" was the recipient of Gospel Song of the Year! Angelina did a little dance of joy with her hands held high as she went to the podium. All should could say was, Yeah! Angelina did however thank God, her parents Jim and Maria, and all those who support her music for her accomplishments.

Angelina also was a presenter and performed her song, "The Magnificat" from her CD "Assembled", with fellow artist, Mary Lahood and Kara Klein.

Angelina flew in from Washington D.C. to attend this years event. She is busy with her second year at Catholic U studying Music with an emphasis on Choral Conducting.

Angelina has a signing scheduled November 23rd at "The Walk" Christian Books and Gifts located on Pineville Road in Long Beach, MS. You can visit with Angelina and get a signed copy of her award winning CD from 9:00 - 11:00.

Visit Angelina on the web at

Donna-Marie on the Radio

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle wrote to share that she will be on the radio again tomorrow morning. Here's all the information:

Tune in tomorrow morning at 9:15 AM Eastern Standard Time to hear the newest segment of my Mom's Corner" with Teresa Tomeo on "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria Radio. We will be discussing a timely and urgent topic for parents regarding a "tween age" and teen age girls and the pressures on them from our culture. Join us and feel free to call in with a question or comment. You can listen in at this link from your computer!

Must Watch Video!

Thanks so much to Maria Davis for sharing this incredibly hilarious video. Grab yourself a diet coke or coffee and spend three minutes enjoying this. I guarantee you'll be laughing out loud by the end!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Join Holy Hour Online this evening

If you happen to be online right now, feel free to join me at Check it out at where Fr. Jay Finelli is streaming his weekly Holy Hour. Please join me in praying for peace in our world and for a special intention. This is the beauty of the internet!

Catholic Moments Podcast Episode #12

Today's Catholic Moments features Father James Martin, SJ and a fascinating look at his latest book. We also speak with Catholic musician Angelina as she gets ready to attend this weekend's Unity Awards for the best in Catholic music. To share your comments, email us at or give us a call at (206)222-2325.

Links for this episode:
A Jesuit Off-Broadway - Fr. James Martin's Latest Book
Angelina Sings
Watch the Unity Awards Live on UStream with Susan Bailey, Grapevine Magazine and Grapevine News Minute
Catholic Mom Logo Store - Nielsen Design Studio

Listen via direct download: cm012.mp3
Subscribe to Catholic Moments at iTunes

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hi Friends!

Sorry I've been so negligent of this blog this week. I'm busy trying to get caught up from being away. You can check out what I've been up to over at and at and of course be sure to check out all the latest at I'm hoping to find some time to blog here on Thursday.