Monday, June 30, 2008

Lisa Heard on Grapevine

Just in case you haven't heard me talking about the CNMC enough, you can listen to this week's episode of GrapeVine News Minute, where my great cyber-buddy Susan Bailey interviews me about the celebration. We greatly enjoyed our conversation and I thought you might like to hear it as well! While you're at it, check out the newly redesigned Grapevine Website and leave Susan a little bit of encouraging feedback. She's doing a great job!

GrapeVine - Audio Broadcasts: The GrapeVine News Minute for June 29, 2008 Weekly Column Roundup

Hi everyone and welcome to a wonderful holiday week. This week, I'm thrilled to welcome yet another new columnist! Katherine Barron, host of the wonderful podcast Catholic In a Small Town, will be writing on topics related to Catholic Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding, and other cool stuff at her new column entitled "Bumps on the Road To Sainthood" - you've got to love that title!

Adam and I shared a wonderful weekend together in Seal Beach, where we were able to visit with my favorite priest, Fr. Michael Collins. Fr. Collins is celebrating his 90th birthday this month, as well as the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Later this week on the podcast, I'll be sharing my interview with Fr. Collins - I know you'll enjoy getting to know him as well. We had a wonderful weekend near the beach - you know it's one of my favorite places!

I hope you enjoy reading all of this week's columns from our wonderful contributors. While you're reading, I would request your prayers for two special intentions: Pat Gohn is recuperating from a surgery and Sadie McCurry's husband is currently deployed in Baghdad. Both families need our prayers and support during challenging times, and I know that you readers are prayer warriors. I'm also asking your prayers for my TV project director Dan, who recently learned of a very difficult health crisis he is facing. Thank you for your continual support in these and the many intentions I bring to your attention.

Here are this week's columns:

Learning about the Faith with Your Children by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

How I became a Catholic AP (that's "Attachment Parenting") Mom by our newest Catholic Mom columnist, Katherine Barron

The Year of Paul the Apostle by Sherry Antonetti

The Bread of Life by Kate Wicker

Biscotti in Bed by Pat Gohn

God Is Laughing At Me by Columnist Sadie McCurry

Balancing Work and Children this Summer by Becky Cash

Do You Love Sweets Too? by Kelly,'s new "Kitchen Kop"

The Least of Our Brothers Includes a Little Frightened Kitten by Ebeth Weidner

Up and Away by Michele Howe

The Great Houdini and His Assistant by Lisa Barker

Friday, June 27, 2008

Catholic Moments #57 - Catholic New Media Celebration

Enjoy a morning at the Catholic New Media Celebration as Lisa interviews CNMC participants in anticipation of the big event. Our Parish Media Liaison Kerry highlights some great books and our friend Chris Cash tells us about some great happenings at the Catholic Company. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Catholic New Media Celebration
The Catholic Company
Parish Media Liaison Kerry Madden's Pick - Great Summer Reading
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #57

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Catholic Moments #56 - Diocese of Atlanta Eucharistic Congress

Come along with Lisa to the Diocese of Atlanta's Eucharistic Congress. We speak with many of the representatives of various apostolates at the Congress to learn more about how we can support our families and foster vocations. My next podcast will feature audio from the Catholic New Media Celebration. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Diocese of Atlanta's Eucharistic Congress
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #56

Resources for Parents of Children with Autism

Jean at Catholic Fire has a great post today with plenty of resources for families facing autism. With the increase of this diagnosis, this is a great resource for all of us to help build awareness.

Catholic Fire: For Parents of Autistic Kids

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Help Grandma Learn to Work Her Digital Camera

Two special friends of mine, Scott and Christine Maentz, have created a new website called, which is devoted to helping grandparents leave a "digital legacy" for their grandchildren. For many, the thought of doing much with the computer beyond simply checking email can be a bit overwhelming. That's where Scott and Christine step in! Here's some information on their new site:
Ok, so you’ve bought into the idea that it would be a good thing to leave a digital legacy for your kids, grandkids and the generations following them. Awesome! Congratulations on taking this important first step. Now what do you do? Where do you get started?

There are so many choices and options that you really do need someone to guide you through the technology maze. This is where Remember Granny™ shines. Our mission is to provide practical information for getting your life online and to keep things simple, always striving to speak to you in plain English. We know that much of this is completely foreign to many of you. Like traveling in a foreign country, you need a good guide to make the most of your time. We know you can easily learn to take full advantage of the Internet with the right guidance. Remember Granny™ hopes to be your personal Internet guide.

Here at we’ll be teaching you everything you need to get online. We’ll have instructional videos as well as articles on this web site that will help you filter through all the noise to make good choices and save you valuable time. It’s all free and is yours for the browsing. Just give me a couple of months to build up the articles & videos and we’ll soon have something really helpful here.

For those of you who are not inclined to take the time to do this yourself, we’ll be starting a services business that will take care of getting everything set up for you. I’ll have more information on this coming soon as well. One way or another, we’ll make sure you have what you need to take advantage of today’s digital age by using today’s rich digital media to communicate your life, your values and your ideas to future generations.

Remember Granny - Virtual immortality made easy. Weekly Column Roundup

Again this week we have so many wonderful columns to share! It was such a treat to meet some of our fabulous columnists at the CNMC - I'd love to have one big party and meet everyone, but until then, I hope you'll enjoy this week's columns:

Sports and Spiritual Formation by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

From the Scrapbook: Sacred and Immaculate Heart Dolls by Alice Gunther

The Gift of Sons by Sherry Antonetti

Do You Hate Exercise? by Kelly,'s new "Kitchen Kop"

Attending Mass While on Vacation by Lori Callaway

Catch 22 by Michele Howe

A Silent Gift by Janet Cassidy

Learning Should Be Its Own Reward by Marybeth Hicks

Stupidity, the Bane of All Parents by Lisa Barker

Donna-Marie on the Radio with Teresa Tomeo

In case you missed it, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle appeared this week on the radio with Teresa Tomeo. Since I love both of them dearly, I enjoyed listening to the segment on Donna-Marie's site. The topic is "summer prayer". Check it out!

Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: Summer prayer segment on my "Mom's Corner" with Teresa Tomeo

Bringing Up Geeks!

My good friend and our columnist Marybeth Hicks recently announced the release of her new website at in anticipation of her book of the same name.

Marybeth's book focuses on raising "GEEK"s - Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids. I can't wait to see the book and have had a blast exploring her new site. Some of my favorite features of the site are the Geek Parent Community, What's Really Cool in Middle School and Fun Stuff for Geeky Kids.

I'll remind you in early July when Marbeth's book is available, but if you'd like you can pre-order Bringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast WorldBringing Up Geeks: How to Protect Your Kid's Childhood in a Grow-Up-Too-Fast World at Amazon now.

It's time to redefine what's cool for kids

Heidi and Sarah's Jet Setting is for Sissies Road Trip

I've been having a lot of fun vicariously road tripping with Heidi and Sarah on their "Jet Setting is for Sissies" 2008 Road Trip.

I have to admire these two incredible women, taking this on with kids in tow. Yep, I'm one of the sissies who took a plane to the CNMC instead! This photo shows you a bunch of the gang who dined together Saturday night to kick off the celebration. It was so incredible to meet these fantastically talented folks and their kiddos in person after so many years of admiring their talents from afar! Three of the adorable kiddos are not in the photo - they were too busy having fun.

If you're feeling restless and want to get in on some of the fun, check out Heidi's blog and go along for the ride!
Mommy Monsters Inc.

Congrats Suzannah!

Suzannah C. from Dallas is the winner of our On This Day Designs contest. Suzannah will soon be receiving her Amethyst Blessed Mother necklace. A special thanks to Susan and the sisters at On This Day for their generosity in donating this lovely piece of jewelry.

I'm going to be announcing a new contest later this week, so stay tuned for your next chance to win!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Highlights from the CNMC

I'm sitting at the airport in Atlanta, waiting for my flights (via Salt Lake City) home to Fresno and am filled with a rush of emotions. This first is a sense of intense happiness - I'm truly blessed in my life. This weekend was an incredible experience! The culmination came yesterday around noon, when seven podcasting priests concelebrated a Mass for all of us present at the Catholic New Media Celebration. Watching my friends and fellow attendees process forward to receive the Eucharist brought tears of joy to my eyes. What a gift to be a part of this faith filled movement that is using technology and new media to share our excitement about our Catholic faith.

I can't say enough about how much I appreciate all of the hard work that went into making this weekend event possible. I wish I had enough money to send Greg and Jennifer Willits on a Caribbean Cruise for a week - their tireless preparations for the CNMC resulted in a flawless event that will be long remembered. If you missed it this year, start planning now to be there next year!

A few more highlights from the day:

  • Arriving early to assist with setup and finding a tribe of hardworking souls already at work to make the day great. Most of these were the same crazy group with whom I gathered the night before to shut down the Marriott Lobby Bar - who needs sleep?
  • Walking into the Georgia International Convention Center and realizing how far SQPN has come in the past year - what a thrill to be a part of this tremendous organization!
  • Seeing the new and TOTALLY cute Catholic Mom t shirts designed by the fabulous Capt. Jeff - you simply MUST get one!
  • Enjoying Fr. Leo's keynote speech, which was unforgettable and a real call to arms to "Be Not Afraid" to use our skills and to use our lives as "bait" to draw others into a faith-filled life and a relationship with Christ
  • Listening to the panels moderated by Lino Rulli - he's an amazingly hilarious guy!
  • Moderating the blogging panel starring Amy Welborn, Mark Shea and Jeff Miller - although I wasn't worthy of the honor of being on the stage with these blogging stars, I appreciate Greg Willits' confidence in me and will always treasure the opportunity!
  • Watching the debut of the newest episode of That Catholic Show! and learning of Greg and Jennifer's wonderful news that they are expecting a new member of their family - Greg did promise us their would be surprises!
  • Playing chauffeur for Mark Shea - totally cool!
  • Hanging with the On the U boys - I love those guys!
  • Pizza and beer with a gang of the most incredible, talented, and absolutely fun people in Catholic "new media"
I should be home in about ten hours and back to a "regular" schedule for a few days until my next trip on Friday. In the mean time, I'd love to hear from you - drop me a comment or email if you attended CNMC or if you have any specific questions about the event.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Highlights from the Eucharistic Congress

The tremendous points of yesterday are too numerous to mention, but here are just a few:

  • Pulling into the parking lot of the massive Georgia International Convention Center bright and early (on California time) and finding one of the last few parking spots - thanks St. Anthony
  • Entering a building packed to the gills with enthusiastic, compassionate and reverent Catholic thrilled about being together to share their faith
  • Selling That Catholic Show DVDs at the TCS booth with the SQPN crew. Being trained on how to use PayPal by none other than THE TECHNOPRIEST and sharing the good news about TCS and the CNMC with so many people
  • Enjoying conversations with some of the world's best priests - all of whom are podcasting geeks!
  • Wandering the expo and speaking with vendors about their services - listen for a complete overview on this week's podcast
  • Listening to Matthew Kelly, who's just always great
  • Visiting with all of the SQPNers - the podcasters, the listeners and those who support what we do behind the scenes
  • Chatting with Popple - I tried not to gush too much, but these guys are totally cool!
  • Having dinner with the Catholic Exchange/Canticle/CatholicMom crowd and their adorable daughters
  • Attending a lobby social hour last night - sharing a beer with my fellow podcasters, getting writing wisdom from Amy Welborn and Mark Shea, and making my uStream debut
  • Spending time in Eucharistic Adoration with a few hundred other very faithfilled souls and counting my many blessings - thank you Jesus for my life, for your love and for this day!

Friday, June 20, 2008

CNMC Weekend off to a Wonderful Start

The fun has begun.  I arrived in Atlanta tonight around 8:30 and just got in from spending the evening in the company of some of my favorite podcasting buddies.  In typical geek fashion, after I checked into my room, I posted a note on Twitter looking for someone to hang out with for a little while.  I'm still on California time, and was too excited to do the practical thing - get some rest!  So Scott of Boogie Lights and Sweat Cast fame was kind enough to meet up with me.  Sadly, Scott's wife Christine wasn't able to join us, but I'm looking forward to meeting her tomorrow. Before long, Rob and Kristen of Tupelo Catholic joined us.  It's so great to finally meet Kristen, who is a total sweetie.   Next to join us were Steve and Pat of On the U, along with Pat's brother.  It's so amazing to meet people you've listened to for such a long time - I have such a great deal of respect for the work Steve has done with his students - truly a special ministry.

Now it's late - the clock on the bedside stand in my room is trying to tell me that it's 1:00 am, but my body and mind are exhilarated and still operating on California time!  I'm so excited to be able to be here this weekend with so many special people, all of whom are working to share and spread our faith through exciting new media techniques.  The opportunity to gather, to share, to learn and to grow as a faith community is truly a gift.  

Tomorrow morning (although not too early!), I will head to the convention center for the Diocese of Atlanta's Eucharistic Congress.  It promises to be a wonderful event.  I will try to take lots of photos and fit in a few podcast interviews as well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Catholic Moments #54 - San Francisco, Christian Frank

Lisa podcasts this week overlooking the bay in San Francisco. We share an interview with Christian Frank, author of the June Book Club fiction pick, Catholic Reluctantly. Deacon Tom Fox shares an inspirational Catholic Deacon Moment on the gift of the Eucharist. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Catholic Reluctantly
Kelly the Kitchen Cop
Parish Media Liaison Kerry Madden's Pick - Catholic Music
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #55

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More on CE TOB Resource

More from Catholic Exchange on their new Theology of the Body resource:

It’s a theological time bomb!

That’s what George Weigel, Pope John Paul’s biographer called his teaching on the Theology of the Body.

And Catholic Exchange is lighting the fuse!

Catholic Exchange editors announce: the first-of-its-kind online assembly of the top writers on the Theology of the Body -- contributing to our new Theology of the Body channel.

Catholic Theologians have just begun to study and fully understand this rich body of work left for us by John Paul the Great, but it is already bearing fruit in thousands of lives touched by the Divine “One Flesh” vision for men and women. Here is the loving answer of the Church to a society that devalues the human person and tries to pit male and female against each other.

Leading us in this exploration are over a dozen writers and teachers who will be regularly contributing to this channel as well as talented and thoughtful guest columnists.

A list of these outstanding authors can be seen by putting your cursor over the “Columnists” link on the on the white navigation bar at the top of the TOB channel. Coordinating the contributors to this new channel is Steve Pokorny. Steve has an MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, received training from Christopher West, and will be completing his studies at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies in 2009.

Assisting him will be Kevin Whelan a business professional, who shares his personal reflection through the lens of a married man and demonstrates that the message of Theology of the Body is relevant to older men.

Columnist Fr. Thomas J. Loya will be known to many CE readers as a weekly host and guest on Relevant Radio. He offers a prospective of Theology of the Body from the rich tradition of Eastern Christianity. Another religious contributor is Sr. Mary Paul Friemel, OSF, who both teaches and studies theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She brings a dynamic, young consecrated woman’s view to the subject.

Monica Ashour and Annie Vining of the Theology of the Body Institute bring with them the experience of teaching this material to thousands of Catholics of all ages and walks of life. They join Dave Sloan, Christopher West, Dan Spadaro, and a number of other writers obeying the call of Pope John Paul to use the media to reach the world with the gospel of life.

Since this new channel will make Theology of the body accessible to all kinds of readers we have designed this channel to sort the articles according to various topics. Put your cursor on the “TOB for All” link on the white navigation bar at the top of the channel and a drop down menu reveals the rich selection of topics:

TOB for Consecrated Lives
TOB for Men
TOB for Spouses
TOB for Women
TOB for Young Adults
The NFP Way to Love
The Pornography Trap

We are lighting the fuse of this theological time bomb!

Let it catch fire in you, transform you and heal your relationships today at!

P.S. An outstanding selection of articles is ready for your exploration on our new Theology of the Body channel -- with new content and features coming online or being filled in over the new few weeks:

* Reader’s comment blocks
* Video and podcast
* An improved CE forum

We rely on your donations to make it all possible. Please donate today and help us continue to grow!

Monday, June 16, 2008

New TOB Channel at Catholic Exchange

Congratulations to Mary Kochan and Joshua LeBlanc for the launch of the new Theology of the Body channel at Catholic Exchange. This looks to be a tremendous resource, packed with information and top notch columnists. Click here to visit this great resource and be on the lookout for more great developments soon from Catholic Exchange.

CE - Theology of the Body | Theology of the Body Channel Weekly Column Roundup

This week, I'm happy to announce the addition of yet another new columnist. Ebeth Weidner joins us for "Pillar Talk" and this week relates the topic of "hypermiling" to precepts of our faith. I have lots to learn about both topics! If you'd ever like to consider sharing your writing as a columnist, email me at for volunteer information.

I hope you enjoy this week's columns:

The Pope's 10 Commandments for Drivers and HYPERMILING! by Ebeth Weidner, Our Newest Columnist

Conquering Fear One Step at a Time by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dieting, Lice, Eczema and More by Kelly,'s new "Kitchen Kop"

Teen Tips for Surviving to Adulthood, Spiritually Intact by Sherry Antonetti

Teen vs. Parent Power Struggles by Lori Callaway

Hands On by Michele Howe

Trust in God's Vision for You by Janet Cassidy

Behavior that Goes beyond Scope of Grounding by Marybeth Hicks

No Domestic Goddess Here by Lisa Barker

Parenting Columns on faith and parenting from

Please say some prayers for Kerry

I know I've been asking for lots of prayers and support lately, but I firmly believe in the power of our prayers for one another so I'm going to keep asking. A good friend of mine (even though we've never met!) is Kerry Madden, who has become known for her work as a Catholic Parish Media Liaison. Kerry is a weekly contributor to our Catholic Moments Podcast - you will recognize her as the angel with the sweet voice who calls in weekly to share great things happening in Catholic media. I'm a regular visitor to her blog, where she's always posting about wonderful Catholic new media tips. Yesterday, Kerry was hospitalized for heart troubles and has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. She received a special blessing from her parish priest and is requesting prayers as she faces the challenges of this diagnosis.

When I received Kerry's email today and that of another friend who also needs our prayers, it underscored for me the true power and beauty of a responsible use of New Media. Through the Internet, we can lift up and support each other in times of need like these. Please pray for Kerry and her family!

Kerry's blog

CNMC - Are You Going to Be There?

I just clicked over to the CNMC website and the site of the countdown clock with less than six days remaining gave me chills. I can't imagine how Greg Willits, the true heart behind the Catholic New Media Celebration, must be feeling!

I will be flying to Atlanta on Friday night and look forward to participating in the Diocese of Atlanta's Eucharistic Congress on Saturday. The CNMC will take place Sunday, and is free of charge. If you live in the region (or even if you don't but just want to take a really great road trip), it's not too late to register. I am looking forward to meeting in person with several of my "friends" from across the country. It's going to be very surreal to be with some of the people I've read and admired for years. I hope to share a few pictures, some audio and some recollections of the event. Please pray for the Willits family and for all of those who will be traveling to attend this important occasion as we look at ways to share our faith using New Media. If you're coming, please drop me an email or a comment below so I can watch out for you!

Catholic New Media Celebration: Come for the Eucharistic Congress. Stay for the Catholic New Media Celebration.

Edwina Froehlich's Passing

With her usual eloquence, Danielle Bean shares a fitting tribute to Edwina Froehlich at her blog today. This co-founder of La Leche League touched countless lives.

Please visit Danielle's site and join me in praying for the repose of Edwina's soul.

Danielle Bean » Champion for Mothers and Babies

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How You Can Help Iowa Flood Victims

A special thanks to Frank of St. Matthew's Parish in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for bringing to my attention some great information on how you and I can support families who have been devastated by the recent flooding. Frank shared the following with me today:
At mass this morning, Father Mark Osterhaus, our pastor, mentioned that our churches youth ministry trip to Kentucky was cancelled and the teenagers will be spending the week here helping out. Our church is asking for can goods, clothing, money, and the usual relief items. Father Mark did a terrific job of calming peoples nerves.
Parishioners at St. Patrick's Church and St. Wenceslaus Parishes have had their parish facilities and sanctuaries damaged in the flooding. The community is connecting through a wonderful website at where volunteer and material needs and offers are being exchanged. If you are able to volunteer your time or would like to make a material donation, you can check either that web site or the St. Matthew's site for specific needs. Additionally, financial contributions are greatly needed and are being accepted by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Catholic Charities (note as Cedar Rapids Flood Relief)
P. O. Box 1309
1229 Mt. Loretta Ave.
Dubuque, IA 52004

Please join me in supporting the over 25,000 people who have been displaced by this flooding. When we gather together to support one another as the Body of Christ, we can change lives and make a difference in our world. Thanks so much for your generous support!

Archdiocese of Dubuque - Office of Catholic Charities

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Santa Fe Photos

If you'd like a little taste of our week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, feel free to check out my photos - you can see that I spent a lot of time visiting churches! Santa Fe is a wonderful city, filled with art, culture and tradition. I would definitely recommend a visit to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and Mission San Miguel, to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, and to the Museum of International Folk Art. Our home for the week was the College of Santa Fe. The musician photos feature some of Eric's fellow students at Zoukfest.

.Mac Web Gallery - Santa Fe 06/08

RIP Tim Russert, Catholic Dad

CNS has a great story on Tim Russert and his ties to the Church. I feel so sad for Mr. Russert's wife and son, and for the colleagues who so clearly loved him. From the CNS story:

An active Catholic who apparently kept a promise to God to never miss Sunday Mass if his son was born healthy, Russert spoke often and fondly of his Catholic school education and of the role of the church in his life.

"Americans valued his tremendous command of the political electoral process and his commitment to discovering each aspect of the story that contributed to people having a better awareness of the issues of public life and candidates for political office," said Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops' communications committee, who was attending the U.S. bishops' spring meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"But those of us who shared his Catholic faith and his deep love for it appreciate his sharing of the story of his own faith and his loyalty to the life of the Catholic Church in this country and the many charities to which he contributed his time and talent," the archbishop told Catholic News Service.

CNS STORY: Russert remembered for his fondness for church, faithfulness

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't be a Dud at Church!!

A while back on P@H, I wrote a little post entitled 10 Ways to Avoid Being a Dud at Home. This post was based on something my buddy Mike St. Pierre wrote on his blog, The Daily Saint. Now Joshua at Tech Tips for Catholic Teens has taken up the theme with his very insightful 10 Ways to Avoid Being a Dud at Church. I loved reading this tonight, as I spent most of today engaged in the pursuit of writing about Mass!

Tech Tips for Catholic Teens » 10 Ways to Avoid Being a Dud At Church

Catholic Moments #54 - Mom in Santa Fe, NM

Join me this week for a visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico! Hear the sites and sounds of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Loretto Chapel. Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection on St. Therese of Lisieux and we learn about the game review website Jorim's List. Enter to win a lovely Amethyst Blessed Mother Necklace from On This Day Designs - email by June 18, 2008 with the subject line "On This Day Giveaway". Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:

Jorim's List
The Loretto Chapel
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #54

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Family Film Rundown

SDG at has a good rundown of the rich selection of family films available this summer. This is a good thing - it's nice to have so many choices for our kids! I will likely have to borrow a kid to see WALL*E, but I think my boys would be up for Kung Fu Panda. I'm personally very excited about City of Ember - loved the book and the trailer looks great.

JIMMY AKIN.ORG: A good year for family films?

Rest In Peace Ann Ball

I am so sad to hear of the sudden death of one of my very favorite Catholic authors, Ann Ball. Ann's talent and faith shone through in everything that she wrote. Her books grace my bookshelf and have touched the lives of many Catholic families. I was never able to personally interview Ann, but have been a big fan of her books and website for years.

Please join me in praying for Ann's soul and for the children and grandchildren she loved so dearly, who will definitely miss her.

May Ann's soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen

Well-loved Catholic author Ann Ball passes away

Mary: The Musical has a story today about a Marian musical that's set to debut in a week. I'd be interested in hearing some of the music from this and reading more about the story. It could be a wonderful thing, if presented properly.

Catholic World News : Vatican backing for musical on Mary

Summer Enrichment Ideas for Teens

Education blogger Vicki Caruana shares an insightful post called School's Out, but Not the Brain! In the post, Vicki addresses the issue of summer for teens. Communities and schools tend to offer great enrichment opportunities for elementary aged kids, but high schoolers need summer educational goals as well. My own Eric is participating in two music camps, doing volunteer work at the Children's hospital and attending two courses at our local community college, so he's pretty busy. But I know plenty of his peers who are going to spend the summer at the University of Xbox. Please check out Vicki's article and make some plans now to keep your teen inspired and enriched.

Apples & Chalkdust

A Daily Australian Catholic Retreat

Thanks to the Active Parishioner blog, I just became aware of Daily Prayer Online, a resource put together in Australia. The site's Quiet Space is somewhat similar to the wonderful site "Sacred Space", but one great feature of this website is the "Prayer in the Classroom" section that features daily prayer services for teachers to use with their students. Great! Also of interest is the Reflection on the Daily Gospel section which includes a brief audio podcast feature. I love Australian accents, so I really enjoyed my retreat on this site. You and your kids might also enjoy the daily "Prayertoon". Check it out!

Daily Prayer Online

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hope and Strength in Times of Suffering

Thanks to Mary Kochan of Catholic Exchange for bringing to my attention this article by new CE columnist Chris Findley. Findley dwells on Pope John Paul II's Salvifici Doloris (The Christian Meaning of Suffering) in light of the recent tragedy that occurred in the family of Steven Curtis Chapman. The following summation of his article is helpful in looking for ways to minister to families and loved ones going through times of pain and suffering.
In the case of the Chapmans, we are left with no truly satisfactory answer to the question of “Why?” In Christlike compassion we should avoid clich├ęs and superficial answers. Instead I believe our call is to “weep with those who weep” and like our Lord, enter into their suffering with our prayers. Savifici Doloris reminds us we should understand that the cross is the backdrop for all our suffering, including the Chapmans’. And it is through the cross and because of the cross that we can rest with certainty in the Love of God.
The Chapman Tragedy and the Question of Suffering | Catholic Exchange

Smart Martha

Thanks to Deacon Tom Fox for bringing to my attention the work of Tami Kiser and her Smart Martha Seminars. I'm hoping to have Tami as a guest on the Catholic Moments podcast, but I wanted to point you to her web site in advance of this and direct you to the great work she's doing. Tami encourages us to embrace both the Martha and Mary aspects of our motherly vocations. She talks about "sanctifying everyday activities" - what a blessing!

Check out

Special Kids, Special Needs, Special Families

Thank you to Tom Fox and his friend Joe for directing my attention to a thought provoking article and video at Newsweek on the topic of Bipolar disorder in children. This article and others I have read are a constant reminder to me that so many families need our help, support and prayers. It's very easy to be judgmental of families with children whose behavior doesn't fall into the norm. "Why can't they get it together?" we may think, without truly knowing their circumstances. Please take a few moments to watch Max's video and then contemplate whether or not you may know of a family who needs extra support and encouragement from you. One helpful aspect of the Newsweek piece are these resources for Parents of Bipolar Children.

Growing Up Bipolar: Max’s World | Newsweek Health |

Another Great Father's Day Idea

The great folks behind the tremendous Champions of Faith DVD series are offering a special offer for Father's Day. You can purchase the two set edition of their tremendous DVDs for a very special price this week. Click here for additional details. Your Dad will love you and you'll be giving a gift that uplifts and inspires!

Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition Online Store

Are You on

I'm giving the Catholic Social Networking site a whirl this week. So far, I have zero friends there and am feeling quite unpopular! If you're using, be my friend, OK? Of course, Facebook is still my favorite, but I'd love to have a presence on this site as well!

Catholic Social Networking - A MySpace or Facebook for Catholics - - Social Networking for Catholics -

To Teach, June 2008

The USSCB's great monthly resource, To Teach, has been released for June. My favorite suggestions for this month from the newsletter include:

An Idea for Dad for Father's Day

About a month ago, I reminded all of the Dads out there to be good to your wives on Mother's Day and I know you followed through! So turnaround's fair play! Moms, there are all kinds of things Dads might love to have for Father's Day. One of them is the gift of satellite radio, and Sirius is running a special offer this week. Here's the deal:

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.

Halfway to 2009?

An email today from my friends at stopped me in my tracks! Is it possible that 2009 calendars are already available? Well, I guess it's true. I still have a lot of work to do on my 2008 resolutions!

The 2009 wall calendar includes the following features:

Fab features include:
  1. 7 very spacious and versatile columns
  2. Week per page layout
  3. Hang as either a one OR two week view
  4. 2 six-months-at-a-glance pages
  5. A page to record important birthdays and anniversaries
  6. 2010 planning calendar for upcoming events and appointments
  7. Key contacts pages
  8. A pocket to hold important papers, receipts, invites...
Check out this and other products to help you keep your family life running smoothly at Family Organizer/Family Calendar - BusyBodyBook ™ Weekly Column Roundup

Eric and I are enjoying our time in Santa Fe. College life suits me well - while all of the musicians are at class, it's stunningly quiet in the dorm. The only sounds are the breezes blowing in my window and the birds chirping. Every few hours, it's time to walk away from my desk and go to the dining hall where some wonderful soul has cooked a meal for us! I accomplished a great deal today, including the posting of these great columns from our talented columnists:

The Month of the Sacred Heart by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Keeping Prayer in Summer: A Mother's Strategy by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Need Some Fast, Yet Healthy, Main Dish Ideas? by Kelly,'s new "Kitchen Kop"

Values Do Count by Janet Cassidy

Self Reliance a Quality Gained Only with Practice by Marybeth Hicks

Fruitopia by Michele Howe

There's No Place Like Home by Lisa Barker

Sunday, June 08, 2008

When (and if...) I grow up...

I'd love to be a lot like Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.

Donna-Marie is lovely, inside and out. Like so many of our columnists, she exemplifies for me the high standards of the title "Catholic Mom". She is a loving wife and mother, a gifted writer and a sought after speaker. And lately, she's been very busy! Her recent trips have been a whirlwind and you can read about them over at her blog.

Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: My recent trip to the EWTN studios in Alabama

Teachers Need Your Help!

Help! We have two requests this weekend from teachers needing a little guidance. I thought I'd turn this over to the experts and ask for your assistance. If you can help with either item, please post a comment below or email me at Thanks!

  • I am a teacher and am looking for a poster for children to use in school. It is like a poster sheet students fill out that lets them put in details about themselves. Things like what I like to do and what is my favorite food. Instead this poster tells details of how they are like Jesus. I found it once online but have not found it again. Have you ever seen something like this?
  • I am a parent of a school-age child that has been attending CCD classes. We are interested in reinforcing lessons taught during religion class and would like to make sure he is “on-track” according to the Church’s timeline. The Director of religious education at our Church is not aware of a list of CCD objectives that we can refer to…. Do you have knowledge of an object/standard list by age or grade level? This information would be greatly appreciated.

Mom heads back to the Dorms!

This week, Eric and I are in Santa Fe, New Mexico attending ZoukFest 2008 | World Music Camp.

Actually, Eric is attending and I'm soaking up the scenery, writing and touring beautiful Santa Fe. After flying into Albuquerque (yes, the old Patridge Family Song is stuck in my head!) this afternoon, we drove over to Santa Fe and checked into our lovely dorm room at the College of Santa Fe. This will be my home for the next six days. Eric will be attending classes from 8 to 6 and then playing "sessions" into the wee hours of the morning. I'm hooked up with a great Internet connection, the dorm to myself for most of the day, and a beautiful city to explore. I'm hoping to spend the mornings working productively and the afternoons checking out local historical sites and galleries. It feels like a retreat of sorts, which is precisely what I'm needing. Eric, in the fashion of any normal 16 year old, would prefer that I spend as little time with him as possible. We had a lovely drive over today - can you believe that the speed limit in New Mexico is 80 in some places? Conversations with my son make me so proud of the man he is becoming!

Are you able to take some time this week for a mini-retreat? It may be an early morning Mass, a walk in the park, or even a bubble bath? Try to plan for an hour or two to refresh and rejuvenate yourself spiritually, physically and mentally.

Something Nice for Teacher!

Thanks to my friend BarbinNebraska for the heads up on an article highlighting end of the year gifts for teachers. Personally, most of the teachers I know would take a pass on number 5. Barb's reminder is very timely. Even if your kids have already finished school for the year, it's wonderful to remember the caring educators who took time this year to help you form and love them. Rather than a "cutesy" apple themed gift (unless it's the Apple whose products start with "i"), think gift cards, scrip, or even credit at the local teacher supply store. Remember the include a handwritten letter thanking Teacher for her care and attention to your child. End of the year gifts don't need to cost a lot of money to be thoughtful and meaningful.

Top 10 End-of-the-Year Gifts for Teachers (Slideshow) -

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Find a Playgroup in Your Area

One of the most frequent requests I receive is from moms looking for playgroups in their areas. Thanks to Moms Group Manual, I can now point them to with confidence. If you belong to a church or community playgroup, it would be great if you could list your group online so that others can search for you and connect. As always, with these types of internet tools, please be extremely cautious and exercise discretion when meeting or exchanging information over the internet.

Moms Group Manual: Find or Start a Moms Group at

Friday, June 06, 2008

Blast from the Past!

I'm working on a special project to help celebrate the 90th birthday of my favorite priest, Msgr. Michael Collins from Seal Beach, California. In scouting around for songs to include, I found this video which reminded me so much of my childhood. Fr. Collins used to love to sing this song to us, and it became a family favorite of ours. I used to be pretty good at playing it on my guitar too!


Safe Plastics in Our Homes?

Kelly the Kitchen Kop at columnist Kelly "The Kitchen Kop" takes an indepth look at the safe use of plastics in our kitchens in this week's column.

I have to admit to being very lazy when it comes to this type of issue, so I truly appreciated Kelly's in depth look at the topic and her suggestions. There are also some very helpful comments from her blog readers on the topic. In response to Kelly's column, I'm going to be re-examining how things are stored in my kitchen.

I hope you'll check in regularly with Kelly's columns and also read and subscribe to her blog. She's doing great work!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New Giveaway! Enter to Win Today!

Thanks to the wonderful sisters at On This Day Designs, I'm pleased to announce our newest contest. Enter for your chance to win a lovely Amethyst Blessed Mother Necklace.

For your chance to win, email with “On This Day Giveaway” in the subject line and be sure to include your complete mailing address. Enter by June 18, 2008.

If you're a blogger, please help spread the word about this contest on your site. I'd love to have lots of entries for this beautiful piece of jewelry. Enter today and good luck!

Catholic Moments #53 - Marathon Mom

Lisa recounts her walk/run of the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. We review The List - a DVD by Fox Faith Movies. Enter to win a lovely Amethyst Blessed Mother Necklace from On This Day Designs - email by June 18, 2008 with the subject line "On This Day Giveaway". Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection on the Fourth Commandment. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for this episode:
Making Music Praying Twice
Joe McClane's St. Ignatius Series
The List
Media Liaison Kerry's recommendation:
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #53

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Music Lessons? Handling Stress? Please chime in!

This week, in her column on entitled "The Piano Lesson", Heidi Hess Saxton shares an interesting take on her son's budding music lessons. It's a wonderful piece, and Heidi also invites us to chime in and share out thoughts on her blog Mommy Monsters Inc.: Tips for Helping Your Child Cope with Stress

What's your take on handling stress and on music lessons for kids? We'd love to hear from you on Heidi's blog.