Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Book to read on All Saint's Day

Sofia Institute Press has reprinted the 1912 classic by Scottish writers Andrew and Lenora Lang, "The Book of Saints & Heroes" just in time for use on All Saint's Day.
This book, written in story form, is ideal for read aloud to older children ages 10 and up, because of it's somewhat arcane use of language. I read it to my girls, ages 10 and 14, and I imagine that many of these stories would be particularly interesting to boys, since 21 of the 25 stories are of valiant holy men, from the well-known St. Francis of Assisi, to the lesser-known desert fathers, Sts. Paul and Anthony. These saints are not presented as unapproachable plaster saints, but rather as fervent Catholics immersed in their courageous promotion of the Kingdom of God.
The Langs in the preface, caution the reader, "These saints were the best of men and women, but the pretty stories are, perhaps, rather fanciful. " The Book of Saints and Heroes, should be viewed as a means of inspiring youth to live their faith with boldness and courage, in today's world. In an age when real heroes are increasingly rare, the revival of such a book is a great help for the family who is raising young soldiers of Christ.
According to a recent address by Archbishop Charles Chaput, this culture we live in may hold even greater challenges for Catholics than the Roman Empire of the early Church. Who better to lead this generation than the saints who converted the world to Christianity in the first place?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!

Chocolate is coming to your home today!

Lisa Barker has an incriminating piece on Catholic Exchange about chocoholics. Read it and see if you, like me, recognize yourself.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thank you to all who supported "Bella"

Bella had a great opening weekend, finishing first in income per theatre, at $7,928 per screen, according Laura Ingraham, who interviewed Eduardo Verastegui on her show tonight.She extrapolated that if "Bella" had the same number of theatres as Saw IV,( the big moneymaker this weekend which made $30 million) it would have made the same amount of money.
"Thanks to the grassroots support of the Latino and faith community, Bella accomplished more than we expected, and we hope this is just the beginning,” said financier and producer Sean Wolfington of Metanoia Films. “We are so grateful for the support we’ve received thus far, and if we can maintain that support in the second week, Bella will have the momentum to reach millions of people with its message of hope and redemption.”
HT Citizen Link

We attended the film as a family on Sunday, after Mass and a cold hour at the pumpkin farm. I was thrilled to see the theatre half full on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and enjoyed seeing many familiar faces from the campus ministers to the Life Center crowd. We sat behind Fr Francis Nuss, one of my favorite priests, so I was concerned that Christina, age 5 would behave well enough to remain in the theatre. I need not have worried. She behaved so well, that I was able to completely enjoy the film that I had thought about frequently but hadn't seen for eight months. '
It was quite a unique and emotional experience, reminding me exactly why I felt such a stroung desire to share the good news that "Bella" was coming to theatres. I enjoyed the rich textures of the Mexican food, the varied songs in the soundtrack, which were perfectly suited for each scene, but, most of all, the sensitive dialogue dealing with one of the most inflammatory issues of our time, the right to life. Nina's dilemma was never trivialized into sound bites, her anguish over her painful childhood, anger over her absent lover's dismissal of fatherhood, and her anxiety over her ability to mother and support a child were realistically portrayed. Jose's response was a rare mixture of protectiveness and sympathy, he was a masculine man in the truest sense of the word, a much-needed role model in our fatherless times. The family was like mine, a mixture of explosive emotions and sustaining love, peppered with the right amount of good-natured teasing. I feel for anyone who hasn't got this type of New York-Latino family. There's nothing else like it.

I enjoyed the movie even more because I had read all the negative criticism of the film, and saw at once how baseless the criticisms were. "Bella" is a fine work of art and it's popularity will help show this to the world. Here are my most recent contributions to publicizing "Bella": thanks to Nehring the Edge Film Reviews, my review on Mercatornet was picked up by Reuters News Service and USA Today here and here.

Brownback--Kennedy Bill to give expectant parents the truth about their babies

I'm supporting this bill. Read here how it would help expectant parents find out what having a child Down syndrome is really like. The reason I started Cause of Our Joy is to educate parents who do a search on Down syndrome on what is really is like to raise a child with Down syndrome.
If there were more ways to reach out to the public, as well as funding to do so, I would be the first in line to help. I tried for four years to get doctors, nurses and social workers to give out my phone number to expectant parents, with no success.
The biggest enemy of the truth in this instance is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of suffering, both of the child, and the parents. Fear of rejection. Fear sickness. Fear of embarrassment.
That's why Monica Rafie mentioned in this article and I are writing our book on Catholic mothers of special needs and medically fragile children. To allay the fears of these parents, and to give them hope in their baby's future. If you have a story to share about your special needs child, just email me

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Domestic Church is the Seedbed of Vocations

In this piece in Catholic Exchange, Fr. Kyle Schnippel emphasizes the importance of living the Catholic faith as a family to foster vocations,
"rebuilding a Catholic culture is being willing to overtly share your faith with others, especially your own family! "

This is something I have always said, and the reason Fr. Joseph Fessio said to a gathering of Long Islanders who supported EWTN programming in 1994 that "Homeschooling will bring about the renewal of the Catholic Church".
One feast day at time, we are living the glory of Catholicism in our homes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Casting Call: Baby girl with Down syndrome wanted for TV movie on Lifetime Channel

Gail Williamson, mother of Blair, who is an actor with Down syndrome is an advocate at the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, and finds acting jobs in Hollywood for actors with Down syndrome. She worked with Chris Burke on "Life Goes On" and I met her in Hollywood at the premiere of "Mr Blue Sky".She sent me this casting call notice today.
We have an assignment!
Please help me out and forward this to anyone you know anywhere in the US and Canada that might have contact with a brand new Caucasian baby girl who has Down syndrome.
The book “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” is being made into a film for the Lifetime Channel. It is shooting in Nova Scotia in November.
They are looking for a baby girl born in October 2007 to appear in the film as the new born Phoebe. They only found one baby with DS born in Nova Scotia in 2007 and she is 6 months old. In Canada it is a law to screen every expectant mother for DS not just a guideline, scary isn’t it?I need to hear from any parent of a newborn who might want the opportunity for their little one to work in Nova Scotia in November 2007.
I would also consider older babies weighing under 8 lbs. I know from my son Blair being a preemie he didn’t hit 8 lbs until he was about 4 months old.I have an agent that would negotiate all the details making sure to get appropriate pay and travel for the family. Please have anyone interested contact me at the DSALA office at 818-242-7871 or they can reach me by email at
Thank you for helping me with this search, and watch for the film on Lifetime next spring.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

40 Reasons to Have Children

Karen Edmisten, and Heather over at Claypool Photography have started something.
Can you name forty resons to have children.?
Her list, which is in process, is a bit tongue in cheek, or clenched jaws, depending on how you look at it, is hysterical.
Read Heather's list, help me complete my list. Then, pass it on!

1.You learn to pray the rosary under wartime conditions. Susie Lloyd in her book. "Please Don't Drink the Holy Water" has entire chapter on this. She named it; "The Family Rosary and Other Near Occasions of Sin".
You learn to ignore minor swaying, nose picking, and sibling jostling while you focus your mind on Heavenly things and try to unite your distracted thoughts to the Cross.
You try to only pounce on: injuries which require treatment, rosary eating where parts of the rosary disappear, and children over 2 who fall asleep, or pretend they have.

2. Your ability to do "dirty jobs" wihtout flinching is greatly enhanced. My family loves to watch the TV show by that name. I don't need to. I live it. I have just finished cleaning up a potty training five year old, whose pants were much more than wet, know what I mean?!

3. You feel the world's greatest peace as those soft little arms fling around your neck, as you pull her from the bathtub after her bath!

4. You learn to smile when you would rather lose it. Like when those clean face and hands are in need of another bath after snack 20 minutes later.

5. You learn to love serving others. You run out to teach a class with nice clothes on, and decent hair, for a classroomful of respectful adults and are reluctant to leave the kids behind!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Please pray for the success of "Bella" this weekend

"Bella" producer Leo Severino and his new wife on their honeymoon take time to pray at the sanctuary of St.Philomena in Italy.
The body of the saint is above the altar behind them. On last week's Life on the Rock Program, Leo asked viewers to pray a novena for the film' s opening this weekend.
At Causa Nostrae Laetitae are praying a novena to Saint Philomena, patroness of youth for the success of "Bella".
Please join us.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beauty Tips from Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A place for Christina

After school began, Christina has had difficulty adjusting to therapy both at home and at school, even though it's only three hours a week of OT, PT, and speech at school. I have tried every option to make home therapy work, and am now searching for a community preschool which won't find her a burden.
A local Montessori school won't return my calls, and at this time I am still searching for a simple little preschool where Christina and her teacher can spend five hours a week learning in the midst of her age group. I could send her to full day Kindergarten, but I think that would overwhelm her in many ways. She needs acceptance and love in order to learn to play safely with her age group.

I ask for your prayers.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Feast of the North American Martyrs

Today is the feast of St. Isaac Jogues SJ, and companions, known as the North American Martyrs. I have visited their shrine in Auriesville, New York, on the Mohawk River.
It is an awe-inspiring pilgrimage to make as a family, to visit the spot where martyrs' blood was spilled as they boldly proclaimed the Gospel, well aware that they were putting their lives at risk. An old round shrine church, and an Indian museum are the highlights of the beautiful grounds. No remains of the priests who died there is interred at the spot, nor at the Shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha in nearby Fonda, NY on the other side of the Mohawk River, but your children will love the nearness to America's Native American, Catholic heritage.

Here's a post on the blog, "Good Jesuit Bad Jesuit" in honor of their feast day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Tough Meme for Women

Jean at Catholic Fire tagged me for this meme:
Name 7 Things You Like About Yourself
1. Despite some bad behavior on my part, and difficult trials in my life, I have never left my beloved Jesus, or the Church He founded.
2. I've been a dedicated mother to my three girls, giving them the last nine years of my life for their homeschool education.
3. I continue to fight, however unsuccessfully the 'battle of the bulge' and get out with my girls and exercise regularly.
4. I have recently begun to successfully pursue the dream of becoming a writer, something which I have cherished since elementary school.
5. I have done my best to use this opportunity of having a public platform to serve Christ and the Culture of Life.
6. I am a loyal wife and friend.
7. I constantly try to grow spiritually, by saying the rosary, going to adoration, doing spirtual reading, attending Mass during the week whenever possible, attending conferences, and talking about the Faith with my family and friends to help them grow as well.
I tag anyone who wants to feel good about themselves! Just leave me a comment so I can go and read your 7 good things about yourself. Don't be shy, just give God the glory, and brag away!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An Urgent Prayer Intention: Stacey P. a pregnant mom with brain cancer

I had heard of Stacey's situation last week from a friend and now from my email:
This is Erin Hopkins with a very urgent and sincere request for prayers. My friend and one-time college roommate is battling brain cancer and has been receiving chemo and radiation for nearly one year. Stacey is a mother to two young children and a wife to Joey, they live in Atlanta. She just found out that she is 18 weeks pregnant. She became pregnant during her chemo and radiation and therefore, the baby has been exposed to these chemicals from day one. She has opted to take a 10 week break from her treatment to allow the baby to reach 28 weeks gestation, when they will deliver the baby via C-section. She has been informed by her baby-related doctors that the chemo is very strong and particularly attacks DNA growth in cells and therefore the baby. They are quite certain that there will be neurologic damage to the baby, although the ultrasounds have thus far showed relatively normal growth.
Additionally, her cancer-related doctors have told her that they do not want her to stop her treatment of cancer (even for 10 wks!) because her cancer is so aggressive. They said that if they allowed her to carry the baby to 40 weeks gestation, she would probably not live to deliver the baby. So, Stacey is choosing to give her child a chance and risk her own life. I still cannot believe the situation that this family has been put in, even as I type this. As a member of Stacey's network of support and prayers, I am asking that you specifically say a prayer to Pope John Paul II. He is in the process of being named a saint and needs a second miracle to "qualify" for sainthood. We have decided to storm heaven with prayers to our former Pope, specifically asking him to stop the growth of Stacey's cancer while she stops her treatment.
Erin, you have the prayers of the Velasquez family.

Many of you may also be calling to mind the story of St. Gianna Molla, whom JPII canonized in the 1994, whose story is very similar to Stacey's. Finally, I just want to thank you for having read this far. I appreciate the time you took to read this and say a prayer for Stacey, her unborn child and her family. Stacey herself asks that we be sure to pray for her husband, Joey who is truly heartbroken.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hispanic Day Festival

Last Sunday, after Mass, our family drove to a parish which was having a Dia de la Hispanidad, or Hispanic Heritage Day Festival, to show a trailer of "Bella".
Here I am speaking about the conversion of Eduardo Verastegui, to a crowd who knew him as a typical pop star, with the typical immoral lifestyle. We hope that Eduardo, since his conversion, will serve as a role model for Latino youth. My talk was well received, and festival goers were asking where to see "Bella".
On the way home, reluctant to get busy in the kitchen, my thoughts turned to the Red Lobster restaurant we were passing on the road. Through fifteen years of experience as a wife, I have learned a bit, so I kept quiet, and spoke a simple prayer of petition to God for Francisco to take us to dinner there as a family. Not five minutes later, he said, "do you know where a Red Lobster is? I want to take you out to dinner there. "
My mouth opened in surprise, and I told him of my prayer. He laughed, and said, "this is a good story for the blog!"
This reminds me of what St. Ambrose once said to St. Monica regarding her wayward son. "Talk to God about Augustine, not to Augustine about God." This approach was also used by Eduardo's mother in Mexico, before his conversion, when she said to his father, "our son is lost to us. If my words won't reach him, my prayers will".
Some day, we will be amazed at the amount of good done in the world by silent prayers.
By the way, the shrimp was delicious!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feast of St. Theresa of Avila

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing afrighten you.
All things are passing.
God alone is changeless.
He who has patience wants for nothing.
He who has God has all things.
God alone suffices.

Here's an article about her on Catholic Exchange.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Time for "Gathering Leaves"

This poem can downloaded in black and white as a coloring page here.

My daughter the columnist

Gabriela won the diocese of Rockville Centre Respect Life essay contest with her essay, "My Sister is Special" in the junior high division two years ago. Since she is Hispanic, Marta Moscosa, the editor of "Fe, Fuerza y Vida"the diocesan Spanish newpaper, interviewed us for that paper as well as "The Long Island Catholic".
At her suggestion, Gabbi wrote a letter to Bishop Murphy asking for a youth column in "The Long Island Catholic". He replied that it was editor Liz O'Connor's call. Soon Rick Hinshaw replaced Ms. O'Connor as editor, and this week, Youth Voice has begun, with my daughter's essay from the contest. If your teens live in the diocese, here's their chance to contribute to what has become a new and improved "Long Island Catholic".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This looks like a good book to read for All Saint's Day

Sofia Institute Press has just sent me an email about a new book on the lives of the saints.It's called, "The Book of Saints and Heroes" by Andrew and Lenora Lang. Here is their description of it:
"The first Christians to visit Europe and the British Isles met pagans who told tales of fairies, talking beasts, and other wonderful things. To these marvelous stories, they soon added new ones about the Christian saints.
Some were true, others improbable, and many simply fantastic. In the ones we include here, you’ll meet the saint who spent seven Easters on a whale’s back and the amiable lion who was St. Jerome’s friend. You’ll see St. George fight the dragon, and you’ll read about the fierce wolf St. Francis of Assisi converted.
But many of these stories have in them scarcely a wave of the fairy wand. So you’ll also find here true tales of great saints such as St. Louis of France, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary — souls marked by courage, kindness, and piety.
These marvelous legends and exciting true stories of Christian saints and heroes will provide many hours of delightful reading to believers and non-believers alike!
Read the exciting stories of:
St. Anthony
St. Augustine
St. Paul
St. Brendan
St. Colette
St. Columba
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Cuthbert
St. Dorothea
St. Dunstan
St. Richard of Chichester
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis Xavier
St. Louis IX
St. Jerome
St. Margaret of Scotland
St. George
St. John of God
St. Malchus
St. Senan
St. Simeon Stylites
St. Vincent de Paul, and others. "

I will be receiving this book shortly, and write up a review after I've read it to the girls, but, I think Sofia Institute Press has enough of a stellar reputation to say this will be as faithful a presentation of these saint's lives as possible.

Animated Movie,"The Ten Commandments" coming to theatres soon

I loved the movie "Prince of Egypt" for it's powerful presentation of the Exodus of the Hebrews from slavery, and it's haunting music and powerful imagery. Two crucial scenes, however, were glossed over; the Passover Dinner, and the reception of the Ten Commandments.
A new movie, "The Ten Commandments" coming to theatres October 19, promises to cover at least the latter in greater depth. View the trailer here.
All I can say, without having seen the film, is, if ever there was never a better time in our history to have review of the Ten Commandments.

Here's a free downloadable Ten Commandments Resources Guide for all of you to share with your Pastor, your Youth leader or your child's Bible Class leader.

My Morning Glories certainly took their time blooming!

But they were worth the wait, weren't they?

Plus, the vines helped the mailbox from being more of a victim of the neighborhood boys' annual "mailbox baseball" game.
When winter comes, my mailbox will probably fall to the ground with a clang. That means another trip to the corner hardware store (see that little white store to the left of the mailbox?)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vote for American Papist

Thomas Peters of American Papist, is one of the finalists for a blogger scholarship. You can vote for him here. Go on over till October 28, and show your support for a fine Catholic blogger, the only religious blogger in the finalists.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Great New blog on Theology of the Body

Go and check out the New Sexual Revolution.

Working Together As One; Legislative Breakfast

This annual breakfast brought together an impressive 600 individuals; local legislators, service providers, and family members of individuals with developmental disablilities to discuss our gains in the past few years. I was pleased to hear how many progrms New York State has to offer children like Christina, pictured here with Diana Jones Ritter, the Commissioner of the NY Office of Mentally Retarded Developmental Disabilities (pictured here consciously NOT touching the stroller, as Christina needed some space!) She was very understanding, saying that she is a mother herself. It's reassuring that a mother can rise to such an important position, offering care to thousands of handicapped individuals in New York State.

My fellow parishioner of St John's, Roy Probeyhahn, father of three sons with autism is at the podium, giving testimony to the gains made during his sons' lifetime in terms of community services.
New York State offers some of the best services in Early Intervention, and community-based care for the mentally challenged. I told many of the attendees that Mr. Blue Sky will be shown at the Babylon Theatre the week of November 9th, and I hope to see them there. The 2007 Daniel Milch Award was given to James Sisto who has done various Broadway plays with mentally challenged individuals. He expressed a great interest in attending the opening of "Mr Blue Sky".
In his talk, Mr. Sisto quoted a young self-advocate, Cliff, who stated so succinctly the entire purpose of the day's talks, "We want a LIFE".

A dangerous film for our children

Dr Bill Donohue of the Catholic League on The World Over show last night (watch video) describes the upcoming film, The Golden Compass, to be released December 7, and why though seemingly innocuous, it poses a threat to our childrnen's faith and morality. Read more here.

Will Bella be showing near you?

Check this link for daily updates on which cities will be showing Bella. If you don't see your home town, call your local theatre, and urge them to show the Toronto Film Festival's People's Choice Award winning film, Bella.

Apple Picking for President

My friend Elizabeth over at The Divine Gift of Motherhood has been apple picking, and saw there an analogy with our choice for presidential candidate.
Her comments are tasty, with just the right amount of tartness!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Beach Down the Road

We often go to our local beach for a walk on the beach with the dogs. The weather has been so warm lately, we enjoyed another run on the beach together.

What's it like having a special needs sibling?

Vicki Forman has written a column in Special Needs Mama about being the sibling of a child with special needs. My daughter Gabbi wrote this piece two years ago and won the Respect Life Essay Contest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, entitled, "My Sister is Special" .

I don't want to pretend that their relationship is all sweetness and light, there are plenty of spats, but they do have a very close relationship. There are times, when Christina prefers her sister Gabbi's care to mine. I suspect it's because her tears can obtain what she wants more readily from her sister. I'll come home from teaching at the college on Saturday afternoon, to see Christina on her fourth Barney video, face stained with chocolate, and Francisco in the yard mowing the lawn. Gabbi has been in charge, letting the good times roll.

I try not to complain, that will only confirm my role as the 'bad guy'.

I just smile and remember that in years to come, I will not be there for Christina, but her sisters will . They have to be close.

Kimberly Hahn, in her book, "Life Giving Love" puts to rest the idea that having a special needs child means your family has to be small to care for him properly. She asserts that, "The greatest gift you can give a special needs sibling is a lot of siblings to care for him when you can no longer be there".

I have only been able to give Christina two sisters, and since losing three children to miscarriage, and sadly, she has no brothers. I wish, with all my heart, we were like the large family in my parish, the Andrews, who have ten wonderful children, who all dote on the youngest, Clara, who has Down syndrome. But two devoted sisters, who though they do get tired of dealing with Christina's stubbornness, love her intensely, are a great gift to my special needs daughter.

We often discuss what kind of husbands the girls must chose, if they decide the convent isn't for them. Gabbi and Bella know that he must accept the role Christina plays in their lives. I hope, through my writing, to be able to leave a trust fund for Christina, so that she never burdens them financially, and I hope to teach her enough Independence so that she has a happy, productive life, but the reality is, that somehow she will rely on her sisters' guidance as an adult. Once, when Christina was a baby, I was advised by a well-meaning, nurse to 'put Christina in a home so I wouldn't burden her sisters. I have several group homes in my neighborhood, and have observed them these five years. Some residents are happy, and productive there. This may be a choice for some families which works, however, I notice that the employees of these group homes are poorly paid and have a high turnover rate. What kind of care must they be giving to the residents whom they hardly know? I' d rather trust my daughters to care for Christina, and raise her not to be an undue burden on anyone, rather a well loved aunt to her future nieces and nephews. Who knows, maybe marriage could be in her future? It happened for Sujeet and Carrie in Rome, New York last year. But whatever Christina does, her sisters will be an integral part of her life.

The girls' future husbands must accept that before marriage to avoid problems. Besides, I tell them, "What kind of man would say he loves you, but reject your sister? Would you really believe he truly loved you?" "NO!" they reply. They understand what unselfish love is, thanks to their sister, and I trust that they will not settle for anything less.

This answer gives the greatest reassurance to me about the future of my special child. My husband and I work to insure that our daughters' future will be one of love and closeness, and trust the rest to God.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Long Island Catholic Review of "Bella"

Read the review here. "Bella" opens October 26. Call your local theatres and ask them if they are showing "Bella". Remind them it won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival.
And don't forget to see it on opening weekend, and help build the number of theatres who will carry, "Bella".

Friday, October 5, 2007

Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska

Read about St. Faustina, the apostle of Divine Mercy here and from the Vatican website here. For 40 Days of Life, and hopefully beyond, I'm trying to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3PM, the hour of mercy each day.
Especially today, since it's First Friday.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Jezu ufam tobie.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

David Bereit Director of 40 Days for Life coming to Long Island tomorrow!!

I have posted the information at Causa Nostrae Laetitiae. He'll be in Hempstead from NOON to 1PM. Come and see the leader of the most amazing pro-life movement I have ever seen. There are 89 cities in 32 states participating in 40 Days for Life. This is our chance to be in on the beginning of the end of abortion in our time.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Worldwide Children's Holy Hour

Tomorrow, EWTN will broadcast live from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception a Worldwide Children's Holy Hour. Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City will lead this Holy Hour, which has the special blessing of Pope Benedict, and will be broadcast to 40 Countries around the world.Join in prayer tomorrow, First Friday, and the eve of the 90th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima.
And bring the children!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Some of our local events are: an art show by an artist with Down syndrome.
A disability awareness film festival a the Cinema Arts Centre.
If I am able to attend these, I'll be sure to sharemy impressions and pictures from them.

Feast of St Francis of Assisi

I'm doing two things to bring about a greater appreciation of St. Francis of Assisi. I'm taking the children on a nature walk to reflect on the beauty of God's creation, and then, to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, to remember St Francis' great devotion to the Eucharist.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day, be at my side,
to light, to guard, to rule, and guide.



The online version of Dappled Things is up. Go and see the poetry and prose of your fellow Catholics.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower

Today is the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. I first came to love her when I read "Story of a Soul" at fifteeen, and fell in love with the idea of a religious vocation. All the trivial sufferings of my life, as a public school student, the teachers who mocked the Church in class, the indifferent classmates, the friends who never did anything but study, all this took on new meaning, as things to be offered up as gifts for Jesus. I developed a deeper prayer life, and continuted my spiritual reading. This was difficult in the late 1970's, it was nearly impossible to find good books, the library had books debating the sexual orientation of Jesus, the Church had forgettable tomes on wheat and vineyards, and there was no internet, no EWTN, no good book catalogues. The local religious bookstore had few interesting titles, they mostly carried statues and rosaries. How fortunate we are now, with all these resources to share the richness of our Faith with our children.
I suggest:
The DVD "Therese" We saw this film in a theatre twice, after waiting nearly a year for it to be released locally. For anyone who has read "A Story of a Soul", it is an accurate depiction of the young life of Therese. My only disappointment was that the movie was focused on Therese's entrance into the convent, and not enough of her life there was shown. Also the convent chapel was ugly, I haven't been to Lisieux, but I can't imagine a chapel from that time looking so plain. Her religious life with it's sufferings would have been more inspriring in a beautiful setting. The acting was good,however, the soundtrack beautiful, and Therese has some very touching moments when Papa Martin has to bid farewell to each of his daughters, while growing more feeble each goodbye. I reccommend this film for anyone who wants a reliable introduction to the life of the little flower.

"Story of a Soul" The classic autobiography of Therese, which she wrote at the request of her Mother Superior, the work which explains her "Little Way". This made an obscure twenty four year old nun world famous, patroness of missions she never visited, and a doctor of the Church.

The Catholic Treasure Box Series: an excellent 20 book set from Maryknoll which has a serialized story of the Little Flower's life. My girls adored these simple books, full of old fashioned missionary stories, children's poetry and charming illustrations. A must for every Catholic family who wants to re-discover authentic Catholic childhood.

One of the craft projects which brought my girls closer to the Little Flower was making sacrifice beads, like little Therese had. Each time you sacrifice something for the love of Jesus, you pull one of the ten beads, hoping by the end of the day, that you have pulled all ten.

My last suggestion for celebrating today's feast with your children, is to visit a blog based on the Little Way, Therese's Roses.