Thursday, July 31, 2008

Modest Bridal Gowns: what a concept!

Thank heavens someone is addressing the issue of immodest bridal gowns!!
It seems that, no matter the season, all bridal gowns are strapless affairs which have no place in church. Perhaps it's because fewer couples are marrying in church or synagogue. But, there is a trend, however small for bridal gowns with a sense of mystery. . .and decency.
"'Customers will say, 'I'm having a religious wedding, what can you do to these dresses to fit my standards?' -- usually arms covered, neckline covered, no cleavage, very little skin," Sarra said.
Much of the country has seen an increase in conservative branches of mainstream religions.
The Camille La Vie store at Palisades Center in West Nyack, N.Y., tends to get more Orthodox Jewish brides, while the California stores have many Islamic customers, and an Arizona shop gets requests from Mormon customers.
These brides, Sarra said, don't want plain when they ask for "modest." "They still want the look that's hot. That's why we offer more options to add a sleeve, add a neckline," she said. "

I'm embarrassed that no one mentioned Catholic brides, the only link I could find was for Mormons! What's wrong with Catholic brides? We have Our Lady as a role model, and we are not interested in modest bridal gowns? Just look at how modest Our Lady is and use that as a guide. Here are some more guidelines from EWTN on how a Catholic bride should dress.
Read the entire story here.
HTJewish World Review

Where the name of this blog comes from

from the daily meditations of Mary Vitamin:
Cause of Our Joy and St. Leopold Mandic
Feast day - July 30th

“It is almost impossible to say how much Father Leopold loved the Madonna. The tone of his voice when he spoke of her, the light in his eyes when he looked at a picture of her, cannot be put into words at all. You would have to have seen him in order to comprehend something of the ardent love for Mary in the heart of this Capuchin.”
Father Pietro Bernardi, O.F.M. Cap, postulator
Ferdinand Holbock, New Saints and Blesseds of the Catholic Church Vol I, (Ignatius Press), 223.

“During his assignment at the friary in Thiene, near Vicenza, in the years 1906 to 1909, Father Leopold often helped the lay brothers humbly with the household chores, washed the dishes, cleaned the cells, and set the table. Since his soul was turned constantly toward God, he wanted them to pray during their work, especially the Litany of Loreto. At the invocation ‘Cause of our joy’, he interrupted his work, lifted his eyes to heaven, and remained for a while in this attitude, as though enraptured. Once a confrere asked him, ‘Father Leopold, why do you interrupt your work at this invocation of the Litany of Loreto and raise your eyes to heaven?’ At that he exclaimed, ‘O Madonna, the Madonna, the cause of our joy!’ Then he remained looking up to heaven for a long time, his face beaming.”
Ferdinand Holbock, New Saints and Blesseds of the Catholic Church Vol I,(Ignatius Press), 226-7.

What did St. Leopold have to be joyful about? He was only four feet six inches tall. His dream of missionary work was never fulfilled. Instead he spent hours every day in the Confessional. In fact, at his canonization John Paul referred to Saint Leopold as “the Confessor”. How many crosses did he bear in hearing so many confessions?
I will imitate St. Leopold who during his work paused at the invocation Cause of our Joy and looked up to heaven. I will ask him to explain this mystery to me and teach me to find my joy in Our Lady.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

True Love

. . .is when you are still under the influence of painkillers from minor surgery, and you drag your scarred body over to the computer to save the files of your hysterical wife.
We had a major rainstorm on Sunday with multiple power outages, and lightning which looked like it had crashed the computer, reducing me to tears. You see, I hadn't taken the time to save my photos and important documents, counting way too much on this blog to preserve my memories.
I prayed the rosary with the girls for a computer. It wasn't entirely frivolous, it reminded me of Jesus' parable of the woman who has lost a coin, searching through the entire house till she recovers it. However, I discovered a far more precious treasure. . . the sight of my husband lovingly restoring my files while still suffering.

That is one memory nothing can erase.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tribute to a young knight: Marc Girard

Catholic novelist Regina Doman has written a moving tribute to the young Knight of Lepanto who died trying to save his family from drowning. We are helping out at the Chicken Barbeque this Saturday August 2 at the Voluntown Fire Dept. to help Marc's mother and siblings through some rough financial times, and to show them our support.
Please continue to send your financial support through Regina's Paypal account.

From Diane and John Grovers: a blog giveaway

We wanted to tell you that we are doing a little give away on our blog. To celebrate the crazy wild success of Hidden Treausres we are giving a little gift away. It is free. And it is just for fun. Rules are on the new part of our blog. In the last few months, we have gotten word that Hidden Treasures has been handed out to new parents expecting a child with Down syndrome at a rate that we never quite expected. We are excited because their feedback is that they are finding hope after they get done reading our little site. We are also hearing from parents who have just given birth and they are letting us know that they are SO excited to have such an insprirational site to read while they are new to the journey.
We have gotten emails from people who don't even have a child, but they learned so much from reading the blog. It has been just wonderful.To celebrate, we wanted to do a give away! So we hope you will join us in celebrating and try to be the one who gets our little gift.
Thanks for helping us to get this site into the hands of those who need this.
Diane and John

Monday, July 21, 2008

Isabella's piano recital

Isabella has a wonderful piano teacher, she is the homeschooling mom who truly understands children, teaches lessons designed for each child, and shares her talent and enthusiasm for music. Bella learned Edvard Grieg's "Morning Mood" and Verdi's "La Donna E Mobile" in only three months, and gained a new understanding of technique and excitement about her playing. Afterwards the homeschooling families had a potluck dinner with the main course a gift from their beloved and talented teacher. The highlight of the dinner was the gorgeous chocolate cake made by our hostess which was a grand piano whose top was a solid piece of dark chocolate. It tasted every bit as luscious as it looked!
After dinner the young musicians enjoyed time outdoors on the wonderful swing on a towering oak tree.
Isabella's parents, sisters, and grandparents(see photo) were very proud of her musically elegant and lively performance.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Faith and Family live

"Faith and Family", my favorite magazine is now online and accepts comments; yeah!
They also have a great introductory giveaway. Take a look.

Summer Symphony

"Next year, I'll camp out at the campgrounds for this event, we'll eat a leisurely dinner, and be sipping wine around the campfire when the New York Philharmonic plays. "
You know what they say about the best laid plans. . .

We didn't go camping but we did enjoy a simple picnic with good friends, and the world's most beautiful music. . .Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky in a free concert by a world class orchestra, followed by Grucci fireworks.

So, who's complaining?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pope Benedict isn't the ony one who likes cats!

Dear EWTN Family,

Since the end of last year, Mother has been enjoying the company of a little feline friend we all call, “Mikey”. He loves being with her and often takes his little siestas on Mother’s bed, with his paw or his chin resting on her. He’s a bit on the round side but beautiful nonetheless and enjoys the affection of all. Mother is often amused by his little quirky behaviors that are often described as, “Only Mikey would…” She especially gets a kick out of watching him chase his tail.Besides all that makes up her day indoors, on occasion Mother is able to go outside to feel the sunshine and enjoy the beautiful cloister gardens. She loves those cherry Marigolds.All in all, Mother is still Mother. With that Mother Angelica twinkle in her eyes and her warm smile, she can brighten up a room. As always she is appreciative of all your love and prayers. Rest assured, Mother holds each of you in her heart, while she asks her Spouse, Jesus, to bless you.

From The Sisters at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery

Don't you just love the image of a kitty resting on on Mother, bringing her joy by being playful?!

As a fellow cat lover, this just makes me purr. ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Help for the sleepless

It appears that for the first time since 1987, when I spent a year in Europe, I will be moving away from Long Island, where I lived all my life. I have been praying and hoping for this move to Connecticut for months, and was joyful during the day, since this answer to prayer. Yesterday I had asked Our Lord "is this your will for me, if so, please let something let me know we're actually going to move." Within a couple of hours, a check was on the way in the exact amount we needed for a down payment. So why do worries about the economy and the move keep me awake at night? I needed. . .
Today's Meditation from Mary Vitamin
St. Teresa of Avila writes about the spirit of recollection:
“You know that God is everywhere; and this is a great truth, for, of course, wherever the king is, or so they say, the court is too: that is to say, wherever God is, there is Heaven. …Avoid being bashful with God, as some people are, in the belief that they are being humble. It would not be humility on your part if the King were to do you a favour and you refused to accept it; but you would be showing humility by taking it, and being pleased with it, yet realizing how far you are from deserving it. A fine humility it would be if I had the Emperor of Heaven and Earth in my house, coming to it to do me a favour and to delight in my company, and I were so humble that I would not answer His questions, nor remain with Him, nor accept what He gave me, but left Him alone. ...
Do not be foolish; ask Him to let you speak to Him, and, as He is your Spouse, to treat you as His brides. Remember how important it is for you to have understood this truth -- that the Lord is within us and that we should be there with Him.
If one prays in this way, the prayer may be only vocal, but the mind will be recollected much sooner; and this is a prayer which brings with it many blessings. It is called recollection because the soul collects together all the faculties and enters within itself to be with its God.”
The Way of Perfection, Chapter 28
Sign up for Mary Vitamin daily spiritual emails here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer flowers

With very little help from me, the hollyhocks, yellow phlox, pink and red roses have been creating a show here at my house.
Dont' you just love perennials?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Woman author with Trisomy 21 turning heads

Kellie Greenwald is a young woman with Down syndrome who has just written and illustrated her autobiography.
She's creating a sensation in her winter home in Naples, Florida.

HT Naples News

A Good man is hard to find

Here's some advice from a wise old priest on how to judge whether your beau is truly your Prince Charming.
Here's a clue; feelings are NOT the number one indicator that your man is marriage material!
HT NYTimes

National Down Syndrome Congress Conference

I'm so sorry I couldn't make this conference. It sounded wonderful.
Long Islander Chris Burke was there with his band, singing the theme song from his 1989-1993 TV series, "Life Goes On". I bought the CD when we met Chris at the Buddy Walk in New York City, and it's great. Chris has served as a role model for self-advocates for a generation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

A man with Down syndrome in his new car: Jon's story

For those of us with young children, such stories are so important. Jon is an inspiration to all he meets! Read his story in Lights of Love.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Special t-shirts for special people; announcing "1 in 800" wear

These lovely t-shirts can be purchased at Band of Angels Foundation.

They remind us that to be born with Trisomy 21 is a rare gift. It makes you one in 800.

New Mary Moments Blog Carnival

Behold Your Mother will be hosting Mary Moments Carnivals. These will be monthly collections of posts from - we hope - all over the blogosphere, in honor of the Blessed Mother. In August, the theme will be “Great Marian Books.”
The deadline for submissions is August 10, and the Mary Moments Carnival will be posted on August 15 at Behold Your Mother. There’s an online submission form, or entries may be sent to peerybingle-at-gmail-dot-com, with Mary Moments in the subject line.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My article on teens at the Youth Rally at Dunwoodie in the National Catholic Register

My article on the teens at Dunwoodie has been published in the National Catholic Register.I ran into Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand leaving Mass at Holy Family parish in New Rochelle that day, it was such an honor to be be able to interview her. She is pursuing canonization for her husband Dietrich, but I think she herself should be canonized, she is such a wise and holy woman.Thank you to Therese who made that incredible day possible, and to the members of the Holy Family Youth Group in New Rochelle who gave Gabbi an ID card in the nick of time!Thanks to Tina who found the link for me, for those of you with a subscription, this column is coming out in next week's paper.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Book Review: A Haystack Full of Needles

Ask a mother who home educates her children, ask which question she encounters most frequently and she will undoubtedly respond, “What about socialization?” In the decade since I began teaching my three daughters at home, this question has remained, even as other questions like, “Is that legal?” and “are you qualified to teach?” have vanished due to the increasing prominence of home instruction.
Now, thanks to the experience and literary gifts of home educator and author, Alice Gunther we have not only an eloquent answer to this question, but an inspiring guide on how to help our children find friendship and acceptance outside the domestic church. “A Haystack Full of Needles” is the book we have been waiting for, the book we may give as a gift to questioning family members, but one we will also keep close as we seek opportunities to help our children develop socially.Alice, like so many of our family members had concerns about a home educating mother’s ability to meet her children’s need for social interaction. She takes us back to the days when she thought home educators were doing the impossible, to her early attempts at finding companions for herself and her young daughters, to the successful support group she is a the center of on Long Island. She inspires the mother who feels alone in her decision to home educate with her fond anecdotes and down to earth suggestions on how to find other Catholic home educating families, how to build community, how to run a successful social event, and how to support one another in good times and bad.
“ Home-educating mothers share a unique cultural experience. We understand one another, and a large part of "socialization" should be geared toward nurturing friendship for mothers who choose this narrow, but incredibly rewarding, path"
Haystack is far more engaging than a dry how-to manual, however. Alice, whose childhood involved many trips to family in the Emerald Isle has inherited the legendary Irish facility with language gives her prose a poetic lilt which leads to such picturesque images as,“The truth is homeschooling groups are not founded—they trickle together gradually, like a barrel filling up with rain. Still, there are ways we can help the process along, fastening the hoops around the staves of the barrel, lest we lose a precious drop.”
The secret to the success of Alice’s home schooling groups is her heartfelt compassion for the struggles of the home educating mother and her natural generosity in reaching out to meet their needs. “Socialization for homeschoolers is every bit as much about friendship for mothers as it is for the children. Many best friends have been made around the kitchen table”Haystack includes an impressive array of Alice’s social involvements, nature study groups, Shakespearean plays, creative crafts woven into celebrations of the liturgical year, but the greatest strength of this book lies in the fact that no one in the community is overlooked, not even the special needs child who is shy to become involved in a group activity. Alice has tips for getting these children involved and making them feel loved, “One trick I have is to pull out something especially fun, like a game or interesting little novelty. Not only does this entertain the child who happens to be alone—it also attracts others to be his companions." She describes the pains she has taken to teach her children the art of making the newcomer to the group feel welcome in her home, and that explains why at some of her Little Flower meetings, her lawn is filled with hundreds of happy participants.
Many people wonder if home educating is possible through high school. Alice admits that though many high school age boys attend school; home education social groups nurture the teenage soul as well.“When I think about home schooled teenagers, the image that presents itself in my mind is that of a rose freshly blooming. Those little children who once played in our house or crafted at our table are fine young men and women now, and they are a joy to behold. How many mothers of teenagers are able to say that they love all their children's friends? Yet this is what I can say wholeheartedly, and I believe that these vivid roses are even more beautiful when arranged together in a bouquet.”
That is why I recommend Haystack for all mothers seeking a sense of community in a fast-paced world in which children fail to savor the sweetness of childhood in their headlong rush to emulate questionable role models. Alice Gunther in her distinctly poetic manner, reminds us of the riches of a childhood fully lived in the loving embrace of the Body of Christ. The advice she offers in Haystack, is valuable even if your children are in school you are seeking ways to find like-minded friends for your family. She explains her balanced view of home educating here," As I mention this, let me be clear in saying that I do not think families who are not called to home educate are any less faithful or blessed by God. Yet, I do think, for whatever reason, God calls some of us to serve him in this specific way—not a more exalted way—but a different and necessary one."

I agree with my friend Alice that communities like the Immaculate Heart of Mary group which we enjoy on Long Island may just be the seedbed of the New Springtime of Evangelization which our dear Pope John Paul II predicted. One innocent child spending a pleasant afternoon among friends in the garden, one family sharing the joy of the Faith with another, young families are rediscovering Christian community and renewing the Body of Christ.
Alice Gunther's book is available for pre-order through Hillside Education

Review of Wall-E

Is up at Catholic Media Review.

Knights of Lepanto Encampment

The Friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Griswold, CT hosts a father son encampment several weekends a year which teach Catholic morality and chivalry which is true manliness. The next encampment is July18-20. Watch Grand Knight Thom Girard discuss the last encampment which was held Memorial Day weekend of this year. At the very end of the video, during the Processional of the Closing Mass, you can see me with the lilac top, turning to watch the priest enter the chapel. I regret that this was the only time I spent with these two great men, and I wish that I had introduced myself to them after Mass. Watch the video interview with Thom here.
The tragedy which took Thom and his 18 year old son's life on June 30 is made all the more poignant when you hear Thom praise his son for achieving knighthood during the Encampment. Thom was drowning in a lake that day, and his son Marc died while trying to save his life. He had truly put the concept of sacrifice and chivalry into practice.
There is a fund for Mrs. Girard, Thom's widow, who will be caring for the couple's four surviving children. Read about it here. See if you can help out this family which has seen so much tragedy.
"No greater love has man than this to lay down his life for a friend".
Eternal rest grant to them O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon them,
May their souls, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Monday, July 7, 2008

An opportunity to influence genetic counseling sessions

Dear Parents and Caregivers,
You are invited to participate in a study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of
Health and the Johns Hopkins University.
Why is this study being done?
To learn more about how caregivers adjust to having a child with Down syndrome (DS). We are
interested in hearing from caregivers who may be learning to adjust and also from caregivers
who feel well-adjusted.

Who can participate in this study?
You must be 18 years of age or older and must be the primary caregiver for a child with DS.
Please fill out only one survey per household.
What is involved in this study?
There is one survey that takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. It asks about your
thoughts and feelings about your experience as a caregiver to your child.
What are the risks of the study?
There are no known risks of taking part in this study. If taking the survey makes you feel upset,
you can stop taking the survey at any time. If it causes you to become upset or worried about
yourself or your child, you can also contact the researchers (see below) and they will help direct
you to the appropriate resources.
Are there benefits to taking part in the study?
You will not personally receive any benefits from taking part in this study. We hope to learn
more about how caregivers adjust to having a child with DS and pass that understanding on to
help caregivers in the future.
Do I have to participate?
No, you do not have to take part in this study if you do not want to. Your decision to take the
survey will not have an affect on your child’s healthcare. If you begin the survey, you can
choose to skip any question that you don’t want to answer. You can also stop taking the survey
at any time. If you finish the survey and then change your mind, we will not be able to delete it
since the surveys are all anonymous.

Social and Behavioral Research Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
31 Center Drive (B1B36) – MSC 2073
Bethesda, MD 20892

(301) 443-2595-phone (301) 480-3108-fax

Who else will know that I am in the study?
We do not ask for your name or contact information on this survey. If you provide us with your
name by calling or writing to us, we will not link your name with your responses. This study
will not be part of any medical record. When we report our research results, it will be done with
no identifiable information from individual participants.
How do I participate?
The survey can be found online at
If you prefer to complete a paper version of the survey, please contact Megan Truitt at (301) 443-2595 or to receive the survey and a pre-addressed and stamped return envelope.
Any contact information you give to the researchers in order to mail the survey will be
immediately destroyed after it is mailed. Also, if you are more comfortable completing the
survey over the phone, please contact Megan Truitt (see contact information above) to arrange a
time to do so.
Thank you for your interest and time! If you are taking this survey online, please print a copy of
this consent form so that you have the researchers’ contact information.Also, after the study is complete, we plan on giving out a short summary of the results through
the recruitment sources as a way of saying thanks for participating. If interested, please check
the Kennedy Krieger Institute website below for the study summary:
Megan Truitt Barbara Biesecker
Associate Investigator, JHU/NHGRI Primary Investigator, JHU/NHGRI
Genetic Counseling Training Program Genetic Counseling Training Program
(301) 443-2595 (301) 496-3979

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My latest discovery

This marvellous essay by Caitrin Nichol on Down syndrome and families by introduces this lovely Madonna and Child by Italian Rennaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, father of 14 children, one of whom may have had Trisomy 21.
A physician has diagnosed the Child Jesus with T21 as well, despite the protests of the curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
I agree with the doctor.
He's beautiful!

HT The New Atlantis
Here's another painting where people with T21 are included.

Isn't searching for a cure an insult to our children?

I was just attacked at a Down syndrome site for "wanting to treat our beautiful children like lab mice", and rejecting their uniqueness. I am still smarting from the dressing down out those women gave me, because nothing could be farther from the truth.

I think we mothers get confused about loving the child and hating the disease. Children with Down syndrome do have their personalities somewhat shaped by their chromosomal enhancement, so many mothers can't imagine them without DS, and they love them as they are, so anyone who wants to change them is seen as rejecting them. The child faces a lot of rejection from society, and her mother becomes her best defender and loves her child with the ferocity of a lioness.
SO, if a researcher says he's got a cure, isn't he rejecting our children's uniqueness?

Let me tell you the history of Dr. Lejeune. One day in the 1960's there was a TV program in France about aborting children with DS,and a teenage boy with DS started sobbing after the program, 'Mom, they want to kill us!" The next day, he begged Dr. Lejeune to protect him from those who wanted to kill him. Dr. Lejeune made finding a cure for DS his life's work. Dr Lejeune told Dr. Marie Peeters Ney, who came to work with him in Paris, that it was the duty of Catholic researchers to do this, because, if not, "in twenty years, there won't be any children with T21 left". With a 90 percent abortion rate, and better prenatal tests available for T21, he wasn't far wrong, was he?
Now, if your typical child came down with a bacterial infection, you wouldn't hesitate to give him an antibiotic, would you? If he had Cystic Fibrosis, and was slowly dying before your eyes, wouldn't you give anything for a cure to save his life? Down syndrome is a disease just like the other two, and if a well-tested drug came along to help Christina's memory, her coordination, her speech development, or her ability to learn, should I say, "no, I love her as she is?" or give it to her?
I would certainly give it to her.
Just because I believe that God chose her for me doesn't mean that if a cure became available that I would see it as outside His will. That doesn't mean that I keep looking at her and imagine "what if she could do this or that?" No way, I love every little advance she struggles to make,and her dogged persistence to learn things I took for granted when her sisters leaned it ( like potty training!!) I admire her pure heart, her cheerfulness and her curiosity, just as I admire the good qualities of her sisters. She has unique gifts from God, and nothing will ever change that.

I think sometimes that the more resistance we faced from family and friends to giving birth to and keeping our child, the more defensive we get, AND sometimes we can back ourselves into an unhealthy position. We attribute evil motives to the scientists who are working on a cure, or
dollmakers who want to make our children happy with a toy that resembles them. Or doesn't.

Did you know, that only 6 years ago, when my Christy was born, the mentality of the medical community went something like, "we told you how to diagnose and abort your child with Down syndrome, you chose not to, so tough, don't come running to us for a cure!" Do parents of children with Autism hear this? NO. For one reason, Autism is diagnosed after not before birth. The mentality used for dealing with Down syndrome at the March of Dimes was cure the disease by killing the diseased. Sick. Dr. Lejeune was taken off the list of the MOD beneficiaries because he was prolife. I have this from the founder of the Michael Fund(raises funds for researchers on Down syndrome who are pro-life) Randy Engel, who heard it directly from the good doctor on two occasions.

Now, thanks to thousands of active parents, legislators and scientists are coming together to find cures for the delays caused by T21. Programs to educate our children, NOT warehouse them are proliferating around the nation, and I feel an optimism in the air that someday soon, having a child with an extra chromosome will no longer be seen as the greatest tragedy that can happen to a mother. They will no longer be aborted, and my daughter will look around and see lots of beautiful faces like hers.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Servant of God, Dr. Jerome Lejeune

On my birthday last year, June 28, 2007, the cause for canonization of this saintly scientist was opened. Read the two posts at Unborn Word of the Day about the amazing career of Dr. Lejeune and his close friendship with Pope John Paul II.

My article includes this prayer for the intercession of Dr. Lejeune:

Prayer to Obtain Graces by God’s Servant’s Intercession
God, who created man in your image and intended him to share your glory,
We thank you for having granted to your Church the gift of professor Jerome Lejeune, a distinguished servant of life. He knew how to place his immense intelligence and deep faith at the service of the defense of human life, especially unborn life, always seeking to treat and to cure.

A passionate witness to truth and charity, he knew how to reconcile faith and reason in the sight of today’s world.
By his intercession, and according to your will, we ask you to grant us the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon become one of your saints.


As the cause for canonization of Lejeune moves forward, testimonies of medically inexplicable cures sought by his intercession will be recorded, and holy cards with this prayer are available at this address:

Postulation de la cause de béatification
et de canonisation du Serviteur de Dieu Jérôme Lejeune
Abbaye Saint-Wandrille F-76490
Saint-Wandrille, France.

I am asking the good doctor's intercession to help Christina with potty training, behavior, and speech development.

My favorite patriotic song

This is my favorite verse from "My Country 'Tis of Thee" it sums up my love for the USA.

Our Father's God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
Of Thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

My review is up at Catholic Media Review.
Dress up, bring your American Girl Doll, and your mother.
I'm taking my mom (and daughters) for her birthday.
Kids need to learn that you can live through tough times, you never know. . .

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Four Things Meme

Jean at Catholic Fire tagged me for this meme.

Four places I go over and over:
1. Church
2. My parents house
3. The local public school where Christina receives her therapies
4. the library

Four people who email me regularly
1. A Homeschooling Thespian
2. Pascendi
3. Elizabeth
4. Monica

Four of my favorite places to eat:
1. on my pool deck
2. at my mother's house
3. a Chinese Buffet, so we can get the food quickly and Christina doen't get restless and run around the restaurant
4. a picnic in the park

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. in the mountains
2. at the ocean
3. in Rome, meeting Pope Benedict
4. in front of the Blessed Sacrament

Four TV shows I watch all the time
1. Sunday Night Live with Fr. Groeschel
2. The World Over
3. Life on the Rock
4. Living His Life Abundantly

Four words which best describe you

Four favorite old school actors
Audrey Hepburn

Maureen O'Hara
Gregory Peck
Jimmy Stewart

Four favorite "old School" TV game shows

Kids say the Darndest Things
That's My Line

Four Favorite "old school" TV shows
The Andy Griffith Show

Leave it To Beaver
Patty Duke
The Flying Nun

List four things you liked best about Christmas when you were a child
1. family gatherings
2. setting up the Christmas tree and sitting behind it in a special corner playing with my toys
3. visiting the stores all decorated in the city
4. the Christmas play at Mass

List the four things you liked best about Halloween when you were a child
1.getting dressed up

List the four
things you did not like about growing up
1.the ugly culture of the seventies
2.junior high; need I say more?
3.public school teachers who taught lies about the Catholic Church
4.having no sisters

List four events that impacted your life
1. seeing Pope John Paul II as a teenager
2. My Cursillo Weekend
3. my wedding to Francisco
4. becoming the mother of three lovely girls and three saints in heaven

I tag A Homeschooling Thespian, and Elizabeth.
Anyone who wants to play is tagged.

Tragic News from Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary

Thom and Marc Girard, leaders of the Knights of Lepanto died on June 30 in a tragic drowning accident. Marc saved his sister's life and was attempting to save his father Thom's life when he drowned in a lake.
Read the sad story here. We are asking for prayers and financial support for Thom's widow and her four surviving children.
HT Mary Victrix

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My first article in the National Catholic Register

Is a compiliation of the latest research being done for treatment of Trisomy 21 or Down sydnrome. I also mention the crucial discovery of the cause of Trisomy 21 by my patron saint, Dr. Jerome Lejeune. It's entitled, Down, Not Out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Girl with Down syndrome attends Catholic school in Oregon

"Next year, Megan will be in fourth grade at Our Lady of the Lake School. It’s rare for children with disabilities to attend Catholic schools. But Joan Codd, the principal at Our Lady of the Lake, has stepped up as an advocate for Megan, who had three older siblings enrolled when she entered kindergarten in 2004.
Students at Our Lady of the Lake tend to appreciate Megan, giving her high-fives, helping her when needed and treating her like anyone else when that seems right. Megan ran on the school’s track team this spring and is part of a local swim club. Word spread around the school one day this spring — Megan had poured in 30 points during a pick-up basketball game at recess."

Read the entire story here.
HT Catholic Sentinel

Just in time

To celebrate my birthday this weekend, my husband took us up to Connecticut to go house-hunting. Wanting to capitalize on the fact that it was a Sunday, I suggested we leave home early to make 10AM Mass at St. Mary the Immaculate Church nestled between St. Joseph's School and The Academy of the Holy Family. We were 15 minutes late getting out of the house, but it was God's perfect timing. I awoke from a nap in Bridgeport, and suggested a rest stop.
Just as we emerged from the building, Francisco excitedly pointed to a familiar figure making his way into McDonald's. "Look", he exclaimed, "it's Fr. Benedict Groeschel!" And so it was.
My girls scurried into the car, shy to meet such a famous man, but I was so thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with one of my favorite authors and TV personalities, that I summoned up my courage, and greeted Father by opening the door for him.
Fr. Groeschel was made very feeble by his terrible accident a few years back, and gratefully accepted my help as I told him how much I appreciated his work. I've read nearly all of his books, own many of his CDs and regularly watch his TV shows.
A young woman who didn't know who Father is, came forward to ask for his prayers, and I told her how to access his Sunday Night Live Program on the computer, if she wanted to speak with Father. I shared that we were considering a move to send the girls to Catholic school with the Sisters of Charity of Mary, Mother of the Church in Baltic, and wanted to live near his friends the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Griswold, CT. Father recognized both these fine religious orders.
Soon we were greeted by Fr. Terry, Father's traveling companion, who remembered me as the lady from Long Island "with a lovely teenage daughter who takes very good care of her little sister". I shared this story from the time we met Fr. Terry at Youth 2000 on Long Island last summer, and he told me he would be missing the event this summer, as he was heading to Australia for World Youth Day.
Fr. Terry went over to greet my family in the van, while I told Fr. Groeschel of the book Monica and I have been working on, "Be Not Afraid: The Vocation to Special Motherhood". He and Fr. Terry gave us their blessing, and we said goodbye. This is the third time I've been so fortunate to meet Fr. Groeschel, he has always been so patient and kind to speak with me.
I wish I had photos to share, but the camera stayed behind in the car with the girls, and I was too excited to remember it.
What a wonderful birthday gift this was!