Archives for November 2010

Podcast with Lynn Goodwin, part II, November 2010

Below is part II of a podcast we recorded for my Catholic Blog in November 2010 with B. Lynn Goodwin.

B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?” Journaling for Caregivers and is also the Editor of Writer Advice, a website dedicated to promoting authors through its interviews. Her site publishes both experienced and emerging writers, showcasing fresh ideas and high quality writing.

I was blessed to have caught up with Lynn after we met in person at the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show in August 2010 in King of Prussia, PA.

If you know a catholic author, writer, blogger, creative person you would like to see featured in a future podcast or interview,
please contact us at info(at)mycatholicblog(dot)com

You can also read our interview with Lynn Goodwin

Here is part II (approximately 6 minutes):

Podcast with Lynn Goodwin, part I, November 2010

Below is a podcast we recorded for my Catholic Blog in November 2010 with B. Lynn Goodwin.

B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?” Journaling for Caregivers and is also the Editor of Writer Advice, a website dedicated to promoting authors through its interviews. Her site publishes both experienced and emerging writers, showcasing fresh ideas and high quality writing.

I was blessed to have caught up with Lynn after we met in person at the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show in August 2010 in King of Prussia, PA.

If you know a catholic author, writer, blogger, creative person you would like to see featured in a future podcast or interview,
please contact us at info(at)mycatholicblog(dot)com

You can also read our interview with Lynn Goodwin

Here is part I of our call (approximately 8 minutes):

Interview with Lisa Hendey

Mother, wife, author, blogger — meet Lisa Hendey, the woman responsible for Catholicmom.com and The Handbook for Catholic Moms, and frequent contributor to Faith&Family.

Why did you write The Handbook for Catholic Moms?  Was there a particular inspiring moment or event that made you think “Hey, there’s a book here!”

I had been thinking about writing a book for a few years – we’ve had a very active Book Club on CatholicMom.com for ten years now, and that brought me into contact with many Catholic authors.  I always desired the experience of writing a book, but frankly I lacked the confidence and the time.  Busy moms will understand how daunting the thought of finding any quiet time to write can be.

But through the website I came into contact with Tom Grady, the head of my publisher Ave Maria Press.  Tom and I discussed the possibility of creating a book that would serve as a companion to the website.  I loved that conversation and felt inspired to take on the challenge.  I’m so happy I did!  It’s been an amazing experience, and I think we’ve been able to create a resource that can help and support many.

Even though your book is written as a handbook for Catholic Moms, who else could benefit from reading your book?

Honestly, some of the best feedback I’ve had on the book has come from men.  Of course, they won’t admit to it if you ask them!

The book is divided into four sections – heart, mind, body and soul.  In each section, I encourage the reader to invest the time, energy and effort to care for herself so that she can better care for her family, her community and our universal Church.  So many of the aspects of the book are relevant to anyone who’s looking to grow in faith and to develop themselves personally.

In the book, you discuss Catholic marriage commitments.  In your opinion, why is it so difficult for men and women to commit to anything today?

I think it’s a few things – first of all, we’re living in the “i” generation – information comes in small bits from so many angles.  We’re connected to so many things that sometimes it can be difficult to fully connect with any one thing – or even with any one person.   “Friend” has taken on a whole new context, and the way wecommunicate with one another is vastly different than it was in the past.

I also fear that we are raising a generation who may not fully comprehend the sacramental nature of marriage.  We parents really have to fully commit ourselves to our domestic churches – which means that we accept primary responsibility for the faith formation of our children, including modeling sacramental marriage for them.

As parents/mentors/friends/employers and employees/members of God’s family — with all the roles we assume throughout the day, many of us seem to have frayed edges and appear over-worked and stressed.  What is your “recipe for prioritizing” your life?  What works for you?

This is so true!  We’re pulled in so many different directions!  My own father, who always begins his day with quiet prayer time and physical fitness, modeled my “recipe” for me.  I try to begin and end my day with prayer.  I do my very best to be physically active most days of the week.  I fully throw myself into the work I do, because I love it with all my heart, but my family is my top priority after my relationship with God.  So some days that means not getting through most items on the “to do” list – but work will wait and my time with my family is too precious to put on hold.  It’s always an incredibly difficult balancing act, which makes prayer an even more component.

Catholic Mom has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.  Did you
envision this community as it has unfolded over the years?  Does it match with what your first pictured, how has it differed?  And what is next for Lisa Hendey?

I never could have imagined the ways in which the CatholicMom.com community would grow worldwide.  It’s truly amazing.  We now feature over one hundred contributors.  Our resources are downloaded in over 110 countries around the world.  We have the weekly Catholic Moments podcast and have begun video initiatives.  It’s all a work of the Holy Spirit and a very committed team of volunteers who have really become my “online parish”.  I simply sit back and marvel when I see what my little “hobby” has grown into.  But God is good, and He definitely has a plan for this apostolate, so He continues to provide what we need.

What’s next for me?  I am at work on a second book – a devotional based upon the lives of the saints.  I’m also enjoying the opportunities I’m having to speak at parishes, with faith groups and at conferences.  My husband and I recently launched our first son off to college, but I still have a teenager in my home so being a good wife and mom continues to be my highest professional priority.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers!

Thank you, Lisa!

PS: Here is a photo of Thomas with Lisa Hendy from Catholic Marketing Network in August 2010 

Big Church Day Out 2011 lineup announced!

Already scheming about how to spend that holiday gift cash?

The Big Church Day Out 2011 lineup has just been announced, so it’s a perfect time to start saving!

Tickets are fairly cheap, at around $75 for the two day event (and if you order now, it’s even cheaper thanks to the festival’s “early bird” special), the “expense” stemming from the fact that The Big Church Day Out 2011 takes place in the UK, and travel cost for some of us would increase the total cost significantly.

H0wever, airlines often offer cheaper flights if booked far in advance, and England in the springtime is gorgeous: the gardens are in bloom, the countryside grass is green, and it’s finally warm enough in London to walk around outside!

Plus, the festival tickets themselves are a steal!  Seventy-five dollars will get you access to a campsite, a church,a kid zone, a marketplace, and even a tea tent!

And of course, music!!  This year’s lineup inludes Toby Mac, Stuart Townend, Chris Tomlin, The David Crowder Band, and many more excellent artitsts.

The crowd last year was 25,000 strong, and the reception was outstanding.  One attendee proclaimed, “just the time of my life, really […] we left the day united, happy and focused.”

Book on history of Christianity earns Cundill Prize

A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years earned British historian Diarmaid MacCulloch this year’s Cundill Prize at McGill University, Quebec.

According to the Montreal Gazette (article found here), the prize, worth $75,000, is considered the world’s most important in the non-fiction historical literature genre.  

Adam Gopnik, contributor to The New York Times and memer of this year’s Cundill Jury, hailed Maculloch’s writing talent.  He proclaimed, “Taking as his subject nothing less than the whole history of the faith, MacCulloch has written a social history that illuminates changes in belief; and a history of belief that helps us see how our society got so much of its structure.”  Gopnik continued, “Though all of the books in the short list seemed to us wonderful works of narrative history -and well written, too – MacCulloch’s stands out.”

The day of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, renowned for furthering St. Francis of Assissi’s ideals of poverty and service.

Born as the daughter of Hungarian King Andrew II in 1207, Elizabeth’s arranged marriage to Ludwig of Thuringia forced her to leave her family while still very young.  Additionally, Elizabeth’s mother Gertrude was murdered in 1213 due to a conflict between German people and Hungarian nobles.  Both events led Elizabeth to sorrow, though she turned to prayer for consolation.

Catholic News Agency’s article on St. Elizabeth continues her story:

Ludwig, who had advanced to become one of the rulers of Thuringia, supported Elizabeth’s efforts to live out the principles of the Gospel even within the royal court. She met with friars of the nascent Franciscan order during its founder’s own lifetime, resolving to use her position as queen to advance their mission of charity.
In 1226, while Ludwig was attending to political affairs in Italy, Elizabeth took charge of distributing aid to victims of disease and flooding that struck Thuringia. She took charge of caring for the afflicted, even when this required giving up the royal family’s own clothes and goods. Elizabeth arranged for a hospital to be built, and is said to have provided for the needs of nearly a thousand desperately poor people on a daily basis.

The next year, however, would put Elizabeth’s faith to the test. Her husband had promised to assist the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the Sixth Crusade, but he died of illness en route to Jerusalem […] Elizabeth used her remaining money to build another hospital, where she personally attended to the sick almost constantly.
Elizabeth joined the Third Order of St. Francis, seeking to emulate the example of its founder as closely as her responsibilities would allow. Near the end of her life, she lived in a small hut and spun her own clothes.

After [Elizabeth] died [in 1231], miraculous healings soon began to occur at her grave near the hospital, and she was declared a saint only four years later.

Pope Benedict XVI recently praised her as a “model for those in authority.”

“Silly goose”? Perhaps not!

Mycatholicblog came across this great article from Faith&Family.  We found it informative, entertaining, and very comforting.  And yes, as the title suggests, it’s about geese!

The article, found originally here, claims that “Geese do by nature what they were designed to do. And observing them can teach us an important life lesson: We’re all in this together.

Like birds of a feather…

Students urge protests must remain peaceful

Approximately 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters stood in London this past Wednesday in protest of rising university tuition fees.  The U.K. government plans to eliminate the current tuition cap (currently at 3,920 pounds or approximately $6,300) and raise fees up to three times the amount.

However, this would also require universities to give greater assistance to poorer students, pulling funds from the increased income. Additionally, the Student Loans Company, a UK public sector organization, currently does not require loan repayment until the individual earns a certain salary amount (15,000 pounds or approximately $24,200).  In comparison, colleges in the United States can cost $50,000+ a year, and loan repayments usually start six months after one drops below full-time status (either from graduation, dropping classes, leaving school, etc).

Regardless of where one stands on the tuition increase though, the protest clearly demonstrated the situation’s importance on a domestic level.   And unfortunately, such rampant emotions led to violence during the protest: vandalism, fires, assault on police, and even objects hurled into the crowd from those standing on rooftops.

Among the 50,000 at the protest was the Student Christian Movement, who (as Christiantoday.com reported) felt a protest was necessary as tuition fees are an “issue of justice.”  Still, they also urge the importance of expressing one’s anger in a “peaceful and constructive way.” They insist, “The handful of violent demonstrators should not distract us from the real issue, which is that access to higher education would become unfair under the proposed system.”

“What can I bring?” Suggestions for the Thanksgiving dinner guest

Really?  More green bean casserole?!  While food is of course a major component of Thanksgiving, mycatholicblog would like to suggest two alternative offerings that the Thanksgiving dinner guest can bring to the big event:

1. The Perfect Prayer. With all that delicious food on the table, it becomes incredibly difficult to sit through a long-winded prayer without diving across the table into the mashed potatoes.  Therefore, mycatholicblog recommends a prayer that adequately acknowledges all of life’s blessings, but will still be finished before the turkey goes cold.  There are tons of prayer suggestions online, and we particularly like this one:

Jesus, thank you for loving us;
And providing food, shelter, and each other.
Every moment of our lives is a gift;
And we appreciate all the time You have given us.
Thank you for all our good fortune.
Amen.
(website found here)

Short and sweet, now let’s eat!

2. A gift for the host. Preparing a feast is hard work! It’s time-consuming, expensive, and that oven gets mighty hot! The host is most likely happy to do all the work in exchange for being surrounded by loved ones.  Still, a small thank you would be nice.  And a small thank you in the form of a gift would be especially nice!  How about a rosary and a prayer card? Or a lovely piece of jewelry, perhaps a necklace?  Best of all, gifts ordered online come straight to your door, and almost always have overnight or expedited shipping options.  Giving the host a gift is really just a way to make a memorable day even more special.

Happy Thanksgiving?  Awesome Thanksgiving.

Archbishop of Canterbury heads to Vatican

There are big things happening in the Church of England.  We found this article on christiantoday.com:

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of Anglicans worldwide, will visit the Vatican on November 17 in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

The visit follows the announcement earlier this week from five Church of England bishops of their decision to join the Roman Catholic Church.

The bishops issued a statement explaining their reasons for leaving the Church of England: “[P]articularly we have been distressed by developments in Faith and Order in Anglicanism which we believe to be incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the Church for nearly two thousand years.”

They said they would resign from their pastoral responsibilities on December 31 and join an ordinariate once one is created by the Roman Catholic Church.

Last year, the Vatican made a historic decision to create an apostolic constitution that would provide Vatican guidelines on integrating disaffected Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI made the provision in response to the numerous requests he received from Anglicans unhappy with the ordination of women and noncelibate gay bishops.

The structure would allow converts to enter into full communion with Rome but still retain certain Anglican rituals and traditions. For example, married clerics would be able to become Catholic priests but not Catholic bishops.

One of the breakaway bishops, John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, predicts that an exodus of “thousands” of lay Anglicans will occur once the ordinariate is formed.

The entire article can be found here.