Amazing Catechists

After years of determination and hard work, Lisa Mladinich, director of this “amazing” website, has finally succeeded in getting Amazing Catechists launched! ( This is a wonderful resource for all kinds of helpful information on the Catholic faith. Please feel free to explore the website and take a look at some of the wonderful columns that are offered.

I will be writing a monthly column called “Sexually Speaking,” and I intend to write on varied relevant topics such as “Talking to your Kids About Sex,” “Advantages of NFP,” “Pregnancy Loss,” and “Infertility.”

The following column was actually posted last year, but for those of you who haven’t read it, it’s called “Common Mis-conceptions.”

Copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach

A Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn’t Want to Live There

I have always found history fascinating, especially 19th century history, and I especially enjoy reading historical romances. Unfortunately, many of the romance novels published nowadays contain graphic sexuality, and it is becoming difficult to find ones which do not include detailed descriptions of immoral behavior. So I decided to write one which I myself would enjoy reading, with no graphic sexuality and with Catholic characters.

The 19th century was one which had experienced the 1812 War, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the reign of Queen Victoria and the invention of photography. I find myself in awe of the quality of the daguerreotypes and tintypes, but I am most intrigued with the expressions on people’s faces in these early photographs.

Years ago, I bought a book on the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 (which took place in Philadelphia) and I imagined being part of such an extravagant event. Those brief thoughts were the beginning of my novel, In Name Only (

As much as I find history fascinating, there are many aspects of Victorian life which do not appeal to me, like corsets, repressed sexuality, outhouses, women having few legal rights, women dying in childbirth and so on.

I’ve been told by my physician that if I had lived in the 19th century, I probably would have died in childbirth. So I’m happy to be living in the 21st century, in a house built 17 years ago, where I can curl up on a comfortable Lazy Boy chair, turn up the heat and read a great historical novel.

Copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Two great reviews for In Name Only

Within the space of 24 hours, my second novel, In Name Only, has received two wonderful and positive reviews.

“… a very enjoyable read, neither predictable nor formulaic. The ending is both uplifting and realistic.”
Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller, Divine Gift of Motherhood

“Gable has skillfully crafted this intriguing novel, introducing many turns and twists in the plot, which will keep her reader’s eyes glued to the page, eager to learn the outcome of her tale. As the reader proceeds, he/she discovers the true depth of the novel – which conveys the beautiful Catholic teachings on conjugal love, and shares both a pro-life story and a conversion story.”
Jean Heimann, Catholic Fire


If someone had told me ten years ago that someday I would be making a modest living as a Catholic novelist, I would have told them that they were confusing reality with fiction. At the time, I was the mother of a newborn baby boy and four older sons, trying to balance mothering, homeschooling, housework and parish volunteer activities. Days never seemed long enough and nights were always too short.

A few years later, an experience in front of the Blessed Sacrament – coupled with my husband’s encouragement – prompted me to sit down and write a novel. It was challenging to find time for creative writing, so I took opportunities while children were napping during the day or sleeping at night. Five long years later, our small company published Emily’s Hope ( which is based on the true stories of both myself and my great-grandmother. My second novel, In Name Only, a Catholic historical novel, was published this past June. I wrote both books to promote and to share the Church’s beautiful teachings on sex and marriage.

Originally born in Southern New Jersey, USA, I now live in Ontario, Canada in a rural setting about seven miles from the nearest town and about 40 miles from Ottawa, the nation’s capital. It is not unusual to see deer, fox, fishers, wild turkeys, wolves, turtles and the occasional bear. (My fourth son’s first word was “deer.”) The bedrock our house is built on is a plethora of fossils, a science lesson in itself, and the farm and forest that surround our property are quite different than the busy towns of South Jersey.

The rural life is also ideal for writing. A simple, quiet walk in the country is all it takes for great ideas to be born.

Copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach