Picture Perfect

As a young child and teenager, I wanted to be the mother of many children. I used to wish I was the woman who lived in the shoe who “had so many children she didn’t know what to do.” Then I had my first child. I wanted to rewrite that children’s rhyme to “she had one screaming child, she didn’t know what to do.”

Below is a link to an article which was published in Family Foundations Magazine in 2003. Although it was written seven years ago, it still rings true today as I adjust to mothering pre-teens, teenagers and young adults.


copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

December is not only the month of Christmas, it’s the month of two important Marian Feast Days: the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th) and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (today).

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego in December of 1531. She requested a church be built on the site of the apparition and when the local Bishop requested a sign, she did so.

“…she also left for us an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native’s tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 477 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.”

Here’s another great article on Our Lady of Guadalupe: http://www.examiner.com/x-31718-Wichita-Catholic-Examiner~y2009m12d11-Our-Lady-of-Guadalupe-hope-and-human-life

This evening, we will attend a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at our local church with a potluck supper (including Mexican food), fellowship and games.

Copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach

St. Nicholas Day…one day late

I had planned to post this yesterday, but with one of my boys ill with a stomach virus, mothering took precedence over writing.

There’s a great post about St. Nicholas at this link on Catholic Fire.

In our household, the feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated by filling our sons’ boots with candy and small toys. For obvious reasons, and since our older sons are adults and/or away from home much of the time, the youngest two boys have kept this tradition alive by their enthusiasm for this feast. Despite one being sick, we were not disappointed.

How does your family celebrate St. Nicholas Day? Feel free to comment and share your ideas.

Teaching Through Fiction

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus used parables to teach. Nowadays, Christian and Catholic authors are using their novels for this very purpose.

In a feature article by the Canadian newspaper “The Catholic Register” I told the reporter that I believed that fiction was an important way to evangelize and educate.

Interestingly, many young people have shared with me that my novel, Emily’s Hope, has taught them a great deal about what the Catholic Church teaches regarding NFP, marriage and sexuality. My second novel, In Name Only, is less obviously evangelistic, but does include themes on faith, Theology of the Body, suffering, redemption and marital sexuality.

Neither Emily’s Hope nor In Name Only were ever meant to be all encompassing teaching books, but I am more strongly convinced that storytelling can be a powerful way to evangelize and teach.

Copyright 2009 Ellen Gable Hrkach