Unexpected Surprise

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity and firsts for me: first time winning a gold medal, first time taking a train into New York City, first time attending a glitzy awards ceremony.

However, I have to admit that the highlight of the week was when I met Dr. Jean, my sister’s new NFP-only physician. I told my sister that I wanted to give her doctor a copy of my first book Emily’s Hope because I figured an NFP-only physician would appreciate it.

After the appointment with my sister, Dr. Jean came out to meet me. I told her that I was an NFP teacher and we exchanged pleasantries. Then I said, “I’d like to give this to you,” and I held out my book Emily’s Hope. She replied, “Oh, I just ordered four copies of this book!”

“Four copies! Well…I wrote this book!”

“You wrote it? I had no idea. It’s wonderful to meet you.”

As my sister and I left, I thought, That was almost as good as winning the gold medal!

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Courageous Canadian Priests

We need to support Cardinal Ouellet and Archbishop Prendergast!


We are blessed to have these and many other faithful and courageous Catholic priests in Canada!

“The abortion debate is on and we must not be afraid of it,” declared Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, in a press conference today, jointly hosted with Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa.”

copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Charitable Event Launches New York Writers’ Group

Media Release:

Huntington, NY-Catholic Writers of Long Island, which is poised to become the first local chapter of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, will hold a full-day conference at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, 440 West Neck Road, Huntington, New York, on Saturday, June 19th, 2010 from 9:30-4:30pm, entitled, “The Word Made Flesh: A Day of Encouragement and Enrichment for Catholic Writers.” Signed copies of good Catholic books, theater tickets, and other valuable prizes will be raffled off and proceeds will benefit Catholic Relief Services, which is a 501[c]3 organization. All are welcome, including nursing mothers with their babies.

The event’s keynote speaker, Rick Hinshaw, editor of the Long Island Catholic, will receive the Catholic Writers’ Guild’s “Lily” award for Meritorious Achievement in Catholic Arts and Letters. Other speakers include: award-winning author and publisher, Josephine Nobisso; author and composer, Alexander J. Basile; retreat leader and host of “Among Women” podcast, Pat Gohn; and author and seminary rector, Msgr. Peter Vaccari. Msgr. Charles Fink, Director of Spiritual Formation for the seminary, will be the homilist.

The event emphasizes connectedness in the Body of Christ and supports professional networking via breaks with refreshments and a special bonus; early-birds will have bios and contact information listed in ¼-page sections in the program, an added value worth $15. Mass, Rosary, and buffet lunch included. Tickets before June 1st: $25 for adult early-birds and $17 for student early-birds. From June 1st-June 15th, tickets: $35 for adults and $25 for students. Meal head-count closes June 15th.

Register at: http://materetmagistramagazine.org/store/ and click on the “Catholic Writers of Long Island” link in the left sidebar under “Important Links.” Add your 100-word [max] bio in the “comments” section, or mail check and typed bio to: mater et magistra, P.O. Box 251, Hamlin, PA 18427 and put “LI Writers” in notes section. To learn more, see Facebook page for “Catholic Writers of Long Island” or contact chapter president, Lisa Mladinich, at lisamladinich@optonline.net

Interesting Perspective from an “Aging Sex Icon”

Interesting article on Raquel Welch, from Life Site News, where she admits “contraceptives shattered marriage, the cornerstone of civilization.”


Welch counters the notion that career-minded women must avoid pregnancy at all cost, reflecting favorably on her decision to keep her children – and crediting the pregnancy experience for helping her “realize that this process was not about me.” “I was just a spectator to the metamorphosis that was happening inside my womb so that another life could be born. It came down to an act of self-sacrifice, especially for me, as a woman.”

“Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it’s precisely because of the sexy image I’ve had that it’s important for me to speak up and say: Come on girls! Time to pull up our socks! We’re capable of so much better.”

Ecce Ancilla Domini

Below is the link to my first column at CatholicMom.com:


‘Openness to life’ is a phrase often used to describe the attitude of those using Natural Family Planning, whether they are avoiding or planning a pregnancy. However, when it comes to actively seeking a pregnancy, another form of ‘openness to life’ comes into play. I like to call it ‘openness to God’s will.’ For, in this openness, a couple truly becomes vulnerable — naked, in essence — before God, exposing them to whatever God allows.

This type of ‘openness’ can mean dealing with a whole range of possibilities: infertility, miscarriage, a baby with abnormalities, a pre-term delivery, a stillborn baby, or a healthy, full-term infant. But, in a sense, this is the same ‘openness’ that Mary embraced when she was informed that she would be the mother of our Savior: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord…”

copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

In Name Only a Finalist in the IPPY Awards

My second novel In Name Only has been named one of the top three finalists in Religious Fiction in the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards! Next week, I’ll find out whether I’ve won Bronze, Silver or Gold.

The category of Religious Fiction is Number 16 in the list below.


Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

An Extraordinary Birthday Gift

On May 3, 1999, I gave birth to my youngest son, Paul. It had been a difficult and challenging pregnancy but on that day, I was finally able to hold this beautiful baby boy in my arms. Two days later, May 5th, was my 40th birthday, but I remained in the hospital recuperating from a Cesarean section. My husband and older children visited me and brought me some small presents to open. James leaned down and whispered, “I feel badly that you have to be in the hospital on your birthday.” I shook my head and smiled. “No need to feel badly.” Then I kissed the beautiful, sleeping baby in my arms. “Because this is the best birthday present I could have ever received.”

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Desperately Seeking Pregnancy

My new post at Amazing Catechists outlines some of the ways of coping with infertility.


“Coping with infertility is challenging, especially in this day and age when new reproductive procedures are making it easier to give birth to a biological child. However, it is important that a couple ensures that whatever assistance they receive be in accord with Catholic Church teaching.”

copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach