In Name Only was translated into Portuguese by Aliene B., and she will also be translating A Subtle Grace into Portuguese! According to Aliene, she “loved the first book!” and is looking forward to translating the second O’Donovan Family book.
In Name Only was translated into Portuguese by Aliene B., and she will also be translating A Subtle Grace into Portuguese! According to Aliene, she “loved the first book!” and is looking forward to translating the second O’Donovan Family book.
For a limited time only, Motherhood Matters (second edition) by Dorothy Pilarski is available on Kindle for only 2.99!
Synopsis: Motherhood Matters is even more than what its subtitle says: “Inspirational Stories, Letters, Quotes & Prayers for Catholic Moms.” Author Dorothy Pilarski offers Catholic mothers encouragement and support to follow their precious vocation. Her refreshing affirmation about the beauty, power, and importance of motherhood is much needed today. The author seems to know from personal experience how to directly address a Catholic mom’s doubts and insecurity. Living in a society that often dismisses, denigrates, or ridicules both motherhood and Catholic values means that often a Catholic mom is on the front lines of evangelization—of her own family, and of society. In a very grounded way, Pilarski expresses the dignity of the mother’s calling, and offers creative responses to the challenges. In style, Pilarski is informal and unpretentious. Each chapter is an interesting mix of stories, essays, prayers, and tips. The tips are particularly original and practical, ranging from “how to raise your kids Catholic,” to “ways to make an active attempt to grow closer to God.” The prayers and poems are beautiful and from the heart, but my favorite part is the selection of quotes about motherhood and living a spiritual life that Pilarski scatters throughout each chapter.
My review: This beautiful book contains reflections of a mother for mothers. 21st century mothering has become one where mothers are expected to work a double, sometimes triple shift: in the workplace, still carrying most of the load of housework while often caring for their own parents or in laws. In a culture that has run amuck, Motherhood Matters is a healthy reminder that motherhood is a vocation, a call from God. It is a sacred gift – one that unfortunately many women have been forced into treating it like just a role or a series of tasks. For some unfortunately it’s treated like an afterthought. Pilarski illustrates through these writings that truly ‘Motherhood Matters.’
Highly recommend! Click here to purchase the Kindle edition.
“This is an excellent source of home-spun wisdom for mothers, their daughters and all women of faith. Dorothy has a great style that is folksy but at the same time she delivers solid truth with passion and humour.”
~ Sister Ann Shields, S.G.L., of Renewal Ministries is radio host of Food for the Journey and author of Deeper Conversions, To Be Like Jesus and other books on Catholic Spirituality.
“In grammar school, when I learned that Esau had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, I thought he was very silly. How could an intelligent person give up a precious gift for a passing gratification? Dorothy Pilarski’s book is a must read for women who have become ‘female Esaus.’ Satan’s greatest victory since original sin is to have convinced women that their ‘knighthood’ is a prison. This book offers a precious counter poison to that.”
~ Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, Catholic philosopher and theologian, and author of The Privilege of Being a Woman
“This thought-provoking book is jam-packed with inspiration, hope and practical tools that will comfort and inspire women of every age.”
~ Colleen Hammond, TV talk-show host, radio personality and best selling author of Dressing With Dignity and The Gossip Guide
“This is a passionate and compelling book. Dorothy has lovingly woven together a collection of articles, letters, quotes and prayers that are guaranteed to stir a Catholic mother’s heart.”
~ Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, host of EWTN’s Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms and best-selling author of Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers.
“This is a terrific compilation of writings about the triumphs and tragedies of being a mother in today’s world. Dorothy provides concrete suggestions and inspirational vignettes that will encourage any woman in her mothering journey.”
~ Lisa M. Hendey, author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms
“Dorothy Pilarski writes with profundity and wit about matters practical and divine. Full of anecdotes and humor, this book makes us take an honest look at the lives of women today and helps us to focus on what matters most.”
~ Elena Maria Vidal, author of Trianon
“The author mines personal epiphanies to extract practical nuggets of gold relevant to all Catholic mothers. They’ll want to attach the essay ‘Raising Catholic Kids’ to the refrigerator door!”
~ Josephine Nobisso, speaker, writing consultant and author of more than 40 books, including three novels and several children’s books
“Dorothy Pilarski is a voice in the wilderness. Full of courage, wit and grace, her candid book is a sincere invitation to discover, or perhaps re-discover, the rich universal treasures of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith.”
~Sharon DiCecco, host on HMWN Radio Maria
In John Paul II’s encyclical, Familiaris Consortio, (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), he states (p. 45) “The Church is called upon to manifest anew to everyone, with clear and stronger conviction, her will to promote human life by every means and to defend it against all attacks, in whatever condition or state of development it is found.”
Our society has become a culture of death. This is most obvious now that several states in the USA allow for abortion up to the moment of delivery. In January, Gov. Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which expands abortion rights and essentially allows abortion up to the moment of delivery. In the photo of the signing, every person is smiling joyfully. Crowds cheered when the news came that New York would allow abortion up to the moment of birth. World Trade Center 1 was lit in pink to “celebrate.”
I’ve been pregnant eleven times with twelve babies (five living sons), and I just cannot comprehend how anyone could be elated and happy that a baby can be killed up to the moment of delivery. Just 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton said that abortion should be, “safe, legal and rare.” What happened to that attitude?
Since 1969, Canada has had no restrictions or law regarding abortion. Killing an unborn child is legal right up to the moment of delivery.
Until recently, the movie “Unplanned,” was banned in Canada. Based on Abby Johnson’s compelling book , theaters here in Canada initially “claimed” that it was too controversial. However, these same theaters also regularly show movies with graphic sexuality, language and violence. Thankfully, Landmark and others have overturned this decision and we will be seeing Unplanned at theaters in Canada beginning July 12.
Our own grandchild is currently weeks away from being born and yet here in Canada, my daughter-in-law could legally walk into any clinic or hospital and kill her baby. Thankfully, she and my son are staunchly pro-life. But thinking about the innocence and defenselessness of a small baby being murdered at any point in pregnancy breaks my heart. How has our world gotten to this point where such an evil act can be considered a good thing and something to rejoice about? And can anything be done to turn the tide back to embracing all life from conception to natural death?
“The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then defend life.” St. John Paul II
What about cases of rape? That’s what my husband and I are always asked when we talk to high school students about the evil of abortion. First, pregnancy from rape is rare. Yes, it happens, but it’s less than one percent of all abortions. Second, seventy percent of women who are raped and become pregnant decide to continue the pregnancy. Some keep their babies; others give their babies up for adoption. The innocent baby does not deserve the death penalty for the sin of his father. For a compelling story, watch this beautiful testimony from Jennifer Christie.
We must do more to fight against the culture of death by rebuilding a culture of life. Here are a few ways to do so:
Prayer and Fasting
Never underestimate the power of prayer and fasting. Daily Mass, the daily Rosary, a weekly fast (especially on Fridays) and other forms of prayer have more effect than we can possibly realize. Spiritually adopting a baby in danger of abortion is a beautiful way we can build the culture of life. Try to recite the Litany of the Saints daily. We can never know the effect that our prayers have had (until we die), but be assured this is one of the most important ways to rebuild a culture of life.
Chastity, NFP and Openness to Life
All Christians (not just Catholics) are called to practice chastity and be open to life. Being chaste before marriage and practicing marital chastity (faithfulness) is essential for building a culture of life. Contraception is “intrinsically evil,” (CCC 2370) it harms marriages and separates couples physically and spiritually. Natural Family Planning (www.ccli.org) is a safe, moral and effective way to avoid and plan pregnancies.
Some contraceptives are actually abortifacient (cause early abortions), rather than preventing conception. In certain parts of the world, abortion is used as a contraceptive and pre-born baby girls are being killed by the thousands simply because they are female.
This also includes treating children as blessings rather than burdens. Children are a gift from God. Is parenthood hard work? You bet it is. But these little human beings deserve our attention, love and respect.
Make sure that your voice heard. Register to vote and vote often and whenever the opportunity arises. This can be no more evident than in our upcoming presidential election. Although I have been living in Canada for 37 years, I remain a US citizen and I have continued to vote in US Federal Elections.
Corporal/Spiritual Works of Mercy
Performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy will also help to rebuild a culture of life because these works will help build spiritual character. When we are closer to Christ, we are closer to a culture of life.
The corporal works of mercy, based on Matthew 25:31-36, are: 1. feed the hungry 2. give drink to the thirsty 3. clothe the naked 4. shelter the homeless 5. visit the imprisoned 6. care for the sick 7. bury the dead.
Being pro-life doesn’t mean that we stop support for women with unplanned pregnancies when they have their babies. Donating clothes and food to crisis pregnancy centers and spiritual support are essential in rebuilding a culture of life.
And being pro-life also doesn’t just mean being against abortion; it also means respecting and defending life at all stages. Donating blood (if you’re able to), visiting the elderly, the sick and those who are confined to their homes are all wonderful ways to rebuild the culture of life.
The spiritual works of mercy, commanded or encouraged in many places Scripture, are: 1. admonish the sinner 2. instruct the ignorant 3. counsel the doubtful 4. comfort the afflicted 5. bear wrongs patiently 6. forgive all injuries 7. pray for the living and dead.
Peaceful Pro-Life Events
Attend peaceful pro-life events like the National March for Life (in the USA it is held every January; in Canada, it is held every May around Mother’s Day), the Hike for Life and other Pro-Life rallies.
Patience and Charity
It’s important to be patient and charitable when speaking to, interacting with, or debating with, those who are pro-abortion. Many of these fiercely pro-choice women have had abortions.
St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them.” Try not to be judgmental of the person (always separate the person from the sin). In some cases, these women were coerced by their partners or parents (those who should’ve been protecting them) into having an abortion.
Be a Good Example
Being a good example of Christian virtue is another great way to rebuild a culture of life. Volunteer at or support a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, embrace faithful Catholicism and donate money to causes that will rebuild the culture a life.
Helpful Pro-Life Resources:
Persuasive Pro-Life: How to Talk About Our Culture’s Toughest Issue by Trent Horn and Fr. Frank Pavone (foreword)
If each of us does our own part, we can rebuild a culture of life, one in which every life is respected and valued from conception to natural death.
Copyright 2019 Ellen Gable Hrkach
Synopsis: Despite a traumatic and difficult childhood, 39-year-old Boston sales executive, David Kelly, seems to have it all, building a life of achievement, material success, and professional respect. It is an unplanned friendship with Tom Fitzpatrick that begins him on an emotional journey with many unexpected twists and surprises, a courageous journey that allows him to confront the truth of his past and the impact it has had on the relationships in his life. The Father’s Son is a highly engaging and entertaining story that will make think about friendship, forgiveness, redemption, love, and truth, and may prove to be one that will profoundly impact how you look at life itself.
More and more baptized Catholics are walking away from the Church. Many have simply never been evangelized. Many have simply never been given a proper opportunity to encounter Jesus. Many have simply been hurt in their lives, some even by the Church. If we are serious about evangelizing them we will need to fully embrace Pope Saint John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization: “new in ardor, methods, and expressions.” The Father’s Son is a beautiful example of answering that call. For those of you who are striving to evangelize baptized Catholics – especially men – I would recommend getting this book into their hands. It is a story that will resonate with those who are dealing with wounds in their lives and might be what they need to set them on the path towards happiness, which ultimately will lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. Michael M. Lavigne -Assistant Cabinet Secretary for Evangelization and Discipleship, Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship, Archdiocese of Boston
I admit that I am a bit of a sucker for an engaging conversion story, but Jim Sano provided not only a book that I had to exercise great discipline to put down, but into the story of this young executive’s journey of faith he weaved a clear, relevant and attractive description of the Catholic Faith and its power to transform. Today it seems all too easy to drift away from the Faith that had perhaps once been ours, and then to suffer the consequences of that neglect. Here is a book that leaves its reader not only longing for more of the story, but wondering if the same hope and healing might be possible for them too. Read this book, and get it into the hands of somebody you know who might need to remember what it means to be a son or daughter of a good father. Ron Bolster -Assistant Professor of Theology, Director of Catechetics at Franciscan University
Jim Sano’s The Father’s Son weaves a wonderful story around childhood misconceptions that lead to misshaped adult values, and how providence can lead people into our lives to set things straight. In this case, God leads sales executive David Kelly to Tom Fitzpatrick, who becomes both a friend and spiritual mentor, which in turn takes David on a journey that unravels the truth of his past and restores the faith he had abandoned. Definitely a book you’ll want to share with anyone who needs gentle nudging toward putting faith in God. Michelle Buckman, author of CALA winner Rachel’s Contrition
Questions galore filled my head as I kept reading with anticipation each chapter of The Father’s Son. Because David seems so together in most areas of his life, it kept gnawing at me. Why can he not commit? Why is there a chill running through the family’s relationships? It did not seem to fit. Tom is the catalyst who brings out David’s best, and worst, too! This novel “makes you laugh, makes you cry, and keeps you waiting.” Now, that’s a good book. Florence Henderson
Kathryn Griffin Swegart
Amazon Synopsis: Just released. Father Sebastian Rale was a little-known Jesuit missionary who lived among the Wabanaki people from 1689-1724. In this riveting story, readers travel into the Maine wilderness and witness the heart of a true martyr for the Faith. Like St. Isaac Jogues, Father Sebastian Rale was a heroic missionary to the New World. Martyrs is an unforgettable story of courage, faith, and enduring friendship. This piece of historical fiction for readers 10-14 is an inspiring book for young and old alike. Kathryn Griffin Swegart is an Amazon-bestselling author in Children’s Christian Historical Fiction.
My review: I helped to edit and format this book. Wonderful but challenging story to read. Highly recommend!
Amazon Synopsis: When four friends vacation together in the Colorado Rockies, they expect a week of hiking, biking, and rafting – not being interrogated by the FBI.
Unlikely Witnesses combines the characters of Leslea Wahl’s award-winning YA mysteries, The Perfect Blindside and An Unexpected Role, in an all-new adventure.
Jake is a silver-medal-winning snowboarder. His famous face makes it hard to go anywhere unnoticed. Sophie, his devoted girlfriend, is an aspiring journalist whose camera is never far from her side.
Sophie’s cousin Ryan, a high school baseball star, enjoys an ongoing prank war with his cousin. His girlfriend Josie adds excitement to all situations with her uncanny flair for the dramatic.
Between Josie’s mishaps, Jake’s celebrity status, and Sophie and Ryan’s friendly feud their peaceful family vacation turns into a comedic adventure. But, when these four teens stumble upon a mystery, things become downright dangerous.
The fun and intrigue of this short story is paired with a reminder that if we live our lives as Christians, we never know when we might be a witness for Christ.
My review: On my to-read shelf.
Amazon Synopsis: Life has not been fair to Jenna Davis. After losing everything she considered her world three years ago, her only hope has been holding on and trying to survive. When she finally decides she must find a way to go on with life, she boards a plane destined to visit a friend across the country. But she hadn’t counted on meeting a handsome stranger and his young son on the flight, nor could she have prepared herself for what life would throw at her next. Can Jenna find love again after tragedy strikes or is she destined to go from one tragedy to another forever?
Scott Browning was devastated when his marriage broke up. With his young son, Lane, he is learning to pick up the pieces and go on with life. On his way home from a visit to his parents, Scott meets a young woman who will change everything, just before his own life is thrown into question. Most couples think about love at first sight. Could this one be love at first death?
My Review: I’m a sucker for airplane crash stories and romances, so when I saw this on sale for .99, I bought it on Kindle. I’m enjoying the story and the crash is extremely well done. My only criticism is the occasional obvious typo or grammatical error.
by Misty Beller
Amazon Synopsis: The only hope to keep her newborn baby alive is to reach the safety of her Indian people… This mountain man is the last person she should trust to get her there.
As a half-Indian raised among her Peigan tribe, Moriah Clark knows better than to trust white people. The tragedy that resulted in her birth is proof enough. But when her trusted grandfather marries her to a white man, she has no choice but to obey and hope this new life isn’t her downfall. Her white husband turns out to be a decent sort, but his unexpected death left her to birth a newborn baby among hostile mountain men. She wants nothing more than to retreat to the safe haven of her tribal upbringing. When a mysterious frontiersman arrives on her doorstep seeking her deceased husband, his offer to escort her and the babe to her people seems like the opportunity she’s been praying to find. But can she trust him?
Samuel Grant has been sent to retrieve Henry Clark for his sister’s wedding, but the sight that greets him at the little cabin in the woods is not what he expected. Not only has the man died, but Henry’s wife is fighting off an aggressive gang of men at gunpoint—while trying to conceal a newborn. He can’t leave the pair unattended, so helping her travel into the mountain country to reach her family seems like the only option. If he can win her trust, that is.
Such a grueling journey with a three-week-old baby will be risky, but the challenges that arise test them far more than either expected. When a devastating surprise increases the danger ten-fold, Moriah focuses all her efforts on keeping her newborn daughter alive. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t realize how much of her heart belongs to the mountain man—until it’s too late.
My review: Downloaded this for free on Kindle. On my To-Read shelf.
Amazon synopsis: The icon worshipped by moviegoers and beloved by his colleagues appeared to have it all. Yet beneath the suave and commanding star persona, there was an insecure, deeply conflicted, and all too vulnerable human being. Growing up poor in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson was abandoned by his biological father, abused by an alcoholic stepfather, and controlled by his domineering mother.
Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Hudson was determined to become an actor at all costs. After signing with the powerful but predatory agent Henry Willson, the young hopeful was transformed from a clumsy, tongue-tied truck driver into Universal Studio’s resident Adonis. In a more conservative era, Hudson’s wholesome, straight arrow screen image was at odds with his closeted homosexuality.
As a result of his gay relationships and clandestine affairs, Hudson was continually threatened with public exposure, not only by scandal sheets like Confidential but by a number of his own partners. For years, Hudson dodged questions concerning his private life, but in 1985 the public learned that the actor was battling AIDS. The disclosure that such a revered public figure had contracted the illness focused worldwide attention on the epidemic.
Drawing on more than 100 interviews with co-stars, family members and former companions, All That Heaven Allows finally delivers a complete and nuanced portrait of one of the most fascinating stars in cinema history.
Author Mark Griffin provides new details concerning Hudson’s troubled relationships with wife Phyllis Gates and boyfriend Marc Christian. And here, for the first time, is an in-depth exploration of Hudson’s classic films, including Written on the Wind, A Farewell to Arms, and the cult favorite Seconds. With unprecedented access to private journals, personal correspondence, and production files, Griffin pays homage to the idol whose life and death had a lasting impact on American culture.
My review: I’m a long-time fan of Rock Hudson’s and have seen most of his movies and TV appearances. When in 1985 the news came out that he was dying of AIDS, I was shocked, but nevertheless prayed for him and for his soul. I’ve read other biographies, but this one is an extremely well-written book in which the author does an excellent job of not judging Hudson, but just stating the facts. Yes, there were some shocking revelations, but at the core of Rock Hudson’s being was a kindness and an unpretentiousness that, despite his closeted “secret” life, everyone who met him was drawn to him and say they came away a better person. I was especially happy to hear that his companion, knowing that Rock was baptized Catholic, sent for a priest who gave Rock the “Last Rites.” After the priest left, Rock allegedly told his companion, “Thank you for that.” Highly recommend for fans of Rock Hudson. Though it alludes to his gay lifestyle, it isn’t graphic.
Would you like to win a free audio-book of Stealing Jenny? Just leave a comment below to receive a code for your free book. The first ten to comment will receive a free audio-book. This is not a contest. All you need to do is leave a comment and I’ll send you a code.
After a difficult pregnancy, Jenny and Tom are days away from having their sixth child. But when Jenny is kidnapped by a deranged woman, the family must summon all of their faith as Jenny fights for her life.
“Stealing Jenny will keep you on the edge of your seat and probably destroy your sleep pattern as you stay up to find out what happens.” Sarah Reinhard, author, blogger
This is one of the best videos I’ve seen that explains the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception and in vitro fertilization. Well done, Father Mike!