Small Steps Book Tour Ends Here!

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Hey there! This is the final stop in the Small Steps Blog Tour, hosted at CatholicMom.com to celebrate the release of the latest CatholicMom.com book, Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray, and Act, by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss.Think: "Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world that passes like a shadow."Pray: Infant Lord, the world becomes noisier and noisier as we approach your birthday. Help me to remember that infants are best appreciated in the … [Read more...]

Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

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If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]

Remarks to Catholic Marketers, Shop Owners

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk with members of the Catholic Marketing Network at their annual conference and trade show. The show is always delightful -- walking amidst a convention hall of Catholic wares, tsotskies and books is my idea of a very good time, indeed, and of course, I also got to photobomb the pope!And of course, there was the wine-and-cheese book-signing sponsored by Ave Maria Press, which was great fun and looked like this:The conference … [Read more...]

Look at Me: Elmore Leonard, RIP

"If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it." -- Elmore LeonardElmore Leonard has passed away. The world is a little dimmer and a little dumber, today.One of my favorite writers -- and the source for a few of my favorite films, too. I will have to watch "Get Shorty" tonight in his memory.His "Ten Rules of Writing" are succinct and perfect:Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing1. Never open a book with weather. 2. Avoid prologues. 3. … [Read more...]

You have here no lasting city…not even a lasting nation.

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In today's Office of Readings (my favorite Office, go figure) comes this marvelously relevant, important and instructive excerpt from Thomas a'Kempis' classic, The Imitation of Christ:Turn to the Lord with your whole heart and leave behind this wretched world. Then your soul shall find rest. For the kingdom of God is the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. If you prepare within your heart a fitting dwelling place, Christ will come to you and console you.His glory and beauty are within you, … [Read more...]

A good day for this book: Voices of the Saints

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I happened to be talking to Julie Davis -- who is the primo go-to person when pondering any book, because I do believe she may have read them all! -- about what collections of "lives of the saints" we would recommend. I have a few that I like a lot, and they're all well-known award winners: Father Jim Martin's My Life with the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell's My Sisters, the Saints and Robert Ellsberg's All Saints. And I've always liked Lisa Hendey's collection for Catholic Moms.Julie … [Read more...]

Talking with Matthew Bunson: Sherlockian and Catholic Scholar

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One of the loveliest moments of my career occurred in Pittsburgh, during the 2011 Catholic Media Conference, when Dr. Matthew Bunson strolled up to me and wondered if I wanted to get a cup of coffee. I did, and our conversation was a delightful and unusually frank first chat between strangers.Matthew Bunson wears many hats; he is Senior Correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor and a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and serves as editor of The Catholic Answer magazine, … [Read more...]

Part II The Chanting Coffin-Maker: Mother Dolores & Agape

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In Part I of my interview with Mother Dolores Hart, she shared an insight that struck me as being profoundly important to our understanding of the vagaries of love: "all love relationships don’t end at the altar".What is love but a means to an end, the end being to become for each other a model of God? Not an idol, nor an icon/image but a model that helps us to know more fully the depths the Creator's love for each of us.Ponder it: here were Dolores Hart, beautiful young actress and Don … [Read more...]

Wherein K-Lo Wonders if I am Committing Sacrilege

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She looks so sweet, doesn't she? Smart, and nice and soft-spoken. And I've met Kathryn Lopez and she really is all of those things, plus she is a completely down-to-earth, authentic sort who would "give you the shirt off her back", as the saying goes, if she can help you out.So, when someone like this says, "how about I interview you, regarding your book" you think, "well, this will be lovely; a piece of cake! I'll have a gentle afternoon burnishing my ego and tra-la-ing my way through the … [Read more...]

“All love relationships don’t end at the altar!” – Part I

As a rule, when it comes to interviewing celebrities, Tony Rossi is our go-to guy, around here. Last week, though, he could not work into his schedule an opportunity to talk to Mother Dolores Hart, the actress-turned-Benedictine-nun who was the subject of last year's documentary, "God is the Bigger Elvis", and this year's best-seller, The Ear of the Heart. Mother Dolores is currently missing her cloister while she makes a major promotional tour in support of the book, and I had the opportunity … [Read more...]


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