Women of Faith

"St. John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness" (detail) by Anton Raphael Mengs

Strive to be Legendary, not Popular

A while ago, I was lamenting to myself that I have not yet had my “big break” as an author or speaker (I know, it’s a bit ridiculous to admit).  My first traditionally published book was released almost a year ago, with a big splash and then quiet, calm waters followed.  Here I am, in the midst of winter, and […]

Advent: Letting Go of our Expectations

This year, Advent isn’t going as I had hoped, not even close.  I had promised myself that we wouldn’t overdo anything—baking, decorating, planning, shopping.  I wanted the liturgical season to be experienced with joyful and eager hope, rather than the frenzied flurry of pre-Christmas planning that tends to occupy the weeks preceding Christmas Day. Despite the fact that my family […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

Misconceptions about Ephesians and What it Really Means for Wives to be Submissive

by Costanza Miriano St. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, explains how we should serve each other: “Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He gave his life for her. And […]

The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

A Mother Who Inspires us to Love

What if Pope Francis gave you a special mission? Wouldn’t you find it hard to ignore? I, for one, paid attention when the Holy Father issued a commission to me and my companions during a private audience in Rome back in October of 2013. We had gathered together for a study seminar hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity […]

There’s No Such Thing as “Balance”

I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it. For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come […]

"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail) by Edmund Blair Leighton

Want To Save The World? Start With The People You See Everyday

In June, I started a mother’s ministry at my 10,000 person parish and the response has been overwhelming. Though we began meeting over five weeks ago, every week I receive more requests from women who have heard about us and want to join the group. Here’s the thing I already knew, but my experience has confirmed: women are hungry for […]

Women’s Leadership Conference Reveals the Gift of Feminine Genius

In a culture that lauds feminist ideology, many lay and women religious chose to respond to St. John Paul II’s definition of “feminine genius” this year instead.  In early June, a new women’s conference was held in Washington, D.C. with the title GIVEN, a word that, according to Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV, defines more than just the gifts we have.  […]

Is Motherhood a Choice?

I recently stumbled upon a series of memes about womanhood and motherhood.  They were posted on Facebook by a friend’s daughter, and the one that immediately caught my eye was: “Rose decided not to have kids.  That’s okay, Rose.  Motherhood is a choice.”  In a string of comments following my “Motherhood is a gift and blessing” opening, I realized that […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Did Mary Ever Have Days Like This?

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things—the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the rest of […]