"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

He's Still a Boy at Heart

I have mentioned before that the best Christmas gift is going to Midnight Mass. My second best Christmas present this year was hearing the inspiring sermons that our pastor gave during the last week of Advent and on the Feast of St. Stephen (the second day of Christmas). I am so thankful to have such a holy pastor and to be able to go to daily Mass.

This year, I also received another favorite and unexpected gift, watching my teenage son flying his drone and building his Millennium Falcon Metal Earth 3D Metal Model. Seeing the joy that he is getting from flying the drone, making it flip, and taking video reminds me of when he was younger and used to spend hours flying his remote control helicopters. I was also happy to catch occasional glimpses of him building his Millenium Falcon. Even though he is growing older, I know that he will always be my little boy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Adoration of the Shepherds by Charles Brun
Gaudete, Christus est natus!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Due June 16

12 Weeks 5 Days
Baby currently measures about 6.5 centimeters. I can't wait to hold this little bundle of joy.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Autumn Violin Recital

For the fall violin recital, Bernadette played "Hungarian Dance No. 2" by Johannes Brahms.

Theresa played "Ashokan Farewell" by Jay Ungar.

All of their violin teacher's students joined each other in playing "Ballad of Green Mountain", a traditional piece that their teacher arranged. I think that they did a great job, especially considering that this was the first time that they played the piece together.

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

For Parents of Boys

I am planning on possibly sharing these lectures with my teenage son too. I was happy to hear Fr. Ripperger mention (among other things) boys, homeschooling, and moms.

I think that this list of "23 Behaviors of a Gentleman that Every Man Should Adopt" goes hand in hand with Fr. Ripperger's advice.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Tomorrow is First Friday

Will you be going to Mass?

Christ told St. Margaret Mary Alacoque:

"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments, My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in my heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings. 
6. Sinners shall find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy. 
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent. 
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored. 
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts. 
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. The all-powerful love of my heart will grant to all those who shall receive communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

St. Andrew Christmas Novena

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena begins tomorrow, November 30. Lena over at Joy-filled Family designed a beautiful holy card to assist in praying this novena 15 times a day. We used her holy card last year (I printed and laminated it), and it helps make praying this novena from November 30 through December 24 doable.

Update: Emmanuel Books has this lovely holy card available for download on their website.

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard Van Honthorst
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.

+Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

A friend asked elsewhere, "What are we most grateful for this year?"

I didn't have to think twice. I am grateful that my husband survived his massive heart attack. I am thankful for daily Mass and a holy, kind, and patient new pastor, Fr. S. Finally, I am thankful to be expecting another baby.

I hope that everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. God bless you and your families!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


The other day, I called my friend, Elena. I was crying about something silly (it's what happens when I am pregnant), and she told me, "Christine, you need to learn to detach." She went on to tell me a story about St. Teresa of Avila and detachment. A little later, I was looking for a quote on something else, and I stumbled on these quotes from Catholic Tradition about detachment. I am posting them here for easy reference.

"Give me ten truly detached men. and I will convert the world with them."
- St. Philip Neri 
"Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved."
-St. John of the Cross 
"If you purify your soul of attachment to and desire for things, you will understand them spiritually. If you deny your appetite for them, you will enjoy their truth, understanding what is certain in them."
- St. John of the Cross 
"We must have a real living determination to reach holiness. I will be a saint means I will despoil myself of all that is not God; I will strip my heart of all created things; I will live in poverty and detachment; I will renounce my will, my inclinations, my whims and fancies, and make myself a willing slave to the will of God."
- Bl. Mother Teresa

I am thankful to have a friend who keeps me grounded and offers sound advice.

St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

All Saints Day Ruminations

When my older children were little, we were very active in our local Catholic homeschool group. Each year, we would have a wonderful All Saints' Potluck Party for all of the children, young and old. We would all eat and then the children would play various games. Towards the end of the evening the children would play "Guess the Saints". Each child would get on stage and give three clues as to who they were; the children in the audience would have great fun guessing. We would usually end the evening by processing around the exterior of the church singing songs.

Padre Pio 2005
St. Alice 2005
St. Claire 2005

In 2009, we were blessed to have an All Saints' party at our then "new" parish. This year, we will be having an All Saints Party at our new (old) parish. We can't wait. Hopefully, I will have all of the costumes made/altered in time. I like the teaching opportunity and enjoyment that comes with choosing costumes and learning about various saints. We also enjoy celebrating this wonderful feast day with friends.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Where Do I Begin?


Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you!
Save souls!
I began the month of August thinking that I had so much that I wanted to write about: beach days, a friend's daughter's wedding, the Highland Games, and more. I was thinking about ordering curriculum and getting things in order around our house. August 5 changed everything.

Around 6:45 on the morning of August 5, I received a phone call from a doctor at a hospital in the city in which my husband works. The doctor stated his name and told me that he was calling from such-and-such a hospital. I replied, "Who?", thinking for a split second that my husband must have been hit by a car. The doctor repeated himself and went on to say, "I am calling to let you know that your husband has had a heart attack." He went on to ask a few questions, and then told me that they did not know if there was any damage to his heart or brain. The doctor ended the conversation with, "Make necessary phone calls and come."

I called our assistant pastor, our new pastor, and my father-in-law. Catherine facetimed my dad and my brother (Brendan was staying with him and his family in Switzerland/France). After which I asked Bernadette to come with me and kissed all of my other children goodbye. Bernadette and I prayed the Rosary on our way to the hospital.

Upon arriving at the hospital, some of my husband's coworkers saw me and one of them filled me in on some of the details. Our pastor arrived, telling me that our assistant pastor was offering a private Mass for my husband, and then he asked the hospital staff if he could go back to the operating room to administer the Last Rites to my husband. Much to my dismay, the hospital staff would not allow him to do so.

Eventually, I was told that I could see my husband, but our pastor still wasn't allowed to do so. Before going into the operating room, one of the doctors came out to speak with me. He explained that they had called me back because they were still waiting on a bed. He explained that the team of doctors let my husband's left artery go in order to save his main artery. They placed three stents in the main artery, and two days later they placed a fourth stent in a right artery. While the doctor was speaking with me, we heard some noises coming from inside the room, and the doctor and two of the nurses went rushing into the room. I started to pray the Memorare, imploring Our Blessed Mother to not let my husband die without the last rites.

The doctor came out and told me that they had had to shock my husband back. One of the nurses followed and said, "I think that she should see him now." I was so thankful to be able to do so.

I know that Our Lady interceded for my husband and that God was with him the whole time. He couldn't have been in a better place when he had his heart attack, minutes from the medics and from the hospital. Our assistant pastor told me, "That's what comes from praying the family Rosary."

My family and I have been truly humbled by all the Masses, prayers, meals, and donations that we received from family and friends (including priests) near and far. Fr. Saguto, FSSP called the morning after the heart attack and told us that he was at the Carmel in California. He had offered Mass for my husband and had asked all of the nuns to keep my husband in their prayers. He called two or three times after that to see how my husband was doing and to let us know that he was continuing to offer Masses and prayers. Our pastor and assistant pastor brought Communion to my husband, leaving me feeling so thankful for good, holy, caring priests.

I am so thankful to everyone. With time, I will hopefully be able to complete all the thank yous that I need to write. My biggest thank you goes to God, and I am trying my best to thank Him each day.

Continued prayers for my husband are greatly appreciated. May God bless all of you who helped my family in so many ways!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Camp St. Joan of Arc

Last month, Bernadette and Theresa got to participate in the wonderful girls' camp that they have attended for the past couple of years.

Our favorite seminarian lead this year's camp.

He did a fantastic job.

So did the other seminarians.

The girls were happy to be woken on a couple of mornings by the sound of bagpipes being played by Fr. Nolan.

He is a talented piper.

My friend's youngest son joined the campers.

There's nothing quite like trying to get a piece of gum out of a pan full of whipped cream without using your hands.

The campers asked the seminarians to use the hula hoops. It looks like they enjoyed showing off their hula hoop skills.

Snack Time

Beautiful Scenery

Rifle Instruction

Dodge Ball

Singing a Repeat-After-Me Song

Theresa was happy to have a cute toddler around.

Fr. Gordon's and Fr. Nolan's talks were both invaluable and memorable.

The theme for this year's camp was "Know Your Bible & You'll Know Your Faith".

May God bless the priests, seminarians, and volunteers who helped to make the camp such a success!

Photos courtesy of Theresa
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