Companions on the Journey: Holy Women of the Church

Novena 2011 Schedule

Over the last couple of months I have been freely following Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday Audiences where he highlights various holy women in Church history. Many women propelled into his spotlight are familiar to me: Joan of Arc, Clare of Assisi, and Catherine of Siena. Others, such as Hildegard of Bingen, St. Matilda, and Blessed Angela of Foligno, are less familiar, providing an opportunity for new role models to be introduced into my life. During his August 25, 2010 address from his papel … [Read more...]

The Quotable & Quick-Witted Saint Thomas Aquinas

Quotable Saints by Chervin

Joel and I have a lot of Catholic books in our home, and I confess I’ve only read portions of most. Not because they aren’t good; most are passionately well written. Let’s just say I have some work to do on my follow-through! One of my goals this year is to finish a few of these books before I purchase (or start) more. That self-imposed goal is so hard right now (so very hard!) as the temptation is great to buy a couple books that appear rather intriguing . . . . Did I mention I’m not good at … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 3): The Genesis Code

The Genesis Code Movie Poster

On Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to attend an advance screening of the The Genesis Code prior to its nationwide release in February. The movie was directed by C. Thomas Howell, and the cast includes former Presidential candidate Fred Thompson (Law and Order), and Academy Award Winners Ernest Borgnine (Marty) and Louise Fletcher (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest). In the movie, Kerry Wells (Kelsey Sanders) is a college journalist and the daughter of a local Protestant minister who is … [Read more...]

The Purpose of A Journey is its Destination

A Bumper Sticker Society

It's the journey, not the destination. Our society loves to churn out bumper sticker philosophies, doesn't it? Someone coins a phrase, someone screens a t-shirt; and bing, bang, boom a life philosophy is born. I'll admit that at first blush, that phrase has a certain existential charm, an overall "groovy" feel to it. In my 20's, that type of thinking dovetailed nicely with my other guiding philosophies - party like it's 1999 and it's all good! At some point along my aimless journey, God, … [Read more...]

Promoting a Culture of Life

Unplanned Joy | Illumination Media

While the fight to uphold and defend life continues for many daily, the 38th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade on January 22 brought the state of regard for life in America again to the forefront. It is estimated that more than 52 million unborn children in the U.S. have died via abortion since it was made legal by the 1973 Supreme Court decision. There are varying types of assault on life now, but none other has the mortality rate of 4,000 people daily. And make no mistake, someone is making a … [Read more...]

Hooked On God First


It’s taken me a long time to fully grasp the idea of putting God first. Maybe my confusion came from the church worker who used to guilt me into working church functions by saying I needed to “put God first.”  At the time I just kept thinking: no I need to spend more time with my family; I don’t have any more time to spend “at church.” Unfortunately though, she was communicating the wrong idea of “putting God first.” While God calls us to “serve,” volunteering or working at church doesn’t … [Read more...]

More Honey, Less Vinegar


This past Friday I attended the Iowa Mass for Life celebrated by Des Moines Bishop Pates that served as a sending Mass for those from our diocese making the trek to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. It was a beautiful Mass and Bishop Pates’ homily was quite moving.  There was a sound that moved me to tears: a young child attending the Mass was joyfully singing the hymns and Mass acclimations from the top of her lungs. It was a bittersweet sound as I reflected on the millions of babies who … [Read more...]

Upcoming Events Celebrating Life


2011 Des Moines Mass for Life: The annual Mass for Life organized by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Des Moines will be celebrated on Friday, January 21 at St. Pius X Church in Urbandale, Iowa. Bishop Richard Pates will preside; diocesan priests are invited to concelebrate and deacons to vest and distribute communion. The annual Mass for Life promotes the Church's belief of the sanctity of life and dignity of the human person. Bring your entire family and join the community of prayers that … [Read more...]

I Come To Do Your Will


This past weekend, the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Church gave us Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will. In true fashion, my daughter Kristy and now son-in-law Tyler walked down the aisle to those words. And the vows, “I, Tyler, take you Kristy to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward. I promise to be true to you in good times and bad, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, from this day … [Read more...]

Ideas for Fostering Vocations

Prayer for Vocations

In honor of National Vocations Awareness Week, a few ideas on fostering vocations: Pray, pray, pray. Sure, that’s obvious, but are we really praying for an increase in vocations? I can certainly step up my prayer intentions in honor of vocations. Consider printing off this prayer card and incorporating it into your family prayers. As a parish, do you collectively pray for vocations? One weekend per month, my parish recites a specific vocational prayer after communion. Might be something to … [Read more...]