First Friday Shout-Outs

Time for another round of First Friday shout-outs.
1. Meet the Doctor!

Dr. Greg McKernan – Vitae Family Care

This is the face of Dr. Gregory McKernan, one of a few natural family planning-only doctors in Iowa. And his new clinic, Vitae Family Care, is now open and accepting patients in West Des Moines. Vitae is the Latin word meaning “for life.”  Dr. McKernan seeks to build a culture of life by not participating in abortion, sterilization, euthanasia, in-vitro fertilization, or artificial contraception.

Hallelujah! Hot diggity dog! Hear, hear! I nearly faked an illness just to make sure my family has a spot on Dr. McKernan’s clientele list. His office manager told me to chill out … assured me we’ll be just fine.

2. Miscarriage, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Healing Mass

A reminder for our local readers: the Des Moines Diocese’s first Miscarriage, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Healing Mass is Thursday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Augustin Catholic Church on 42nd and Grand in Des Moines. Bishop Pates is celebrating the Mass; it’s shaping up to be a beautiful and meaningful liturgy.

Joel and I have been in contact with many people who’ve been silently grieving the loss of a child, often more than one. For some, this will be the first Mass they attend in a very long time. I pray it will offer profound healing and grace.

3. Child 31
At the Christ our Life Conference I heard Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow from Scotland talk about his ministry Mary’s Meals. It provides meals to over 650,000 hungry children every day in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and South America.

Child 31, a powerful new documentary featuring the work of Mary’s Meals, launches on November 4. It is the latest project for Grassroots Films, the same group who created The Human Experience.

Mary’s Meals is asking for help spreading the word about the movie and the ministry. Want to host a Child 31 screening?

4. St. Luke’s Brush
Oh dear. A friend just introduced me to these babies. Time for a part-time job.

St. Luke’s Brushis a family based business that specializes in hand-painted Catholic saint dolls. Each item is prayerfully painted, high quality, and one of a kind  — perfect for use with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd programs (a-hem, Aunt Sarah!).

Check out their Etsy store. St. Luke’s Brush is also a member of the Catholic Etsy Artists Guild. Did you know you can search for “teamcatholic” and find other fine Catholic artisans on Etsy?

5. Angels, Bakeries & Heaven
The Church celebrated the Feast of the Guardian Angels on October 2. In its honor, I must give a shout-out to the book Brother Jerome and the Angels in the Bakery. Any book with the following lines deserves my award. “A bakery is the one place on earth that smells the most like heaven. So we love to visit bakeries because then we don’t get homesick.”  Those words are said by Brother Jerome’s guardian angels who help him bake the most delicious breads. It’s a gem of a children’s book — maybe a little hard to get through if you’ve cut gluten out of your diet. Nonetheless, it’s a lovely story with beautiful illustrations providing gentle catechesis on guardian angels.

6. Shameless Self-Promotion
I’ve written a few columns in other places. I’m over at chatting about celebrating baptismal anniversaries. I also reviewed Hootsuite for the CatholicMom Tech Talk column.

In conjunction with Support a Catholic Speaker hosted at, I wrote about Fr. John Riccardo. ** Warning, don’t click on that link if you want to remain a lazy, uninformed, disengaged Catholic.

Pumpkin Bars | Cuisine at Home

7. Pumpkin Bars

Are you bored to death with all things pumpkin flavored? Not me, at least not yet. But I would like to address one thing. Seems like pumpkin bars accompany every event I attend lately. Folks, can we please jazz things up? One click here will take you to THE best pumpkin bar recipe. Trust me. The secret is a special ingredient in the frosting that makes these the mother of all. Fix a batch for your next event, and that lovely woman who perpetually owns the parish bake-off will not be happy with you … but those who have to eat yet another pumpkin bar will be giving you high-fives and offering to babysit your kids in exchange for the recipe.

Happy baking, friends! For more Quick Takes from other bloggers across the globe, visit Conversion Diary.

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