This blog's mission is simple--to encourage moms who are married to non-Catholics and raising their children in the Faith. If you know a mom who needs a little encouragement in continuing her efforts, I would be delighted if you would share Kathleen's Catholic with her. Thank you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Catholic Writers Conference: A Day of Inspiration

by Kathleen Blease

My a.m. editorial meeting yesterday was a tough one. But eventually I prevailed!

Phew! A tough day at work!

Yesterday, I spent the day absorbing, reading, writing, and generally following up on the Catholic Writers Conference (outside Philadelphia) I attended on Thursday. There was no better way to start the day with a good cup of coffee and a couple of good friends who share my joy for good Catholic literature.

I promise you, Deacon Gaitley, this is not staged or posed. You might want to see our story about Honey Bun at Honey Bun and Friends. She is just drawn to good books.

The Catholic Writers Conference brought--just as its name implies--Catholic writers, editors, and publishers from all over the country. It was a deluge of hospitality, moral support, and Catholic Christian encouragement for all. A chapel set up for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confession brought an extra-special dimension to the place. Imagine talking with editors and writers (some of them, as my writer-friend called them, "Catholic calebs"), then talking with Christ one-on-one. Wow, what a way to do business!

I thought I'd share with you some of the goodies I brought home. All of them are gems, and I've been luxuriating in each one. Yet, I know that somehow I must put them down and set a priority list, deciding which one comes first, then which is second, and so on--to give each and every one a fare shake at a complete and careful read. Another tough job, but one I will be happy to undertake!

Here's my list of what I managed to lug home (in no particular order):

No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy by Donald H. Calloway, MIC. Father shares how he turned from drugs and the tough teenage years, converted to the faith, and became a priest. I heard Father Calloway speak. If you are looking for a speaker, here is one who will surely draw a crowd and fill the room with laughter and hope!

Rachel's Contrition by Michelle Buckman This is a novel that I'm already digging into--and I'm not usually into contemporary novels. I had a nice long talk with Michelle about homeschooling and motherhood. She is a southern doll and a breath of honest, fresh air. A great defender of the faith. Her novel is direct, honest, and a page-turner.

Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat (Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius) by Michael E. Gaitley, MIC A do-it-yourself retreat? You betcha. And I'm digging in. Deacon's writing is smooth sailing, making the spiritual journey very accessible. Afraid of heady, theological materials that would take you days just to analyze a sentence? Forget about it. You won't find that here. Deacon breaks down key concepts to holiness and makes them do-able. You might have already seen this at two blogs, Faith&Family Live and God and Chocolate. By the way, the Notes at the back of the book are thoroughly enjoyable!

 Deacon Gaitley, author of Consoling the Heart of Jesus, speaks with Catholic writer Celeste Behe, contributor to National Catholic Register and the Catholic News Agency.

The Da Vinci Code: The Church Responds... by Janson Media  (DVD) I can't wait to watch this! What else can I say?

The Mass: Four Encounters with Jesus That Will Change Your Life by Dr. Tom Curran Here's a study guide packaged as a simple paperback. You can use this as a group or on your own. A title on Confession is also part of the program. I brough home The Mass, while my friend brought home Confession. We are going to read, then trade.

Bless Me, Father, For I have Kids by Susie Lloyd. Susie gave me a signed mug, too. This is her follow-up to Please Don't Drink the Holy Water. Funny, funny, funny!! Homeschooling mom of seven, she has fifteen years of home-tested lessons under her belt, with another fifteen years to go--giving her plenty of fodder for the giggle mill. Oh, you think you're busy, huh?

Faith and Family: The Magazine of Catholic Living Years ago, I was searching for how to make my home more Catholic. At the time, I had no idea there was such a thing as the Domestic Church, but somehow the Holy Spirit kept me "in search of." Here's where I found my answers. Glossy, beautiful, well-written, and inspiring, Faith and Family will help you build your Domestic Church, too, from the ground up.

Liguorian: Proclaiming the Good News as Good News I haven't read this magazine yet, but it's certainly at the top of my reading list. This edition is a special issue all about Mary--one of my favorite topics.

The National Catholic Register Here's our very own national newspaper!

Well, there's my list. You can see I have my work cut out for me. If you would like to look into any of these titles, you can search Amazon without leaving this blog. Just find the Search Amazon Here box in the right column and type in the title you're interested in. To learn more about The Catholic Writers Guild, which hosted this conference, click here to visit there website.


  1. I'm glad you had a great time at the CMN. Thank you for your friend invite on Face Book. Sorry we didn't get to see each other at the CMN. I see you have the OSV catalogue on your bed there with your cat among other books and things. If you turn to page 17, you'll see my new book coming out next month - "A Catholic Woman's Book of Prayers."

    Also, speaking of a Domestic Church, (you mentioned in your post) I have a book called "The Domestic Church: Room By Room" published by Circle Press.

    God bless you!

  2. Thanks for visiting, Donna Marie! It's a pleasure to "meet" you. Someday, I hope, we will meet in person.

    Readers, Donna Maria has written wonderful Catholic books, including a title that recounts her friendship with Mother Teresa of Calcutta (another one I am putting on my reading list)and another about how our home is our Domestic Church.

    You can check out all her work at her two blogs, which I'm linking below. Enjoy!


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