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!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy--A Book Review

by Kathleen Blease

No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy
by Donald H. Calloway, MIC
ISBN: 978-1-59614-210-7
paperback, Marian Press, 270 pages
Back of the book--Includes information about
The Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception
and the Thirteenth of the Month Club

He was a parent's worse nightmare. Addicted. Arrested. A run-away. Criminal. Thief.  He was only fifteen, and things were about to get worse. But his parents never gave up.  Fr. Calloway tells his story with candor and humility. How does one go from drug addicted hippie high school drop out to a Marian priest with more than a few degrees?

It all started with the love of his parents, and...

One day, in a moment of boredom, he came across a book that would change his life forever. It was called The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje. He was sure it was some sort of cult guide to his parents' newly-embraced faith. But, he figured that his night was shot anyway, so he sat down to read it. At first, it was all Greek. But then, little by little, he was drawn into its beauty.

And the mercy of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, reached deep into his heart and hit him with what the author called "a divine 2 x 4." After that, there was no turning back. You'll need to read this for yourself--see chapters 10, 11, and 12. You will cry and laugh over his crass innocence (or ignorance?) and the joyful conversion of his soul, while he discovered the Mass and the Eucharist for the very first time.

Fr. Calloway depicts his entire life (and heart--hard as it may have been) with great candor and honesty. His book takes the reader on a journey that spans across time, lands, and spirit--all experienced by one young man. You won't soon forget his story! (Neither will the priest who heard his first Confession!)

I recall many years ago, I attended a retreat where a man who was terribly afflicted with an illness that took away his basic motor skills and speech stood in front of retreat attendees and told his story. In the end, he said, "If the Lord can bless a miserable thing like me, imagine what he can do for you!" The greatest glory of Jesus is indeed His mercy.

My boys, ages 12 and 14, both saw Fr. Calloway's book sitting on the kitchen table. The front cover caught their attention.

"What's a priest doing with a surf board?" my eldest asked.
"He's a priest and a surfer."
"Really?" He flipped the book over to the read the back cover. "Hey, I wanna read this."

As much as I would have loved to jump at my son's request, the mom in me had a second thought: better to read it myself first.

And I'm glad I did. This is truly a story I'd like my sons to read, without a doubt...just not right now. Father will probably agree that this book is not appropriate for two home schooled Catholic boys. He goes into a bit too much detail about his addictions to crime, sex, and drugs. It will raise questions that I know my husband and I are just not ready to address at this point in our young boys' lives. This is no way depletes the value of Father's remarkable story! In a few more years, I'll be happy to share it with my oldest son, if I think he's ready for it.

As a final note...

Scott Hahn says: "It's a page-turner, moving from a deliquent youth to an adult faith--and then on to the priesthood. It's a dramatic life, and Father Calloway tells it all with a compelling and manly literary voice. So if it's not a movie (yet), you may remember it as one. It's that vivid."

No Turning Back can be found at Kathleen's Catholic Book Shop in the right column of this blog. Just look for the little red outlined box.

Enjoy, and God bless!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Looking for a Catholic-Friendly Doctor?

Here's a quick post...

If you are in search of a pro-life and Catholic-friendly physician, check out One More Soul at You can find a doctor, including a specialist, in your area by simply searching your zip code.

Ladies, these doctors will not hassle you about rejecting contraception, and they will understand your Catholic and Christian concerns in regards to your health and the health of your family. I remember when our second son was born, my OB/GYN gave me such a hard time when I told him that I wouldn't be using contraceptions, even after I explained to him that I was Catholic. He pretty much told me that if I got pregnant again, don't blame him. Sigh.

Anyway, if you are in need of a Catholic-friendly physician, check out One More Soul!

God bless!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Going GF: Fudgie Brownie Cake, Mac-n-Cheese, and Pizza Recipes

A quick walk through a supermarket these days, and it's obvious that lots of folks have the same issue--gluten intolerance. Gluten-free chips, cereals, cakes, and even doughnuts! Gluten-free pasta, pizza, and lasagna. (Hey, did you know that good 'ol Fritos Corn Chips have always been gluten-free? I used to love munching on them, accompanied by a nice bowl of mom's tomatoe soup.)

So, if for whatever reason you have gone GF, too, you might want to check out a few of my new recipes, in Kathleen's Little Catholic Kitchen. These I concocted for my GF husband, but there's one thing I expect from all the GF dishes we try--our whole family must love them.

Fudgie Brownie Cake, Mac-n-Cheese (REAL mac-n-cheese), and Pizza: Delicious!!  So far, these are definitely our favorites. Give them a try and let me know what you think. Click here to check them out. Scroll past the Intro to the recipes.

God bless.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Eyes up here, please!"

How many times do we say to our kids, "Look at me," so we know they are hearing what we're saying? Teachers often say to their classes, "Eyes up here, please," while to pointing to their own eyes.

Experts agree, too, that eye contact is very important while communicating with another--to get a point across.

Maybe, then, it's a good idea to look at Christ when we pray so we can hear Him. (Ah, I bet you thought that I was going to say that we should look at Christ so He can hear us!) It would be good to take away the distractions, gaze up at Him and let Him speak to us. Christ and His Dear Father in Heaven speak in soft whispers.

Recently, I've been carrying in my pocket a small chaplet with the Assisi crucifix. Even when I am washing dishes, I can quickly dry my hands and take out the chaplet, gaze on the crucifix and ask the Lord to help me through this one more task--to make it a small Yes for Him. I have become more and more dependent on Him to show me how to navigate the day by asking Him to show me His will. Yes, even in doing the dishes Jesus has a plan--perhaps to do it in good cheer, as an act of love.

This is the little chaplet I carry, from

It gives me peace, if but a moment, to spend time with Christ--moments that arise throughout a typical and oft times mundane day of chores, education, and caring for my family. Each moment is tiny, but they add up, and the next thing I know I'm placing my head on my pillow at night, realizing that Christ was with me through one more day. Or should I say, I was with Christ...because Christ was always with me and I was the one who wasn't paying attention. I just needed to look at Him so I could hear Him.

God bless.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kathleen's Little Catholic Kitchen

Are you tucked into a small kitchen like I am? We once had grand ideas for an addition with a gourmet kitchen attached to a family room. But, it was not meant to be. We have decided to go with what we've got. And, you know, I'm starting to really enjoy this little space.

So, check out my new, updated  recipe page. And since we are now embarking on a gluten-free diet (otherwise known as GF), I'm planning on posting new GF recipes in the very near future--but only the ones that prove to be foolproof!

To read about my little Catholic kitchen, and to enjoy the recipes, click here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Love Letters From Heaven

by Kathleen Blease

The beauty of God's Creation is designed just for you, out of His love. It's meant for your awe and wonder. St. Francis of Assisi is well known for evangelizing to all of God's nature, to reveal the beauty of the Eucharist to all of His marvelous Creation.

On this Labor Day morning, I'm sitting in our kitchen where I can admire the zinnia patch in the herb garden. The swallowtails and monarchs are feeding. An occasional hummingbird comes by, too. It occurs to me that our labors should be with Our Lord, in the glory and care of His Creation. I think St. Francis whole-heartedly agrees with that. I'm also thinking about Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She teaches: Let our labors be only out of love, and only out of love.

Happy Labor Day! And enjoy this new collection of Love Letters. God bless.

All photos copyrighted by Roger L. Blease.

Connecticut sunset

summer heat survivors

prickly pear

snake skin

Mystic Seaport

the road

lil earth mama

You might also be interested in other Love Letters From Heaven.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC)

Did you know that John Paul II established the Vatican Office of Sports? It's really not all that surprising, considering the pontif's deep love for the outdoors and athletics--hiking, skiing, and soccer, for example.

If you are raising a little athlete, you might be interested in this website I came across, recommended in The Handbook of Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul by Lisa M. Hendey, founder of

It's called Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC). Click here to visit. You'll find lots of testimonials from world class athletes. You can also investigate their Speakers Bureau. Perhaps you know of an event in need of a public speaker who will inspire the children. Or maybe you are teaching CCD and are in need of  a quick video or audio clip that will encourage your students to bring Christ to all parts of their lives. Then this just might be the right place for your search!

More and more, our children need this type of guidance in the sports arena. May God bless the work of CAC!

Before I sign off, here's one more quick note: You might want to read about The Catholic Sports Network, another terrific resource for Catholic moms and dads. Click here to read my article and learn more.

God bless.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Problems Are Really God's Opportunities to Show Love

 Have you read my article at, called Opportunity Outside Our Kitchen Door? Take a look. You never know when Our Heavenly Father is going to knock.

God bless.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Dad's not Catholic. So why should I be?"

by Kathleen Blease

I surprised our son one day. He was preparing for his Confirmation, and I felt it was important to have a heart-to-heart talk. I explained that while he will still need instruction in the Faith, that, in fact, it would become his responsibility to open his heart to the catechism and take it seriously. It was no longer just something Mom wanted. Confirmation should be something he wanted. I needed to know: Does he want to say Yes?

His first thought came out right away and I knew it had been looming for a few years: "Hey, Dad's not Catholic--and you love him--so why should I be? Dad hasn't said Yes, so why should I?"

Hmm. This was the question I had been dreading since my children were baptized as little babies. What would I tell them when they pointed out the obvious theological differences between their own parents? Over the years, I decided to let it be until the right time came to address it.

I thought on this a bit and Christ handed me the answer--simple and obvious.

I pointed out : "Ah, but Dad did say Yes!"

"What? No!! Then why hasn't he converted?"

"Oh, yes, conversion. Well, saying Yes to God's will is the first step, and Dad's been saying Yes since before you were born."

"Get out! He did not!"

Yes, indeed, my husband has been saying Yes since we first married sixteen years ago. I, however, was too driven to pray for his conversion that I didn't see his giant steps toward God. It was only when I was preparing my son for his Confirmation did I realize the truth. Raised without a faith in any way, my husband has been on a spiritual journey just as valid and blessed as my own. We were on the same path, just not in tandem.

My sweetheart said Yes to marrying in the Church, which included six weeks of pre-Cana instruction, something he embraced with a good attitude, happy to do the homework and to participate in the various exercises. He said Yes to baptizing our babies. He said Yes to all their preparations to receive the sacraments, and he said Yes to homeschooling them in their Faith each and every day.

He could have said No. As the head of the house, he could have changed his mind after our wedding ceremony and said No to raising our children Catholic. He could have said No to any of the Catholic traditions I was accustomed to through my Catholic upbringing. He could have said No to the Catholic items that are displayed in our home.

But my non-Catholic husband is indeed on a journey. He bought for me a statue of The Queen of Peace, he took me to the Vatican for our tenth anniversary, he cried at my grandmother's funeral when he listened to the priest's homily, and in little ways he became a defender of the Faith to his atheistic friends and family. These things he did quietly and without fervor.

"Yeah, your Dad said Yes. So, it's time for you to make the decision. It's all up to you."


Then he said the words every Catholic mom wants to hear.

"Okay, I'm in."

God bless.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why God Matters: A Book Review

by Kathleen Blease

Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life
by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steve Lumbert

Why God Matters shows us how a typical life is a doorway to Our Christ and Savior.

I promise you, it won't take much of your time to read Why God Matters, but your reward will be special. As you read Karina's and Deacon's stories, you will nod your head as you recount your own, then realize, "Ah, yes, there was Christ."

hardcover $12.76
114 pages, 8 1/2" x 6"
Tribute Books

If you are feeling a  little distant from God, if you think your days are filled with too many mundane tasks, or if you wonder if God is watching over you, here is a helping hand.

With a title like Why God Matters, one would expect a tome of theology and doctrine. But fear not. Karina Lumbert Fabian (a revert) and her father, Deacon Steven Lumbert (a convert) are average, every day people who discover the simple beauty of the Catholic Church and the Faith and how they are drawn to live in its midst. There are no miracles depicted here--well, perhaps I should say here are the type of miracles that come upon us gradually, most times without being noticed. This is what I would call "how grace drizzles in." No thunder and blinding lights, just ordinarly people with typical experiences our Lord hands us daily.

Small and written in quick passages, this handbook of faith can go anywhere and read at anytime you have a spare moment. Or, if you'd like, it's just as useful for deep contemplation, with the inclusion of scripture and quotes from saints and famous catechists, as well as various selections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Perhaps take Why God Matters with you to visit our Lord at the tabernacle or at Adoration.

There is an image I like to keep in mind: When a little bird is thirsty, he dips his beak into water, then lifts his face toward Heaven to let the nourishment seep in. So, we too can do the same--take tiny bits of our Lord's wisdom, then turn our face to Heaven to let His nourishment fill us.

I promise you, it won't take much of your time to read Why God Matters, but your reward will be special. As you read, Karina's and Deacon's stories, you will nod your head as you recount your own, then realize, "Ah, yes, there was Christ."

The back of the book includes useful materials, such as: a list of further reading (including websites as well as books), the Anima Christi prayer, the Prayer of St. Fancis, and Deacon Steve's Prayer for Enlightenment.

Why God Matters has received the seal of approval from The Catholic Writers Guild and is available at Kathleen's Catholic Book Shop in the right column of this blog. Click on the little red box, and you can order the book without leaving Kathleen's Catholic.

To visit the book's website, click here.

Happy reading and God bless!

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