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!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Antidote to A Child's Boredom: How to Raise A Productive Kid

Here's an excellent approach to avoiding boredom in your children, and how to train them out of such a habit...from Catholic Heritage Curricula's Educating for Eternity E-newsletterClick here.

God bless!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Little Book, A Big Difference

 My husband's project, I Can't Wait to Meet My Daddy, is doing very well, and we are grateful. It is a gift book for expectant daddies; Roger insisted on publishing it himself. Here is the story of how it all began, originally posted Jan. 20, 2010. Since then, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have regularly placed large orders. Many thanks for your support.

by Kathleen Blease

A man visited his mother two months before his first child was due. He, his mother, and his wife all expected a lovely healthy baby and were preparing with all the necessary and happy chores. The man’s mother wanted her son to know how excited she was for him, and how proud. So she gave him a little book. He didn’t have time to read it, so he thanked her for it and slipped it into his briefcase. Saying his goodbyes, he left his mother and drove home.

Little did he know that that evening his wife would deliver their baby two months too early, a tiny preemie with a tough time ahead of it. Together, the man and wife held each other as they watched the nurses and doctors care for their little one. The busyness of the hospital staff must have been daunting. They sat and watched, feeling helpless and wondering what the future held. And then the husband remembered the little book, the one he slipped into his briefcase. He went to his car and pulled it out and noticed the title, “I Can’t Wait to Meet My Daddy.” The man and his wife sat and read the words of the unborn child who was dreaming about his life with daddy. The man’s mother wrote to the author and told her the comfort they found in those words.

I have the privilege being that author. However, I have to admit right away that I am not responsible for this little book. It’s my husband. And, together, we receive many stories very much like this one. (I never did learn what happened to the little preemie, but I do hope that with the help of today’s miracle medicine, the little one is toddling about and making Grandma and Mama smile, along with Grandpa and Daddy.)

It all had a very simple beginning.

On Christmas Eve fourteen years ago, my husband and I were expecting our first child. All the gifts were wrapped and put under the tree, but I felt that there was still one to be made, something for my husband from his first-born son. I sat down in my tiny office in the attic and began to doodle ideas. The words, “I can’t wait to meet my daddy” came out, and so did a little book that I bound with a handmade cover. On Christmas day, my husband read the words I suspected our tiny son was thinking, eager to meet daddy, and he was deeply touched. For years after that, my husband insisted that it should be published.

When a few publishers told me that they loved the book but it didn’t suit their needs at the time, my husband took it upon himself to learn how to publish books. Now, if it were up to me, knowing something about what goes into publishing a glossy book (I’m from the publishing field), it would have stayed in the cedar chest. But my husband was driven and insistent, and he made a huge investment in time, talent, and treasure to publish I Can’t Wait to Meet My Daddy. Today, that book has helped thousands of wives and mothers tell new dads just how precious they are, and we receive calls and notes from so many mothers, grandmother, and great-grandmothers who purchased the book as a gift. As you can see, the stories they tell us are touching. And it is an honor and blessing to have a tiny part in these people’s lives.

Click on the little book to see it on Amazon. You can also view the interior.

On the back cover, it reads: “To a child, a daddy is a wonderful gift.” And that’s so true! I hope you will join me in thanking my sweetheart for this labor of love that 's touched so many lives! God bless.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Days of Winter

Outside...Brrr. Last year, he couldn't do this. If there's a wife happy to see her husband snow blowing, it is I! (Sounds better to say "it is me," no?)

Our winter wonderland. Behind the house is a huge hill that makes for awesome sledding.

 Inside, a piece of sunshine.  Hey, hubbies--this is a good time of year to surprise your wives with flowers. Anything that looks like the sun will do!

Meemo smells the chicken stock simmering on the stove, and he knows it's not for him. Poor guy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Through The Eye of My Tiger

Through the lens of his camera,

my husband sees...

knit landscape

a son's work

brotherly love
 I was just thinking... It is good to do something well! God bless.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pope's Message About Catholics' Use of Technology: Both Wise and With the Times

"Lisa, Thanks so much for sharing this with us and bringing our attention to such an important topic. Once again, through Christ’s wisdom, the Catholic Church prayerfully and thoughtfully stays with the times and helps its precious people to live Catholic Christian lives in all manners, even in the virtual world! Praise Our God for His loving wisdom; we are never abandoned in even the smallest way."

Above is my comment posted on Lisa Hendey's Indeed, praise God we are never abandoned. There is hope, faith, and love is all things and in all ways. The Church is not living under a canopy of dust; instead, it thrives in the light and lives well in the times.
What am I talking about?

In his World Communications Day Message, entitled Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age, Pope Benedict XVI addresses how Catholics can and should use technology in a way that reflects the teachings of Our Christ, in all ways. If you use communications technology in any manner, including newspapers (print and online), TV, emails, social networking, texting, blogging, and so on (And who doesn't?) then this pertains to you!

Moms and Dads: Technology, too, is part of our Domestic Church and thus falls under our parental jurisdiction, no?  If you're feeling overwhelmed by the invasion of today's technology, the Pope's message would be a great place to start in managing and using this lightning-fast communication tool.

Lisa Hendey at has put together a wonderful post that provides a link to the Pope's complete document as well as a variety of Catholic news links, reflections, and responses. Click here to visit Lisa's post and get the full story. It is well worth our time as Catholics to read this loving message from our Holy Father.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The video below is from a TV show, called House & Home. Hosted by Father Reed, the new production highlights Catholic families and how they make their homes domestic churches. The video I'm posting here is a special edition that takes us into the Pope's own home at the Vatican.

House & Home is one show from CatholicTV. If you don't get the network where you live, you can watch via real-time streaming. Click here.

An Intimate Look at the Daily Life of the Pope and His Home

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jennifer's Confession

It's so easy to find an inventory of posts and columns about Confession. Maybe it is one of the most difficult among the precious Sacraments for us humans to openly receive. And yet when we are blessed with absolution, we fall in love with our Christ all over again. Who wouldn't want to write about that?

I have posted a few stories about Confession, all of them beautiful. Here is another, from Jennifer at Conversion Diary. Click here to read it. Have you ever done this: Stood in the grocery store parking lot and discovered an item that didn't make it out of the cart and through the scanner? Me, too. It was usually that twenty-pound bag of cat litter tucked underneath, well canopied by food and household supplies. (My husband usually made our confession the next day at the service desk, open wallet in hand and a "sorry" on his lips.)

Jennifer describes her spiritual journey spurred by a tiny pack of pacifiers, more evidence that grace drizzles in. Another terrific post by Conversion Diary.

God bless.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catholic Doctrines Look Complicated? Don't Sweat It!

I would like to extend to you a little advice. Don't ever be afraid of documents, scriptures, encyclicals or other materials of the Catholic Church.

If they look complicated (and they often do to me), then simply read over the materials and enjoy what you can glean from them. Even if you take away only one short sentence that helps you grow in your Faith, your reading time has been well spent. Well done.

There is no need to have fears about what you don't understand. Little by little, the Lord will open these doors for you and in the right time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Do We Raise Our Children Catholic--So It STICKS?

by Kathleen Blease

I can't tell you how many times I have heard the question, "How do I help my children remain Catholic?" I can't tell you how many times I have heard mothers lament over their children forsaking the church for more worldly lifestyles and pursuits.

As my husband and I are raising our boys Catholic, I also have the same concerns and worries. Will there be a time when my boys decide to break away from what they think is just something that can be called "Mom's interest"? How can we all encourage our children to stay on the straight and narrow path and to realize that our Faith is not just another interest, such as gardening and cooking. Where do we begin?

A convert to the Catholic Church and a professor at the Franciscan University of Stuebenville, Ohio, Drake McCalister, offered some very sound advice. Looking back on my own experience, I can see that he is correct. Click here to watch his interview. His insights as an outsider coming into the Church gives us a special view of the beauty and wisdom of Mother Church.

Professor McCalister says that if parents were to follow the Catholic Liturgical Year, the feast days, and the holy days of obligation, one's family would be brought deeper into the Faith. For example, the Liturgical Year calls us back to the Church during Advent and Lent. If you feel you are getting off track (and we can all sense when we do), Advent and Lent is a time to come back. The Church makes this call to holiness to every ordinary man and woman twice a year, every year, and not just for a day or so; the Advent and Lent seasons are quite lengthy, giving us time to take our journey in meaningful steps. For me, they are often small but very helpful steps. If you are not off track, the two seasons then give you a chance to grow even deeper in the Faith, thus closer to Christ.

When my children were little, I based the Liturgical Year on simply Christmas and Easter, Advent and Lent. Advent was a time for shopping and baking cookies. Lent was a time for fish on Fridays. The Liturgical Year was something of a mystery to me. But something simple changed all that. I brought home a new calendar from our parish. I was thinking that my mother used a parish calendar as a family scheduler, and now that my children were school-age, it was time for me to do the same. And I actually read it! What's this? And what's this? What, the new year begins with Advent? What's a solemnity? How is that differ from a feast day? What are these feasts after Christmas? And the questions created a list.

With a little more research, I learned that beyond the calendar of feast days and such, the Liturgical Year included themes for each Mass. And throughout the year, the readings took us through the Old Testament and showed us how it is indeed Christ-centered. (Another revelation for me!) The year brought forth each and every one of Christ's teachings and the virtues we would gain from them. It is a bountiful schedule, and no wonder. The Liturgical Year is itself a vehicle that is instituted by the Bride of Christ, the Holy Catholic Church.

Is it easy to follow the Liturgical Year? It does take more than just following the calendar and taking a casual note of the feast day. First and foremost, we must embrace the fact that the Liturgical Year is a call to Catholics to shape our daily lives and schedules around our Faith--not the other way around. Also, we need to make our children aware of the value of the Liturgical Year, the value of each feast day, solemnity, season of preparation, and each season of celebration, as well as the daily readings and their themes. With the Internet, a plethora of information about each and every element of the Liturgical Year is at our fingertips. With this aid, we can bring Christ into our homes, into our daily lives.

To get started, you might want to visit the official site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where you will find valuable information, including a calendar of the daily readings. If you would like a PDF copy of their Liturgical Calendar for the Year 2011, click here. This guide will provide you with the entire year's readings, themes, feast days, and so on. It might look a little complicated, but don't let it scare you; just enjoy going over the materials and finding your way. You might want to couple this with your parish calendar. If you prefer to follow the readings just one day at a time, you can find them in this blog's right column. You can listen or read. I prefer to listen; it reminds me very much of Mass and feels peaceful!

 Even if you can add only a bit of the Liturgical Year to your daily life, it will bring a helpful message to your children--that is, our Catholic faith is our life, not our interest, and we are deeply in love with it for good and happy reason.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Are Not a Grain of Sand

Some beautiful thoughts from Mother Angelica:

We tend to think of ourselves as grains of sand on the beach, and God looks down at us and says, "I love all of you," with a sweeping hand. But that's not true. God loves ME. He KNOWS me. YOU, too, are God's beloved.

Jesus waits for you in the tabernacle. Every time the door opens, He is hoping it is you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Defiant Hippie, Runaway, and Thief to Devout Catholic and Priest, On EWTN's The Journey Home

You might remember my review of Fr. Donald Calloway's book, called No Turning Back: A Witness of Mercy. Click here to read the review. You can also order the book by clicking on Kathleen's Book Shop in right column.

From a defiant teen hippie, runaway, and thief to devout Catholic and priest, Father tells an incredible story.  A gentle reminder: Fr. Calloway's book is a page-turner, but please keep in mind that I do not recommend his book for children. Parents of teens should read the book first before sharing it with them. For my boys, I plan to wait until they are about eighteen.

Here is Fr. Calloway's interview with Marcus Grodi on EWTN's The Journey Home. This is just fine for teens to view!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Catholic Writer and Former Air Force Pilot Shares Her Reversion Story

Fellow Catholic writer and author of The Rosary Workout, Peggy Bowes, talks with Marcus Grodi on The Journey Home. A former Air Force pilot, Peggy tells her story about her wayward life in the academy, then her later reversion to Mother Church. This is a beautiful story that's very familiar. If you are in your early to mid forties, you might recognize Peggy's description of the catechism of her youth. I sure do.

Peggy's story is filled with hope.

To order The Rosary Workout, click on Kathleen's Book Shop in right column.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Peace of Christ, Supernatural

by Kathleen Blease

The peace of  Christ is truly different that any "peacefulness" we can feel. It is not of human origin. It's truly divine.

During the past year, I have been blessed to experience this peace.

In the past, I always thought that the peace of Christ was a general serenity I would experience in the absence of stress. For example, when I practiced a stress-reduction exercise--which could be as simple as deep breathing--I could feel my muscles relax, my heart beat slow, and the general stress begin to leave my body. The stress from within was then moved without.

I was certainly wrong in expecting the Peace of Christ to be of this human nature. This is but one way I can describe it.

When the Peace of Christ enters, it comes from without and moves within. It feels to me like a stream that enters me then begins to puddle and fill my soul. This Peace is not the absence or removal of something--such as stress--but the infusion of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is easy to recognize, as it is nothing that we humans could possibly conjure up or force to happen. It is not an emptying but a filling, and it is complete.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Please Become A Follower: Kathleen's Catholic is Leaving Facebook

Dear Readers,

After much thought and prayer, I decided it is time to remove Kathleen's Catholic from Facebook. I hope you will continue to follow the blog for two reasons: First, to receive articles and insights about living a genuinely Catholic life--from myself and some outstanding Catholic writers and speakers--as well as terrific recipes for Lent and year-round. Second, to participate in the exciting projects that are developing.

To continue with Kathleen's Catholic please click on the Followers box in the right column. If you prefer, you can receive my posts by email. Perhaps you maintain a web-based email as your "public" mailbox. I would be delighted to keep you up-to-date by sending you my posts to your public box. Just email me at and write KATHLEEN'S CATHOLIC in the message line so your request is not deleted in the junk folder.

The year ahead brings some exciting prospects! I would love it if you would participate in the creative process, even if you have just a few thoughts to share. It's really that easy.

On my drawing board for 2011:
1. A book about making the Lenten season more meaningful for our families. I'll be looking for your input. Credit to each contributor will be given in the text--which would be a great way to promote your own blog and writing projects.

2. A special project with The Catholic Writers Guild, to be announced.
3. My new book I'm Catholic, And You're Not: Hope for Loving Your NonCatholic Spouse.  My husband wrote the title, and I love it. Again, I will be looking for your insights (and questions) about raising children in the One True Faith and nurturing your sacramental marriage.
So I humbly ask that you do become a Follower or do send me your email address to enjoy what is sure to be an exciting year ahead.

I hope to hear from you. May God bless your year ahead!

By the way, have you ever wondered why I call my blog Kathleen's Catholic? Well, as you know, I am married to a wonderful man who is not Catholic. Throughout our seventeen years of marriage, I've often overheard from curious non-believing in-laws and friends, "Well, Kathleen's Catholic, you know." (If you are in the same shoes as I, you know what this means. We Catholics are a curious bunch to others.) My husband and I came up with the blog's title while devouring dinner at a Brazilian restaurant. I love involving Roger in my projects. He also fell in love with the subtitle I composed--How Grace Drizzles In. Grace does drizzle in! Little by little, we are showered with God's unending and complete love.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Reflection on the Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation

Our Mother Church calls to us, "Come to me, just come." And we reply, "Jesus, I am here, just as I am."

At Catholic by Grace, Catholic writer and blogger Denise Bossert shares a beautiful reflection on the sacrament of Reconciliation. Perhaps each one of us can see a little bit of ourselves in what she writes. Click here to read, In These Rare Moments, I Feel Like A Little Girl Again.

God bless!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Got Thank-You Cards?

by Kathleen Blease

During Sunday's homily, on The Feast of the Epiphany, Father reminded us that there is a special gift that only you can give, and that is the gift of common courtesy--to say Thank You.

I was writing my thank-you cards today and thought about the year gone by. Of course, I do know that when I give a gift to someone I shouldn't expect anything in return. All adults know this. But I humbly suggest that we have gone too far with this as a society, and we forget when we receive.

I heard somewhere that it is blessed to give without remembering and to receive without forgetting. So I'd like to offer this post today in this light of "receiving without forgetting." Just how many thank-you cards did we send out this Christmas season?

It's so easy to think that a quick verbal "thanks" and a hug--is enough. Or to pretend that an email is good enough and complete. Truly, they are not enough.

I've fallen into that trap as well. Just one of many examples: Years ago, my husband, children, and I moved into a little Victorian in an historic neighborhood. Our new neighbor surprised us by leaving an ice bucket filled with wine and goodies on our kitchen counter, and her husband offered us their lawnmower which he stopped using upon hiring a mowing service. They were very generous, and my husband and I both thanked them in person: I did so twice and Roger twice. But somehow our gratitude wasn't at all absorbed, and our new neighbors called another to complain about our ingratitude. It got back to me very, very quickly.

There is one fact I cannot deny: That is, had I written a quick thank-you note all the hard feelings would have been avoided. People do need that little extra measure of the thank-you card. It makes a difference.

Dear Reader, of all the gifts you have given out this year, how many thank-you cards have you received? Of all the gifts you have received, how many cards have you sent out? When I was in my late twenties and still single, my grandmother surprised me one day. She went to her desk and pulled out a little pile of cards wrapped in a ribbon. "Kathleen, these are all the thank-you cards you sent me over the years. You know, each year we give our grandchildren Christmas money, and you are the only one to write to us to say thank you." I was touched by how much the small gesture meant to her. I didn't think much of writing those little cards, but my grandmother thought the world of receiving them.

I do remember, too, that when my mother received a thank-you card, she displayed it on the side board in the dining room for all to see. It was not unnoticed. Today, I do the same in my home, and I'm sure you do, too.

Of all the gifts my husband and I have considered, bought, and given with love, there are only two people from whom we can count on receiving cards after Christmas--my mother and our mail lady, both thank me verbally and in their own handwriting. They are so consistent, I would be more than willing to bet our very last dollar on receiving their cards in a timely fashion. There just might be a shift in my paradigm if I don't receive those cards each year!

Sadly, some recipients don't even acknowledge receiving gifts, not even by saying a quick "thank you." At birthday parties, it's not uncommon for a gift to be put on a table, piled with others, then opened only after the festivities. No thank-yous are given in any manner. (Mothers, where are you?) Very sad, indeed. At one party, I asked the mom if her son would be opening gifts. She told me that he was embarrassed by the attention, so he didn't want to. I looked at the huge pile and said, "Wow, you're gonna have a lot of thank-you cards to write." She responded with a frown, "Hey I don't have time for that!" Not one thank-you was doled out.

It is blessed to give without remembering and to receive without forgetting. Let's not forget when we receive. Send out your cards. It's old fashioned. It's loving. It's Catholic. It's common courtesy. It's a little gift that can come only from you. And it's remembered. I never expected my grandmother to remember, but she surely did and wrapped the cards in a ribbon.

I suspect, too, that the act of writing a thank-you card might very well be contagious. New Year's resolution is to do a better job of getting out those thank-you cards on buy a stock of them on a regular basis. Michaels  is now selling 8-card packs for less than a dollar. We can afford that, right? I just bought three packs for $1.75. Got Thank-You Cards?

God bless!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

From The Front Pew: Ah, Shucks

by Kathleen Blease

The little guy looked just like he walked off the pages of Family Circus, with curly hair, chubby cheeks, and bright eyes. He didn't even stand as tall as his mother's waist. As his mom put out her hands to receive Holy Communion, the little boy held out his hands, too...nice and high, reaching as far as he could so Monsignor could place the Host into his palm as well. Alas, Father smiled, touched the little one's forehead and blessed him. But the cherub didn't give up. His hands stayed high in the air, even as he walked away. He turned to his mother in complete disappointment yet hope and said, "Ah, shucks. Well, maybe next time." He put his arms down as he passed the statue of Mary and walked briskly and obediently to his pew. Hope floats.

God bless!
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