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!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Catholic Mom is a Big Job: But to Some Just A Big Bag of Beans

Today I am working on writing a pamphlet for Ligouri Publications, about being a Catholic Mom. You know, it's funny. I really thought I was just about finished, but so many thoughts are now criss-crossing my mind. Being a mom is such a big job, a complete blessing, and a true challenge. How can I express it within my publisher's limit of just 2800 words? Good luck, right? Well, I've decided to focus on a few themes, and now I feel like I'm starting all over. But that's how writing goes!

At about word-count 6000 (which I have to whittle down!), I decided to take a break to peruse a few blogs and then my own. I came across an old post, called Even the Angels Have Not Been Blessed with This Grace, about having babies and one mother's challenge to give up her unborn child in exchange for a big bag of beans.

The family desperately needed that bag of beans. They were starving during the worst of times. Yet, the father's desire to protect his unborn son rose up in fury--a righteous, Godly fury!

I think you would enjoy reading it. Click on the link above. Find out who that baby became later in life.

And, yes, I will let you know when my pamphlet, Catholic Mom, will be available. I'm writin'! I'm writin'!

God bless!

Friday, August 12, 2011

KC on the Go! Kindle, iPhone, eReaders and Mobile Devices

The new school year is just around the corner. Whether you are a homeschool mom or devoted school volunteer mom, you probably will agree with me that September usually means a new schedule of driving, picking up children, and...well, waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting at soccer practice. Waiting at the doctor's and dentist's office. Waiting at the orthodontist. Waiting for Scouts to wrap up. I've gotten in the habit of taking along one of three things: knitting, Catholic literature, or my Kindle.

This is just a gentle reminder (and maybe shameless promotion?) that Kathleen's Catholic is formatted for your mobile devices and eReaders, including iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Kindle. Below are all the links you might like to have.

Mobile formats
Click here to learn about and view KC's mobile format.

eReader formats & free trial
Click here to learn about KC's Kindle format and how to subscribe. Try a free trial for 14 days. If you have the Kindle 3G, you can also access Kathleen's Catholic for free by simply launching the web browser and typing in the blog's address, However, the subscription makes it so much easier by formatting and archiving the blog for you.

Free Kindle Apps
There is are also free Kindle apps, so you do not need a Kindle to enjoy the subscription. Click here for the free iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps. (If you download the Kindle app, you can also download many, many free books, such as the novel The Rosary, which I recently reviewed.)

To Purchase a Kindle
If you would like to purchase a Kindle, click here or on the Kindle icon in this blog's right column. At the top of the Amazon page, click on "Buy a Kindle."

With these readers and mobile devices, you can take Kathleen's Catholic  columns, book reviews, and the recipes from The Little Catholic Kitchen with you wherever and whenever you find yourself with some "waiting" time to spare.

God bless!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Exciting News from Catholic Icing: A New Preschool Curriculum

I just wanted to send you a very quick note:

If you have preschoolers, you will want to check out Catholic Icing's new book, Catholic's ABC (The Book), a preschool curriculum. I'm a big fan of  Catholic Icing, and I'm sure you are, too, especially if you are a teacher, a CCD instructor, or a Catholic homeschooling mom (or dad) of little ones.

Catholic Icing's founder and producer, Lacy, has put down all her tricks and talents into book form and produced a curriculum that is both engaging and edifying. As soon as I saw it, I thought, "Oh, I wish the boys were little again." If anything, little children are tactile learners, so Catholic's ABC (The Book) might be a great way to ease your little students into home school, with its 26 lessons based on the alphabet.

For a peek inside the book and to pre-order, click on the link above. And please tell Lacy that Kathleen's Catholic sent you!

God bless!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Catholic Update Guide to the Mass: A Book Review

by Kathleen Blease

Edited by Mary Carol Kendzia
St. Anthony Messenger Press
$5.99, 48 pgs., paperback

From the back cover:
What is the Mass?
Why do we need to go?
What do we do when we get there?
The Mass is the central mystery of our faith. Do you know what it's all about? Are you up to speed on the changes in the Roman missal? Does the Mass hold real meaning for you or has it become routine?

This is a little guide that is concise and easy to read and absorb. Read it, dog-ear it, underline it, share it, and study it during your free moments. You know, like when you are waiting at the orthodontist, waiting for soccer practice to end, waiting for Scouts to wrap up. There's lots of waiting in moms' lives. Keep it in the car with a pen and you will be good to go.

The Catholic Update Guide series takes materials from their popular Catholic Update Newsletters to educate readers about the Catholic faith—its doctrine, its expression (the Mass), the Sacraments, and its guiding influence in daily life. You can order a free copy of the newsletter by visiting There is also the Catholic Update Guide to Confession at The Catholic Company.
This particular edition explains the most important prayer on earth—from what the Mass is, to what to do when we are there, to the forthcoming and valuable changes to the Roman missal.
In its first chapter, Fr. Tom Richstatter explains how the Mass perpetuates Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. That means that the three holiest days of the year, called the Triduum, live in real time and during the Mass we witness Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection as He was two millenia ago. Fr. Richstatter explains how the Mass has remained the same in this way even though it has changed in appearance over the years. He provides a beautiful and eye-opening explanation of our sacred and unique Sunday (and/or daily) devotion.

The book's second chapter continues with Fr. Richstatter and moves on to answer a question that infects and haunts many Catholics across the globe. I often hear this question from Catholics I think of as “cultural Catholics” or “secular Catholics.” That question is: Why do we go to Mass? Many Catholics want to know, Why bother? (You might want to read “What Kind of Spouse Are You?” about why it is important that we worship.) Especially when children are preparing for their sacraments and their parishes require them to attend weekly Mass, this becomes a hot topic.

Father Richstatter clearly explains why attendance at Mass is such a critical component of our Catholic faith. Do you wonder why you must attend Mass to be considered a practicing Catholic? I think you'll find Father's answers heart-filling and beautiful.

He also addresses the very basic question: “What can this one hour do for our faith and our lives?” Father gives us five answers (emphasis added):
  1. I need others to pray well.
  2. The Mass enables me to pray with my whole body.
  3. Besides talking to God, I need God to talk to me.
  4. Being borne again once didn't quite do it.
  5. The Mass helps me find the sacred in the ordinary.
The third and final chapter answers the question, “How do we go to Mass?” This is an important chapter for all of us, but especially for those who have been away from the the Mass and are curious yet hesitant about returning home. In this chapter, Fr. Lawrence Mick explains the changes in the new Roman missal and what it means for our personal experience of the Mass. His writing is clear and comforting, helping readers to realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. It seems to me after reading this chapter that this particular change in my life will not be hard.

This chapter reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a priest. He said, “The changes are not necessary but they do deepen the meaning of the Mass and more clearly reflect the original intention of the Mass.” In other words, the Mass is a deep and beautiful expression as it is celebrated today and that the consecration, the summit of the Mass, is complete and truly valid without the changes. However, the changes in the Roman missal will help reveal to us even more so the beauty of the liturgy, and by giving us this gift of understanding it will bring us that much closer to Christ. The changes are given to us as a gift, and as always we must receive this gift with graciousness. To put it simply, give it a fair shake!

Upon our Confirmation, we are given the directive to continue our faith formation. And this Advent, the new Roman missal is coming. The changes are not difficult to learn, but we should be informed and ready!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic Update Guide to the Mass. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Use Social Media for Learning--The Right Way!

Just in time for moms preparing for the new home school year, here is an excellent post about how to use social networking in a productive, educating, and respectful way. You will want to bookmark the link below for future reference!

Allison at Totus Tuus Family & Homeschool attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting in Rome, she explains, and has become much more interested in the realm of social media and its possibilities.

As Catholic moms, I know you will agree with me that there are many pitfalls to social networks, but--as with all things--they also possess a potential that can praise Our Dear Lord and help teach our children in new and glorious ways. As always, it is up to the parents to provide the proper guidance.

If you don't know where to begin, here's a great place to start.

As my children are getting older (now both teens), they are aching to use more social networking, something I have been holding back. And I have been wondering how I can help them learn the beneficial ways to use the new medium. First, I need to educate myself. That's why I like this post so much. It gives specifics, sites and resources to check out myself.

Many thanks to Allison at Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool!

Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool: How to Use Social Media for Learning ... and homes...: "I just read this article that relates to the image above and wanted to capture it's message here and share it. Ever since my trip to the V..."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

From The Little Catholic Kitchen: Easy, Breezy Cantaloupe Sorbet

August is the best time for this refreshing, easy dessert!

In The Little Catholic Kitchen, we use simple ingredients that are easy to find to make something special. To find more recipes, visit The Little Catholic Kitchen. Bless us, O Lord, and these, thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ, Our Lord. Amen!


This is super easy and incredibly delicious. It's summertime bright and fresh! I'm almost embarrassed to say how I came across this, but... One day I was cleaning out the fridge when I found a container of half a cantaloupe I had cut up. It was very ripe and past that happy "mouth feel" that would entice anyone. I was about to toss it in the compost bin when I reached in and took out a little piece to try. It was mushy... but sweeeet and yummy. Oh, I couldn't throw it out! I decided to plop in a few ingredients and make some sorbet, with a little help from a ice cream cookbook called The Perfect Scoop.

You won't need an ice cream maker for this, although I used mine. It will work with just a blender, too. The proportions are what I used and had on hand. Feel free to double the recipe if you are going to use a whole cantaloupe. The acid in the lime juice heightens the cantaloupe's taste, so don't be afraid to use it. Bottled lime juice works great.

1/2 jumbo cantaloupe, cut into large chunks
1/4 c. sugar
splash of lime juice to taste
dash of course kosher salt

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth, or use an immersion blender. Taste before moving on, and adjust ingredients as necessary. If the cantaloupe doesn't taste bright, add more lime juice. Avoid adding more sugar; it will only make the sorbet sweeter and cloying, so add more lime juice before you decide to add more sugar. I found 1/4 c. of sugar was plenty.

Chill for about 30 minutes. If you have an ice cream maker, you can use it; it will help force air into the sorbet to make it easier to scoop after it's been frozen. But if you don't have an ice cream maker, it's not a problem. Either way, just pour the readied cantaloupe mixture into a container and freeze. After it has been frozen, take it out of the freezer and set on the counter for about 5-10 minutes to allow it to soften. With a heavy spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape the sorbet into servings.

You can also pour the sorbet mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Piece of Plywood and An Afternoon: A Day in a Life

Plywood, caulk, stain and paint equals a nifty craft, on
her maiden launch.
 by Kathleen Blease

That piece of plywood was stored in the garage for a good five years. Our thirteen-year-old son, Max, eyed it the other day. Hmm. He had an idea.

He spent a few afternoons planning and building, sketching out his idea, then measuring and cutting. Next came the trim, then the sanding, caulking, and painting...and a few prayers from his old Mom, as I watched him from the kitchen window. Please let it float. Please let it float. I saw a second or two of the YouTube video that inspired Max, and the boatmaker well in his 30s was slowly blessing himself right before "putting in."

Yesterday, just before dinner, Max decided it was time for the maiden launch. Max secretively made plans on how he was going to pull it out from the muddy bottom of the pond should it sink, but his dad and I didn't ask. I wouldn't be surprised if he had supposed that he would employ his father and his Jeep Wrangler that's equipped with a tow strap--a driver and kit that has had plenty of experience at Jeep Jamborees. We even joked about turning the little boat into a flower box, and Max suggested what we could plant in it.

The moment fnally came. He carried it to the water's edge with his brother's help and slipped it off the bank. His dad and I were watching from inside when we saw him flip off his socks and shoes. Oh, we just had to see this! All kidding was put aside, and the four of us held our breath as the boat slipped into the water. Max wiggled into the tiny craft, got himself situated...Don't lean back, Max! Don't lean back, Max! we called out as the boat's bow reached sky and the stern dipped into the water. Working his way into the center, he jammed his knees against the sides and found his ballist.

It took a little practice, but once he got the hang of it, he was able to zip around the pond and show us how the boat could be nimble--in the right hands and with the right touch.

Knees against the side and steady as she goes!
 Max would normally wear a PFD (life jacket) but the pond
is only a few feet deep these days.

Getting the hang of it.

As I watched my son put his water craft to the test, I couldn't help but think, What a great way to spend an afternoon!

But to Max, well he's a builder, so it's all just a day in a life, albeit he is riding high on adrenaline. Of course, he's planning another afternoon excursion on the little boat he has yet to name, while improvements on the design will surely be buzzing around in his head.

What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Monday, August 1, 2011

From Kathleen's Kindle, THE ROSARY: A Book Review

I just finished reading a wonderful love story, and it's free on Kindle. It's how I spent much of the heatwave, after weeding and watering the garden in the early morning hours and cleaning the house before the temperatures spiked. And it was good reading!

The Rosary by Florence Louisa  Barclay is a Victorian love story that stands the test of time. Beautifully written and thought-out, it is indeed a page turner. Now, I am not a reader of romance novels. A Harlequin Romance title has never crossed my threshold. But this story is unique.

Barclay relates falling in love with the Rosary, how each moment can be like praying the beads, holding the beads of joy in your hands and giving away your heart. The story also invokes patience and deep abiding love. It depicts too characters of opposite demeanor learning to carefully consider the needs of the other--something we rarely read in romance novels.

I truly believe that-- in the way Barclay uncovers the love and how the two lovers, Jane and Garth, live out the callings that were implanted in their hearts and souls-- the author has left us with a remarkable and timeless primer of how to love best.

Garth declares to Jane, "You have lifted the veil, and I am entering in!"  However, Jane is overwhelmed by this surprise declaration from her lifelong friend, and she makes a decision she later struggles to undo, praying that she will not have to live with the regret for the rest of her life. Garth's condition, both physical and spiritually, will chip away at your heart, as Jane secretively brings him back to life with her selfless and thoughtful actions.

Even though the novel is Victorian, it is still very readable and enjoyable today. It just might be a great story to read with your teenage daughter.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download a free app for your laptop, iPhone, etc. Just visit Amazon, click on the Kindle Store, and check out the sidebar on the left. Everything you need is there. Kindle has a large selection of free literature that is in the public domain--everything from cookbooks and knitting instructions to classic literature and Boy Scout campfire stories. You'll never know what you'll find. There are three more free titles from Mrs. Barclay, all novels. I hope you enjoy a little reading during these hot August days.

God bless!

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