Monday, January 10, 2011

Confused? Stressed Out? Unhappy With Life?

"It is God for Whom we are looking. Your unhappiness is not due to your want of a fortune, or high position, or fame, or sufficient vitamins; it is due not to a want of something OUTSIDE you, but to a want of something INSIDE you." —Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Servant Of All" film

Our Church needs a hero of the faith like Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and maybe now more than ever.  We can't let his voice go silent;  there's too much at stake." 
 —Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.

I'd seen snippets of  this great man in a cape on TV, with that powerful voice and those eyes that bare straight into your very soul, at that blackboard with his piece of chalk, writing +JMJ+ at the top, but for some reason I never picked up one of his 66 books, newspaper columns, or periodicals.  It wasn't until I saw a book about his love and devotion to St. Therese (Archbishop Fulton Sheen's St. Therese—A Treasured Love Story) that I began to develop a great admiration for this Servant of God. Now I can't get enough of his books and videos!  Ah, God works in mysterious ways.  Sheen sure loved the Little Flower.

So when Joseph Karl Publishing loaned me a DVD of the new film, "Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Servant of All," I was thrilled. Let's just say that I needed a good box of tissues handy when I watched the life of this great archbishop unfold on the screen. I was amazed to find out how many souls he converted to Catholicism, and as I watched those who knew him describe what a humble and Christlike person he was, there was no turning back for me!  The film, produced by the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, shows clips and footage of him on his NBC broadcasts, and shows the life of a man destined for greatness. Who could watch him speak and not be thoroughly entranced?  What a gift God gave this man. 

The film music was beautiful and the commentary enlightening.  One particular comment moved me to the point of tears.  It was a cold, winter day and Sheen came inside from the brisk city streets without his coat on.

"Where is your coat?" the people inside asked him.  "It's so cold outside."

Quietly and humbly, Sheen mentioned that he had given it to someone on the street who needed it more than he.  How many of us would do such a thing?  Christlike behavior, seeing our Lord in everyone we meet.  Acting in the imitation of Christ, which is how Sheen lived his life.

The cause for his canonization is underway, and I pray for it to come to fruition.  You can, too.

Prayer For Canonization

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.

If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For more information about Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, his cause for canonization, and the film, visit

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Wherever The Lord Leads!"

Bonne Anniversaire, Sainte-Therese! Today, January 2, is the birthday of Therese Martin. What a great day to have a birthday; a fresh, new year ahead of you.

There are so many things I am looking forward to accomplish and experience in this new year at Harvey House Publishing. Olivia's Gift will be in contention for several book awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award from the the Independent Book Publishers Association, of which Harvey House Publishing is a proud new member. Also, the Catholic Press Association Book Awards are coming up this spring. Olivia and the Little Way won an award from the CPA in the category of best children's books in 2009.

 Never underestimate what small publishers with big hearts and a love of God and our Church can do— indie Catholic publishers like Harvey House Publishing and Bezalel Books.  It seems like God sends us new ideas all of the time: ideas for books, films, new, evolving apostolates.

We always shake our heads at the fast pace the Good Lord sends us these ideas, but as a friend likes to say, "Wherever the Lord leads!" In fact, in looking back at the incredible year that was 2010, I don't even know how we were able to fit all of the work in that we did, but God made it happen, in His own time.

It was a year of presentations to school children, conferences, radio, blog, and newspaper interviews, networking, breakfast and lunch meetings, trips, and book signings. All of this while being a wife and mom to two kids! Whew! How does God make it all happen? I sometimes wonder.

But He does.

I was delighted when, a year ago, I was asked to be a proofreader for the epic memoir One Man's Journey To Freedom: Escape From Behind The Iron Curtain by Gene X. Kortsha. As I held this man's heart-wrenching, true story in my hands, I remembered reading it for the very first time as I edited it. I was so honored to have been a part of this Pulitzer Prize-nominated story of a man's journey to live life as a free man, as God intends.

As I edited Gene's book, I had to take a little break from writing Olivia's Gift, the sequel to Olivia and the Little Way, so I could concentrate on the task before me and give it my all. Only when I finished editing did I feel free to continue writing my own book. I spent most of the summer writing my own book, and taking a brief break to attend the Catholic Writers Guild Writer's Conference near Philadelphia, where I was happy to attend writing seminars, meet authors, colleagues and friends with the Catholic Marketing Network at its trade show, and learn about honing my craft as a writer.

Fall came, and with it came more editing projects, including a special children's book entitled Our Treasure. The illustrations are beautiful, the message even more so. The Eucharist truly is our greatest Treasure. This is a book not to be missed, especially for those who are preparing to make their First Holy Communion.

Illustrator Sandra Casali LewAllen, graphic artist Roseann Nieman, editor Erin Sims Howarth, and I wrapped up design and finishing touches on Olivia's Gift, and it was released on November 5. I was thrilled to see the reader response to the new book, and smiled all day on Christmas Day, just thinking of my readers finding the books under their Christmas trees. I was so happy to hear from some of them that very day! Ignatius Press immediately picked up Olivia's Gift for distribution, and now it is placed in the Ignatius Press catalog alongside Olivia and the Little Way.

Just when I started telling everyone that I was done writing for a little while, God sent me another writing project, and before I knew it, I was writing my third book for Harvey House Publishing. I am hoping to have it released in the fall. Keep an eye on this blog for future updates!

How did it all happen in 2010? By the grace of God. How will it all happen in 2011? I will let the Good Lord figure all of that out. He does a pretty good job of it!

"Wherever the Lord leads!"
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