I recently had the honor and blessing of being a guest on Mark Shea’s radio show: “Catholic and Enjoying It!”
We discussed a number of Catholic things and focused a lot on my upcoming memoir which is due to be released in August: The Kiss of Jesus: How Mother Teresa and the Saints Helped Me to Discover the Beauty of the Cross.
You can listen in to our visit right here. Perhaps you’d better pour a beverage for yourself and pull up a chair. This is a long one.
When Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle was growing up, she had no thought of one day becoming a popular author and television host. She was fully immersed in her life as the seventh of eight children in a Catholic family. Sometimes that life was carefree and fun, spending time with relatives dancing the festive Polkas at family weddings, and enjoying picnics in her back yard. Other times, life for Donna-Marie was very dark and tarnished with struggles and pain. Struggles that she felt were perhaps best left a secret.
Donna-Marie retreated to the beauty of nature, thanking God for its splendors, pondering and meditating. She plunged her heart and soul into a deeper meaning of life as she tried to navigate the ups and downs in a large struggling family. She turned to God for help especially as she became increasingly misunderstood by her family and her peers.
Life took some bizarre turns, and Donna-Marie was forced to deal with a crazed man who managed to take away her freedom and hold her hostage. Eventually escaping the nightmare of her prison, Donna-Marie married and began raising her family, believing she had finally found her true vocation. But she couldn’t seem to get out from under the shadow of the Cross. She lost three babies to miscarriage, struggled with her husband’s serious drinking problem and was later abandoned by him just before she gave birth to her third living child.
Raising her family alone, she was subjected to abusive neighbors, appalling living conditions, and did her best to overcome the obstacles, hanging onto hope for better days.
Her knight in shining armor finally came on the scene. Or, was he? Another unexpected adventure unfolded causing Donna-Marie to be thrust into a more affluent yet controlled life. “Prince Charming” had charmed his way into Donna-Marie’s life. But under the veneer of his charm was a dark side.
Survival mode eventually took over as Donna-Marie had to fight for her life and for her children’s safety. Thankfully, a saint or two had crossed paths with Donna-Marie—one was Blessed Mother Teresa who would become her spiritual mother.
The Kiss of Jesus is an inspiring true story told by the woman who lived it. It is a story of struggle, suffering, and ultimately of faith, hope, and profound love.
“I have no doubt that this extraordinary true story can and will bring hope to those who are suffering or have suffered and are struggling to make sense of it all.”
– Dan Burke, Executive Director, National Catholic Register
“In Donna-Marie’s beatific smile and warm eyes, we glimpse her earnings from a life fraught with poverty, denied friendships, betrayal, abandonment, and real violence, yet filtered through a most unexpected, and arduous, ‘vocation to love’. The Kiss of Jesus is a courageous, sometimes stunningly personal memoir.”
– Elizabeth Scalia, Author, Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life
“The Kiss of Jesus is no ordinary spiritual autobiography. It is a gripping account of spiritual adventure and an emotional roller coaster telling of God’s faithfulness in times of terror, abuse, and profound encounters with grace and holiness.”
– Mark P. Shea, Author, By What Authority: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition
“The Kiss of Jesus runs the full gamut of virtue and vice, flesh and spirit, demonic and holy. Donna-Marie’s extraordinary life bears witness and hope to us all that ‘nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ ”
– Jim Pinto, Co-Host of EWTN,@ Home with Jim and Joy