Just one word totally melted my heart!

Early spring on a blustery cool day

It is impossible to put into words how one word melted my heart. But, I’ll try.

I have a beautiful two-year-old grandson who lives in another state. I’m glad that he lives within driving distance, though it does take a good while to get there. Usually, about once a month I get to see him. As you can imagine, that is definitely not enough. So, in between visits, we see one another through video conferencing whenever we can work that out. I try to daily. 🙂 If I had my way, I’d live next door to him.

I recently visited his home to babysit for a few days. I was in my glory being with him. I managed to snap a quick picture of him standing at the window watching for my husband and I to pull into his driveway. If you look closely, you’ll see a thrilled little face within the sunlight designs decorating the window panes.

My sweet grandson used to call me “GWAND-ma.” Now, it’s closer to “Grandma.” However he chooses to pronounce my name is just fine with me. But, he is quite the talker and tells me about his every adventure. I absolutely love it.

It was hot and humid few days, but we had lots of fun and even picked fresh strawberries from the backyard garden…

Just a few days ago when it was time for me to leave to get back to the routine in Connecticut, my daughter broke the news to her son that it was time for me to go back home.

“No!” He said, seemingly quite startled to hear the unsettling news.

He quickly leaned forcefully out of his mother’s arms and practically jumped into mine. Once secure in my arms, he patted my back while clinging tightly to me with his other arm. For a few seconds my precocious young grandson seemed to be at a loss for words as he kept patting my back and struggled to express himself. Then, suddenly he uttered just one single yet powerful word.

“Stay!”

Oh, how my heart melted right then. I wished I could stay but it was time to go. It was so hard to leave. Needless to stay, there were lots of hugs and kisses going around. Lord willing, I’ll be back up to see him just as soon as I can.

What an amazing blessing to be a GWAND-ma.

A review of my book “Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions”

Have you heard the message of Fatima?  Even if you are familiar with Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, I guarantee you haven’t heard the story told quite like this before.  And if you’re skeptical about the whole thing, all the more reason to pick up this book.

Mary wants to lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ.  She wants peace for the world, and she wants us to repent of our sins so we can all make it to Heaven!

There’s no better time to pick up this book than right now, as we are about to celebrate the 100th anniversary of these apparitions.  In fact, the Church will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, which is right around the corner.  On this day, Pope Francis will also canonize Jacinta and Francisco, two of the Fatima visionaries, as Saints for the whole world to celebrate!

In this book, author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle takes readers through a century of fascinating stories related to Fatima.  She recounts what occurred in this city back in 1916 and 1917, and the fulfillment of the Fatima prophecies that have taken place since that time.  She also shares things that Sr. Lucia experienced later in her life as she worked to ensure that Mary’s message spread throughout the Church, and that things were completed as Mary and Jesus requested.

In these pages, you will hear remarkable stories you’ve never heard before, and details that you won’t find in other places.  Did you know that Saint Mother Teresa planned a top secret mission in Russia specifically to occur just as Saint John Paul II consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart?  Did you know she pulled it off?  Do you know about the devotion of the Five First Saturdays?  Do you know why Mary specifically requested five and not six or seven?  Have you heard the Fatima prayers?  Do you know how you can incorporate these prayers into your daily life to make atonement for the sins of the world?  All of this and more is shared in this fascinating book.

Perhaps as astounding as the Fatima miracles themselves, are the personal experiences of the author that she shares at the end of the book.  I don’t want to spoil the ending, but it’s unbelievable what this woman endured for the sake of this writing, and the timing of her injuries is absolutely astounding.

In short, I had a hard time putting this book down!  You won’t want to miss this exciting read, especially as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima apparitions this year. We all must now do our part to make reparation for the sins of this world.  Find out what you can do to live the Fatima message today!

And a note to any skeptics:  With Mary, you have nothing to fear except fear itself.  Fear of Mary will only keep you from Mary, which will only keep you from a deeper intimacy with Christ.  Our Mother Mary who is Our Lady of Fatima, is the Mother of Jesus Christ who is our brother.  Hence, she is our Mother, too, and Jesus also gave her to us on the Cross.  Mary is truly amazing.  She also only wants to do the will of her Son.  She wants to support Jesus as much as possible in the work of bringing all souls to Heaven.  Perhaps you will be able to get to know her just a little better through the words in this book.

[As seen here on Amazon]

Okay, I’ll admit, I talk to bears!

It was a beautiful grace-filled day. My husband and I drove to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Mass. to have a retreat sort of day on our wedding anniversary. I guess you can even call it a pilgrimage. We went to Mass there and the wonderful Fr. Chris Alar was the homilist and gave a stunning homily on the Blessed Trinity on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. We prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet after the Mass along with those congregated there and were blessed individually with a First Class relic of St. Faustina.

Statue of St. Faustina at the Shrine

We visited the beautiful gift shop and saw many of my books as well as other beautiful items. I spotted these copies of my new book Feeding Your Family’s Soul and asked the employee if they were going to go out on the shelves (since I was wondering about them stacked on the cart. What she said brought a smile to my face.

“Oh these are new! We just got them in and I’ll put them out. But, if you want to buy a copy, feel free!” I then, in a sort of a whisper said, “Actually, I am the author.” She looked up with mouth open in amazement.

She said, “Wow! And your name is ALL over this place! I was doing inventory this week and I saw your name all around.”

I’ll write another blog post, most likely, about our beautiful wedding anniversary, but first I’ll let you in on my conversations with a visiting bear last night.

Yes, I have to admit that I talked to a bear! He didn’t seem very interested in what I had to say. It was fascinating seeing him standing so tall only feet away from me. Black bears aren’t ferocious like brown bears. But black bears can be dangerous when they feel threatened, when they are a Mama bear with cubs to protect, and oh yes, when they are hungry. This guy was hungry. 🙂

I’ll share my conversations with the bear if you promise not to laugh…:) I’ll get that video out on a blog post soon.

My recent interview with the “Miracle Hunter”

“The Miracle Hunter” had me on his show to talk about Our Lady of Fatima and my new children’s book: Our Lady’s Messages to Three Shepherd Children and the World. In case you might have missed my radio chat with “The Miracle Hunter” you can listen in here at your leisure. You can move the little time marker to about the 7:50 mark to hear our visit. I think it’s sweet that my theme song from my “Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms” on EWTN was played before I came on.

I hope that you get a chance to tune in and that you enjoy it!

I hope you might consider joining Fr. Andrew Apostoli and me to fatima and Poland in September. Click on the image above for the information.

My June wedding

The other day I noticed that the peonies in my flower garden were about to burst into blooms. I made a mental note that I see this every year right around the time of my wedding anniversary.

 

 

By the end of the day yesterday the luscious pink flower was already opening up more…

 

Because our wedding was in early June, the tables at our wedding reception were all decked out with lovely light pink and deep pink peonies.

 

I’m sorry that in this photo I am blocking my dear hubby’s face with my champagne glass during our toast. But, I wanted to show you the peonies. 🙂

 

What advice might I have for couples these days? Strive each day to remember that our number one job in our vocation as a Catholic spouse is to help to get our dear other half to heaven. Yes, there will be tough times and challenges galore. But God will grant us the graces. Don’t forget to continually ask for them and don’t forget to call on the graces from your sacramental bond. It’s powerful.

Pausing and praying when upset, before speaking your mind can be very beneficial. 🙂 Each little pin prick or contradiction is actually an opportunity for grace. Truly.

As well, I encourage the daily Rosary together and to ask Mother Mary to help your marriage. She will. Even if your husband is not (yet!) into praying the Rosary, you can encourage him to pray it with you and even start off with just a simple decade. In time, it will grow to a full Rosary. Trust me.

I’ll share an article I wrote for Magnificat magazine in which I, with a bit of “tongue in cheek,” recount a funny experience to illustrate the love in a sacramental marriage.

 

 

And, yes, most days I can still smile at him…

 

 

It’s interesting that all of the above was inspired by my peonies!

 

Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

On my living rom wall.

June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let’s try our best to pray the Litany as often as we can during this month and beyond!

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us*
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of Infinite Majesty,
Heart of Jesus, Sacred Temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, obedient to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
R. Make our hearts like to yours
Let us pray;
Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of your most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers You in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Your mercy, in Your great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, You Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

From EWTN:

Blessed be the Most Loving Heart and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most glorious Virgin Mary, His Mother, in eternity and forever. Amen.

….Only the Heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way —-From the Catechism. P:1439 

From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before Thee, O Most Sacred, Divine and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay Thee all the homage of love, praise and adoration in my power.
Amen. – – 
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior’s steps.– From the Catechism. P: 2669

My visit on EWTN’s Morning Glory Radio Show

You can listen in to our conversation on EWTN’s Morning Glory speaking with Brian Patrick, Monsignor Charles Pope, and Gloria Pervis by clicking here and moving the marker to the “47:00” mark or listen to the entire show by starting at the beginning. Enjoy!

Monday’s for Mom: Episode # 1!

 

Donna-Marie and her Mom!

A Mother’s Never-Ending Prayer

I decided to share the episodes of Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms here on my blog, starting with the first one today! Check back each Monday for a new episode. The shows were filmed by EWTN in 2011.

 

Radio chat

Here is the link to my recent radio conversation on Radio Maria. You can slide the little marker forward to the 29:34 mark to listen in to our conversation about Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World. I hope that you enjoy it!

My visit on the “In the Arena” show

You can slide the timing marker over to the 22:30 mark to watch my visit on the “In the Arena” show. Or, watch from the beginning. Monsignor does a great job.

 

Chatting with Teresa Tomeo on “Catholic Connection”

I recently had the blessing and pleasure to speak with dear friend Teresa Tomeo about my children’s Fatima book Our Lady’s Messages to Three Shepherd Children and the World.

You can listen in here at your leisure. Just click here and move the marker to the “39.15” mark to listen to our visit. Or, feel free to listen to the entire show.

Mother Mary in our lives

Here is a small snippet from my new DVD Feeding Your Family’s Soul which I am happy to share with you. It is from the lesson I give on the Blessed Mother. I think that it will give you a sense of my new DVD and a bit about the Blessed Mother in this month of May which is dedicated to Mother Mary. I hope that you enjoy it. Let me know in the comment box below. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

You can learn more about my DVD for parents, grandparents, and faith educators here.

Pondering Mary, Mothers, and Mother’s Day

I simply cannot observe or smell aromatic lilacs without thinking of Mother’s Day and recalling with vivid memory the precious time spent with my mother, my grandmother, and, later on, with my beloved children.

When I was growing up, I spent many a spring day with my mother and grandmother playing near the weeping willow trees and the hedge of lilac bushes that stretched all across our backyard. Luscious lilac scents were roused with every stirring spring breeze; tantalizing my senses and etching a long-lasting childhood memory upon my heart.

When I became a mother, my Mother’s Days were never complete until at least one of my children presented me with a bouquet of fresh lilacs, usually plucked right from a backyard bush. They would adorn our kitchen table and fill the house with amazing fragrance.

With Mother’s Day having just passed, our thoughts might be reminiscent of times enjoyed with our mothers, our spiritual mothers, or mother figures in our lives. The month of May can also…[read the fully story here].

The Canonization of Francisco and Jacinta on the 100th Fatima anniversary

It’s hard to believe that the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, which is the actual anniversary of the first appearance of the Blessed Mother to the three shepherd children is in just two days! May 13, 2017 marks that anniversary. On that day Pope Francis will canonize Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the youngest visionaries of Our Lady of Fatima. Their older cousin, Lucia dos Santos, was also a visionary, but she lived until almost 98 years old! She died in 2005, just twelve years ago. Even so, the cause of her canonization is moving along.

I have been so busy this week with many radio and TV interviews because of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. I have not had any time to blog. Although, I do have a couple of articles coming out on Fatima. Here is one in the National Catholic Register in which I tell how families can apply the Fatima message to their lives.

I have a Fatima article coming up in the Catholic World Report which I hear will be out soon (probably tomorrow–Friday). There are a few excerpts of my two Fatima books out now. You can read one here which talks about the Third Secret and is from my book Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions. One about the Angel of Peace visit to the shepherd children from that same book is here. Here is one from my children’s chapter book Our Lady’s Messages to Three Shepherd Children and the World.

Here’s a good article in the National Catholic Register by Father Raymond J. de Souza in which he quotes my book Our Lady of Fatima. In some of the blog posts on this website prior to this one, I have several radio interviews about Fatima.You can check them out and listen at your leisure. I’ll be posting about the TV interviews and other radio interviews soon. As well, here is an article in Legatus magazine in which I was interviewed.

Pray for the graces! We are living in an incredible part of history. In addition, do your best to pray the daily Rosary for peace in the world. Commit to the Five First Saturday devotion that Our Lady of Fatima asked for. We need to step up to the plate and do our part by praying for the reparation of sinners and for peace in the world. Remember, the Blessed Mother said that there are many souls that go to hell because there aren’t enough people praying for them.

Finally, check out the special programming on Our Lady of Fatima on EWTN.

EDITED to add a new article. Here is my article in Catholic World Report.