I’m excited about my new forthcoming DVD for families and Faith formation educators! Take a look here.
It is such a blessing to be a “Gwand-MA”! I recently celebrated with my dear grandson.
The second part of the Lenten discussions that I had with Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. is here below on EWTN’s Sunday Night Prime. The second part offers prayers and tips for families and all those journeying through Lent. It is focused on the teachings of St. John Paul II and Pope Francis. I hope that you enjoy it.
I was recently visiting with Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R on EWTN’s Sunday Night Prime. In our show, “Bringing Lent Home, Part One” we talked about the family, Lent, Mother Teresa, and St. Therese. In case you didn’t catch it, you can see it here at your leisure.
Here is the beautiful book cover with a short publisher description and a link below to pre-order this children’s chapter book which is scheduled to release in June!
In this warm retelling of the story of Our Lady of Fatima, award-win- ning author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle unfolds vividly before the eyes of children the mysterious radiant holy Lady who suddenly appeared
to three peasant farm children in Portugal.
At a tumultuous time when the First World War was at its height and
Portuguese farm families were devastated by the horrors of the Great War, miraculous events mysteriously occurred in 2016 and again in 2017. By reading this beautifully-illustrated chapter book, children will walk in the footsteps of Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta and learn the important message Our Lady delivered to these little shepherd children and to the whole world.
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s love for children and family shines through these pages. As one of America’s Fatima experts, she presents an entirely authentic book which reads like a page-turning novel to children ages seven to 107! At the end of each chapter, the book offers an oppor- tunity to pause and ponder the story and the reader’s own prayer life as well as encouragement to apply the messages to one’s own life. A section of Fatima prayers completes the book.
It is a beautiful sturdy hard covered chapter book which sells for $14.99. Pre-ordering for autographed copies here.
What do you think?
I have been working non-stop on a very important book project. It’s a children’s Fatima book! It’s has been an inspiration on my heart to write it and I feel blessed to do so to teach children and their families about the amazing messages of Our Lady of Fatima. This book will help them to learn and LIVE the messages. I am taking a short break from the book writing right now to write this blog post! Then, I will get right back to it and work hard to complete the writing and get it off to the publisher and out to be printed so that in the very near future you can have it in your own hands to read to yourself and also perhaps to a child you love. It is a book that is not only appropriate for this 100th anniversary year of Our Lady’s messages, but for beyond this year as well. As soon as I have a cover image I’ll be happy to reveal it to you.
As you might know my other Fatima book titled, Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions is due to be released in March! You can see it right here on Amazon. It has been ranked the Number One bestseller in the “New Releases of Christian Mariology” for quite some time. That tells me that people want to learn the message of Fatima! You can see it here at my website for pre-order. Each copy will be autographed and will come with a blessed Miraculous Medal.
My pilgrimage to Fatima and Poland is September 17th to the 27th and will be an exciting grace-filled trip for this 100th anniversary year! Fatima expert Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R will be the spiritual guide for the trip. There is information here.
On another note, I will be on EWTN’s Sunday Night Prime soon on March 5th (with a couple of re-airs). I’ll be away that week end on a speaking trip in Lafayette, LA, so you will see it before me. 🙂
We are speaking about my Lenten books and the Lenten season within the family. Here is the information:
“Fr. Apostoli welcomes Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle to discuss Mother Teresa, St. Therese, and the Lenten season.”
Sun. Mar. 05 at 8:00 PM
Mon. Mar. 06 at 4:00 AM
Mon. Mar. 06 at 9:00 AM
I hope that you can tune in or tape it.
PLEASE pray for my book writing! You are in my prayers too. God bless!
I was recently blessed to visit Jim and Joy Pinto at the EWTN studio in Alabama. In case you missed the airing of our show it is here to watch at your leisure. We discussed families, family dinners, teaching the faith, and much more. I hope that you can watch.
I want to let you know about my visit with Jim and Joy Pinto this Thursday at 2:00 PM ET with a couple of re-airs.
You can see more details here at “Feeding Your Family’s Soul.”
Motherhood with all its unending joy is a vocation filled with a myriad of challenges. In addition to the arduous continual work in raising children today amidst the chaotic demeaning culture, there are other difficulties mothers face too. Immersed in a sometimes thankless role, mothers can feel isolated or invisible, they can doubt themselves or feel tempted to strive for other pursuits in an effort to feel affirmed or appreciated.
After all, when was the last time a mother was sincerely (and I mean, “sincerely”) thanked for her selfless and continual loving work and efforts in her family and home? Yes, it happens occasionally. However, our society does not value a mother’s work. Unfortunately, we mothers are valued by the size of a pay check and not the fact that we are actually raising little saints to heaven. We are, in fact, helping to form the consciences of little ones who are on loan to us and who have been entrusted to our care.
Because I am a mother of five (and three in heaven) and a grandmother, I value every aspect of the amazing role of motherhood—a vocation of love! During some of the time that I raised my children, I was a single mother. I have lived through thick and thin, and a lot of times it was very thin. So, I certainly know that mothers need encouragement and affirmation in their amazing yet arduous role. I feel very passionate about encouraging mothers everywhere and that’s why I do what I do. That’s why I write so many books and do a good deal of television shows to uplift and affirm the family—the vital cell of society, which, as we know is under attack by the evil one. I won’t dwell on “you-know-who” (I don’t like to give him credit because he thrives on that). But, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that we are engaged in spiritual battle so that we can be alert, continue praying, nourish our souls with solid Church teaching, and put one foot in front of the other to walk in faith every day in raising our families.
Recently, a faithful mother of many children came to me because she was feeling like a failure. I’ll call her Cindy. She said, “Do you have any tips you can share with me about how to get more done in a day? I am not as productive as I have been in the past in our schooling and it is making me feel like a failure. You are so productive so I thought I’d ask if you could give me some advice.”
I asked “Cindy” not to feel like a failure because she certainly wasn’t a failure. I told her that she should try to keep her chin up because God was smiling at her and that I hoped she could try not to be discouraged. I told her that “you-know-who” would like her and other mothers to feel that they are failures when, in fact, they are doing an amazing job in raising their children. I went on to give her a few tips that I thought might help her to feel more productive (since she asked for that), but certainly knew that many times a mother’s very important tasks are the ones that are quiet and may go unseen as she helps take care of her children’s zillion needs.
Give God the reins
“What comes to my mind right now,” I said, “is to get important things done first thing in the morning if you can. For instance, certain prayers you want to get going in the morning so that you don’t lament at the end of the day that you didn’t carve out that time for prayer. It’s challenging in a busy household. I do know that,” I reminded her. “But start your day with that Morning Offering prayer before you even get out of your bed, or right when you get out of your bed, on your knees by the side of your bed. Then you’ve given the reins to our Lord so to speak. You’ve given him the day ahead of you. Then you could be at peace knowing that He’s in control.”
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.
“And perhaps,” I continued, “the night before, you can possibly think about a project you’d like to get done in the house the next day. A certain corner of the house, a messy countertop you need to declutter, a pile of laundry that needs to get washed, whatever it is, try to tackle that first thing in the morning.”
Adding a bit more, I said, “Sometimes, and I know this might sound crazy, but sometimes I clean a bathroom before I even come downstairs to eat breakfast. I know we need to eat in the morning to nourish ourselves, but sometimes I see a mess and think that I should probably tackle it quickly so I don’t have to face it later in the day and also, in case I run out of time later in the day. Granted, you have little ones waiting for you, and maybe this won’t work for you, but I think that lots of tasks can be done quickly.”
I went on to tell “Cindy” how I’ve tried to make a game out of cleaning up to get the kids’ help, and more. “I have always tried to teach the kids that certain things needed to be done and then we can do the fun stuff.”
I didn’t want her to feel defeated. “It’s important not to beat yourself up if you can’t get things done,” I said. “You are busy enough taking care of the physical and emotional needs of your children. That in itself is a full-time job. Add to that, all of the cleaning and all of the schooling and your own hygiene in care of yourself, there’s just always so much to do.”
I wanted to also mention a tip on family prayer. “Then, of course, you want to carve out times for family prayer. That’s why I always say to do it at the dinner table. At least that’s one time for your family prayer because everyone’s all together, hopefully, and you have a captive audience.”
I told this beautiful Mom that I would recommend that she watch a You Tube video of my visit with Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR. in which we discuss my book Feeding Your Family’s Soul: Dinner Table Spirituality because she had watched it a couple of months earlier and told me that it helped her in her resolve to homeschool her family. There had been some temptations to throw in the towel, but she felt in her heart that Our Lord wanted her to keep it up despite the lack of encouragement around her. I thought that if she watched the show again it might give her a good “shot in the arm.”
All those “little” things
She thanked me and said she’d watch the video soon. Then she responded to my little “tips.” She said, “That helps me SO much! You always have the right words. In fact, I did that this morning. Before breakfast, I mopped and swept and cleaned bathrooms and put on laundry.” She continued giving me a blow by blow description.
“Then I schooled while nursing, but I just can’t help but feel like I should do more and better. But I think that might be a trap. A temptation. I have been forgetting my daily offering. I will try to do that. But, I have been working in the rosary. I am potty training my toddler, keeping my preschooler engaged, holding the nursing new one, dealing with high emotions of our teenager and helping school the other two. So, I guess even when it doesn’t feel like I’m doing a lot, I am. I just want them to be able to have a quality education and I doubt how effective I am.” Then she sighed.
Wow! This is what I’m talking about. Moms do SO much! And because Moms are often tired and overworked, they can easily lose sight of all that they actually do and also the fact that all that they do is SO important!
“Cindy” went on to tell me that she would re-watch the video. Her baby was sleeping in her arms and she had an opportunity to watch it, or at least in bits and pieces.
“Now that you reminded me,” she said, “it [watching the video] did recommit my determination for homeschooling. I remember now. It made me feel like I am making a good decision. Two of my closest friends that have been stay at home, homeschooling mothers are throwing in the towel and going to work. It just placed doubt in my mind….So I started to doubt my ability. I’m not teaching Latin or Spanish. But, I keep telling myself that if they need that, the Good Lord will provide. I also have to take lots of breaks because I wear out quickly since I’m not sleeping well at night.”
This sweet Mom is doing so much to please the Lord and raise her little saints to heaven. She, like so many others need our encouragement.
“Thank you for talking with me…Thank you for encouraging me, again!” She said.
I reiterated how much good that “Cindy” was doing for her family. “It’s quite amazing what you are doing…You don’t give yourself enough credit. And I did forget to mention too, that a lot of the work that we mothers do in the home can’t be measured because it’s all those little things which are so important to our children’s well-being.”
We don’t need esteem, honors, or even a paycheck
I wanted to encourage her more… “I would like to tell you to please keep doing what you’re doing. It’s very admirable even though you don’t realize it. You are doing exactly what our good Lord wants you to do. You are there for your family in so many ways…Please hang in there and please realize if you can, that you are doing an amazing job helping to form little consciences and raise up little saints to heaven!”
She told me, “You always make me feel so much better! You are a voice of truth dispelling the lies that come at me…It strengthens me to read your words and speak to you and know that you see value in my walk. That is your gift, encouraging mothers who I believe can get so easily discouraged because there isn’t a paycheck this side of heaven.”
I wholeheartedly agree with ”Cindy.” There isn’t a “paycheck” for our work this side of heaven. But, we don’t need that. We do need to strive to hold our heads up high and continue mothering our children, being a bright example to all in our midst, some who are struggling to find peace in their hearts. I’m so proud of this Mom. She is an amazing and faithful example to her family and all those that know her and see her example.
We can look to the Blessed Mother for guidance and intercession in our tiring yet profound vocation. We can also look to the inspiration of the saints.
Right after our conversation, this faithful Mom came across a quote from St. Alphonsus Liguori that really spoke to her heart:
A hidden and obscure life affords great security to those who sincerely desire to love God. Our Divine Master Himself deigned to teach us this by His own example, for He spent thirty years in the obscurity of Nazareth and the workshop of a humble carpenter. In imitation of their Divine Model, many saints withdrew into the desert and lived in remote caves to escape the esteem of men. The desire to put ourselves forward and merit the plaudits of men, to be regarded as very successful in our undertakings, is, according to St. Vincent de Paul, and evil that causes us to forget our God; it vitiates our holiest actions and more than anything else impedes our progress in the spiritual life. To be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God, we must therefore banish from our hearts the desire to appear before men to win their approval and applause and especially the desire to rule over others.
Many times mothers are a bit isolated in the care of their families and other times they are out and about in the community with their brood. While we mothers might not be choosing to hide out from the community in our “domestic churches” to “escape the esteem of men,” we certainly can come to discover within our sometimes hidden role, that with the exception of Our Lord, we do not need the esteem of anyone in order to be committed in living out our beautiful vocation of motherhood.
St. Teresa of Calcutta, someone I still call Mother Teresa because I was blessed to know her personally and felt that she was a special mother to me, spoke about the hidden life in the family too. She once told me:
Fidelity to growing into a soul of prayer is the beginning of great holiness. If we remember ‘what we do to Jesus—that we do to each other,’ we would be real contemplatives in the heart of the world. Let us learn to pray and work as Jesus did for 30 years in Nazareth. The life and work; the prayer and sacrifice at Nazareth are so much like what our life should be. That peace, joy and unity that joined the Holy Family together in prayer and work is such a wonderful living example to us. They grew in holiness together. Let us learn from Mary to pray and ask Her to pray that your home will be another Nazareth.
This might sound funny, but after coming out of a convent bathroom one time, Mother Teresa told her Sisters, “Someone here really loves Our Lord. That bathroom is sparkling clean!” She was implying that the Sister who cleaned it did it for the love of God. It’s the same for all of us in life. We should do everything to the best of our ability to honor and please God. She also reminded us that we shouldn’t shy away from the humble work. Her sentiments and teachings give us much to think about.
We mothers come to discover that it is not about how much we can get done in a day that matters. A mother’s love and care can never be accurately measured. There will be plenty of times when we need to overlook the messy kitchen counters and overflowing laundry hampers because we are needed to console a child, to discipline another, to nurse the baby, to break up a squabble, to teach the others, and so much more.
I can’t help but think of some very wise words from Archbishop Fulton Sheen who said, “We always make the fatal mistake of thinking that it is what we do that matters when really what matters is what we let God do to us.” Let us not shy away from the humble work or the feelings of being “invisible” at times to bring about amazing transformations of hearts and souls because of God’s abiding grace, and through our selfless, yet powerful vocation of love.
I am in the second half of this EWTN Bookmark TV show filmed at the Catholic Marketing Conference in the summer of 2016. You can click on the image below to watch.
Enjoy and God bless!
You can see my visit talking about family, faith, and food and my book “Feeding Your Family’s Soul” with the wonderful Doug Keck on EWTN’s Bookmark show. I come in at about the 13:40 marker. You can slide the marker forward to that point and watch until the end. Or, if you have time, by all means, watch the whole show. 🙂 Prior to my visit is author Lisa Hendey who is the founder of Catholic Mom.com.
EDITED TO NOTE: I am sorry but the You Tube video has now been taken down. I believe that EWTN would like to put it out again in January when the show will air on EWTN TV.
Please pass along her Etsy website address to anyone you know who might be interested in ordering her artwork. Her greeting cards are amazing, if I may say so myself. Supporting her in her vocation of art helps to keep her at home with her one and a half year old son, Shepherd, my sweet grandson.
I know I am bragging (but that’s what Moms do!). While I am at it, I want to also mention that Chaldea is multi-talented. She is not only a sweet wife and mother, she plays many musical instruments, knits, farms, paints, illustrates, and works in many forms of art.
Take a look at her art here: https://www.etsy.com/people/chaldea She also sells her art at many week end festivals. She is known for her whimsical characters in her paintings and greeting cards.
I want to encourage families to collect family recipes and to cook together and spend time together in the heart of the home. I want families to reach out to older relatives to keep family traditions alive.
You might know that I recently developed a new TV series for EWTN titled, “Feeding Your Family’s Soul.” I’ll keep you posted on that but I think you’ll see that in January 2017.
Meanwhile, I have created special recipe boxes for families. You might like to get one for a loved one for Christmas or for your own family. You can learn more about it here at my “Feeding Your Family’s Soul” website.
I was chatting with Jon Leonetti yesterday morning on Iowa Catholic Radio from the EWTN National Radio Conference. We talked about the need to be countercultural as parents and grandparents among other things. In case you missed it and would like to tune in, check it out right here.
This morning I was blessed to speak with Anna Mitchell on the Son Rise Morning Show. We talked about family dinners and struggles, and more. If you didn’t get a chance to tune in, here’s the link to listen in. Move the marker to the 10:30 mark to hear our visit, or listen to the whole thing.
This morning I was blessed to speak with John Harper on Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air.”
You can see my new Feeding Your Family’s Soul website here.
The family is such an amazing blessing created by God!
Would you like to send me a photo of your family sitting at the dinner table for consideration of being included on my “Feeding Your Family’s Soul” website? I would include your family photo in some of my blog posts or somewhere on that website!
Every photo that is sent to me will be placed in a drawing to win a copy of my book Feeding Your Family’s Soul: Dinner Table Spirituality!
So, what are you waiting for? Please send them to me at: DMCOBoyle@aol.com.
I am NOT looking for perfection! Just normal everyday family photos of you gathered together at the dinner table–no matter how small or large your family is. And, mind you, this is requested by a mother of five and grandmother (yours truly!). So, I know that dinner times could get messy at times! It is rarely Norman Rockwell picture perfect!
If possible, in addition to your family name with the photo, please give me a sentence or two about your family dinners together.
Thanks in advance and God bless you!
In case you didn’t get a chance to see Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R and me recently on EWTN’s Sunday Night Prime discussing the family and my new book Feeding Your Family’s Soul: Dinner Table Spirituality, you can see it here and also below:
I have some happy news for you. I am excited to tell you that I have created a new television show for EWTN titled “Feeding Your Family’s Soul”! They will be short 2 minute shows filled with inspiration, encouragement, and the Catholic tools for today’s families. I’ll be going to the EWTN network soon to film forty shows! Yes, that’s right–forty! I’ll begin with those and go from there.
So, please keep me in your prayers to do a good job in presenting the Catholic tools and encouragement to Catholic parents and grandparents.
In addition, did you see my new website “Feeding Your Family’s Soul”? I created it recently to have a specific place to aid Catholic families. I’ll be building upon it steadily with all kinds of valuable information for the family, news about my shows, and wholesome recipes for family life, as well as food recipes too! Take a look here.
NEW REVIEW: Feeding Your Family’s Soul:
When I was a child, my family did not gather around the dinner table to share life together. Sure we ate at the same time, but on most nights, it was at the kitchen counter with the evening news blaring on the TV. When I visited my aunt and uncle’s home, I savored the commraderie around the dinner table—dishes being passed around, conversation flowing, even clean up and the rotation of chores was a novelty that I secretly wished was part of my normal routine.
When my husband and I married and started our family, dinnertime became very important to us. I don’t recall us talking about how we would gather together; we just did it. Perhaps my childhood experience unconsciously made dinnertime sacred to me. I am grateful that both of us knew the significance of coming together at the end of the day to pray, talk, and share a meal together.
When our children were small, conversation wasn’t very deep or insightful, but it was a chance for Greg and I to check in with each other after a long day. As more children joined us around the table, it became important to share highlights of the day. It gave the children a chance to share the spotlight, and it helped us connect the dots regarding what was reallygoing on at school and among friends.
We recently entered a new phase in our family life. Our two oldest daughters have started playing volleyball in the fall, and our family dinnertime has certainly been affected. Late-afternoon and early-evening games require us to eat in shifts. It can be tricky to have dinner ready for half of the family, when I am at a game. Missing out on the one time of the day when our entire family can be together can throw the rest of the evening off, too, since dinnertime is often the transition into our bedtime routine.
Thankfully, volleyball season has an end date, and our regular routine will return in about a month. However, this season of hit-or-miss meals together reminds me of the importance of the everyday dinnertime tradition and how all families need to fight to preserve it.
In her new book Feeding Your Family’s Soul: Dinner Table Spirituality, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle gives families a companion in the fight to preserve dinnertime togetherness. In it, she shares 53 conversation starters for each week of the year. Not only do the chapters give parents ideas on how to shape dinnertime conversation, they include wisdom from the saints, prayers, Scripture quotes, questions, and delicious recipes to prepare together.
Each week, the family will learn about an aspect of the Catholic faith through storytelling and discussion, which will allow children (and adults alike) to ask questions and seek understanding. If a family has some extra time on Saturday and Sunday to introduce the week’s theme, it will provide a springboard for continued conversation during shorter, weekday meals.
This book can be utilized in a number of ways. A family could easily begin with Chapter 1 and go through the book in order. Or a family could skip around the book and focus on the chapters that line up with the liturgical calendar. For example, Chapter 4 on “The Communion of Saints” could be highlighted the week of November 1, when the Church celebrates All Saints Day, and Chapter 47 on “Why Catholics Honor the Blessed Mother” could be read and discussed during the month of May, which is dedicated to Mary. In addition, if parents want to focus on a particular virtue with their children, such as mercy, they could easily incorporate the corresponding chapter (Chapter 11 on “Learning Mercy from St. Faustina Kowalska”) to help that teaching along.
I am really excited about incorporating Feeding Your Family’s Soul into my family’s dinnertime conversation. Especially after this fall’s volleyball season, it will get us back on track with connecting to and conversing with each other on a daily basis. I am confident that the stories, questions, and prayers will enhance our family’s prayer life and extend our shared experience into other parts of the day.
If Feeding Your Family’s Soul is a book you’d enjoy adding to your spiritual library, I am pleased to give away three copies, thanks to Paraclete Press. To enter the giveaway, simply fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway below. I will pick three winners next Friday, Oct. 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
[Visit the blog here to enter the contest and to see more.]