Pausing and Praying for Strangers

I love meeting people along the way in my travels. As I often say, there are no coincidences in life. I met this man at the airport before boarding my flight to New York from Wisconsin. As he approached, sweeping up little pieces of debris with his worn out straw broom, I thanked him for his hard work. I had been in the company of dear Father John Hardon, S.J. on many occasions when he thanked cleaning women and janitors for their work. You see, Fr. Hardon’s mother was a cleaning woman and he made it a point to thank people who work hard to keep our surroundings clean. So, I was thinking of Father, using “a page from his book” as that man approached. My heart went out to that man. He stopped for a moment and thanked me, seemingly very surprised that I would complement him on his work and even thank him. He said it’s extremely rare for him to get a compliment. 

So, we got to talking.  I love when a conversation unfolds with a stranger. Or, someone whom Mother Teresa would call “Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor.“ I shared a bit about my faith with this man. He told me he is an ex Catholic. I gave him one of my Mother Teresa prayer cards which shows her holding my son. It has a prayer on the back that I wrote. He looked carefully at the card and then placed it in his cart. I just love how he put it there in his cart facing him. 

And then I ventured to offer him a blessed Miraculous Medal even though he is an ex Catholic—he accepted it. He said he is saved by Jesus. I told him that it was Jesus‘s mother on the medal. He took it from me and placed into his pocket and told me he would get in touch with me later on. I gave him my business card. We talked a bit more and then I needed to head toward security to eventually board my delayed flight. That is another story about the searches, getting stuck in the air for a while, etc. 😳

I prayed a rosary on my flight specifically for this man. I also prayed hard for the man I met a bit later–the one who yelled at me when I was putting my carry-on luggage into the overhead bin when boarding the flight. He was in a mad rush and acted very mean and rude toward me, trying to push me out of his way. I told him–very calmly in a quiet voice, “It will be OK.“ because I knew he was steaming mad and I tried to defuse it, or at least help him to feel better in some way. But, he shot back, “No! It won’t be OK!” And he continued yelling all the way down the aisle to his seat, saying unkind things about me. His wife tried to calm him down, but this man was very angry at me for some reason. However, despite the uncomfortable feeling in being a convenient scapegoat for him, it gave me a wonderful opportunity to want to pray for the angry man. God knows just what He needs and I pray to be a little instrument of God’s love.

No doubt about it, God places these people in our lives for a reason. Will we venture to push a bit beyond our comfort zones to minister to the walking wounded? Everyone has a story. Everyone is loved by God. God asks the faithful to minister to His children. A kind word or gesture, sharing our faith with strangers when possible–all help to transform hearts and souls–including our own! Many times, small acts of love can bring hope to someone’s troubled heart and soul.

Be attentive! Look up from your devices and phones and see who it is, perhaps standing before you or close by that God wants you to minister to. Remember too, that Mother Teresa had said, “Love begins at home.” Let’s also be sure not to neglect our own families and the needs there at home by running off to save the world.

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.

 

Donna-Marie talking about Lent “Part One” on Sunday Night Prime

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.

Enjoy!

Mothers Who Fear They Are Failures

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.”

O Jesus,
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.

Amen.

“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.

Excited to show you a SNEAK PEEK!

Sometime in May of 2017 the second edition of my book “A Catholic Woman’s Book of Prayers” will be released.

I’m giving you a sneak peek of the sweet cover image.

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Here’s the publisher’s description:

As an award-winning author, TV host of EWTN’s “Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms,” “Catholic Mom’s Cafe,” and “Feeding Your Family’s Soul,” mother of five and grandmother, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is well aware of the difficulties women face today as they balance all their responsibilities and struggle to find time for prayer.

This book will affirm women on their journey while celebrating the strength, dignity, and specific gifts of women in the context of the faith. Donna-Marie offers words of encouragement for women who are single, married, mothers, consecrated women, and single mothers, while straightforwardly addressing specific difficulties in women’s lives, with prayers for stress, complicated pregnancies, and walking through divorce. Words from Mother Teresa, St. John Paul II, saints and mystics enrich the text with inspiration.

What think ye?

I never expected this.

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“I am that man that you mentioned in your life…”

What was that? How could he be?

Allow me to back up a bit to explain…

When I wrote my book The Kiss of Jesus: How Mother Teresa and The Saints Helped Me To Discover The Beauty of The Cross I deeply desired to offer a huge dose of hope to those who had suffered from any form of abuse or have suffered in some way. I had learned along the way that it is important to share about our struggles and God’s redeeming grace so that others could be helped. I wanted to share the power of prayer and God’s grace, especially in the dark corners of life.

As well, I hoped to get across the need to forgive. I figured that though my memoir was written for men and women, that perhaps the majority of the people my book would most likely impact would be women. Since the release of my memoir, I have heard from countless women who have thanked me and told me that they were changed for the better by reading The Kiss of Jesus. I was not looking for thanks but I am praising God for His mercy and love and for working through me to help others. I am deeply thankful.

But, I never expected to hear from an eighty five year old man who recently wrote me a letter.

“I am that man that you mentioned in your life…”

I had to stop and think…

I read further through a bit of shaky writing and then realized that this man had seen me on EWTN talking about my life, struggles and suffering. He had recognized himself in my story.

Wow. His letter was extremely powerful for me to read. My heart was deeply touched as I continued to read his words. He explained that after watching me on EWTN he knew that he needed to ask God to help him and to also forgive him. The man thanked me for helping him to find “peace and serenity” now at eighty five years old.

He wrote so much more and ended his letter by thanking me for my “suffering…” He said, “Now, I know what my wife went through.”

Oh, dear God, please continue to help this man and anyone who has suffered or is suffering. Please grant them the graces they need to forgive and to be forgiven. Thank you dear Lord for your LOVE. Amen.

 

 

Mother Teresa’s Canonization Portrait and More

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It was a blessing to be at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, CT just two days before Mother Teresa’s canonization in Rome, Italy. The original portrait that was used for the canonization was hung on the wall of the Museum for all to see. It had been unveiled in Washington DC just days before. Here is an article about the painting in Aleteia. And another article here about Mother Teresa and events at the Museum.

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Gazing upon the beautiful portrait and feeling like Mother Teresa was gazing upon me!

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I had the wonderful opportunity to venerate a first class relic of dear Mother Teresa. It was a very moving experience.

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It is always such a blessing to be with the MC Sisters. These Sisters are from the Bridgeport, CT convent. They were present on Friday before the canonization day. They were presented a stunning replica of the portrait for their convent.

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This is on Mother Teresa’s canonization day at the Knights of Columbus Museum. I gave a reflection to more than 100 people who came out that day. I could have been in Rome but Mother Teresa’s words “Love begins at home” kept ringing in my heart when I was praying about where I should be on that day. There were various requests for me to be here in the US to speak about Mother Teresa and do many news interviews, and more. I knew my place was here, though I still felt united to all that was going on in Rome. Graces abounded on that beautiful day and I am sure they will continue.

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I loved sharing about my spiritual mother, dear Mother Teresa.

Here is a recent article I wrote for Catholic World Report about some of my experiences knowing Mother Teresa.

God bless you! May St. Teresa of Calcutta guide you ever closer to Jesus!

[Most photos here by Aaron Joseph, Catholic Life Photography]

News Times article: “A Friendship Forged in Faith”

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“NEW MILFORD – Mother Teresa’s canonization by Pope Francis is bringing fresh focus to the legacy of a contemporary saint whose love for the poor transformed the lives of the world’s most destitute people.

And in the eyes of one admirer who shared a 10-year friendship with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning nun, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta also transformed those inspired by her example.
 “She said that holiness is not a luxury for a few, but everyone’s duty,” said Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, a New Milford author, television host and mother of five who formed a friendship with Mother Teresa during the last decade of her life. ‘God gave her to the worldto teach us that hunger is not just about starving for a piece of bread in Calcutta, but about starving for love right here in our own homes.'”1024x1024

 

[You can see the FULL recent News Times article about my friendship with Mother Teresa here.]

 

 

 

“Take 2 with Jerry and Debbie” on EWTN Radio

mother-teresaI recently visited with Jerry and Debbie on EWTN’s “Take 2 with Jerry and Debbie.”

You can listen to our hour-long radio conversation about Mother Teresa when you have time. Get yourself a beverage and pull up a chair and enjoy listening about dear Mother Teresa now canonized and called Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Truth be told, I will continue to call her Mother Teresa. 🙂

By the way, we also discuss my Miraculous Medal ministry and my memoir, The Kiss of Jesus.

Click here to listen.

Being the “poorest of the poor” with Mother Teresa

My article “Being the ‘poorest of the poor’ with Mother Teresa” in the Catholic World Report is here below:

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be staying at Mother Teresa’s homeless shelters. And not just once, but twice. Truth be told, I have endured times of poverty, but my days spent in the shelters were not during those times, and they were in two different parts of the world.

The first time was in Harlem, New York about 30 years ago, when it was very dangerous to be on the streets of that barbed-wire jungle. The second time was just a few years ago in Rome, Italy.

Allow me to back up a bit in order to tell the story about meeting my spiritual mother, whom others knew as the Saint of the Gutters, or simply as Mother Teresa. Almost 30 years ago, I first laid eyes on the little saint of the poor, dressed in a simple white cotton sari trimmed in Blessed Mother blue. I caught my first glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye, when she walked right past me quietly in her bare feet just before Mass was about to begin at the Missionaries of Charity convent in Washington, DC.

I was visiting the nation’s capital because my spiritual director, Father John A. Hardon, SJ, had asked me to bring my family to see him for a face-to-face meeting. After our time with him, at Father’s encouragement, we set out to visit the sick and dying in the “Gift of Peace” home at the convent. We had a very meaningful visit, observing the great love and tenderness shown to the poor and suffering living in the home, at which there was a clear and beautiful aura of holiness. The MC sisters invited us to return the following day for a private Mass in their chapel. I was honored to be invited, but imagine my excitement when one sister informed me that Mother Teresa would be at one of their two Masses the next day; she didn’t know which one. My heart secretly soared hearing that Mother Teresa was there at the convent. Still, as much as I had always admired her for her selfless work with the poor and had considered her to be a living saint, I didn’t want to take up her time if we happened to see her the following day.

Early the next morning, we arrived at the convent’s chapel and I spotted several pairs of sandals lined up outside the door, which prompted us to take off our shoes before entering. Once inside, one of the first things I noticed was actually a lack of things. The chapel was very stark, yet so very meaningful. The few items there—an altar, a tabernacle, a crucifix, a statue of the Blessed Mother, and the words, “I Thirst” painted on the wall beside the tabernacle—drew my heart to what was most important. Those two words—“I thirst”—would echo in my heart for years after, and still do. I settled my children and we all knelt down to say our prayers before Mass.

Meeting the Saint of the Gutters

We had picked the right Mass, for Mother Teresa unexpectedly walked in. She seemed to float right past me. I needed to quickly direct my mind back to the Mass that was about to begin. Never mind the fact that a living saint was in our midst! I was kneeling down on the chapel’s bare floor with my husband and children, trying my best to prepare my heart for Mass, while still keeping an eye on my children: Justin, Chaldea, and Jessica. Mother Teresa’s presence certainly seemed to send a holy jolt up and down my spine!

Another surprise unfolded right after the Mass. As we were leaving the modest chapel, my children genuflected to Jesus in the tabernacle when unexpectedly a Missionaries of Charity nun came running up behind my six-year-old daughter Chaldea and gave her a hug. I surmised that the sweet sister must have been touched to see a little girl saying good bye to Jesus. Before I could finish my thought, I realized that it was none other than Mother Teresa! But, as quickly as she came into the picture, she was heading out of the room in another direction. The door closed behind her. I was so overcome with gratefulness after witnessing a living saint hug my child—but there was more to come.

As we were standing in a huddle in the convent’s foyer, the door opened across the way and this time Mother Teresa didn’t walk past me—she began to walk straight towards me. I was holding my little precocious one-and-a-half-year-old Jessica in my arms so that she couldn’t get into trouble or run around the convent. Then Mother Teresa was standing directly in front of us. She asked me a question…

[More here at Catholic World Report]

 

Graces abound on and around Mother Teresa’s Canonization day!

I was blessed to have been part of an event in Mother Teresa’s honor at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, CT a couple of days before her canonization day. The original portrait painting was unveiled and hung at the Museum. A photograph of the image was used to make over a million prayer cards for the canonization in Rome. The banners used at the canonization were taken from that image. It was a privilege to be part of the event.

I have been extremely busy this past week doing many media interviews including Fox News in New York City and doing many radio shows (at least 2 or 3 a day). You can listen to some of the interviews on this website. I’ll add more to my website when I get a chance.

I’ll be traveling to Ave Maria University in a couple of days to bring the message of Mother Teresa to University students there.

But, first, I’ll leave you with a couple of photos from the Knights Museum.

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And today is Mother Teresa’s feast day! Pray for the graces!

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God bless you! Please pray for me!

Visiting with Wendy Weis about dear Mother Teresa

honey-teaRecently I had the pleasure of speaking again with Relevant Radio’s lovely Wendy Weis who was so gracious to rearrange our visit due to my grueling schedule with all of the media interviews about Mother Teresa.

You can hear our chat here.

Please move the little marker to the 23:45 mark to hear my segment which is in the second part of Wendy’s show. Or listen to the whole thing.

It’s always special to chat with Wendy. We feel like we are sitting down and chatting over a cup of tea. 🙂

Enjoy!

Remembering Mother Teresa…

Remembering Mother…

get-attachment.aspxDistinct details of meeting Blessed Teresa of Calcutta the first time remain etched in my memory. Her height, or lack thereof, especially struck me. Being short in stature and hunched over, she appeared a bit frail. But I was totally convinced that this “little” woman was a passionate powerhouse of faith, hope and love! I knew that along with God’s grace, she was responsible for incredible transformations in the lives of the “poorest of the poor,” all over the world.

My heart soared one summer morning, when straight after a Mass I attended with the Missionaries of Charity sisters, Mother Teresa approached me. I was immediately filled with an incredible peace. The tireless servant of the poor took time from her duties to speak to me about my children.

She asked if my daughter Jessica (who was secure in my arms so she wouldn’t get into trouble!) was the “baby who was singing at Mass?” (No doubt, her polite way of saying she was aware of my continuous tip-toeing in and out of Mass with my restless little one!) Then, she told me, “Your children are very fortunate to have a family.” I felt compelled to tell her that I was very fortunate to be their mother. At that time I had three children on earth and three in heaven.

Mother Teresa was accustomed to rescuing babies and children from the dust bins in Calcutta, India, disposed of by their dying parents. She took them in, gave them love and care, and placed them within families yearning for children.

822643p13567EDNMain65880513_mteresaBlessed Teresa never mothered a child biologically, but she in so many ways spiritually mothered countless people all around the globe. She indeed became a mother to me. Mother Teresa begged for all unwanted babies whose mothers contemplated abortion and said she’d care for them herself. She opened our eyes and hearts to the needy around us whom we should “mother.”

[See the entire article here]

Donna-Marie to present at the Knights of Columbus Museum


The Knigmother-teresahts of Columbus Museum
will celebrate the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta with a series of events beginning Friday, Sept. 2, 2016.
The original of the official canonization portrait will be received at the Museum in a ceremony at 10:15 a.m. Titled “St. Teresa of Calcutta: Carrier of God’s Love,” the painting was commissioned as a gift to the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded in 1950 by Mother Teresa. Painted by Chas Fagan, a Yale University alum living in North Carolina, the portrait was selected by the Mother Teresa Center as the official image that will be draped from the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City during the Sept. 4 canonization ceremony.

In addition to the painting, the Knights of Columbus has donated more than a million holy cards bearing the official image for distribution in St. Peter’s Square on canonization day. Printed at the Knights of Columbus printing plant in New Haven, an estimated 500,000 more cards are being printed for distribution by Missionaries of Charity at their various homes and centers.

Also on Sept. 2, a relic of Mother Teresa will be available for public veneration from 12-4 p.m. The relic may be venerated Sept. 3-7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Sept. 6, when veneration will continue until 7 p.m.

The Museum will welcome Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle for a presentation on Mother Teresa’s spirituality and mission Sunday, Sept. 4, at 2 p.m. In addition, she will do a book signing of her books. Donna-Marie will also be present on September 2, 2016 and available for interviews that morning. Donna-Marie was blessed to know Mother Teresa for ten years. She is a popular speaker and author of several books, including “Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship,” “The Kiss of Jesus: How Mother Teresa and the Saints Helped Me To Discover the Beauty of the Cross,” and “Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa.”

The Museum’s display, “Mother Teresa: Saint of the Streets,” continues until Nov. 6, however the original painting is available to be viewed for only a limited time. It is to be formally presented at the Mother Teresa Center in Rome at an undetermined date.

Happy birthday Mother Teresa!

Today is Mother Teresa’s birthday! She has so much to teach us! I never tire speaking about her or writing about her. I will post some of the recent radio interviews very soon. I’ll also be in various places speaking about the saint of the gutters.

Here we are sharing a beautiful moment together when I was pregnant for my son Joseph almost twenty nine years ago.

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Meanwhile, I thought that today I’d post an excerpt from three of my books on Mother Teresa.

 

This excerpt is from my book Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa:

 

 

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Here is an excerpt from my book Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship:

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Mother Teresa and Me

And here is one from The Kiss of Jesus How Mother Teresa and the Saints Helped Me To Discover the Beauty of the Cross:

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I pray that dear Mother Teresa will intercede for all of us today!

Chatting about dear Mother Teresa on Son Rise Morning

This morning I chatted with sweet Anna Mitchell on the Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio. I love doing my regular segment on “Mother Teresa and Mercy” every First Friday in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today we focused on Mother Teresa’s upcoming canonization and my friendship with her.

Here is our short radio chat this morning. I hope that you enjoy it.