Little miracles: An Advent and Christmas reflection

“What will happen today?” My husband asked me that question this morning before we even got out of bed. It has been a very eventful week (which I’ll get into a bit later on). We can say it was even an eventful Advent season. There was the recent passing of my very dear friend and spiritual director Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR which was on December 13th. Prior to that, we had been waiting. Waiting in this Advent season which is meant to prepare our hearts–waiting for the Christ Child, but also waiting for the Second Coming of Christ which is also our focus during these very holy days.

Much of our personal waiting this Advent season has been in regard to dear Fr. Andrew whose health had suddenly taken a drastic decline–as he seemed to be rushing towards death in a certain sense. But, no one really knew when it would occur. Was it to be on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which was coming up? No, that day came and went. Father still struggled physically. But, no one knew when he would leave us. We tended to think it would be on a feast day. Would it be the following day which was the anniversary of Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s death–someone who was very special to Fr. Andrew? No, Father would still hang in the balance–the Friars surrounding him with prayer and the sacraments. Waiting…loving, comforting…praying…

I am deeply grateful that I was able to visit with Fr. Andrew a couple of times in his last days, as well as to talk to him on the phone. We had beautiful conversations talking about our Faith, various saints, Our Lady of Fatima, and redemptive suffering. We had a blessed time praying together in the chapel of his Friary too.

I’ll never forget our last conversations which are etched now upon my heart. Especially, when I was about to leave the Friary and Fr. Andrew asked the Friar attending to him to please shut the door so we could have more time for a conversation there at the door. And with an extra kiss and hug, we bid our good bye and dear Father thanked me so sweetly for coming to visit and for the words I shared with him. There would be one more visit about a week and a half later. It was short but powerful. Father let me know that he was offering and accepting every ounce of tribulation, pain, and suffering.

We all wondered about Fr. Andrew’s passing. Would it be on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we wondered? No. Father lived through the entire day and night dedicated to the Patroness of his Religious Order. He passed on to his Eternal Reward the following morning. It was on the 13th of the month, a number very significant to Our Lady of Fatima. It was also the feast of Saint Lucy, who was the patron saint of Lucia, one of the Fatima visionaries. I shed some tears after receiving the phone call from one of the Friars shortly after his death, even though I knew it would be coming. He was very dear to me. I had been praying for a miracle, but was also fully trusting the Divine Physician who knew what HE was doing. I had no doubt.

I was told that the Friars prayed many prayers for the dying around dear Fr. Andrew’s bedside. During the Litany of the Saints, as Saint Andrew was invoked, our saintly Fr. Andrew breathed his last breath. Wow.

This past week

This past week was Fr. Andrew’s Wake and Funeral. It was a very bittersweet time. No one wanted to see Father go so soon, we would rather have his comforting presence a while longer. But we do have to trust Our Lord. It was good to see the many folks who came out to be there for Fr. Andrew and his Friars and Sisters.

It wasn’t easy seeing dear Fr. Andrew in a casket though, but I felt an abiding peace in my heart because I had no doubt where Fr. Andrew already was. He was in Heaven. Only his body lay there in the casket. Still, the utter certainty that the former comforting spiritual discussions and camaraderie would no longer exist–at least not in the way it had in the past was sad indeed. yet, to be completely honest, I certainly do look forward to staying very much “in touch” with dear Fr. Andrew through my prayers. Comfort fills my heart and I truly believe that Our Lady Herself came to get Fr. Andrew on the morning of December 13th.

The eulogies were extremely heartfelt and poignant. The funeral Mass was so grace-filled.

One tough part for me was at the closing of the casket before the funeral began when the choir began to sing “Sweet Sacrament.” I have vivid memories of Fr. Andrew carrying the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance into the chapel at every Catholic Marketing Network conference (CMN) and then singing that precious song. I can still hear it now. And, another sorrowful moment was as Fr. Andrew’s casket was wheeled down the aisle to exit the church, A pang of sorrow entered my heart when his casket passed by me.

As I felt that sorrow pierce me and cause a few tears to be shed, a beautiful CFR Sister that I knew passed by at that time and winked at me. I smiled up at her and knew she understood my pain. I think that we carried one another and lifted each other up these past couple of months and throughout the past week, especially. Fr. Andrew was so beloved to countless people all around the world. The wonders of technology and specifically through the EWTN television network that transported Fr. Andrew into people’s living rooms far and wide helped so many to get to know the humble saint. He will be sorely missed. However, I hope and pray that people all over will pray for his soul (since that is what we should do even if we feel certain that someone has gone to Heaven) and I hope that they not hesitate to ask Fr. Andrew for his intercession.

On another note, I noticed that you can request funeral cards here. A beautiful photo gallery is here.

An article in the National Catholic Register in which I am quoted. One thing I noted was that, “Father Andrew was such a bright beacon of light to our darkened world,” Aleteia also quotes me here.

On our way home from Fr. Andrew’s funeral, my husband and I played the Litany of the Saints song. We also played “Sweet Sacrament” and “Lift high the Cross” which was also sung at the funeral. We experienced a very holy time during our journey back home.

Cheesecake?!

I’ll also share a sweet and kind of funny story with you. When I filmed many Sunday Night Prime shows with Fr. Andrew, my husband and I would take him out to a local diner afterwards. Father often ordered a piece of cheesecake and a cup of coffee. In a booth there, over a small meal or dessert we would discuss matters of Faith and our culture today. Fr. Andrew was concerned about the state of our culture and the fact that the faithful weren’t heeding Our Lady of Fatima’s message. Conversations with Fr. Andrew were always uplifting even when speaking about unsettling world events. Fr. Andrew’s encouraging words were always like a healing balm. Even through the most difficult challenges, Father brought peace to your soul.

But, back to our meals together at the diner. I’ll let you in on a little secret. One time early on before Father was very sick, when he ordered the cheesecake I asked gently, “Don’t you have Diabetes, Father?”

He answered with a smile, “I take pills for that.”

Don’t worry. He did take care of himself and was allowed a treat every once in a while.

Well, my husband suggested that we stop at the diner after the funeral in honor of Fr. Andrew. Anyway, we did need to eat lunch and it would be a long ride home. So, we stopped and ordered a light lunch and in honor of Fr. Andrew I ordered a slice of cheesecake to go. I’m giving you the whole blow-by-blow here. 🙂 Before we left the diner, the cashier handed my husband a bag. I came out of the Ladies room, my husband handed me the bag and said it was my dessert that I had ordered. I said that it couldn’t be because the waitress had just handed it to me in another bag a little bit earlier. I went back to the cashier and told her that someone must have given my husband someone else’s “doggie bag” (not knowing what was really in the bag), by mistake, but I wanted to give it back.

“Oh no!” the cashier told me. That’s for you, a sweet treat from us for a Merry Christmas!”

I was very surprised. I thanked her and off we went. We got outside and I took a look in the bag. It was a whole little home made cheesecake! What a sweet gift to receive on that special day! Thank you, Fr. Andrew!

Joy to follow sorrow

After attending the services for Fr. Andrew, my husband and I were able to go out-of-state the following day to visit my daughter and her two sons, one being my very new grandson! Our son-in-law was at work during the time that we could visit. So, we missed him but will see him soon. What an absolute joy it was to see my daughter and grandsons–to hug, and hold them! It was such a special highlight of our week. We were deeply thankful to have that time with them a few days before Christmas and directly after bidding farewell to dear Fr. Andrew.

 

During the Christmas shopping rush

I have no doubt that miracles occur in human hearts on a regular basis. We need to be attentive to the needs around us, even, and most especially in such a busy hustle and bustle season. Advent is supposed to be a time to ponder, pray, and grow in holiness, but the advertising frenzy prods us to be running around looking for deals and gadgets. Holy Mother Church encourages us to pause and pray while the world points us away from those holy things. I find that even in moments of crazy chaos, we can pray and ponder and even be of service to someone who needs us.

I am reminded of a few encounters during this busy season. One time I was at a local department store and in the check out line. The cashier told me to go to the next cashier who had just finished taking care of a customer. I followed her directions and a couple behind me started to rant and rave. They yelled at me because they thought I was cutting in line. It was actually quite a scene. I think the onlookers were amazed at the fuss. I told the couple that they could go ahead of me if that would make them happy. They did go ahead of me, but still seemed angry. I prayed for them. I’m sure that they needed prayers. They were so stressed out.

At another store, when out Christmas shopping, I bumped into a friend from church. She was going through a very rough time with her family and asked for prayers and a listening ear. I promised my prayers and after about a half an hour or so, we parted with big hugs. Later that night, I prayed much for her. The following day, I saw her again at another location. She said kiddingly, “We have to stop meeting like this!” I told her I had prayed for her in the night when I was unable to sleep and that I would continue to pray for her situation. She was very thankful, knowing I was praying for her seemed to bring comfort to her soul.

One dear friend who has been through a lot of strife in the past year told me she couldn’t find her Nativity set. It would bring much joy to her to be able to set it up, even just a few days before Jesus’ birthday. She searched all around and prayed to Saint Anthony. I prayed as well. If only she could find that simple symbol of God’s great love for mankind. It would brighten her holidays. I was so happy to receive her email letting me know that she finally found her Nativity set at the very bottom of a pile of boxes from her move. Little miracles are to be found all around.

Recently, out at the grocery store, I enjoyed a surprise encounter with a friend. It happened when just after I had finished shopping, I remembered an item I needed, and so before checking out, I headed to the Deli department on the other side of the store. A woman I know from a local diner gently grabbed onto my arm.

“I was hoping I would see you!” She was visibly excited.

It turns out that she had had brain surgery and was now hopefully fully recovered and back to work part time. She was telling me all about it and did mention that she had an upcoming appointment to go over further test results. She felt that God had put some very kind Angels in her path and told me about them too. As well, she thanked me for being in her life. I gave this woman a blessed Miraculous Medal that I had in my pocket that day. It was one that dear Fr. Andrew had blessed for me. She graciously accepted it and was vey grateful to have it. We parted with big hugs. I was so happy that God had arranged that we saw one another, especially because this woman had hoped she would see me. I never did pick up that Deli item! It certainly doesn’t matter!

Out of the mouths of babes!

Recently after Mass I was carrying the precious vessels to the sacristy and a parishioner greeted me and asked about Fr. Andrew. I gave her the news of his passing. Two young sisters (8 and 10 years old) that I know were nearby. I had one as a student in our faith formation program. The youngest asked ne a question.

“I heard you mention that someone died. Is that the person you asked us to pray for?”

I wanted to tell them gently. I didn’t want them to be upset right before Christmas. But they  needed to hear the truth. “Yes.” I told both of them. “But, don’t worry,” I said. “He went to heaven. It was time for him to pass on to his eternal reward. Thank you for praying for him!”

The youngest quickly spoke up.”Life is a war,” she stated calmly.

I was surprised at her statement, but very happy to know that she seemed to understood already the spiritual battle of life.

She elaborated. “Yes. we have to fight hard to live a good life and get to heaven.”

Her older sister chimed in. “I look at life as a test. And, I want to get an A plus!” She smiled. I was so proud of the girls!

“What will happen today?”

Remember I told you what my husband asked me this morning? “What will happen today?” He asked. He asked that question because we had had an eventful week, but mostly, I’m sure because of the Bobcat and the emergency situations with our neighbors which I’ll tell you about now. I told you part of the eventful week above–about Fr. Andrew’s Wake and funeral. That was followed by the trip out-of-state to see my daughter and grandchildren. Then, just yesterday an ambulance showed up at my neighbor’s home. I left what I was doing to rush over to see if I can help my elderly neighbors. In the past I brought my neighbor to the hospital when she was having a stroke as well as have assisted in some way when an ambulance would arrive to their home due to an emergency. Turned out my poor neighbor was having another stroke yesterday morning, but was also very disoriented. I asked her husband if I could go in the house to try and comfort her. I’ll call her “Bethany.”

“She probably won’t recognize you,” he told me, very matter-of fact.

I ventured in and went over to her amid the chaos of people speaking very loudly. There were paramedics, a caregiver, a nurse–everyone milling around in a flurry, checking papers, asking questions. I squeezed in through the people and approached Bethany, speaking softly to her. She greeted me with excitement, and did recognize me. I sat down right next to her on the couch. I was so happy that she knew who I was even while going through a stroke with advanced dementia. Little miracles are all around…A few minutes later and we were all helping to get Bethany on to the stretcher and the technicians then took her into the ambulance to get checked out at the hospital. I kissed her good bye before being whisked away and promised my prayers.

Later that day, I had to scare off a wild Bobcat that was about to attack my cat! Wow, I thought. Never a dull moment. This was right in my front yard! I was extremely thankful that I opened the front door when I did so I could see what was going on and get my cat in to safety. He is not going to be going outside any time soon!

Last night, actually it was two in the morning when the phone rang. It was Bethany’s husband asking if I could possibly go over to help him convince his wife to go inside the house. It was freezing cold outside and there was a sheet of ice over everything.  My elderly neighbor had just driven his wife home from the hospital and Bethany didn’t believe that it was her house. She absolutely flat out refused to go in. My neighbor didn’t know what he could do so he called me. I was happy that he did so, because I wanted to help. I told him I would dress quickly and go over. Before leaving my bedroom, I quickly grabbed a blessed Rosary from my bedside. I would offer it to her as a comfort (even though I knew that she does not practice any religion).

My husband reached for the flashlight lantern and he accompanied me out into the cold dark night and over to our neighbor’s home. We had to walk carefully because the ground was slick. I approached the car where my neighbor sat. She was very disoriented, but thankfully she recognized me and after some time, allowed me to assist her into her house and into her warm bed. We went carefully through each doorway, holding her up so she wouldn’t fall. Bethany was very happy to receive my Rosary beads and held it tightly in her hand as she lie in bed, finally beginning to warm up under the blankets.

Today, I stopped by their home  to check on my elderly neighbors and brought them a Christmas dessert. They were doing well and very appreciative for our help in the night.

Just before stopping to see them, on the way home from grocery shopping for Christmas dinner I asked my husband to pull up to a little diner in town so that I could give my friend an early Christmas hug. It was pouring rain, but I didn’t mind getting a little wet to surprise my friend. I knew that she worked on Saturdays. She was quite busy with a diner full of patrons, but our sweet Christmas hug was special indeed.

She paused a quick second so I could snap her photo. She had survived her intensive brain surgery and I was grateful too. Little, and yes, big miracles are happening all around us!

“What will happen today?” my husband asked. We never know, on any given day, but we offer our days–each one–over to the Lord, first thing in the morning and trust Him with our lives. We pray that we can be a light to others in a darkened world. We pray to bring others to Him!

Tomorrow is the last Sunday of Advent. It is also Christmas Eve. Where has the Advent journey taken us thus far? What will tomorrow bring? Let’s be sure to bring Christ’s light and love to so many wounded in our world today.

By the way, the Litany of the Saints and “Sweet Sacrament” have been continually playing in my head. God bless you! I am praying for you. Please pray for me.

Merry (almost) Christmas!

 

Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World

Give a gift of Inspiration this Christmas!

For children and adults alike!

In this warm retelling of the story of Our Lady of Fatima, 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 1916 and again in 1917 in an obscure little agricultural hamlet in Portugal.

As Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were grazing their flock of sheep, a great white Angel emerged, preparing the little shepherds hearts and souls for what was to come. Soon, the Queen of Heaven appeared over a little holm oak tree, bringing many graces and important messages about penance, prayer, and peace. She even performed a miracle the Great Miracle of the Sun to prove her message was from Heaven, a message that would wake up the sleepy village and ultimately change the world!

In reading this beautifully-illustrated chapter book, children will walk in the footsteps of Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta and will be led to ponder Our Lady’s message and how it should be applied to their own prayer lives.

Award-winning author and journalist, catechist, and EWTN television host Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s love for children and family shines through these pages. A master storyteller, she now presents this authentic book which reads like a page-turning novel for children ages seven to one hundred and seven.

Warm retelling of Fatima story…Sturdy hard cover..Beautiful illustrations…

PURCHASE autographed copies here!

Editorial Reviews

Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, M.F.V.A. photo

Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World is a great easy read, while at the same time very substantial and filled with challenges to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparitions! Our Lady of Fatima was very instrumental in my personal conversion, particularly through her messages. Donna-Marie brings out Our Lady’s messages clearly while at the same time helping the readers to know the story and to be challenged to live out the Fatima message and to imitate the three holy shepherds of Fatima by giving something to think about at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend this book not just for children, but for all adults as well. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!”

Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, M.F.V.A.

Marge Fenelon photo

“Donna-Marie’s Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World is a treasure for all children – young and old alike! With gentle inspirations and lovely illustrations, she tells the story of Fatima so that little ones will not only learn from it, but will be enchanted by it. Oh, to be a child again and to receive this beautiful book in my small, eager hands! With genius and tenderness, the author draws children into the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the message and meaning of Fatima. Well done!”

Marge Fenelon
Speaker and Author of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena

Fr. Joseph M. Wolfe, M.F.V.A. photo

“In Donna-Marie’s book Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World she has put together the message of Fatima with the significant events that followed – in a way that is suitable for children and adults too.The illustrations are beautifully done and the meditations titled Something to Think About will help children and young people not only to learn the message of Fatima, but more importantly, to live it.”

Fr. Joseph M. Wolfe, M.F.V.A.
EWTN Chaplain

Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. photo

Our Lady’s Message to Three Shepherd Children and the World is a special gift for the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima and beyond. It is a treasure for children and is sure to help them experience Our Lady’s message.”

Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.
Co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, EWTN television Host of Sunday Night Prime

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers photo

Our Lady’s Message is an incredible book! Donna-Marie paints a soul-stirring portrait of the Fatima apparitions that speaks directly to the heart of the reader. Filled with remarkable insights and beautiful storytelling, Our Lady’s Message is an engaging, inspiring, and deeply moving look at how the encounter with Our Blessed Mother can truly change your life. Like a fine wine this book should be sipped slowly and savored, most especially in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord in Adoration.”

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
Author, Behold the Man: A Catholic Vision of Male Spirituality””

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.

“Angels of God” Fr. Andrew Apostoli talks about the Angels

My dear friend Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. talks about the Angels on this show on EWTN: Sunday Night Prime. He was reiterating some of the things we had said on our Angel show prior to this one and mentioned some things that we ran out of time to talk about. We have done two Angel shows together.

One thing that Fr. Andrew reminds us that I mentioned in our previous Angel conversation is that our Guardian Angel brings us at least three things:

!) PEACE when we are troubled or suffering.
2) PENITENCE from our sins, encouraging us to make reparation
3) INSPIRING US TO PRAY to be strengthened and enlightened.

Take a look here below to watch the show:

 

Unveiling my UPCOMING book!

I am very excited to announce my new upcoming book for military women and those women associated with the military in some way, as well as for those who would like to know more about their lives…

For all women associated with the military!

Book Description: This book is for every woman associated with the military, whether on land, on sea, or in the air and for all those at home who are waiting for their loved one to return or who are living on military bases, or struggling with the myriad of demands connected with military life.

Catholic military women are very special “Soul Sisters.” There s a certain military pride shared amongst them they are in solidarity in a common goal to defend human life, to fight injustice, to protect their country, and support their military husbands, brothers, sons, daughters, cousins, nieces and nephews [or “their military family”]. They have heroically placed their lives on the line on battlefields, as well as in battling military issues on the home front too.

Best-selling and award-winning author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, an honorary lifetime member of the Military Council for Catholic Women (MCCW) shines a light on these gallant, heroic women who carry on with great faith, hope, humility, and love and whose heroism doesn’t remain on the battlefield, but is woven into the very fabric of their lives.

Traditional and original prayers, as well as teachings and inspiration from Jesus, Mary, and the Saints are woven throughout the entire book to give a powerful shot in the arm and to uplift spirits. This book will surely speak to the hearts of military mothers, wives, and women who are serving or have served in the military. It will also be a source of prayer and inspiration for anyone connected to the military the patriotic, and for anyone who would like to learn more about these courageous military women.

Due out on February 22, 2018. You can pre-order your copy today by clicking here!

Busy, busy, busy summer!

It’s been a busy summer thus far. I have been doing a lot of traveling for speaking and book signing. And also filmed a Bookmark segment with Doug Keck.

No slowing down just yet. I hope I can at least pause in August for even a day or two. But, actually, we will celebrate a family birthday very soon and I will be in my glory to have all my ducklings in a row–first time in a long time. Plus I’ll get to see this little guy again! I simply cannot wait!

On the home front…you probably know that I live way out in the woods of rural Connecticut. The bear has visited our home a few times and was even in the back of my husband’s truck one night!

A couple of house wrens are chittering and chattering away most days deciding upon where to build their nest. First, they put it just outside my office window but have decided to move it to another location. I’ll be keeping a look out to see where they’ll end up. I am a bird watcher, after all!

The great blue heron has visited many times lately–always a highlight in my day to see such a huge and majestic, yet prehistoric looking bird. He comes right on my deck! Yesterday, I looked up from my writing work just in time to see the huge creature flying right by my window!

On another note, I want to let you know about the upcoming episodes for my new show. “Feeding Your Family’s Soul” EWTN TV series.

The dates for August are:

Monday, August 14
Thursday, August 17
Monday, August 21
Monday, August 28

All are shown on the “At Home with Jim and Joy” Show. In case you missed the first two episodes, the first episode is here. And the second is here.

The EWTN Family Celebration is coming up! I’ll be speaking about Fatima at the celebration in Worcester, Mass on September 9th and 10th. I’ll also be appearing on the Live show that Saturday evening, along with Marcus Grodi, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Doug Keck, Michael Warsaw and a couple of others. You can check that out here.

There’s a very small window of time to register for my pilgrimage to Fatima and Portugal coming up September 17th through the 27th with Fr. Andrew Apostoli! If you’d like to come, please consider registering RIGHT AWAY before time runs out. Here is the information. 

Fatima & Poland!

Feeding Your Family’s Soul series on EWTN

Here is the first segment of my series “Feeding Your Family’s Soul” on EWTN. You can see it on the “At Home with Jim and Joy” show. I come in for a visit at about the 5:15 minute mark until about the 9:12 mark. Simply click the video on and then you can slide the time marker over to the 5:15 mark or just watch the whole “At Home” show. It is an inspiring show. Enjoy!

Donna-Marie speaking at the EWTN Family Celebration

Below is EWTN’s Press Release. This year’s Family Celebration theme is the 100th Anniversary of Fatima. I’ll be speaking at this event, as well as will be doing book signings, Meet & Greets, and will appear on the Live show on Saturday night! I hope you can join us. It’s FREE! See the speaking schedule here.

 

PRESS RELEASE

July 5, 2017

 

Come to EWTN’s 2017 Family Celebration in Worcester, Mass. 

Celebrate The 100th Anniversary of Fatima With Headliners Such As
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Marcus Grodi, Susan Conroy,
Fr. Maurice Emelu & Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Fatima with EWTN at the Network’s 2017 Family Celebration Sept. 9-10 at the DCU Convention Center in Worcester, Mass. Headliners include Father Mitch Pacwa (“EWTN Live”), Marcus Grodi (“The Journey Home”), Susan Conroy, Fr. Maurice Emelu, and Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle.

In addition, EWTN Chairman & CEO Michael P. Warsaw will host a not-to-be-missed Family Talk with EWTN President Doug Keck (“EWTN Bookmark”), EWTN Chaplain Father Joseph Mary Wolfe, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, and more.

“My favorite part of every Celebration is meeting our EWTN Family members from near and far,” Warsaw said. “This Celebration is our thank you to them for their love and support throughout the years.”

The headlining talks are only the beginning. Guests will also have the opportunity to be part of a studio audience for a taping of a special “EWTN Family Celebration Live Show,” celebrate Mass with Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus and EWTN’s Friars, and meet EWTN hosts and authors while browsing the EWTN Religious Catalogue shop.

Plus, there will be plenty of opportunity for Adoration and Confession, and children will be thrilled to meet some of their favorite characters from “EWTN Faith Factory.” EWTN Radio will broadcast live on-site throughout the weekend and staff from the National Catholic Register will be on hand to answer your questions. You’ll even have an opportunity to join EWTN in its mission of evangelization by becoming an EWTN Media Missionary!

It’s a feast for the mind, the heart, and the spirit! For more information, please go to our website: http://www.ewtn.com/familycelebration/.

We look forward to seeing you there!

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 36th year, is the largest religious media network in the world. EWTN’s 11 TV channels are broadcast in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week to over 268 million television households in more than 145 countries and territories. EWTN platforms also include radio services transmitted through SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 500 domestic and international AM & FM radio affiliates; a worldwide shortwave radio service; the largest Catholic website in the U.S.; electronic and print news services, including Catholic News Agency, “The National Catholic Register” newspaper, and several global news wire services; as well as EWTN Publishing, its book publishing division.

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More here.

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]

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!

Buy BOTH Fatima books!

Pope Benedict XVI said we should “Learn the message of Fatima, LIVE the message of Fatima, and SPREAD the message of Fatima!

Special BUNDLE offer!

Get both books (autographed) and with a blessed Miraculous Medal for just $29.00 (plus shipping and handling)!

 

I love giving sneak peeks!

I just love giving sneak peeks of my upcoming work and projects! Here is my new book cover for A Catholic Woman’s Book of Prayers below, as well as the image of the front and back cover.  The cover was recently tweaked to be brighter and to include a line. You’ll see the endorsements on the back cover.

 

Here below, as you can see is the front and back cover…

 

It is possible that I might have copies before Mother’s Day. I am hoping and praying. You can pre-order your copy here.

Here is a description from the publisher:

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, as well as traditional and original prayers 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.

The Beauty of the Cross this week on Women of Grace

I didn’t get a chance to mention that I am visiting on EWTN’s Women of Grace this week. Each day it airs at 11:00 AM ET and 11:30 PM ET. I hope you can tune in.

We are discussing my memoir The Kiss of Jesus and the twists and turns of my life and how they helped to shape my life.