Wednesday, August 9, 2023


Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Catholic Bloggers Carnivals are coming BACK!

 Back in 2017 I shared the last Catholic Bloggers Carnival.   What is a Catholic Bloggers Carnival you ask?  

Well, A Catholic Bloggers Carnival is where Catholic bloggers gather to share their worldview through their Catholic faith. Each month we would gather at someone's blog and talk about the theme of the month through the Catholic Church. Bloggers can share their Catholic worldview with each other, all the while learning about each other by reading each other 's blogs and sharing our like minds. A Catholic Bloggers Carnival is like a neighborhood that gets together and shares their little piece of Catholicism with each other. Back in the early twenty 10s, we enjoyed our monthly carnivals. We had a host who did it each month. Each person would take turns hosting the carnival. I don't remember who he is anymore, but He would pretty much be the director of the Catholic Carnivals. Bloggers would go to him to say whether they wanted to host the carnival that month. And we did it that way. I am taking it back or resurrecting it and for now, I will host the blog Carnivals each month. At some point I may put out an invitation for others to start hosting the carnival, but I wanted to get off the ground for now.  

So. What is a Catholic Bloggers Carnival? It's basically a Catholic blogsphere neighborhood. Where Catholic bloggers can gather together and share their faith. So, in the coming month. I encourage all Catholic bloggers who wish to participate to reach out to me and let me know. So that we can start our carnivals as soon as possible. I would like to at least have 5 or 10 Bloggers to host each month.  Small, but we need to get it started and we can grow as we go, hopefully! 

 So reach out to me and let me know you would like to participate. I am hoping that we can start it next month with a theme. I'll take suggestions on the theme but since we are in the dog days of summer, what is it like to be a Catholic in the dog days of summer might be appropriate.  

Anyway, God bless all and I hope to hear from as many as possible.

Friday, June 30, 2023

A Letter to My Mom

 Dear Mom,                                                                                                                        6/30/2023

    It's been several months now since we talked.  Even the last time we were together, we were not able to have a conversation, much less much of a visit.  There have been so many times that I want to pick up the phone and talk to you.  Tell you something about the kids, what Karl was up to, or what little Anthony was doing.  How he makes us laugh...I wish you could have met him.  I wish you could have met all my grandchildren, we have 4 now.  Rebecca had her third a month ago at home with her midwife and all went perfectly well.  Little Martin was 10 lbs 12 oz.  crazy, I know.

    Missing you and wishing I could talk to you, hear your voice, not just the voicemails I've kept to listen to, but your voice, in person. At the same time though, I don't want you to still be at that nursing home, miserable and trapped.  I would want you to be back in your condo enjoying a warm bath every night, watching TV in your middle bedroom and enjoying your own food.  I would want you to have your little red Toyota corolla outside waiting for you to get out in the morning to Mass or to the grocery store.  So, I guess, as they say, you are in a better place.  Wherever that is.  However that is, with Our Lord, Jesus.

    Not knowing what that is exactly like, I wish I knew that you are alright and happy.  My friends all say, "You know where your mom is!  She's in Heaven!"  I know that, I pray for that, but what is that and how is that place?  Are you happy, Mom?  Are you Okay, Mom?

    We have lost so many relatives throughout the years and I mourned their absence in our lives.  But I have never lost anyone so close to me as you.  You are my mom, my mother who gave birth to me and raised me, who knows me through and through.  I worry about you, miss you, and pine for your presence to tell me what happened to you now.  I still need advice, since I haven't figured out life yet and need your input.  Basically, just to call and talk to you, make you laugh, or just give you some good news about the kids or Doug.  Just to chat for a few minutes.

Anyway, I've kept you long enough and I've rattled on without making much sense.  I love you mom, and you will always be my mom.  I sing Anthony that song and now think of you and your smile as I sang it to you.  Everyday, I think of you, everyday I want to pick up the phone and tell you something, everyday, I feel that part of being your daughter sighs at your absence.  I pray for you everyday and hope that you are alright, safe, and happy.

Love always,


Sunday, April 30, 2023


 In today's homily at Mass, Fr. talked about being quiet. How hard is that? It is hard since we have cellphones that play music, podcasts, read books to us, talk to friends and relatives, give us the latest weather report and news. In my sewing room, I often listen to a book or a podcast (LaVar Reads is my favorite), but recently, I have been turning off all noise, opening a window and just listen to the birds, or breeze through the trees. Maybe, just maybe our Lord has something to tell me.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Mom, Part 2


Where do I begin here talking about my mom's funeral, or Mass of the Resurrection for the woman that has been in my life as a force to be reckoned with since my birth.  My mom was 2nd generation born American from Irish Catholic parents. She was the last of 6 children. I don't think mom was spoiled or pampered at all as the youngest, she would say that she had to learn to cook at age five.  My grandfather was a frontline foreman with the Erie Railroad and retired after 48 years of service.  My grandmother was a housewife.  They had an Aunt Minnie that lived with the family for years helping out with laundry and mending.  I remember visiting her in the old folk's home, she was a whisp of a thing in white sheets and a blanket. 

Anyway, mom raised us Roman Catholic.  Dad was a methodist when they married, but when I was born, he decided to convert.  We attended Mass every Sunday and even on vacation.  She taught me about the faith in her actions and her prayers.  We had all the typical Catholic pictures about our home. My parents tried to pray the rosary as a family, but my 2 brothers wouldn't be still, and they gave up.  I kind of wish they didn't give up.  Maybe our family would have survived and not broke up...but alas, I digress.

Mom lived alone for about 41 years.  She had a condo that she had all fixed up beautifully in her peaches and creams.  She gave me her chair and ottoman that her uncle Samuel, Fr. Haughton, had in his rectory that she had for years after her parents died.  She was proud of her priest uncle and had memories of spending time with him.  She was a devout Catholic and an Irish one at that.

So, when mom was sent to the assisted living a few years ago, I contacted the parish near her and made sure she received communion each week.  She loved the older couple that would come each Wednesday.  They would read the daily readings and give her communion.  Later when she was moved to the nursing home last year she didn't know anyone who was Catholic and didn't receive Communion for several months. When I visited her in November 2021, i went to the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament, nearby and at the giftshop met a lady named Judy who told me she went each week there on Thursdays.  "Consider it done!" she said, when I asked her to put my mom on her list.

My younger brother, who was with mom at the end.

Judy and another lady visited mom every Thursday from that week on and mom would call me to tell me about their visit.  When I went there to say goodbye to mom in last October, I went to the shrine and found Judy at the giftshop and told her. She was so sad, but said she would go the next day.  My son and I had to leave on Thursday the day before mom died.  Judy went to see mom and pray the rosary over her.  My younger brother and his son were there with her and told me later how power and impressed they were.  Kevin, my younger brother, stayed with mom all that day and came back the next day to hold mom while she took her last breath.  Before I left on Wednesday, I mentioned to the hospice nurse that mom was Catholic.  She asked if I wanted her to call Fr. for her last rites.  She said, if I call, he comes right away.  I said "Yes, please."

Our family attended St. Peter's Catholic Church in Hoover, Alabama for years when we first moved to Birmingham, Alabama.  I called the parish office concerning the niche she purchased in the parish columbarium years ago.  The lady was very nice and asked if we were planning the funeral.  I really wasn't sure, my brothers weren't Catholic and I didn't know any of mom's friends anymore.  She said, "You need to talk for Fr., he will help you!  We consider him the funeral priest, its his gift."  After speaking with Fr. Vernon, he convinced me that it was alright to plan one and that "your mom was a practicing Catholic up to the very end and she deserves a funeral Mass."  I agreed.

Mom's funeral was beautiful and Fr. Vernon was just the man to help me with it.  Our daughter, Sarah was able to get off work to attend and cantored the ceremony.  practiced "O Danny Boy" and then asked if I'd sing with her as a duet.  We powered through it pretty well.  My two brothers and their wives attended and 2 of my nephews.  Our son, Marshall and his wife Emily were able to get off work too.  It was wonderful having everyone together.  

My brother, Mike was her executor and took care of her the last few years, he told me he picked out the urn for mom. He said that the funeral director pointed to a cheap urn, but Mike said, No, I want that one."  It was one with a band of pearl around it.  Mom told me years ago, that if she would stop biting her nails that she would like a pearl ring.  Imagine that.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Mom, Part 1

We lost mom 5 months ago, October 14, 2022, at 12:30 pm in my younger brother's arms.  I was back home in NC but was there with mom a couple days before.  She was already in the dying posture, not yet in hospice, but definitely soon to die. It's still hard to believe, I have to say it out loud to hear it and know it to be true.  All my life, I've had a mother, we loved each other, fought, laughed, cried, and celebrated life together.

It was a struggle with my mom at times, growing up she was very strict with what I could wear.  As I became an adult, I did my own thing and was happy as the individual that I am.  BUT I always felt a small twinge guilt for not continuing her preference in my clothes.  She hated denim, I love denim.  She hated my long hair, I prefer my hair long, she hated my crazy hippy skirts, they make me happy.  She hated the blue eyeshadow that I wore as a teenager in high school, that color we can agree on now.

She was a beautiful lady, my mom.  She suffered with arthritis and stomach ulcers as long as I can remember. Her arthritis started early in her life; I don't remember her having straight fingers ever.  She struggled with acid indigestion too.  When I was 15, she was driving me to work one night and said her fingertips were numb. Later, in the early hours of morning, her stomach ruptured and she nearly bled to death.  She was taken by ambulance.  Blood clots were all over the bathroom floor and in the towels.  I did the laundry while she was in hospital and was alarmed by the size of them.  She ended up having her stomach removed.  She broke her pelvis twice and ten days before my wedding, she was admitted to hospital with gallstones. A few years ago, she developed something that she had to have emergency surgery to hook her up to a bag.  She hated that and was angry that no one told her they were going to do that.  Anyway, in her mid 80's she went to three surgeons to reverse it and the third one agreed.  It was a success, and she was back independent again.  These were just the health stuff that I remember well enough to explain. So that she finally succumbed to old age, still astonishes me, she was 90.

Anyway, my son and I were alone for about 7 years.  He and I would go visit mom and sometimes have dinner with her.  She was a bank branch manager and had me bring him to her branch so that she could open an account for him.  She loved him and how he mothered me.  Her favorite memory about him was when I got a new purse.  We went to visit her, and he said to me, "Mom, show Gram your new purse."  She just laughed about that.  Another time was when my son was out riding his bike in the neighborhood, and he saw a lady at her mailbox.  She had a shirt with the bank logo of my mom bank on it, and he noticed that and said, "My Gram works there."  She asked him what her name was.  He said, "Gram." She asked him what her last name was. He said, "Gram".  The lady had a feeling she knew who his Gram was and told mom.  Mom was in hysterics telling me what she said.  We still laughed about mom being Gram Gram.  

When my older brother called me to tell me she was fading and that I needed to come if I wanted to say goodbye.  I went. I called my son to tell him that I was going to say goodbye to Gram.  An hour later, he called and told me his boss had given him 3 days off.  AMAZING!!  My husband couldn't go with me, so I was going to go alone.  It's an 11-hour trip, so now I had my son to go with.  Actually, I felt that it was only fitting that he and I went since it was just him and I for a few years with mom.

To Be Continued...

Friday, March 10, 2023


I don't know.  I just don't know how this whole prayer thing works.  I understand prayer as reaching out to our holy father in faith and the need for relationship.  Yes, I do that and understand what I am doing here, and I understand attending Mass and being one with others in the holy sacrifice of the Mass as a worship and thanksgiving prayer.   I also understand in my own times when I celebrate a goodness in my life reaching up to say thank you, Father.   I totally get that and not wanting to be like the other "nine lepers".   But when it comes to need, I don't know.

The recent years have proven very difficult as our children grew into adulthood, stretched their independent wings and flying away.  One flew into near self-destruction that took my husband and I into near divorce.  There were dark times, scary times, and times of deep depression, the halls of our home were void of love, security, and full of doubt, madness, and strife.  During those times, I'd pray.  With my knuckles white with desperation, tightly gripped together, I'd beg for help.

Ben Shapiro was quoted on Facebook as saying:

I've said this before, I don't believe God is a gumball machine wherein He gives us what we want just because we prayed for it. Prayer is about realigning your life and your thought processes to be in accord with God's will, not the other way around.

Yes, yes that all sounds completely sound, but when you are in the thick of it with a young child, aligning yourself to the will of God just, well there is NO time and surely the will of God would be aligned with your prayer!

My husband told me once that prayer doesn't work the way I want it to work.  God doesn't just give you what you want like a child's Christmas list.  Okay, fine, but why bother praying at the hour of need?  Why pray for what you want if it isn't going to be answered how you want it to be answered?

But what about the moment of desperation?  What about the moment of near destruction?  What about those days that stretch out into weeks and months of darkness and fear? Where is our faith?  Does God give us a nugget of hope?  A moment of enlightenment comes if we listen....if we have faith be it small, weak, and frail. 

God wants only the good for all of us, He loves us more than any parent for their child.  God is love, God is compassion, God is everything we cannot even dream of.  He can make us, break us, end us, or build us up!  I know that what we went through for me and my family.  I look at my husband very differently these days. We have been married 30 years now and still going.  This did not come without doubt and fear during our dark times. Our children are all working hard in their lives, loving our Lord, and making sure their children are at Mass every Sunday.

God is good, prayers are answered.  Patience is a virtue true enough.