Thursday, September 19

Amy Welborn Interview

With writer/blogger/mom Sarah Reinhard: 


I’ve been a fan of Amy Welborn’s writing for quite a few years. Her book on Mary (available now as a free pdf) remains one of the best I’ve read, and her latest book, Wish You Were Here, really made an impact on me.

I sent Amy five questions about writing Wish You Were Here, and she answered in 140 characters or less, Twitter-style.
 MORE

Wednesday, September 18

Diary of a Country Priest


-Amy Welborn

Note:This piece is one of a series on great Catholic fiction writers that I penned for Ligourian Magazine several years ago. My word count limit was - get this - 540 words. Unbelievable. Well, it was good money for the number of words,I'll say that. So if you're annoyed by the brevity of this piece, at least you know why it's so short now. Of course, there is much more to say on this book, as well as the very interesting life of Bernanos himself.

In the late 19th and early 20th century a philosophical perspective called positivism ruled the intellectual climate in France. Positivists like Emile Durkheim and Auguste Comte claimed that all one can know about human life is what can be observed and that the laws of behavior and society discerned from these observations should be used to organize human life.
Into this scientifically-based and utterly materialistic mileu stepped, one by one over the decades before and just after the First World War, a group of writers who formed what we now call the French Catholic Literary Revival. Francois Mauriac, Charles Peguy, Julien Green and Leon Bloy rejected positivism and reclaimed a vision of human beings essentially defined, not by scientific law, but rather by our relation to God and struggle with evil. One of the finest writers of this group was George Bernanos, author of Diary of a Country Priest.

Diary of a Country Priest, first published in 1936, is just what the title suggests: the fictional journal of a young curate in rural France. The premise may seem simple, but in Bernanos’ hands it emerges as a rich work in which the reader encounters the injustices of French society, the emptiness of an intellectual system that rejects God, the failure of the Church to fully embody Christ’s love for the poor, and above all, the power of a life dedicated to God.

The young priest whose life absorbs us in this novel has come from a background of poverty through seminary into this, his first parish experience, to which he is utterly dedicated. Besides conducting his sacramental duties, he commits himself to visit every family in his parish. He teaches catechism classes and attempts to organize a club for young men. He visits the sick, buries the dead, lives at a substistence level and is bedeviled by a serious illness that is ultimately diagnosed as stomach cancer, but not before it is mistaken for alchoholism by gossipy villagers.

Aside from these daily ministrations and struggles, Bernanos offers us his view of French church and society through the conversations the priest has with a variety of people, ranging from the atheist physician Delbende, the troubled child Seraphita who spreads rumors about the young priest at every opportunity, the more relaxed older priest de Torcy and most powerfully the deeply wounded local countess, who harbors bitter anger at God for death of her son.

What makes Diary of a Country Priest a novel that is read just as much for its spiritual value as well as its literary quality lies in the complex, realistic life of faith Bernanos constructs for his main character, a faith which stumbles in darkness at times, but is on the whole fervent, selfless and Christlike, even in the hostile reactions it sometimes evokes.



The final touch that heightens the personal drama in the priest’s soul is that he believes himself, if not a total failure, at the very least a terribly poor instrument of God’s grace. But what the reader discerns through the unaffected words is that even as he cannot see it himself, the effect of his witness and suffering on others is profound and powerfully embodies the words he speaks on his own deathbed: “Grace is everywhere…”

Tuesday, September 17

September 17 - St. Hildegard Bingen


She's in Amy Welborn's Loyola Kids Book of Saints  - under "Saints are people who create."

I. Saints are People Who Love Children
St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla
amy welbornSaints Are People Who Love Their Families
St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,
Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena
Saints Are People Who Create
St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro
Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray
St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort
Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday
St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio
Saints Are People Who Travel From Home
St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Sunday, September 15

Our Lady of Sorrows - September 15

Today is another Marian feast - Our Lady of Sorrows.  A good day to pray the rosary - check out the rosary devotional written by Amy Welborn and Michael Dubruiel :  the small hardbound book, Praying the Rosary.  Click on the cover for more information.
Our Lady of Sorrows - September 15

Saturday, September 14

Exaltation of the Holy Cross - September 14

St. Helena discovered the True Cross and  is in the Loyola Kids' Book of Saints....first page here...her section is "Saints are people who are strong leaders."


"amy welborn"
"amy welborn"


I. Saints are People Who Love Children
St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla
Saints Are People Who Love Their Families
St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,
Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena
Saints Are People Who Create
St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro
Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray
St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort
Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday
St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio


Saints Are People Who Travel From Home
St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Friday, September 13

Book about St. Nicholas by Amy Welborn

Many years ago, Amy Welborn  wrote a pamphlet on St. Nicholas for Creative Communications for the Parish. It's been out of print for a while, but the news today is that it's back! Repackaged just a bit, but substantially the same. Here it is!

Nicholas Of Myra


Even during the years it was out of print, the wonderful St. Nicholas Center kept the flame lit by featuring a prayer I wrote for the pamphlet on their website, so I'm appreciative of that - and now, appreciative that Creative Communications is bringing it back - so if you are responsible for ordering such things for your parish or school...take note!

Thursday, September 12

Holy Name of Mary - September 12

Today - September 12 - is the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary


Mary and the Christian Life is a simple book introducing the reader to Mary: what Scripture reveals about her, what Tradition teaches, and how all of that relates to our lives as disciples of Jesus. Learn about Mary's life, about prayers and devotions inspired by her, and even about plants and interesting places associated with Jesus' mother.



Amy Welborn

Wednesday, September 11

Who was Mary Magdalene?

There's a great deal of material out there on Mary Magdalene, it's true. Some of the scholarly material is really fine, but too many of the books for popular audiences are informed by one ideology or another, or fall completely into fantasy.
  amy welbornIn De-coding Mary Magdalene I stick to the facts - what we know about Mary Magdalene from the Gospels, and then how Christian tradition in both East and West continued to meditate on the figure of Mary Magdalene, seeing in her the model disciple - and weaving all kinds of fascinating legends around her as well.

 Here's the bottom line: The Da Vinci Code propogates the lie that Christianity through the ages marginalized and demonized Mary Magdalene as a "whore" in order to minimize her impact.

 Wrong, wrong, wrong.

 Mary Magdalene was the second most popular saint of the Middle Ages. And do catch that word - saint - Honoring someone as a saint (feastday July 22) is a truly odd way of "demonizing" a person. Don't you think? So - come meet Mary Magdalene - as she comes to us in the Gospels, as Christians imagined her through the ages as they contemplated her fidelity and discipleship, and how some contemporary interpreters get her so completely wrong.

  Table of Contents
  • Mary of Magdala
  • "Why Are You Weeping?
  • The Real Mary?
  • Apostle to the Apostles
  • Which Mary?
  • The Golden Legend
  • Touching the Magdalene
  • To the East
  • The Penitent
  • Mary and the Mystics
  • The Magdalene in Art
  • Rediscovery


Tuesday, September 10

Daily Devotional For Catholic Moms by Amy Welborn

The Catholic Woman’s Book of Days by Amy Welborn is a 365-day devotional for Catholic women. It is loosely tied to the liturgical year, is a very handy size, and features special devotions for several saints. It is not structured to be tied to any particular year. So it’s sort of perennial. And no, I don’t know about the crosses on the cover. People always ask me about them, thinking they’re mine. You can take a look inside the devotional, including several entries for January and June here.
I would like to add that the devotional entries were very carefully composed to beinclusive of all women, no matter their state in life or areas of interest.  I don’t presume that all women are married, have children, single, widowed, divorced, young, elderly, employed outside the home or not, homeschoolers, are into shopping or shoes or purses, are engaged with social media, or what have you.  It wasn’t an easy book to write – in fact, it was the most difficult book I’ve written – but I’m pleased with the outcome, and I think most readers are as well.

Monday, September 9

St. Peter Claver - September 9

He's in The Loyola Kids’ Book of Saints by Amy Welborn
An excerpt:
Peter claver
He's under "Saints are people who travel far from home."
I. Saints are People Who Love Children
St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla
amy welbornSaints Are People Who Love Their Families
St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,
Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena
Saints Are People Who Create
St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro
Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray
St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort
Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday
St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio
Saints Are People Who Travel From Home
St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Sunday, September 8

Nativity of Mary September 8

Mary and the Christian Life by Amy Welborn  was published by Word Among Press in 2008.

"amy welborn"




Review from Sarah Reinhard : 

In less than 150 pages, Welborn shares relevant history, devotions, and thoughts on the Blessed Virgin. Her language is so accessible, so real, that I almost feel like she was sitting across the table from me as I drank coffee and devoured the book.

If you're unsure about devotion to Mary and why it's important, this is a great book to introduce you to it without hitting you over the head with it. If you're grounded in your Marian approach, pick up this book and find yourself reminded of the beauty of the simple, of the richness of the history, and of the thoughts of great minds before us about Mary.





Saturday, September 7

Catholic Confirmation Books by Amy Welborn

Prove It: Churchamy welborn

  1. What Church Do You Go To?
  2. Why Isn’t Your Church a ‘Bible Only’ Church?
  3. Why Don’t You Read the Bible Literally?
  4. Why Aren’t Some of Your Beliefs in the Bible?
  5. Why Doesn’t Your Church Let You Interpret Scripture?
  6. Why Has Your Church Added Books to the Bible?
  7. Why Were You Baptized as a Baby?
  8. Why Aren’t You Saved?
  9. Why Does Your Church Say You’re Saved by Works, Not by Faith?
  10. Why Do You Pray to Saints?
  11. Why Do You Honor Mary So Much?
  12. Why Does Your Church Have Statues?
  13. Why Do you Believe That the Pope is Infallible?
  14. Why Do You Confess to a Priest?
  15. Why Do You Call Priests, “Father?”
  16. Why Do You Believe In Purgatory?

A resource for teen catechesis and Catholic youth ministry

Friday, September 6

Friday Stations of the Cross


In 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced a new Bible-based interpretation of the Stations of the Cross. This devotional guide invites readers to prayerfully walk in solidarity with Jesus on his agonizing way of the cross—from his last torturous moments in the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial.

Now with full-color station images from previously unpublished paintings by Michael O'Brien, this booklet creates an ideal resource for individual or group devotional use, particularly during the Lenten season.

"michael Dubruiel"

Thursday, September 5

Mother Teresa - September 5

Most of the entry I wrote on Mother Teresa (September 5 memorial)  for The Loyola Kids’  Book of Heroes is on the Loyola site, here. 
When we think about the difference that love can make, many people very often think of one
amy welborn
person: Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. A tiny woman, just under five feet tall, with no tools except prayer, love, and the unique qualities God had given her, Mother Teresa is probably the most powerful symbol of the virtue of charity for people today.
Mother Teresa wasn’t, of course, born with that name. Her parents named her Agnes—or Gonxha in her own language—when she was born to them in Albania, a country north of Greece.
Agnes was one of four children. Her childhood was a busy, ordinary one. Although Agnes was very interested in missionary work around the world, as a child she didn’t really think about becoming a nun; but when she turned 18, she felt that God was beginning to tug at her heart, to call her, asking her to follow him.
Now Agnes, like all of us, had a choice. She could have ignored the tug on her heart. She could have filled her life up with other things so maybe she wouldn’t hear God’s call. But of course, she didn’t do that. She listened and followed, joining a religious order called the Sisters of Loreto, who were based in Dublin, Ireland.


The Loyola Kids Book of Heroes by Amy Welborn

 More saints' lives, organized according to the virtues they expressed through their lives.amy welborn

I. Faith
  1. Introduction: Jesus is Born
  2. John the Baptist: A Hero Prepares the Way
  3. Early Christian Martyrs: Heroes are Faithful Friends
  4. Medieval Mystery Plays: Heroes Make the Bible Come to Life
  5. St. Albert the Great: Heroes Study God’s Creation
  6. Sister Blandina Segale: Heroes Work in Faith
II. Hope
  1. Introduction: Jesus Teaches
  2. Pentecost: Heroes on Fire with Hope
  3. Paul: A Hero Changes and Finds Hope
  4. St. Patrick and St. Columba: Heroes Bring Hope into Darkness
  5. St. Jane de Chantal: Heroes Hope through Loss
  6. St. Mary Faustina Kowalska: A Hero Finds Hope in Mercy
Charity
  1. Introduction: Jesus Works Miracles
  2. Peter and John: Heroes are Known by their Love
  3. St. Genevieve: A City is Saved by a Hero’s Charity
  4. St. Meinrad and St. Edmund Campion: Heroes love their Enemies
  5. Venerable Pierre Toussaint: A Hero Lives a Life of Charity
  6. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop: A Hero Cares for Those Who Need it Most
  7. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: A Hero Lives Charity with the Dying
Temperance
  1. Introduction: Jesus Strikes a Balance
  2. Peter and Cornelius: Heroes Love Their Neighbors
  3. Charlemagne and Alcuin: Heroes Use their Talents for Good
  4. St. Francis: A Hero Appreciates Creation
  5. Venerable Matt Talbot: Heroes Can Let Go
  6. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: A Hero Enjoys the Gift of Life
Prudence
  1. Introduction: Jesus Gives Us Leaders to Help us Make Good Choices
  2. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra: Heroes See the Good in All Things
  3. St. Jean de Brebeuf: A Hero Respects Others
  4. Catherine Doherty and Jean Vanier: Heroes Bring New Ideas
  5. Venerable Solanus Casey: A Hero Accepts His Life
  6. Blessed John XXIII: A Hero Finds a New Way





Wednesday, September 4

Books by Amy Welborn

  • Are you getting ready for school? Catechists, homeschoolers and Catholic school teachers are.  Pastors and principals, too. If you are a mind to, please take a look at all the resources I have available for catechesis.
  • Do you work in youth ministry? Please check out my books for teens and young adults here.
prove-it-complete-set-1001761
  • Are you planning adult education? Consider these resources.

Or this:

  • Are you teaching First Communion children this year? Take a look at Friendship with Jesus and Be Saints. 
  • Are you teaching religion to elementary age students? Friendship with Jesus, Be Saints, Bambinelli Sunday, Adventures in Assisi, The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints, The Loyola Kids' Book of Heroes. 

Tuesday, September 3

Gregory the Great - September 3



Gregory the Great's feast is today, September 3.

amy-welborn-bookgregory-the-great
More on The Loyola Kids’ Book of Saints
Over 40 saints’ lives,written at a middle-school reading level.
I. Saints are People Who Love Children
St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla
amy welbornSaints Are People Who Love Their Families
St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,
Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena
Saints Are People Who Create
St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro
Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray
St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort
Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday
St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio
Saints Are People Who Travel From Home
St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
Saints Are People Who Are Strong Leaders
St. Helena, St. Leo the Great, St. Wenceslaus, St. John Neumann
Saints Are People Who Tell The Truth
St. Polycarp, St. Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, Blessed Titus Brandsma
Saints Are People Who Help Us Understand God
St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Patrick, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Edith Stein
Saints Are People Who Change Their Lives for God
St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Katharine Drexel
Saints Are People Who Are Brave
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, St. George, St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Isaac Jogues, The Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne, St. Maximilian Kolbe
Saints Are People Who Help the Poor and Sick
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Martin de Porres, Blessed Joseph de Veuster
Saints Are People Who Help In Ordinary Ways
St. Christopher, St. Blaise, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bernard of Montjoux
Saints Are People Who Come From All Over the World
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Paul Miki, Blessed Peter To Rot, Blessed Maria Clementine Anuarite Nengapeta

Monday, September 2

Sunday, September 1

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly

For example, a year ago today - September 1, 2018

My neighbor has a vintage red-and-white recreational vehicle parked in her driveway, a few feet from my kitchen window. We have lived here for five years, and it's never been moved, no one's ever used it or even cracked a door open on it, as far as I can tell. The years go by, the colors fade, dust collects, and there it sits.




MORE

 July 18:

I don't have as many anxiety dreams as I used to. But when they occur, they share the same setting as they always have: I'm in the classroom, either as a student or a teacher, unprepared to either take or give an exam. Or I have to get to school and I just can't.

What a relief it is to realize--either in the midst of it or upon awaking--that it was, indeed, just a dream.



 July 3


A long time ago, my oldest son stumbled in the kitchen. A knife in the cutlery rack of the open dishwasher door stabbed his leg and he had to get stitches. Now, 20 years later, you can still see the scar. I glance at my forearm and a darkened crescent shape reminds me of the time I burned myself with an iron.

Whether we are children or adults, we relish battle scars. We compare them, check to see if they are still visible. They are evidence of adventures, mistakes, and they are signs of surprising strength. We recognize ourselves, in part, through our scars.



MORE

.

 June 22:


When I was a child, I used to frustrate my parents--so they told me later--because when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I would shrug and say that I couldn't think of anything. I told them that whatever they gave would be all right.

I don't share this so you can file it away in my canonization file: "Even as a child, she eschewed the false glitter of the world..." Far from it! 


MORE


 May 14:


I'm taking a stand in defense of paint. Specifically, paint drying. What is it we say when we want to express deadly dullness? "It's like watching paint dry."


MORE



 April 30

I was in a boat on a lake in Central America and feeling guilty about it. My youngest son, asked where he'd like to go on a summer trip, had answered "Mayan ruins in Guatemala." So here we were. Who does that? "Ridiculous," I thought. What an overprivileged pair!



MORE



 April 15:

The garage doors had been inoperable for months, mostly because I was convinced it would be an expensive repair. A handyman, here on another job, snapped a part into place, pushed a button--done.
I was both joyful and shamed because of the easy fix. I was elated at the simplicity and zero cost, but a little embarrassed that I'd not understood that the situation wasn't really that complicated after all.\

MORE

 March 31:

I don't remember my baptism. There aren't even any photographs of the event. But it happened. And, indeed, as a tiny baby there in Bloomington, Indiana, I died and rose with Christ, and here I am.



MORE

 February 25:



When my children see a wasp outside the house, I ask them to please not race away in fear. Do themselves, and the rest of us, a favor, I say, and follow it, at least with their eyes. For if there is a wasp floating about, it's likely because it has a home--one that's probably attached to our home somehow, under an eave or in a doorframe. If we follow it to its source instead of just running in fear, we might eliminate a lot of future problems.

MORE

February 22 - the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

When I think about each of the important older people in my life (all deceased because I'm one of the older ones now), all are associated with a chair.
My father's preferred spot was his desk chair in his study. My mother spent her days in her comfortable chair in the corner, surrounded by books. My great-aunt was not to be disturbed as she watched afternoon soap operas from her wingback chair. My grandfather had his leather-covered lounger, its arms dotted with holes burned by cigars.



More



 January 29:


Inside this church, it is warm and dry. Light filters through stained glass and shines on friendly, familiar faces. Led by the choir, we chant praise, joining our voices to the saints. The Lord comes among us.

As I pause at the church door on my way out, I'm met by the chill that lies outside. I know that I'll encounter strangers and much that's unfamiliar out there. It's far more comfortable inside.

MORE

 January 7:

I would have just driven on by. But my son, always alert to the mysteries that nature holds, had been paying attention, so he was able to see. And so Magi, wise and observant of God's ways in the world, were led by the light to his son.

MORE

Saturday, August 31

Gift for Catholic College Student



Here's a book that might be helpful to a young Catholic heading off to college - or just trying to figure out how to be an adult disciple of Jesus.

Here, Now. A Catholic Guide to the Good life by Amy Welborn. 

It's a book, quite simply, about discipleship, written for young adult Catholics.

From the Introduction:
Forget everything you thought you knew about Jesus. Now, listen.
It’s a bright clear day in Galilee, and this man, this friendly, intense and in ways mysterious Jesus gets off a boat in a place called Gerasene, right on the lake.
As usual, he’s got his friends with him, friends who sometimes get him, but more often, don’t. But they stick with him anyway, because this whole thing seems to be about something other than achieving untouchable intellectual precision and understanding. Something.
The group comes ashore, and a man meets them. The man is crazy, they say. Or worse, possessed. So deeply taken up by evil, death and pain that he lives in the most appropriate place: among the tombs. The dead, because he might as well be.
Jesus takes a look. Asks a question.
(“What is your name?” “Legion!” is the answer. Many. An army of evil, killing the soul, draining it of life and hope.)
And Jesus drives the demons out – into a herd of pigs. They run off a cliff.
They’re gone, those demons. The man is free. He puts his clothes on, he’s at peace, he’s ready to live again, to climb out of the tombs, his prison and his chains. He meets his fellow villagers.
They are petrified.
The villagers, the witnesses to this transformation, turn to Jesus and beg him – to help them?
No.
They beg him to get out. Leave, they say. Go back across the lake. Please.
So he does, but only after taking the formerly dead, now fully alive man, eyes wide open, aside and telling him – you go, too. Leave these tombs and go back home. Go tell what God has done for you. Do it now. (Mk 5:1-20)
What’s wrong with these people? They saw death turn to life, evil to joy and promise, and they respond - with fear? They beg the one who brought that life, who drew this poor guy out of the tombs into the sunlight and freedom to leave them?
Given the choice between pain and joy, they choose …pain?
Why?
Why. Good question. Great question.
Why do we do this? Because, you know, we do – all the time. We say we want to be happy and at peace, we really, really do…but when the hand reaches out to us…we turn away, close the door, and tell him to go back across the lake. Please.
This book is about Jesus. It’s also about the man living in the tombs, the villagers, and us.
You want to be happy, and so do I. Is it possible? Or, more importantly, is it possible to find a happiness that lasts, that we can’t lose?
Is it possible to climb out of the tombs and stay out?
Jesus, obviously, says yes.
Why are we so afraid of that yes?
A lot of the time we think of our relationship with God as something that’s just about the future. We’ll be more serious about it when we’re a bit older, or when we’re settled in careers, or married and have kids. In the future.
We’ll have plenty of time, we say.
Time for what?

Friday, August 30

Bishop Barron's Pivotal Players Series

Praying with the Pivotal Players is the most recent video and study series from Bishop Robert Barron.

Each figure gets five segments. Each segment begins with a quote from their writings, even Michelangelo who left many letters and wrote poetry. This is followed up with some reflections and then some prayer and reflection prompts. The sections are thematically aligned with whatever is emphasized in the episodes. I wrote the book last fall, and really enjoyed the process. It gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in the writings of these figures and I learned quite a bit. The table of contents is on the website. 
The book is included as part of the parish program packet, but judging from what I see on Amazon, you should be able to purchase it by itself eventually.


"pivotal players"

Thursday, August 29

Catholic Bible for Children

The Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories by Amy Welborn is now available.

Written by popular Catholic children’s author Amy Welborn, this beautifully illustrated collection of Bible stories for kids and their families is uniquely arranged according to where the stories fall in the liturgical year and when they are proclaimed at Mass. Divided into five sections—Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter Season, and Ordinary Time—each section is subdivided into Old and New Testament stories. From “the Fall” to St. Paul, from the Exodus of the Israelites to the Ascension of Jesus, Loyola Kids Book of Bible Storiesnurtures family and individual reading of the Bible at home, while familiarity with these stories will help children connect far more meaningfully with the liturgy.


Wednesday, August 28

St. Augustine - August 28

He's in the Loyola Kids Book of Saints by Amy Welborn

If you are a catechist looking for resources to help you teach children about the saints...here you go:

The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints

 Over 40 saints' lives,written at a middle-school reading level.

I. Saints are People Who Love Children St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla
  Amy WelbornSaints Are People Who Love Their Families St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,

Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena

Saints Are People Who Create St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro

Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort

Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio

Saints Are People Who Travel From Home St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Saints Are People Who Are Strong Leaders St. Helena, St. Leo the Great, St. Wenceslaus, St. John Neumann

Saints Are People Who Tell The Truth St. Polycarp, St. Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, Blessed Titus Brandsma

Saints Are People Who Help Us Understand God St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Patrick, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Edith Stein

Saints Are People Who Change Their Lives for God St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Katharine Drexel

Saints Are People Who Are Brave St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, St. George, St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Isaac Jogues, The Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne, St. Maximilian Kolbe

Saints Are People Who Help the Poor and Sick St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Martin de Porres, Blessed Joseph de Veuster

Saints Are People Who Help In Ordinary Ways St. Christopher, St. Blaise, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bernard of Montjoux

Saints Are People Who Come From All Over the World Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Paul Miki, Blessed Peter To Rot, Blessed Maria Clementine Anuarite Nengapeta

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Tuesday, August 27

St. Monica - August 27

"amy welborn"


"amy welborn"

We may not all be mothers, as Monica was, but we all have had one. Our relationships with our mothers might be terrible or beautiful, or somewhere in an in-between place: bewildering, regretful and hopeful.
Desire lies at the heart of our mistakes and successes as parents, caretakers and children. Monica desired her son Augustine's salvation, and Augustine yearned for a love that would not die. Around and around they went.
What is it I desire for others? Is it that, above all, they find authentic, lasting joy?Lord, may I be a help to others as we journey to you.

Monday, August 26

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly

For example, today, August 26:

We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers...knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen.

- 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4

As you read this, my second-to-youngest child will be starting college. He'll be far away from me, and believe me, I'm probably praying. Right now.


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August 15:

Sometimes I try to imagine my Christian faith without Mary, and I can't. She provides the answer to the question of how to respond to Jesus--which is the central question of the spiritual life. She teaches me how to welcome Jesus into my life, how to be taught by him, how to say yes, how to live in hope.



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 July 18:

I don't have as many anxiety dreams as I used to. But when they occur, they share the same setting as they always have: I'm in the classroom, either as a student or a teacher, unprepared to either take or give an exam. Or I have to get to school and I just can't.

What a relief it is to realize--either in the midst of it or upon awaking--that it was, indeed, just a dream.



 July 3


A long time ago, my oldest son stumbled in the kitchen. A knife in the cutlery rack of the open dishwasher door stabbed his leg and he had to get stitches. Now, 20 years later, you can still see the scar. I glance at my forearm and a darkened crescent shape reminds me of the time I burned myself with an iron.

Whether we are children or adults, we relish battle scars. We compare them, check to see if they are still visible. They are evidence of adventures, mistakes, and they are signs of surprising strength. We recognize ourselves, in part, through our scars.



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.

 June 22:

When I was a child, I used to frustrate my parents--so they told me later--because when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I would shrug and say that I couldn't think of anything. I told them that whatever they gave would be all right.

I don't share this so you can file it away in my canonization file: "Even as a child, she eschewed the false glitter of the world..." Far from it! 


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 May 14:


I'm taking a stand in defense of paint. Specifically, paint drying. What is it we say when we want to express deadly dullness? "It's like watching paint dry."


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 April 30

I was in a boat on a lake in Central America and feeling guilty about it. My youngest son, asked where he'd like to go on a summer trip, had answered "Mayan ruins in Guatemala." So here we were. Who does that? "Ridiculous," I thought. What an overprivileged pair!



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 April 15:

The garage doors had been inoperable for months, mostly because I was convinced it would be an expensive repair. A handyman, here on another job, snapped a part into place, pushed a button--done.
I was both joyful and shamed because of the easy fix. I was elated at the simplicity and zero cost, but a little embarrassed that I'd not understood that the situation wasn't really that complicated after all.\

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 March 31:

I don't remember my baptism. There aren't even any photographs of the event. But it happened. And, indeed, as a tiny baby there in Bloomington, Indiana, I died and rose with Christ, and here I am.



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 February 25:



When my children see a wasp outside the house, I ask them to please not race away in fear. Do themselves, and the rest of us, a favor, I say, and follow it, at least with their eyes. For if there is a wasp floating about, it's likely because it has a home--one that's probably attached to our home somehow, under an eave or in a doorframe. If we follow it to its source instead of just running in fear, we might eliminate a lot of future problems.

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February 22 - the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

When I think about each of the important older people in my life (all deceased because I'm one of the older ones now), all are associated with a chair.
My father's preferred spot was his desk chair in his study. My mother spent her days in her comfortable chair in the corner, surrounded by books. My great-aunt was not to be disturbed as she watched afternoon soap operas from her wingback chair. My grandfather had his leather-covered lounger, its arms dotted with holes burned by cigars.



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 January 29:

Inside this church, it is warm and dry. Light filters through stained glass and shines on friendly, familiar faces. Led by the choir, we chant praise, joining our voices to the saints. The Lord comes among us.

As I pause at the church door on my way out, I'm met by the chill that lies outside. I know that I'll encounter strangers and much that's unfamiliar out there. It's far more comfortable inside.

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 January 7:

I would have just driven on by. But my son, always alert to the mysteries that nature holds, had been paying attention, so he was able to see. And so Magi, wise and observant of God's ways in the world, were led by the light to his son.

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December 26

 December 19:

During Advent, in these days leading to Christmas, my days and evenings are marked by familiar rituals of all kinds.

I pray at Mass, of course. And in the Scriptures, prayers and music, I am eased into the journey of waiting and hope. Candles glimmer from my mother's Advent wreath. We hang the wooden "O Antiphon" crafts my sons made years ago. The lights, the recipes, the scents of these days create a place that I know.




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November 17

Last Thanksgiving, a local restaurant offered a free meal. If you could pay, fine, and any money would go to a shelter. If you were unable to pay, that didn't matter. The doors were open, the table was set, and you were welcome to the feast.

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 November 5:

I am surrounded by people just trying to do the right thing. Sometimes we make the right decisions, sometimes the wrong ones. We correct our mistakes, try to do better and bear it all patiently, never forgetting our own limitations and our own missed calls.


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October 4:

He was called Il Poverello--the little poor one--and we very strongly and rightly associate St. Francis of Assisi with poverty. We love him because in him we see that it is, indeed, possible to live the call of Jesus, to follow in a radical way, with nowhere to rest our head, trusting in God alone on the journey.


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 September 24

As a word person, I have always loved word games, especially Scrabble. I was recently introduced to another game that is similar but different.




 August 23:

What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?- Matthew 20:14-15I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of a local park, preparing for a run. My door was open, and stuffed in the side pocket were some packs of children's religious materials I'd been sent as samples. I was going to leave them at church.


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August 22

Dreams are odd things: comforting, frightening, puzzling, revealing. Just as odd to me as their content is the way in which dreams reside within my memory. More often than I can say, I am stopped short mid-morning by a vivid and complete recollection of a dream I had forgotten until that moment.



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 July 3:

I live in a part of the country in which college football is...big! During the fall, entering and exiting stores, people who are strangers recognize their common bond and really do say, in passing, "Roll, Tide!" At the grocery checkout, class, ethnic and gender divisions disappear as deeply felt and informed predictions are made about next week or postmortems are offered on last week's matchups. I've experienced this surrounding college football. You may know of it from soccer or baseball in your community.

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June 25:

The little girl in the after-school tutoring program was confounded by the crossword puzzle. And so were the two adults trying to help.
None of us could make any sense of it. After almost a half an hour of frustration, I told the very patient child that she could do something else. She asked to play a game with me. The program's rule was that a book should be read first, but considering the torture of the previous half-hour, I bent that rule.





 June 2:

My youngest son is an animal fanatic, so we watch a lot of nature documentaries. It is amazing because it seems as if there is no end to the mysteries and fascinating, quirky elements of nature.
For example, the other day, we learned about the California ground squirrel. It protects itself and its family against rattlesnake predators by chewing snake skins to shreds and rubbing them on its fur. Presto! It no longer smells like breakfast, but instead like a fellow snake.
I watch this and I'm amazed, once again, by the mystery and wonder of God's creation.
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, May 7:

In the heat of summer, we headed to a large swimming hole. One of the ways you could reach the water was by jumping off a steep, cliff like bank.

For a time, we watched as one young woman stood on the edge, contemplating a jump. Her friends floated in the water below, encouraging her to follow. She vacillated, moving to the edge, then backing away. Again and again, they called her name.



April 27:

I have hauled my children to art museums and historic churches since they were small. As a result, they have become adept at recognizing saints since, traditionally, saints are depicted with easily recognized symbols: their attributes.

It becomes a game of sorts, a game that they also enjoy turning around on me--not allowing me to see the title of a painting and then seeing if I can identify the saint; Catherine of Alexandria and her wheel, Jerome with his lion, Anthony and the Christ Child and, of course, Peter with his keys and the rooster nearby.


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October 2

There's nothing unusual there--it's part of the early vocabulary of most toddlers, isn't it? But what strikes me is that he doesn't just say it when something "bad" happens. Any time there is any transition, it's what comes out: "Uh-oh!" It's cute, but I wonder, do I react the same way to potential or real change? Do I reflexively react with hesitation or even outright fear, or do I react with confidence that, with the help of God's power and love, I can move forward?




September 18:

Once a week, I volunteer in an after-school reading program. The children arrive at the parish following a day in a struggling school in a struggling neighborhood. The early readers may have a few words they are sure about, but when they hit an unfamiliar word, their reaction is always the same--their eyes move from the letters and start darting about the page. There must be a hint. They're looking for a sign.






"amy welborn"

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