An Engaging Faith: 12/7-12/11

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Breadbox Media daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of
Momnipotent by Danielle Bean (Ascension Press), Doors to the Sacred: Everyday Hints of the Holy by Sr. Bridget Haase


Drawing runs 12/7-12/14 Click to enter..

So many books to get you spiritually ready this 2nd Week of Advent!

Timothy Clayton of Exploring Advent with Luke, Danielle Bean with MomnipotentTom McGrath with Raising Faith Filled Kids, Sr. Bridget Haase, with Doors to the Sacred: Everyday Hints of the Holy and  Chris Stepien with Three Days:The Search For the Boy Messiah

 Rev. Timothy Clayton
is the rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church on the Boston North Shore. He grew up in the Charlotte area and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He spent time teaching English in Budapest, Hungary, and later graduated with high honors from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Clayton has founded a Christian community in Portland, Maine, and a church in Charlotte,
North Carolina, and has led missions and spiritual pilgrimages to more than a dozen countries on five continents. So far his favorite places on earth are Lindisfarne, Durham Cathedral in England, and the Masai Mara in Kenya. Clayton resides near his church with his wife and three children.

Tuesday: Danielle Bean, a mother of eight, is publisher and editor-in-chief of Catholic Digest. She also hosts a Catholic women’s talk show, The Gist, in production of its third season, on CatholicTV. Danielle is author of My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom (Pauline 2005), Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice and Support for Catholic Living (Pauline 2007), (with Elizabeth Foss) Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Your Daily Call to Think, Pray. and Act, and most recently Momnipotent, a book and a parish study that help women find peace, balance, and joy in their roles as mothers. a mother of eight, is Editorial Director of Faith & Family (  Read her personal blog at or follow her on Twitter ( She joins us to discuss her latest book Momnipotent.

Wednesday: Tom McGrath is the author of Raising Faith Filled Kids, The Meal Box, and is one of the authors of the God’s Gift series. Currently Tom is the Vice President for Product Development at Loyola Press. He previously served as the executive editor of U.S. Catholic magazine. McGrath is an avid writer and speaker on family-life issues and spirituality. Tom and his wife, Kathleen, live in Chicago and are the parents of two grown daughters, who are still always welcome at meal time.

Thursday: Sister Bridget Haase, O.S.U. , is a member of the Ursuline Sisters, and holds an M.A. in religious studies. She has ministered in Appalachia, Mexico and Africa. She presently serves as coordinator of the spirituality program at The Boston Home, a long-term care facility for people with multiple sclerosis and other degenerative neurological diseases. She gives parish missions, days of reflection, and inspirational talks throughout the United States. She has written two other books and published many articles. She sits on the Board of My Sister’s Keeper, a faith-based justice/peace organization to work for the education of women and girls in southern Sudan, and is a frequent guest on Boston, Chicago/Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh radio stations. Visit her website at

Friday: Chris Stepien  began his professional journalistic career as a television producer-director and writer for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). After working eight years at WXYZ-TV, Detroit, and winning six EMMY awards, Stepien left broadcasting and co-founded Adventure, Inc., a Detroit-based video/film production company. Currently, Stepien is the writer-creative director and owner of Stepien Creative Services, Inc.  He and his wife, Ellen, are active members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and he is a spiritual advisor to a group of Vincentians in Dearborn Michigan. Stepien and Ellen have two adult sons. He is joining us to discuss his latest work of fiction, Three Days: The Search for the Boy Messiah

An Engaging Faith:11/23-11/27

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Breadbox Media daily at 4pm EST.

This week I am thankful for..the gift of friendship, my vocation, and the invitation to serve!

John and Terri Bosio join us to discuss how to truly enrich our marriages,  Ed Ensley with how to Love your Neighbor:Praying Your Way to a Better Life

And a three Encores with Jane and Ellen KnuthSue and Tim Muldoon and Margaret Felice to celebrate Thanksgiving! 

Monday: John and Terri Bosio- John  is a former marriage and family therapist, director of religious education, and diocesan family life coordinator. He worked for 23 years in international human resources in various corporations. He is the author of three books and a number of articles on marriage, including Why Get Married in the Church: The Lifelong Blessing of a Catholic Wedding. Teri Bosio is a former diocesan family life coordinator, director of adult faith formation and RCIA, and director of religious education.While retired they remain active in parish and family ministry, serving parishes and dioceses around the country and leading couples retreats and workshops.They have produced several parish-based marriage enrichment programs: Six Dates for Catholic Couples and The Beatitudes: A Couple’s Path to Greater Joy and Joined by Grace.

Tuesday: Eddie Ensley ,a Catholic permanent deacon from the diocese of Savannah, GA  is on staff at St. Anne in Columbus, Georgia. He also teaches spirituality at Josephinum Diaconate Institute of the Pontifical College Josephinum. Deacon Ensley is a NCCA licensed clinical pastoral counselor with a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University with a doctorate in clinical pastoral counseling from Cornerstone University. He has authored a number of books including Everyday Mysticism: Meeting
God Face to Face, Healing the Soul: Finding Peace and Consolation When Life Hurts,
and Step-By-Step Spirituality for Deacons. He will be joining us to discuss his latest book, Love your Neighbor:Praying Your Way to a Better Life.

Wednesday: Jane and Ellen Knuth, will be joining us to discuss Love will Steer Me True. Jane has been volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the last 15 years. She is also an eighth-grade math teacher. Jane and her husband, Dean, live in Portage, Michigan. Ellen recently returned to the USA after 5 years in Japan. Having already been an English teacher, a singer in a rock band, a dairy princess, a MC, and a newspaper columnist, Ellen now works as a university relations manager for a study and intern abroad company. Settled (for now) in Clinton Twp, MI, she travels extensively, writes occasionally, and sings constantly.

 Sue and Tim MuldoonSue is a graduate of Boston College with degrees in Theology and Psychology, and has a Master’s degree in Counseling with a focus in Christian Counseling from Franciscan University. Her experience includes serving as the Director of Counseling Services at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA and as a therapist at Center for Family Connections in Cambridge.  She has also co-authored, with husband Tim,  Six Sacred Rules for Families  Asked to be a presenter at the WMOF, Sue spoke on healing damaged relationships.

Tim Muldoon is a professor and has authored and edited several books. He served as chair of the department of religious studies, philosophy, and theology at Mount Aloysius College for many years before being named the inaugural director of the Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston College. He currently serves in the division of university mission and ministry at Boston College, and teaches in the university’s college of arts and sciences. He and his wife Sue are the parents of three children.

Felice Fridays!: Margaret Felice, Boston College alumnae and faculty member of Religion and Performing Arts at BC High in Boston MA, Opera Singer and blogger joins us for a fun an engaging talk about all things Catholic

Worth Revisiting Wednesday: An Extraordinary Assembly

It’s Worth Revisiting Wednesday! A place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link-up with fellow bloggers! Co-Hosted with Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You.

As the 2nd year of the Synod on the Family has gotten underway we are reminded of both the joys and challenges of the family and the need to be open to the Holy Spirit. While Pope Francis cautions not to over politicize the Synod gathering, he also emphasized that the Church must seek out those in need of mercy to “welcome, accompany and not become a roadblock but a bridge”. 

An Extraordinary Assembly: Synod on the Family 2014

The Holy Family, courtesy of Catholic

“May the Wind of Pentecost blow upon the Synod’s work, on the Church, and on all humanity. Undo the knots which prevent people from encountering one another, heal the wounds that bleed, rekindle hope” Pope Francis (Prayer Vigil 10/4/14)

Our family on the occasion of our wedding some 20 years ago!

Today, is the opening of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the  “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization”. What a beautiful opportunity to affirm both our commitment to our shared tradition, and to those memories still yet to be made in the joys and challenges that lie ahead. It is through a “living Gospel…as testified in the Scriptures, preserved through the example of the martyrs, and witness of ordinary believers” that we best understand our memory and identity as a people called to be church.[1] And yet, this same commitment invites us to dynamically respond to God’s grace in present and future situations which continue to shape and form us as followers of Christ.

Available from John Paul II Institute- Communio: International Catholic Review 2014

Here, we are acknowledging the relationship of the memory of the believing community with that of doctrine, the preserved expressions of faith, and that of the authority of office. Understood in this way, the community of faith is to be foremost in service to the truth of the gospel of Jesus. The doctrine then is to be reflective of the community in its various historical contexts, and the authority of office in service to all of these. It is, as Gaillardetz observes, “ not a monarchy or a democracy but a spiritual communion of persons called to submit themselves to hear God’s word and discern God’s will in the concrete circumstances of community” [2]

So then we come to the situations that have prompted this particular synod on the family, said to be seeking pastoral solutions in light of the Gospel. Specifically, the the Synod is to look at the reaffirming Church teaching on marriage and the family with attention to the eligibility of divorced Catholics to receive communion, scandals of abuse, same sex marriages, contraception, and cohabitation. As Pope Francis notes, there is a “special need for mercy in the church today” and to listen attentively and “discuss sincerely” with those faithful who have become “frustrated and marginalized”.[4] Here, in reflecting on Vatican II, we glimpse the special role of the bishop within the community as teacher and judge of the faith, guiding us in the truth of the Gospel. Likewise, in light of Lumen Gentium, as laity we see our responsibility, in patience and love  “to express our opinion on matters which concern the good of the church”. [3]

Remarkably, as attested by the synod questionnaire, the communities themselves were consulted somewhat directly on their understandings of and resonance with matters of faith. ( According to the latest Catholic News Service, the synod of 250 participants will consist of bishops, cardinals,leaders of Vatican congregations and councils, priests,  and 14 married couples from around the world.[5]   However, as the article also notes, there is a lot of room for how these opinions are considered, with only 26 papally appointed voting members. Still, this upcoming 2015 synod is a time to “assess the reception of the church’s teaching” as “sensus fidei” and then seek how best to address these controversial pastoral issues.[6]

While this synod is unprecedented in its approach, we must consider that the church has always been called upon to respond to the historical circumstances and interests of its time. Likewise, we need look no further than to the additional voices of theologians, historians and biblical scholars, who have continued to shed light on  the issues of the day.  Their fluency with the texts, traditions and practices of the church have been essential in appraising the exercise of church teaching as lived experience. They provide a unique perspective of taking a particular teaching, and understanding how well it has been ‘understood, received, and transformed into something new’.[7]  This is the reality of a living faith that is dynamically responsive to the unparalleled love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness of God. To understand our faith in this way, demands that we listen to the experiences of faith of a people past, give voice to the present and engage the challenges of the future with our hearts, minds and souls.

                                                 Peace, Signature

[1] Richard Gaillardetz  Ecclesiology for a Global Church: A People Called and Sent. (New York, NY. Orbis Books.  2008), p. 211.[2] Richard Gaillardetz, By What Authority?: Primer on Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Sense of the Faithful. (Collegeville, MN. Liturgical Press. 2003) p. 62. [3] ibid., p. 59  [4]  [5]  [6] ibid., p.78; [7]  Ecclesiology, p.226

An Engaging Faith: 10/12-10/16

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Breadbox Media daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of Adoption: Room for One More? by Jaymie Stuart  Wolfe(Pauline Media) or Just Married:The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage by Greg and Lisa Popcak (Ave Maria Press)
Drawing runs 10/11-10/18 Click to enter..

Catholic Marriage and Family Essentials-

(Encore) Sue and Tim Muldoon of Six Sacred Rules for Families: A Spirituality for the Home , Jaymie Stuart Wolfe with Adoption: Room for One More?, Greg & Lisa Popcak joins us to discuss the World Meeting of Families and their book Just Married..

With Catholic educator Barb Gilman on Tuesday and  MargaretFelice for Felice Fridays to talk about the latest Catholic news, events, tweets and posts.

Monday:Sue and Tim Muldoon: Join us to discuss their latest book Six Sacred Rules for Families  and their experience at the World Meeting of Families, where Sue spoke on healing damaged relationships.



Tuesday: Barb Begley Gilman  a 2014 NCEA Distinguished Catholic school teacher, co-organizer of #CatholicEdChat Saturday 8am CT ,Co-founder of EdCampArchOmaha joins us to discuss dynamic Catholic education in action. Utilizing all social media tools available in and outside the classroom, Barb seeks to reach her students where they are while providing the opportunity to grow even further. You can find many of these ideas through her blog at  Barb In

Wednesday: Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
A Catholic convert, wife, and mother of eight, strives to both answer and echo God’s universal call to holiness.A graduate of Harvard University, Jaymie also holds a Master of Arts in Ministry degree from St. John’s Seminary in Boston. and works as a full-time Editor of books for children and teens at Pauline Books & Media.Under Loaves and Fishes Ministry, she serves the mission of Christ as an author, columnist, speaker, and musician. Jaymie is also a co-founder of Live Jesus, a group embracing the spirituality of Saint Francis de Sales and focused on the Works of Mercy in daily life. She joins us today to share her latest book Adoption: Room For One More?

Thursday:Gregory and Lisa PopcakGreg is executive director of Pastoral Solutions Institute and the author of more than a dozen popular books integrating Catholic theology and counseling psychology .Popcak is a regular contributor to Catholic Digest, Family Foundations, and others. Lisa Popcak is the vice president of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, a family life coach, lactation consultant, and professional educator. Lisa is a sought-after speaker on marriage, parenting, and women’s spirituality, she has addressed audiences across North America as well as in Australia and Hong Kong. Their books include For Better . . . Forever!, Holy Sex!, and Parenting with Grace. Together they have also hosted two television series for EWTN: For Better . . . FOREVER and God Help Me!

Felice Fridays!: Margaret FeliceBoston College alumnae and faculty member of Religion and Performing Arts at BC High in Boston MA, Opera Singer and blogger joins us for a fun an engaging talk about all things Catholic.

An Engaging Faith: August 10th-14th

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Real Life Radio daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise by Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield (Courtesy Of Pauline Publishing)  Drawing runs 8/4-8/12

Looking at Marriage, Family, and Chastity …

With Karee Santos of  Can we Cana? , John and Claire Grabowski serving on the Pontifical Council for the Familyand Arleen Spenceley, of Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin 

As well as – Jim Orcutt of My Brother’s Keeper  and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield author of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise 

Karee Santos, and husband, Manuel P. Santos, M.D., a psychiatrist, began teaching marriage preparation and enrichment classes in New York City in 2003. Their Catholic marriage advice book The Four Keys to Everlasting Love will be published by Ave Maria Press in 2016. Karee has also authored numerous articles on marriage and family for Catholic Digest, the National Catholic Register, Catholic Match Institute, Aleteia, and others. She blogs in English at Can We Cana? a community to support Catholic Marriages.

Tuesday: Jim Orcutt co-founder, with his wife Terry, of My Brother’s Keeper  a Christian ministry which delivers food and furniture as well as the love of Christ to those in need in the Easton/ Dartmouth Massachusetts area. Its mission is “To bring the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ to those we serve.”

Wednesday: John and Claire Grabowskione of 10 couples from different countries named by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for the Family in 2009, who have recently spoken  at this year’s Spring Assembly of the USCCB in June of this year and who have been asked to be a part of  the WMOF in Philadelphia. John Grabowski is a professor of moral theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington. He has been published widely in the areas of moral theology, marriage, sexuality and bioethics. The professor has been a theological adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on Marriage and Family for four years.

Thursday: Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield , recent author of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise serves as the Associate General Secretary at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC.  Msgr. Bransfield also serves as an adjunct professor of moral theology on the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies and at the Canon Law School of the Catholic University of America, both located in Washington, D.C. Other books include, Meeting Jesus Christ:Meditations on the Word, 2013, and The Human Person: According to John Paul II, 2011.

Fridays: Arleen Spenceley, author of  Chastity is For Lovers: Single Happy and (Still) a Virgin is a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times and blogger at  She is also a contributing writer at the Catholic Match Institute and the Chastity Project. Her writings center on love, chastity, and relationships all from a Roman Catholic perspective.