Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss, authored by M. J. Flood

Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss, authored by M. J. Flood

COMING SOON!

Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss

by M. J. Flood

Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss is the first published work by M.J. Flood. Recalling the author’s experience as the father of a stillborn daughter, this memoir articulates the private heartbreak and depression so frequently associated with disenfranchised griefs like pregnancy loss.  But Where Are You? is ultimately a work of hope, as M.J. Flood walks the reader through the chaos of death in search of the peace of healing.
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TESTIMONIALS

“Author M.J. Flood has written an interesting, poignant, and enthralling story. I found I kept wanting to know more with questions and scenarios engendered by his descriptive and moving narratives. He examines and shares how many persons impacted his life with their concerns. Through his own reflections and analysis of them, Mr. Flood takes us to our own heart-mind, along with how [he] and his wife give of their time to others to help them with their loss-of-life situation. This author’s writing is profoundly endearing and a tender ‘must read’ for a myriad of reasons including understanding of the human condition with its strengths and frailties. The mindfulness of the author’s story is one that will remain with me forever.” — Reverend Dr. Marjorie S. Schiering, Professor, Molloy College


“M.J. Flood’s journey to acceptance and self-discovery following the still-born birth of his daughter Sophia is neither direct nor complete, as he himself states. But it is life-affirming. His path takes him and us through anger, shock, loneliness, searing pain, and darkness, but ultimately to a gift he traces to Sophia— love, an openness to others’ pain, a movement outside of himself to give to others also struggling.” — Robert Kinpoitner, Ph.D., English Dept. Chair, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY


Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss by M.J. Flood is an honest and heartfelt account of a man’s journey through the grieving process after a heartbreaking loss.  It describes the gamut of emotions and the depth of loneliness one may experience and the need to get out of one’s own way in order to heal. I would recommend the memoir to anyone suffering loss.” — Virginia C. Honerkamp, RN MSN, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care


“M.J. Flood’s memoir Where Are You? is a ‘must read’ for all involved in bereavement ministry. For several reasons: First, it is a brutally honest examination of emotions, written in a heart-wrenching, soul-searching style. Second, it treats of a grief that is usually avoided, the loss of a still-born baby. Nobody wants to address this grief, but it is very real as Mr. Flood so poignantly shares with us. Third, it is written from the male perspective, which is rare in the bereavement field. Men seldom admit to their emotions, let alone share them! Thank you, Mr. Flood, for being the brave one who is willing to do so. Of special note is Mr. Flood’s use of the term ‘Loss Stew’: emotions and feelings that are swirling around in grief. I don’t know whether Mr. Flood ‘coined’ this term; in any event it should become part of the vocabulary of bereavement ministry. It was especially encouraging to hear of the healing that began for Mr. Flood and his wife Tara in their Bereavement Group. ‘Like-to-like’ sharing is essential, particularly with the loss of a baby. Thank you, M.J. Flood, for sowing the seeds of your ongoing journey towards healing. I am certain that God will use those seeds to bring healing to many others.” — Deacon Robert Campbell, OFS, St. Raymond’s Bereavement Ministry, East Rockaway, NY


“A first person account of this kind is so important because infant loss is such a devastating thing that it’s only been in recent years that people have begun to speak about it. I believe so many people are still grieving silently because we haven’t made their trauma and healing part of our ‘normal’ conversation—something I think we’re getting better at but haven’t fully opened up the communication. A book like this could do just that.” — Elizabeth O’Grady, LCSW, San Francisco, CA


“Beautifully written, poignant, heartfelt, and ultimately spiritually uplifting, M.J. Flood’s Where Are You? is an emotionally charged story about loss and the power of finding—and keeping—our faith through the darkest of nights.” — Gary Jansen, author of the national bestseller Station to Station.


“A wonderful book to help parents and family dealing with stillbirth! A resource for bereavement ministry!” — Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., author of Weeping with Jesus: From Grief to Hope and numerous other books of Catholic spirituality.


“M.J. Flood’s Where Are You? immediately transported me into a world where I was gently prodded to experience the grief, anger, guilt and confusion associated with loss. While we are programmed to accept the loss of a grandparent or parent, the death of a child or a youthful sibling leaves us, and those around us, at a loss. How do we justify this? How do we maintain our faith in g-d, ourselves, and the natural order of things. Time and our place in the world fall into question as we struggle to right ourselves. Mr. Flood’s book addresses these issues through a very personal and intimate lens. As such, it is a gift to its readers. As a psychotherapist who often deals with bereavement and grief I am happy to say that this book taught me much that I can, and will, integrate into my practice. When it is published, I hope to add this to my library and recommend it to my clients. I am proud to endorse this book for publication.” — Robert Margolis, LCSW, longislandpsychotherapy.com, Psychotherapy and Family Counseling Services


“A very thoughtful, compassionate, and accurate portrayal of the journey through grief and bereavement. Highly recommended reading for those looking to come out and rebound from loss.” — Christopher L. Hayes, Ph.D., Professor of Gerontology, Long Island University


“M.J. Flood’s book Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss is a compelling read. Mr. Flood shares with the reader a journey exploring grief and bereavement through a stream of consciousness style of recollection and discovery that most readers will find very real and honest. The loss of a child is sad and almost unbearable, but Mr. Flood’s emotional story gives hope and courage to those that experience this most crippling loss.” Peter V. Dugan Nassau County Poet Laureate (2017-2019)


“M.J. Flood explores his personal experience with a disenfranchised form of grief: loss of stillborn infant. A very compelling and moving account of healing from such a devastating loss.” — Luciano Sabatini, Ph.D., Bereavement Coordinator St. Bernard Parish, author of Bereavement Counseling in the School Setting.


Where Are You? is a powerful and emotional journey. I felt like I was listening in on Mr. Flood’s thoughts as he tries and succeeds to make sense of the loss of his daughter and other losses in his life, and ultimately finds himself.” — Ivy Diamond, LCSW, Perinatal Bereavement Social Worker


“As a member of a parish bereavement ministry, I am thankful for the opportunity to have read this memoir. This book is a voice especially to those who have experienced the loss of a stillbirth. We rarely have an opportunity to hear the feelings and emotions from the father’s perspective. I think he said it so eloquently when he recounted the sympathies given to his wife and people overlooking his share in the grief. I think he is brave and I hope his book is helping him through his grief. My prayer is that he knows how many people he is helping (especially other Dads). Mr. Flood’s story is impactful. I am thankful he had the courage to write it.” — Karen Gonyon BS, RN, CHPN


Where Are You? will shine in our support group library! Placed in the hands of newly bereaved parents, especially fathers — this heart-rending memoir will bring solace and healing hope. Mr. Flood’s genuine expression voices the uncharted map that is grief. He reveals the raw wound that he and Tara suffered in the death of baby Sophia and shares the journey as they slowly rebuild from utter darkness toward healing scars that forever shape their family’s life. He risks being vulnerable and misunderstood while validating the reality of loss in life, enveloped in faith and ultimately the grace of healing.” — Martha Weiss Guardian Angel Perinatal Support Group St. Kilian Parish Farmingdale, NY


“Flood’s narrative strikes a balance between an intensely personal confession that brings the reader along through his hardships and a perspective able to synthesize and analyze each event in the larger context. In this way, Where Are You? elevates individual experiences to universal understandings.” — Kenneth R. Frank, filmmaker, The Mix and Family Obligations


“M.J. Flood offers us the gift of opening himself up, revealing his vulnerabilities as he embraces losing born still Sophia, while finding himself in the process. He shares how Sophia has become an inspiration and offers the reader/griever insight as to how to lead a productive life in the aftermath of such tragedy. Over the years, as he discovers where he is, Flood learns to love himself by accepting his pain and thoughts as real; and by helping us understand that “our losses are each others’ comfort.” Where Are You? is a double, triple and even larger entendre during this tender and humble process. His writing is poignant, humble, loving and honest.” — Nancy Berlow, LCSW, www.LongIslandPregnancyandInfantLoss.com


“Author M.J. Flood transports his readers on a true spiritual journey. It is not often that an author can reach inside the reader and touch the heart and soul as Flood does. You’ll cherish this book!” — Alexander J. Basile, author, educator and musician


“A young father’s pain and hope echoes through the pages of his story, Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss. What a gift for grieving dads to hear first-hand from another grieving father, how he deals with the stillbirth of his first-born child. In ‘men’s terms,’ M.J. Flood describes the new world that surrounds him, the heartache endured, the haunting, unanswered questions, the everyday struggles, the endless choices to be made, and the eye-opening lessons learned, especially in a world that always inquires how the mother is doing, but rarely asks about the dad. Flood’s vibrant, inviting writing style (which I like to call ‘man talk’) grabs your attention right away, even brings some welcome smiles, as you ‘walk the walk’ with him, hear his message, and begin to understand how other losses in his life (brother and grandmother) have affected this one which he reverently calls, ‘My Greatest Loss.’ Sharing this book with heartbroken moms and other family members, too, offers a valuable bonus, opening the door for them to respect different ways of grieving, coping and surviving.” — Elaine E. Stillwell, M.A, M.S., Chapter Leader, The Compassionate Friends of Rockville Centre, NY,Former Bereavement Coordinator, Diocese of Rockville Centre, Author, The Death of a Child: Reflections for Grieving Parents, Contributing Editor, Grief Digest


“[Flood] is very open, and as a result the work is very moving. He’s definitely a fresh voice.” — Tim Houlihan, Ph.D., Interim President St. Francis College, Brooklyn, New York


“[Flood] writes very movingly about the death of Sophia.” — Tom Hauser (author & publisher)


“I wish this book was available 36 years ago. Last October marked 36 years since I miscarried my first child. I don’t think we ever grieved; it just wasn’t acceptable. Flood’s book gives permission to be a parent to the child in the womb who is called to be an angel.” — Marija Wierzbicki (former Clergy Personnel Director for Diocese of Brooklyn, New York)


“A roller coaster ride of emotion – to the highs of expecting, to the lowest of lows of loss. Care, affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, sadness, devastation, despair, healing or dealing, and obviously an ever-present sense of love – all of it there in words, actions and reflection. The, at-times, jarring story-telling creates this cacophony of words and phrases that invites and perhaps forces the reader to feel his raw, real emotion – there is no doubt that I felt anger, anxiety and agitation. Conversely, through the disorientation of the emotional experience, there was a great presence of family, love and that one is never alone no matter what it feels like, what it looks like BUT you need to be willing to see it, feel it and welcome it. This work captures a journey that many unfortunately have taken before – but it also walks the reader through a process where a broken-heart through faith, family and love can ultimately lead to hoping, healing and helping others. Through that Sophia’s presence and love is forever present, forever shared.” —Thomas F. Flood, Vice President for Advancement, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, New York


“This is a truly touching story (or collection of stories) of love, loss, grief and healing told in an engaging and relatable voice. As a reader I can relate to the language, colorful at times, but always thoughtful and in some cases perfectly phrased. As examples: ‘Thinking is the petri dish for every guilt created, every shame felt, every slight (imagined or real) delivered. And from that same dish comes every spontaneously generated saving grace. Every hope realized. Oh, it’s a mess at times, for sure’ and ‘In the end, that’s what bereavement groups do. What people like Ivy Diamond do. They widen the lens through which we can consider our loss. Some people give a narrow lens. Drugs and alcohol can be a lens. Some people think they’re giving you the lens: the only way to see. Ivy didn’t give me the lens, but a lens. Perhaps a lens that simply helped me to know that there are lenses at all with which we can view tragedy in a better way.’ I think this is a wonderful gift to provide to those who are grieving in any context really, but would also make a welcome addition to any therapeutic environment. I would surely recommend to clients I have who might be struggling with loss.” — Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D. (Vice President for Academic Affairs/Academic Dean, licensed clinical psychologist)


“What a beautiful tribute. What an inspiration for anyone grieving. The author’s reflections and thoughts and feelings were truly profound. The work can be such a help not only to grieving parents but to many who have suffered loss.” — Rita Chojnacki RNCHPN, Certified grief counselor


“This is a deeply emotional and personal account of the loss of a child. A story that gives the reader an understanding of the ongoing, emotional toll of grief. It is a valuable resource for the bereaved or for those healing from loss. I found this sentence in [the] speech for Martha Weiss’s GAPS at St. Kilian’s in Farmingdale extremely comforting: ‘But the life I live doesn’t have to be governed by loss.’” — Maria Mullaly, Executive Assistant to the Dean, The Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York


“At times, a painful read for one personally acquainted with this caliber of loss and grief. But reading this book was like having a profound discussion with a friend that you remember for the rest of your life. Mr. Flood’s sharing and insights were thought provoking, causing me to revisit the dark corners of loss and grief that my husband and I put far away. Sure, certain days of the year you remember how old a child (now adult) would have been but never dwell too long lest you really start counting up the lost milestones and unlived years of life. I applaud Mr. Flood and his wife for honoring their first daughter and keeping her present in their family’s and friend’s lives. God bless him.” — Tanya Kasprzyk, Parish Outreach Coordinator Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart


“A beautiful and powerful story of a father’s love for his born still daughter and how she helped him to find his way through loss, depression and healing. A story of unconditional love and the true meaning of life.” — Diane Wilshere, “Helping Parents Heal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.J. Flood is a husband and a father of two little girls and a baby angel. Residing in Long Island, New York, he is a high school literature and writing teacher and the author of Where Are You? Finding Myself in My Greatest Loss, his first published work.

Flood is also the writer/director of Too Much Noise — a short film in American Sign Language — which has appeared in several film festivals and won the Best Original Idea award at New York City’s 2018 Chain Film Festival.

M. J. Flood, “A Father’s Voyage To The Moon – Without His Baby Girl,” Still Standing Magazine (March 11, 2019)

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The Philosophical Spirituality of Ronda Chervin

The Philosophical Spirituality of Ronda Chervin

Take the Joy

The Philosophical Spirituality Website of Holy Apostles Professor Emerita, Dr. Ronda Chervin. Contact Dr. Ronda at chervinronda@gmail.com.

Ronda Chervin has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. She is a convert to the Catholic faith from a Jewish but atheistic background.

Dr. Ronda has been a professor at Loyola Marymount University, St. John’s Seminary of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Our Lady of Corpus Christi, and Holy Apostles in Connecticut. Dr. Ronda presents on EWTN and Catholic radio. She is a dedicated widow and grandmother.

More than sixty books of hers have been published by Catholic presses in the area of philosophy and spirituality. Her many books include Quotable SaintsHealing Meditations from the Gospel of St. JohnCatholic RealismVoyage to InsightWeeping with JesusHealing of Rejection and Escaping Anxiety.

Take the Joy on WCAT Radio

In this radio series, Ronda Chervin offers two musical performances from her son, Charles Chervin, a special series on the spirituality of the emotions, and a series of thoughts from her journal of insights.

Dr. Ronda celebrating her co-authored book with the publisher, Sebastian Mahfood of En Route Books, co-author Al Hughes and Sebastian’s son Alexander! (Photo by Katie Hughes, June, 2018)
See also her Good Reads blog entitled Ronda View.
And her WCAT Radio Shows entitled Ronda View and Why I’m Still Catholic!

Free eBooks

In the collection below, Dr. Ronda shares with her reading audience her thoughts over the course of several decades in a number of books, journals, and blogs.

Written by Dr. Ronda’s Husband, Martin Chervin, and Friend, Charles Rich
For more about Charles, see “From the Spiritual Wisdom of Charles Rich” by Ronda Chervin

“Take the Joy” is a poem written by Diana Jump, daughter of Ronda Chervin. Her twin-sister, Carla, used to always say “Take the Joy” when tragedy threatened. But, then, Carla was diagnosed with severe lymphoma and her family worked on making a video with the poem put to music and played by a friend of Carla together with Carla’s Aunt Carla De Sola, a sacred dancer, choreographing a dance to go with it. We are so happy to share this with you. Carla Conley is still alive 5 years later.

Dedicated Widows of the Holy Family

Prayer of Dedicated Widows of the Holy Family

God the Father,
I offer you the rest of my time on earth
that I may serve with love
and come to eternal life.
May my husband be blessed
on his journey in eternity
and everyone in my family be saved.

Holy Spirit, be a comfort to all widows,
especially the newly bereaved.
Jesus, my bridegroom, savior of my soul, delight of my heart, help me.
Mary, exalted widow, mother of the Church, my model and intercessor; pray for me.
St. Joseph, protector of Mary and the child Jesus, and helper of widows,
guide me in the trials of daily life.
As a widow may I be a spiritual mother to all I meet today.

All you widow saints, pray for me:

St. Monica, pray for me
St. Paula, pray for me
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for me
Bd. Angela of Foligno, pray for me
St. Elizabeth of Portugal, pray for me
St. Bridget of Sweden, pray for me
St. Rita of Cascia, pray for me
St. Frances of Rome, pray for me
St. Catherine of Genoa, pray for me
St. Jane of Chantal, Francis de Sales pray for me
Bd. Marie of the Incarnation, pray for me
St. Louise de Marillac, pray for me
Bd. Marguerite d’Youville, pray for me
St. Elizabeth Seton, pray for me
Servant of God. Praxedes Fernandez, pray for me.
Ven. Conchita of Mexico, pray for me.
All other widows now in heaven,
pray for me.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS FOR WIDOWS – by Ronda Chervin
(from Walk with me, Jesus, Simon Peter Press, 2008)

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

Mary…

Your Son, who was to be judge of all the living and the dead, stood before a Roman judge and received an unjust sentence. Though you knew He was the ‘suffering servant’ prophesied by Isaiah, did you wonder why He had to suffer this humiliation and in this way?

As widows, we sometimes question God’s providence – and His love for us.

Why did that drunk driver who killed my husband survive?
Why did God permit that doctor’s mistake?
Was there anything done – or left undone – that hastened the day or the hour?
Why did my husband have to die instead of me?

Holy Mary, pray for us … now and in the hour we cry for justice.

Jesus: You are the Lord of my life. I know that You permit only those things from which You can bring good. Help me to trust that even the day and the hour of my husband’s death was known to You, and that he is enfolded in Your Sacred Heart now as then.
The Second Station: Jesus Accepts the Cross

Mary …

Many of us spent long hours at the bedside of our husbands, anticipating the separation that would come. Others of us experienced the tragedy of our spouse’s sudden, unexpected death.

Just as nothing you could have said would have persuaded Jesus to evade the cross, we had no choice but to accept what we could not change.

The heaviness of that cross drained us, even as we persevered in hope.

Holy Mary, pray for us, that with each passing day this temporary separation will lead to everlasting joy.

Jesus, You endured all the trials we face, up to and including that final, wooden cross. You are with us every moment, in the pain and up to those final moments of our husband’s earthly life.
Then and now, You want us to rest our weary heads in Your lap so that you can console us … but we are too busy coping to come to You. As we look upon the second station and see You accepting Your cross, let us also see that You were holding us up through the intensity of our pain and loss.
Third Station: Jesus Falls for the First Time

Mary …

You saw your strong, manly son fall under the terrific weight of those beams. As you watched helplessly, waves of weakness filled your own body.

Did those feelings remind you of the grief you felt when Joseph died?

Watch over us, as our own physical strength dwindles slowly. Stay with us after the funeral, when we can hardly rise from our beds.

We, too, have felt those times of weakness that threatened to overtake us. Sometimes they linger still. Watch over us and lend us your strength and help us to move forward in hope.

Jesus, when widows collapse under the strain of early widowhood, You never chide us for failing to take up daily life tasks with our usual efficiency. Instead You remain at our side each day, and hover over our solitary beds, sending invisible graces. May we never doubt Your love for us as You bring new strength to our new state of life.
Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

Mary …

As I meditate upon this station of the Cross, I am struck by what an unforgettable encounter this must have been between you and your Son. It reminds us that deeper even than shared joy is shared agony!

Pray for us now. Some of us looked into the eyes of our husbands as they left this world. Some had no chance to say goodbye – he died far away or instantaneously, without warning.

Pray for us, your abandoned daughters.

Jesus, You knew Your mother’s heart inside out. Though it comforted You to receive her last touch and glance, it also must have grieved You to be the cause of her pain.
Thank You for the family and friends, priests, and parishioners who stayed with us as we made our way of the cross with our husbands. Even if no one walked with us, You, Jesus, Your mother, our angels and the widow saints were there.

Let us never be so frantic in our widowhood that we push away the love of those who reach out to us.
The Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

Mary …

You wished you could carry that cross for Your Son. You must have sighed in relief to see Simon bearing the weight.

As widows, even after many years, we can feel lonely, overwhelmed, and hopeless, desperately wishing for help.

Holy Mary, pray for your daughters in our hour of need.

Jesus, You are the God-man, yet You let another help when You were unable to keep going. Why, then, should we be too proud to beg? So often a cry brings assistance that does not come to those who hide their weakness.

In the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit promises rewards to those who aid widows. Show us who can help us in our neediness … and, when there really is no one, let us always fall back on You, the Second Bridegroom of widows. Strengthen our backs even as the cross still weighs us down.
Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Mary …

Most likely you knew this valiant disciple, and saw the imprint on your Son’s face on that cloth long after His ascension.

Did you wipe the face of St. Joseph, just as we wiped the brow of our beloved husbands in their final moments? Did the image of your husband’s face remain with you long after? When words can do little, gestures can do much.

All of us treasure the image of our husbands, if not on a cloth, then in photographs. Holy Mary, pray for us as we remember.

Jesus, we hope our husbands asked forgiveness for their sins before their deaths, even if we did not witness this. We believe that they are either in purgatory of heaven. The fully resurrected body will not be theirs – or ours – until the Last Judgment. Yet, as we struggle along without our husbands, we like to imagine their faces looking down on us with compassion and, often, humor.
Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time

Mary …refuge of sinners …

More than any other witness , you understood how the cross of Jesus was part of the Father’s plan of salvation.

As your Son fell again, did you think of us sinners, through the centuries, coming to repentance? In your great distress, did your heart rejoice to see us repenting as we prayed these very stations?

During our long widowhood we have ample time to remember how often we fell from grace, when our own faults and sins hurt our spouses.

Mother Mary, pray for us your daughters, as we look to God for mercy.

Jesus, give us courage to confess the major sins of our married lives in the sacrament of reconciliation. You want us to have peace. Help us to believe that, in eternity, our husbands have repented of their sins against us. They do not judge us harshly now, for the are participating in the compassionate love of Your Sacred Heart for themselves and for us.
Eighth Station: The Women Console Jesus

Mary …

Were the women who braved the jeering crowd to console Jesus on the way of the cross, the same women who surrounded you when Joseph died? Surely they would not have left the mother of Love alone at her hour of need!

When we first became widows, more seasoned widows came forward to comfort and inspire us with their survival skills and their trust in you and in Jesus.

Holy Mary, pray for us with the compassion of your mother’s heart.

Jesus, deep is the consolation you wish to pour into our frazzled and forlorn widowed hearts. You would have us know that we are never, never, never, alone. But we need much grace to stretch ourselves beyond our senses to know You now in an even more intimate spiritual way than before. Only You can settle us down in the peace that comes with Your presence.
Ninth Station: Jesus Falls Again

Mary …

Despite your unique and exalted privileges as Mother of God, you must have felt your status in the world fall when you were no longer “Joseph’s wife” but only a poor widow.

In our times, most of us grieve our new state each time we fill out a form and are forced to check the “widow” box instead of the “married” box. Sometimes our social life falls because we are not part of a couple. Often, our income falls as well.

Mother Mary, pray for us your daughters as we feel our place in the world diminish.

Jesus, throughout Scripture, Your people were exhorted to honor needy widows. Purify the minds of all widows from negative images of widowhood. Show us if You want to provide us with second husbands. In Your new covenant, we are offered a new consecrated state, living to serve Your church. If our new vocation is to have You as our Second Bridegroom, show us how.
Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped

Mary …

Did you keep any of your Son’s things after His death? Perhaps, you even kept some of Joseph’s belongings. We cannot know for certain. What we do know is that Jesus was parted from his clothes by force, an act of violence.

After the death of our husbands, it was a painful process to go through their possessions. As we stripped away those clothes, we felt the memories connected to those clothes slip away as well.

In another sense we feel stripped of everything our husband’s presence meant to us, especially on anniversaries, birthdays, family holidays and religious holy days. Holy Mary, pray for your daughters as we struggle to place all our losses into the hands of God.

Jesus: You wept at the death of Lazarus – and though it is not recorded, no doubt You cried when Joseph died, too. Even so, You also told us not to grieve as unbelievers do. Grief takes many forms; some of these forms are surprising, such as mourning over and article of our husband’s clothing. We beg You to turn each experience of loss into gratitude for the good times.

We hope for that day when our resurrected bodies will be clothed in unimaginable splendor, and we will be reunited with our loved ones. In the meantime, give us grace to be glad to be stripped of what we no longer need, and to help those who have less especially the starving and homeless.
Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Mary …

You had to watch your Son endure one of the worst deaths ever devised. You saw the nails, blood, wounds, and his horrible, agonizing pain. At the crucifixion, you reflected the pain and strain your Son was experiencing. You became a mirror of His crucifixion.

Many widows recall having witnessed the awful, gut-wrenching miseries of a husband’s suffering Like you, Mary, we became mirrors of that suffering. Our faces, previously ore often expressive of light hearted joy, now manifest the heavy sadness of death.

Jesus, through our baptism each of us is incorporated into the pachal mystery. This means that, like You, we will all experience the passion, death and resurrection. Seen in this light, the loss of our husbands writes us to You in a profound way. Your mother shows us how to endure our cross and how to unite it to Yours. Help us to use our suffering and grief as a conduit of redemptive love that can lead others to You. Mary, our Mother, pray for us now and at the hour of death.
Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Mary …

How often the ways of God must have surprised you, from the Annunciation on through all the mysteries of your life. Perhaps as Jesus was being crucified you waited expectantly for another miracle, hoping that somehow the resurrection would occur right then.

But that did not happen. Instead Jesus gave you another unexpected gift: the gift of spiritual motherhood. You were to become mother of His Church, symbolized in the person of John, the beloved apostle.

Jesus, even in the last moments, we prayed for our husband’s healing and health. Even when they died suddenly, without warning, we prayed over their bodies helping that they, like Lazarus, could be raised from the dead. We wanted them to remain with us here on earth.

As we pray for the souls of our husbands, we are reminded that there is still work that You have for us to do. As we mourn, let our tars never blind us to the need for love in the people around us.
Thirteen Station: Jesus is Taken from the Cross
Mary …

Great artists and sculptors have depicted the tender moment when you held the body of Jesus for the last time. Did you also remember holding the body of St. Joseph for the lat time? How often we wish that we could see our husbands again in the flesh, and embrace them in love.

Pray for us, O Holy Mary, that we might offer these longing back to God. Turn our grief into powerful seeds of prayer.

Jesus, You want us to grieve but not to beg for what is not Your will. Instead of physical contact with our husbands, bodies, You want to stretch us to make contact with them through prayer. Please wean us from wanting what is gone and help us to want what we can have in a spiritual way now, and in eternity. Some widows experience the souls of their spouses with them always, and others, rarely, if at all. Help us to trust in the signs of eternal life You choose for each of us as individuals. Many of us have found healing races through groups each of us as individuals. Many of us have found healing graces through groups each of us as individuals. Many of us have found healing graces through groups on bereavement and grief. If we could benefit from such ministries, help us to overcome our desire to hide our pain. Let us not reject what would bring hope.
Fourteen Station: Jesus Is Buried

Mary …

Some who write about you believe that Jesus first appeared to you, his mother privately. We do not know how that was, but we do know that you understand how we feel at the burial of those we love. Even with the numbness that often comes with a death, the farewell at the gravesite is always poignant.

Jesus, You want to increase our faith in life eternal. In the meantime, You teach us to believe in Your mystical body, experienced in its highest form on earth at Holy Mass and in the reception of Holy Communion. Help us to believe that our communion with You at the sacred rites is also a communion with the one to whom we were joined in the sacrament of marriage. You have made saints of some widows, known to us, or hidden from the public eye. What more can we pray for than that, like them, our hearts be free from doubt, bitterness, anxiety and despair and be filled, instead, with the joys You send us (even as we suffer) and with love, love, and LOVE.

Options for Catholic Widows

In the Act of the Apostles and the Epistles you will find references to good and bad widows. The bad ones were drunken and gossipy or both. The good ones devoted themselves to family and Church work. The earliest consecration in the Church was that of widows. This vocation is being revised in our times.

I thought it might help other widows to know of some options I have been researching for many years:

Ardent Catholic Widow – open to remarriage: Such a widow might add to the pious practices and service she performed some things she might not have done before such as daily Mass, liturgy of the hours, soup kitchen, hospice, etc. She might want to be part of 3 rd Orders or lay movements.

Religious Sister or Contemplative Nun: Many orders previously had age limits – this made entrance of most widows unlikely. Nowadays many such communities accept older women including widows for full membership. An community specifically designed to admit older women even if they can’t live in a convent but need to live with their families or alone in places where there is no communal convent is Handmaids of Nazareth – Sister Mary Jeanne Tate – (828) 384 1803.

Consecrated Widow within a Religious Community: There are some religious communities who have one or more consecrated widows with that title as a vocation different from Sisters or Lay Affiliates. Some of these are, The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity ( S.O.L.T. -Servants of the Bride of Christ – For more about their spirituality go to www.brideofchristcommunity.org), The Pauline Holy Family Institute, The Franciscan Order. There may be others. Check the web or contact an order you are close to and ask if they might consider you. In this case the Consecrated Widow would be under the direction of someone in the Community living an individual rule either with other widows in a house or by herself, usually near a community house.

Servant Widows of the Good Shepherd: A widow felt called to start her own community of consecrated widows. Some will live in convents, some in their own homes. They will wear habits without veils. For more information contact Sr.Elizabeth Ann Seton at 610-439-8646.

Daughters of Divine Hope is a new group in Tyler Texas, that includes many types of women without age limit, including widows. They live in a convent and serve the Church. See http://www.daughtersofdivinehope.org

Widow Dedicated to the Lord with a Private Promise not to remarry and to live according to a Rule she devises with the help of her Pastor or Spiritual Director.

  • I have made and renewed since 1996 a private promise not to remarry ever.
  • I try to live simply, giving everything away to the poorest of the poor, to pro-life or other apostolates whatever money I have that I don’t need as a necessity. I dress in simple blue clothing: jumpers or dresses with blue or white sweaters or blouses, in honor of Mary.
  • I attend Daily Mass and make frequent Confession. I pray daily the rosary, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Liturgy of the Hours (Morning prayer, Evening Prayer and Night prayer, and meditate on spiritual readings. I spend an hour in silent prayer either in a Church or at home. I devote most of my time to apostolic endeavors such as writing, speaking and teaching. I am not under strict obedience but I do follow the advice of my spiritual director.

This Rule is not binding under pain of sin to allow for the flexibility I need as an older woman and as a widow for availability to my family, however, I will make my best effort to follow it.

Consecrated Widow Under the Bishop: There are consecrated widows now in France, Italy, Spain, Poland and pending Czechoslovakia but not yet in the United States. The Vatican is working on a rite for consecrated widows. This would not essentially be a group living together (though consecrated widows could choose to live in a group) but rather individuals who want to live much as did the consecrated widows described in the New Testament.. Archbishop Burke of St. Louis, who is overseeing this emerging possibility in the United States, suggests that widows who feel called to a consecrated life as individuals should write a letter expressing your reasons to the Congregation in Rome working on a possible rite: His Excellency Francis Cardinal Arinze, Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments 00120 Vatican City State, Europe.

Many widows find much wisdom, comfort and inspiration from reading about the widow saints. You might find this by reading Walk with Me, Jesus: A Widow’s Journey from Simon Peter Press (1-800-558-5452). In the meantime, there is a lot about widows in my book: Weeping with Jesus.

Family of Jacopa in Ohio: A new community that includes Sisters who can be widows, and dedicated widows, is Family of Jacopa in Ohio right near the Franciscan University of Steubenville. For information write to Kathleen Marshall via email

Many widows find much wisdom, comfort and inspiration from reading about the widow saints. You might find this by reading Walk with Me, Jesus: A Widow’s Journey coming soon from Simon Peter Press (1-800-558-5452). In the meantime, there is a lot about widows in my free book: Weeping with Jesus.

You can also e-mail me at chervinronda@gmail.com if you have questions about the callings listed in this flyer.

CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS BY RONDA CHERVIN

  1. Church of Love (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications) 1972  (Part of this became a booklet published by St. Paul Books and Media called Signs of Love: How Jesus Loves us through the Sacraments in 1989)
  2. The Art of Choosing: Guidelines for Making Life Decisions (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications) 1974
  3. Prayer and Your Everyday Life Series including 3 booklets: Prayer and Your Everyday Life, The Spirit and your Everyday Life and Love and your Everyday Life (Liguori: Missouri: Liguori Publications) 1975
  4. Why I am a Charismatic: A Catholic Explains (Liguori, Missouri:  Liguori Publications) 1978
  5. The Way, the Truth and the Life: Meeting Christ in Prayer (Pecos, New Mexico: Dove Publications) 1978

  6. The Woman’s Tale: a Journal of Inner Exploration co-author Mary Neill (New York: Seabury) 1981

  7. Bringing the Mother with You: Sources of Healing in Marian Meditation co-author Mary Neill (New York: Seabury Press) 1982

  8. How Shall We Find the Father: Meditations for Mixed Voices co-authors Mary Neill and Don Briel (New York: The Seabury Press) 1983

  9. Half-Way to Eternity: Prayer-Poems, (Sedona, Arizona: Chiaro-Oscuro Press) 1983

  10. Victory Over Death: Foretastes of Eternity in Prayer (Petersham, Massachusetts: St. Bede’s Publications) 1985

  11. The Holy Dybbuk: Letters of Charles Rich, Contemplative (Petersham, Massachusetts: St. Bede’s Publications, 1988

  12. Great Saints, Great Friends co-author Mary Neill, OP (Staten Island, N.Y.: Alba House) 1989

  13. Hungry for Heaven: The Story of Charles Rich, Contemplative (Petersham, Massachusetts, St. Bede’s Publications) 1993

  14. Feminine, Free and Faithful (San Francisco: Ignatius Press) 1987 (Reprinted by Franciscan University Press, Steubenville, Ohio) 1995 (Published in Spanish under the title Femeninas, Libres y Fieles by Editorial Diana in 1991)

  15. The Ingrafting: The Conversion Stories of Ten Hebrew-Catholics (Petersham, Massachusetts: St. Bede’s Publications) 1987

  16. Living in Love: Christian Ethics for Everyday Life (Boston: St. Paul’s Books and Media) 1988. (This book is reprinted as part of a 4 volume compendium entitled The Way of Love published in 2013)

  17. Love of Wisdom: An Introduction to Christian Philosophy co-author Msgr. Eugene Kevane (San Francisco: Ignatius Press) 1988

  18. Woman to Woman co-author Terri Vorndran Nichols (San Francisco: Ignatius Press) 1998

  19. Prayers of the Women Mystics (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant) 1992 (Published in Italian under the title Le Preghiere delle Grandi Mistiche in 1992)

  20. Tell My Why: Answering Tough Questions about the Faith co-author Msgr. Joseph Pollard (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor) 1994

  21. En Route to Eternity: The Story of My Life (New York: Miriam Press) 1994

  22. A Mother’s Treasury of Prayers (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant) 1994

  23. Treasury of Women Saints (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publications) 1991(Reprinted and updated by Franciscan Media, 2015) (Translated into Italian under the title Donne Sante published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana in 1995)

  24. Quotable Saints (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant) 1992 (Reprinted by CMJ Marian Publishers)

  25. The Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions, co-author Carla Conley (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publications) 1994

  26. The Kiss from the Cross: A Saint for Every Kind of Suffering (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publications)  1994 (published in Korean – the date is in Korean but I know it was in the 2000’s) (Reprinted in 2015 under the title Avoiding Bitterness in Suffering: How Our Heroes in Faith Found Peace amid Sorrow by Sophia Institute Press (Manchester, New Hampshire) 2015.

  27. Spiritual Friendship: Darkness and Light (Boston: St. Paul’s Books and Media) 1992

  28. Freed to Love: Healing for Catholic Women (Sedona, Arizona: ChiaroOscuro Press) 1994

  29. Bread from Heaven: Stories of Jews who found the Messiah (New Hope, Kentucky, Remnant of Israel) 1994

  30. Letters for Eternity: Collected from the Correspondence of Charles Rich with Ronda Chervin (Petersham, Massachusetts: St. Bede’s Publications) 1994

  31. Voyage to Insight co-author Lois August Janis (Sedona, Arizona: Chiaro-Oscuro Press) 1994 (reprinted by Enroute Books, 2014)

  32. Becoming a Handmaid of the Lord: From the Journals of Ronda De Sola Chervin 1977-1996 (Oak Lawn, Illinois: CMJ Associates) 1997

  33. Holding Hands with God: Catholic Women Share Their Stories of Courage and Hope (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor) 1997

  34. A Widow’s Walk: Encouragement, Comfort, and Wisdom from the Widow-Saints (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor) 1998 (This was reprinted in a revised edition with Heidi Hess Saxton related more to grieving by Simon Peter Press under the title Walk with me, Jesus: A Widow’s Journey, in 2008)

  35. Healing Meditations from the Gospel of St. John, co-author Dr. Ross Porter (Oak Lawn, Illinois: CMJ – Marian Publishers) 2000

  36. The Fabric of Our Lives (Oak Lawn: CMJ Marian Publishers)  2000

  37. Seeking Christ in the Crosses and Joys of Aging (Oak Lawn, Illinois: CMJ – Marian Publishers) 2000

  38. Help in Time of Need: Encouragement, Practical Advice and Prayers (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant) 2002

  39. Taming the Lion Within: 5 Steps from Anger to Peace (Oldsmar, Florida: Simon Peter Press) 2003

  40. Legacy: How to Share the Memories You Treasure with Family and Friends (Oak Lawn, Illinois: CMJ Marian Publications) 2005

  41. What the Saints Said About Heaven co-authors Richard and Ruth Ballard (Charlotte, North Carolina: Tan/St. Benedict)  2011

  42. Last Call: Twelve Men Who Dared Answer, Stories of Late Vocations to the Priesthood (Corpus Christi, Texas: Goodbooksmedia) 2012

  43. Toward a 21st Century Catholic World-View (Corpus Christi, Texas: Goodbooksmedia) 2014

  44. Catholic Realism: A framework for the Refutation of Atheism and the Evangelization of Atheists, co-author Sebastian Mahfood (St. Louis, Missouri: En Route Books and Media) 2015

  45. Spirituality for All Times: Readings from the Catholic Classics co-author Kathleen Brouillette (St. Louis, Missouri: En Route Books and Media) 2015

  46. Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope (St. Louis, Missouri: En Route Books and Media) 2016

  47. Healing from Rejection with the Help of the Lord: A Survivor’s Guide (En Route Books) (St. Louis, Missouri: En Route Books and Media) 2016

  48. The Way of Love: The Battle for Inner Transformation (including What is Love: Obstacles to Love, Making Loving Moral Decisions, and 100 Day Spiritual Marathon) (St . Louis, Missouri: En Route Books and Media) 2017

  49. Why I am Still a Catholic – a series of booklets, edited by Ronda Chervin including one by her (Corpus Christi, Texas: goodbooksmedia.com) 2017

  50. Escaping Anxiety on the Road to Spiritual Joy – co-author Al Hughes (St. Louis, Missouri, En Route Books and Media) 2018

  51. Simple Holiness – co-author Al Hughes (St. Louis, Missouri, En Route Books and Media) 2018

  52. 9 Toes in Eternity – (Corpus Christi, Texas: goodbooksmedia.com) 2018

  53. Road Map for 80 Year-Olds, co-author Al Hughes (St. Louis, Missouri, En Route Books and Media) 2019

  54. Short-Takes – Transcripts of WCAT Radio Shows edited by Ronda Chervin (St. Louis, Missouri, En Route Books and Media) 2019

  55. Give me Your Heart: Preparing for Eternal Life – from writings of Charles Rich, edited by Ronda Chervin (St. Louis, Missouri, En Route Books and Media) 2019

  56. En Route to Eternity: Further Along the Road sequel to En Route to Eternity Miriam Press – forthcoming 2020.

Self-Published:

  1. Becoming a Woman of God: Your 15 -Week Guided Journal, co-author Eileen Spotts, 1995
  2. Ties that Bind: The Story of a Marriage (a novel) 1995
  3. The Summer Knight’s Tale co-author Gene Grandy (a novel) 2001
  4. The Battle for the 20th Century Mind (a textbook) 2001
  5. The Last Fling (a novel) 2002
  6. Called by Name: Following a Personal Spirituality, 2006
  7. God Alone! Solo Dios BastaThoughts Received by Ronda Chervin, 2008
  8. 6 Toes in Eternity – Journals of Ronda Chervin, 2018

The Fullness of Life by Martin Dybicz

The Fullness of Life by Martin Dybicz

The Fullness of Life

by Martin Dybicz

This complete and highly readable overview of the Catholic faith explains how living fully is found in knowing three things: that God is real, that He communicates with us, and that He wants us to respond. The author explains the relationship between Faith and Reason, the importance of our being familiar with the Bible, and the value of our understanding our human nature, including our sexuality, through the light of our faith.
Paperback $18.95 | Kindle $9.99

TESTIMONIALS

“Martin Dybicz has synthesized for Catholic readers a comprehensive understanding of what it means to live to the fullness of our lives, which is nothing less than living through the fullness of Truth, Who is a Person, namely Jesus Christ.” – Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, co-author with Dr. Ronda Chervin of Catholic Realism: A Framework for the Refutation of Atheism and the Evangelization of Atheists

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Dybicz holds an M.A. in Religious Education and has taught high school Theology for thirty-five years. He is currently the president of the Boards of both L’Arche Cleveland and LifeWorks Ohio, co-host of “From the Median” on the Salem Radio Network, author of a monthly column for www.catholicstand.com, an emcee, and a speaker.

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The Prayerful Kiss (A Collection of Prose and Poetry) by Francis Etheredge

The Prayerful Kiss (A Collection of Prose and Poetry) by Francis Etheredge

The Prayerful Kiss (A Collection of Poetry and Prose)

by Francis Etheredge

Are a “Prayer” and a “Kiss” irreconcilable? This is the question Francis Etheredge examines through this medley of “moments,” both painful and beautiful, which are laid out as a kind of word-quilt that ranges over many years of life and writing. A theme among these “impressionistic” accounts of life is the “sharp thread” of an almost endlessly repetitive pain of “passing through” relationships. Marriage emerges as a triumph of God, reconciling the apparent contradiction between the “prayer” and the “kiss.”

Coming in November 2018. Paperback: $14.95 | Kindle: $9.99


TESTIMONIALS

“The One, the Good, the True, and the Beautiful are transcendental attributes of God. The Prayerful Kiss is a reflection of true beauty and connects us to God in a way that no other book has ever done.” – Gordon Nary, Editor, Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayerful Kiss is an astounding book! I never thought I would find a 21st century Catholic metaphysical poet, but now I have. Besides that, you can actually understand the poems, which is rather rare for readers like myself! In what might be a new genre, Etheredge alternates sets of poems with autobiographical material, and his commentaries are as potentially life-changing as his poetry. Get it, read it, and let the Spirit flow!” – Ronda Chervin, Ph.D. is the author of numerous books on Catholic spirituality and a professor of philosophy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mr. Francis Etheredge is married with eight children, plus three in heaven. He is the author of Scripture: A Unique Word, and a trilogy From Truth and Truth (Volume I-“Faithful Reason”; Volume II-“Faith and Reason in Dialogue”; Volume III-“Faith Is Married Reason”), all of which are published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing; The Human Person: A Bioethical Word (published by En Route Books and Media, 2017) is immeasurably enriched and complemented by Forewords from eight writers: one to the book as a whole and one to each of the seven chapters.” The Family on Pilgrimage: God Leads through Dead Ends (published by En Route Books and Media, 2018) demonstrates how the gift of faith transformed agonies of searching into a decision to marry, work, unfold a family life, and witness to the help of God.

Francis is currently a freelance writer and speaker and his “Posts” on LinkedIn can be viewed here. Poetry; short articles; autobiographical blog; excerpts from books; and “Philosophize: A Ten Minute Write.” He has earned a BA Div (Hons), MA in Catholic Theology, PGC in Biblical Studies, PGC in Higher Education, and an MA in Marriage and Family (Distinction). Enjoy these additional articles by Francis Etheredge:

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The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM

The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM

The Art of Accompaniment: Practical Steps for the Seminary Formator

by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM

The role of a seminary formator is to accompany the seminarian in the external forum and to discern with him, the seminary community, and larger Church community, whether he has a vocation to the Catholic priesthood. To accomplish this task effectively, the formator needs a vast array of skills that will enable him or her to listen to, understand, encourage, challenge, and adequately assess the seminarian in an open and honest way. This book by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, offers many invaluable insights and practical tools that seminary formators can employ in their work.

Paperback: $14.95 | Kindle: $9.99 (ISBN-13: 978-1732594913)

TEMPLATES

TESTIMONIALS

“As the new Ratio Fundamentalis from Rome invites us to deepen the integration of each seminarian through accompaniment in formation, Sr. Marysia Weber, RSM, brings to bear in this work her years of experience in helping priests and seminarians grow in affective maturity necessary for ministry. This little book offers very helpful insights and practical recommendations to assist seminary formators as they work one-on-one with seminarians in developing the necessary relationship of trust for their growth. Formators will learn from her how to create and take advantage of formative moments in seminary life so that the human and affective flourishing of the man can lead to a flourishing of his divine vocation.” – Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

“Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, DO, articulates clear, relevant ways for the priest formator to accompany seminarians in their formation to the ministerial priesthood. Proposing contemporary assessment questions, this book helps the formation advisor both evaluate and assist the seminarian in his growth in affective maturity. I recommend this compact book particularly because of its practicality, reflection of the Church’s program of formation, and usefulness in identifying opportunities for interior growth for seminarians.” – Fr. Christopher Cooke, Director, Spiritual Year of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.

“An invaluable resource that every seminary formator should have at his or her side.” – Fr. Dennis Billy, CSSr, author of Finding Our Way to God: Spiritual Direction and the Moral Life

“My colleague and friend, Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, has made an invaluable contribution to the work of priestly formation in her book, The Art of Accompaniment. Throughout the work, her skills as a psychiatrist are evident. Even more evident is her love and honor of the priestly vocation. The concept of accompaniment is key to every insight in the text. There simply is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to priestly formation. Sister Marysia demonstrates both from science and theology varied and concrete ways in which more experienced priests can be both challenging and loving companions on a young man’s journey to ordination and a life of service to the Church. Her chapter on ‘Markers of Human Maturation’ is especially helpful because it presents clear and evidence based ways of helping a candidate recognize individual strengths while not fearing to tackle frailties that could compromise his future life and ministry in the priesthood. The chapter on communication skills is most compelling because it helps formators know how to phrase insights in ways that are acceptable to candidates. Sister Marysia clearly grasps the truth of the old adage, ‘I don’t say what I say; I say what you hear.’ The clearest and most objective evaluation I can give to The Art of Accompaniment is to say that I wish I had this book at hand when I began my own work in priestly formation decades ago. It is a significant and contemporary help in forming candidates for the priesthood after the mind of Christ, possessed of self-knowledge, and ready to serve the Church in our challenging times.” – Rev. Msgr. Thomas G. Caserta (Former Director of Spiritual Formation, Cathedral Seminary Residence, in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Pastor, St. Bernadette Church, Brooklyn, NY)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O., M.A., is a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. She graduated from MSU-COM in 1983 and completed a medical internship at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital in Michigan in 1984. She completed her residency in psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1987 and her fellowship in consultation-liaison psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in 1988. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She completed a Master’s degree in Theology from Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana in 1997. She practiced in her religious institute’s multidisciplinary medical clinic, Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Alma, MI from 1988-2014. She became the Director of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis in 2014. She currently serves as a member of the Saint Louis Archdiocesan Review Board, the Child Safety Committee, is involved with Project Rachel, collaborates with the Office of Laity and Family Life and is a member of the Catholic Medical Association. She also serves as Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri.

She offers workshops on a variety of topics including human attachment, boundaries and character development, depression and anxiety, dialogue and conflict resolution, as well as on social media and its effects on the brain for clergy, seminarians, women’s and men’s religious communities, parents, teachers and students. She is a formator within her own religious community. She presents on Internet pornography addiction—a Catholic approach to treatment to bishops, clergy, seminarians, religious communities, and laity throughout the United States and Europe She presented to the U.S. Bishops in Dallas TX in 1992 on “Pedophilia and Other Addictions”. She was a member of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse in 1994-1995. Sister Marysia has presented to the Curia, Vatican City State on “Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy in North America” in 2002. She has served as a psychological expert consultant for the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, USCCB. Her publications include: “Medical Aspects of Addiction”; “The Roman Catholic Church and the Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Religious in the United States and Canada: What Have We Learned? Where Are We Going?”; “Pornography, Electronic Media and Priestly Formation”; “Significant Markers of Human Maturation Applied to the Selection and Formation of Seminarians”; “The Discernment of a Priestly Vocation and the Expertise of Psychiatry and Psychology”; and “Internet Pornography and Priestly Formation: Medium and Content Collide With the Human Brain”. Her papers “Forming Seminary Formators in the Art of Accompaniment”, “Markers of Human Maturation in Seminary Formation: Becoming a Gift for Others” and “Communication Skills for Formative Dialogue Directed Toward Missionary Discipleship”- A Response to the recent Ratio on Priestly Formation are pending publication in the Seminary Journal.

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The Wise Guy and the Fool: A Philosophical Odyssey from Modern Error to Truth, authored by Matthew D’Antuono

The Wise Guy and the Fool

by Matthew D’Antuono

This is not a textbook on philosophy. It is not an essay on philosophy. It is not a treatise on philosophy. This book is more like philosophical entertainment and illustration: a collection of philosophical dialogues, allegories, stories, and explanations arranged according to chapters that begin with a critique of some of the dominant but wholly irrational ideas in the world today and end with a recognition of the source of highest truth, which man is unable to attain on his own.

Paperback: $14.99 | Kindle: $9.99

VIDEO

Marcus Grodi interviews Matt D’Antuono, a former Evangelical Protestant, on The Journey Home.

TESTIMONIALS

“A great way to get young people interested in philosophy!” – Dr. Peter Kreeft, pre-eminent Catholic philosopher

“A philosophy book for those who don’t want to read philosophy. A lively collection of dialogues and stories that convey very important truths in an entertaining and fast-moving format.” – Dr. Timothy Smith, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Holy Apostles, Cromwell, CT

“In a way that is both fun and funny, both engaging and entertaining, Matthew D’Antuono lucidly demonstrates that, contrary to the relativistic thinking of our times, there is, in fact, unchanging truth.  With a method that is delightfully reminiscent of Walker Percy, D’Antuono reminds us that reality continues to be reality independent of my declaration that it is otherwise.” – Fr. Joe Chapel, Pastor, Our Lady of Mercy, and Adjunct Professor of Theology, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, Seton Hall University

“An insightful, impactful, witty, and fun testimony to the reality of absolute Truth and its author, God.” – Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, co-author with Ronda Chervin of Catholic Realism: A Framework for the Refutation of Atheism and the Evangelization of Atheists

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt D’Antuono is a high school physics teacher who lives in New Jersey with his beautiful wife and seven children.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and philosophy and a master’s degree in special education. He is working on a master’s degree in philosophy at Holy Apostles in Cromwell, CT.

You can find him on YouTube at DonecRequiescat.

Matt’s column on the National Catholic Register may be found here. A couple of discrete samples are below.

Articles by Matt:

  1. “On the Meaning of ‘Be Yourself.'” The Imaginative Conservative (January 4, 2019)
  2. “Emmet: The Awesome Hebrew Word for Truth.” National Catholic Register (December 18, 2018)
  3. “The Missing Key Piece from Youth Catechesis? It’s Philosophy.” National Catholic Register (November 23, 2018)
  4. Fact or Opinion?”: A False Dichotomy,The Imaginative Conservative (July 24, 2018)
  5. Discovering the Beauty of the Truth,” The Coming Home Network International (April 16, 2018)

OTHER ACADEMIC BOOKS

The Fullness of Life by Martin Dybicz

The Fullness of Life by Martin Dybicz This complete and highly readable overview of the Catholic faith explains how living fully is found in knowing three things: that God is real, that He communicates with us, and that He wants us to respond. The author...

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Walking the Parables of Jesus by Deacon Bob Evans

COMING SUMMER 2019 Walking the Parables of Jesus by Deacon Bob Evans Walking the Parables of Jesus is a unique treatment of Jesus’ parables. Drawing on the work of many scholars, the author takes those who seek a deeper understanding of the...

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The Thomist Tradition: Avoiding Scylla and Charybdis

COMING SOON! The Thomist Tradition: Avoiding Scylla and Charybdis by Dr. Donald Boland As with every great philosopher and theologian, the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, though perhaps the clearest expressed of all, has inevitably been subject...

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Eastern Civilization from a Catholic Viewpoint

COMING SOON! Eastern Civilization from a Catholic Viewpoint by Fr. Peter Samuel Kucer, MSA, STD Eastern Civilization from a Catholic Viewpoint traces the history of East and South East Asia from ancient times to modern times. In the process,...

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East and South East Asian History

COMING SOON! East and South East Asian History by Fr. Peter Samuel Kucer, MSA East and South East Asian History studies the historical development of countries that make up East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea)...

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The Eclipse of God: Is Religion on the Way Out?

The Eclipse of God: Is Religion on the Way Out? by Gerard Verschuuren This book was specifically written for all those who feel lost in a world dominated by ideologies that obscure God. It is hard to pinpoint one particular cause of how we feel in such...

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Trinity Footprints

COMING SOON! Trinity Footprints by Roger Skrenes This book asserts there are evidences of the tri-une nature of God in both people and in the world. However, such instances of God’s presence are not generally known by Christians or by others...

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Contemporary Sacred: Conversations on Art & Faith

COMING SOON! Contemporary Sacred: Conversations on Art & Faith by Dr. Michela Ferri In translation now from the Italian. Buy it in the original language here: What is the so-called “Contemporary Sacred Art”? In her book, Michela Beatrice Ferri...

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Voyage to Insight

Voyage to Insight by Dr. Ronda Chervin En Route Books and Media has reprinted Ronda Chervin and Lois Janis’ book Voyage to Insight with fresh, exciting graphics. It can be read straight through or you can add your own insights into the book and even...

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Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope

Weeping with Jesus: The Journey from Grief to Hope by Dr. Ronda Chervin In the past the word grief was used only to describe the sorrow of loss through death. Nowadays pain coming from other kinds of losses such as rejection and divorce are also seen to...

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Bereavement Miracles

Bereavement Miracles by Michael Frey The Bereavement Miracles program was designed to play a quintessential role in evangelizing the “spirit of  mission” to individuals who are suffering from the death of a loved one by relating eternal realities in a...

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In Praise of Life

In Praise of Life by Dr. Donald DeMarco This book illustrates how ten different factors can improve our appreciation of life: Evolution prepares it, Meaning justifies it, Love enhances it, Truth directs it, Freedom crowns it, Virtue strengthens it,...

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How to Flourish in a Fallen World

How to Flourish in a Fallen World by Dr. Donald DeMarco How to Flourish in a Fallen World, by Donald DeMarco, engages the reader in an understanding of our common human nature and the problems it faces in a culture that actively pursues, to put it in Saint...

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Feminine, Free and Faithful

Feminine, Free and Faithful by Dr. Ronda Chervin Should women be feminine and forget about liberation? Or should they reject femininity as a euphemism for slavery? Women seeking fulfillment, says Chervin, aren’t faced with this either-or, but with the...

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The Jesus Code: In the Beginning was the Word

The Jesus Code: In the Beginning was the Word by Roger Skrenes Jesus is the only person in the history of the world whose biography was known before he was born! He wanted everyone on earth to know of this miraculous Old Testament portrait of himself (Luke...

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The Path of Spiritual Happiness

The Path of Spiritual Happiness by Dr. Heather M. Erb This book is a story of the unfolding triumph of Christian happiness as a philosophy of life. We begin with ancient Greek roots and principles provided us by Aristotle, ‘the master of those who know.’...

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Mary, the Beloved

Mary, the Beloved by Keith Berube The Magisterium of the Catholic Church teaches that Mary, the Mother of God, is a grace-filled, flesh and blood woman, who unsurpassingly loves each of us by name. Mary, the Beloved, affirms that teaching, providing a...

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The Way of Love: The Path of Inner Transformation

The Way of Love: The Path of Inner Transformation by Dr. Ronda Chervin A reprint of Dr. Ronda's The Way of Love: The Battle for Inner Transformation, this new edition under a new subtitle puts back in front of the world the nature of human love alongside...

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On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima

On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima by Kevin J. Symonds For several decades, there has been much discussion on the famous third part of the secret of Fátima. Originally communicated to the three seers of Fátima in July, 1917, it was not written down...

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The Human Person: A Bioethical Word

The Human Person: A Bioethical Word by Francis Etheredge Is bioethics a technical specialization or a profound expression of human being? Wonderfully answering this question, the book is beautifully enriched by eight Forewords. Beginning again and again,...

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Faith and Reason: The Cradle of Truth

Faith and Reason: The Cradle of Truth by Dr. Gerard M. Verschuuren Of course, it’s a travesty, but a very widely held one. We all have heard how some people caricature religious believers. On weekdays, they are critical, want proofs, look for arguments,...

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Fun is Not Enough

Fun is Not Enough by Fr. Francis Canavan, SJ Francis Canavan, S.J., was a professor of political science, a leading Edmund Burke scholar, and an essayist whose thoughts on faith, politics, and culture earned him accolades from many prominent Catholic minds...

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History of the Eucharist

History of the Eucharist by Roger Skrenes The Eucharist is not a topic of the moment. Like any good teacher, God took “his time” in revealing the Eucharist slowly, step by step, throughout Biblical history. In this history there are two main tracks: 1) the...

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Political Science from a Catholic Perspective

Political Science from a Catholic Perspective by Fr. Peter Samuel Kucer, MSA Today, many specializations within the field of political science identify it particularly as a social science, and these are namely political theory, government and politics,...

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