Catholic Public Speaker and Inspirational Author: Embracing the virtues to live a happier life!

My Last Day with My Dad

June 20, 2018

Dad DuffyToday is a very difficult day for me. It was June 20, 1999, Father’s Day, that I had my last conversation with my dad. In 1999, my husband and I lived in Utah, and my dad lived in New Jersey. On June 11th of that year, he was taken to the hospital; diagnosed with emphysema, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.  Things didn’t look good. So, my husband and I flew home on June 12th.

When we got to the hospital, and walked into the room, my dad was so happy to see me. He kept telling Continue reading

Masticate and Swallow – Book Review

masticate and swallowIn this endearing memoir, Masticate and Swallow, by Fabio Alberto Hurtado, we learn of a young Cuban boy from the 1970’s, who emigrates to the United States. Hurtado sets the stage with a series of short stories from his childhood in Cuba, highlighting his relationship with family and the state.

Masticate and Swallow – A Heartwarming Story

He speaks of hardships living in a Communist country; yet he does it with humor. One of my favorite stories centers around a family game of Parchesi, where the family has only one die to play the game (The other was lost Continue reading

Remain in My Love; Love One Another

May 14, 2018

Love one anotherIn today’s Gospel from John, we hear Our Lord command us, once again, to “love one another” (John 15:17). Jesus gives this directive, yet He leaves it up to our own free will to choose to love one another, for love is a choice. Love wouldn’t be love, if it were not given and received freely, for love is a gift.

In this directive from Jesus, He is asking us to be generous with one another; to forgive, to be merciful, caring and compassionate with one another. He is asking us to treat others as He treats each of us; Continue reading

Hearts and Ashes; Love and Mercy

February 14, 2018

Hearts and Ashes Wow! Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Day on the same day! Hearts and Ashes in one fell swoop! Today is the day when we show our love for our spouses and loved ones, with valentines. It is also a day that we show our love for Christ, with ashes on our foreheads; marking ourselves as belonging to Christ. Today, we can consider the ashes on our foreheads as our own personal valentine to God, acknowledging Christ’s sacrifice on the cross because of His love for us.

Talk about bittersweet days! No hearts filled with assorted chocolates this year! Considering that Ash Continue reading

Spokes, by Deanna Klingel – Book Review

Spokes Spokes, by Deanna Klingel, a fast paced, easy to read novel, sends Kelsey Merritt and Brendon Cohen on an adventure to solve a mystery. Kelsey, a home-schooled teen, is a triathlon athlete. While cycling one afternoon with her mom, in preparation for an upcoming triathlon event, tragedy strikes. This tragedy sends Kelsey on a mission; to determine who is responsible for a hit and run accident. In her pursuit, she teams up with fellow triathlon athlete and home-school student, Brendon Cohen.

Together, these two teens, take us on a wild ride through the hills of North Carolina. We come Continue reading

Neighborly Love: Who is My Neighbor? What Does It Entail?

August 2, 2017

Neighborly Love Do you think that you can pick and choose who you want to love? Do you think you can toss aside those not selected? Think again! As Christians, we are called to love, serve and forgive everyone. That is neighborly love! However, given our human weaknesses, that’s a tall order! Yet, as followers of Christ, it is a mantle we must take upon ourselves. Christ asks much of us, but with his command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39), He gives us the grace needed to fulfill His desire.

Who is Your Neighbor?

Although I have the best Continue reading

Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek – Book Review

Saint Magnus I must admit that I had never heard of Saint Magnus, until I read Saint Magnus: The Last Viking, by Susan Peek. With this action-packed novel, set around 1,000 A.D., we find a dual hierarchy established on the deathbed of the monarch Thorfinn. Rather than leaving his throne to his eldest son, he creates a dual hierarchy, where both of his sons, Erland and Paal, are to rule over the Orkney homeland together. Tensions rise as the brother’s descendants seethe in animosity for each other. Hakon, the son of Paal is a troublemaker; whereas Aerling, the son of Erland, Continue reading

The Purpose of Birthdays: Showing Love

July 10, 2017

Birthdays Today marks my husband’s 64th birthday! So, I take this opportunity to wish Nick a very Happy Birthday. Have you ever wondered why we mark birthdays as a time to celebrate the passing of another year? If we gave it some thought, a birthday means that we have one less year to live on earth. We have one less year to accomplish our goals. Yet, birthdays are meant to be celebrated. Why? Because it is a very good way to show love to those we hold most dear. It’s a day to place a loved one upon a pedestal; to Continue reading