Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Keeping A Tidy House

Another mom just shared this with me.  A great reminder!

"Trying to keep your house clean if you have kids is like trying to shovel your sidewalk during a snowstorm".

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Catholic on Purpose

If asked about her past, Christie would reply, “I used to be such an introvert, always happy to talk to someone if they started the conversation first.  Now I will just go up to anyone and talk to them.  I have become an intentional Catholic.  Now, I am known for going around and handing out Light House CDs.  My friends tease me because I always have them on hand.”

Christie credits her mother for the depth of her faith.  Her mother has been praying for her to find "good friends" for as long as she can remember but she never quite understood what that meant.  Christie grew up a practicing Catholic.  She went to World Youth Day in Denver and she even went on retreats.  “While in college, I began to go to church less and less.  My faith was always important to me, but I was not living it, day to day.  I was married in the Catholic Church and when we had children, we had them baptized, because that's just what you do.”  Christie was going through the motions.  She went to church when it fit into the schedule, but her faith life had become something that she pulled out of her pocket on Sunday and then tucked away the rest of the week.  Her friends at the time were all "Catholics" by name but they were not living out their faith any more than she was.   

When she and her family moved to Buffalo in 2007, they joined St. Gregory the Great in Williamsville but stayed at the margins, until the spring of 2010 when Christie lost her brother to an overdose.  All of a sudden having the right house, the right car, the right clothes were not so important to her anymore.  In the fall of 2010, a mom on a baseball field and she started talking.  After a few games the woman invited her and her husband to attend a gathering of married couples and gave her a Lighthouse Catholic Media CD.  This was a game changer for her. 

Christie made a commitment to get involved in the parish and to step out of her comfort zone.  She started listening to all the Lighthouse CDs that she could get her hands on (  Christie joined the MOMS group at her parish and she started forming beautiful friendships.  The parish that had seemed so large before, became her family's second home.  She started reading the daily readings and meditations each day, and over a few months her prayer life started to evolve, but she still felt restless.

One day her mother agreed to come to her MOMS group to share a witness about the sacrament of reconciliation and Christie was asked to introduce her.  “I kept wondering, how can I introduce her when I haven't been to confession myself?  I shared my fear with a Mom over a cup of coffee and she encouraged me to go to confession.  She shared her own story on coming back to the Sacrament.   I was scared to go.  I had not been to confession since high school, and even back then I went out of obligation, never understanding the Sacrament.  I fully became alive in my faith that day.  It was like a light switch turn on inside me.  That morning at our MOMS group, I shared my own story with our MOMS group, and a few women shared with me after their own fear of going.  That day I felt that tug in my heart to reach out to fallen away Catholics.”

Christie accepted a friend’s invitation to attend a Lighthouse Catholic Media sponsored conference.  At that conference she witnessed what the "New Evangelization" meant first hand.  “It was so much more than these amazing speakers on CDs.  It was about reaching the lost.  “At that conference I felt God tugging at my heart in a powerful way.  On the flight home, my friend and I, spread Lighthouse CDs and books all around the plane.  That was my first experience with spreading faith seeds.”

When she came home from that conference, she became a Catholic with purpose.  The Lighthouse and Dynamic Catholic resources made it easy for her to evangelize.  “Everyday God places people in our lives.  There are always opportunities to share faith if we listen.  It could be on the baseball field, in a doctor’s office or even at Wegman’s.”  The song “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath helps Christie to see the people all around her in a new way.  She and her friend have partnered to do evangelization weekends in parishes.  Her favorite part is hearing the faith stories of people afterward. 

There is so much power in a simple invitation.  “I just hand them a CD or a book and let the Holy Spirit take over.  Stepping out of our comfort zone is a challenge for all of us.  I am inspired by the words of St. Catherine of Siena “If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.”  Christie invites us all to consider this question: “Where is God calling you to use your gifts?”  Christie was in customer service all her adult life.  Now she is a customer service rep for Jesus.  “I want to give back what has been given to me.”
Dennis Mahaney, 
Office of Parish Life

Friday, August 23, 2013

Restless Heart: The Confessions of Saint Augustine

WHAT A FUNDRAISER-FAITHRAISER!  If you need income to start a Mom's group or for special projects, this is it!  Last night the Niagara Falls Catholic Mom's Group hosted the movie Restless Heart at our local theater. It was a huge success.  We sold out of 300 tickets.  

Everyone clapped when the movie was over.  Here's what one viewer posted on Facebook after the movie, "Just came from a showing of True Confessions , about St Augustine. Its worth going all you friends of mine are invited when it plays again!!"

The proceeds from the movie will be used for supplies, speakers, and special projects throughout the year.  In addition, we'll be tithing money to the new Respect Life group in our public high school (hooray!!).  We dream of one-day getting the kids to Washington D.C. for the March for Life.  

The best part is that this is a faith-raiser and a true blessing to any community.  I can't tell you how many people thanked us for bringing 'this type of movie' to the area.  Let's face it - it's tough to find a clean movie these days, let alone a GREAT clean movie.  And one that's Catholic?!  (Keep in mind that even Protestant churches are coming out to see this movie! A great saint is a great saint).

We had a few really great God-moments throughout these past 6 weeks.  For example, a wonderful priest contacted us to order a DVD.  He ended up sending a $100 donation to our Mom's group.   

So, for those interested in organizing this, I thought I would share a few ideas on how we set this up.

By the way, I talked to a few people I know who organized this fundraiser in other parts of the country and they all said the same thing. "We sold out and quickly booked our next showing".  We were still getting calls for more tickets the day of the event so we went ahead and booked our next showing for Wed, Oct 9.  Once all the initial set-up is done, running this a second time is going to be even easier than the first.  It's all almost too good to be true.  Thank you, Ignatius Press!


The Confessions of Augustine

Saint Augustine - Saint Monica - Saint Ambrose



Since the fall of 2012, the movie Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine, has swept North America.  

This first-ever full-length film on the life of St. Augustine has been seen more than 1,000 times in more than 200 cities!

Now, due to popular demand for the film, the Niagara Falls Catholic Moms Group is bringing this movie to our area to entertain and spiritually inspire our community.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 

at 6:30 pm

Four Seasons Cinema
2429 Military Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304
(behind Big Lots) 

Limited seating is available. 

Tickets available in the parish office 
or contact us at 297-8310 
(email preferred) 

Ticket cost: $10 each
Buy 10 tickets and get 1 FREE

Click on the image below to watch the trailer.

Watch the Restless Heart Trailer here

Please forward this email to other people you know who may be 

interested in attending and help inspire our community.  
Some content of this movie for mature audiences. 

All proceeds go to the 
Niagara Falls Catholic Moms group 
and the new NFHS Pro-life group.
For more information about the 
moms group, 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Young People Changing Lives

Catholic mom Hollie Weiss in the diocese of Buffalo shared with me an amazing project that her sons helped document through video.  Hollie and her husband have four boys who work together on film and digital editing.  Now they are using their gifts and talents to help with pro-life efforts such as this....collecting 1 million pennies for the unborn.  

Perhaps other Catholic moms out there can share this 7 minute video with their children and inspire them to get involved.

(Click here to watch the video through Catholic Moms Connect Blog).

Like their facebook page "Beggars for life"

Ever wonder what a mom like this is doing to raise up children with such strong Faith?  I talked with Hollie in a 10 minute interview to find out more.

Know of any other great young people working to spread the Catholic Faith or Pro-life message?  We'd love to interview them.   

Get inspired for Pro-life work with these fantastic talks:

Click Here to Order CD or MP3

Click Here to Order CD or MP3

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Interview with Sharon Leyne, artist of the iphone app 'Saint of the Day for Kids'

We are delighted to share with you a new app available for iphone and ipad, Saint of the Day for Kids. The goal of the app is to give a short and child-friendly daily dose of the Saints.  Perfect for home, school or homeschooling.

Julie Musselman talked with the app artist Sharon Leyne, a wonderful young mom in Western Canada.  Sharon describes the app and shares a few ideas on how she makes her home a "Catholic home."

CLICK Here for the 13 minute interview

If you love hearing about the lives of the saints, also check out this talk from Lighthouse Catholic Media "Called to be Saints" in MP3 or CD format.

Click here to order.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog to receive regular interviews, ideas and tips for Catholic Moms.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Angels In Our Midst

At our last monthly MOMS MEETING in New York
speaker Monica Saltarelli spoke about "Angels In Our Midst".

       - audio is about 35 min                            

Read more on the role of our Guardian Angels during Mass in the writings of mystic Catalina (Katya) Rivas on pg 4 - click here.  You've got to read this - you will never experience the Mass the same way again!

Read more about Catalina here and in the book Reason To Believe. AMAZING
Click HERE for a free PDF download on the Holy Mass as dictated to Katya by Our Lord Jesus.

Also check out these awesome audio CDs...

(click here to order)                          (click here to order)

Want a great movie about Guardian Angels?  Check out 'The Greatest Miracle'.

 (Note: the little demons may be scary to older/younger children so preview first or watch with them.)

Craft Idea: 'Angel of God Prayer' Bookmark

Holy Habits: 
Our family says the Guardian Angel prayer on our way to school each morning.

At night we say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

It's a great way to start and end the day!

Monday, June 10, 2013

An Interview with Patty Schneier

Patty Schneier is a life-long Catholic, housewife, and mother of three from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She and her husband Larry are active members in their parish, where Patty cantors for Sunday Mass.

Since October 2003, Patty has been speaking at parishes and Catholic Conferences across the United States, sharing her personal testimony “Prove It, God!”. . . And He Did. Using song, scripture, and writings from her journal, Patty shares the story of her challenge to God and His daily response. The results were life changing!

Patty Schneier has just released her talk "Prove it God! And He did" through Lighthouse Catholic Media. We caught up with Patty from her home to discuss conversion, contraception and God's big amazing plans.

Click HERE to hear Catholic Moms Connect interview with Patty Schneier

Click HERE to join the Lighthouse Catholic Media CD of the Month Club by June 15 and get a hard copy (copies) of this talk sent right to your home.  Learn our Faith; Live our Faith; Share our Faith. Talk will be available to order on the online store after July 1.Click HERE for online store.

Please be sure to "follow"  Catholic Moms Connect (top left) for great news and updates.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the interview...leave comments below.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Birthday Parties

Got a great email today from Catholic Mom Mrene in NY.  Love this idea!

Today I ran into a school mom from my daughter's kindergarten class.  About a month ago, my daughter went to her son's birthday party, and we bought The Greatest Miracle DVD from the Catholic Store as a gift for him.  I used to dread these birthday parties, buying yet another made-in-China present for the kid who already has everything and was about to receive a ton more simply because he was another year older.  But no more!  Now I don't mind these parties at all because it's an opportunity to buy them something that just might bring them closer to Our Lord, and I don't feel guilty about spending money because it supports our Catholic store.  

So this woman stops me and says, "Excuse me, you bought that Greatest Miracle DVD for my son."  I was worried she was about to let me have it for not warning her about the scary demons scene.  Instead she says, "I just want you to know, it used to be such a fight to get my son to mass.  Ever since he's watched that movie, he wants to go, and he asks me questions about what's going on during mass."  Can you believe it?!?  Just from this movie!  So I just wanted to put a plug in for it!

God bless,

Movie Trailer Below:

Get your copy of this DVD at St. Gregory the Great Bookstore or through Ignatius Press.

Other gift ideas:

Facing the Giant, Soul Surfer, Mighty Macs. Animated Saint movies are good as well.

Music for girls: Britt Nicole, Jamie Grace, Group 1 Crew are good ones. 
Music for boys: Toby Mac, Thousand Foot Krutch, KJ52, Group 1 Crew.

For younger kids: Meet Kids 4 Jesus (Music), CatChat (Music and Stories) and Glory Story (Stories of Blessed Pier Giorgio, etc.) for kids age 3-11 CLICK HERE

For girls 2nd through 6th grade, the Olivia and the Little Way series, by Nancy Belanger 
A modern day story of a girl who moves to a new town, based on the spirituality of St. Therese.

Have other ideas for birthday gifts for kids? Let us know.  Leave a comment below.

Not on our email list? Click here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Great Lighthouse Catholic Media ideas for Mother's Day!

Available for a limited time through the Online Store

To shop all Mother's Day Gift Ideas, click here.
Offer ends May 13th, 2013

Mother's Day Bundle
5 CDs for only $14.50

Get 25% off the regular store price when you purchase this special 5-CD Bundle. Including some of our most powerful talks, this bundle makes a perfect gift and is sure to inspire mothers of all ages!


Amazing Grace for Mothers is a collection of 101 stories that bring the warmth and support of women dedicated to the glorious role of motherhood. List price $13.99
Available with a FREE CD for only $9!

"I found her trials of motherhood very inspirational and enjoyed her humor." - Lisa, NC

The Virgin Mary Revealed Through Scripture by Dr. Scott Hahn
Get this CD FREE with the book!

Drawing on his roots as a Protestant minister, Dr. Scott Hahn establishes the biblical basis for our veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Hear a preview

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NEW CD ~ Baptism: A Conversation with Annie Esposito and Julie Musselman

Catholic Moms Connect Baptism CD now available!

In this CD, Annie and Julie talk about Baptism from a mom's point of view. They talk about what the sacrament is and why it is important in our busy lives. They cover how to prepare for the baptism liturgy and then give practical tips on what should happen after the baptism. They also cover FAQs on Baptism. 

This CD a great tool for those preparing to have their child baptized or wondering why they should. It is great for those who teach baptism at the parish level to give as a "take home" or supplement to the baptism class. And grandparents, this might be just what you need to give your son or daughter that gentle nudge to encourage them to have your grandchildren baptized.

"This CD is great!  As I was listening to the both of you converse, I was sometimes finishing your sentences!  It sounded like conversations I’ve had with families at Baptism Prep and in workshops I’ve given.  It was genuine and informative.Thanks for sharing it with me."

Diane Kledzik
Associate Director of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation
Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL

To order AUDIO CDs of the above Conversation about Baptism,
 just email your name and address to:

CDs are just $5 each 
10 or more copies are $3 each
plus shipping

Annie with Lillianna

Click on the above link to see our newest talk about Baptism in video form.

More Listener Feedback:

"I finally had a chance to listen to the Baptism CD you did with Annie E. and I LOVE it!!!  We are in the process of revamping our program and may incorporate it into the package" --Mary, DRE at St Thomas, New Port Richey FL

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Losing Yourself In Love

Annie's friend Lydia sent her the best book...and then she read it and sent it to me... and then I read it in two days. Loved it!  The book is My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell. 

Page 112 has the best advice from Edith Stein (St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) to each of us.  
Edith Stein

"Edith recommends that a woman should, if possible, attend mass in the morning and ask Jesus after receiving Him in the Eucharist how He wants her to spend her day. As the day progresses and new worries and problems accumulate, she should take a noontime break to reconnect w/ God. A Eucharistic holy hour or solitary rest in a quiet place is ideal, but if that's impossible, she should take a moment to 'seal herself off inwardly against all other things and take refuge in the Lord. He is indeed there and can give us in a single moment what we need.’ The day’s work and problems will continue, but we will remain at peace.

Edith then says: "When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God's hands, and offer it up to Him. In this way we will be able to rest in Him, actually to rest and to begin the new day like a new life."

A woman who follows these natural rhythms of prayer, work, and rest will be rewarded with abiding peace, Edith says. She will find in Jesus a worthy outlet for her feminine longing to lose herself in love." 


Colleen Carroll Campbell
Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, columnist, television and radio host and former presidential speechwriter. She writes for such national outlets as The New York Times, Washington Post, America and First Things; comments on those issues on such networks as PBS, NPR, FOX News and CNN; and discusses them as host of “Faith & Culture,” a weekly television and radio interview show that airs internationally on EWTN, the world’s largest religious network. A former speechwriter to President George W. Bush and the author of The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy (Loyola, 2002), Campbell speaks to audiences across America.  

Check out Colleen’s inspiring talk Feminine Genius with bonus track from the book, read by Colleen, about St Therese of Liseux and her father. To purchase this CD or MP3Download click here.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lent in a Year of Faith

This past Saturday at our Moms meeting we brainstormed ideas for Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday.

A great idea for moms and dads is to break down our Lenten activities into three categories: Either do or give something up individually, for our spouse, and also as a family.

So, for example, I'm considering giving up all sweets and potatoes chips as my own personal sacrifice (good-bye salts and sweets).


I'll be trying to do something extra nice for my husband every day (and using a calender like this so I don't forget).

As a family we're giving up TV three days a week and replacing some of that time with an extra decade of the Rosary (all 4 kids are under the age of 8 so we've been trying to say one decade together as a family each night...we'll bump that to two for Lent...eventually as they grow older we'll try for a full rosary).

picture taken from

A few other ideas that were shared at the Moms meeting are below:

Resurrection Eggs: Make your own, buy them ready to go, or a combo.  

(Click here for Station of the Cross Eggs.)

Crown of Thorns: Let the kids remove a toothpick each time they make a sacrifice or do a good deed.

Last year we interviewed three rock-solid dads and heard what they will be doing for Lent.
You and the men in your life can listen to that interview here.

Below are a few more ideas for the whole family:
Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross at church on Fridays
- Read the gospel each morning (smart phone apps also available)
- Each week read a Catholic book, listen to a Lighthouse CD, or watch a Christian movie as a family. Click here for movie ideas.

Whatever you decide, turn away from sin and make it your best Lent yet.

Have any Lent ideas to share? Leave a comment below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Holy Rosary

           The Holy Rosary

My daughter shared this with me today. - Julie

"The rosary is mostly said when you are feeling sad or when something is on your mind that you are mad about. My family prays the rosary every night. The rosary has two prayers and they are the Lords prayer and Hail Mary. I love the rosary!"
by Katie, age 8 


Monday, January 21, 2013

FREE PRO-LIFE Novel giveaway via Kindle

Guest Post By Kari Burke
This week we will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade decision to legalize the murder of innocent pre-born life.  This is a devastating anniversary and my heart aches as I think about all the pain that has followed that monumental court decision.  I wonder, sometimes, what can I really do to change this nation and promote a respect for the beauty and sacredness of all life.  

Sometimes, it seems there is not much I can do.

But, I can pray and pray and pray.  And I can instill in my own children a respect for human life.   I can also share my own pro-life values through this blog and through my gift for writing, a gift which God has bestowed upon me.   

So, in order to share the pro-life message as best I can, I am going to offer my pro-life novel, The Life I Dreamed free of charge for three days.  Beginning on January 21 and ending on January 23, the Kindle copy of my novel will be available at Amazon for no charge at all.  
Please feel free to download your own copy and to tell everyone you know about this great giveaway! 

And on January 22 (and always) please join your prayers with mine, and with those of all the pro-life community, for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life- from conception to natural death.
Author, Kari Burke
Book Summary:
Motherhood is a gift.    Children are a blessing.   Marriage is a sacrament.
Emmy O’Brien knows all that.  There was even a time she fought to promote those very values and beliefs.  After having four children in rapid succession though, the demands of home and family have blurred her strong convictions. Tired, overwhelmed, and dissatisfied much of the time, she struggles each day to meet the needs of those around her.  When her husband receives a phone call from a 16 year old girl, unexpectedly pregnant and suddenly homeless, Emmy’s world is turned upside down and she must now decide, are her old-fashioned values and beliefs still worth fighting for?