JP II Novena Day 7 – Music Edition

I am showing my age when I tell you of my fondness for the music of John Michael Talbot. Anyone of a certain age will know his name, his wonderful voice and amazing guitar skills. Today, I want to share a favorite song of his from my days in college at Franciscan University…way back when…..

If you are new to his music, I hope you find another source of wonderful, Catholic music to fill your soul. If you are an ‘old’ fan as I am, I hope this makes you smile –

JPII Novena Days 4 & 5

I’m sure you didn’t miss me but I felt a bit of guilt about not posting yesterdy, but I was busy taping a talk for .

I am not yet comfortable with these and am so grateful and honored to be a part of this exciting apostolate. There are more choices to find great Catholic content than ever before – one of the small blessings that have come from quarantine and the pandemic.

They are working on a Modern Saint series and I did a short piece on St. Teresa Benedicta, our dear Edith Stein who is our patron for wisdom from Wreath III.

It is poignant to think both St. Teresa and St. John Paul II endured under Nazism.

There is a wonderful piece about St. John Paul II from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum –

It is vitally important that we do not allow these battles in our history become forgotten.

JPII Novena Day 3

As a part of our recent on-line party, we ‘watched’ this short cartoon on the life of St. John Paul II, originally aired on EWTN, during our ‘lunch break’.

For lunch at the Watkins’ house we had an easy lunch of perorgies and sausage and this ‘easier than it looks to make’ dessert. I’ve never worked pastry dough (too scared) but the store bought made this easy-peasy. The story about its name is also a nice reflection on the childhood of St. John Paul II. Enjoy!

Day 2 – John Paul II Novena

Did you find a JPII Novena to say? I hope you did as there are several out there. Today, I wanted to share the board I made for our recent virtual meeting that highlighted his amazing life and accomplishments.

Center of our JPII board

Making a board such as this – either made by you as a parent/leader or by one of your creative members – can be a huge help with the saint and/or the virtue you are highlighting.

Channel your inner school student, break out the markers, crayons, stickers and see what you can create.

The benefit of making one of these is a real help as you try to remember all you want to cover. It also makes the meeting it a bit more colorful and interesting than just telling his story (or any other saints).

If you decide to do one (or more) of these, please share them as your wonderful ideas are a huge help to new leaders and their groups as well us ‘oldies’.

Right Side
Left Side

Novena to St. John Paul II begins today! Join us to earn his patron badge!

Our dear St. JPII’s feast day is coming up on October 22 and I’d like to invite you to join us in praying for his intercession and, if you’re interested, you can work to earn his patron badge virtually.

Two options for the novena include:


Meanwhile, he is our patron saint for our Acting Badge and we’d like to try (with your kind support) to see about how you can earn this badge virtually.

Those of you who were able to join us for our on-line party surely remember our totally fun Bear in an Elevator skit, or maybe our more sedate interview with St. Therese of Lisieux as part of our earning of this badge. What fun it was to do those for you!

I’ll be posting information about earning this badge (and links to the virtual party) over the next nine days as we pray the novena! When you’re done, you can go to our site and order your own badge to add to your sash, sew to your favorite denim jacket or backpack! See you tomorrow!

St. John Paul II, pray for us!

Happy Feast Days!

We didn’t forget you though you didn’t hear from us (not that you were missing us). My computer was down (but back up for now) so things were forced to be quiet.

But, in having just celebrated and the feasts of both the Archangels (9/29)

Guido Reni

and Guardian Angels (10/2), and our own dear St. Therese (10/1) my family thought of all of you often, and took you and your intentions to our daily Masses.

We hope your autumn is starting off well. We’ve got some surprises coming your way inspired by our awesome virtual meeting so keep an eye out.

Meanwhile, if you did recent novena to our Little Flower and received any specific roses, please share them. We could all use some good news!

Our virtual meeting was FANTASTIC!

Shall we call our first ever Virtual Kick-Off Party a success?! I say “YES!!”

Virgencita by Grace Watkins

I just want to send a HUGE thank you out to all the girls (and their Moms) who were able to “come over” and play at my house! I hope you all enjoyed it as much we did. After we said our final prayer and closed off the computer screen, we all collapsed on my couch laughing and smiling about just how much fun we had! Who knew bears took elevators?

We’ll be posting most of it very soon and making some tweaks to it so you can re-visit it. We have to re-record a few of our activities as well as Happy’s great talk “Love is Patient”, but that is already planned for later today (Jacob has got his camera ready to go).

Divine Mercy by Grace Watkins

Thanks again to all those who were able to share their Saturday with my family (myself, along with my daughters Happy, Nora and Grace) and Joan’s (Joan and her daughter Cecelia).

It was much more successful than we could have anticipated. Just one more demonstration of God’s great love and mercy for us! GOD IS SO GENEROUS!

We’re already thinking of our next on-line adventure (probably not as long but just as fun) and we’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, head over to our Facebook page to see some of the beautiful art that was made and see the comments of those who were able to come.

See you all soon!

Ready for a shower of roses?

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, our very own Little Flower, has her novena starting – – now! Please find the time – perhaps as a family, or group – to intercede to our patroness for the needs of our country and the needs of all the Behold Publication families.

You have so many options including:


Thank you for your prayers for both mine and Joan’s families and needs, and be assured of my prayers for yours!

Happy Feast of St. Matthew – where were you when Jesus called?

Having a husband named Matthew, along with a son, a brother and a nephew named Matthew and another nephew named Levi, I have a real fondness for this name. But more than that, I love the simplicity of Matthew’s call and his response to Jesus’ request to “Follow me!”

(Vocation de Saint Mathieu) James Tissot
Brooklyn Museum

Matthew 9:9-13, tells us he was there at the custom post (at his work) when Jesus called and he answered. It seems Matthew even had a party to celebrate his new job as apostle, “he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.”

This seems the perfect day to ponder where you were when Jesus called you. For so many of us, we were called first as infants, at our baptism. And, while being a cradle Catholic is a profound gift; we all have a time in our life when Jesus called us again, when we were old enough to answer for ourselves.

For some, it really was at their Confirmation when they took on the mantle of being ‘an adult in their faith’. But, for others it came later, and for most of us it has come again and again. With each of those calls from Christ, we have deepened our walk with Him.

I was baptized and confirmed in a small town in the Finger Lakes area of New York but also count a field in PA, in a town I cannot remember, at a Christian music festival whose name is long forgotten as one of my early moments. Just like in a cheesy Christian movie, I heard Jesus’ voice in my heart and I answered, ‘yes’.

But, I also call Steubenville, Ohio and Tampa, Florida among my own ‘custom posts’. There is Baltimore, MD for my first years of parenthood, and for the past 20+ years, Elkton, MD. Jesus continues to call me onward and upward to follow Him more closely and with greater intention.

What does your map look like? Where are your custom posts? Take a moment to give praise and glory to God for His mercy and love for these real geographical places where He was present before you. He called your name and you said, “Yes!”. May St. Matthew inspire all of us to follow as he did, until the very end of our days.