I am a daughter of the Most High and of His Catholic Church. I introduce myself that way because I am so grateful for that! I have been married to Dan for 30 years and we have three young adult children - Brett, Nicole & Eryn. I have been employed as the Adult Faith Formation Coordinator at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City, Georgia since December of 2008. I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology from Catholic Distance University and a certificate as a Catholic Spiritual Mentor from the Catholic Spiritual Mentorship Program.
On October 15, 2015, my family and I experienced our greatest suffering up to this point in our lives. Our oldest son, Brett, died at 26 years old. It was a complete blindside for us. Learning how to navigate through this intense time of suffering and confusion has been incredibly difficult but we have discovered many "hidden treasures" along the way. God is with us and has provided for us through our union with Christ and His Church.
This blog was created because of my sadness over the many people that I encounter that are suffering without hope and do not know the incredible gift that God is offering them through their suffering. He is giving them an opportunity to allow Him to elevate their suffering by connecting it to the redemption of the world. For those of us who are suffering over the death of a loved one, we can be sure that they are hoping that we will do this. They are cheering us on!
This blog is full of posts about many different aspects of our Catholic Faith that are connected to suffering. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at
Dave McClow, M.Div., LSCW, LMFT, is a Clinical Pastoral Counseling Associate with the Pastoral Solutions Institute who provides tele-counseling services to Catholics internationally (check us out at www.exceptionalmarriages.com, or call to schedule an appointment: 740-266-6461). For over 25 years he has served in many capacities in the mental health and addiction fields. He is the founder of two text ministries for men: “Faith on The Phone”and “Fasting on the Phone” for Rekindle the Fire’s men’s group and is active on its central core team. He and his wife converted to the Catholic Church in 1996. Since 1999 he has catechized 7th and 8th graders in the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. He is currently developing a comprehensive Catholic vision of masculinity that he believes will be an integral and leveraged component of the New Evangelization.
FR. CHRIS ALAR, MIC
"Father Joseph" - Director of the Association of Marian Helpers
Father Chris Alar, MIC, entered the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, the religious community entrusted with spreading the message and devotion of Divine Mercy, as a postulant in July 2006. Prior to that time, he received a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. After working as an engineering manager at a Fortune 500 Tier 1 automotive company in Detroit, he began his own consulting firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2000. Answering the Lord’s call, he attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio, for his philosophy studies, Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., for his theology studies, and he earned his Masters of Divinity from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Father Chris produced and wrote the popular “Divine Mercy 101” DVD. He is a nationally known speaker and a regular host and guest on EWTN. He also hosts the online “Divine Mercy Matters” series at DivineMercyMatters.org. He currently serves as “Fr. Joseph, MIC” the director of the Association of Marian Helpers, and is the head of Marian Press, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.
FR. JOSEPH ESPER
Fr. Joseph Esper studied at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and at St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1982. He has lectured at Marian conferences, spoken on Catholic radio, and written more than a dozen articles for This Rock, The Priest, Homiletic, Pastoral Review, and other publications. From his experience as a parish priest, Fr. Esper offers today’s readers practical, encouraging, and inspiring wisdom.
DR. MIKE SCHERSCHLIGT, STD
CEO/President and Founder
Mike is the founder and the CEO/President of the Holy Family School of Faith. Mike has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) from the Marianum in Rome. Holy Family School of Faith is a public association of the faithful established by Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, to form catholic school teachers, catechists, and the faithful. In addition to our Catechism series, he is the author of the on-line series, Faith Foundations used to certify catechists throughout the United States. Mike and his wife Sandy have five children and reside in Overland Park, Kansas.
David Torkington is a Spiritual Theologian, Author, and Speaker, who specializes in Prayer, Christian Spirituality and Mystical Theology. His personal spirituality is predominantly Franciscan, his Mystical Theology Carmelite. He has sold over 300,000 books in more than twelve different languages.
He was educated at the Franciscan Study Centre, England and the National Catholic Radio and Television Centre, Hatch End, London where he was later appointed to the post of Dean of Studies.
He was extra mural lecturer in Mystical Theology at the Dominican University in Rome (The Angelicum). In addition to giving Retreats and lecturing all over Europe, he undertook five prolonged lecture tours to Africa, mainly Equatorial Africa, speaking on Prayer and Spirituality to Religious, Monks, Diocesan Priests and lay people. His latest book, Wisdom from the Christian Mystics was published in January 2018 and will be followed by his autobiography Injured Innocence.
When he is not writing, he spends time on his boat on the peaceful Beaulieu river in the New Forest, Hampshire. He is a member of The Athenaeum, Pall Mall, London
FR. MIKE SCHMITZ
Father Mike Schmitz is the chaplain for Newman Catholic Campus Ministries at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He also serves as the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth. You can listen to Fr. Mike's homilies in iTunes. Full Bio, Meet Fr. Mike
Kathleen , L.H.S. is President and Co-Founder of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests (www.foundationforpriests.org), a global apostolate of prayer and catechesis for the holiness of priests promoting spiritual motherhood and fatherhood. An international Catholic evangelist, author, radio host, Ignatian certified retreat director, she assists priests in the Church’s ministry of healing, deliverance Beckmanand exorcism. Often featured on Catholic TV and radio such as EWTN and the Catholic Channel, she hosts the weekly program, “Eucharist, Mercy & Saints” which airs internationally on Radio Maria. She and her husband are business owners and have two grown sons. Sophia Institute Press published her three latest books: Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization (‘14) and God’s Healing Mercy: Finding Your Path to Forgiveness, Peace & Joy (‘15) When Women Pray: Eleven Catholic Women on the Power of Prayer (’17). Her reversion to the faith in 1991 came through the Eucharist and Mary. www.kathleenbeckman.com. More at www.kathleenbeckman.com.
Michele Chronister is a wife, and mother to three little girls and one little one in heaven. She received her BA and MA in theology from the University of Notre Dame (’09 and ’11). She is the author of a number of books, including Handbook for Adaptive Catechesis, the co-author of Faith Beginnings – Family Nurturing from Birth Through Preschool, editor of the book Rosaries Aren't Just for Teething, as well as an assortment of Catholic children's books. In addition to writing, she also homeschools her daughters, and is the social media manager for the Office of Natural Family Planning in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. When her oldest was a baby, she realized that their family life had taken on a sort of monastic rhythm – eat, pray, play, sleep. Prompted by this, she started the blog My Domestic Monastery (www.mydomesticmonastery.com), where she shares inspiration for families wanting to grow in holiness.
Catholic Weekly journalist Catherine Sheehan is an experienced writer who has previously worked for Melbourne Catholic and Kairos.
E DANIEL BOX
Daniel Box lives in Chicago with his wife, but is a proud Texan (Fort Worth native) and Mexican-American. He is a practicing real estate and zoning attorney, after having clerked with the Thomas More Society and served as the Board Chairman of the Chicago chapter of Young Catholic Professionals in 2015 and 2016. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from the University of Dallas in 2012. He blogs at the Catholic Enthusiast at
His Twitter account is @PureCatholicism.
STEVEN R. HEMLER
Steven R. Hemler is President of the Catholic Apologetics Institute of North America (CAINA) and author of the new book entitled The Reality of God: The Layman's Guide to Scientific Evidence for the Creator, published by St. Benedict Press. Steve has a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University of Chicago, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil/Structural Engineering from Virginia Tech. He has been actively involved in adolescent and adult religious education for over 30 years. After a 33-year professional engineering career, including 13 years in the Middle East, Steve voluntarily took early retirement in 2011 to follow a calling to serve God and the Church full time. Steve and his wife Linda have been married for over 40 years and have three grown children. They live in Culpeper, Virginia. For more information go to:
Anabelle Hazard is a practicing Catholic, non-practicing attorney, learning homeschooler, penniless novelist (of Catholic novels “Written in the Sand and Stars” & “Fireflies Dance”), and unpredictable blogger at Written By the Finger of God.
FR. JOHN RICCARDO
Fr. John Riccardo was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1996. He is the youngest of five children and a graduate of The University of Michigan.
After working for several years in the professional world, he entered the seminary to begin studies for the priesthood. He studied philosophy at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome and received a Sacred License in Theology (S.T.L.) from The Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
Since 2007, Fr. John has served as pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan. Prior to that, he was the pastor of St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Troy, Michigan and served at Divine Child Catholic Church in Dearborn, Michigan. He formerly served as the Director of the Cardinal Maida Institute located at St. John Center for Youth and Family in Plymouth, Michigan.
Fr. John’s program, Christ is the Answer, focuses on catechetical teachings. He is an expert on John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. He is a very popular speaker and teacher at pro life and church events.
TAMMY RUIZ ZIEGLER
Tammy Ruiz Ziegler has been a Nurse for 30 years and spent most of her career in Neonatal Intensive Care. For 10 years, she has been a Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator - caring for women and families suffering miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and SIDS. Part of her work involves assisting parents in preparing for births when the baby has received the diagnosis of a life limiting condition (often called "Perinatal Hospice"). In addition to her Nursing education, she studied (but did not become certified in) Clinical Pastoral Education at a Catholic Hospital in the midwest. She has been on EWTN and speaks regularly to Physicians & Nurses on the topic of perinatal loss care. Her work has been translated into Polish, Spanish, Czech, French, Italian & Japanese. Her career was both fragmented and enhanced by having 14 different jobs because of moves for her husband who was an active duty Officer in the USMC. She has 3 quasi-adult children and one super-cute grandchild. A convert to the Catholic Church, she was widowed after 26 years of marriage but recently married a man she met when they were both children. Her website - Life and Loss - Perinatal Hospice Resources
FR. EDWARD LOONEY
Fr. Edward Looney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 6, 2015. A member of the Mariological Society of America, Fr. Looney publishes regularly on Marian topics, including the approved 1859 Wisconsin apparition. He is the author of the best-selling rosary devotional, A Rosary Litany and his latest book is A Heart Like Mary’s: 31 Daily Meditations published by Ave Maria Press. You can also follow Fr. Edward on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Soundcloud
Rev. Fr. Joseph Mary, MFVA was born and raised in eastern Iowa. In 1979 he obtained an undergraduate degree in Electronic Engineering from DeVry Institute in Chicago. After college, he worked as an engineer for General Electric Medical Systems for five years. In January of 1985 he came to work as engineer for EWTN. On May 2, 1987 he entered the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word becoming one of its founding members. Ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1993, Fr. Joseph was the Community Servant for seven years and currently serves as the EWTN Chaplain and EWTN Chapel Dean.
Matthew Leonard is an international speaker, author, podcaster, and founder of Next Level Catholic Academy, a online membership community focused on teaching Catholic spirituality.
An accomplished filmmaker, he has written, produced, directed, and hosted multiple best-selling Catholic video series such as the Bible and the Virgin Mary and Genesis to Jesus, which have been translated into almost a dozen languages.
A convert to Catholicism and former missionary to Latin America, Matthew is a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country. His podcast “The Art of Catholic”, is heard in more than 170 countries around the world.
Matthew holds a Masters in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is the author of two books, Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic and Prayer Works! Getting A Grip On Catholic Spirituality.
He lives in Ohio with his wife Veronica and their six children. Learn more about him at MatthewSLeonard.com.