Thursday, May 31, 2007

Francis Beckwith, Cont'd

For those who have not yet read it, here is Tim Drake's excellent interview with the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, whose conversion I recently talked about in a recent CatholicExchange article. Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Prayers needed

Today I received this from Pat Hershwitzky (who contributed the article about parenting children with emotional problems in the May issue). Please lift the family up in your prayers.

I'd deeply appreciate prayers for the repose of my mother's soul--Josephine Sobel. She passed away today on the anniversary of St. Padre Pio's birthday and the anniversary of my father's death 20 years ago. God bless and thanks in advance. Patti H

Thank you for remembering our sister in your prayers.

In other news ... I was told today that the records in the LHLA office indicate that only 3 new subscribers have taken advantage of the $1 off discount coupon (SC07). Please let me know if you have placed an order since May 10, so we can be sure everyone is receiving the proper discount! (Drop me a line at Thanks!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Protect Our Children: A Special Appeal

Today I received a note from Pat Gohn (a regular Canticle contributer) about a special effort that has been initiated in the Diocese of Baker (OR) under the direction of Bishop Robert Vasa. They are developing a six-part film series designed to help parents teach their children to avoid becoming victims of sexual abuse.

For more information, click here. And if you possibly can, consider making a contribution to this worthwhile effort.

God bless you!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sneak Preview!

In our next (July/August) issue of Canticle, we are planning to grace the pages of one article with this image of St. Edith Stein, painted by Sr. Marie Celeste Fadden, O.C.D. (1927-2005). She belonged to the Carmel of Our Lady of the Mountains in Reno, Nevada.
These sisters support themselves with their artwork, which they turn into inexpensive but lovely greeting cards and other products. Most of the cards are available with either a printed message inside, or blank (for those of us who like to actually write to our correspondents). To find out more, click here. Be sure to tell them I sent you.
Blessings -- Heidi

Friday, May 18, 2007

Chasing Rabbits?

In my spare time (hah!) I sometimes edit books for other Christian publishers. Right now I'm working on a book by John Trent called Chasing Skinny Rabbits, by John Trent (Thomas Nelson, 2007). In the book, he tells the story of a ___ of hunters (what do you call a group of them? A quiver? A brace? A herd?) who are urgently pursuing a Great Stag, the object of their great desire. They grow hungrier and hungrier in the chase, until one of them spots a rabbit shooting off into the bush.

Thinking of a fortifying pot of rabbit stew, one of the hunters decides to break off from the group for just a minute and bag the rabbit -- then return and join the others, strengthened and doubly resolved. Unfortunately, one thing leads to another, and when the hunter finally catches up with the varmint, he realizes the creature doesn't have enough meat on his bones to flavor a soup pot. To make matters worse, he is unable to find his way back to the main trail, and gets stuck in a mudpit where he meets his inglorious end.

The point, of course, is that we often get sidetracked "chasing rabbits" instead of staying on the course and capturing the real prize -- the Great Stag. The author offers many examples of "rabbit trails" -- and I was interested to find that even those caught up in "ministry" or other Church-related endeavors must be on guard against this. (To find out more, you'll need to buy the book. Since I'm doing the line edit now, I'm guessing it will be in your local bookstore in a month or so.)

As writers, we must also watch out for those "wascally wabbits." They may not be bad choices, in and of themselves. The question is: Are they part of God's plan for you? Is this the way God is asking you to use your gifts right now?

For reflection: Are you heading down the trail that leads to the Stag ... or down the rabbit hole?

Monday, May 14, 2007

On Dr. Francis Beckwith and a new Thomas Howard Book

Click here to read a reflection about the conversion of the former president of the Evangelical Theology Society ... and my breakfast with the sister of Thomas Howard, another convert to the faith whose new collection of essays about his journey to Rome has been published by Ignatius Press.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Special Offer until June 10!!!

Order one or more subscriptions to Canticle before June 10 and receive one dollar ($1) off each subscription ordered! When you place your order, mention code SC07 to receive the discount.

Canticle: Spend Your Mother's Day with Us!

Yesterday I was talking with Rita, the VP of Operations at LHLA. Long story short, it seems that our subscriber rate is not growing as we had hoped. Although there are no plans to discontinue Canticle, it is heavily subsidized by other parts of the apostolate. This means there isn't money for extras like beautiful artwork, or paying authors at rates comparable to what other magazines pay. (Yes, we will continue to pay our authors.)

Although I was initially discouraged to get this report, I've decided to regard it as a "faith challenge." You see, I believe that Canticle is an important evangelism tool, by its mission to draw readers to a deeper understanding of both the Catholic faith and their calling as women. And so, believing that God wants the magazine in as many hands as possible ... I've asked Him to bring in 100 new subscribers in the next month. That is my prayer ... and I ask that you make it yours, too.

Will you help me with this intention? You can do this three ways:

1. Pray with me. Ask God to move people's hearts and open wide their purses.

2. Promote with me. If you've been blessed by Canticle, either as a reader or as a contributer, please join me in spreading the good news about this one-of-a-kind Catholic women's magazine. Need ideas? Check this out! Thank you, Donna!
3. Pledge with me. If you have thought about getting a subscription for yourself ... or know another woman who would benefit, please see this as your opportunity to ACT. A subscription makes a great Mother's Day gift! All you have to do is click here. Please mention code SC07 to let them know you are subscribing as a result of this post.

Thanks for standing with me in this endeavor.



Monday, May 07, 2007

A Suffering Family

PLEASE NOTE: Future updates about Gabriel and his family may be found here.
A few bright spots in the lives of the Sullivan family since I last wrote. Gabriel had the spinal tap, and by God's grace no cancer cells were found in his spinal fluid. They have started chemo. And two of Gabriel's big brothers, Michael and Joshua, received Confirmation and First Communion. Gabriel received the Anointing of the Sick. "Three of my sons received sacraments this week. What blessings amongst the turmoil."

Not all the news is good, of course. As is often the case, the disease is every bit as hard on his parent as it is on little Gabriel. Tom writes:

"...when things are quiet, Gabriel just wants mommy to lay with him and comfort him, and Carol wraps her arms around him and whispers those motherly words of love that only a mother can. But, as soon as the doctors and nurses come in, he yells and cries for daddy and won't stop until I grab and hold him. This quiets him some but not completely. He is expecting me to protect him from the fear and pain he thinks is coming, but I am helpless to meet his expectations and my heart feels like it is being ripped out of my chest.

"My intellect tells me that stopping the pain is not in his best interest if he is to survive, but the heart of a warrior I have as his father and protector cries out in rage to stop his pain and fend off those behind
administering that pain. However, deep into the night as I sit here in this chair meditating on the silhouette of my wife and child lying on the hospital bed and I cry out in the depths of my soul, 'God stop the pain that has come upon me and my family ... and take it away.'

"I hear Him in my spirit say to me, 'Tom, you are acting with me as your Father, the same way Gabriel is acting with you as his father, so trust in me with the same trust you want Gabriel to have in you.'

With that, I surrender the passions of a warrior, and embrace the calming whispers of my Father who art in Heaven, knowing that when the sun rises in the morning, I must once again don the armor of a fatherly warrior..."

Thank you for your continued prayers for the Sullivans.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Canticle Deadlines Are ... Moving On Up!

Hello, writers!

I was just told that we are moving up production on the magazine, so that I need to have completed articles for each issue at least three months in advance (this means queries need to reach me at least four months ahead).

If I have recently given you a deadline that has more leadtime than this, please get in touch with me right away. Thanks!

Update on Gabriel Sullivan

For those of you who are praying for Gabriel Sullivan and his family, Tom wrote me this morning:

Gabriel has been conclusively diagnosed with Leukemia Tuesday afternoon. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed this. Today he started his first Chemo treatment and in the morning will have a spinal tap to check for Leukemia in his spinal fluid.

His Chemo will continue everyday for the next 8 days and then twice a week for the next 8-12 months. After day 29, the typing of the Leukemia from the bone marrow will be complete and they will know which risk factor he will fall into. Low, Medium, High. This will determine the kind and combination of drugs to use during the next 30 months.

Treatment is scheduled for 2.5 years with the first 12-18 months aggressive, and the remaining 12 months preventative maintenance. This will be a marathon, not a sprint.

God bless, Tom

Would you like to send the Sullivans a card? (Kids always love to get mail ... even from a hospital bed!) Write to them at: 13031 Canton Ave, Hudson FL 34669. If you can, please also remember Michael's confirmation and Joshua's First Communion, both being celebrated this weekend. Tom and Carol had to cancel the party ... but I'm sure the kids would appreciate knowing their special day was remembered!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

Tom Sullivan, the resident technology administrator and Canticle layout and cover design artist, was just told that his youngest son, Gabriel (3-1/2 years), has bone marrow cancer. Please pray with us, that God would heal this little boy. Please also pray for comfort and wisdom for Tom and Carol, and for their other children Jeffrey, Tommy, Maria, Michael, and Joshua.

Heavenly Father, be with little Gabriel.
We don't understand why this is happening,
but we know that nothing takes You by surprise.
And that, no matter what, Your plan is best.

So we entrust Gabriel and his family to You now,
and ask You to heal that little boy,
and make his family stronger than ever before.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Mary, Queen of Sorrows, pray for us.
St. Don Bosco, friend of children, pray for us.