Today, we are so very happy to welcome our very own Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle for a special stop along her blog tour as together we celebrate the launch of her wonderful new book Rooted in Love: Our Calling As Catholic Women. As someone who is blessed to call Donna-Marie friend, I celebrate this launch not only in happiness for her, but also counting the blessings of those women whose lives will be touched by this gift of a book. In my endorsement for Rooted in Love, I shared:
“Rooted in Love offers Donna-Marie’s unique brand of encouragement and spiritual guidance, amazing anecdotes of a life well lived, plus reflection questions, prayers, and more to help you know, love, and serve God more fully every day.”
I’m happy to share the following interview with Donna-Marie and urge you to gift yourself and the special women in your life Rooted in Love this Advent season. It’s a gift that will keep on giving!
Q. Donna-Marie thank you for being a longtime contributor to and friend of CatholicMom.com. For our readers who may not already know you, would you kindly give a short introduction of yourself and your family?
You are very welcome, Lisa. Thank YOU for all that you do through Catholic Mom and for answering God’s call to create it!
Just a little bit of background: First of all, readers can check out my bio at my website to learn more: www.donnacooperoboyle.com but simply, I am a Catholic wife and mother of five on earth and three in heaven. I have taught faith formation for almost thirty years (time flies!), I am active in my parish, I have written several Catholic books in an attempt to inspire the reader to come closer to God. I was blessed to know Servant of God, Father John A. Hardon, S.J. and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (for almost ten years) and I do my best to pass on the blessings I received from them through my writings and talks.
Q. Congratulations on the publication of Rooted in Love — I think the book is an amazing resource for women! Would you share a bit about the format of the book and what women will discover when they begin their journey with this book?
Thank you for your kind words, Lisa. I wrote Rooted in Love to encourage Catholic and Christian women in their lofty vocations and to help them to discover their God-given gifts and guide them to see that our lives as Catholic women are so rich!
As I say in the Introduction, “Catholic womanhood is steeped in tremendous love, transforming grace, and fulfilling joy. Our mission and vocation are rooted in love of God, who actually stoops down to serve us, his creatures, even as we strive to serve him.” I find this fact to be very amazing and comforting and I wish to share that with Catholic women everywhere.
I think that many women feel stretched beyond measure trying to keep up with all of the demands in their lives while also striving for an unobtainable level of perfection. I’m here to allay their fears, affirm their innermost desires of pleasing God, and to point them lovingly to finding a holy balance, as well as encourage them to revel in the joy of their vocation of Catholic womanhood even when it’s tiring or arduous.
So, what will they find in this book? I hope it will be lots of encouragement, affirmation, interesting stories, and loving advice as to some Catholic tools that might prove to be very useful in their lives.
The book is set up in five parts. First: Discovering Myself in Christ. Two: Christ Is My Strength. Three: Christ Is My Life. Four: Meeting Christ In Others. Five: Christ is My Joy.
I endeavor throughout the book to show Catholic women how they can be happy forever, specifically by following the age-old but timeless words from the Baltimore Catechism: “God made me to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world, and to be happy with him forever in the next.”
Each chapter ends with suggestions on how to do just that.
Q. In a way, this is a “working book” in my eyes, a book that is meant, not just to be read, but also really to be used as a tool for devotion and growth. Was this your aim and what do you hope women will learn in their work with this book?
Yes, you are absolutely correct. I want to reach each woman individually as she ponders and prays her way through her experience of reading the book. I offer her meditation questions after each chapter, which she can go about at her leisure. No one will be grading her on her answers! Her responses are so personal to her spiritual growth.
As another way to grow in faith, I welcome the reader to consider gathering a group of girlfriends or parishioners to read the book together in a study group. Sharing the faith in a setting such as this can be so enlightening to all involved.
Q: You share so much of yourself and your own faith life in your books, and this book is no exception. Why is this important for our readers and is self-disclosure or sharing of your personal faith challenges ever a struggle for you?
Thanks for asking that question, Lisa. It’s not easy to put yourself out there, but I sincerely feel it’s so important to share your personal story (struggles and all) with your readership. In this way, the reader will know that I am real, first of all, and will also hopefully realize that since I know what the suffering they may be enduring feels like and how it can tug at one’s heart and twist their brain, perhaps they will trust me to also offer them the Catholic tools to manage the pain or suffering, and even to rise above the tough situation. Sometimes (maybe more often than not) a woman’s life is not all warm and fuzzy and we must acknowledge that fact and find ways to overcome problems, grow through them, and perhaps even help others in the process.
Q: As a very busy writer, speaker and television host, how do you manage to prioritize prayer in your own life?
I make the time. I make my life a prayer. I’m not saying I have a sparkling halo hovering over my head, but I do know that prayer has to rise up from our hearts to reach the heart of God. If we love him, we’ll talk to Him—simple as that. So, we make time for our Creator and speak to Him often even as we run through our days. I feel one of the most important prayers for us busy women is in getting on our knees first thing in the morning to offer everything to God—our prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of the day ahead and we ask Him to transform them and use them for His glory. Amazing things happen when we surrender our lives to God! I also love to keep company with Mother Mary, the saints and the angels. They do indeed guide us ever closer to God.
In this book, I talk a lot about kinds of prayers but I also I impress upon the reader that everything is an opportunity for grace. So, no matter what happens on any given day, we can pray through it all and ask God to grant us the graces we need for ourselves and those we serve.
Q: What’s next?
Only God knows for sure, Lisa. But, I can tell you about a few things that are coming up. I have a new book for Catholic mothers coming out in the spring titled, Catholic Mom’s Café: 5-Minute Retreats for Every Day of the Year. I have a Confirmation book coming out which is geared to fourth graders and up—part keepsake, part teaching book. I have another Lenten book for families coming out and I won’t reveal now whom the saint is. I’m sorry, but I’ll keep everyone in suspense for a bit longer.
In addition to my show “Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms” on EWTN, I’m excited about a new show I am currently creating for Catholic moms for EWTN television. Each episode will include a guest on my new half-hour show. I’ll keep you posted as it unfolds.
Q: Are there any additional thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our readers?
I hope that readers will discover their feminine genius and true calling as a Catholic woman and will celebrate their feminine holiness in all that they do, being a Christian model for all.
I want to thank them for joining me on the journey that leads to heaven! I welcome their visits to my blogs and website: www.donnacooperoboyle.com where they’ll see new inspiration and where they can subscribe to my email newsletter.
God bless you, Lisa Thank you very much for your gracious interview.
Copyright 2012 Lisa M. Hendey