Happy 150th Anniversary Ave Maria Press


avemariapress-150th-twitterMy calendar for the last weekend of February 2008 might not look exceptional to anyone but me. It was a leap year, and my version of Google calendar is annotated with extra instructions for my husband Greg, who was in charge of chauffeur duty for our boys that weekend. I was leaving with a friend to attend my very first Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. The calendar says things like “drive Adam to school” and “Eric’s tennis tournament”. There’s a special note to Greg about Adam’s fencing lesson, and a reminder to take the boys to Mass on Sunday.

Amidst those important appointments is one I scheduled for myself: “Coffee with Tom Grady, Booth #475”. That turned out to be a coffee date that drastically changed my life and started a partnership that has flourished over the past seven years. Over coffee, Tom invited me, a rookie blogger and podcaster, to consider the possibility of writing a book for Catholic moms. After recovering from my shock and ensuring him that I would need a lot of handholding, I consented to prayerful consider the possibility.

One of the wisest things Tom did in those early days of my partnership with Ave Maria Press was to assign me to my editor and dear friend Eileen Ponder. Eileen has helped me over our years together to see that the words “Catholic Mom” have a variety of meanings and perspectives. She has helped me to better serve every mom, regardless of her circumstances. And Tom Grady has been a true friend and supporter of our ongoing work here at the website and of my personal writing.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be a part of the celebration my Ave Maria Press family held in honor of their 150th anniversary. It was a profound honor to represent my fellow CatholicMom.com Books authors at the event, which included an Open House at Ave’s gorgeously renovated offices and a Mass and Dinner at Moreau Seminary with the Holy Cross family. You can read a portion of Ave’s history here and view an interactive timeline here. At the dinner event, the Ave leadership team offered a touching oral reading which spanned the 15 decade history of the institution. A portion of those remarks was shared beautifully by Eileen and covered my personal history with Ave. The words brought tears of deep gratitude to my eyes.

ave_150_authors ave_150_eileen timeline heidi stephanie
Lisa Hendey and CatholicMom.com contributor Heidi Bratton (with daughter Olivia) pictured with CatholicMom.com Books editor Heidi Hess Saxton of Ave Maria Press

I’m happy to share that as I write this, our team here at CatholicMom.com is again partnering with Ave for what will be our seventh book in that CatholicMom.com Books line. I believe it will be our finest joint effort to date, and can’t wait to unveil it for you soon. Until then, I want to send a sincere note of gratitude to my partners and friends at Ave Maria Press.

To Tom Grady, who took such a huge risk on an inexperienced writer, to Eileen Ponder, who has summoned words in my heart that I never knew were there, and to our entire team of colleagues at Ave Maria Press, you have my prayers for many more years of service to our Church and your readers. I thank you for the gift of being a part of the Ave family!


Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

1 Comment

  1. I’m grateful to Ave Maria Press for recognizing your talent and for your faithful YES to their invitation Lisa. Your partnership has inspired many, strengthened many more and beautifully furthered the Kingdom here on earth. May there be many more books to come!

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