The Book of Which I’m Most Proud Tuesday, Jun 14 2022 

A question I’ve been asked over the years is which of the books that I’ve written is my favorite. This is a question that is as impossible to answer as which child is my favorite. Each book is special to me. I’m proud of all of all of them for different reasons.

Each was written with an intent to fill a need. Each book was sent out into the world with a mission to offer information and consolation to a particular audience. Most have won awards and sold consistently well over the years. And now I’m very excited about a new book coming out this year, which I will tell you about at the end of this post.

Mentoring Heroes was my first book. Published in 2000, this book centered on my recognition through newspaper articles I’d written that successful people attributed their progress to the mentors who helped them along the way. I also recognized that women’s lives are complicated and multi-layered with family, household, and work responsibilities, and therefore, more challenging in finding ways in which to be mentored. Mentoring Heroes was widely used in university Women Studies programs and by clubs and groups. Today, I know that the book is dated in the way that it was printed–with copper plates and blue-line editing as opposed to today’s digital print method–and due to men participating more in household responsibilities and technology offering more ways in which to be mentored. Yet, the overall benefits and need for mentoring remains relevant.

The Rosary Prayer by Prayer, Grieving with Mary, and Fatima at 100. Fatima Today were inspired by a devotion to the Virgin Mary. These were the types of books I wanted to write since childhood. Praying with Mary should always lead to a greater devotion to her son, Jesus. Mary is our heavenly mother, and like a good mother, she loves us dearly, promotes peace among all creation, and encourages us to care for one another as Jesus does. Praying with her offers a sense of calm in a world where this type of alliance is greatly needed.

With the The Rosary Prayer by Prayer readers can pray along simply by following pages showing the placement on the rosary, the prayer to be prayed, illustrations by Joseph Cannella, and a reflection. Grieving with Mary is a best-seller that aligns praying with Mary in a wide variety of ways during times of loss. And Fatima at 100. Fatima Today is a little booklet that reviews Mary’s messages in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and how those messages remain vital in attaining peace.

Seven Principles of Sainthood Following Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God are books about a woman who immigrated to the United States to teach children and young woman. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, also known as Saint Theodora, and a small group of sisters opened schools throughout rural Indiana and Illinois in the mid to late 1800s, a time when Catholic schools were greatly needed and in which this band of women faced great obstacles. The sisters also opened a school for the higher education of women when women had little-to-no choice for such an opportunity. Seven Principles was written for adults and Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God was written for children. I was inspired to write these books after attending Saint Mary of the Woods College, the school Saint Mother Theodore founded, as well as her canonization in Rome, Italy.

Young in the Spirit was published in 2013 when I was closing in on one of those big decade birthdays (I was 60 in 2014-Yikes!). Big birthdays spark contemplation on where we came from, how we arrived at a particular point in time, and where we anticipate the future to bring us. One of the areas of contemplation for me was in regard to my faith—how it changed through the years and what I could offer the Church now. Those thoughts are at the heart of Young in the Spirit.

Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message was part of a series initiated by my publisher, Greg Pierce. The series offers a unique way to promote prayer by pairing Scripture verses with passages from classic writings. I chose Hans Christian Andersen in remembrance of my mother and her childhood book, a 1936 edition of Anderson’s Fairy Tales, the same book from which my mother read to me.

Navigating Alzheimer’s, The Alzheimer’s Spouse, and Inspired Caregiving was born from a need recognized by Pam Sebern, the director of a memory care home where my husband resided in his last years. Pam asked for books to help families understand dementia and better care for their loved ones while caring for themselves along the way. She felt that the books available at that time were too medical and needed a perspective from one who lived the experience. As my husband suffered from symptoms from Alzheimer’s disease for more than 15 years, and I was an author with substantial writing experience, Pam believed I could fulfill that need.

Navigating Alzheimer’s covers the basics of Alzheimer’s and ways in which we can work with our loved one. It offers family members and caregivers a clear overall of the changes they’re likely to notice. The Alzheimer’s Spouse also covers the basics of the disease but from the perspective of the spouse. Alzheimer’s touches every aspect of both spouses in devastating ways. Inspired Caregiving provides readers with a daily/weekly boost of inspiration. Each weekly reflection follows a rotation that includes a photo, prayer, thought, activity, stretch, affirmation, quote, and bit of humor to offer guidance, encouragement, improved self-talk, and maybe a smile. All three of these books are recommended by memory care facilities across the country.  

My next book, which currently is in publication, is less serious. I believe readers and I are in need of opportunities that promote peace, beauty, love, and inspiration. For this reason, my newest book, tentatively called The Gifts of Public Gardens, showcases vivid photos of nature that I have taken at public gardens paired with short, thoughtful poems. My intent is for readers to escape into the positive, wonderous gifts around us. I will keep you posted on when this book will be available.

If you’ve read any of my books, please post a review on Amazon. Readers rely on these comments to find books best suited to their needs.

SEASON OF HOPE AND PEACE Wednesday, Dec 22 2021 

It may not be obvious in the midst of this ongoing pandemic, political differences, and environmental turbulence, but the hope of Christmas truly is ours. We can maintain hope for peace and happiness in this world.

The angel declared this message to the shepherds in the field. The angels said, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

That Good News was, and is, Jesus and the gift of salvation. And did you notice that the angels said that gift is given to all people? Every one of us is a beneficiary of God’s goodness, no matter our profession, financial status, age, ethnicity, gender, or social status.

Jesus is always with us, and good things are in our lives, if not today, in the near future. God never turns away from us. The key is for us not to turn away from God.

*Photo: Paintings in the Chapel of the Angels, Israel

*We meditate on the incarnation of Jesus throughout the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. You can contemplate these mysteries and pray the rosary easily with the book, The Rosary Prayer by Prayer.

Don’t Worry. Be Happy. Monday, Dec 3 2012 

Erin, Kelly.Cropped

People who gravitate toward the left side of the bed (the side to your left when lying on your back) are happier and more positive than those on the right. Right-side sleepers tend to have a higher earning potential. This was the topic of the WTMX morning radio show today based on a study that was commissioned by the UK hotel chain Premier Inn.

Studies on happiness are intriguing because little matters in life if we aren’t happy. A happy state of mind is the best place to be. We all know people who are a bubbly fountain of joy. And then there are others we test gently with a toe in the water before approaching. Where you fall in this range may be the result of several factors.

Studies show that the greatest personal factor in determining happiness is health. No one really understands this until they are unwell. The stress, limitations, and expense of illness are draining. When young, we take it for granted that we can leap tall buildings with a single bound. Then before we know it we hear our grandparents’ words coming out of our mouths when someone asks how we are. Does anyone really want to hear about the lack of cartilage in our knee?

Other happiness factors pertain to our level of income, marital status, and the number of children we have. Ironically, studies show that wealthy people are only slightly happier than poorer ones and the more children we have the less happy we tend to be, which may be due to the amount of money needed to care for them. Statistics also show that married people are happier than single, although I think I once read that married men are significantly happier than married women.

Some studies also suggest that older people are happier than younger ones. And religion may play a part too. People of faith claim to be happier than those who are not. This is most likely due to the sense of being unconditionally loved and supported by a superior being.

There is a genetic component to happiness as well. Experts believe we have a set-point of happiness. And some people have psychological disabilities, such as depression, that require medical assistance to overcome. But experts also agree that nearly half the capacity for happiness is within our power to change. We can learn how to incorporate more meaning and satisfaction into our lives.

My father used to sing the song, “Don’t worry. Be Happy.” He would say that if you want to be happy, tell yourself you are, and you will be. He said this partly in jest, but there is some truth to that. Sometimes in our pursuit of happiness we simply need to stop and just be happy.

©Mary K. Doyle

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