New Children’s Book Friday, Dec 6 2013 

My favorite stories to read when I was a child were about the saints. The BVM sisters who taught me tried to encourage me to read other books, but if there was a book about a saint I hadn’t read, I was drawn to it. The saints were real people with real life problems who took the high road, who resolved their life issues in a loving, faithful way. I wanted to know what their challenges were and how they overcame them.

I still enjoy reading biographies and writing about dynamic, positive people. I write a blog (saint-theodora.com) on Saint Theodora, also known as Mother Theodore Guerin, and I wrote a book about how to follow her example, Seven Principles of Sainthood.

Now I also have a children’s book about her, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God. The Story of Mother Theodore Guerin. Illustrated by Phil Veikan, this new book tells the life of this saint and how she identified God’s calling for her.

I’m interested in Saint Theodora for several reasons. This woman lived and worked in the Midwest. She founded elementary schools across Illinois and Indiana in the mid-1800s. She also founded the religious order, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana and a school for the higher education of women, which is now Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the school where I received my Master’s degree. I also attended the canonization of Saint Theodora by Pope Benedict in 2006. And let me tell you, it’s pretty exciting to be in Saint Peter’s Square with hundreds of thousands of people and hear someone you admire being named a saint.

I want to tell the world about Saint Theodora because she was so – real. She experienced some tremendous challenges. When she was 15 years-old, her father was murdered, which prompted her mother to have a nervous breakdown. As a young teenager Saint Theodora was left to care for her mother and sister.

And Saint Theodora had her own health issues to endure. She had a terrible illness, probably smallpox, when she first entered the convent. The “cure” damaged her intestines and left her in fragile health and unable to eat solid food the rest of her life. She experienced long periods of time when she was bedridden.

In spite of her physical fragility, she remained spiritually strong. She leaned on God and took on some major undertakings. She journeyed from France across the Atlantic and the U.S. to the wilderness of 1800s Indiana to promote faith and education. There, she endured drastic fluctuations of weather and nature, difficult and unsupportive superiors, and prejudice. She met her challenges head on, trusting that when you follow God’s call you are well supported.

The children’s book, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God. The Story of Mother Theodore Guerin tells some of this story in a light, entertaining way. Published by the Sisters of Providence, the hardcover book is 34 pages long, and lists for $16.99 on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Theodora-Her-Promise-God/dp/0989739708/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386348419&sr=1-1&keywords=saint+theodora)

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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New Look for Midwest Mary Thursday, Sep 13 2012 

Midwest Mary has a new look. If you receive posts via your email you may want to go to the site and check it out (http://midwestmary.com). I liked the other format but felt it was a bit cold. This new one is warmer. I’m very interested in your opinion, so please tell me what you think.

The blog is hosted by WordPress. WordPress makes it easy to set up a site and alter as desired. Changing the theme on my blog was a result of looking at the dozens of themes they offer and clicking on the one I liked.

I have two blogs. In addition to this one I have a religious blog, Saint Theodora/Mother Theodore Guerin which offers reflections on current issues along with guidance from Scripture and the words of Saint Theodora, more commonly known in the U.S. as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Saint Theodora was a Midwest pioneer in the mid 1800s and founder of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the women’s religious order, Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Not only was she a hard worker and devoted to God, I think you will find that her advice continues to be practical and inspiring. You can see my Saint Theodora blog at http://saint-theodora.com

My intent for this blog, Midwest Mary, is to offer solid content, ideas, and inspiration. Or at least something to think about. As you see, I cover a wide range of topics relevant to everyday life, particularly in the Midwest. Most posts are meant to inform while others are simply for fun.

I hope that you are enjoying reading the posts as much as I enjoy writing them. I’d love to hear from you. You can comment right on the blog or via email or Facebook.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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