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.

Do You Like Me? Thursday, Feb 4 2016 

How much do you want to ‘Like” Me? I have 11 Facebook pages. Not only do I have a personal page and one for me as an author, I also have one for every one of my books as well as one for my Beautycounter business. Some posts are duplicated but most are targeted to specific groups.

Please “Like” as many as you find of interest. And comment and post! It’s very lonely to post alone. I need your feedback to know if I’m on track with my thoughts and words.

Here is a list of my Facebook pages and the content you’ll find there:

  • Mary K Doyle – My writing and work as an author/speaker
  • Navigating Alzheimer’s – Credible information on dementia and caregiving
  • Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message – Faith and fairytales, especially those by Andersen
  • Grieving with Mary – Grieving and Marian devotion
  • Young in the Spirit – Aging faithfully
  • Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God – Saint Theodora and children
  • Seven Principles of Sainthood – Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, also known as Saint Theodora
  • The Rosary Prayer by Prayer – The rosary and Marian devotion
  • Mentoring Heroes – Mentoring
  • Beautycounter By Mary Doyle Brodien – Beauty products, beauty tips, health
  • Mary Doyle Brodien – My personal page for close friends and family

©2016, Mary K. Doyle

2014 CPA Book Awards Tuesday, Jun 24 2014 

Writing books takes years of research, writing, and rewriting, and it is rewarding when readers tell me the books made a difference in their life or when they are honored by my peers.

Both Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God and Young in the Spirit received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada book competition.

The awards are not First Place (or Second or Third) but meaningful to me because they were awarded by respected professionals in the industry and competed against significant publishers such as Ave Maria Press, Liguori Publication, Loyola Press, Orbis Books, Georgetown University Press, and Paulist Press.

This is the first year I entered one of my books in this contest. Young in the Spirit also received an Honorable Mention in the Great Midwest Book Festival competition.

Winners were announced at the annual CPA convention, on the CPA website, and in the publication, The Catholic Journalist.

Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God is my first published children’s book. It is about Saint Theodora, also known as Mother Theodore Guerin, who founded schools in Indiana and Illinois in the mid 1800s. One of these schools, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, is the oldest liberal arts college for women in the United States and also offers co-ed graduate degrees. I received my Master’s of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology from this school.

Young in the Spirit explores the impact of spirituality on aging and caregiving. It offers suggestions on ways to build on our faith during these times.

Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God was published by the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN and Young in the Spirit was published by my little press, 3E Press.

Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God and Young in the Spirit are available on Amazon and my website: can see the entire list of winners on the CPA website at: Catholic Press Association

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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 ( 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 (

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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 ( 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

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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