formidable women

5 things I learned at a women’s conference

Posted by on Oct 24, 2017 in formidable women, good for the soul | 2 comments

5 things I learned at a women’s conference

I spent the weekend with some extraordinary women at the first EVER national WINE: Women In the New Evangelization conference in Pennsylvania. The day was filled with music, liturgy, speakers, and of course, a diverse group of women. The conference was held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestachowa. Beautiful.

So here’s what I learned:

  1. Smiles are the best ice-breakers.
  2. We need each other.
  3. God loves us.
  4. Mary is our Mama and…
  5. You’re never too old for a pajama party.


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Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer #2 Premieres

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in courageous saints, formidable women | 2 comments

Are you excited about Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Christmas will come a little early for me, as the film premieres on December 15th! Tonight, we’ll see the premiere of the second trailer during half-time of Monday Night Football’s match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.

I’ll be watching. There was a time when I was a big fan of the Purple Gang, probably because I had a crush on Donny Osmond and his favorite color was purple. Eventually, though, I had a bigger crush on Han Solo. And an even bigger fascination with the Star Wars saga. It was inevitable that I would write about characters that have influenced me or moved me in some way. So much so, that I feature Rey, the heroine of these last films, in Super Girls and Halos.

Stars Wars’ appeal to me, after the cool special effects, is in the story-telling. I love to see the epic battle of Good vs. Evil play out on the big screen. Although Lucas was often criticized for bad dialogue — as a kid I never noticed. As an adult, I didn’t care — the story is greater than a few cheesy lines here and there.

In The Force Awakens, we meet Rey and are treated to an update on our favorite characters from the first trilogy. I immediately loved Rey. She was fearless and daring, everything exciting about a heroine. Rey’s sense of justice prevails, and she is drawn into the Resistance to fight the evil of the First Order.

The enduring theme of the Star Wars films is the triumph of good over evil, the eternal battle of the light versus the dark sides of the Force on a galactic scale. The films also explore this theme on the smaller though no less epic scale of the individual human person. As Christians, we’re reminded that we must act, whether singly or in concert with others, according to God’s plan for salvation in our lives. (Super Girls and Halos p. 32)

Super GirlsRey represents, for me, the ultimate fictional heroine. Her commitment to justice in the galaxy drives her in The Force Awakens, and I have great hope for how she will use The Force in The Last Jedi through her training, and ultimately, in the battle against the evil in the First Order.

In Super Girls and Halos, I share my love of the saints and how they are excellent models of virtue. The Saints lived lives of heroic virtue, too. I pair Rey with St. Clare of Assisi as a beacon of strength and light, as I discuss the same virtue of justice in a canonized saint and heroine in her own right.

Check back here to see the new trailer.


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I have this book, y’all!

Posted by on Sep 3, 2017 in courageous saints, formidable women | 3 comments

Super Girls

It’s true! I have this book that comes out in just a few days, on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary! I’m so excited to share Super Girls and Halos: My Companions on the Quest for Truth, Justice, and Heroic Virtue with you.

Fun for me!

It was a fun book to write, something that I’d always wanted to do — examine the lives of some of the heroines of popular culture that I had come to admire, and even emulate at times in my life. My growing faith helped me see some other things in these exciting characters, what Bishop Robert Barron calls the “seeds of the gospel.” These heroic women have human virtues that are good, but the more I thought about it, the more I saw how the lives of saints were also exciting and interesting, and certainly worth emulating.

I bring it all together in this book that explores fictional heroines, real saints, the cardinal virtues, and Our Lady of Guadalupe!

I had a lot of fun doing the research for the book, which was pretty much getting to binge-watch my favorite movies and then talk about them, and then repeat the process with some saints that I think you will love to know more about. Isn’t that a fan’s dream?

Fun for you!

I had so much fun, I want to share it with you. To celebrate the launch of Super Girls and Halos on September 8th, I’m giving away a Wonder Woman plush doll since the very first chapter is about Wonder Woman!

I’m also joining the Nerdy Catholic Tees guys with some truth on a silk screen about the Blessed Mother being the Original Wonder Woman!

Post a picture of yourself anywhere on social media holding a copy of Super Girls and Halos with #SuperGirlsandHalos and you’ll be entered to win the Wonder Woman plush doll. Add #ShowYourNerdySide and you’ll be entered to win The Original Wonder Woman t-shirt courtesy of Check out the Nerdy Guys at for a chance to win a signed copy of my book!

What’s Coming Up?

Follow me on social media. I’ll be posting links to interviews and reviews about Super Girls and Halos, and I’ll be posting and sharing your pictures, too!*

Enjoy the book! Enjoy the fun! And spread the word!

*Contest ends September 21, 2017. Winners will be announced on September 22, 2017.



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superheroes and saints

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in courageous saints, formidable women | Comments Off on superheroes and saints

I thought I’d share some of the Super Girls and Halos that have filled up my new bulletin board in my new office. It was fun getting to know them!

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Who is Hawaii’s Queen Kapiolani?

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in formidable women | Comments Off on Who is Hawaii’s Queen Kapiolani?

Queen Kapiolani

A. A. Montano – Hawaii state archives. Call Number: PPWD-15-7.024

One of the best things about having written My Badass Book of Saints is the number of people who have contacted me with stories of courage in their families and recommendations of amazing women. We are surrounded by so many courageous people living extraordinary lives!  Reading about Saints new to me and following links to fascinating historical figures delights me.

I recently received an invitation to follow a travel log by Colette Higgins, a long-time listener of Catholic Weekend. Although the show is over, we’ve kept in touch. Colette is a history professor at the University of Hawaii and has embarked on a 59-day pilgrimage to follow in the footsteps of Queen Kapiolani’s journey to attend Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Celebration in 1887. Her travel log not only includes the places where Queen Kapiolani went, but also includes churches along the way where Colette and her husband are attending Mass.

Check it out here.

About Queen Kapiolani

Queen Kapiolani has fascinated me. Her great aunt, Chiefess Kapiolani, converted to Christianity in the early part of the 19th century and courageously stood her ground against the challenge of a high priestess. Chefess Kapiolani’s courage in the face of a cultural challenge opened many to conversion. Queen Kapiolani followed in that family tradition of courage in the face of tribulation. She suffered a great deal of personal pain in fractured relationships over the death of a child in her charge, the Crown Prince, especially because she had suffered from several miscarriages and had no living children of her own. Her story speaks to a quiet long-suffering and noble life. I hope you enjoy Colette’s entries as much as I do.

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Super Sale all Week at Ave Maria Press [updated!]

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in courageous saints, formidable women, reviews | Comments Off on Super Sale all Week at Ave Maria Press [updated!]




Day 2 code: MERCY15


Get your shopping on!sale

click on picture to go to website

Please note my tiny little book is nestled in there between some other awesome titles! At these prices, get them all!

I’ll update each day’s code here.

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