Footprints on the Journey

2014 Second Place Winner of "Best Online Blog-Individual" Category from the Catholic Press Association

A Change in the Weather

I love the sound of leaves rustling in the trees, and the crunch they make when they are dried and crushed under my feet. When those first cool bursts of air reach my lungs when I step outside in the morning, I feel like I’m being stirred alive.


And the one never-fail sign that fall has arrived in New York: Shops are swapping iced coffee drinks for pumpkin-spiced everything.


There have been a lot of not-too-great changes that have taken place this year. For me, the hardest thing has been seeing much-loved family members having to cope with extraordinarily difficult health situations. Maybe life hasn’t been that great for you recently, either. Perhaps you are dealing with an unexpected loss, or money problems, or your own health issues or addictions.


If you aren’t having the best of times right now, it may be hard to keep the faith. I know it is hard for me sometimes. There are certain changes that have occurred that are hard to accept and some I just don’t understand.


But then I remember a friend who told me a story from when his son was really sick. He said he was praying constantly and worried, wondering if his child would survive. While he was praying, he had a thought that stopped him from worrying so much. He told me that he thought about God, and what God would say, and in his mind, he heard God say, “He was my child first.”


That’s true for all of us. Throughout our lives, with every change, good and bad, God is there with us. He’s closer to us than anyone because we were His first.

It’s Been a Long Time

For those of you who follow regularly, I apologize for not writing in a while. It would be so nice to say that I’ve been away on vacation or traveling on spectacular spiritual adventure or even taking some time to ‘get right with God.’ But the truth of the matter is I haven’t been doing any of those things. The thing that has kept me away from writing is the drama and the ups and downs of ordinary life.


I could go into a list of woes, or rattle of responsibilities, but the reality is that would just bring me down and most likely bore you. I know you, dear reader, are figuring out how to cope and live with the same things. We all have responsibilities. We all have sufferings. We all have ups and downs in our lives.


And sometimes, we have the best intentions but time blips by so fast that by the time you stop to assess where you are, days, weeks, even a month (as is the case with me and writing here!) can go by before you realize it.


For me, when time is passing in that manner, it’s never a good thing. It’s a sign that I’m not taking enough time to stop and breathe—which also means I’m not taking time to pray or ask God for help with things that are going bad, or thank Him for the things that are going well.


If I’m not able to talk to God, I’m also going to be unable to love and care for those around me the way they deserve. That’s because, at least how I see it, without prayer, there’s no faith and without that there’s no hope. It’s a downward spiral from there. And like the saying goes, you can’t give what you don’t have.


So for me, it’s time to open back up the lines of communication. Thank you to all of you still reading.


What is the one area of your life that generally suffers when life begins to move too fast and how do you generally fix it? Please share, as it may help other readers.

Faith Through Tragedy

Because of the religious writing I do, I often get suggestions on Facebook and Twitter for Catholic social media websites. I was recently directed towards one called Facebook Apostles. I had the chance to speak to the founder and director whose life was greatly affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and whose faith shines through the darkness. 

On Sept. 11, the site’s founder, Nic Haros, Jr., who worked at the World Trade Center, suffered great losses. 

His mother, who also worked at the Trade Center for another organization died in the attacks and her body was never recovered. 

As sometimes happens in families, the two were in a quarrel that week.  However, after work on Sept. 10, Haros had to travel to Baltimore on business. When he arrived, he had a feeling he should call his mother.

“I apologized for my contribution to the argument, and she did too, and I told her I loved her. And those were the last words we ever spoke,” he said.

A countless number of friends also perished. He also lost his job. 

“Even through all that, I believed God was guiding and preparing me for what would come next,” he said. 

Taking all his skills for business, computers, and his faith, the idea for Facebook Apostles came into being.  

“Eventually I learned it was God’s vocation for me and as such it’s really become an extension of my own spiritual life,” he said. 

“What I do, I do out of love,” he added.  

What an amazing testament to faith.   You can find Facebook Apostles at

Going on a Pilgrimage With Jesus

With World Youth Day going on this week in Poland, my mind has been focusing on the idea of pilgrimages. I was fortunate enough to attend World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011 and the experience deepened my faith and trust in God. However, it’s been a long time since then and it’s about time I reflect and reconsider where I am in my spiritual journey and how I could renew my faith now.


A few questions keep coming up in my mind: Do I walk with Jesus in my life today? Do I allow him to stay by my side or do I push him away? Am I moving forward in my faith or am I standing still?


They are difficult questions to answer. At this current moment in time, I would have to say that I try to keep Jesus out of my life and am inclined to push Him away because I am afraid to move forward in my faith. Why would I do such a thing? In all honesty, I get too caught up in the world and focus on too many distractions that get the better of me, and forget about focusing on my faith. Moving forward in faith means becoming a better person and quite frankly, that’s a hard thing to do. Especially when you are caught up in what you want and not what Jesus wants.


Thankfully, He is full of mercy and forgiveness and desires for us to come back to Him no matter how many times we turn from Him or go the wrong way!  


So during this week, in which the Church is focusing on the idea of pilgrimage, I’m going to try harder to move forward in faith. How about you?  

What Can You Do For WYD?


World Youth Day officially begins today with an Opening Mass in Błonia Park. As you may know, the theme for this year is the fifth beatitude from the Gospel of Matthew, ““Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”


It’s a good theme to have because this is also the Year of Mercy. The theme had me thinking about the idea of giving and receiving. It also reminded me of the saying, “You get what you give.” For pilgrims in Poland, that will be very true. Whatever they put into their spiritual journey, they will get back. Pilgrimages are hard, and the harder you work at it, the more gifts you’ll receive. So to all of you in Poland: Don’t give up! Keep going!


But what can those of us at home do? We can also give our time to Jesus throughout the week in prayer and sacrifice. For instance, we can use our time to enrich our spiritual life—such as by reading the works of St. Faustina or St. Pope John Paul II, who, by the way, were both Polish!


Do you have any other ideas on how to unite yourselves to those attending World Youth Day and encounter Christ this week? Please share.

World Youth Day Is About to Begin

World Youth Day begins this coming week on Tuesday, July 26. Many Catholic New Yorkers are on their way to Krakow, Poland as I write these words. Others, perhaps, like me, will be staying home.


For those staying home, this week can still be one of an encounter with Christ.   There are a few ways that we can unite ourselves with those who are in Poland. One is through social media.


The Catholic Apostolate Center in collaboration with the WYDUSA office will have live updates and videos from Krakow that can be found at


Before the week begins, I thought that all of us—traveling pilgrims and people staying home—could begin our spiritual journey by thinking about the theme of this year’s World Youth Day, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Not only that, I thought we could all ask ourselves, what exactly does mercy mean, and how are we living mercy in our lives?


Are you traveling to World Youth Day or staying home? What are your thoughts on mercy?


Color and Pray — Artwork Contest Submissions

Draw a doodle and send it to along with your address to be entered into the “Color and Pray” contest. Winners will be selected randomly to receive the coloring book “Color and Pray.” To find out more read the previous post.

Thank you to everyone who entered!  





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A Colorful Prayer Life

I recently received an adult coloring book from Paraclete Press titled “Pray and Color” by Sybil MacBeth. Over the past few years I have definitely been into the coloring craze and am a huge proponent of this form of relaxation—and now—this form of prayer.


In all the times that I have colored, I never thought to combine it with prayer. But the two do fit in well together. Coloring calms the mind. It allows me, at least, to focus on the simple things—the colors, the lines—it is quite meditative.


I knew I could easily get hooked into this type of prayer when I read something the author wrote about how she felt while praying and coloring: “My body and mind were less antsy, fidgety, distracted, and unfocused than they had been during prayer time.”


Throughout the book, the author explains different types of prayers and how to use drawing and coloring to pray in the front of the book, while the rest of the book includes templates and drawings for one to color in.


I was lucky enough to receive a few copies of the book. I thought it would be fun to hold a small contest to raffle off the books.


From now until Friday—I invite everyone to draw a small doodle and take a picture of it—send it by email to me at along with your name and mailing address. Four people will be randomly selected by those sent in by Monday at noon to win the coloring books! Your artwork will be shown on this blog! It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be yours!

Taking Polaroid Moments

Yesterday, my family gathered to celebrate the 14th birthday of my niece. During the party, I saw her taking a few photos with a Polaroid camera. Yes, in this age of digital everything she was taking old-fashioned Polaroids. I thought it was awesome, and not just because I happen to take Polaroid photos, too, every once in a while.


I thought it was great because compared to digital photos you take on your phone—waiting for a Polaroid to develop is fairly slow. Also, you can’t retouch it or Photoshop it in any way. It is what it is.


The photos led my thoughts towards how many moments I take for granted—moments that are worth capturing. (For anyone thinking of Pokemon Go! right now and capturing Pokemon…yes, maybe that has something to do with my thoughts as well.)


In all seriousness, though, I think it’s important to live and experience fully every moment you can. I was talking about this very fact with my husband the other day.


Life gets so busy and stressful sometimes that “downtime” disappears. When that happens, we have to do what we can to find whatever time we can to laugh and love and enjoy. For instance, perhaps you are visiting a loved one at the hospital. That’s definitely not a place you would think you’d find happiness or joy or a moment to remember…but it can be! Just think of those times when someone shares a story, or the patient laughs and forgets their pain. There’s hope there.


That’s a moment to capture and cherish.


What do you think? Do you feel like you find time each day to enjoy life?

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