Thursday, September 18, 2014

A little of this and a little of that - 7QT

Okay, so I know I said earlier this week that I would post the Pirate Party pictures. That post is about 75% done but I hurt my back mid week and then spent Thursday night at the emergency room again with James again because he ingested milk again. I hate milk. Also, any dairy that drips. Or is hidden in other foods. blerg. I hate allergies. 

This post was originally going to be something that is not a 7QT but with all the crap of the week it has become...what it is. Thank you, Jennifer Fulwiler, for saving me with your ole faithful link up.

Pre Script: here's your song. A little bit of a throwback but such a nice one, no?

Did you hear about the next Edel? Jen and Hallie announced it today: Charleston, South Carolina in July 2015. You should see the pictures of the hotel! It's gorgeous! I'm wondering who I can rope into rooming with me so I can cut costs. Kendra? Blythe? Kathryn? Jenny? Any of you lovely ladies?

I snore, but supposedly not so badly if I'm on my stomach. 

Right now Project YM is hosting the annual "Support a Catholic Speaker" voting. This is a great way for event planners to learn about popular and up-and-coming Catholic speakers. Please go vote for your favorites, and if you want you can even vote for me. 

Speaking of speaking, I have a few upcoming events on the books for this fall. I'm so glad that, even with the pause in the cause*, I am still able to go around and share James' story with people. When I speak I am able to tell people about the miracle that happened and about Venerable Fulton Sheen. It is a privilege and honor to do it... and it pays for Bennet's school tuition. 

If you are interested in bringing me in to speak at your parish, youth group, moms' group, gala, conference, or other event please let me know. I feel like it is even more important now for me to help spread the word about Venerable Sheen's cause.

*Kelly Mantoan totally needs to get credit for coming up with "pause in the cause."

English muffins: I've tried a recipe from King Arthur Flour and one from Country Living. Both were okay, though I much preferred King Arthur's recipe. If you try CL's use less salt, I say. I'm still on a quest for the best recipe. If you've got one I'd love to hear. The major problem so far has been that both recipes have lacked the nooks in the muffins. 
But they still made some great egg sandwiches!

I recently learned about a new (to me) site called Catholic365. From their website: is a Catholic-focused article and information portal from Catholic writers and bloggers who write about things Catholics are interested in, with 3 main categories - Faith, Life and What's Going On, from a perspective consistent with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
So that's pretty cool. Another one to add to my list.

I just learned that the Women's Care Center that opened in Peoria, Illinois a year ago has helped mothers choose life over 200 times! There have been 23% fewer abortions in 2014 compared to last year! How wonderful is that?!

Have you been reading the devotionals from Blessed Is She? Oh man! So good! Sign up if you haven't yet!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

James' 4th Birthday and how it relates to Sheen's cause

Today is James Fulton's 4th birthday. Happy Birthday, James!

You can have your chip and eat it too!

I remember so much of his birth so vividly.

How light came into my room from the hall and my closet. How people talked in hushed voices. How I kneeled in front of Travis and he kneeled in front of me, supporting me while I labored with my hands on his thighs and my head against his chest.

I remember how beautifully the labor went and I remember - so clearly - the pain as he descended and that horrible feeling I suspect all birthing moms feel: I don't want to do this and I have no way out. 

"I can't do this," I told the people in the room. "Yes you can, Bonnie," they said back.

"Bonnie," my midwife's birth assistant said in a firm doula voice, "you need to get that baby out. You need to do it now. You can do this and it's time to do it now." With her words I pushed James out. I remember feeling like I was in control. I gave birth to him slowly so that I wouldn't tear and I waited for my body to contract so I could work with it. I was in control.

And then I wasn't.

My midwife caught James and immediately handed him to me and he was completely lifeless.

As everyone moved around me, going into action, I sat back and shut down. I went into a state of shock and I watched all that control slip away completely.

When James was in the NICU we were told so many things about who and how James would be. The worst, though, was when his feeding therapist told me she didn't think he would probably ever eat. No birthday cake, ever, if he even ever had a birthday. I felt like she had taken away my last bit of normal and in private I sobbed for this changeling I'd been given.

As it turns out, though, she was right and James should never have birthday cake unless it is wheat, soy, dairy, nut, and egg free. But what a horrible cake that would be. Today he will take rice krispie treats (made with coconut oil instead of butter) to school for his class treat.


Today's birthday will be a little sad for me, as every day has been a little sad for me ever since Fulton Sheen's cause was stopped. The hope that James' coming back from the dead would lead to Sheen's beatification was just about the only reason I could look a grieving mother in the eye. She begged for her child's life and I am never more aware of what an undeserving jerk I am than when I stand beside her. With the cause stopped I feel a bit anxious, a bit sad, a bit found out.

It also makes me see that, once again, I am not in control.

But it's so much more than that - so much more than me and my personal discomfort. Every day I think about the cause, I beg God to reopen it in Peoria, and I wonder what will happen.

Elizabeth Scalia wants Sheen to stay in New York because she thinks he'll penetrate through the crap that fills the East and bring about a revival. I usually like what Ms. Scalia writes but that just seemed to miss the obvious: they've had Sheen for over 80 years.

Rochester and New York City didn't care much for him when he was alive and no one has seemed to care very much about him since he died.

There's a new Sheen Center in NYC, which Cardinal Dolan dedicated yesterday, but it's website doesn't talk about Fulton Sheen at all. Pilgrims can't visit Sheen's tomb at St. Patrick's Cathedral without making special arrangements because he's locked up in the crypt. The Archdiocese's website doesn't even have him listed as Venerable. It seems that if they were excited about the man and his cause they would have at least updated that at some point in the last fifteen months.

People keep talking about Sheen's wishes regarding where he was buried, like his niece in last Sunday's New York Times. I think the thing all of them are missing is that Sheen's ultimate wish was to do God's will. If it's God's will that Sheen be declared a saint, then I think Sheen would bow to that desire. If it's God's will that Sheen be beatified in Peoria, then Sheen would have bowed to the customs of the Church and God's will and had his tomb moved to Peoria.

I miss that point, too, about it all coming down to God's will. I bristle when people say this pause in the cause is God's will. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. This breakdown may not be God's will but I do know (and have to remind myself) that God makes all things work together for the good. He's in control, just like He was at James' birth, not me at all.

One of the only commentaries I've read on this whole mess that has brought me any sense of peace came from Crisis Magazine: Thank Goodness Fulton Sheen's Cause Has Been Suspended. I don't agree with everything he says but he is right to point out that Sheen's cult needs to thrive and spread. I appreciate all the people praying for the cause, but there is more that can be done. As I've said before, writing to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and telling them you want Sheen's cause reopened, that you want to see him canonized, and that you want to see a nice shrine in Peoria will help. It will show them that the laity care, that Sheen's following, his cult, is thriving and even growing. So keep praying, but write too!

Today is James' 4th birthday. If you haven't written yet, but you believe that my son was brought back from the dead for the glory of God, and that it was down through the intercession of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, and that Sheen should be canonized - then please write today and tell the Congregation.

And by the end of the week I will post pictures from James' pirate themed birthday paaaarty, because really this is a mommy blog and I should get back to that.

"Perhaps piracy is our only option."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Soundtrack for your weekend: Scott Bradlee and his Postmodern Jukebox

You probably saw the fantastic cover of All About the Bass.

Classy. Thank you, Hello Giggles, for introducing it to me!

After I watched it I wondered about that Scott Bradlee guy and found that he has all kinds of great music covers. (You can buy his music here.
Your music for the weekend is covered. Thank you, Mr. Bradlee!

Friday, September 12, 2014

7QT - to lighten the mood

1 - The Bob Dylan and the Eddie Veddar are the best.

2 - I got a wonderful surprise this week when the nice people at PartyPail contacted me and said they'd seen Joseph's first birthday party, which had a Red, White, & Blue theme. They thought it looked pretty good and gave me this:

So yay!

3 - James and Bennet's birthday party is this weekend. It's pirate themed and they're really excited. When I made the invitations I posted a picture of my progress on IG and Facebook and all these people started telling me to dye them with tea bags or burn the edges.
Now, I get that people were probably thinking, "Bonnie has hand drawn 15 birthday invitations on crumpled, torn paper so it looks like a treasure map. Obviously she will want to take it one step further and make them look really awesome instead of just pretty great, as they are now. I'll tell her about tea and charred edges."

But people were wrong.

I do not have time to soak a bunch of paper in tea, lay it out to dry, touch up any of the print (it was Crayola markers - I'd probably have to do it all again), and then carefully burn the edges of them all when they were good and dry.

Okay, actually, I could have made the time for all that.

But I am lazy. I used some brown ink to "dirty" them up and called it a day.

4 - Who draws a bottle of rum on a 4 year old's birthday invitation?
Whatever, we have plenty if anyone needs some to make it through the afternoon. Joseph has taken to getting into the liquor cabinet and carrying bottles around the house so I'm sure he'll probably bring you some Captain Morgan anyways.

5 - Today's goals:
Make English muffins.
Clean and declutter the kitchen.
Finish putting away laundry in our bedroom (there's 3 baskets).

6 -You guys! I was on Instagram last night and crainemom had the cutest pic of an autumnal banner she'd made out of newspaper and leaves. I begged her to blog about it so it could be pinned! She obliged, I pinned, and I cannot wait to make a similar one. It is so cute, so simple, so clever, so pretty. Love.

7 - This movie looks really good. Girls night out anyone?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The (alleged) miracle of Fulton Sheen and my stillborn son

If you'd like to see Venerable Fulton Sheen's cause reopened please go here.

If you have questions about why the cause was stopped, Kelly has some answers to the those most frequently asked.

For more information on Fulton Sheen, my son James, and Fulton Sheen + James, please spend some time here.

To teach your kids about Venerable Sheen and the Catholic faith see all the great resources at Look to Him and Be Radiant.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Stirring the pot, silent suffering, and I'm done

Today I read an email from a reporter and thought to myself, "I'm done. I'm emotionally exhausted. I don't want to talk to anyone any more. I need to find someone who works in media relations who will help me draft a statement." I closed my computer and almost as the exact moment my phone rang. Out of nowhere, an old friend whose job is media relations was calling me.

I do not believe in coincidences.

"Susan, I don't think I can do it any more. I'm so hurt. I'm so angry. I'm so confused. I want people to have the facts but I don't want to stir the pot. I don't think I should say anything else."

"Bonnie, you don't have to listen to me, but I want you to know that if you do not tell your story, if you don't share your perspective, it will not be told. If you don't want to comment on the drama - don't! Think of what you want people to know and make that what you speak about."

Friends, I don't want to stir the pot. I want Bishop Jenky to be able to reopen Fulton Sheen's cause, I want to see Fulton Sheen canonized, and I want it all to be done in a way that honors and glorifies God. I wholeheartedly believe that Bishop Jenky and the Sheen Foundation have done everything they have because they sincerely were trying to be forthright with their donors and the public and nothing else.

A couple hours after my phone call with Susan I was praying about it all and a song came on the radio. I busted out laughing because just like Gwen Stafani was singing, this stuff really is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s.

One of the reasons I truly believe that Fulton Sheen should be a saint is because of how he suffered. He suffered silently, confiding in only his closest friends. He didn't complain and he didn't grumble. He did not want to fan any flames of gossip or slander.

Another reason I believe Sheen should be a saint is because he was a man of action. He spoke up; he spoke out; he spoke the truth. He called on people to send in their pennies, nickles, and dimes and by doing so he raised millions for he missions.

I have been trying to balance these two parts of Venerable Fulton Sheen as I've tried to navigate through all my emotions, all the confusion, the half-truths, and misunderstandings. (May the good Lord have mercy on us all!+)

Through my conversation with Susan and my prayer I've realized that it's one thing to share information and it's another to engage in comboxes and Facebook threads. I don't regret anything I've written but the time has come for me to step back from all of this. It's too personal, it's too close to my heart.

However, I still encourage anyone who wants to help the cause to let your feelings be known. A reliable contact with connections in Rome suggested that we write to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and to the Pope, that especially the Congregation would take notice if people cared.

When a cause for canonization begins one of the things the author of the cause needs to prove to Rome is that people, the laity, actually care. The author, the bishop pursuing the cause, must show that the faithful believe the person to be a saint already and that they believe the person's life is worth emulating and that doing so will bring glory to God. I suppose that this letter writing campaign is an extension of the original proving to Rome that people care about Sheen's cause.

You can tweet or IG or whatever with the hashtag #freeFultonSheen. You can mail letters to Rome, but do it soon so they get the letters soon.

And please, let's all agree that it's one thing to be upset with someone's actions but we should never slander. Poor Cardinal Dolan and poor Bishop Jenky.

Diocese of Peoria Presents Additional Clarifications Regarding the Suspension of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood


The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois
Friday, September 5, 2014

Diocese of Peoria Presents Additional Clarifications Regarding the Suspension of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood

For Immediate Release

PEORIA, IL - After an outpouring of great support for the actions taken by Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood, the Diocese is providing additional clarifications.

According to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria, Patricia Gibson, who has worked with the Cause from the beginning, “Bishop Jenky only agreed to pursue the cause for canonization of Fulton Sheen after he was assured by the Archdiocese of New York that they had no interest in pursuing the cause but would support Peoria’s efforts. Specifically, Bishop Jenky was told by Cardinal Egan in September 2002 that New York was not interested in pursuing the cause. He also indicated that at the appropriate time he would facilitate the transfer of the body to Peoria. In December 2004, Cardinal Egan again confirmed at a meeting in New York with Bishop Jenky that he continued to support the efforts of the Cause and reassured him that he would work to transfer the body at the appropriate time to be enshrined in the Peoria Cathedral.”

Based on this ongoing assurance, Bishop Jenky wrote to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in early 2005 asking for the body to be transferred to Peoria. They did not in any way forbid the transfer of the body but simply indicated that it was not the appropriate time. The Congregation indicated that “the transfer was not opportune at this time because the Diocesan inquiry had just been started in the Diocese of Peoria.” With this inquiry complete and a miracle being attributed to Sheen, now is an appropriate time.

On June 27, 2014, the Diocese of Peoria received the most recent communication from the Archdiocese of New York. This letter from its lawyer definitively stated that it would never allow the examination of the body, the securing of relics or the transfer of the body. Upon receiving this shocking statement and consulting with advisors to the Sheen Cause, Bishop Jenky believed that he had no choice but to stop his efforts and suspend the Cause.

Gibson added, “It is essential to realize that Bishop Jenky now feels a great responsibility to be faithful to the thousands of supporters throughout Central Illinois, the nation and the world, in regard to the status of the cause. From the beginning, Bishop Jenky sought assurances that New York did not want to undertake the Cause and would support Peoria’s efforts. This assurance was given before the process ever began. Bishop Jenky also confirmed that at the appropriate time Fulton Sheen’s body would be transferred to his boyhood home and be placed in a shrine in St. Mary’s Cathedral where he was ordained. Over the last twelve years, countless people have offered their time and financial support for these efforts in order not only to spread the word about Fulton Sheen’s virtues and holiness but also to prepare a shrine in Peoria upon his beatification. After New York clearly turned down the Cause, Peoria was happy to put forth the lengthy work and effort because of how much he is loved by the priests and lay faithful in this Diocese.”

Clearly Archbishop Sheen’s wishes for his final resting place could not have anticipated that he would go through a canonization process led by his native Diocese of Peoria, after it was turned down by the Archdiocese of New York. The Diocese of Peoria has heard from several relatives this week regarding their desire that Bishop Jenky continue to work towards having the body transferred as was presumed from the beginning.

The Chancellor, Patricia Gibson, further states, “The actions taken by Bishop Jenky this week reflect his strong desire to be true to the countless supporters of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause who for over twelve years have labored and supported bringing the message of Fulton Sheen and his sanctity to the world. Bishop Jenky continues to hope that the promises made twelve years ago will be honored.”