Do You Celebrate Christ

I know that as Catholics sometimes we can get caught up in rituals of the Mass, especially if  you are one that attends daily Mass.  Yes it is beautiful, and meaningful but for those of you  that are cradle Catholics and have witnessed the same event every Sunday or daily, you can  have a tendency to loose the spark of what it all means.  I often tell cradle Catholics that I  consider myself lucky in the since that coming into the church as an adult I have a better  understanding of what it all means, I can appreciate it more than say those who have been a  Catholic their whole lives because see as a cradle Catholic, the Catholic Church is all you  know, when you come into the Catholic church after having been affiliated with different  denominations you can see what you have been missing, and I feel that for allot of us converts  to the Church it helps us to have a deeper passion for the Mass.

Now I am not saying that converts are better than cradle’s what I am saying is if you have  gotten to the point in your life that the Mass is more of a routine than you need to spice up  your Church life. I often times will tell people that I consider myself an evangelical  Catholic, and I am sure that you are giving the screen the same confused look that people often  give me when they hear me say that.  See I grew up in a Baptist church, and so it was not  uncommon for someone to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” and shout or raise their hands when  they felt overwhelmed with love for God.  Now I am sure that if I was to do that during a Mass,  I would probably get some very strange looks.  But see there are times during the Mass that I  do get that overwhelming love for God, especially when I partake of the Eucharist, and there  are times that I have to bite my tongue to keep from expressing the over abundance of love that  I am feeling.

Finish reading this article on my blog.

Dear tiny baby growing in my belly,

Your mama is writing this to replace pregnancy journals and baby books. I won’t attempt to buy either because they will remain empty.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It just means life is quite busy chasing after your nine big brothers and sisters. You’ll see!

Two weeks ago, your daddy and I got to see your sweet little fingers and toes at our ultrasound. I have something crazy to share with you:  It always makes me a little sad to share you with everyone else.

Up until that ultrasound, I was the only one who knew you, really knew you, except for God. Only I knew how nauseous and hormonal it feels to grow you from two tiny cells. Only I felt your little flutters and squirms. Only I knew how you kick like crazy when music plays loudly or my seat belt squishes you.


I have loved you ever since I had an inkling that you were growing inside me. Actually, I prayed for you months ago. You were not exactly planned as the rest of the world expects babies to be. However, your daddy and I were open to the possibility of you, and God willed you to exist at this exact time and place. God has a very special life in store for you!


To read more of this sappy, hormonal love letter to my tenth baby, click here!


2015 Catholic Conference 4 Moms: 27 Awesome Talks plus Spiritual Resources!

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How many of the AWESOME talks were you able to watch last weekend from the 2015 Catholic Conference 4 Moms? I managed to only see about 6 of the 27 awesome talks…but my FAVORITE was “The Culprits that Steal a Mom’s Joy and How to Avoid them” by Stephanie Wood Weinart.

Did you hear it?

Several of our own Catholic Bloggers gave talks as well! Did you see Nancy Ward’s or Connie Rossini’s  presentation?


It’s NOT TOO LATE!! You can receive ALL 27 presentation downloads for $39.99 $29.99 for your unlimited online viewing!

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CBN will get a small commission as a Catholic Conference 4 Catholic Moms Affiliate…thank you for support: it will help cover the regular maintenance of the Catholic Bloggers Network.
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With your purchase, you will also receive over $40 in Spiritual Resources…including the Mysteries of the Rosary Cathletics Craft Kit PDF…sponsored by Monica at Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families and “Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life”  Ebook by Connie Rossini

Check out these awesome Presentations at the 2015 Catholic Conference 4 Moms

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Righting A Wrong Way Of Thinking

As any of you that have watched the news in the past couple of weeks knows the area in West
Virginia that I live in was hit by a total of around two feet of snow within a two week period.
This caused all of the roads to be bad, and when the snow started to melt it caused a huge
flood in our area.  Many people lost their homes, and everything that they owned it truly was a
State of Emergency like the governor declared.  I am grateful that our home was spared, and
that the only things that were a true threat to us were the slick roads.

In the process of the river rising because of all the water it effected our city water plant
and caused it to have to shut down, which left us with no water.  As I write this we are still
without water for 5 days now.  Remember now our home was spared from the flood, our electric
managed to stay on throughout the storms, so we had a dry safe, warm home and for that I am
truly grateful.  But not having water for the past five days for some reason has bothered me
more than it should, and I am ashamed to have to admit that the way that I have reacted to it,
is in a way shameful.

There are so many people that have lost so much, everything that they have worked for, gone in
a matter of hours.  And here I am complaining just because I don’t have any water, how
embarrassed I truly am.  So why are you writing about this on a Catholic site you might ask?

Well I know as Christians we are suppose to have it ingrained in our minds and hearts that God
is there and He will take care of us, but we also are human and imperfect people and we have
thoughts, and concerns just like everyone else, and yes even Christians at time can have their
periods of doubt, especially in times of great stress.  It is hard during times of heartache to
see God’s hand in something, but no matter how bad things look at the moment, you don’t have to
worry because God is always there.  And as an imperfect human I have allowed this minor problem
that I am having with no water fester and become a lot more that it really is, and in essence I
feel like I have failed a test that I have been given.

Finish reading this article on my blog:


Mothering Saints

Just shy of two months ago, our 10th child was born with several congenital abnormalities.  Due to the advance knowledge we had of Siena’s condition, we made arrangements for her immediate baptism and confirmation. While doctors were initially able to stabilize Siena, unfortunately her lungs were not strong enough and she passed away after 105 minutes.

Since Siena’s death, I have committed myself to speaking honestly about the realities of parenting through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss.  Siena is our 10th child.  Sadly, our 4th child, Kenna was stillborn due to an umbilical cord defect and I delivered three babies in miscarriage.  I am surrounded by the abundant joy of my three boys and two of my girls each day, but death has been as much of my mothering journey as life.  It is a different kind of motherhood when one is touched by these tragic losses.

Siena may have only lived for a short time, but she knew nothing but love. She was surround by her parents, siblings, godparents, grandparents, an aunt, and many friends.  She touched the lives of each one of us, and of those who were part of the medical team that day.  I like to think Siena was conceived in love, nurtured in love, born into love, and finally received into Love.

Read more of my faith journey mothering Siena at Work and Play, Day by Day.


My Thoughts On Our Lady Of Fatima


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A friend of mine recently ask me what my thoughts on Our Lady Of Fatima were, and it got me to thinking a lot on the subject. I remember when I was first learning about the Catholic Church and hearing all of the wonderful things that people had witnessed in the Church I heard about Our Lady of Fatima. When I first heard about Fatima I remember I was instantly amazed at what the children had witnessed there, and I remember that I believed it right off, I had no doubts in my mind that it truly did happen and I found the account amazing.

As I read about the three children I was almost jealous in a way that it had happened to them,
and not to me. Could you imagine seeing Our Lady, listening to Her speak? Oh how wonderfully
blessed those kids were, I don’t really think they understood at the time what a profound
impact that this would have in so many millions of peoples lives. It never fails to amaze me
the many different ways that God makes His presence known, and the fact that He uses Our Lady
shows how much love He has for His Mother, and it is that love that He has for His Mother, that
makes me love Her so very much.

She is my Spiritual Mother and I have often talked to Her just like I did when my mother was alive. She can understand me in a way that no one else can, and to talk with Her gives me such a peace in my heart. At the beginning of April I am going to be reading yet another book on Our Lady of Fatima, and I am going to be sharing my thoughts on it chapter by chapter on a separate page on my blog. If you would like feel free to get the book and read it along with me. The title is Our Lady Of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh.


Feel free to visit my blog at

The Case for Sacred Subtitles and how to ‘get more out of Mass’


Sacred Subtitles

I’ve been going to Mass at least once a week for over 44 years. Even with the New Translation of 2011, the text of the Mass is pretty familiar…or is it?

The truth is, I don’t always hear the beautiful words of the Mass. It’s true I’m a little hearing impaired, but I think it’s quite possible for most of us to glaze over and not listen intently to the words of the priest. Heck, it seems like sometimes the priest can even glaze over a little bit and speed-read the prayers of the Mass, taking for granted the wisdom and the diligence of our Church to carefully choose these beautiful and meaningful words invoking the Holy Spirit, rounding up the Faithful and transubstantiating the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ out of mere bread and wine.

When was the last time you really listened to all the words of the Eucharistic prayer? Even our responses can be kind of rote. We can rattle off the Apostles Creed…the very collection of beliefs we should be able to stake our lives on….as flippantly as we respond “fine thanks, how are you?”

I don’t want to be negative or critical or judgmental…especially knowing how deeply and how quickly I fall short of virtuous or spiritually-disciplined. But I’d feel better if I had some practical tips to put in place to help me and my family participate more deliberately and consciously in Mass.

Want to read my 9 Resolutions to ‘get more out of Mass’?

Click this: Reverent or Routine: The Case for Sacred Subtitles and 9 Resolutions for Equipping Catholic Families



A Theological Debate Preschool Style

“Someone just called my name. I think it was God!”flat,550x550,075,f

It was early evening. We often played musical beds at bedtime because the younger children liked the security of a sibling or two falling asleep with them, especially when older brothers and sisters were still up and having fun. So it happened that I was laying down on Emily’s bed nursing an infant while she played with my hair and sucked her  thumb. Five-year-old David was almost asleep across the room. His breathing was slow and deep. The only other sound in the peaceful room came from a fan that created just enough white noise to drown out the other kid’s voices.

David suddenly sat straight up in bed, popped his eyes open and yelled excitedly,

“Someone just called my name. I think it was God!”

Emily took her thumb out of her mouth and lisped,

“Who is God?”

I turned my head to look at her and smiled, “You know, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Emily was still puzzled,

“You mean the priest at church?”

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Do You Have Enough Hours In Your Day?

In this day and age, life can get so hectic that we just can’t seem to get enough hours in the
day to get everything that we need done. No matter how hard we try it always seems like we are
letting something or someone down, and that in turn can cause us a large amount of guilt.
Below I am going to give you an example of a day in the life of me, from the time I awake till
the time that I go to bed. Now these things don’t always get done in order, but they are things
that I have to tackle on a daily basis, and this is something that is an everyday thing there
are never any days off.

Wake up and get dressed, change my son and get him dressed (he has cerebral palsy and is deaf
and in a wheelchair), make the beds, put on a load of laundry, make breakfast, eat and clean
the kitchen, We have 4 dogs in the house so there are dog pads to change, they have to be fed
and watered, more laundry, praying my Rosary, answering emails, trying to get in a few minutes
of writing, more laundry, changeing my son if needed, lunch, cleaning the bathroom, and family
room, think about what I am going to make for dinner, Bible time, more laundry, I try to get in
a thirty minute nap, cook dinner, eat and do dishes, change my son and get him ready for bed,
spend some time with my husband so he does not feel left out, I watch the 11 o’clock news, one
last check on emails and Facebook, and then hit the hay, and do it all over again the next day.
And then on Sunday’s, Wednesday’s and Holy Day’s go to Mass, and twice a month to the grocery
store and pay bills.

The three things that are most important and ones that I make it a point to do each and
everyday are praying my Rosary, Bible time and the much welcomed nap time. If for some reason I
don’t get those three things accompoished then I feel like I have let the entire day down, and
when that happened I would always feel so bad and guilty, but then I read a quote from Mother
Teresa that changed my entire way of thinking.

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I was putting way to much on myself and expecting way to much out of myself. I was setting expectations that were unrealistic and when I did not accomplish everything then I felt like I was letting God down. But I wasn’t, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, all He asks us is to be faithful and do our best. Now don’t get me wrong, that huge list above still has to be done each and everyday, but I don’t get so stressed out about it anymore. I do the best that I can and I know in my heart that I have pleased the Lord, and in the end that is all that really matters.


10933912_314706998726329_2641792555044191085_n   Annie Chester is a housewife, mother and a Catholic convert living in Eastern West Virginia. After growing up and marrying in the Baptist church she came home to the Catholic Church in 2006. Married to her best friend, she is also the mother of 2 wonderful kids, one of which has Cerebral Palsy and is deaf. Very passionate about her Faith she trys to model her life as best as she can after our Blessed Mother, she also enjoys learning about the different Saints of our Church. Feel free to contact her through Facebook or check out her blog