Award-winning author and journalist, internationally-known speaker,
retreat leader, and popular radio personality
I’m a veteran journalist who has been published in dozens of Catholic and secular publications. I’m the author of several books about Marian devotion and Catholic spirituality. family life. My book, Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena received a 2016 Association of Catholic Publishers Award for Excellence in Publishing. My Queen, My Mother: A Living Novena (A Marian Pilgrimage Across America) was awarded a Catholic Press Association Book Award in the Pilgrimage/Catholic Travel category.
Radio and Television
I’m a frequent guest on many Catholic radio programs nationwide, a regular contributor to Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air Show,” and have appeared on EWTN’s Women of Grace, Bookmark, Catholic Moms Cafe, and other shows. My podcast, Simply Holy, is carried on Breadbox Media and many other platforms.
I’m an internationally-known speaker and have presented at conferences, retreats, and parish events across the US and in Europe and South America. Audiences love my warm, down-to-earth style and the way I touch hearts with my humor and honesty. Learn more about booking me for your event on my Speaking page.
I’m a cradle Catholic, solidly committed to the teaching of the Magisterium and am especially attached to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I have a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism and worked for a time as a public relations consultant. I have a certificate in Marian Studies from the International Marian Research Institute and a certificate in spiritual mentoring from Cardinal Stritch University. I’m a member of the Mariological Society of America, Catholic Press Association, and Catholic Writer’s Guild. In May 2014 I traveled with the Catholic Press Association to the Holy Land as part of Pope Francis’ pilgrimage there and to Rome to participate in The Church Close Up, a seminar for international journalists hosted by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. In 2015, I was awarded the Egan Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism, traveling to the Philippines to report on the ongoing reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Hayan. Later that year, I was accepted to the Jordan Tourism Board Religious Journalist and Blogger Tour, exploring the many holy sites in the “other” Holy Land. I’m an instructor for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Permanent Deacon Wives Program.
St. Margaret of Scotland
St. Margaret of Scotland (1050-1093) is my patron saint. St. Margaret was a woman of strong character, determined to maintain the freedom to be herself, to love God, and to serve others. Having fled the cruelty of William the Conqueror, St. Margaret and her family were shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland and were befriended by King Malcolm. The King was captivated by the beautiful and gracious young woman, and in 1070, they married. Queen Margaret reformed not only her rough and uncultured husband, but also the entire country. She promoted the arts, education, and religious reform and with King Malcolm, founded seven churches. The King so valued St. Margaret’s wisdom, that he often consulted her on state matters. The couple had six sons and two daughters, all of whom St. Margaret educated herself. Privately, Queen Margaret lived an austere life of prayer, spiritual reading, and fasting. She went to great lengths to care for the poor and never ate herself without first feeding the orphans and beggars at her table. St. Margaret of Scotland died four days after learning that her husband and eldest son had been killed in battle.
St. Francis de Sales
I look to St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), the patron saint of writers, for guidance. Despite of his best efforts to coerce his son into the legal profession, St. Francis de Sales’ father finally conceded his entry into the priesthood. From the start, he was quite successful in converting others to the Catholic faith by distributing pamphlets that he himself had written. He became a bishop at age 35, preached, heard confessions, catechized, and quickly became known for his ability to win souls with his gentle character. His two best-known books are Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, but he also wrote many pamphlets and a vast correspondence. His writings are addressed to laypersons, and his primary focus is to help them understand that they, too, are called to be saints. He shared a chaste and heartfelt friendship with St. Jane de Chantal, with whom he founded the Sisters of the Visitation.