I will be enjoying several days off – Thanksgiving Thursday and “Black Friday” – EWTN’s gift to staff members at this time of year. Just another reason to be both happy and grateful!

I will remember all of you – my blog readers, TV viewers and radio listeners – at Mass tomorrow, praying for your health, happiness, spiritual well-being and special prayer intentions.

Below you will find my personal prayer of thanksgiving – I hope you might see yourself in my words!


Join me this weekend on Vatican Insider for Part II of my off-the-cuff interview with Fr. John Paul Kimes, Canon law professor at the university of Notre Dame and member of the Historical Commission for the cause of canonization of Servant of God Joseph Dutton. Dutton, a layman was companion, caregiver and friend for 44 years, alongside Sts. Damien and Marianne Cope, to the victims of leprosy on Kalaupapa, a peninsula of the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

Father John Paul and I spoke after a recent event in Honolulu for this cause of canonization, a gala, fund-raising luncheon that brought together just under 500 people from several Hawaiian islands. He gave an over-the-top keynote address at that event! This took place during a week in Hawaii in which I was also sworn in as an official member of the Historical Commission, a huge honor!

Father Kimes, a riveting storyteller, tells us about the link between Notre Dame University and Joseph Dutton and explains what he has learned of Dutton by researching the university archives on this Servant of God. You’ll love every minute of our conversation!

Fr. John Paul had arrived in Honolulu the night before the luncheon and had to get to the airport almost immediately afterwards for his return flight so finding time – and a place! – to have this conversation was a real blessing, almost a miracle.

The only available space, in fact, was in a small hallway off the main hallway not far from the room where our luncheon was. A table and two unoccupied chairs seemed to be waiting just for us. Not an acoustically perfect setting, however, so you’ll hear some faint background conversation as people walk by in the main hall but Father John Paul is such a great storyteller that you may not even note it!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.


Dear Lord, how have you blessed me? Let me count the ways…..

My wonderful family, my beautiful faith, my ocean of friends, the friends throughout your great universe whom You have brought into my life.

Does a day pass that You do not bring some unique, new person into my life? The newest member of my wonderful, large family? A friend from another country? Another wonderful seminarian or priest added to the many who have made my life and my faith so fulfilling? The list is so very long!

Does a day pass that I am not enriched and blessed by some amazing event that You placed in my path as a learning moment, a time of prayer, a period of silent Thanksgiving? You blessed me at my baptism when You brought me into your beautiful Catholic Church and a faith to which I have always tried to be faithful.

You have blessed me by enriching that faith over the years, allowing me to work for You every day, to bring Your Word and Your teachings and Your Truth to so many. My words, by comparison, are very insignificant but truly heartfelt.

I am filled with both thanksgiving and joy as I write these words, as my mind’s eye overflows with images of each family member, of friends here in Rome and around the globe, of the magnificent events that daily fill my life.

I sign most emails and letters with “God bless,” and below that, my name “Joan” – but I read it silently as “God bless Joan.” And, Lord, You HAVE blessed me! Heartfelt Thanks!



Two Notre Dame Fighting Irish football tickets from 1929!! They were in what we call a “box of things” in our family (Mom’s box of things, Joan’s box of things, etc). These were large boxes that contained baby albums, scrapbooks, photos, letter, birth announcements, World War II Ration Books (I have Ration Book Four for my Mom) and much more – like these tickets!

1929 was a 9-0 Season for the Irish!

Tickets were only $3! I wonder how many were sold after the crash on Wall Street!

Irish vs. Wisconsin, October 19, 1929    (19-0)

Irish vs. USC, November 16, 1929    (13-12 – score was written on back of ticket in by my maternal grandmother. My Dad went to Notre Dame, class of 34, and Mom graduated St Mary’s of Notre Dame, ‘35)

Notice Gate, Section, Row and Seat numbers ( USC is seat 30)

Check this out: