How to Celebrate Book Lovers Day

I don’t know how I made it halfway through this day (or all the way through the week!) without realizing today is National Book Lovers Day. I suggest that if you, like me, want to celebrate and time is running out well then just go ahead and pick a plan or 2 from this list and enjoy being a book lover anytime.


A Short Reflection on unPLANNED

Last year we read unPLANNED by Abby Johnson.

Abby began her career as a Planned Parenthood volunteer.  She climbed the ranks and eventually landed a position as director of the facility in Texas (ironically Norma McCorvey, who is Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade, also hails from Texas).

Jean wrote a reflection based on her memories of the book for the 40th Anniversary memorial of the 1973 Supreme Court decision which struck down all state abortion regulations:  Roe vs. Wade.

Interestingly, since Abby Johnson publicized her story, many more abortion workers have left work and joined the pro-life ranks.

unplanned larger

Have you ever prayed outside Planned Parenthood, and if so,  have you ever thought that God’s grace and your prayers might convert the heart of an accomplice to abortion inside that building?

Or do you think that the workers inside are so evil that they are beyond saving?

Abby Johnson was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic that performed abortions.

Then one day she walked out of the clinic and over to the Coalition for Life, a pro-life group providing daily witness outside Planned Parenthood in the form of prayer, conversation and in their offices down the block, crisis pregnancy counseling.

Her mother said, “I’ve been praying you’d leave there for so long.”  Pro-lifers outside the clinic also prayed, and one lady left flowers for Abby, which touched her heart.

In the Year of Faith, let us continue to pray for ALL souls involved in the crime of abortion, and really BELIEVE that all things ARE possible with God.
Bishop James Conley recommended that people buy extra copies of Abby Johnson’s story, Unplanned, and distribute them.          Jean O’Brien

40 Years, Many Dead, Many Heroes

I was 13 years old when Roe vs. Wade became the pro-abortion “law” of the land, and I was 16 when I began marching, petitioning, licking envelopes and evangelizing my friends about the baby in the womb (yes, back in the day we knew it was a baby in the womb, even without ultrasound technology; go figure).

We said the cost would be high; we tried to warn women; we wrote, we spoke, we marched.  We made the case that all human life would ultimately be devalued.  Here in Colorado and in many other states we formed chapters of Feminists for Life to caution women that abortion is not a freedom, it’s a slavery.

There were many years when my fervor abated, but there were some pro-life advocates who carried on long after they became exhausted.  And there were many more whose unceasing prayers have shouldered the burden that has shifted now to the young women in this video and everywhere who carry on for justice.

To all of the past workers, known and unknown, we know we are still here because of you, and we thank you.

We may not have stopped abortion but the seed was sown.

Do you want to pay tribute to a long time or past pro-life hero?  Please leave a comment!

3 Ways to Find Peace

Nine days left until Christmas.

We all have experienced the fact that there is no Pax Romano this year as the Holy Family and all families prepare for the Birth.  When children’s lives are taken away in the evil of violence, we know a more intense lack of peace around us.  In January  I will post many of the Respect Life resources we have reviewed.

But now…….

Would you like to know how to find Peace when it is absent in the world?  Do you long to know joy and relaxation of the heart in the days leading up to Christmas and especially in the days after when people typically feel let down, depressed and empty?

Do you wish you could lead your family in a contrary way to the same old rushing, bickering and disappointments?


Stop now and read the words of Blessed John Paul II today and every day leading up to Christmas you’ll have a very good idea of how to bring Peace to your homes and your hearts (and that peace will spread into your community).

He gives us 3 concrete ways to join in peace and experience peace:

  • Join Christians around the world in praying the O Antiphons today through Christmas Eve
  • Pray for Peace
  • Ask Mary to prepare us spiritually

 Don’t worry–it’s very short and you will need no money or supplies to start right now:  Now is the Time for Conversion to Peace (Thanks to CatholicCulture!)

We should be converted to peace; we should be converted to Christ, our peace, certain that his disarming love in the crib overcomes every dire threat and plan for violence. With confidence we need to continue to ask the Child, born of the Virgin Mary for us, that the enormous energy of his peace might drive out the hatred and revenge that lurk in the human soul. Let us ask God that the good and our love might overcome evil.


We’re a club of 10 women reading Catholic women authors, but as I explained here, we do read male authors.  Very rarely, but we do.  As he was our pope for many of our years together as a book club, we read On Men and Women Collaborating in the World by Blessed John Paul II.