July Book: Ear of the Heart

At Least We’re Here is a group of ten women who have read books by Catholic Women Authors for the last 13 years.  Read about us here

Earlier in July we met to discuss Ear of the Heart by Mother Dolores Hart.

Most of hadn’t finished the book yet but everyone was enthralled by it.

Also in July we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the profession of our friend Celeste to Consecrated Virginity in the Denver Diocese.  We are so proud of her!!  That post is here.

Wine to help celebrate (can you believe the little heart shaped highlight in the third glass??)!

July2013 WineThen there is often food that captures the essence or ethnic heritage of the book.

On this night we were blessed to meet on July 10th, the vigil feast of St. Benedict (July 11) while talking about a book by a Benedictine Nun!  So Jean brought a dish of “simple monastic fare,” Macaroni and Cheese.

July 2013 FoodFollowing dinner there is dessert (not always but this time we got lucky with two!), Benedictine in spirit, Amy blessed us with a tasty, creamy Tapioca Pudding and Berries:

July 2013 DessertAnd Laura brought amazingly delicious gluten free treats from her Farmer’s Market booth, Laura’s Family:

July 2013 GlutenFreeEveryone agreed it was an epic Anniversary, and that the book must be discussed again– preferably after a Dolores Hart Movie Night!

Celeste in the yellow---10 years as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World

Celeste in the yellow—10 years as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World

We’re still trying to decide which movie Dolores Hart movie to watch at our next movie night!

What would you watch?  Have you ever had movies at your book club night?


A Special Anniversary in Denver


Celeste and her mother Virginia celebrating Celeste’s consecration as a Virgin Living in the World

At Least We’re Here is a women’s book club!  Read more about it here

Last week we met to discuss the first half of Ear of the Heart An Actress’ Journey From Hollywood to Holy Vows by Mother Dolores Hart O.S.B. and Richard DeNeut.

Some of us only finished half of the book before book club night

Some of us only finished half of the book before book club night

Several ladies were missing this time and most of us who made it hadn’t finished our books so we are going to meet again to discuss the book.  In the meantime we hope to have another movie night (read about our last movie night here) in August.  Believe me, there is a lot to say about this story.

This will be a different kind of movie night, because instead of watching a movie version of the book we’ll be watching a movie with the author as actress.   Among Mother Hart’s films are her first: Where the Boys Are (she was the first actress to kiss Elvis on screen) and Wild is the Wind with Anthony Quinn and Anthony Franciosa (the “two Tonys”) and Francis of Assisi in which she played Clare (many people thought this role influenced Mother Hart’s decision to explore convent life, but she insists it did not!).

The big news about last week is that we had an 10th Anniversary Party! 

Our group includes mothers and grandmothers– married and single, as well as a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World.  This particular vocation in the Catholic Church is an ancient one that was a great blessing to the Church and the the world; one of the fruits of Vatican II was the reestablishment of this rite in 1970.

Celeste, on the left in the photo below, made the following vow in 2003:

Archbishop Chaput: “Are you resolved to persevere to the end of your days in the holy state of virginity and in the service of God and his Church?” and “Are you so resolved to follow Christ in the spirit of the Gospel that your whole life may be a faithful witness to God’s love and a convincing sign of the kingdom of heaven?”

To which she answered, “I am.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput presiding over Consecration of Virgins Living in the World--July 15, 2003

Archbishop Charles Chaput presiding over Consecration of Virgins Living in the World–July 15, 2003

Only a bishop can officiate at a Consecration ceremony.

On July 15, 2003 Archbishop Charles Chaput presided in a packed Basilica of the Immaculate Conception while Celeste and Anne proclaimed their resolve to live a life of virginity dedicated to God and as spouses of Jesus Christ.

A consecrated virgin lives as a Sacramental–a sign of Christ’s love in the world–and remains dedicated to the mission of the Church through apostolates chosen by her and the bishop for the rest of her life.  Celeste’s free time is devoted to serving families and priests in whatever way God reveals. For instance she might provide child care for a family in crisis, assist a busy family with small children in many ways: moving, meals during illness, child care, etc.  She attends weekly Adoration, daily Mass, and participates in the daily Liturgy of the Hours with the entire Church.

The consecrated virgin lives in the world without a habit or community which is distinctly from the consecrated life of a sister, brother or nun.  She provides for her own income but remains open to the needs of the diocese through the wishes of the bishop.

All in all, it’s a unique and fruitful vocation

And we are very blessed in the Denver diocese to have several consecrated virgins.  They are generous, courageous and from them flows the special love of “spiritual motherhood” that Blessed John Paul II called the “genius of woman.”

I’ll post again to talk about our book club night and party last week.  Happy Anniversary Celeste!

Do you have the rite of Consecrated Virgins Living in the World in your diocese?  And if you’d like to say “Happy Anniversary” please leave a comment!

Updated: Banana Sorbet for Movie Night

At Least We’re Here is a women’s book club!  Read more about it here

I just updated this post so I can include it in the Chocolate Party!!   A group of bloggers (including Veronica at My Catholic Kitchen) hosts the party and each month chocolate and 1 other ingredient must be used in the recipe.  When I saw that this month’s 2 ingredients are ice cream and chocolate I knew my Banana Sorbet with Chocolate Sauce would be perfect.  I am by no means a food blogger or photographer, so it’s a real treat to join in this month.   Roxana is the mastermind behind Chocolate Party and if you want to join on Twitter look for #chocolateparty.

We had a movie night recently.

Amy found a BBC production of the Alice Ellis novel we read, Unexplained Laughter.  It stars Diana Rigg as the emotional train wreck of a main character: Lydia.  Rigg was perfectly cast in this part.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie which followed the plot faithfully even though I wasn’t that crazy about the book.


Movie night at Dianne’s home: Diana Rigg stars as Lydia in Unexplained Laughter.

The food was amazing as usual.   Dianne recently returned from a fabulous trip to Poland, galavanting around in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II, and she wisely chose to serve a mouth-watering Polish Sausage entree.

Sorry there are no photos of all the food.  I am the world’s worst photographer, because although I brought along my iPad for photos I only remembered to take pictures after dinner– during the movie.  Too eager to drink wine and eat appetizers I think.  I even neglected to record the dessert I’m blogging about so I made it again for the photos here.

The Banana Sorbet

is a combination of several recipes for Banana Sorbet that I found on the internet, and it includes a few changes in measurements so I think it is almost my very own creation.  The Chocolate Sauce is more or less found on the internet as a “Magic Shell” type of ice cream sauce that hardens over the frozen creaminess.

Pureed bananas are sprinkled with a generous amount of cinnamon and a smaller amount of nutmeg

Pureed bananas are sprinkled with a generous amount of cinnamon and a smaller amount of nutmeg

This dessert is so light and easy! 

The amounts aren’t exact but I’m giving you enough of an idea so it should work fine, and I really don’t think there is a way to mess it up too much.

I am waiting for a (sigh) new chopping blade for my food processor so I just took a regular mixer and beat 4 ripe bananas until smooth.  I added a pinch of salt, about 1/2 cup of simple sugar syrup (boil equal parts of water and sugar together and let cool), a big shake of cinnamon (about 1 tsp) and a small shake of nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp) and blended it all together.

Beat in some coconut milk and simple sugar syrup

Beat in some coconut milk and simple sugar syrup

Now don’t blink or you might miss this whole recipe.

I poured in about 1/2 can coconut milk and beat again and it was ready to freeze!  Yes that’s it, really.  I stuck it in the freezer and about 2 1/2 hours later I stirred it; about 2 1/2 hours after that I plopped it in a big bowl of ice and headed to Dianne’s house.

The Magically Delicious Chocolate Sauce

Next break up a 70% dark chocolate bar and gently melt using your preferred method: double boiler or microwave–and stir in a tablespoon of coconut oil and butter.  When you pour the sauce over any frozen confection it will harden.  If you leave out the butter it will be much tougher to break through with a spoon (which is what I did for Book Club; left out the butter I mean).


Add the Chocolate Sauce and serve!

#chocolatepartyHere are the rules for adding your recipe to the Chocolate Party:

1.) Blog about your chocolate treat. Your recipe must include the two ingredients we choose. It can be a simple no bake treat or a sophisticated layer cake, the complexity level of the recipe is totally up to you.

2.) Include a link back to a monthly round-up or the Chocolate party page.  Optional, add the Chocolate Party logo in your blog post or on your sidebar.

3.) Your recipe must be published during the current month. Please do not link old recipes, they will be deleted.

Pope Francis’s Favorite Movie


Habemus Papam; we have a Pope!

We are of course a book club of 10 women who read only Catholic Women Authors, and we’re all very excited by the news of Pope Francis I! 

Celeste got to attend the Denver Rally for the Pope!!

Celeste attended the Denver Rally for the Pope!!

Celeste even made it to the Rally for the Pope even though it was only 3 hours after the Holy Father made his first appearance.

Whatever could we have in common with the new pope?

Why we’re Catholic of course!

Well yeah but beyond that—I found out from NewAdvent that the new Pope’s favorite movie is also a favorite Book & Movie Night combo of ours.

We first read the novella by Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) and then watched the movie Babette’s Feast, directed by Gabriel Alex.

Truth be told we do not really know for sure if Blixen was Catholic, but we do know from her autobiography Out of Africa that she loved the Mass and attended often while living in Africa.  We hoped she had converted before her death during a long and painful illness.

I’m unfortunately not a movie critic, but fortunately for all of us, Stephen Greydanus is!  And he explains so perfectly that this is a deep and powerful movie full of Eucharistic and sacramental symbols; it is not just a foodie movie about food or an art movie about the sacrifices of artists!

Authored Babette's Feast

Authored Babette’s Feast

I love how the setting of the movie of an isolated protestant sect (now cut off from their founder after his death) in an isolated Danish village conjures up the feeling that outside the Church one can dream up his own religion without limit and yet with each re-invention become increasingly alone; cut off from the Source of Truth.

And then…..how Babette returns with the rich makings of a feast to find the deceased pastor’s daughters alarmed and yet…..willing to allow her to serve them even in their fear.  Also, the movie is funny!  The old spinster sisters nearly faint at the site of the bottle of excellent wine at which Babette gazes longingly.

So, for a celebration of Pope Francis I and a Lenten sense of Christ’s Passion &  Sacramental presence, download Babette’s Feast and watch while you plan your Easter Dinner!

Read more about it at Patheos: