Book Signing this Saturday!

“Product Description

  • Blessed Are The Stressed: Secrets to a Happy Heart from a Crabby Mystic
  • Down-to-earth style coupled with wisdom and wit
  • Reflections on each beatitude leading to a new and deeper understanding
  • Thought-provoking questions to help readers make honest life applications


Why does the search for happiness feel so elusive–just beyond our reach? How can we find true happiness in our often complicated and stressful lives? Let the crabby mystic show you how blessed are the stressed, grouchy, and grumpy-for they too can learn the secrets of a happy heart! We can be our true selves and follow Jesus in the world today.

Blessed Are the Stressed can help you find the opportunities for deeper happiness that lurk all around you. Best-selling author Sr. Mary Lea Hill helps you delve deeper into the beatitudes, our special passageways to joy, and unlocks their secrets for a happy life. You will find yourself smiling, if not laughing out loud, at her unique insights into the would-be blessings hidden in the ups and downs of everyday life.

Down-to-earth and insightful, this latest volume from the author of Prayer and You: Wit and Wisdom from a Crabby Mystic can take you farther along the path of being more whole and holy, despite yourself!” (The Catholic Company)


CATHOLIC GIFTS AND BOOKS invites you to come by and meet Sister Mary Lee Hill on Saturday, February 20th between 11 am and 1 pm.

Sister Lea will share insights from her latest book, a collection of short, down to earth and insightful essays that explore the beatitudes as special passageways to joy and the secret for a happy life. With her signature dry wit and offbeat wisdom. Sister Lea will take you farther along the path of being more whole and holy despite yourself.

If you are unable to attend and would like a signed copy, please call 314-469-6700 and we will reserve your copy for you!


Your Word is My Delight

Catholic Writers Guild
Hello Catholic Writers Guild members,

I would like to invite you to our popular Your Word is My Delight, a Catholic Writers Retreat.
Do you need time away to finish or start a manuscript? Work on that proposal?
Organize your writing project? Finish work to meet your editor’s deadline?
On October 25-29, 2015 the Catholic Writers Guild, for the third time, is offering
a writers retreat near Lansing, Michigan.
St. Francis Retreat and Conference Center, 703 E. Main Street, DeWitt, MI, is
situated on a 93 acre site of woodlands, meadows, and prayer gardens.
includes a private room with a single share bath, three meals a day (and all
the coffee you can drink!), internet access, breakout spaces, resource library,
three daily presenters, critique sessions, Mass and reconciliation.
The power of the Catholic Writers Guild is why we can keep the cost so low! This
retreat, offered every other year, is popular because it is a true writers retreat
offering you abundant time to work at writing, and time to critique with other
Catholic writers.
You can register online at; click on the
Other Offerings tab. Or call 1-866-669-8321.
Handicap accessible and dietary needs accommodated.
If you fly into Lansing Capital Region International Airport, a shuttle to the retreat

house-only 7 minutes away-is provided. (You must arrange your own transportation for the two hour drive from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.)

Included at the beginning of the retreat on Sunday night is the Writer’s Meet and Greet. This wine and cheese gathering also includes an opportunity to sell your books, so be sure to bring them along!

It will be a wonderful retreat, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Retreat space is limited so register soon!  October 19th is the registration deadline!

In Christ,

Ellen Gable Hrkach
President, CWG

Breathing Realistic Personality into Your Fictional Characters

On Saturday the 28th of February, almost thirty local Catholic writers attended the CWStL’s two-hour special presentation and workshop: Enliven Your Writing with an Understanding of Clinical and Spiritual Psychology.

The meeting was held at All Saints Catholic Church in St. Peters, Missouri. Author Cathy Gilmore of the CWStL welcomed guest presenter Dr. Richard P. Johnson who invited all attendees to broaden their understanding of “personality.”

With a deep understanding of and a heart for the Catholic Faith, Dr. Johnson explained and illustrated his paradigm of personality (based on years of research, study, and development). Then, he defined with his unique terminology and further elucidated with anecdotes how writers can use this understanding of personality in order to create and develop vivid, believable characters.

“Writing accurately, and especially writing in the light of Jesus and
with the hand of the Holy Spirit, demands that we describe the redemptive process
as it unfolds in the spiritual personality of the characters we create.
For this we need to know what constitutes human personality
and how the Spirit works to bring us closer to God.”
-Dr. Richard P. Johnson

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After a coffee/tea and pastries break, Cathy Gilmore then lead the group in a writing workshop. She asked the writers to take 15 minutes in silence and put pen to paper using their newfound understandings as presented by Dr. Johnson. Attendees sketched scenes, developed characters, and composed poetry; and some even shared their unique results.

It was a spiritually uplifting and intellectually stimulating morning!

To learn more about Dr. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, LPC, NCC and his nationally recognized pioneering work in Healing and Medical Behavioral Sciences, visit his website:

Dr. Johnson is an award-winning author of numerous books focused on spiritual growth. He published his first novel, The Nun and The Doctor, in 2004.

Enliven Your Writing 
with an Understanding of 
Clinical and Spiritual Psychology

Catholic Writers of St. Louis

The Catholic Writers Group of All Saints

Invite You to Attend
a Special Presentation and Writing Workshop

“Enliven Your Writing
with an Understanding of
Clinical and Spiritual Psychology”

Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, LPC, NCC

Saturday the 28th of February 2015
8:30 – 11:00 am

(Presentation begins promptly at 9:00)

All Saints Catholic Church
in the Parish Center

7 McMenamy Road
St. Peters, MO

RSVP to Denise Y. Montgomery

The Catholic Writers Conference: July 30 – August 1, 2014

ConferenceIt’s that time of year…time to register and prepare for this year’s Catholic Writers Conference.

The Catholic Writers Conference will be July 30-August 1, 2014,  at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel (in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show.) As far as writers’ conferences go, this event is a deal!

CWG Member Registration     $80.00
Guest Registration -i.e. additional registrants you are paying for (member)     $80.00
Non-member Registration     $85.00
Guest Registration i.e. additional registrants you are paying for(non-member)     $85.00
CWG Membership + registration     $110.00
Deacon, Priest, seminarian, or other religious    No Charge
Deacon – guest registration No charge
Student Registration    $45.00
Volunteer (must have approval from conference staff)     No Charge
Presenter (must have approval from conference staff)     No Charge
CMN Thursday Breakfast (optional) Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC    $16.00

This year’s conference will be focused on “Perseverance.” How do we continue to write our faith through the tough times? How do we run that race as our Lord asks? This conference allows you to connect personally with Catholic publishers and retailers, to learn more about the art, show your work, and network. 

This year the CWG is hosting:
• workshops on marketing and writing
• presentations on marketing and selling your work
• in-person pitch sessions
• group critique sessions
• national CWG Members meeting (guests welcome, of course)


World Youth Day 2013

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“Go and make disciples of all peoples.”

Watching all the excitement from afar, it seems so unreal sometimes…but the love Pope Francis has for all those he reaches out to, all those babies he blesses brings it home to our hearts…he loves us as Jesus loves us. And this is how we are called to love!

…but how? Within the context or reality of our art, how do we love as God loves? How do we “go out” in order to “make disciples of all peoples”?

Something to pray about, think about, and work toward as we write…


Reminder: 2 Don’t Miss Events for Catholic Writers!

Catholic Writers Conference LIVE: “The Year of Faith” is August 7-9, 2013, at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ.

Speakers include: Author and blogger Patti Armstrong, Award-winning fiction writer Michelle Buckman, and Teresa Tomeo of EWTN. Attendees can visit the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show, obtain writing critiques, receive the Sacraments, and meet with publishers and published Catholic authors. Registration is $80 for CWG members, priests and religious free.

“Your Word is My Delight” Catholic Writers Retreat takes place October 13-17, 2013 at the St. Francis Retreat Center, DeWitt, Michigan with award-winning author Michelle Buckman, Ave Maria Radio’s Al Kresta and others. Cost is a $450 for a four-night stay with all meals. For more info, email Margaret at