Saturday, September 20, 2014

Spirit FM Inaugural Women's Conference My Life My Life September 20

The Spirit FM first ever Women's Conference was a SELL OUT!

 Msgr Cippel started off the day by celebrating mass at Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, FL. Eric Hoegstom and the praise band from Our Lady of Lourdes in Dunedin led the worship music. Colleen Carroll Campbell and Mary Vogrinc were wonderful  headline speakers. Fr. Garry Welsh, parochial vicar of St. John Vianney Catholic Church on St. Pete gave a highly energetic talk on cracked pots and even include some Catholic Rap.

a fabulous lunch was catered by Metropolitan Ministries.
Colleen Carroll Campbell speaking to 400+
During lunch breakout sessions were offered by the Diocesean Council of Catholic Women and Roseanne Pappas. Roseanne took the crowd by storm with her amazing testimony and art work.

Many thanks to the organizers Danielle Wright Landry and Abby Brundage and a stellar team of about 20 volunteers from all over the diocese!

As part of the day, we shared Holy Habits for all of us to take into our daily lives. Below are the 5 that were shared.

5 Holy Habits 

1. Pray every day, alone, with your spouse, with your kids. morning, meals, bedtime Prayer can be rote, traditional prayers like Rosary, or reading/meditating on Scripture.

2. Mass every Sunday-non negotiable- make it a priority- put it on your calendar as an appointment with THE KING if need be. Add daily mass slowly as possible

3. Confession-A Life Line-Better than therapy-Full of Graces to heal our souls-get your family there too.Go regularly, Monthly is a good benchmark. I have a friend that made a deal with herself, that every time her car needed to be washed, (which is monthly or more often) that would be a visual sign to her (reminder) to go to confession

4.Let your faith show through your home. If someone walked in your home, could they tell you are a Christian? Do you have a visible Crucifix, picture of Jesus, Mary and/or the Saints? Statues? Prayers/scripture verses?

5. Turn your car into a chapel!~Listen to Spirit FM and Lighthouse Catholic Media CDs. We are all in the car driving all the time right? So why not make that drive time, holy time.

Another way to take the spirit of renewal from the conference into your daily life is the Lighthouse Catholic Media CD of the Month Club 
CLICK HERE to JOIN ~ Proceeds benefit sprit fm!
Lighthouse Catholic Media was blessed to share the inspiring CDs and books that so many use to learn their faith better and share it with others! At the Lighthouse table were account managers Julie Musselman, Jen Caiazzo, Olivia Hoegstrom and all the way from Arkansas, Cindy Croal. Account manager Terri Carter was also in attendance at the conference. 

If you'd like to get the Feminine Geniius talk on CD or MP3 by Colleen Carroll Campbell or her book, My Sisters the Saints, CLICK HERE. 

For Mary Vogrinc's talk Saying Yes to God, click HERE.

See YOU at next years Women's Conference September 26, 2015 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa, FL. Email if you're interested in next year's conference.

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25 Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle d. 44

Today's feast celebrates St. James the brother of St. John the Evangelist. Like St. Peter and his brother St. Andrew, Our Lord called Saints James and John from their lives as fishermen to become fishers of men. We believe that St. James had a lot of zeal because he along with his brother, they were called the 'Sons of Thunder' (Mark 3:17.)As one of Jesus' closest three friends, St. James witnessed the Transfiguration, the raising from the dead of Jairus' daughter and the Agony in the Garden. St. James was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred under King Herod Agrippa.
It is believed that St. James had preached the gospel in Samaria, Judea and ultimately in Spain. Since the eighth century pilgrims have journeyed to Compostela, Spain to pray to St. James and seek his intercession. The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is the path on which pilgrims travel. The most common starting point is in the Pyrenees in France. Pilgrims walk, run or bike the Camino over many days and weeks. Some go to the Camino for religious reasons, to seek a heavenly favor or draw closer to our Lord. Others are tourists who make the Way simply to physically challenge themselves.
There are a lot of internet resources that tell more about the Camino and have the maps and pictures for us armchair travelers. In addition to being a virtual traveler, today we could make a journey to a Parish or Shrine that is in our diocese named for St. James. Pack a lunch, take the kids and park 1/2 a mile away from the church itself to get just a small feel for the walking pilgrimage.

Tonight watch the Emilio Estevez movie The Way. It stars Estevez and his real life father, Martin Sheen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Sinner's Guide to Natural Ffamily Planning by Simcha Fisher

National NFP Awareness Week is JULY 20 - JULY 26, 2014

The USCCB 2014 theme:
Natural Family Planning: It's Worth It.
Join the Revolution!

To Celebrate Natural Family Planning Week, I am reviewing Simcha Fisher's book The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning and sharing other great marriage resources.

So, you’ve decided to use Natural Family Planning. Has it blessed your marriage? Deepened your respect for your body? Has it made your sex life fantastic? Do you and your spouse hold hands at sunset, and do pink flowers grow around your marital bed? If so, this book is not for you. 

But if you’ve tried Natural Family Planning and have discovered that your life is now awful – or if you feel judged or judgey, or if you trust NFP but your doctor doesn’t, or if just you’re trying to figure out how the heck to have a sex life that is holy but still human – you’ll find comfort, encouragement, honesty, wit, and, most importantly, practical advice in The Sinner’s Guide to NFP. 

In a series of funny, frank, and profound essays, popular Catholic blogger and mother of nine Simcha Fisher shows what it’s really like to practice NFP, and how to achieve those fabled “marriage building” benefits. 

The Sinner’s Guide to NFP helps you with: NFP and Your Spiritual Life, NFP and the Rest of the World, NFP in the Trenches 

An easy and lively read, thoroughly grounded in orthodox Catholic theology, this book is packed with refreshingly frank insights about sex, love, and marriage. The next time you ask yourself, “If NFP is wonderful, why am I so miserable?” – don’t panic. The Sinner’s Guide to NFP is here to help.

MY TAKE: I am so glad this book has been written. It is practical and encouraging and REAL! Many times promotors of NFP make it sound like using NFP will solve all your problems and make your marriage like your honeymoon, all the while allowing you to have 'church approved' Sex. While all of that is true, some or most of the time, many people have found it difficult to live a married life with Natural Family Planning. Fisher does something amazing with this book, she tells it like it really is. And more than that, she opens the door for both the husband and the wife to laugh at themselves, to honestly assess their marriage and to find practical ways to make the marriage better.

I highly recommend this book.

Interested in learning Natural Family Planning? The St. Gianna Center is THE GO-TO place to help women and couple's learn NFP, Naprotechnology and the science of Women's Health. VISIT:

Lighthouse Catholic Media has some great talks on Natural Family Planning and Understanding a Catholic Vision of Marriage and Family Life. These talks are available on MP3 or CD for $5 or less.

Click HERE to get a CD or MP3 of Green Sex by Jason Evert

CLICK HERE to get a CD or MP3 of Marriage and Family: Love Unveiled by Dr. Scott Hahn

Click HERE to get a CD or MP3 of Contraception: Cracking the Myth by Prof. Janet Smith

For more great MP3s and CD on Marriage, click HERE.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pope Francis: ‘you cannot love God outside of the Church’

Catholic World News - June 25, 2014
Pope Francis continued his series of Wednesday general audiences on the Church and emphasized that belonging to the Church is essential to being a Christian.
“We are Christians because we belong to the Church," Pope Francis said. “It’s like a last name: if the first name is ‘I am a Christian,’ the last name is ‘I belong to the Church.’”
“No one becomes a Christian by himself,” the Pope continued, as he explained that Christians receive their faith in baptism and through catechesis. He asked those assembled in St. Peter’s Square to recall the faces of parents, grandparents, priests, nuns, and others who taught them the sign of the cross, prayers, and the content of the faith. “I always remember the face of the nun who taught me catechism,” he said, as he called the Church “a large family.”
“There are those who believe you can have a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside of the communion and the mediation of the Church,” he continued. “These are dangerous and harmful temptations.”
The Pope concluded by asking the Virgin Mary to pray “the grace never to fall into the temptation” of thinking that we do not need the Church. “On the contrary, you cannot love God without loving the brothers, you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being in the Church.”
A personal note from me:
For anyone who does not have a church home, who has been away from the church or is curious about learning more about the church, WE WELCOME YOU!

A great online resource to learn more about the church is:
Great resources for the journey can be found at LIGHTHOUSE CATHOLIC MEDIA

God Bless you,

Julie Musselman

Friday, May 30, 2014

Divine Mercy Rosary DVD


I don't usually sit down and watch TV/videos, but my friend Angelina Girard recently sent me a DVD that I immediately sat down for. CLICK HERE for a Video preview.

The DVD is very unique. It combines audio prayers of the rosary (all 20 mysteries) with beautiful images of Our Lord and Our Lady. But it also has quotes with the images. Quotes from the bible and the saints on the power of the prayers or about the mystery being prayed. It really hooked me into prayer in a way a don't usually pray.

 You see, I usually pray the grocery list. Unless I am praying the car pool schedule. Distractions-Daily Details. Does this happen to you? This DVD really kept me focus on the prayers and mysteries of the rosary like never before. I highly recommend the new Divine Mercy Rosary CD.

CLICK HERE for Video of the Sorrowful Mysteries

Divine Mercy Rosary DVD


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Novenas, Padre Pio and Dental School

True Confession: 
I have never faithfully completed a novena in my life. 

Until today.

Big thanks goes out to the website Pray More Novenas ( ) who emailed out the novena prayers each day making it super easy (and hard to refuse) to say the pray each day.

In the past I've tried to do a novena on a piece of paper which I inevitably lost and dropped out of the novena before the end. I mean nine days is a long time, right?

So today, not only did I complete my first novena, a Novena to Padre Pio, but my heartfelt request was answered: our oldest son, Bobby was accepted in dental school!

Last fall he sent in numerous applications to dental schools and in December he got an interview at the one that is the closest to our home. Since then, we've been waiting and waiting and waiting.

My husband has lit a candle in every church we've visited and I've been praying too. But with college graduation approaching May 2, we all were really beginning to wonder what God's plan for Bobby would be.
Our son, Bobby with girlfriend Jen

And then .... the email for the novena.

Nine Days later my intention was answered. An amazing blessing --Bobby called just hours after I had prayed the ninth day's prayer, saying he was accepted! 

Thank you Jesus, Thank you Padre Pio!

CLICK HERE for the Novena to Padre Pio

And so I pray in thanksgiving:
O St. Pio, I come to you today knowing that you are truly a miracle worker. As one who is close to Jesus, I ask that you would pray for these my intentions:
(State your intentions here) Thanksgiving for acceptance into Dental School
I pray with the words of Pope John Paul II as I beg for your prayers on my behalf:
“Glorious, humble and beloved Padre Pio. Teach us, we pray, humility of heart, so that we may be counted among the little ones of the Gospel to whom the Father promised to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom. Help us to pray without ceasing, certain that God knows what we need even before we ask Him.
“Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will help us recognize in the poor and suffering, the very face of Jesus.
“Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial and, if we fall, let us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness. Grant us your tender devotion to Mary, mother of Jesus and our Mother.
“Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage toward the blessed Homeland, where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”Amen
In closing, St. Pio, we pray the prayer you composed for Confidence and Trust in God’s Mercy: “O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church.
Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart, and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross, as we climb the mountain of holiness, carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.
May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us as You desire for your greater glory.
O Jesus, most adorable Heart and eternal fountain of Divine Love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.”Amen.
All glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
St. Padre Pio, Pray for us! Amen.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Picking up a Pin

A rusty, old, dirty, bent pin.
Found it today in the parking lot. 
Didn't want it to hurt some one's foot or car tire.
Picked it up.
Did it convert a soul?
St. Therese of Lisieux wrote that it could.
"To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."

Mothers pick up all day long
Sometimes boring
Sometimes backbreaking
Sometimes annoying
Sometimes the same thing over and over again
Lord, give me the love to pick up for souls


Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Real Maria Von Trapp and the Sound of Music

Much has been written about The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood that aired in December on national television. The Original Broadway Musical starring Mary Martin in the 1950s was one of my favorite albums as a young girl. The 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews has always been one of my favorites movies and so I very much enjoyed watching the live stage presentation with Ms. Underwood.

But all of that got me wondering about the real Maria Von Trapp and I am delighted to say that her book, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the Story which inspired The Sound of Music has been one of the best I have read.

I have really enjoyed reading the book via the Kindle app on my ipad and iphone. I have found I can pick it up any time and get a few pages in (car line, doctor's office etc.)


Of course, I got the book because I thought it would be interesting to see how the musical differs from real life
Right off the bat there are  differences:
  • There were seven children but they all had different names 
  • Maria was hired to be the tutor only to Captain Von Trapp's daughter Maria, who could not go to school due to illness
Throughout the book, as wonderfully revealed in the musical and movie, Maria has a great desire to know the will of God and to do it.

Best surprises to me about the true story was that the Von Trapps were a beautiful Catholic Family. Maria shared many of their family's Catholic traditions including:
  • Feast days and birthdays celebrated
  • Advent Wreathe created by Maria and Children- songs and prayers each night of Advent
  • Christmas with tree with candles, decorated on Christmas eve
  • December 24 Holy Eve -the entire family and town would go to confession, even though there was no heat in church!
After reading this book, I immediately started reading another book by Maria Von Trapp, Yesterday, Today and Forever. Particularly loved reading this over the Christmas break as Marian takes the beautiful bible stories of Our Lord and gives insight on how her family and all families not only can learn from them, but live them.

There is so much great information out there about this most beloved story. I hope you enjoy all the resources and the true meaning of the Sound of Music! CLICK HERE for the Sound of Music website and more details about the real life of Maria Von Trapp