EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 13, 2013

Author of 'Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood' to discuss book

By Yadira Betances

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — For more than 30 years, Pat Gohn has worked in parish-based faith formation and women’s ministry, in addition to being a columnist, host of a podcast for women and radio broadcaster.

She has combined all those experiences in “Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood,” published last month by Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Ind.

Gohn will speak about her book on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s parish hall, 196 Main St.

“I was looking for ways to introduce women’s dignity, how God made us in his image and how God knows us. It’s an added blessing to be a beloved daughter of God,” she said.

“Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious” is an extension of the conversations she has had with listeners of her podcast, “Among Women.”

“Among Women” has more than 150 episodes and focuses on faith sharing, teaching, and conversation. It spotlights the lives of women saints and contemporary Catholic women.

“Based on research of church writings and scriptures, women bring the gift of life both maternally and physically,” she said.

In the book, Gohn also shares the knowledge she gained from the writings of Pope John Paul II, especially on the “feminine genius.”

“It means seeing a person with her heart, it’s not a political framework. This book is an attempt to explain the feminine genius. It really says women are God’s creation and we need to know this about ourselves. These gifts help strengthen relationships and love,” Gohn said.

Born in Queens, N.Y., she and her husband Bob moved to Massachusetts in the mid-1990s. They joined St. Michael Parish in 1994. Gohn was coordinator of the Eucharistic ministry program that took Communion to the sick at their residences, hospitals and nursing homes.

She also hosted Advent and Lenten missions, and brought speakers and musical guests to the parish. Gohn was part of the team that established daily adoration to the Blessed Sacrament at St. Michael.

She recalls spending many hours in the chapel with a journal and pen asking God to guide her while writing the book.

“This is by no means a memoir, but there were things I had to discover for myself,” she said.

She is a columnist for Patheos, Catholic Mom, Amazing Catechists, and her blog, “The Back Porch.” She has also been a long contributor to online faith-based sites including Faith and Family, Catholic Lane and Catholic Exchange. She is presently writing a series on the catechism in Catholic Digest magazine for the Year of Faith.

Gohn earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from St. John’s University in New York in 1982. After raising her three children, Gohn returned to school for a master’s in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2008. She also earned a Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership from University of Dayton in 2011.

Religion listings

Abundant Grace Church, 127 Rockingham Road, Derry: Women’s Rejuvenation Meeting is April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event includes time for teaching, prayer, worship songs.

Atkinson Congregational, 101 Main St., Atkinson: Cathy Dionne discusses our faith journeys during an adult Bible study, April 28 at 8:45 a.m.

Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover: International artist Douglas Major performs an organ recital April 28 at 4 p.m. The parish is hosting an introduction to “Cathechesis of the Good Shepherd” children’s formation program, May 4, 9 :30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $10. To register, email chughescuozzo@christchurchandover.org.

Corpus Christi at Holy Rosary Church, 35 Essex St., Lawrence: Novena to St. Anthony begins April 16 at 7 p.m. and continues on Tuesdays for nine weeks.

Faith Lutheran, 360 S. Main St., Andover: Pastor Marsha Heydenreich leads a Bible study group on “The Old Testament in Matthew,” Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Island Pond Baptist, 26 North Salem Road, Hampstead: The church hosts, “One Passion,” The New England Center for Expository Preaching 2013 Pastors’ Conference, April 22 to 24. Steven J. Lawson is key note speaker with John MacArthur and R. C. Sproul joining him via live video feed. Log on to www.NECEP.org to register get more information.

Phillips Academy, Andover: The Cultural Legacies of Catholicism event tomorrow at 4 and 6:45 p.m. features a performance by Rondalla, an ensemble of stringed instruments in the Filipino American tradition.

St. Augustine, 34 Essex St., Andover: The Catholicism DVD series starts April 16 and continues Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. through June 18. Filmed on location across the world, the program focuses on what Catholics believe while immersing viewers in art, architecture, literature, beliefs and Catholic traditions. Year of the Faith Scripture study will be held Mondays through May 13, 7 to 8:30 p.m. The study was designed by the Rev. Mitch Pacwa and examines themes instead of specific Bible books. Topics include belief in Jesus, assent to Creed, conversion, witness of charity, faith and new evangelization. To register, contact Sister Madonna at srmadonna@staugustineparish.org. Cost is $15.

St. Basil Salvatorian Center, 30 East St., Methuen: Tickets to the reverse raffle and dinner are available for $100. Drawing will be held April 17 at 6 p.m., and only 250 tickets will be sold. Grand prize is $5,000. Each ticket admits two people to a stuffed chicken dinner.

St. Francis of Assisi, 9 St. Francis Way, Litchfield: Women’s spring retreat under the theme of “Year of the Faith” and the “Sabbath,” April 20 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event explores the meaning of the year of faith and how faithfuls can celebrate it through the Sabbath. Reconciliation is at 3 p.m. followed by Mass.

St. Joseph Cathedral, 145 Lowell St., Manchester: Bishop Peter Libasci leads Mass in honor of the Virgin Mary May 18. It begins with the Rosary at 7:30 a.m., Mass at 8 a.m., followed by a catered breakfast. To register, log on to www.catholicnh.org/nhdccw.

St. Mary and Joseph Parish, 33 Main St., Salem: The Rev. John Michalowski leads a workshop on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius now through June. Participants will pray 45 to 60 minutes a day over the assigned scripture passages or meditations from Ignatius’ exercises, then write their experience in a journal.

St. Michael, 196 Main St., North Andover: Mass of anointing May 14 at 3 p.m. for people who do not attend services regularly because they are home bound due to age, illness or living in nursing homes, rehab centers and assisted living communities. For reservation, call Trisha at 978-686-4050.

St. Monica, 212 Lawrence St., Methuen: Women’s prayer group meets April 15 at 7 p.m. in the school’s music room.

St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence: The documentary series “Catholicism” will be held Thursdays for 10 weeks, beginning April 18 at 7 p.m. The rite for the blessing of a child in the womb to support parents awaiting the birth of their children takes place April 21 at the 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Masses.

St. Paul Episcopal, 390 Main St., North Andover: Book group discusses “Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi, April 18 at 7 p.m.

St. Theresa of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: “God is Calling You to be His Friend: An Intimate Relationship with God” is the theme of a parish retreat April 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Day includes scripture, liturgy, song and prayer. Donations accepted.

Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover: Deborah N. Margolis leads the lecture series, April 20 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Margolis is chairwoman, associate professor and human development director for the School of Education’s undergraduate program at Merrimack College.

Temple Emanu-El, 514 Main St., Haverhill: Book club discusses “Once We Were Brothers,” by Richard Balson, April 28 at 10 a.m.

Third Baptist, 33 Warren St., Lawrence, The theme of the spring revival is “The Cost of Stewardship,” April 16 to 19 at 7 p.m. and April 21 at 4 p.m.

Universalist Unitarian, 15 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill: The book group discusses Alison Wright’s “Learning to Breathe: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival,” April 14.

West Church, 727 Broadway, Haverhill: Dialogue on, “Are Faith and Science at War?” continues April 18 and 25 at 7 p.m.

West Parish, 129 Reservation Road, Andover: Prospective members can learn about the church, April 21 at 9 a.m.