Heads Up: On Vacation

Keep Calm - Vacation

I am taking a break/vacation/unplugging from blogging over the next two weeks. It’s been a glorious year of blogging since my vacation last year. So many blessings to speak about – writing projects, teaching at the parish, and still having a great job, although this vacation is definitely needed. It’s also been a difficult year, but it seems that suffering is very much of my life.

While I am gone this week, please share my blog with your family and friends!! Including this post, there are 772 blog posts/articles. Check out my archives from the past year.

If you have suggestions or topics you would like me to write on in the future, please leave those suggestions in the comment box below or email me.

See you all soon!

In Christ through Mary,

– Tom

I will be at the Arizona Marian Conference this weekend

From what I have been told, there will be around 900 participants this weekend at the Arizona Marian Conference, being held at the DoubleTree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. I will be there selling my book, Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as promoting this blog and my “Mondays with Mary” series found on this blog.

Tom Perna Flyer

If you have happen to be coming to the Marian Conference this weekend, and you follow me through this blog, I would love to meet you. Please stop by table located in the bookstore at the conference.

O Blessed Virgin and Immaculate Mother…Pray for Us. 

TomPerna.org 2014 Annual Report

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I would personally like to thank all my followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and everyone that follows my blog through the actual blog itself. Please continue to share my blog with your family and friends. It’s because of you that I write more and more each year.

I would also like to thank Kevin Knight, the editor at NewAdvent.org, who posts my blogs at least once a month. Also want to thank Tito Edwards of Bigpulpit.com who publishes my blog posts as well. Without you two gentlemen, TomPerna.org would not reach as many people as it does.

Here is to a very blessed 2015, and the publishing of my first books in print.

Happy New Year!

Heads Up: On Vacation

Keep Calm - Vacation

I am taking a break/vacation/unplugging from blogging for this week. It’s been a glorious year of blogging since my vacation last year. So many blessings to speak of, including writing projects and having my dream job at the parish. There is one thing that’s missing, but it looks like it’s in God’s time.

I will be traveling a bit so working on blog posts could be a little difficult. Next week, I shall return with a “Mondays with Mary”, St. Bonaventure, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and a blog post surprise (if everything pans out during vacation).

While I am gone this week, please share my blog with your family and friends!! Including this post, there are 416 posts on here. Check out my archives from the past year.

If you have suggestions or topics you would like me to write on in the future, please leave those suggestions in the combox below.

See you next week!

In Christ through Mary,

– Tom

Pope Emeritus Reads TomPerna.org

Wow – you wouldn’t believe what happened on this day! Of all days, this happens today.

While taking a late lunch break at the parish, I checked my gmail account and saw an email titled – “Greetings from Rome.” When I opened up the email, I realized that it was from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

In the email, he told me that he reads my blog posts quite often and finds them very interesting, theologically orthodox, and faithful to the Magisterium. He said that he began reading my blog about 6 months ago after seeing it on NewAdvent.org.

He stated that his favorite blog posts of mine are the posts on the Doctors of the Church, “Mondays with Mary”, and the ones I have done on his predecessor, Pope St. John Paul II. He also asked me when I was going to write my first book because he would be interested in editing it for me. How cool is that!

At the end of his email, he said, “if people are not following your blog, they are truly missing out on solid Catholic theology.” What a compliment!

I am so fired up writing this to you, I can hardly sit still.

This is categorized under “Catholic Humor.” Today is April 1st – April Fools. 🙂

Pope Emeritus B 16 with IPad

The 2nd Anniversary of TomPerna.org

Today is a very significant day since it’s the 2nd Anniversary of TomPerna.org and it’s also my 40th birthday.  Not sure what is having more of an impact on me at this moment – it’s either that I am now 40 years old and considered “middle age” or that I have written and posted nearly 350 blog posts in two years on this blog. There is no doubt they are both major events in my life this side of Heaven.

Over the past year, I have been very blessed with the increased popularity of TomPerna.org. Not only did the blog post get a facelift do to the help of my girlfriend, Tara Cabral, but also my writing has been on some major Catholic websites and it seems that people from across the globe like what I have to say about the Catholicism. It’s been a whirlwind experience going from 22,889 views in 2012 to 97,541 in 2013.

My blog posts have appeared on NewAdvent.org and Bigpulpit.com. I would like to thank Kevin Knight and Tito Edwards, the editors of these Catholic outlets, for getting my name and writing out there in the Catholic world. In recent months, my picture has even appeared on New Advent with blog posts. I didn’t have the words to express how exciting it was to see my “mug shot” for the first time on New Advent.

Not only has my writing reached Catholic readers via these websites, but also my posts have found their way onto many parish websites, a few diocesan websites, and last week on SpiritDaily.com. It’s a very humbling affirmation to think that fellow Catholics enjoy my writings enough to post them on their websites and to share them on Facebook and Twitter.

The posts I believed would be popular were not necessarily the blog posts that were popular. Below is the Top 5 most popular blog posts over the past year –

1. 5 Reasons Why Every Catholic Man Should Join the Knights of Columbus

2. 10 Words from St. John Vianney to the 21st Century on the True Presence Of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament

3. “Mondays with Mary” – 7 Benefits of Praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

4. 5 Steps to Fasting and Prayer in Syria on College Football Saturday

5. Catholic Dog Tags

As was with last year, there are many people I want to thank. First and foremost, I give all praise and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, the Ever-Virgin Mary. The Saints are inspirations for me, especially the soon-to-be saint, Pope John Paul II. It is through his guidance and intercession I do what I do each day on here and at my job.

I want to also thank my family, especially my parents and my sister, who have always supported me in all that I have done over the past two years with this blog. I thank Tara, my girlfriend, who always seems to have my back when it comes to my writing, and my speaking, which I hope increases this year. Thank you to all my friends, undergraduate and graduate professors, and my current bosses – Fr. Will Schmid and Fr. Chris Axline. I love working at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church as the Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis. It is truly the dream job.

Here is to the beginning of year three…

Tom’s Goals for 2014

As we enter the Year of Our Lord 2014, it came to me that I should write down my own goals (of course Taylor Marshall’s post helped a bit too). On December 29, I had this idea in my head, but never articulated it to now. Thanks Taylor!

My mind works systematically. For me, writing things down helps me to accomplish projects and goals much better than if I just kept them in my head. I am a visual learner. Ask my office partner at the parish, I have a list of things to accomplish each day written down on a legal pad (Yes, I like to kick it old school).

As I approach my 40th year this side of Heaven, so many things I once believed to be important and primary have seemed to drop from my life. Our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed me abundantly with a very supportive family; an amazing new job that is truly is becoming my “dream job”, a cross that was always in the shadows, but is now in the light, and most of all, he has given me back a blessing I once believed to be lost.

The Scripture passage that is often on my mind and I go to when I am struggling the most is Psalm 139: 1-5 –

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You beset me behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”

Since I am not married nor have children (yet!), here are my goals for 2014.

TOM’S GOALS FOR 2014

1. God

1. Begin each day with a prayer as my “feet hit the floor”

2. Attend Daily Mass 3-4 times a week

3. Spend at least 15 minutes a day in prayer (preferably in front of Our Lord in Adoration)

4. Renew my 33 Day Consecration on October 7

5. Pray the Jesus Prayer daily – “O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

6. Pray every morning – Lord, help me to be a little bit holier today than I was yesterday.

2. Mind

1. Focus on being more joyful in my daily life and not being a man who complains. The virtue that I will focus for 2014 is Charity.

2. Being less judgmental and more charitable in my words and deeds.

3. Set time aside each day to read more books.

3. Body

1. Exercise with weights and do cardiovascular at least 3-4 times a week.

2. Work on my sleeping habits and get to bed by 11:00 p.m.

3. For penance, abstain from meat every Friday, not just the Fridays of Lent (see Canons 1250-1251).

4. Work and Charity

1. Develop a great Adult Evangelization and Catechesis program at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Gilbert, Arizona that will lead souls to Heaven.

2. Continue to write and publish blog posts 2-3 times a week

3. Expand my views and visitors to TomPerna.org

4. Publish my first book on the Blessed Virgin Mary

5. Give more talks around the Diocese of Phoenix and the country as long as they don’t interfere with the people important in my life and my job at the parish.

There you go! Those are goals, not resolutions. Resolutions fade within weeks; goals “with the heart of Christ in mind” keep you moving forward toward Him.

God has blessed me with certain abilities and gifts, it is my duty to take those gifts and abilities, received at Baptism, and be a missionary to my family, friends, and the world I live in.

Please Pray for me as I will Pray for You.