The Advocate Magazine

January 8, 2022

A Stamford-born writer is releasing a book next month that aims to inspire Catholic mothers to view their job as God’s work.

“I try to praise mothers,” Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’50 said of “The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home.” “I want them to see how sublime their role is.”

The contemporary mother has many challenges, she said. She pointed to the pressure to work outside the home and said the job of looking after children can be stressful on its own.

O’Boyle said the biblical figure of Mary did not try to rescue the suffering masses all at the same time. Instead, she helped one person at a time, and eventually the number of people was in the thousands. So if all mothers chip in by raising good families, the world will end up being a better place overall.

O’Boyle a lifelong Catholic and a mother of five children who lives in New Milford, is the author of a prayer book for mothers and is set to release another book aimed at expectant mothers this spring.

For 12 years she was a single mother while running a preschool, teaching religious education and, more recently, writing her manuscripts and articles.

She embarked on a spiritual quest 20 years ago when she met Mother Teresa in Washington, D.C. O’Boyle became active in Mother Teresa’s order, Missionaries of Charity, as a layperson and carried on a correspondence with the Nobel Peace Prize winner until her death in 1997.

But it was when O’Boyle was pregnant with her fifth child 15 years ago that she found her calling. The doctors told her that she would have a miscarriage. But O’Boyle confined herself to bed rest, prayed and corresponded with Mother Teresa. She gave birth to her daughter, Mary Katherine, who is a healthy teenager today.

During that pregnancy, O’Boyle, who had loved creative writing but had never published, started writing manuscripts about motherhood, including one that would become “The Heart of Motherhood.” The manuscripts sat in boxes, and it was not until her children were older that she sat down to revise them and get them published.

For spiritual consultation, O’Boyle turned to her friend Mother Teresa, who later endorsed O’Boyle’s works. Although the book is aimed at Catholic mothers, she says she has readers from different faiths.

“I think there is a whole movement of young mothers who really are spiritual,” she said. “I’m trying to show them that they can find holiness right in the heart of the home.”

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