That’s a question I get asked all the time – and this is the perfect week to answer that. I was privileged to be asked by “Women of Grace” Host Johnnette Benkovic to join the taping of her “Women of EWTN” series. So I had the opportunity to work with Teresa Tomeo (“Catholic Connection” & “The Catholic View for Women”), Joy Pinto (“At Home With Jim & Joy), and Elena Rodriguez (EWTN Radio Producer, who you heard a lot from during World Youth Day).
During the show, we answered questions that viewers had submitted via Facebook and Twitter – and we had NO idea what they were beforehand. We can only pray that you will have as much fun watching this show as we had taping it. (I’ll let you know when it airs!) You will see that this is one joyful group of women, but I am here to tell you why.
I have known Johnnette Benkovic since my days as the Editor-in-Chief of “The Catholic Standard & Times” in Philadelphia. I called her out of the blue one day to see if she would write a column for the newspaper. Between her television show, books, and speaking engagements, this is one busy lady, so she hesitated for a second, but then said: “I told God that I would never wanted to say “no” to Him (!). I feel like He is asking me to do this, so…I say yes.”
Wow. Let me tell you friends, this woman is the real deal. I watched the faith with which she faced the death of first her son and then her husband and how gracious she is to everyone she meets. This lady was also tremendously helpful to me when my own husband was critically ill and dying. You can trust what she says!
I have known the fabulous Teresa Tomeo for about the same amount of time since she too was a columnist for the paper when I was Editor. I will tell you this: She is the kind of person you can count on to stand by you when the chips are down. How many of us have seen our “friends” desert us when times got tough? If you’re a friend of Teresa, she stands by you. That is a rare quality. Plus, she is always laughing and fun to be with – and if you hang out with her any length of time, you’re going to end up shopping at Chico’s (during sales and always with coupons) since it’s her favorite store!
Joy is a more recent friend. I met her husband in the EWTN parking lot one day. He was on his way in to the Network to do his radio show, “At Home with Jim & Joy.” I said, “Where’s your lovely wife?” He said, “Back at the pregnancy center saving a life. I have to do the show alone today.” In other words, Joy doesn’t put her on-air work ahead of her real world work at the pregnancy center. That says a lot, doesn’t it?
Elena is the youngest member of the crew and also a more recent friend. But I see her at daily Mass and joy literally seems to radiate from her. One of her tips for viewers during the show was to always try to do one kind thing for someone every day. She said, “Even if it’s just a smile, it may be the only smile that person receives.” Elena’s not just talking. When I think of Elena, I think of her smile. It’s infectious!
Now, all of these women will be the first to tell you that they are far from perfect. But I can tell you that they are definitely walking “the narrow road” – and that they inspire me to be a better woman.
So now you know why they do such great shows and can give such great advice. I thank God for their correspondence to His grace and EWTN for the opportunity to work with them!