Review of “Motherhood Matters”

In the interest of supporting Catholic artists, I plan to occasionally post the book reviews here that I post on goodreads (as I do for films with a spiritual theme already). This first review is not in an area in which I am an expert, but I do love the way the author integrates being a mom with her spiritual life.

Motherhood Matters: Inspirational Stories, Letters, Quotes & Prayers for Catholic MomsMotherhood Matters: Inspirational Stories, Letters, Quotes & Prayers for Catholic Moms by Dorothy Pilarski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Motherhood Matters is even more than what its subtitle says: “Inspirational Stories, Letters, Quotes & Prayers for Catholic Moms.” Author Dorothy Pilarski offers Catholic mothers encouragement and support to follow their precious vocation. Her refreshing affirmation about the beauty, power, and importance of motherhood is much needed today. The author seems to know from personal experience how to directly address a Catholic mom’s doubts and insecurity. Living in a society that often dismisses, denigrates, or ridicules both motherhood and Catholic values means that often a Catholic mom is on the front lines of evangelization—of her own family, and of society. In a very grounded way, Pilarski expresses the dignity of the mother’s calling, and offers creative responses to the challenges.

In style, Pilarski is informal and unpretentious. Each chapter is an interesting mix of stories, essays, prayers, and tips. The tips are particularly original and practical, ranging from “how to raise your kids Catholic,” to “ways to make an active attempt to grow closer to God.” The prayers and poems are beautiful and from the heart, but my favorite part is the selection of quotes about motherhood and living a spiritual life that Pilarski scatters throughout each chapter.

Despite the helpful tools and positive reinforcement it offers, Motherhood Matters may not be for everyone. Pilarski has a strong bias for stay-at-home moms, and it comes through in ways that may offend mothers who have chosen or are compelled to work outside the home. While the unpolished style makes the book accessible, sometimes it can come across as too directive or inflexible. For a future edition, it also might be helpful to title the chapters and subsections in a way that readers can easily find topics or return to tips they want to try.

Though the reader may not agree with every opinion Pilarski offers, Motherhood Matters offers a timely, practical, and spiritual approach that not only offers support but can make a huge difference to Catholic mothers today. It’s available from Catholic Register Books.

If you’ve read this book, please comment on my review or offer your own insights!

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Act One and the Christian Filmmaker

Besides my community of the Daughters of Saint Paul, I have found one other place where I have powerfully experienced this sense of the vocation as a Christian media artist. The Act One Program is dedicated to assisting Christians to achieve excellence in their work as filmmakers. Act One has a remarkable approach which, for those who cannot participate in their intensive programs, is best illustrated in a book which developed from the program’s curriculum, with essays written by many Hollywood insiders.


Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture engages the reader with its unique approach–an exhilarating integration of spirituality, theology, artistic theory, insider industry knowledge, and practical advice to anyone who wants to delve deeper into film. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the deeper questions of the dialogue between Christianity and film. And, because it is written by Christian artists, it is filled with precious nuggets of how one can approach one’s own creative work, such as, “Borrowing from St. Paul, Christians in entertainment don’t have to be always talking about God. They should be talking about everything in a godly way” (from Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture, chapter “Toward a Christian Cinema” by Barbara Nicolosi).