The Joys of Being Loved

We have our 4th BELOVED session next week at Eduardo Verastegui’s Guadalupe Medical Center, and I must say I always enjoy every minute of it. The small, intimate audience allows me to really connect with each of the participants as I see how the ideas touch their hearts and spark a flame within that reveals God’s great love for them.

BELOVED evolved from a few different talks I’ve done in the past targeting youth and young adults. Based on Scripture and Theology of the Body, it paints a very clear picture of what a relationship between husband and wife should be. And for those who are disenchanted with the dating world, BELOVED introduces the revolutionary concept of modern-day courtship.

What?! Courtship???

Yes, friends, that’s right. The session is sprinkled with stories of how my husband and I developed our friendship and moved into courtship with the intention of discerning marriage to one another. The journey was so enlightening for both of us – not to mention a lot of fun – so we now feel the responsibility to share the experience with other young men and women who want to try something different.

How is it different?

You’d have to come to a session! Just kidding. If you really want to know, you can check out a presentation I gave a couple of years ago called “Goodbye Dating, Hello Courtship”. It’s not as detailed as BELOVED, though it does have many of the same components. If you want to hear all the funny, candid anecdotal stuff, you really would have to come all the way out to Downtown LA…


Yes, really!

And you get FREE STUFF. Cool free stuff! To keep for yourself or to give away as a gift… But nevertheless, it’s pretty cool.

At the very least, your presence allows me to take a beautiful walk down memory lane and reminisce about how God brought two very broken people together and loved them into healing. It’s good for me…good for our marriage…and therefore good for our kids.

The proceeds from BELOVED help fund future projects and events sponsored by As He Loves Ministries, as well as support the amazing pro-life work done at the Guadalupe Medical Center.

So if you’re down for this movement to revolutionize the culture for LOVE and LIFE, we’d love to have you! For more info on our BELOVED sessions, click here.

Because God knows we can’t do this alone.


A Renewed Purpose

Some time has passed since I last touched this blog, and much has happened – to say the least. I cannot go back over the last year and a half and recap details for you, but I can pick up from this very moment and say that being HOME has inspired me to return to my roots…to reflect on the things and people who have touched my life…and to work for the causes that have shaped my calling and vocation.

The one event that moved me to start posting again was a recharge like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. This past weekend, we attended the 2nd annual Mother of Life Conference at the University of San Diego, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus San Diego Chapter. I saw the powerhouse line-up of speakers and knew I wanted to attend; however, I just didn’t think it was possible for various reasons. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. Finally at the last minute, I mustered up the courage to ask Gary if we could go. Of course, he said yes.

I’m so glad we made it out.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences and conventions over the years. This one, though, was incredibly special because everyone there was united in the one mission and purpose all of humanity is called to fight for: LIFE. Preserving and celebrating the dignity of the human person – from the moment of conception to natural death. And it only made sense that the greatest of pro-life speakers were present to share their stories and give witness to the Great Commandment of Jesus Christ…to “love one another as I have loved you.” We couldn’t help but be touched by the Spirit of Love that permeated the Pavilion. As we walked around the exhibits meeting both speakers and participants, there was an inexplicable joy in their smiles and the peace in their hearts no money could ever buy.

We had the three kids with us, and I was a little nervous about the girls’ laughter and pitter-pattering feet during the talks, hoping that people wouldn’t be irritated that we were disturbing their conference experience. Elderly ladies would only turn around and glow with appreciation because Gary said that our kids reminded them of what it was they were fighting for. It was so beautiful to see the oohs and ahhs from admirers young and old as we walked Kali around the plaza, and to hear the words, “How wonderful that you were able to bring your children to this conference.”

Kali meeting Fr. Frank Pavone

Do you see the expression on Fr. Frank’s face? This is a man who labors every day for the lives of unborn children, and the smile on his face as he is looking at Kali captures the love he has for babies everywhere. Never having naturally fathered any of his own children, this holy priest has – through his work – adopted the world’s unborn as his family.

The Dyogi family w/ Fr. Frank

“We do not stand on the platform of Democrats…we do not stand on the platform of Republicans. We stand on the platform of JESUS CHRIST!” he exclaimed during his talk. This statement resonated in both my heart and Gary’s as well because we know that Life is not a political issue. It’s a human issue. And we felt sad that it was even an issue to begin with. Praise God that there are good and courageous people committed to the movement, but it’s so unfortunate that we should have to rally to defend a God-given human right. Nevertheless, we move forward together – led by the Spirit to speak for those who have no voice.

The talks were so encouraging and convicting, full of reminders to us who needed that extra push to not only speak fearlessly in defense of life, but also to get down on our knees and truly intercede for our nation. They couldn’t have had a better program.

Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) – civil rights activist and pro-life warrior

The one speaker I was quite excited to hear was Dr. Alveda King. She is the pastoral associate of the African-American Outreach with Priests for Life and gives a powerful testimony of her journey from abortion to the pro-life work she does today. Her witness and the videos she shared touched me deeply because I have taught in African-American communities for the last 7 years. Knowing that more awareness must be raised regarding the reproductive health and right to life of all people has encouraged me to at least expose my students to the Maafa21 trailer and eugenic history of Planned Parenthood. It is my prayer that the truth be spread and our communities will be truly empowered to choose life for their children, rather than succumb to fear and the culture of death.

Our heroes: Crystalina & Jason Evert – world-renowned chastity speakers and authors

It was a most wonderful surprise to meet Jason and Crystalina Evert at the conference, and to see them fill in for Eduardo Verastegui who was not able to make it that weekend. These two have transformed us as a married couple and also have strengthened us as speakers/teachers because they share an understanding of chastity and marriage incomparable to anyone we have ever known. What is so encouraging is that they are young parents, like us, trying their best to raise their family in a God-centered home. I really enjoyed talking to them about NFP and our kids…hearing Crystalina ask me, “So are you going to have anymore?” and Jason playfully holding Baby Kali’s hand as he shared a little about their plans to move closer to Crystalina’s family soon after they return from World Youth Day.

Of course it would have been great to have thousands upon thousands of people pouring into the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD that Saturday, but I am secretly happy it was relatively easy to approach the very people I have always wanted to meet! God is so good to me….

Marianne, Kali Damien, and Jason Jones (producer of Bella)

Now this guy was super-cool to talk to! Pictured above is Jason Jones, one of the men who brought us the beautiful pro-life movie Bella, starring Eduardo Verastegui. He hails from Hawaii (hence the “shaka”) but God brought him here to evangelize the world through Hollywood filmmaking and to organize one of the greatest human dignity campaigns called I Am Whole Life. Again, another conversation that started off with the intention of networking yet joyfully made its way into the parenting realm. Jason will be having his 6th child in about three weeks, and we were able to meet three of them at the Movie to Movement booth. He’s such a humble, down-to-earth soldier of Christ who scales the planet as far as Sudan to spread the living Gospel through his humanitarian efforts. Must be that Aloha spirit!

The many connections we also made with the conference participants were priceless. My favorite was a married couple – Jerry and Joan – who we met just outside the restroom. Jerry shared that he and Joan had 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. It was obvious that they loved each other, their family, and their Church. Jerry was a Knight and he asked Gary if he ever thought about being one. I told him that I never knew how involved in the pro-life movement the Knights of Columbus were until I looked up the history of the organization. The work they do is absolutely phenomenal. I pray that more men will answer God’s call to join such an inspiring brotherhood – to serve the Church in her greatest needs – because they sure do A WHOLE LOT more than host the weekly Lenten fish fries!

To learn more about the amazing pro-life leaders and their work, please visit the following sites:
Fr. Frank Pavone – National Director of Priests for Life
Dr. Alveda King – Founder of King for America
Jason and Crystalina Evert – The Chastity Project
Jason Jones – producer of Bella and I Am Whole Life Movement
Knights of Columbus – “In Service to One. In Service to All.”

If you’re interested in ordering the talks for this year’s Mother of Life Conference, or if you would like to attend next year, make sure you bookmark this link:
Mother of Life Conference

40 Days for Life Kick Off Rally

Monday, February 15, 2010

Come prepare, be inspired, share your heart for God’s mandate for life.

St Cornelius Catholic Church
5500 E Wardlow Rd
Long Beach, CA

Starts at 5:00 PM with mass.

5:00 PM Mass
5:30 PM Move to hall
5:35 PM ACTSM prayer (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication, Mother Mary) A beautiful, powerful and meditative prayer! Lori Rae Martin of AudioGirl Ministries will accompany and support the prayer with inspriational music and song .
5:50 PM Refreshments
6:00 PM Introduction to 40 Days For Life Campaign
6:15 PM First Speaker – Ma’May Faucher is the Director of CBR donor support. She’s known to give powerful speeches and testimonies. She really has a gift.
6:25 PM Second Speaker – Paul Kim is the MC for Catholic Underground, and is positively upbeat and exciting when it comes to rallies! He is a prayer warrior and a sidewalk counselor as well! He is very musically talented, and will give us a fun, upbeat inspirational performance as well as a short speech to get us rallied up!

Jan. 23 Women’s Health Seminar

Mark your calendars for a very informative FertilityCare Seminar…
Come and explore how the Church’s teaching on the sanctity of love and life has led to a new science revolutionizing women’s health. During the seminar, we will review the beauty of women’s physiology, the harms of artificial birth control and the incredible health benefits of NaProTechnology. NaProTechnology can be used to aid couples with infertility and recurrent miscarriages as well as helppremenstrual symptoms such as migraines. It can also identify women at increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. An introductory session to the Creighton Model of FertilityCare will be given so women can start to chart their biomarkers after the seminar. Married couples and single women are encouraged to attend.

This seminar is sponsored by the Holy Family Young Adult Ministry (HFYA).

When: Saturday, January 23, 2010
Time: 11:30am – 2:00pm
Location: Holy Family Church, St. Joseph Center
18708 Clarkdale Avenue
Artesia, CA 90701

Light refreshments will be served.

Natural Family Planning (NFP)…

  • is based on sound scientific knowledge;
  • helps the couple understand their mutual fertility;
  • enables couples to achieve or avoid a pregnancy;
  • promotes the mutual love of the couple;
  • is morally acceptable;
  • does not require regularity of the menstrual cycles;
  • can be successfully applied during breastfeeding, premenopause and discontinued use of the birth control pill;
  • is invaluable for infertile couples, both for achieving pregnancy, and as a tool in the diagnosis and treatment of reproductive disorders;
  • is simple to learn.

Lynn Keenan, MD is an Associate Clinical Professor at the UCSF/Fresno Internal Medicine Residency Program. She is Board Certified in sleep and internal medicine and is a Certified FertilityCare Medical Consultant.

Marianne Soratorio Dyogi, MA is a FertilityCare Practitioner Intern who is trained to provide services in the Creighton Model System. She has been using the method for four years and has gained innumerable benefits for her own reproductive health and natural family planning.

To pre-register for the seminar or for more information regarding FertilityCare, please contact Marianne Dyogi at / (714) 803-4775 or visit the Creighton Model of FertilityCare website.  For all other inquiries, please contact Micah De Mesa at (562) 858-9543 or e-mail us at

Heart of Life Conference: Introduction to Theology of the Body

Heart of Life Conference: Introduction to Theology of the Body
Date(s): February 6th
Location: Carson Civic Center
701 E Carson Street
Carson CA, 90754
View on Map
Presented By: Christopher West
Contact: Michelle Reyes
Phone: 951-797-9797
Web Site: Click Here
Download: Download File
Cost: $35
Description: This conference is sponsored by Couples for Christ and is open to all. The conference aims to inform and inspire Christians about the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith. Christopher will be presenting an introduction to theology of the body designed to give a thorough understanding of God’s plan for humanity – a plan stamped right in our bodies. This seminar cracks open the theology of the body, guided by Christopher West’s wit, wisdom and insight. Through the lens of John Paul II’s teachings, attendees will come to see the truth which enables them to overcome the lies of lust and see the redemption of their sexuality as the key to happiness.

Long Beach Life Chain

Stand and be counted with thousands of pro-life Christians at the annual Long Beach Life Chain on Sunday, October 4, 2:30 – 4:30 pm. It will be at the corner of Lakewood and Del Amo Boulevards (across from the Lakewood Mall).

It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception.

Signs will be available at the Life Chain site. For more information please call Suzette at (562) 498-6641.