Stories from the Heart

IP#362 Scott Weeman – The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

  The wisdom that comes from experience is a gift that is meant to be shared, especially in times of challenge and heightened anxiety. In “The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments: A Catholic Journey of Recovery,” Scott Weeman shares his recovery journey and offers a hand up to many today who find themselves in a time of darkness and struggle, especially during the circumstances arising from the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Catholic in Recovery is a nonprofit organization founded by Scott Weeman that seeks to serve those suffering from addictions and unhealthy attachments (including alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography addiction, sex and relationship addiction, compulsive overeating and food addictions, gambling addiction, codependency and the impact on family, and general fear, control, and anxiety).  To learn visit:

You can find the book here

From the book description:

In The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments, Weeman candidly tackles the struggle he and other addicts have with getting to know intimately the unnamed Higher Power of recovery. He shares stories of his compulsion to find a personal relationship with God and how his tentative steps back to the Catholic Church opened new doors of healing and brought him surprising joy as he came to know Christ in the sacraments.

Catholics in recovery and those moving toward it, as well as the people who love them will recognize Weeman’s story and his spiritual struggle to personally encounter God. He tells us how:
Baptism helps you admit powerlessness over an unmanageable problem, face your desperate need for God, and choose to believe in and submit to God’s mercy.
Reconciliation affirms and strengthens the hard work of examining your life, admitting wrongs, and making amends.
The Eucharist provides ongoing sustenance and draws you to the healing power of Christ.
The graces of Confirmation strengthen each person to keep moving forward and to share the good news of recovery and new life in Christ.
Weeman’s words are boldly challenging and brimming with compassion and through them you will discover inspiration, hope, sage advice, and refreshingly practical help.

IP#351 Laura Fanucci – Grieving Together on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

It was truly a blessing to share this conversation with Laura Fanucci about the book she co-authored with her husband Franco entitled “Grieving Together:  A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage.” This is an important work and the best I have ever seen on the subject.  Filled with tender, relatable situations and practical advice, “Grieving Together” is not only for couples who have experienced the loss of miscarriage, but also for those who love and minister to them.

You can find the book here

Be sure to visit Laura’s website:

From the book description:

You might feel, in the days and weeks after a miscarriage, like the Lord is anything but close.

Laura and Franco Fanucci understand. After struggling with infertility, they miscarried their third child in the first trimester. Later, their twin daughters were born prematurely and lived only a few days. Laura and Franco are here to tell you that, while your miscarriage is a deeply personal loss, you are not alone.

Grieving Together is written by a couple specifically for couples, understanding that both spouses have experienced a loss and grieve differently. Drawing from Catholic tradition and teaching, Laura and Franco gently guide you through:

  • The physical and emotional experiences of miscarriage – including help in making the hardest decisions
  • How couples respond to grief – and how to support each other
  • Turning to family, friends, and the Church – finding help and support from loved ones and your Church community
  • The future after miscarriage – where to go from here as a couple

Grieving Together is the book the Fanuccis had wished for after their miscarriage. Practical resources include Scripture, prayers, and official Catholic rites. It also speaks to the unique concerns of fathers, and includes many real-life stories from couples in many different circumstances.

IP#220 Mother Dolores Hart O.S.B. – The Ear of the Heart on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

This is the best biography I have read in years!  What a glorious testament to the fruitfulness of the Benedictine rule and how it transforms lives.  Mother Dolores Hart brings to us a generous sharing of her life experience and the joy found in the peace and stability in the living with her monastic community.  How could a woman walk away from “having it all”?  Mother Dolores discovered the “pearl of great price”, and she found it by listening to the “ear of the heart”.  An absolutely fantastic read and spiritually fulfilling work.  A must read!!!!  This conversation will go down as one of my favorites of all time!!!  Thank you God!!!

You can find the book here
“What a joy to be in the company of Mother Dolores Hart. She is a compassionate narrator, from her childhood days, darkened by parental alcoholism, to her Hollywood career and her calling as a Catholic nun. Mother Dolores talks candidly about the difficulty of becoming a cloistered, Benedictine nun. The struggle with years of discipline and the rigorous farm work at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. We learn there was something in her deepest heart she sought.” — —-Pia Lindstrom, television journalist, daughter of Ingrid Bergman

“Listen and attend with the ear of your heart.”
Saint Benedict

“Mother Dolores Hart is a remarkable woman with a remarkable story-one of love, devotion, and faith.”
Maria Shriver, bestselling author of Just Who Will You Be?

IP#309 Sally Read – Night’s Bright Darkness on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Poet Sally Read’s “Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story” is breathtakingly beautiful!  It is one of the best conversion stories I have ever read.  She expresses so well what it is like to be captured by the net of mystery, and the struggle one has to understand the earthshaking, life-changing realization of your identity found through, with, and in Christ.  Raised an atheist in England, Sally Read recalls compellingly her unexpected journey which led her to seek full communion with the Catholic Church (one of the last places she ever wanted to be). Her writing is exquisite! I love this book; I have no doubt it will remain one I cherish for a lifetime. Highly recommended.

You can find the book here

From the book description:

Read confronts head on the burning question for God that every true Christian harbors:What do you want me to do? In an age of increasing secularism, and in the wake of disillusionment with the Catholic Church following disclosures of abuse, the book takes us to the core of what the Church is all about: Christ and the yearning to be near him.

Read’s book captures the ecstasy of first knowing God’s love and charts how it changes us. It is a testimony to the powerhouse of Christianity: love and the life-changing encounter with Christ.

Sally Read’s story is the best and liveliest account of a conversion for a generation. It is a story of divine grace as moving and unexpected as it is luminous and profound. There is not a wasted brush-stroke, not a blurred line. It is an absorbing story, a tale that will grip readers all the way through to the end.”
–Paul Murray, OP, Angelicum University; Author, T.S. Eliot and Mysticism

“Every story of conversion has the potential of conceiving another. Each gives witness to the work of grace. In this brilliantly written, candid, sometimes shocking unveiling by Sally Read, we see vividly the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit on a heart once impenetrably hard and shut off, but then opened and reborn by the merciful joy of our Triune God.”
–Marcus Grodi, EWTN Host, The Journey Home

IP#248 Kerry Weber – Mercy in the City on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Kerry-Weber-228x300Mercy in the City:  How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and Keep Your Day Job” is an outstanding book! Kerry Weber has crafted a work that is an engaging page turner that is a  joy to read.  She shares her story of trying to “perform” all the Christian acts of mercy during Lent one year.  What she encounters is the living Christ in each of her experiences.  Kerry  is a wonderful story-teller. After reading “Mercy in the City”,   I dare you not to be inspired to take on the challenge to “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”.

Mercy-in-the-City-193x300You can find the book here

“Kerry Weber is one of the liveliest, brightest, most provocative and most articulate voices on the Catholic scene today.  With stories that are both profound and lighthearted (and often at the same time) her marvelous new book will help you locate mercy in your daily life.  This is that rare book that will indeed make you laugh and cry, but also pray and serve.  Highly recommended.”
– James Martin, SJ author of My Life with the Saints and Jesus: A Pilgrimage

“This engaging book will take you to the heart of what it means to try to practice mercy in a cruel world. It helps us to remember that so much of what we take for granted — food, water to drink, clothing, and shelter — are a luxury to many, even in a land of plenty. From a soup line and homeless shelter to death row on San Quentin, the author makes us see the humanity of those we’d prefer to ignore. And if you’re looking for a book that cites both Basil the Great and ‘The Muppets Take Manhattan,’ this is for you!”
– Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk and Acedia and Me

IP#286 Marcus Grodi – “Life from Our Land” on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Marcus Grodi - "Life from Our Land" What a phenomenal book!  The “journey home” never looked more beautiful.  I didn’t want to put down “Life from Our Land: The Search for a Simpler Life in a Complex World”.  St. Benedict in the Holy Rule implores us to “listen with the ears of our hearts”.  Marcus Grodi, founder of the Coming Home International ministry and EWTN show host, shows us how it can be done.  So much more than just a spiritual memoir, Marcus offers us a road map we too could follow that leads from “the head to the heart.”  His writing is engaging, funny, and steeped in a warm humility…what a delight.  Rich spiritual fruit can be harvested from this book.

Life-from-Our-Land Marcus Grodi - "Life from Our Land" You can find the book here

“If we ponder carefully the insights in this book, we can learn how to grow in detachment, simplicity, holiness, and humility.”
— Paul Thigpen, Author, Manual for Spiritual Warfare

“Read this book and you will receive the riches Mammon cannot provide and reap the harvest of hope and wisdom.”
— Joseph Pearce
, Author, Catholic Literary Giants

“This book is a hymn of gratitude for the wonder that is creation, which manifests the deep purpose of things.”
— Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, President, Christendom College

IP#258 Jennifer Fulwiler – Something Other Than God on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Jennifer-Fulwiler“Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It” by Jennifer Fulwiler… what a phenomenal book. An engaging read, great topic, and an inspiring, joyful witness!  Leave it to the editor/author of one our favorite blogs “Conversion Diary“, to pen not only a great conversion story, but one of the most moving cases for Catholic faith out there. Her honesty and humor are refreshing.  You feel the struggle Jennifer experiences as she searches for answers.  Her quest leads her to a peace for which most of us yearn. Hats off to Ignatius Press for the production values on this  book of quality worthy of the story contained within it’s pages. This is a book you will pass on to others, so I would just suggest the purchase of multiple copies… it’s just that good!



You can find the book here

“This heartfelt book is a lovely account of a spiritual journey and a charming memoir. The author’s epiphanies are wonderfully conveyed and will resonate with readers.” —Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author


“Thought-provoking, honest, and often hilarious. It will strike a chord with anyone who ever posed –or tried unsuccessfully to avoid– the big questions of life.” —Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author,The Happiness Project





IP#253 Fr. Robert Cormier – Better Than We Believed on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

It was rich blessing to have the opportunity to talk Fr. Robert Cormier about his book “Better Than We Believed:  How to Apply the Fr.-Bob-CormierVision That Is Faith to the Struggle That Is Life”.  With an incredible witness in ministry Fr. Bob, as he prefers to be called, has served a parish priest for many years, as well as  prison chaplain and a rehab counselor. For the last eighteen years he has been president of Project Live—a leading institution for the care of the mentally ill.  He also spent summers in mission work in  Guatemala and other areas of Central America.  This varied background serves him well as he addresses many of the the areas which challenge many people when it comes to “faith”.  What is faith?  And how do I live it out?  Especially when afraid or challenged, how can I draw on faith for strength to live the life that we were meant for? This books is an excellent resource and wonderful source of inspiration.

(Special note:; On May 13, Fr. Bob died in a climbing accident on Mount Hood in Oregon, after reaching the summit. He was 57 years old. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the soul of Fr. Bob, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.)



You can find the book here

Here is a link to Faith Kit, the website Fr. Bob mentions during our conversation

From the book description:
Presuming nothing that both traditional believers and critical-thinking searchers will not find in their hearts, Better Than We Believed presents a strikingly clear concept of faith that answers the unhappiness of people you will recognize:
MARK, who struggles with anger
IRENE, who battles stress
HENRY, who is consumed by hatred
GLORIA, who has been betrayed
BRIAN, who suffers depression
MARY, who feels trapped by her duty to a loved one
JOY, who can’t get over a loved one’s death, and
JAMES, who knows that he is dying
As we witness this faith applied to these and other serious struggles, we will see how it can transform our own experience, and offer us peace, purpose, and joy.

IP#53 Sir Gilbert Levine – The Pope’s Maestro on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Sir-Gilbert-LevineA very special “Inside the Pages” with Sir Gilbert Levine, who shares from his heart, this compelling tale of faith, friendship, and the healing power of music to bring people together. “The Pope’s Maestro” is an extraordinary and inspirational story of the unlikely friendship of  Sir Gilbert Levine and Pope John Paul II, who collaborated on symbolic acts of reconciliation: a series of internationally broadcast concerts designed to bring together people from all religious backgrounds under the auspices of the Vatican. Sir Gilbert  invites us all in to share in the special relationship bonded in music, prayer, and…love. Pope's Maestro

You can find more about this wonderful book here

IP#223 Keith Merritt – Emails from Heaven on Inside the Pages

This book is a delightful surprise.  Keith Merritt shares the beautiful life he had with Gayle, his wife of 27 years, who Keith-Merrittwould one day be diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer.   He shares how Gayle came to be revered by so many for the depth of her courage against impossible odds, and her joy at saying to God, “I belong to you”.  Gayle Merritt’s suffering, and victory in Christ  is  documented in emails sent to local parishioners to provide updates on her condition throughout her final months. A poignant work filled with hope, courage, joy and love.


You can find the book here


IP#144 Amy Welborn – Wish You Were Here on Inside the Pages

Well, it would be difficult to write a book more poignant and compelling than this…obviously, it came straight from the heart.  Amy Welborn uses her incredible gift with words to paint an unforgettable picture of how grief and regret can be transformed, by grace, into hope.  It’s  a journey on a winding, sometimes bumpy road.  But what Amy has discovered through the help of her husband Mike, her kids, the land of Sicily, and ultimately, God, is that it is really true, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.   As she says, “tragedy and joy, loss and understanding death and life are constantly mixed together…and the beauty of the Catholic faith is that it is all there….we have the whole picture.”  Its about faith, about hope, about love..and that is what is really eternal.

You can find the book here

“Amy Welborn’s latest book is a must-read spiritual treasure. It reveals not only the heart-wrenching dynamics of grief but also the odd and wonderful way grace illumines even the thickest darkness. Funny, engagingly written, spiritually profound, Wish You Were Here is a gem.”  –Fr. Robert Barron, author of Catholicism.

Be sure to visit Amy’s blog’s Charlotte Was Both

and “Booked” the travel blog –

IP#125 Virginia G. Breen – I Am In Here on Inside the Pages

The subtitle of this show is “insights from today’s most compelling authors”…I don’t think there’s a more compelling author than Elizabeth M. Bonker, who along with the help of her mother, Virginia Breen, has authored  “I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice”.  A powerful and poignant book, the conversation with Virginia is hope-filled as she shares with us all the challenges and love she has found in being the mother of Elizabeth and the strength they have both found in their relationship with God.

“Elizabeth’s beautiful poetry clearly shows that some individuals with autism who appear to be low-functioning have real abilities. Elizabeth’s first words when she was able to type were ‘Agony. I need to talk.'”–Temple GrandinNew York Times bestselling author

You can find Elizabeth's and Virginia's book here



I sometimes fear

That people cannot understand

That I hear.

And I know

That they don’t believe I go

To every extreme

To try to express

My need to talk.

If only they could walk

In my shoes

They would share my news:

I am in here.

And trying to speak every day

In some kind of way.

Though she cannot speak, Elizabeth Bonker writes poetry that shines a light on the hidden inner world of autism and the world around us. I Am in Here is the spiritual journey of a mother and daughter who refuse to give up hope, who celebrate their victories, and who keep moving forward despite the obstacles. Elizabeth’s poetry and her mother’s stirring storytelling combine in this inspirational book to proclaim that there is always a reason to take the next step–with hope.

Be sure to check out their website at :

IP#115 Uta Larkey – Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust on Inside the Pages

“Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust:  A Jewish Family’s Untold Story” is an eloquent telling of a family scattered over three continents by Nazi persecution.  A heroic effort is undertaken by the authors, Rebecca Boehling and Uta Larkey on behalf the children of the generation subjected to the trauma presented in the book, to piece together the collective memory left by the Kaufmann-Steinberg family.  Intriguing, as well as disturbing, this is a book that will stay with you for a long time.  I came away from the read reminded once again never to take even the most ordinary moments in life for granted.


   You can find the book here

IP#112 Melanie Pritchard – The Day I Died on Inside the Pages

What a remarkable witness…Melanie Pritchard!  “The Day I Died: Finding Hope in Suffering” is the story of a young mother’s incredible sudden death during childbirth and her miraculous recovery.  I remember the days during which the events chronicled took place.  Mark Hart had made known to us the harrowing situation Melanie and her child were suffering.  Bruce and I, our radio listeners, and people around the globe (thanks to the internet) joined in a communion of prayer and the results were indeed awe-inspiring.  What a joy to talk with Melanie almost a year later, and what a delight to be able to share with all of you this blessed book.

Be sure to visit Melanie’s blog at


You can also find Melanie’s book here

IP#96 Julie Davis – Happy Catholic on Inside the Pages

What a joy to talk with Julie Davis, not just “a” happy Catholic, but “the” Happy Catholic! Julie is the creator of one of the most interesting sites in the blogosphere.  Her insights, musings and all around thought-filled ponderings on everything from Alice Cooper to St. John Vianney make her must reading for anyone living in today’s culture…pop or otherwise.  Julie has taken some of the best from her blog, along with a little more, and complied it in “Happy Catholic: Glimpses of God in Everyday Life”.


Check out Julie’s book here

Be sure to visit Julie’s blog  “Happy Catholic”

IP#93 Kevin Wells – Burst on Inside the Pages

“Burst – A Story of God’s Grace When Life Falls Apart” by Kevin Wells is truly inspirationalSharing the traumatic, as well as the heroic moments of life, Kevin Wells helps us to see the grace of God and it’s power to transform our lives.  Draw close to God and He’ll draw close to you!  Well written, this is a beautiful memoir by a rock solid Catholic man.  This is one of those books that just compells you to keep reading.  Fantastic!


Check out Kevin’s book here

IP#69 Conor Grennan – Little Princes on Inside the Pages

“Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal is  ultimately about an ordinary man who’s heart was opened with extraordinary love. Conor Grennan is an author, and now, humanitarian who chronicles the harrowing, touching, and compelling story of the children of Nepal. ”  A true story of  corruption, child trafficking and civil war in a far away land-and one man’s extraordinary quest to reunite lost children with their parents.  It was a joy to have the opportunity to talk with Conor and to get the word out about Next Generation Nepal the organization established to help the people of Nepal.

For more information on the book and “Next Generation Nepal”, visit

A portion of the proceeds from “Little Princes” is given tothe work of saving and aiding the children of Nepal.

IP#68 Sarah Ban Breathnach – Peace and Plenty on Inside the Pages

From prosperity to destitution to peace, Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of the genre-defining book “Simple Abundance” which spent over a year at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold nearly 5 million copies to date, has quite the story to tell. Sarah is truly a lovely woman who has had the courage to step forward to share her story of struggle in financial crisis and her “peace” and “serenity” found in God.  In “Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity” shares what she has learned on her journey with reassurance and deep comfort throughout.

To learn more about this work visit Sarah’s website
“Simple Abundance”

IP#62 Debra Herbeck – Safely through the Storm on Inside the Pages

Debra Herbeck has compiled a compelling selection of reflections from saints and writers who have suffered, who were tempted to depair, and who were tested in everyway, but through grace and faith, they never gave up. Hope, a viture we can’t live without.  If you or someone you know is suffering through hard times, “Safely Through the Storm” is for you.

Check out the book here

IP#31 Conn Iggulden – Dangerous Book of Heroes on Inside the Pages

The most dangerous thing about Conn and David Iggulden’s book is that you’ll be inspired to heroism. From George Washington to Edith Cavell, from The Women of the SOE to Flight 93, the Dangerous Book of Heroes inspires young and old…it’s what good story telling is all about.  Some stories may be a little more than some very young listeners can take in, but don’t let that stop you from diving in yourself….the very best stories are the one’s we grow into.  Conn Iggulden and his brother David have given us all a gift.


You can find more about the book here

IP#26 – Elizabeth Bettina – It Happened in Italy on Inside the Pages

Elizabeth Bettina tells the tale of the people of Campagna, her grandmother’s village, that she would visit every summer as a child. Elizabeth discovered only as an adult, that those villagers had a little known secret: they had defied the Nazi occupiers and protected hundreds of Jews during the holocaust.  Elizabeth would go on to uncover the fascinating untold stories of Jews throughout Italy during WWII and the goodhearted Italian people who risked everything to save them. A heartwarming, as well as heartbreaking at times, account of the courageous efforts of neighbor truly helping neighbor in wartime Italy.

You can find more at

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