Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.


Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!



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Recent Comments

Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.


And your BFF didn't know this story? Great article to read. I,can envision it! What an amazing intuition you followed. Someday soon we will talk more!

God is in the clouds

Music Monday: “Gift of Finest Wheat” in honor of the Most Holy Eucharist

“The Body of Christ is the bread of the end times, capable of giving life, and eternal life, because the substance is this bread of love.” —Pope Francis in his Corpus Christi homily on June 19, 2014

The Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is celebrated every day at every Mass around the globe. But yesterday’s Feast of Corpus Christi here in the United States —the Solemnity  of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ—is observed in many other nations on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. It celebrates the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Pope Francis presided over this liturgy last Thursday at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is the cathedral of the Rome Diocese.

 "Man carries within himself another hunger, a hunger that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food." —Pope Francis

I attended the 41st International Eucharistic Congress, held in Philadelphia in August of 1976, our bicentennial year. Under the theme of "Jesus, the Bread of Life," the Congress was a high point in my early spiritual life and nurtured my love for the Blessed Sacrament.  

For this week’s Music Monday, I am sharing the official song written for this Eucharistic Congress, “Gift of Finest Wheat (You Satisfy the Hungry Heart),” composed by Omer Westendorf and Robert E. Kreutz.


Meditative scenes accompany the Cathedral Singers, who are conducted by their founder, Richard Proulx (1937-2010).

June 23, 2014 11:02
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: Celebrating the joy of live theater and the Broadway Tony Awards with 'The Circle of Life'

Who doesn't love great theater productions?
I have been an enthusiast all my life, plays, musicals, drama, comedy, big casts and one-person shows ... I'll be there.

Last night we enjoyed the annual Broadway Tony Awards broadcast, and I woke up today humming some of the music from the production numbers.

Today's Music Monday 

For this week's Music Monday, I'm bringing back an old favorite: "The Circle of Life" from Disney's "The Lion King." Composed for the 1994 cartoon movie by Elton John, the lyrics are by Tim Rice. This moving song always makes me smile and often brings a tear to my eye.

Three songs from "The Lion King" were nominated for the 1994 Academy Award for Best Song:  "The Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" The latter took home the Oscar. 

Enjoy the Broadway version of "The Circle of Life" 

Here's the live performance from the 1998 Broadway Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. Features Tsidii Le Loka and the original Broadway cast.

Comment or email and tell me about your favorite shows and theater experiences.

June 09, 2014 01:31
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: "With You By My Side" and the prayer of St. Francis de Sales for the Class of 2014

The Class of 2014 has been sent forth to let their light shine in the world:

David Haas' beautiful hymn "With You By My Side" is a joyful prayer for all who move on this year into a future filled with newness and perhaps some fear of the unknown. This song is quite moving and will fill you with hope, as no matter what is to come, our loving God is there to guide us through it.

In a similar manner, the prayer of St. Francis de Sales exhorts us to trust in the Lord to care for us and guide us along all the paths of our lives:

Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life;
rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise,
God, whose very own you are,
will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it,
God will carry you in His arms.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same understanding Father who cares for
you today will take care of you then and every day.

He will either shield you from suffering
or will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace,
and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

--Saint Francis de Sales

God is good... All the time!!

June 02, 2014 07:07
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: Children’s choir sings “Hallelujah” as Pope Francis prays for peace in the Holy Land

“Inside every Christian, there is a Jew.” --Pope Francis

This weekend’s pilgrimage of Pope Francis to the Holy Land to pray for peace comes fifty years after the historic visit to Jerusalem of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople in 1964.


Historic meeting on Jan. 8, 1964, on the Mount of Olives: Marking the first meeting between leaders of Eastern and Western churches since the Schism of 1054.

Pope Francis prayed yesterday with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Stone of Unction at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Calling for peace at Mass at Manger Square in Bethlehem on the West Bank (Photo: Melanie Lidman)

Calling on the Prince of Peace:

Praying and calling for peace and understanding at every opportunity, the Holy Father, during his homily at Sunday Mass in Bethlehem, invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet June 6 at the Vatican.

“In this, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace, I wish to invite you, President Mahmoud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.”

 “All of us -- especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples -- have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers… Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment.”


A children’s choir sang a most beautiful “Hallelujah” cover earlier this morning to welcome the Holy Father. May their sung prayers for peace blend with those of all of us who pray with them around the world.


Video from Rome Reports

Memorial Day:

As we here in the United States remember all those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom as a nation, may we live each day with a focus on the words attributed to the saint for whom the Holy Father took his name: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”


May 26, 2014 09:47
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: Feeling joyful with "Lord of the Dance"

The recessional hymn yesterday at St. Francis de Sales Church in Abingdon was "Lord of the Dance." An old favorite of mine from the days when my kids were little and used to sing it with their classmates at St. Margaret School, I found myself tapping my feet and singing all five verses with the Music Ministry as the majority of the congregation made their way out. 

This song traces its roots to 1848 when Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett composed his classic hymn "Simple Gifts" and identified it on the manuscripts as a dance song. The actual lyrics note dance movements: "To turn, turn will be our delight / Till by turning, turning we come out right." 

Re-adapted in 1963 with some new lyrics by English songwriter Sydney Carter with the title "Lord of the Dance," and then again in 1977 by John Langstaff, the song has a beautiful history and ranks as all-time favorite with many Christians.

John Langstaff's rich vocals are featured in today's Music Monday video. Enjoy the photos of people from all over the world dancing with joy as Langstaff sings with wonderful background musicians.

"Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!"


Have a great week!!

May 19, 2014 12:47
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Ave Maria” by Luciano Pavarotti

Honoring our Blessed Mother:

The month of May is the perfect month for honoring all the Moms as it is the month when the Church honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of us all.

Music Monday:

Today I’m sharing Schubert’s beautiful “Ave Maria” sung by Luciano Pavarotti during the Three Tenors concert on July 16, 1994.

Held in Los Angeles’ Dodgers Stadium on the eve of the Soccer World Cup and featuring the vocals of the world famous dynamic trio, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, this 1994 concert was described as the biggest single musical event in history.  Conducted by Zubin Mehta, the tenors were joined by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus.

Luciano Pavarotti in the Three Tenors Concert:


Enjoy the full two-hour concert here:

May 12, 2014 09:53
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: Tap dancing deacons from the Pontifical North American College

If you need a smile on your face to start the new week, check out this footage posted from the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Two deacons who are studying there did a tap dancing duel after a small chorus sang "Give My Regards to Broadway" at the April 30 Annual  Rector's Dinner. An appreciative audience of seminarians, priests, bishops, cardinals, and laity tapped their own feet and pulled out their phones to record the merriment.

When in Rome... 

Enjoy and have a great week!!

May 04, 2014 10:18
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: A tribute to teachers on the Feast of St. John Baptist de la Salle

“To be entrusted with the teaching of the young is a great gift and grace of God.”

“Young people need the light of watchful guides to lead them on the path of salvation.”  

“Your faith should be a shining light for those whom you teach.”

—Quotes of St. John Baptist de la Salle

Music Monday pays tribute today to our teachers with a special prayer and song.

Today the Church celebrates the feast day of St. John Baptist de la Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and patron saint of our Catholic schools and our teachers.

“The mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.”

—Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC, Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross


Prayer for Teachers:

Lord Jesus, You taught with words and by example—but always with out of love.

Please guide our teachers during this school day and every day to create a positive learning environment for their students.

Give them strength to meet the needs of their diverse learners.

Give them patience when moments are trying.

Give them creativity to develop engaging lessons.

Give them humility to recognize when their students are actually teaching them.

And give them loving hearts so that they may always teach out of love, just as You did, Lord.


--Adapted from 'Prayer for Teachers' by Meredith McCarthy ‘95

“The Notre Dame Book of Prayer”

University of Notre Dame Office of Campus Ministry, Ave Maria Press, 2010 

“Teacher Appreciation” song by Brian Asselin and Eric Disero


"What is nobler than to mold the character of the young? I consider that he who knows how to form the youthful mind is truly greater than all painters, sculptors and all others of that sort.”—St. John Chrysostom

April 07, 2014 09:00
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: An inspiring start to a new week with "Amazing Grace" by Celtic Woman

Today's Music Monday features "Amazing Grace" by Celtic Woman:

Since their debut in 2004, this all-female Irish musical group, described as being  "Riverdance for the voice," has entertained audiences around the world with a range of music from traditional Celtic to contemporary tunes.

With almost 15 million hits on Youtube, their rendition of "Amazing Grace," backed by a full orchestra and a dozen bagpipers in Dublin, is guaranteed to start your day on an upbeat spiritual note. Pun intended.

Have a wonderful week!!

March 31, 2014 08:49
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: A Salute to St. Patrick's Day with "Be Thou My Vision" and "When Irish Eyes are Smiling"

The Irish High Holyday is finally here and I am multiplying the celebration with both the Wearing of the Green as well as my Irish birthday. As you can see, I was named for the saint of the day.

For this week's Music Monday, I am sharing two great Irish tunes.

"Be Thou My Vision" is one of the most famous of the traditional Irish hymns. The original Irish text is usually attributed to Dallán Forgaill, with the prayerful text translated into English by Mary Elizabeth Byrne in 1905. Seven years later in 1912, Eleanor Hull put the text into verses. 

May this beautiful, prayerful hymn be a great start to the Irish feast day for you.

Perhaps the most important part of St. Patrick's Day is the beautiful music.
Enjoy an all-time favorite with those smiling Irish Eyes!!

Prayer for St. Patrick's Day:

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same,
The three in one and One in three.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead.
His eye to watch. His might to stay,
His need to harken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach.
His hand to guide, his shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

-From the Breastplate of St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

March 17, 2014 02:08
By Patti Murphy Dohn

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