Most people likely know Teresa Tomeo as the intelligent, inquisitive, straight-talking host of the Catholic
Connections radio program and a co-host of EWTN’s The Catholic View for Women television show. But
in her new book, Beyond Sunday—Becoming a 24/7 Catholic, Tomeo sets aside her decades of broadcast
journalism experience to sit down and have a chat with the reader over a cup of coffee, one-on-one.
Not literally, of course. But the tone of friendship and encouragement in this book reaches out from the
pages and compels us to heed her sound advice to take our faith beyond an hour of Mass on Sundays.
Like a good friend, Tomeo urges us to think beyond the pew and dream about what a truly abundant life
in Christ would look like on a daily basis. Drawing from her personal experience as a previously
“nominal” Catholic, Tomeo outlines simple, practical steps to growing in our relationship with God and
learning to share our faith with our family and friends. She meets us at a lukewarm Point A, where she
admits she once resided, and walks us gently to a joy-filled Point B, where she presents a picture of a
24/7 Catholic faith life.
In the first chapters, Tomeo provides insight into the possible reasons, both cultural and personal, for
our halfhearted attitudes, and how a lack of formation has sent our consciences adrift in recent years.
But she doesn’t leave us treading water there. She re-introduces us to the gifts of the Church and the
“Three M’s of Faith” that can help us get fully grounded again. Plus, she offers reflection questions at
the end of each chapter so the reader can take baby steps beyond Sunday each week. And in Chapter 7,
Five Cures for the Common Catholic Cold, she offers lifelines of wisdom for our spiritual growth,
including (my favorite) a recommendation to “Silence the Noise.”
Teresa Tomeo and I have a few things in common, especially when it comes to our faith reversion
journeys. When I returned to the fullness of the Catholic faith five years ago, the Holy Spirit cooked up
some major enthusiasm in me as well (I termed it getting out of the “Catholic baby pool”). I can identify
with her aspiration to impart the “lessons-learned the hard way,” so readers can avoid the trap of
mediocrity she (and I) had fallen into. I understand the feeling of gratitude and peace she has at being
drawn out of that mediocrity. And I can relate to her desire to help others get beyond Sunday and into a
deep, full, daily relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that’s why I was attracted to
this book and why I give it high marks: Beyond Sunday is an instructional guide to getting out of the
Catholic baby pool. There is no downside to this personal pathway from good to great! In Tomeo’s
words, “Why settle for a so-so relationship with God, when you can have a great relationship with him
that is filled with abundant joy?”
That sounds like wise advice from a good friend, doesn’t it?
Mary Beth is a 50-something magazine editor, a family humor columnist and an author, but her favorite form of writing is prayer journaling. Praying with a pen every morning for years
dramatically strengthened her spiritual life, even drawing her back home to the fullness of the Catholic Church after several decades away! She recently published a book with Beacon
Publishing/Dynamic Catholic titled, “Praying with a Pen—the Girlfriends’ Guide to Stress-Free Prayer Journaling.” Married for 30+ years to her witty and wonderful husband, she’s a mom to two adult children: one a seminarian studying in Rome and the other a happily married school social worker who promoted Mary Beth to grandma status in March of 2018. Mary Beth is a member of her church choir, loves to sing at big Catholic weddings and has recently begun facilitating Catholic book studies and retreats for women. With a background in corporate communications and marketing and a Master’s degree in Business and Organizational Leadership, she has spoken to over 100 groups on the topics of leadership, family humor, writing and prayer journaling. Mary Beth has a borderline unhealthy attachment to her little dog, Sammy and, when the mood strikes her, she blogs about prayer journaling (and Sammy) at www.prayingwithapen.com.