Amy Brooks on faith, being an entrepreneur and building community through Catholics Online
Amy and I met a few years ago in a Catholics Online Retreat (she is the founder of this amazing group of catholic social media influencers) and I am thankful. She has been an inspiration for me in many ways.
Scroll down and you will see why...
El Árbol Menta: Amy, tell us a little bit about you, your family, your faith, your hobbies.
"I have been Catholic my whole life. My parents were very young when I was born. I grew up in a row home in Philadelphia and one of my neighbors that I played with and that I am still friends with today became a Born Again Christian when we were very young. We often had discussions about faith and why she wasn’t Catholic. This led me to do a lot of research on my own. I wondered if I was Catholic because that was what my parents decided for me or because what the Church taught was true, good and beautiful. I learned so much about our faith and I truly love being Catholic. I enjoy writing, I love finding gifts that are useful but also nourish faith. I love hiking and riding bikes with my son. I also love visiting a vineyard for a wine tasting and going to dinner and a comedy show with my husband. I love prayer journaling, too!"
El Árbol Menta: I really love Catholics Online!, it has been a huge blessing to be part of this group, can you explain what it is? When and how it all started?
Amy Brooks: "Catholics Online started as a Facebook group of Catholic bloggers and business owners.
I started Catholics Online because I truly believe that we rise by lifting each other. I saw secular groups sharing knowledge and giving support to one another, and I wanted to see this happen within the Catholic Influencer community.
Eventually, I thought it would be great to have a website that listed all of the Speakers, Artisans, bloggers, etc. so that Catholics everywhere could find inspiration from others. I wanted the website to have a map showing where each Speaker and Business owner was located, so that parishes could find presenters and craftsman (craftswomen) close to home. Thankfully, there was a small group of women who understood my vision and saw the need for a community that stressed cooperation over competition.
One aspect of our group that is unique is that it includes both men and women. I see a lot of groups that are only women, and I think that is wonderful. However, I love that our group includes both men and women. It really has been a blessing in so many ways to meet these other Catholics and work with many of them. One of my fondest memories was the year many of us got together at the Trappistine Quality Candy Sister’s mansion in Massachussets. We prayed together and shared knowledge that has been incredibly helpful".
El Árbol Menta: Can you share with us 3 things you have learned during this time as an author and Catholic Entrepreneur:
Trust in God’s timing I’ve seen the Lord work in big ways with this one.
I wrote the idea of the "Be Yourself Journal" 17 years before it was published. God knew exactly how it would come to be! Sometimes I plan things and they get delayed, but God’s timing is always perfect. It’s incredible!
Comparison is the thief of joy There will be other people God is calling to do similar work. Celebrate with them, collaborate on projects, pray for them or just keep your eyes and ears on the goals God has placed on your heart. God’s love and blessings are abundant beyond are measure. No need to stress or worry.
When God says no to one thing, He says yes to something amazing! A no can come from Church doctrine or a primary duty – but the no is not the end of the story. I accepted the “no” to certain roads that lead to parenthood. God gave me 3 amazing children through adoption. I accepted the “no” to a trip to Italy with amazing Catholic women; God inspired me to start organizing Prayer, Wine, Chocolate Retreats. I got a ton of “nos” in Catholic blogger groups that were already established; I now run a group that is an incredible community and has a website listing everyone in it.
El Árbol Menta: What is your favorite Catholic devotion and what books are you currently reading?
My favorite Catholic devotion is probably the Rosary. I love how it allows us to pray for a set amount of time and truly allows us to rest in Our Lord. I love praying it with others.
I started reading the book “Salvation is from the Jews” by Roy Schoeman quite a while ago. I also read "Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father" this year and loved it".
El Árbol Menta: What Bible verses and prayers are your go to?
I love the Bible verse: <<Above all let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins>>, 1 Peter:8. It gives me hope, especially when I get frustrated with myself.
I also really love the prayer “Come Holy Spirit” because my hope is that I am saying and writing what God wants me to say, rather than what I want to say or write".