Elizabeth Foss of In the Heart of My Home has some saddening news for us here in the Catholic blogosphere: Barbara Curtis of Mommy Life, a teacher, writer and recent convert to Catholicism, had a massive stroke on Sunday, Oct. 28, and is not expected to regain consciousness.
You can go to Elizabeth's page and read her and others' testimonials to this formidable woman. For my own part, I read plenty of her columns whenever they appeared in New Advent (and you could count on at least one a week appearing there; in fact, Kevin Knight in a fit of possessiveness calls her a "New Advent blogger" in his link to Elizabeth). I always found her sane, sensible, often amusing and with the enviable ability to not take herself too seriously. We'll miss her voice and her wisdom; she was a true Defensatrix Fidei.
While you're there: Barbara was trying to raise $5,000 to send her daughter Maddy, a promising opera star, back to Catholic University for the spring semester. Elizabeth has the hat (or the PayPal button) out for that worthy cause; please take the time to make a donation and help launch a potentially brilliant career.
Fac nos, Domine Iesu, sanctae Familiae tuae exempla iugiter imitari, ut in hora mortis nostrae, occurrente gloriosa Virgine Matre tua cum beato Ioseph, per te in aeterna tabernacula recipi mereamur: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy Holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into Thy everlasting dwelling place: Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
Update — October 31, 2012
According to Elizabeth, Barbara Curtis passed away yesterday afternoon, surrounded by her family. Her funeral Mass will be held Saturday at St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville, VA at 12:30. Elizabeth is still accepting donations for the Curtis family, particularly for husband Tripp and to send Maddy back for her senior year at Catholic University. I wasn't aware that Maddy had been a contestant on American Idol! Here's a clip of her singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".