Speakers Share Tales Straight from the Heart
by Melissa McNally
The Catholic Advocate
Archdiocese of Newark, NJ
March 19, 2008
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter
Mulieris Dignitatem ("On the Dignity and Vocation of Women"), the annual Women's
Day of Reflection-sponsored by the Women's Commission of the Archdiocese of
Newark-addressed issues of faith and life facing modern women in society and the
The March 1 event, "On the Dignity of Women: Reclaiming Authentic
Femininity in the Public Square," attracted hundreds of faithful to the South
Orange campus of Seton Hall University. The conference featured speakers Teresa
Tomeo, a veteran news anchor and EWTN radio show host, and Janet Morana,
co-founder of the "Silent No More" abortion awareness campaign.
Both speakers, who discussed critical, turning-point events in their
lives, said they came back to the Church after many years of being
disenchanted by their experiences in the secular world. A Jersey City
native, Tomeo was raised in a traditional Italian-American Catholic home.
She worked for 20 years in the Detroit area as a radio and TV news reporter
"I fell away from the faith. I was constantly pulled in two different
directions-following my dreams as a broadcaster versus practicing my faith.
I became very worldly and almost lost my husband and my soul in the
process," Tomeo said.
After being fired from her job at a local television station, Tomeo went
through a "spiritual and heart journey." She realized that her career
aspirations and her material possessions were not keys to her happiness.
"Everyone must be humbled to be exalted and that idea is in opposition to
the world today. Why is it OK for Mary and Jesus to humble themselves before
the Lord, but we say no, 'it is all about me.'"
Tomeo left the secular news business and has been in Catholic media for
five years. Today, her daily morning radio program "Catholic Connection" is
heard on over 120 Catholic stations through EWTN Global Catholic Radio. Last
year, she published "Noise: How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives
and Dismantles Families."
The misconception that the Catholic Church subjugates and is unfair to
women is an issue Tomeo is passionate about debunking. "Jesus is the one
that raised women up and broke cultural norms. There is such richness in the
Church's teaching. Saying the Church is outdated is a lie of the secular
media. The Catholic Church is the truth from God and it is not going
anywhere because Christ said so," she declared.
While reconnecting with her faith, Tomeo became critical of the messages
being sent through today's media. The feminist movement, she believes, has
made progress for women, but also introduced several lies and