Father Andrew Linn on Last Year's Pilgrimage

Listen in on this fascinating conversation between Fr. Andrew Linn, Colleen Hutt, and Marcie Stokman. They share their experience of the 2018 Well-Read Mom pilgrimage and what they saw happening to the women who participated.

“One of the lasting spiritual fruits of this pilgrimage...coming to the realization of the need for companionship.”  - Colleen Hutt Well-Read Mom leader and volunteer pilgrimage coordinator

“Absolutely, we should do this pilgrimage again!” -Fr. Andrew Linn

Well, we are! August 13-15, 2019.

Check out our Events page for more information.

Fr. Andrew Linn, grew up just a few miles away in Shorewood, Wisconsin.  He is the oldest of seven children, most of whom still live in the North Shore area.  After majoring in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame as a Naval ROTC midshipman, he served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy on board the USS BATAAN (LHD 5) and USS ASHLAND (LSD 48).  He resigned his active duty commission in 2012 to enter Saint Francis de Sales Seminary for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 

Colleen Hutt enjoys sharing life with her husband, Colin and their five children. When not buried in laundry, she relishes cooking for friends and family, reading aloud to her children, hiking the Ice Age Trail with Colin and sharing great conversations over a glass of wine.

Dr. Naughton on C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce

Well-Read Mom Founder Marcie Stokman interviews Dr. Michael Naughton, Director of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Naughton shares his insights on this book, which he has taught for over 30 years.

  • Lewis’s profound grasp of the human condition
  • Ways we deceive ourselves through fixations, rationalizations, and detachments
  • Our salvation tends to be won or lost in the ordinary
  • Disordered motherly love
  • Deadly sin of acedia (spiritual laziness)

Michael Naughton is the holder of the Koch Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) where he is a full professor with an appointment in the department of Catholic Studies (College of Arts and Sciences) He is the director of the Center for Catholic Studies, which is the oldest and largest Catholic Studies program in the world.  He is the author and editor of nine books and over 40 articles. He helped coordinate and write the Vocation of the Business Leader issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (2012), which is translated into 15 languages. He currently serves as board chair for Reell Precision Manufacturing (for profit).

How to recover the "Still Waters" of the Heart

Marcie Stokman interviews Sr. Veronica of the Sisters of Life on how to recover the “still waters” of the heart. You can find out more about the Sisters of Life at sistersoflife.org.


  • The role of beauty and our ability to “see”
  • Clutter deprives us of stillness
  • Life is messy - using a “poverty check” to reset
  • The difference between the contemplation we receive and the knowledge we have
  • Introducing children to wonder

“A Baptized Emptiness”

Marcie Stokman recently tracked down a friend of Well-Read Mom, who has become a cloistered contemplative sister. This wise friend wrote a 20-minute reflection on "A Baptized Emptiness" to share with us as we read our December book Reed of God.

Her reflection, read by Well-Read Mom member Anna Kneier, includes:

  • Why  we fear emptiness
  • The purpose of emptiness - how to sift and sort the nonessential
  • How our emptiness show God's plan for us
  • How we fill the emptiness with other people, our desire to control, criticism of others, and resentment
  • The role of sorrow
  • Receptivity and unleashing God's torrent in our lives

Sister has asked to remain anonymous.

Anna Knier was reared in the Midwest, but is applying for jobs far and wide following a recent immersion in Guatemala. She appreciates fresh herbs, worthy cribbage opponents, and clever turns of phrase.

“How Poetry Helps Us Live a Contemplative Life”

Marcie Stokman, Susan Severson and Claire Vouk discuss:

  • Poetry opens us up to wonder
  • How to enjoy poetry when you’re not a “poetry-person”
  • How poetry forms our life - a new way to live

Susan Severson is a Kansas native, traveling enthusiast and aspiring poet. She graduated in 2010 with a major in English and secondary education from Benedictine College. She lives in northern Minnesota with her husband, Johnny and two children and continues teaching literature and writing to high schoolers.

Claire Vouk is originally from St. Paul, MN. She graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas in 2017 with degrees in English and Secondary Education. She currently teaches middle school in Stillwater, MN.

Well-Read Mom Founder Marcie Stokman, her daughter Beth Nelson, and University of St. Thomas professor Elizabeth Kelly discuss:

  • How do we live a contemplative life?
  • How do we make time to examine how we're living amid our busyness?
  • On falling in love with the truth
  • Giving yourself permission to fail by society's standards

Elizabeth M. Kelly is an award-winning speaker and the author of six books. She is a certified spiritual director. Kelly has appeared on Public Radio, EWTN, Salt and Light Television, and is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Your Heart, His Home.” Kelly is the managing editor of LOGOS and an Adjunct Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

“Literary Deep Reading regardless of medium - Marcie talks with Maryanne Wolf”

  • We are being changed ethically and morally by the great transition between the printed and digital word
  • Deep reading can be developed in children regardless of medium
  • How deep reading changes the brain

Maryanne Wolf is the Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She recently authored Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.