This week Teresa Tomeo and I discuss her book God’s Bucket List: Heaven’s Surefire Way to Happiness in This Life and Beyond. Learn more about the book here.
PETE: God’s Bucket List is a pretty unique title. For those who have not yet read the book, where did you come up with it?
TERESA TOMEO: Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about my new book.
The idea came from my own life’s experience in turning to everything but God when it came to top goals and desires. Not including God in the ultimate bucket list caused a lot of problems in my life. It was only after I had some major personal and professional problems that I realized I might want to go back to basics and start over with God at the center as opposed to me, myself, and I.
PETE: What do you hope people reading God’s Bucket List take away from it?
TERESA TOMEO: I hope they will take the John 15:5 approach. That is my number one Scripture verse-“apart from me you can do nothing.” If we don’t have God at the center of our lives we will go no where fast. Secondly I hope people will grasp that God’s plan is always the best plan as He knows us better than we know ourselves.
PETE: In the book, you touch upon people voting through the lens of their Catholic faith. We are approaching a general election that is made up of primarily local level seats. Do you have any further advice for today’s Catholic voter?
TERESA TOMEO: I heard a great homily several years ago before another major election where the priest said “our Catholic faith shouldn’t be a factor but the factor when we walk into the voting booth.” So if we really believe in God and the Church teachings that should be evident in how we live our lives including how we vote.
PETE: You point out in the book that a person really needs to become versed in the Bible or instruction manual as you use to illustrate it. You also state that Bible study is what brought you (and your husband) back to the Church. Do you have any particular favorite Bible Study resources you would like to share?
TERESA TOMEO: My favorite is Catholic Scripture Study International. I was in it for a number of years and just found it so well-rounded and so very interesting. It really gives great background on the Church understanding of the various verses or chapters in the Bible. The video teachings that go along with it are also very helpful. CSS made a huge difference in my overall appreciation and understadning of Scripture.
PETE: You are a columnist, you host the daily radio show Catholic Connection, and co-host EWTN’s show The Catholic View for Women amongst other endeavors. Where do you find the time?
TERESA TOMEO: Well I have been in the media for over 30 years with half of that in the secular news media. We were required to turn around an awful lot of content and very quickly and also on a daily basis five times a week so what I do now seems like a walk in the park compared to the daily TV news or news radio grind. Not to mention that I am writing, speaking, and broadcasting on issues that I really carea about. So there is an added energy because it is much different and much more positive than covering the latest shooting or car crash.
PETE: I found the chapter where you covered the women’s movement quite fascinating. The point you made was very telling that for as much as women have “advanced” they have lost considerable ground in regards to sexuality. Would you like to briefly touch upon this subject for my readers who have not read your book yet?
TERESA TOMEO: I hope people get a true sense about how women have been sold a huge bill of goods regarding what the world sees as “freedom” and/or “choice.” We fought like crazy not to be viewed and treated as objects and yet we are more objectified than every before. It makes no sense and women are being hurt and lives destroyed. The best place for a woman is in the arms of Christ inside the Catholic Church. Jesus, as I said in another book I wrote, is our greatest fan and our biggest liberator. I hope that messages comes through.
PETE: Time for my signature ending question. This is a blog about books. What is currently on your bookshelf to read?
TERESA TOMEO: Well I just finished Joseph Pearce’s testimony book which I loved. It was so very real. I am also working on getting through some recent books of Benedict XVI. I get so much out of his teaching. Another book I just finished was “Audrey in Rome.” I am somewhat of a fanatic about all things Italy and Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress. So I grabbed that book the minute I heard about it and I really enjoyed it. It was written by her son who also selected the photos of her.
I actually hope to write a book about my travels to Italy someday so any books about the Motherland are tops on my list. My husband and I are both full blooded Italian Americans.
So grazie’mile; a thousand thank yous for this interview.
Teresa Tomeo is an author, syndicated Catholic talk show host, and motivational speaker with more than 30 years of experience in TV, radio and newspaper and spent 19 of those years working in front of a camera as a reporter/anchor in the Detroit market. Teresa is a columnist and special correspondent for the national Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor and appears frequently on the EWTN Global Catholic Television Network and co-hosts the new EWTN television series, The Catholic View for Women, and is the field reporter for their annual March for Life coverage in D.C.
You can find out more about her work at her website, www.teresatomeo.com