Cynthia Montanaro was taught to read by her father before kindergarten and hasn’t stopped reading or collecting books since then. Beginning at a young age with the Junior Great Books Club and then enrolling at Thomas Aquinas College, she has been formed intellectually and morally by the basis for the Great Books: the true, the good and the beautiful.
A lifelong Catholic with a faith tested by a number of family tragedies, she has an invincible surety in the goodness of God and has endeavored to pass this along to her four sons, teaching them at home for 25 years using a classical curriculum. A compelling interest in the spiritual formation of young people has also prompted her to teach religious education to teenagers and together with her husband, marriage preparation to engaged couples.
Cynthia firmly believes in the dignity of each human person and has championed the cause of the unborn, as high school newspaper editor, pregnancy counselor and board member for a home for pregnant women.
She is an inveterate letter writer and has published articles in Catholic magazines and newspapers in addition to writing and editing for several newsletters. Diary of a Country Mother, the contemplative memoir of her son Tim’s life and death, is her first book. Cynthia’s Catholic spirituality, joy and optimism form the backdrop for this moving account that brings his life into sharp focus.
Cynthia lives and tends garden in rural Massachusetts where she also tends books in her small town library. She and Andrew have been married for 36 years and are the parents of four and grandparents of seven. Called to the life of a Secular Carmelite after Tim’s death, she has traded active mothering for spiritual motherhood.
Reveling in her fondness for the domestic arts and the peace of country living, Cynthia enjoys exploring color palettes both in her quilting and flower arranging.
Love this…will add the link to Trinity Bridge…if I can figure out the new format…LOL I did post the book, though! Love and prayers, Pat H.
I just received your book and plan to write a review about it on CatholicMom.com. I have to tell you initially that Tim’s birthday is the same date as our older daughter, Felicity’s birthday (though she is just past 3 years old now), and she struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder. After finishing your book today, I began praying to Tim for his intercession in her life, due to her anxieties and struggles. I also have a younger brother who suffers from varying psychological disorders, so I felt a kindred spirit with you in the journey of your year remembering Tim. Thank you.
I know Tim will be so pleased to have been asked. I will remember Felicity as well and your little one. I just jumped over to your website and strolled around a bit. Just lovely! You have two beautiful girls and all the grace you need to create a family after God’s own heart. I also noticed that we share some of the same favorite books. I recently read Fr. Dubay’s Happy Are You Poor recently and have been recommending it to others. Thanks for coming to “see” me and thanks in advance for the review.
With love from Massachusetts to Indiana.
Hi again, Cindy,
I’ve never been to Massachusetts, though I fell in love with it after reading your book. It has been a dream of ours (both Ben and me) to live in the country and to do some homesteading. I myself was raised a city gal, but I’m definitely a country girl convert! 🙂 Yes, Fr. Dubay’s books are great. “Humility of Heart” (though not authored by him) is another great little gem. I really admire your writing; your style is very similar to mine – contemplative, pensive, pondering. I’m working on writing a memoir right now about our journey with Sarah, so please pray for me. I have no clue how to go about doing query letters, getting an agent or finding a publisher!
I was once clueless too about the whole process of getting published, Jeannie, and slogged along from one website and contact to another. Are you a member of the Catholic Writers Guild? I know they have an upcoming online conference that would help. I will definitely keep you and your writing in my prayers and if there is anything else I can do to help, just let me know. I would be happy to read the ms. when you are finished and suggest some direction.
I do love living in the country and think it is a great blessing for children. It also takes a lot of work, but if you are the contemplative soul that I am, you would find it renews the spirit in so many ways.
God bless you and your family,
Hi again, Cindy, no I’m not a member of the Catholic Writers Guild. How does one become a member? I wish I had the funds to go to writers’ conferences, but I can’t justify it right now with our daughter’s medical care. I so appreciate your offer to read my ms. when it is complete and to offer counsel, so I will definitely take you up on that! It will most likely be some time, though. I’m aiming for a year due to the fact that it is difficult for me to write for any length of time. I have to do it in spurts before the girls are up in the morning or during naps (which, most of the time, is nap time for me and prayer time, as well)!
I do hope we can move in the country. I feel a tug, a call so to speak, to move in that direction. I already know it takes a lot of work from the small advances we are doing in our home – home canning/preserving, making homemade toiletries and baby food. That in and of itself leaves me with little time for friendships. We don’t live in a very Catholic area, either; mainly we are surrounded by Brethren, Mennonite and Amish folk. And don’t get me wrong – many are friends of ours and have been good to us. But it’s difficult to find common spiritual ground in our area, though we are connected closely with our home parish in the neighboring town.
Blessings to you and yours, as well! I will remember your Tim every November 18th. I do feel he is interceding for Felicity, who struggles (as I mentioned) more invisibly than our infant daughter who has a facial difference, does. Most people don’t realize that Felicity has an invisible cross, because she “looks” normal, and so most are more naturally sympathetic for Sarah. This breaks my heart, as you can imagine, but I have felt a spiritual kinship with your Tim now that I have read about him and his childlike heart. I did do a review of your book on CatholicMom.com, so I will send you the link once it’s live. I also included a link to your book and your blog on the review, so I hope you don’t mind that! Wanted to help you out a bit.
Beautiful bio! Cynthia you are a blessing!