November 16, 2007

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Wife, mother, teacher, speaker, writer and singer

Shirley Vogler MeisterLast week, I shared my love for Russian literature.

While that column went into print, I ran across the film Dr. Zhivago on Turner Classic Movies. Based on Boris Pasternak’s book, the film contained a line referring to Russians as having a “cursed capacity for suffering.”

My column, however, featured a book demonstrating how suffering can be a blessing instead. I wrote about Father Jim Willig’s Lessons from the School of Suffering: A Young Priest with Cancer Teaches Us How to Live. It is also available in Chinese and Spanish.

I related how Tammy Bundy helped Father Willig produce his book, which was published by St. Anthony Messenger Press ( after Father Willig’s death in 2001. Space limitations prevented me from writing more about his collaborator.

Bundy also envisioned and edited Father Willig’s 2005 book, Inspiration, published by Heart to Heart in Cincinnati (, which he founded. Inspiration is a 40-day spiritual journey.

They also wrote another book published by St. Anthony Messenger Press, A Retreat with Peter: Growing from Sinner to Saint, a seven-day spiritual journey featuring the saint upon which our Church was founded, Simon Peter, disciple of Jesus. It is also available in Russian—ironic since my interest in suffering began with a Russian literature class.

I met Bundy via her Web site, which features her own books, including The Book of Mom, based on a popular column that appeared in The Cincinnati Post; Catholic Mom 24/7, which won a 2005 Catholic Book award; Recipe for a Happy Family; and Of Popcorn and Prayer.

Bundy is also a motivational speaker, with one of her programs echoing yet another of her books, Listen with Your Whole Self: Hearing God’s Words in the Whispers. Once a week, she also reads one of her columns and discusses it with host Brian Patrick of the Son Rise morning show on Sacred Heart Radio.

Bundy lives in Wyoming, Ohio, where she and her husband of 22 years, Brad, and their four children—Megan, Katey, Ryan and Evan—are members of St. James of the Valley Parish.

As a side irony, she points out that they moved to Wyoming from Delaware, Ohio—still in the Cincinnati area. Not only that, she once was a teacher in London, Ohio, and currently teaches ninth- and 10th-grade English classes full time at Colerain High School near Cincinnati.

The Bundy family has strong ties to Indiana because many of her husband’s relatives are Hoosiers.

More about Bundy and her talents and insights can be found on her Web site (, where readers will learn that she is also part of a music ministry group, Cor ad Cor (Latin for “heart to heart”). A CD titled “This Side of Heaven” is also available.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

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