Catholic Housewife


Based in San Francisco, this memoir traces a forty-year marriage through the sexual revolution in the 1970s and the materialism of the 1980s. The author keeps hope alive in spite of personal tragedy occurring in 1993.

Carmen Hartono discusses the global, religious, and political thinking of the new millennium. A Roman Catholic from El Salvador, her husband is from Indonesia and holds Muslim values. God’s plan further unfolds when their daughter moves to New York and marries a Jewish man.

The author comes to realize that there is something or someone greater in life that transcends everyday existence. And though her life’s journey takes her to a world beyond her wildest dreams, she must also learn to accept devastating grief.

Hartono sees an existence beyond the physical and material world. She repeatedly asks,  “Is this a coincidence or another God-incidence?” She concludes that eternal life is love everlasting.

The author wrote ‘Chronicles of a Catholic Housewife: Forty Years Toward the Promised Land’ as an effort to clear misunderstandings about the Catholic Church, Latin America, and the definition of marriage.


“So what do you do?” A nice man asks me what should be a simple question.
John and I are attending a gathering at a local watering hole. Avoiding the spiritual, we stand sipping our spirits.
Ah, the question, “So what do you do?”

“I arranged for Santa to come early in the morning on December 25th,” John tells me. We are preparing for baby Nick’s first Christmas.
“You mean you bought a Santa outfit to wear?” I want clarification.
“No, I called the public library and asked them where I can find Santa.” John’s faith in the American dream astounds me.

I ask, ‘Does someone out there have an agenda?’ I’m pondering if I am destined to follow a divine plan.

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