Celeste Behe

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Celeste Behe Catholic Speaker
Celeste Behe Catholic Story Teller
Celeste Behe Catholic speaker and storyteller

Travels from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Celeste Behe speaks from her heart but talks with her hands.

Known to her readers as "The Catholic Storyteller," Celeste is a Bronx-born Italian who tells tales drawn from her own experience, which ranges from a city upbringing to a turnabout life in small-town Pennsylvania.  Ridden barefoot between NYC subway cars at 1:00am?  Been there. Created the "worst May altar ever"? Done that. Had dinner with Jeff Bezos? Well, yes, actually! Celeste's stories are relatable and always entertaining, even while conveying the timeless truths of our Catholic faith.

But the stories of our lives don't always follow the expected storylines.

In her many years of storytelling, Celeste has learned a thing or two about plot twists. Still, she wasn't prepared for the twist her own life story would take when, in 2008, her son Leo announced in a provocative Reddit AMA post that he was "now an outspoken atheist."
Leo's break from the Faith came to the attention of Celeste's bishop, the Diocese of Allentown's Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, who then asked Celeste to facilitate a gathering for members of the diocese whose loved ones had also left the Church.
What started as a “gathering” became the St. Monica Ministry, a global support community and prayer network for the families and friends of fallen-away Catholics. The ministry's Manual for Parishes, an eBook outlining a parish-based program to bring our prodigals home, has been distributed to subscribers in forty U.S. states, as well as in Spain, South Africa, Malta, Trinidad and Tobago, the Philippines, Nova Scotia, Ireland, Australia, and Canada. Through the St. Monica Ministry, faithful Catholics are finding solidarity, solace, and the strength to walk lovingly with their prodigals. 
About Celeste Behe
Celeste is a blogger for the National Catholic Register and a columnist for her diocesan newspaper, the A.D. Times.  Her column, "The Catholic Storyteller," took First Place in the 2021 Catholic Press Awards. Celeste has been a regular contributor to Catholic publications for twenty-five years. Her articles, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Faith & Family magazine, Catholic Digest, and Today's Catholic Teacher.  Celeste is also an accomplished Toastmaster who overcame a crippling fear of public speaking to win more than two dozen awards at the local, division, and district levels of Toastmasters speech competition.
“Here Am I; Send Me!” 
Celeste formed the St. Monica Ministry out of obedience to her bishop. But she was convinced that she wasn’t cut out to lead a ministry. Over and over, she imagined scenarios in which she botched the job and brought the St. Monica Ministry to ruin.  Yet Celeste gradually came to realize that the Holy Spirit would not only make up for her shortcomings, but would provide everything she needed to accomplish the task that she had been given. All she had to do was follow His promptings.  If you are burdened with feelings of uncertainty, unworthiness, or out-and-out ineptitude, this inspiring presentation is for you. Get ready to respond to Our Lord’s call with Isaiah's bold words: “Here am I; send me!” 
Wayfaring with St. Monica 
When her wayward son Augustine set sail for Rome, St. Monica hiked up her tunic and boarded a boat in pursuit, even though ocean travel in those days was nothing like the cruise line experience of today. In her unflagging resolve to follow Augustine, St. Monica covered a lot of ground (and sea). She became a wayfarer, enduring all manner of travel-related hardships in order to stay close to her son.  In this presentation, we will walk with St. Monica in both her joys and sorrows, looking at what she experienced as a wife and as a mother, and seeing how her response to suffering raised her to the altar. Celeste will also talk about her own journey as the mother of four fallen-away adult children, and will share tips for staying close to our prodigals even while their restless hearts are wandering. 
Tales from the Catholic Storyteller
Celeste will prepare, especially for your audience, a humor-laced talk that shows there is nothing as joyful as the Catholic life. Please contact Celeste with the details of your event. 
"Absolutely loved your dry humor and honesty."  -Bayley M. 
"That was better than the spa.  I relaxed, laughed, and feel refreshed."  -Carrie M. 
"I want more Celeste-isms!" - Anne M. 
"This talk was AMAZING!  Thank you for the tips and for the fun presentation."  -Weronika M. 
"That had me laughing so hard I was crying.  You have a gift!"  -Laura A. 
"She is so charming, quirky, and delightful!  Totally the kind of mom I'd want as a mentor/friend."  -Christina F. 
"I am also an Italian Catholic and it was such a joy to watch you as you remind me of my grandmother."  -Megan P. 
"What a lovely, funny shot in the arm!" -Kathleen R. 

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