Patti and Mark Armstrong live in North Dakota and are the parents of ten children, eight boys and two girls, including two adopted AIDS orphans from Kenya. Patti worked in the field of social work and public administration before staying home full-time to raise her children. As a freelance writer, Patti has published more than 400 articles for both secular and religious publications.
She has authored the book "Catholic Truths for Our Children" from Scepter Publishers as a guide to help parents pass on their Catholic faith, and serves as the managing editor and co-author of the Catholic best-selling Amazing Grace book series available at Ascension Press. Patti has been a guest on EWTN Television's "Live" program with Father Mitch Pacwa and Doug Keck's "Bookmark" program and other Catholic Radio programs around the country. Patti has also written many articles on the Catholic Exchange under her own column and for Today's Catholic Women.
Mark Armstrong spent nearly 30 years as an award-winning broadcast journalist before serving as the Communications Executive for North Dakota's Workforce Safety & Insurance, the state's workers' compensation agency. He travels and presents a PowerPoint presentation on "Our Lady of Guadalupe" to retreats, church events and conferences. He also co-authored the best-selling Catholic book, "Amazing Grace for Fathers."
As a freshman in college, I once told a friend that I would become a famous enough writer that people would listen to me. He laughed at me. Life progressed, I changed majors from journalism to social work, and forgot my imaginings. Mark and I met in the Peace Corps in Micronesia, fell in love, and married. Now I was consumed with the idea of living out the greatest romance ever known. Together, we looked forward to a life of love and adventure while I obtained a master’s degree in public administration. Children came, the marriage often struggled and life had its ups and downs. God was on the sidelines at this time although we did occasionally go to Mass.
Along the way, we worked as Jesuit Volunteers on the Flathead Indian Reservation and ran a group home for delinquent teenage boys in Kalispell, MT. I began freelance writing and kept having children until I convinced Mark to have a vasectomy after our fourth son. After Mark lost a radio job and inspired by apparitions of the Blessed Mother, we began to put God in the center of our lives. That is when the love and adventure really began. Mark had a reversal and we eventually had four more kids and adopted another two from Kenya. I stopped writing for the National Enquirer on moral grounds and immediately other well paying freelance opportunities opened up. Then, one day, I was inspired to give my gift of writing completely over to God. Overnight, all my secular articles had spiritual elements to them. I also was inspired at that time to write my first book, Catholic Truths for Children; A Guide for Handing Down the Faith. I soon became a Catholic writer and speaker. In the middle of delivering my first paid-for talk, I was flooded with an understanding that my long-forgotten-feeling that I would become a writer that people would listen to had actually come to pass. It did not happen, however, until it was all about God and not about me. St. Paul’s words in scripture came to me at that moment:—“Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31
Patti and Mark speak together and separately for retreats, conferences and church groups. Mark specializes in talks on Our Lady of Guadalupe. He has also spoken for Men’s retreats. Patti speaks on a variety of topics and can tailor her talks to specific themes. Past talks include:
“If God is your co-pilot, switch seats”
“Reaching your full spiritual potential”
“Mary, praying to her really is Bibllcal”
“Amazing grace for mothers”
“Handing down the faith"