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noreen madden mcinnes


Discover how the Lord accompanied my parents through sickness, aging and dying with Sacraments, prayer, and Irish Catholic spirituality to the threshold of heaven. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll renew your faith in the Lord. #keepatitriley

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"Keep at It, Riley!" is a memoir of how Catholic faith accompanied my family through the sickness and death of my elderly parents. Though many mistakenly see aging and dying as a downward spiral, when viewed through the lens of faith, it is instead an upward journey home to God. We are comforted knowing the best is yet to come when we invite God into our suffering through the sacraments, liturgy, and prayer. Ministering to my parents was challenging, not a burden - but a blessing and a glimpse of heaven. My Irish Catholic upbringing gave me all the strength, humor, and faith I needed. Our family motto, “Keep at It, Riley!” sums it up well. We don’t give up; we never quit; we give it to God.




In Keep at It, Riley, Noreen Madden McInnes has skillfully woven into a deeply personal testimony to the life and death of her parents an intricate reflection upon the sacramental life of the Church and the depth and breadth of Catholic faith and spirituality.  The author’s mastery of the Church’s liturgical theology is constantly embedded within the profoundly human realities that form the sacramental nature of our life on this earth.

Keep at It, Riley is an Irish sweater woven with sacraments, Irish spirituality, and family stories.  McInnes’s life experiences shed light on the value of Catholic ritual in real time.

A great read! 

Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy
Bishop of San Diego 

Keep at It, Riley! is a wonderful piece of practical theology. Noreen McInnes infuses her real-life experience into the narrative of sacramental theology and succeeds in integrating her academic studies with her personal faith. There are some passages that moved me to tears, while at other times her wonderful sense of humor had me howling with laughter.

I commend her for this important work.

Most Reverend John P. Dolan
Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego 

In a world that often pushes death and suffering to the margins, Noreen McInnes proposes another possibility: welcoming the sick, the suffering, and, yes, the dying, into the center of our lives. Part family history, part memoir, Keep at It, Riley! weaves together personal experience and theological reflection to illuminate God’s nearness to us. Anyone who has accompanied a loved one to the threshold of this life will recognize McInnes’ honesty, humor, and humility as marks of deep faith. 

Rev. Michael S. Driscoll,
Professor Emeritus of Theology,
University of Notre Dame

Jessica Keating Floyd,
Office of Life and Human Dignity, University of Notre Dame

In The Press


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Ep. 201 You want to meet someone who is a

devoted Irish Catholic, who went to Notre Dame?

Well, Keep at it Riley! I

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News and Events





The Christmas our home became Bethlehem

Noreen Madden McInnes

Dec 20, 2022 • 2 Min Read


I am a Catholic wife, mother, and grandmother. Born and raised in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, now residing in San Diego with my beloved husband of forty years. I earned an MA in Theology with a concentration in Liturgy from the University of Notre Dame and a DMin in Liturgical Catechesis from the Catholic University of America. Since 2014 I have  served as the Director of Liturgy & Spirituality for the Diocese of San Diego. I have a passion for liturgy and take great joy in sharing it with others.



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