Bizarre book "How to change your husband" by self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje" (Terry Colafrancesco, Caritas of Birmingham)
troubles faithful Catholic women and their families
Date: October 1, 2011
Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama
Content of the article
Concerned faithful Catholic women posted their following reviews of the book How to Change Your Husband by self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje" on Amazon bookstore. They found the book to be "un-catholic", "dangerous" and "extreme". You can also read the review made for priests of St. James Parish, Medjugorje by Adrian Reimers, Ph.D. from University of Notre Dame. 
June 12, 2007 review by Ms. Perusse: Mom of 6
"I really didn't like this book. I am a homeschooling mother of 6, deeply faithful, non-cafeteria Catholic and I thought this author leads Catholic women into dangerous territory and gave some seriously bad advice. The author uses a hidden identity and identifies himself/herself as a friend of Medjegorje. I think he/she does this to try to show his/her view points are based on authority. I have no problem with any of the scripture quoted, but I do have a problem with the interpretation of that scripture. The author makes statements like women should submit to their husbands even if they are being physically abused. The author also claims that women holding out on sex from their husbands plants great seeds of evil and that their husbands will seek sex somewhere else. I do not espouse holding sex from your husband out of vengeance. That is wrong, but I am studying to be Natural Family Planning Teacher and I have used NFP for the last 6 years and I know that in marriage both people must communicate and respect one an other. Not having sex during a fertile time for a non-selfish good reason to postpone children is seen as a great benefit by the Church. Men need to know self control too. The book never mentions NFP. JPII states there can be no equality without mutual submission."
This review received on Amazon, Oct 21, 2009 the following testimony on activities of self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje" i.e. Terry Colafrancesco leader of "Caritas of Birmingham":
February 28, 2011 review by Ms. Flood: Not a Catholic book!
"This book initially seems "Catholic" in its devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Blessed Sacrament. However, it takes the Ephesians quote, "wives submit to your husbands" to an extreme that goes beyond anything I've heard in the Catholic church. (I'm not a cafeteria Catholic!)
An internet search reveals many critics questioning the author and the organization (Caritas of Birmingham), suggesting they are not loyal to the papacy, among other things that would qualify them as a "splinter" group, separating itself from the one true Church. These may be false allegations, but I don't see the group defending itself against these claims.
And it all makes sense. The book's references are sketchy, no-name authors. Wouldn't a Catholic book such as this reference papal writings, saints, etc.? Where is JPII?
I would have quit reading the book after a couple chapters, except that several faithful women whom I highly respect recommended it. I think people believe that society's extreme hostility towards marriage and family justifies the book's equally extreme "traditionalism" (wives must stay in abusive relationships, a husband's infidelity is the fault of the wife). Erring on the side of conservatism is still an error! The Church doesn't oppose contraception just to take an extreme position, it opposes it because it is wrong! Bottom line, if you are a Catholic, loyal to the papacy, do an internet search on "Caritas of Birmingham" and "A Friend of Medjugorge" before you buy this book. If you're looking for advice on marriage and family, read something that aligns with the Church's teachings."
August 4, 2011 review by Ms. Jennings: Not everything that calls itself Catholic is!
"This was without a doubt the worst, most dangerous, not to mention un-Catholic book, I have ever read. I formerly had a positive impression of Caritas of Birmingham based upon the reviews of some friends, but having read this book, it has thoroughly discredited itself in my eyes. The "heroines" quoted in this book sound likely seriously unhealthy, emotionally ill, co-dependent women. For instance, what woman would have 14 children with a violently abusive alcoholic man whose last action before his fatal car accident was to smash his wife's skull with a hammer! That is sick and distorted! I felt incredibly creepy reading this entire book, every last page. What is demonic is the thought that our good and loving God made women little more than degraded animals to serve the superior man's needs and to coddle him through his life. Why are so-called Christians always preaching at women about being more humble, but not about men's need for this great virtue? As a pro-life, strongly believing Catholic woman, I am very grateful that our Holy Father has never spoken such disrespectful things to women. Love means service and we are to serve each other. Period."
September 13, 2011 review by Ms. Granger: Perpetrates abuse, and spiritually abusive
"My mom changed when she got this book as a "joke" from my abusive father. haha, sure. "joke." She changed for the worse, giving up the little fight she still had in her, and let my father steamroll over the family and abuse the kids.
You can download it for free off of the cult's website (Caritas in Birmingham) and see for yourself without paying any money for it. It advises wives to stay in abusive marriages even when the husband abuses her and the children, which is DANGEROUS.
One particularly appalling story the book upholds as a shining example of submission is the wife who remained submissive even as her husband tried to kill her with a hammer to the skull.
If you still are tempted to buy this book, please google Caritas in Birmingham and Terry Colafrancesco before reading the book. It is NOT Catholic, and it is NOT true to the story of the apparitions at Medjugorje."
All documents quoted in this article, together with additional detailed information on Caritas of Birmingham and self-styled "A Friend of Medjugorje" (Terry Colafrancesco) are available in English and Italian languages online at: