Harris Funeral Home
1325 Oak St.
Penny Lord was born Pauline Eve Macaluso on September 23, 1928. Her father said she brought about the Depression.
She grew up in a faith-filled Italian home in Brooklyn, New York. Her Father was a civil servant. Her mother worked on a sewing machine in one of the many clothing factories in New York. She had two brothers who were both older than she. They both considered her the brat of the family. Not true; not true.
She attended a local public school in Brooklyn, and when the family moved to Richmond Hills in Queens County, she went to Richmond Hills High School. She excelled in that school, was a member of the Arista Society, which were all the brains, an honor she took very seriously all her life. When she graduated, she received as many awards possible for one student that year.
She had plans to attend a University in Chicago to study law, but because she graduated in mid-year, January, she went to Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia for six months.
She met Bob Lord on her birthday, September 23. She has always said it was her best birthday present. They were both in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She was playing a role made famous by Penny Singleton. Our Penny liked the name, and took it as her own. They fill in love, married, and were best friends and lovers for the rest of their lives.
The suffered the death of their son in 1971, from an overdose of drugs. They were both angry with God for letting this happen. After all, they were good Catholics; they all went to Church on Sunday. He went to a good Jesuit High School. They had embraced a group of juvenile delinquents in the Malibu Hills of California, who may have introduced their son to drugs. They left the Church after his death for four years. On January 1, 1975, Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Spirit inspired Bob to go back to Church. Penny was still angry with Jesus, but she went back with Bob because that's what they always did, follow each other. On May 23, 1975, they went on a Marriage Encounter weekend in Santa Barbara, California, that's when their lives changed forever. Penny reconciled with Jesus. Bob and Penny found a new way of life through the Church.
As a part of their newfound love for the Church, the Lord directed them to take a pilgrimage the Holy Land and Europe. It was more like a tour of holy places, but put in their hearts a great desire to seek out and venerate the various shrines of the Catholic Church, especially ones that had to do with Miracles of the Eucharist.
They started bringing their own pilgrimages overseas; it was very successful. Penny provided the love and Bob was the eternal tour guide. It was very successful until terrorism broke out in the Middle guide. People stayed away from the pilgrimage places, especially the Holy Land. They had invested all their savings into a Travel Agency, Catalogs, and advertising. Things looked bad.
Penny said the Lord told them not to worry. They had a treasure. Bob responded with "Will you ask him what the treasure is? We can't make our mortgage payment." She insisted they had a treasure. Shortly thereafter, she told him the Lord wanted Bob to write a book on the Miracles of the Eucharist. They had never written or published anything before. Penny locked Bob in a cubby hole in their office and told him to write. He could only come out for meals and potty breaks. She and their daughter Luz Elena fought off the bill collectors with one hand, and sought out potential publishers for the book they were writing. She became the editor from Hell!
The book was very successful, but it never would have happened without Penny. So in effect, she began her writing career with that first book that they really co-wrote. After that, they co-wrote 25 books on the Catholic Faith over a period of 26years. It was that first book that brought them to the attention of Catholic Television through Mother Angelica and the Eternal Word Television Network in Birmingham, Alabama. They had their first interview with Mother Angelica in December of 1986, and the following year began making television series on their books. They have been on the network 5 days a week for the last 26 years, and continued to be shown, the closing message "We Love You" came from Penny.
During her career, she co-hosted over 200 television programs which are shown on EWTN to this day. It has been said that on their programs and lectures, Penny said all things of the heart. Bob was always involved in the facts of a program of subject. This carried out throughout their entire career as authors, lecturers and television hosts. That was the way she was. Bob always considered Penny his showcase.
In the year 2000, the Lord inspired her to build Holy Family Mission in Morrilton, Arkansas, on 83 acres of land donated by Marie and William Freyaldenhoven. They have added a replica of the Holy House of Loreto and a Retreat Center on the property.
Penny always wanted to write books about meaningful subjects, their life together in the early days of their writing, in We Came Back to Jesus and The Journey and the Dream, and their last book together, Heroes- Popes in Hard Times, which dealt with enemies like Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini and the like. These books were very important to Penny. They dealt with her life with her husband Bob, and the heart of our Church.
In 2004, Penny and Bob were inducted into Who's Who in America. Penny and Bob were given the prestigious Poverello Award, the highest award given by Franciscan University at Steubenville, in September, 2001. They were also given a special award by the Polish Film Festival for a documentary they did on St. Maxmillian Kolbe.
Penny is survived by her husband of 55 years, Bob, her Grandson Rob Ziminsky and his wife Andrea, and their two children Matthew and Mark of Illinois, her daughter Clare Parker, her husband Bobby, and daughter Christiana of South Carolina and her adopted son and daughter, Luz Elena Sandoval-Lord and Raymond Joseph (Brother Joseph) Freyaldenhoven of Holy Family Mission in Morrilton, Arkansas.
Funeral Mass: 10:00 a.m. Monday, January 27, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Jack Harris officiating. Burial will be at Holy Family Mission Cemetery by Harris Funeral Home of Morrilton. Rosary will be Sunday, January 26, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. with visitation to follow until 8:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.