Women of Faith

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The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

A Mother Who Inspires us to Love

What if Pope Francis gave you a special mission? Wouldn’t you find it hard to ignore? I, for one, paid attention when the Holy Father issued a commission to me and my companions during a private audience in Rome back in October of 2013. We had gathered together for a study seminar hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity […]

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There’s No Such Thing as “Balance”

I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it. For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come […]

"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail)
by Edmund Blair Leighton"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail) by Edmund Blair Leighton

Want To Save The World? Start With The People You See Everyday

In June, I started a mother’s ministry at my 10,000 person parish and the response has been overwhelming. Though we began meeting over five weeks ago, every week I receive more requests from women who have heard about us and want to join the group. Here’s the thing I already knew, but my experience has confirmed: women are hungry for […]

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Women’s Leadership Conference Reveals the Gift of Feminine Genius

In a culture that lauds feminist ideology, many lay and women religious chose to respond to St. John Paul II’s definition of “feminine genius” this year instead.  In early June, a new women’s conference was held in Washington, D.C. with the title GIVEN, a word that, according to Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV, defines more than just the gifts we have.  […]

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Is Motherhood a Choice?

I recently stumbled upon a series of memes about womanhood and motherhood.  They were posted on Facebook by a friend’s daughter, and the one that immediately caught my eye was: “Rose decided not to have kids.  That’s okay, Rose.  Motherhood is a choice.”  In a string of comments following my “Motherhood is a gift and blessing” opening, I realized that […]

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Artwork © by Jef MurrayBlessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Did Mary Ever Have Days Like This?

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things—the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the rest of […]

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The Four Keys to Everlasting Love

Most of us didn’t receive an instruction manual when we became engaged.  We likely participated in the required pre-Cana classes at our parish and completed the FOCUS test.  But that may have been the end of our premarital instruction.  Once the wedding was over and the honeymoon phase fizzled down, we were left with a marriage—a lifetime.  Suddenly the pomp […]

Our Lady of MercyOur Lady of Mercy

Understanding Mercy Thanks to Mary

There’s nothing quite like being in a hurry and seeing the flashing red lights that mean that a train is coming and that I have to stop. I had this happen to me recently when I was on my way from my mother-in-law’s house to town. It was at a train track that’s on a busy highway, in a place […]

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On Accepting Help

I was in desperate need of Confession recently. When I finally decided I couldn’t put off the spring-cleaning my soul so desperately needed any longer, I scoured the Internet looking for a local church and made plans to go.  I knew I would have to bring all six kids with me because my husband was working and I was dreading […]