Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Busy Mother's New Year's Resolution to Pray

2013 New Years Odometer (Add Background Color) Personalized Invite
I gave up making New Year's Resolutions a while back because I never seemed to keep any. But recently, I resolved to try  to improve my prayer life and with God's grace in this Year of Faith, I have been able to converse with Him more often, more deeply and more regularly! So I wanted to share some ideas that have worked to create this (and other) holy habits.

The most important thing about a new habit is to start small and make it doable. It might be a wonderful idea to start making a holy hour of prayer every day, but how many of us can add an extra hour into our crazy, busy lives? But if that is our goal, we can get there if we start with baby steps.  Starting off with 5 minutes a day, at an established time and building the habit we can do wonders!

So to start a new habit, we have to know clearly two things:
What will the habit be?  and when will this habit happen?

Here are some ideas on new prayer habits, along with an idea on when you can do them. These are practical, tested ideas that can work. Read through the list, ask God to show you ONE that is for you. Tweak it in any way and Own It.

What: Morning Prayers      When: in the car on your way to work or school, with or without the kids. We pray the morning offering each day as soon as we get in the car. We have also been adding a new prayer or scripture each month to increase memorization. Just keep a written copy in the front seat to read/pray until you memorize it. You can also say it into the Voice Memo on your phone and listen to it. (CLICK HERE for ideas for a prayer for each month) Bonus for those with kids in the car: it removes the usual arguing among the siblings!
 
What: Meal Prayers           When: Every Meal, eaten in the home or in a restaurant or in the car (let's be real!) 
Decide whether you will say an extemporaneous prayer or a traditional prayer ("Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, though Christ, Our Lord, Amen") and then don't even pick up a bite of food until you pray. 



What: Evening Prayer, especially Family Rosary        When: before bed    This can be really hard with many children and activities. The only way to make it happen is to ask for God's grace, set a time and "just do it." The family that prays together stays together as Fr. Peyton rightly quipped.  Start with a short prayer and get it down regularly. Then reach for a longer prayer like the rosary.

 What: Daily Mass              When: check local mass times using www.masstimes.org 
 Daily mass is a great holy habit. Not only is the mass the source and summit of our faith, it is at a fixed time, that you can build in to your day/week. To begin this habit, just add ONE daily mass a week (like every Friday) Daily masses are only 30 minutes. Make it a non-negotiable, just like a business appointment, earlier in the day the better. Put it on all the Fridays (or whatever day works for you) on your calendar and book other things around it. When you get to lent, add a second or third day per week! 

What: Personal Prayer time and going deeper in Scripture   When: Before anyone else is awake, or after they've all gone to sleep. 
Earlier is always better. Start with just 5 minutes. Call upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind. Start with one of the gospels and read just a few verses. Ponder them, chew on them, visualize them. Re-read them. Ask God to reveal to you something about Himself. Praise Him, Thank Him, present any needs to Him. Say one Our Father and stop. Keep it at 5 minutes every day for at least a month before you try to pray longer. 
 

    What: Read more Scripture, more often               When: Every time I have to wait: in car line at school pick up, at doctor appointments, long lines in stores-any waiting time. I recently found an iphone app that makes this so easy, the Lighthouse Catholic Media Bible app powered by Truth and Life. Every book of the bible is available to read for free and the gospel of St. John is also available dramatically read in audio. (The audio for the other books of the bible can be purchased.) Your phone is always with you, right? So don't get angry next time you have to wait, read scripture!      Enter promo code 8846 for a free talk!                                                                                           
    What: Singing When: Anytime, anyplace  To sing is to pray twice, so why not keep a song in your heart all the time. Spirit FM 90.5 FM Tampa (or online at www.spiritfm905.com )is a great radio station to tune into. Just hook one song in your head at the beginning of the day, and you are praying all day long as you hum it, sing it, tap it, and pray it.  A great CD to keep with you is Praying Twice.  CLICK HERE to get a copy.


    A better prayer life just won't happen because I wish it to happen. I have to plan times and set reminders until it becomes habit! Starting small and getting into a regular habit is the only way. Remember, just pick ONE thing to start with. All of the ideas above are to give you options to find something that will work for you and your family, right now.

    St Paul says pray without ceasing! Pope Benedict has called us to a Year of Faith. Let's dive into it, improve our prayer life and learn our faith better, love it more and share it with others! Happy New Year and God Bless you in 2013.


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    The Lighthouse Catholic Media January CD of the Month title is "Pray like a Saint" by Matthew Leonard. Great advice and techniques for beginner or advanced "pray-ers"  CLICK HERE to join the club by January 15 to receive this title 








    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    Take the Christmas Pledge!

          My Christmas Pledge with Prayer to the Infant Jesus
    I Promise . . .
    1
    . To make my Christmas a holy day with Christ-----not a holiday without Him. 2. To observe Christmas as the birthday of Christ-----not  to give and receive material gifts. 3. To remember that the real symbols of Christmas are the Star, the Stable and the Crib
    -----not Santa Claus and his reindeer. 
    4. To teach my children that "Santa Claus" is the nickname of St. Nicholas
    -----
    who gave to the poor in honor of Christ. 
    5. To help one poor family
    -----
    in honor of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family of Bethlehem. 
    6. To send Christmas cards mindful of Him, the Infant Savior
    -----
    not decorated only with candy canes, dogs, ribbons, and wreaths. 
    7. To make room in my home for Him
    -----
    with a Christmas Crib to remind me that He was born in a stable. 
    8. During the Christmas season, in a special way, to honor Mary, His mother
    -----
    who kept the first Christmas vigil beside the manger. 
    9. To begin Christmas by leading my family to His altar
    -----
    to receive the Bread of Life. 
    10. Today and every day, to give "Glory to God in the highest"
    -----
    to work and pray for "Peace on earth, to men of good will."

    Nihil Obstat: Joseph A. M. Quigley, Censor Librorum 
    Imprimatur, + John J Krol, D.D., J.C.D., Archbishop of Philadelphia, March, 1964
     
    Prayer to the Infant Jesus 
    Come to me, O Divine Savior, vouchsafe to be born in my heart. Grant that, taught by Thine example, and assisted by Thy grace, I may be poor in spirit and humble of heart. Keep me chaste and obedient. I wish to live but for Thee, and to do all things purely for love of Thee. 

    O Mary, my Advocate and Mother, obtain by thy prayers forgiveness of my past offenses and holy perseverance unto death. St. Joseph, do thou also pray for me, that I may become daily more pleasing to Jesus. Amen. 
    WITH ECCLESIASTICAL APPROBATION 

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    First Week of Advent


    From our Pope Benedict today at his weekly  Angelus address:
    "The Virgin Mary perfectly incarnates the spirit of Advent;
    this spirit is one of listening to God,
    of profound desire to do his will, of joyous service to our neighbor.
    Letting ourselves be guided by her,
    so that the God who comes does not find us closed and distracted,
    but can, in each one of us,
    extend a part of his kingdom of love, of justice and of peace."

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    Adventures in Christmas Gift Giving

    Have you already missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Are you stressed about gift giving?
    Here is some suggestions on how to survive the season with sanity, from a seasoned mother of six:
    Three Gifts, Christmas Date Night, Santa Doesn't Wrap, Religious Gift and Extra Gift Cards.

    A great rule of thumb my parents used when we were young was Three Gifts each. Their reasoning was that the Christ Child received three gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, so three must be a good number. We don't always use the Three Gift rule with our kids, due to pricing of some big items, they may only get one or two. But use this rule of Three Gifts to curtail costs and keep it simple.

    When all the kids were under 10, Bob and I would do all the Christmas shopping in one evening. It was our Christmas date night. We would have one of the grandmas watch the kids (sleepover is best) and we would have a nice dinner out and then go to a MAJOR toy store.

    We always took this list with us when we went shopping in hopes of making each one's Christmas dreams come true and also to keep us from throwing in impulse items or getting more gifts for one child than another. To make a list, we used the ad flyers for major toy stores that come in the mail in early December. We always gave these to the kids and let them circle any and all the toys they wanted. We always told them that Santa needed ideas and that he could never bring all the items they wanted, but would bring some of them. This became our working list.

    Another list to have with you is a list of things the children already have. Home many times do you go to buy a new train for the Brio set and can't remember if you have Thomas and James or Thomas and Henry? If I don't write down Little Pet shop beauty shop, I can easily think she has Little Pet Shop hospital. Write down what you have so you don't duplicate.

    As the children have grown up and no longer want kiddie toys, the gift giving gets trickier. One thing that is always great is a family gift, that everyone can enjoy. Some ideas could be foos-ball table, ping pong table/pool table, basket ball hoop, kayak/paddle board.

    At our house, Santa doesn't wrap. 

    This was always the tradition in Bob's family growing up. When our kids were little, all the gifts were from Santa. And Santa doesn't wrap, he displays the gifts. One child's gifts are on the sofa, another child's gifts are on the chair. Not wrapping saves so much time and money and waste. Also, a time or two, it allowed us to switch a gift from one child to another after everything was laid out the night before to make it all look pretty equal.


    One thing we always try to do, not only for our own children but for gifts for our god-children too, is to give a religious gift. Depending on age, it could be a bible, a crucifix, a rosary, a prayer book or devotional book, a picture of a saint or holy hero or just a prayer card and a prayer. A Truth Be Told Download of the Month Club subscription is a great gift to inspire teens, click HERE to JOIN.

    The last several years, we have bought the restaurant gift cards that give a discount or a bonus card for after the holidays. We usually buy extra of these, for people we might forget. I recommend getting some $5 and $10 cards and keeping them with you. Extra Gift Cards, come in really handy not only for someone you forgot, but also for someone that comes to mind spur of the moment: school personnel, hairdresser, postman, AND for Kris Kringle gifts that your kids remember as you are driving to school in the morning! And if you don't give them away at Christmas, they are great to give to a mom with a new baby so she does not have to cook a meal any time of year!

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Advent Begins December 2

    Immediately after Thanksgiving, we are tempted to completely get ready for Christmas right away; to put out all our Christmas decorations, mail all our Christmas cards and get all our Christmas shopping done before the end of the day retailers call “Black Friday.” But let’s think — Christmas is not until December 25, so as people striving to grow in the faith, let’s conform ourselves with the wisdom of the Church and enter into Advent first.

    This year, the Year of Faith, we begin Advent on Sunday, December 2. On this day, which marks the beginning of the new liturgical year of the Church, we change to the “C” cycle of readings, which focus on the gospel of Saint Luke. This gospel contains most of what we know about Mary and is a great companion for prayer during Advent.

    The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. During Advent we recall the history of God’s people and reflect on how the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament were fulfilled with the birth of the Christ Child. In Advent we are not only preparing to remember the birth of Christ but we are also preparing for Christ’s Second Coming. In this four-week season, we look forward to when He will come again, and we pray we will be awake and watchful so He will not find us asleep.

    The very first day of Advent, make sure you have an Advent wreath. If you don’t already own an Advent wreath, it is simple to get a wreath of greenery (real or artificial) and place three purple candles and one pink candle in or around it.

    At dinner time each evening, light one candle for each week of Advent that we are in. You can say a simple phrase, like “Come Lord Jesus” or you can choose to use one of the readings from Mass for that Sunday. Have the wreath out in a conspicuous place, and it will remind you of the season every time you see it. For more information on the Advent wreath and prayers for Advent, visit wf-f.org/ADVPray.html.

    Here are some other ideas to help stay awake in the Christian life and live the faith more fully in Advent:
    • Get an Advent calendar for the whole family. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops offers one that includes daily readings, prayer suggestions, and action ideas. See usccb.org/advent.
    Start off with a good confession — the best confession of your life. Really prepare for this encounter with Christ through the priest. Pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament to the Holy Spirit to reveal your sins to you. Make a firm amendment to avoid these sins in the future. Bring your family to confession.
    Practice detachment. Go through closets and drawers and give away generously to the poor. If you haven’t used it/worn it in over a year, give it away. Challenge your children to go through their toys and give some away to charities that can reuse them.
    Give up some activities in order to give yourself some peace. Consider turning down one of the many holiday parties or don’t bake as many cookies and sweets. You might reduce the quantity of decorations in and around your home, or have the kids skip a sports practice to have a family night.
    Spend an evening walking around the neighborhood or a downtown park looking at the lights. Go with your children or grandchildren and see the season through their eyes. Sing Christmas songs as you walk — especially “O Come all ye Faithful.”
    Send religious Christmas cards with religious postage stamps.
    If you write a Christmas letter, don’t just fill it with details of your vacation trips. Use the annual correspondence to remind your friends and family just how special they are in the eyes of God or about the impact of the Incarnation.
    Welcome the “stranger” who is sitting near you at Mass.
    from www.se7en.org
    Become involved in outreach to the poor: maybe help at a soup kitchen, make food baskets for the poor, or gather toys for poor children. At one of your holiday meals, invite someone who has no family in town.
    Adopt a family from the parish giving tree or at St. Vincent de Paul and shop for them.
    Place lights on the outside of your house and in your windows as a reminder that Christ is the Light of the World. Let people see your Christianity from the street!
    Make a Jesse Tree:  The Jesse Tree is a way of remembering Jesus’ roots in Israel. Hang from the branches each day a symbol of an important point in Israel’s history. (For more information, see the Jesse Tree article at crivoice.org/jesse.html).
    Learn more about our great faith by listening to one CD/MP3 a week during Advent. Hear inspiring talks by great Catholic speakers such as Blessed Mother Teresa, Scott Hahn, Father Larry Richards, Father Robert Barron, and others on the go while you’re driving, cleaning the kitchen, etc. Also, a CD of the Month Club subscription makes a great gift, CLICK HERE TO JOIN.  




    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Thanks-Giving and Frying


    For the last several years, Bob has fried up some UM-UM-GOOD turkey for thanksgiving. This year he is at again, cooking today to feed our staff at Admiral C&B Propeller. It is a neat tradition, where we can thank the people that work with us all year long.

    Owning a small business is very much like family. We are proud of our propeller family and are happy to say Thanks to all today.

    This is a great talk for Thanksgiving. CLICK HERE to get a copy in mp3 or CD.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Fr. Michael Schmitz explains Authentic Love



    Photo: Great night with Fr. Michael Schmitz at Epiphany cathedral in Venice. Fr. Schmitz spoke about authentic love . Fantastic nightThrough my work with the Lighthouse Catholic Media Apostolate, I have heard talks by a fantastic, young, Catholic Priest, Fr. Michael Schmitz. Fr. Schmitz  has phenomenal presentations on our CDs and MP3s.He is the Chaplain at the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota-Deluth.

    Last night he came to speak at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. He gave one of the best talks for the times we are in. He tackled two of the most difficult topics in the Church and in the world today; contraception and same sex attraction. With compassion, clarity and humor he shared how Authentic Love is the yearning that we all have, because we are made in the image and likeness of God.

    Neither Contraception nor same sex attraction are easy to speak about. Almost everyone we know struggles with one or the other. When the topic is brought up, there is usually plenty of anger, denial, misunderstanding and division. When someone wants to share the beauty of the Church's teaching on these topics, they are often called "haters" or worse.

    That's why we all need to listen and re-listen to this tremendous talk:
    CLICK HERE to get an MP3 or CD

    Whether you agree or disagree with Church Teaching, this talk in an oasis of clear thought. Please listen for yourself and let me know what you think. This talk is for each of us, for someone we love, and so we all are able to better articulate the beautiful plan God has for all men and women~ His own life of grace and authentic love.

    If you'd like to get a FREE download of another talk, also by Fr. Schmitz, CLICK HERE 
    Just enter promo code 1380 on the right hand column under the "Welcome to Truth Be Told" icon.

    The free talk is True Worship and in it Fr. Schmitz gives three short talks on the how we can be transformed by the Eucharist. Using stories and humor, Fr. Schmitz reveals Christ's power in the mass and opens our eyes to what may be very familiar!

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Seven New Saints!

    Today there will be 7 New Saints that will be Canonized at the Vatican, Rome. Here they are:

    1. St. ANNA SCHAFFER, a lay German woman who wanted to be a missionary, but could not because of a succession of physical accidents and diseases. She accepted her infirmity as a way of sanctification. Her grave has been a pilg
    rimage site since her death in 1925.

    2. St. KATERI TEKAKWITHA, daughter of a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in upstate New York, will become the first Native American to be canonized. She was baptized by a Jesuit missionary in 1676 when she was 20, and she died in Canada four years later.

    3. St. MARIANNE COPE of Molokai led a group of sisters from New York to the Hawaiian Islands in 1883 to establish a system of nursing care for leprosy patients; 

    4. St. CARMEN SALLES Y BARANGUERAS, the Spanish founder of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. She worked with disadvantaged girls and prostitutes and saw that early education was essential for helping young women. She died in 1911.

    5. St. GIOVANNI BATTISTA PIAMARTA, an Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth for men and the Humble Servants of the Lord for women. He died in 1913.

    6. St. JACQUES BERTHIEU, Jesuit priest, who was born in Polminhac, France, and was martyred June 8, 1896, in Ambiatibe, Madagascar.

    7. St. PEDRO CALUNGSOD, a lay catechist born in Cebu, Philippines, and martyred April 2, 1672, in Guam.mail

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    St. Teresa of Avila


    Two great quotes from St Teresa of the Child Jesus

    "Let nothing trouble you,
    let nothing frighten you.
    All things are passing;
    God never changes.
    Patience obtains all things.
    He who possesses God lacks nothing:
    God alone suffices."
    – St. Teresa of Avila
     
    "Christ has no body now, but yours.
    No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
    Yours are the eyes through which
    Christ looks compassion into the world.
    Yours are the feet
    with which Christ walks to do good.
    Yours are the hands
    with which Christ blesses the world." 

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Blessed Pope John XXIII

    Blessed Pope John XXIII 1881-1963
    Elected to the Papacy October 28, 1958
    Called the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) but did not live to see it's end
    Beatified September 3, 2000
    Feast Day October 11, the date the Second Vatican Council opened.

    Learn more about this great man through the made for TV movie:
     Portrait: A Man Whose Name Was John
    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:
    Part 4:
    Part 5: 
    Part 6:
    Part 7:
    Part 8:
    Part 9:

    Year of Faith Begins today!

    Today, October 11, 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, begins The Year of Faith.
    In his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI asks Catholics to commit themselves to growing in faith by studying and reflecting on the Documents of Vatican IIand the Catechism so that Catholics all over the world may deepen their knowledge and love of the Faith.  Its beginning coincides with this Sunday’s convocation by the Holy Father of aGeneral Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.
    With the initial words of his apostolic letter, our Holy Father exhorts each and every one of us to recommit ourselves to the call of Christ received in our baptism – the very gift of Faith. His words stir my heart to respond to the Church’s invitation to go deeper.  In this darkened world we must all take this opportunity seriously and grab hold of the grace the Church gives us to enliven and embolden our Faith so that our lights will shine before men in order reflect the glory of God (Mt 5:16).

    Year of Faith 

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Picking up Pins, on the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux

    I have loved getting to know St. Therese over the years. Today I want to focus on one of the many great pieces of spiritual advice that she gives in her autobiography The Story of a Soul.

    "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."

    As a wife and mother, how many "pins" do we pick up each day...not to mention Legos, Polly Pockets, dirty clothes, wet towels, book bags, belts, shoes, socks....the list goes on. So instead of grumbling and criticizing those who don't pick up after themselves, what if we praise God for the opportunity to make a little sacrifice and possibly save a soul?

    That puts a whole new look on housekeeping! 

    In addition to the Story of a Soul, I highly recommend a book written for pre-teens and teens that weaves the teaching of St. Therese into real life situations of a fifth grader; Olivia and the Little Way.  A great read aloud story for your children or grandchildren.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    WONDERful day

    I was very honored today to meet a real life author, R. J. Palacio. Palacio is the first time author of the New York Times bestselling book Wonder. Palacio, who lives in New York City, was invited to speak to students at the Shorecrest Preparatory School, here in St. Petersburg.

    My fifth grade daughter and her class at St. Raphael Catholic School were able to attend the Shorecrest assembly. Their teacher had read the book aloud to the entire class. Additionally, following the school assembly a lucky few of us moms got to have lunch with Palacio and hear more about the writing of Wonder.

    So how did this all come about?

    photo.JPG
    R. J. Palacio on the right in glasses with bookclub
    Last spring a group of women in a St. Petersburg book club read the book Wonder. The book club found the book to be very special. Lori, one of the book club members, really wanted to meet the author and have her speak to the book club, but Palacio declined as she only will travel to speak to schools.

    Over the summer, Lori told me about the book and how powerful it is. I read it aloud to our four youngest children ages, 14, 12, 10 and 7. Even my husband listened in on a lot of it. We were all captivated by the story of Auggie Pullman. It is one of the those books you just cruise through because you can't wait to read what happens next.

    photo.JPG
    Lori and RJ Palacio
    Although Lori was resigned that she wouldn't meet Palacio, her friends were a little more courageous. The book club friends collaborated to arrange for Palacio to speak to the students at Shorecrest and then meet with the book club women for lunch. It was a dream come true, not only for Lori, but for all of us.

    Meeting Palacio was a delight. She is such a "real" person, a forty-something wife and mom of two sons. She works full time as a graphic artist at a book publisher. She shared that as a young girl she always wanted to read, write and draw and hoped someday to actually make a living doing these three things she loved. To write Wonder, she would wake up at midnight and write until 3 am because it was the only time that it was quiet and she could write uninterrupted. She did this over a year and a half!

    One of the main themes in the book is  to choose to be kind. That motto is catching fire and kids (and adults) can now take the "pledge to choose kind." (see below)

    I can't recommend this book enough. It is a powerful read whether you are the intended reader (in middle school) or a teen on up to adults. Here is the description from the book's cover:
    "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."

    August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

    In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

    I am so grateful to the kindness of Palacio for coming to speak. I am so grateful for Lori's dream to meet her and the kindness of her courageous friends who made it all happen. I left the luncheon with the most WONDERful feeling. Kindness really does make all the difference.

    http://choosekind.tumblr.com

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Scented Soap and the Saints

    Fresh Picked Apple Moisturizing Hand Soap - Anti-Bacterial - Bath & Body WorksSweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Moisturizing Hand Soap - Anti-Bacterial - Bath & Body WorksWe've had a dramatic cool front come through here in Florida this week. We have gotten out of the 90s and are down to the mid 80s temperature-wise. But all last week, before the cool morning breeze blew in, I was asking myself,  "how do we tell it's fall in the Sunshine State?"

    Two ways: Scented Soap and the Saints

    The girls and I picked up some new soap this week at Bath and Body Works. All the fall scents were out. So now each day, several times a day, instead of washing my hands in my summer favorites of  "Dancing Waters" and "Sweet Pea," I now smell  "Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin" and "Fresh Picked Apples," sure signs of Fall.

    But it is really the daily calendar of fall saints that remind me the time of year. September 26, Saints Cosmos and Damian, 27th, St. Vincent de Paul, 29th, Saints Raphael, Michael and Gabriel, October 1, St. Therese of Lisiuex, 2nd, the Guardian Angels and the 4th, complete with Pet Blessing, St. Francis of Assisi.

    To all of my northern friends who are starting to turn on the heat in their homes and unpack the sweaters and long pants, please drink some apple cider or hot chocolate for me and send pictures of the beautiful fall trees changing colors.
    As they say in the south, Happy fall  y'all.    



    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    A striking meeting on an exit ramp of I-275

    Guest post by Louise Barrett


    Our bereavement ministry at St. Raphael Catholic Church sometimes extends to people who are not parishioners for one reason or another.
     
    Louise Stock
    Louise Stock
    September 8th, our associate pastor, Fr. Dominic Corona, officiated at a prayer service for an 86 year old woman named Louise Stock. Louise had been a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, and worked at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in downtown St. Petersburg, with of the late Monsignor John McNulty who was diocesan director of Pro-Life Activity for years.  I was privileged to be at the funeral, representing all of the pro-life community who are grateful for Louise Stock's life and dedicated to the unborn.
     
    During her lifetime, we do not know how many children, (both those aborted, and those who were able to survive a crisis pregnancy when their families opted for life), benefited from her loving heart, prayers and tireless service.
     
    Mrs. Stock's funeral cortege, heading northbound on I-275, exited the Bryan Dairy/ 118th Av. Road about 10:30 AM, and stopped at a traffic blockade while President Obama, heading Southbound on I-275, exited the Bryan Dairy/ 118th Av.  at approximately 10:40 AM.
     
    Mrs. Stock's hearse, containing the coffin of our valiant pro life woman, waited on a ramp road overlooking the presidential route.
     
    I prayed for our President, as he drove by, that he, too, one day would protect innocent life from the moment of conception; that he would one day be a pro-life hero for his beautiful daughters and future grandchildren.
     
    At this moment, surely planned by God,  two people passed one another at a busy highway intersection. One is internationally famous and one lived a mostly hidden life, known only by God, her family and friends. At this moment, Louise Stock stood witness to the unborn for her final time here on earth.
     
     As if there was any question, Louise is buried feet away from the monument at Calvary Cemetery dedicated to the Holy Innocents- the ones who have died through abortion.



    Louise Barrett
    Allen & Louise Barrett
    Louise Barrett is a committed Catholic who always shows the love of Jesus to people she meets. She is a wife and mother of 4, a pro-life activist, a bereavement ministry member, a catechist, a nursing home ministry head and a  parishioner at St. Raphael Catholic Church, St. Petersburg, FL.