Woman of Grace: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

 

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein, 1891 – 1942)

She was a brilliant scholar, a contemplative mystic, and a “liberated” feminist. At various times she was also a devout Jew, an atheist, a philosopher, a Catholic, and a Carmelite nun. Hers was a heart that hungered for truth, with a passion that burned with such purity and clarity that Pope John Paul II, whose own Mulieris Dignitatem and “Letter to Women” bear the unmistakable imprint of her spirit, canonized her less than fifty years after her death at Auschwitz. Read the rest…

Amazing Grace

Johnnette addresses Women of Grace Retreat participants

by Anne Gerard

My first‑ever experience attending the Women of Grace Retreat at The Malvern Retreat House was, in a word — AMAZING! The grounds of the center are tranquil and inviting, lending itself beautifully to assist the attendees in having an enriching and fulfilling experience. Read the rest…

Pray As They Say “I Do”: Jack and Johnnette’s Wedding

The wedding of Johnnette Benkovic and Jack Williams will soon be here! Praise be to God! If you would like to share in their great joy, below are some of the ways you can do so:
As a member of our Women of Grace® family
 
THE GIFT OF YOUR PRAYERS
 
 ARE REQUESTED FOR 
 
FOR 
 
Johnnette Simon Benkovic
 
and 
 
Jack Leonard Williams
 
WHO WILL BE JOINED IN
 
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY MATRIMONY
AT THE NUPTIAL MASS 
BEING HELD ON FRIDAY, MAY 25th, 2018

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Star Wars or Heaven’s Plan?

Today is National Star Wars Day and many of the film’s fans will be offering the movie’s famous greeting ,“May the force be with you,” or its pun for the day, “May the fourth be with you.” Judging by world conditions and the strife that abounds both at home and abroad, we could use some force and power to bring relief, order, and justice to our beleaguered globe. Read the rest…

Celebrate Women’s History Month With St. Gianna Beretta Molla

st.gianna.mollaIt was a tremendous blessing for me to have had the opportunity to meet Dr. Gianna Emmanuela Molla, the daughter of St Gianna Beretta Molla at the 2015 World Meeting of Families. She was there representing the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild, whose mission is to unite and encourage Catholic physicians, and those in the health care profession, to promote and defend Catholic principles in a public way by word and example, and to inspire sanctification in their lives.  Her inner beauty and humility radiates through her as she carries on the  legacy of her mother, who was herself a Catholic physician. Read the rest…

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Dorothy Day

DOROTHY.DAY

During a recent speech to Congress, Pope Francis highlighted Dorothy Day, saying, “In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement,” He continued, “Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.” Read the rest…

Woman of Grace: St. Josephine Bakhita (1869 – 1947)

st.josephine.bakhita

It is natural to express thanksgiving for being released from difficult trials and circumstances. But who would be grateful for those who cause such difficult trials or circumstances? This is the stuff of saints — the very stuff of which Saint Josephine Bakhita was made.

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The Life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Seton

 

Born Elizabeth Ann Bayley in New York City, Mother Seton is a saint of firsts: first American-born saint, leader of the first Catholic girls’ school (and the first free Catholic school of any kind) in the United States, and foundress of the first American order of religious sisters — the Sisters of Charity.

Elizabeth was born into a prominent Anglican family and was married in the Anglican Church.  With her sister-in-law, Rebecca, she tended to the poor around New York, earning a reputation for her compassion and mercy.  In 1803, she traveled to Italy with her ailing husband in the hope that the climate would aid his recovery.

William Seton died in Italy later that year, but in her grief Elizabeth discovered a new love: the Catholic Church.  She scandalized her Protestant family and friends by being received into the Church in New York City on Ash Wednesday, 1805.

Finding NSt. Elizabeth ann Seton2ew York no longer hospitable to her Catholic zeal, Elizabeth suffered through some trying years before finding a haven in Baltimore.  I twas there that she channeled her passion for service into girls’ education.  She also pursued her dream of religious life, fashioning a rudimentary habit in the style of nuns she had seen in Italy.  Other women were drawn to her, and in 1809 the Sisters of Charity was born, based on the example of St. Vincent de Paul.

Mother Seton died in 1821 in Emmitsburgh, Maryland, where her school still sands.  In her refusal to let the social pressures of her station restrain her witness to the Catholic Faith — in word and deed — she is a wonderful example for us in a secularizing world.

This is an excerpt from Graceful Living. To purchase your copy, click here.

Mary Visits Her Children: Our Lady of Fatima

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Today, October 13, is the 100th Anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun,” the final event predicted by Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children.  The miracle was witnessed by over 70,000 people. Here’s the story behind the story.

Nine-year-old Lucia dos Santos looked into the angry face of her mother and wondered if this was what the Beautiful Lady meant when she said Lucia would suffer. Little Lucia had never experienced such fury from her mother, nor had her mother ever called her a liar before. Indeed, her heart was deeply saddened. Yet a warm glow filled her whenever she thought about the Lady from Heaven who had visited her and her younger cousins, Jacinta and Francisco. Read the rest…

Manchester and the Rosary: A Call to Arms

“In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled
because her children are no more.” — Jer. 31:15 

In my bifurcated mind in that most horrific moment, I wondered who was slaughtering an animal in our back yard until I realized the piercing cries were coming from myself – a mother’s intense grief in learning that her only son had been killed in a vehicular accident shortly after his return from Iraq. It was then the Scripture passage quoted above entered into my left-brain to inform my right – “This is what it means in Scripture when its says Rachel wails for her children who are no more.” I am Rachel.

Manchester_Evening_News_Arena_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1931437Today, all of Manchester, as well as the greater part of the civilized world, mourns the loss of the young girls and teens who were brutally injured and savagely murdered by the attack of a suicide bomber who, I feel certain, was aimed at taking out those who would bring the next generation to life.  Read the rest…