Novena for the advancement of Venerable Solanus’ Cause for Beatification

Solanus_CaseyFr. Solanus often encouraged people to pray for vocations just as he did to discern his own calling to the Capuchin Order.  It is related in his biography that he invited his mother and sister to join him in a novena of prayer before the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1896 to determine which Religious Order he should enter.  At the end of their novena after Holy Communion, he felt Our Lady was telling him “go to Detroit.”  That meant going to the Capuchins whose headquarters were in Detroit.  Many years later he made a short reference to this in a small notebook found among his writings.

Knowing how special this novena was for him, we at the Guild Office invite you to join us in a private novena from November 30 to December 8, ( making this in connection with Fr. Solanus’ novena)  to pray for the advancement of Venerable Solanus’ Cause for Beatification.  But as well to add your own intention for discernment of ones life’s path, with a vocation, or other special needs for yourself or loved ones.

The novena maybe prayed privately at a time and place of your own choice with prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Prayers are posted on our web site at www.solanuscasey.org or call (313-579-2100 ext. 161).

Facilitator Spotlight: Vicki Crispo

Vicki & Johnnette

Our Women of Grace® Facilitators are truly on the frontline of the cultural battlefield of souls.  Through the gifts of receptivity, trust, and surrender, they are assisting women around the world to gain a deeper understanding of their call and vocation to authentic femininity and spiritual motherhood.  Each month, we will highlight one of our facilitators and how they are using Women of Grace® to touch the lives of women in their hometowns.   Vicki Crispo is a leader in the Women of Grace® movement and her story is below.

My Women of Grace® journey began in 2003 at the first conference in Doylestown, Pa.  I had recently experienced  a tug at my heart by Our Lady to help bring her to other women, and she lead me to that inaugural conference.  It was life changing.  All the truth about who I was and why I was came into a clear focus that weekend.  I experienced this transformation immediately and completely and was blessed that another woman from my parish, Peggy Pritchard was there as well and since that moment we have been on this journey together.  In those early years, we jokingly called ourselves “Women of Grace® Groupies” because we attended all the conferences.

Looking to the future, we also anticipate working with our diocesan Adult Ed coordinator to offer the Women of Grace® study to parishes through presentations to the pastors.  All of course is in the hands of Our Lady in her perfect timing!  To whom much has been given, much will be asked!

When the Foundational Study was finally unveiled in Chicago in 2005, we brought it home to Pennsylvania and began offering it to our closest circle of friends, and then to anyone who felt called to it.  Always it was Our Lady who called the women; our job was simply to trust HER with each group.  When the women registered for a study group, we immediately sent them the novena to the Holy Spirit to begin praying.  When we met for that first evening, we all prayed that novena together and that set the tone for the whole study.  He was in charge and Our Lady would ultimately be our facilitator. 

We named each group after Our Lady:  Ave Maria, Magnificat, Lourdes, Guadalupe etc.  Her presence with us was so tangible.  Women would complete the study and immediately want to repeat it.  Some repeated it 3 or 4 times.  When challenges or glitches occurred, we invoked the assistance of “Our Lady Undoer of Knots” trusting that she would intercede.  As we were enrolled in the school of Our Mother and learned to sit at her feet, she taught us to put aside our opinions and egos and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work. Before we left each session, we exchanged nametags so each woman would have her special prayer sister and would have an opportunity to voice what her prayer need was until the next session. 

We tried to be creative and offer the study in unique ways such as a summer study for teachers or moms who were able to get childcare during the summer.  Some women had lives that just did not permit extra time to do the study guide, so those women did what reading they could in the text yet still gleaned so much from the videos and discussions. The key is and always will be hospitality. We simply need to place Our Lady in our heart then as the warmth and tenderness of Our Lady shines through us, each woman is touched by Her Son. 

The Women of Grace® message and mission took such root in my life that my husband’s life was deeply touched and he credits my transformation for his following the prompting of the Holy Spirit as well. In 2007 he was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate in our diocese. 

Following Our Mother’s lead as we learned in session 8 of the study, Peggy and I became lay associates of the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, dedicated for life to pray and work for the sanctity of life.  Immediately we began a monthly outreach to post abortive women.  In this way we live out our call to spiritual motherhood as we offer recovering women an opportunity to experience authentic femininity and sisterhood in Christ in a confidential setting. Very often we find ourselves using elements from the WOG study in these sessions.

In January, 2011 we will begin to offer monthly mini retreat “Mornings of Grace”  for any women in our region who are Women of Grace® alumni or who simply long to connect with other authentically feminine spiritual mothers of grace.  These mornings will feature opportunity for Holy Mass, light breakfast, a DVD of a Women of Grace® Show, sharing, testimony of a Woman of Grace, and prayer for healing and renewal.

To find out more about how you can become a Women of Grace® facilitator, please contact us at 1-800-558-5452 or visit our website at www.womenofgrace.com.  If you are a facilitator and want to submit your story for the Facilitator Spotlight, please e-mail us at isabelle@lhla.org.

Polygamist Survivor Says “Sister Wives” is a Farce

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Rebecca Kimbel, who escaped from imposed polygamy at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) says the so-called “reality” show known as Sister Wives is not reality at all but an attempt to deceive the public into accepting polygamist cults.

Read the rest…

Canadian Case May Lead to Legalization of Polygamy

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

A case involving the constitutionality of polygamous relationships is set to begin in British Columbia (BC) on Monday and could result in Canada becoming the first country in the developed world to lift the prohibition on multiple-partner marriages.

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Putting the “Giving” In Thanksgiving

105697606If you’re like most Americans, you are already busily preparing for the Thanksgiving feast.  The grocery list is finalized, the coupons are clipped, the recipes have been selected and the house has been cleaned from top to bottom.  You’ve already dug out your favorite holiday movies and games and are putting the final touches on the table setting.  

As we celebrate our bountiful blessings, we as Catholic Christians are called to be mindful of those who suffer from want this Thanksgiving.  Growing numbers of Americans are jobless or homeless this year.  Some who do work are struggling with the rising prices of food and other commodities.  Our local charities are already running short of the necessary supplies to provide meals for those in need.  Many are lonely or struggling with illness or hardship.  The holidays are especially difficult for these individuals because the joy of others can magnify what they lack.  It is through our gifts of love and generosity that they receive the peace of Christ and experience joy in the midst of suffering.

Here are a few ways to help those in need this Thanksgiving:

  1. Volunteer at your local food pantry or kitchen.  One of our favorite local charities is the Trinity Cafe.  Guests are served a hot meal prepared by a professional chef  and served by volunteer waiters on covered tables with china and silverware.  Their mission is to restore a sense of dignity to our hungry and homeless neighbors by serving a nutritious meal while nourishing souls through acts of acceptance, compassion, love and respect.
  2. Support a soldier.  There are many ways you can provide support to a soldier – send a care package, visit your local VA hospital, send a letter or card.  A unique way to show support is through the Ranger Rosary Ministry.  They recruit individuals to make combat rosaries which are donated to military chaplains for distribution to soldiers in combat zones.  This is a great family project, especially for those with children 10 years and older. 
  3. Donate clothing to your local St. Vincent De Paul.  Now is the ideal time for the entire family to go through their closets and clear out clothing that is no longer useful, wearable, ill-fitting, etc.  My rule of thumb, if I haven’t touched it in the last year, donate it!  My other rule is not to put anything new in the closet until I donate something that I no longer wear.
  4. Visit a sick or elderly relative or friend.  Those who are stuggling with illness or old age are often left feeling very alone during the holidays.   Make a point of going to visit someone you know in a nursing home or hospital.  If you don’t know someone, visit a stranger.  Many of our elderly have no living relatives and they receive few visitors.  Consider bringing your teenager with you.  This is a wonderful opportunity to teach them the value of life at every stage or condition.
  5. Invite a lonely friend or family member over for dinner or take them with you to Holy Mass on Thankgiving day.  Everyone has a family member or friend who is lonely or extra challenging to be around.  They may be the person that no one wants around because they seem to inspire tension.  Or perhaps someone you know is a recent widow or widower.  This may be just the person the Lord is calling you to welcome to your family table or bring with you to the Thanksgiving mass.

By reaching out to others and living the corporal works of mercy, we bring them the hope, help and inspiration to experience greater joy during the holiday season.  We in turn meet Jesus Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters and have a deeper gratitude for His many, many blessings.

Guided Imagery and Visualization

JB asks: “I would like to know if relaxation exercises such as visualization and abdominal breathing who have proven to relieve anxiety are accepted by our Faith. I’m not talking about visualizations where one’s soul supposedly “leaves the body” or anything weird like that but those where one thinks about a scenery and after a while releases fears and stress somewhere (perhaps a cloud, a hole in the ground, etc.) or sees them fade or disintegrate.”

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