Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Annual NH Women's Conference
taking place on May 1st

NH Catholic Women’s Conference 2010
"Being an Authentic Woman of God
in Today’s World"

Saturday, May 1st
St. Theresa Church, Rye Beach, NH
9 am to 3:30 pm

What does it mean to be a Catholic woman today?

Come for a day of spiritual refreshment and inspiration as you are guided through Mary’s words to find the answers to this and many more questions.

Seating is limited so make sure to register early! $30 per person includes lunch.


Genevieve Kineke
A convert to the faith
who has written extensively about the vocation
of woman and her role in the Church.

Dottie DeGrandis Sudol
A member of the Charismatic Renewal, author,
speaker and leader of her own Inner Healing Ministy.

sister deborah, osf
A member of the Little
Sisters of Saint Francis will speak on Mary's Words.

Virginia Carmody
A cradle Catholic, school
teacher, mother of two and a St. Michael's parishioner,
will give her inspiring talk on the rosary.

Sponsored by
the Women to Women ministry,
St. Michael Parish, Exeter, NH

Event Praise band includes
Debbie Ambrose, Lauren Barrett, Lorie Bromley, Vi Richter, and Susan Bailey. Susan will also lead her Sung Rosary during the day.

Registration form available on or call Brian Harrison, St. Michael Parish, 772-3916

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spiritual Zest for January by Joyce Rupp

We prayed this prayer at our last meeting and loved it so much that we wanted to share it with you. Joyce Rupp was kind enough to give us permission to reprint it. Her website is at the bottom of this post. Treat yourself by paying a visit to it.

Each new year extends an invitation to re-enter the process of transformation, for self and for our world. This valuable process involves both a deliberate letting go of the past and an intentional welcoming of what is possible for the future. We stand at the threshold, looking back and looking ahead. We will make choices and decisions in 2010 of how we create our reality. We live on a wounded planet. We share life in a world where there is great suffering of humanity. But we do not despair. The Holy One continues to awaken us. We have what we need to bring peace to our world. This is my prayer for each and all of us:

To let go of the idea that I am separate from the rest of creation.
To welcome the countless ways that unite me with all that exists.

To let go of whatever keeps me indifferent to the suffering of others.
To welcome and act on the compassion and kindness stored within me.

To let go of past woundedness and hurts that I carry.
To welcome my ability to forgive and be healed.

To let go of aversion and avoidance of the unwanted.
To welcome people and events disturbing my comfort zone.

To let go of my inattentiveness to the beauty dwelling in existence.
To welcome the little joys and great wonders that are always present.

To let go of the pull of consumerism on my desires.
To welcome simple living and the bounty to be shared.

To let go of being imprisoned by self-centeredness.
To welcome the ways that life draws my gifts outward.

To let go of what stalls my spiritual growth.
To welcome quiet times to be with the Beloved.

To let go of worry about that which I fret and stew.
To welcome a stronger trust that all shall be well.

To let go of the desire to have a perfect life.
To welcome the taken-for-granted life that I have.

To let go of those who have departed this sphere of life.
To welcome the love and good memories they leave behind.

To let go of the old year’s troubles and burdens.

To welcome the new year with its wide open hope.

© Joyce Rupp

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Announcing dates for broadcast of Gather Us In Concert Highlights on Worcester Cable TV

February is the month! All month long, Worcester Cable TV, found on Channel 13 in Worcester, and on the web at will air specials covering the 2009 Gather Us In Conference. Here is the schedule:

"Close to Home" Special Part One - Paula D'Arcy
Monday, February 1, 8 pm
Tuesday, February 2, 1pm

"Close to Home" Special Part Two - Immaculee Ilibagiza
Monday, February 8, 8pm
Tuesday, February 9, 1pm

Other highlights from the conference will be shown throughout the month of February during "Close to Home's" regular broadcast hours:

Wednesdays, 9pm
Thursdays, 12:30 pm
Fridays, 1pm

Remember that if you don't live in Worcester, you can still watch the shows online at - it is streamed live right on the website.

The Commission is deeply grateful to Maureen Schwab, host of "Close to Home" and all of Worcester Cable TV for their support of the Gather Us In conference. They have graciously offered us all the DVDs from the conference which we will post on the Commission website at a later date. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Angels Among Us

This story was written by a friend of mine, Wendy Grady. It so beautifully points out how God is so present in every detail of our lives.

Five days a week between the hours of 11:30 and 12:30 I walk through a nearby park that winds through majestically tall fir trees and along the clear blue green waters of the Bow River in our lovely city, Calgary, the city I grew up in. I cherish this time alone where I can pray openly or silently pray to myself. Sometimes having wonderful conversations with the Lord, other times just reciting the “Jesus Prayer.” After three years of walking the same paths a strange thing happened. I suddenly noticed a squirrel run across in front of me with a peanut, a peanut? Where on earth did he get a peanut?? I looked all around me but saw no one in sight and obviously we don’t have peanut groves here in Canada. As I continued my walk I kept wondering where on earth did that squirrel find a peanut?

The very next day instead of my usual quick pace, I chose to walk lazily following my normal route, absorbing the bright sunlight and really trying to notice all of God’s wondrous work. I was acutely aware of the dry brown leaves blowing off the trees and rolling along deep in song. Walking along the river I noticed the suns rays sparkling off the crystal clear waters and the geese splashing wildly during their morning bath. Then I saw him, an old man who looked of Jewish descent, short in stature wearing a black hat and long dark overcoat with big pockets. From a distance I could see at least eight to ten squirrels of various grey and black coloring standing up at his feet chattering to him. I came up in total wonderment and asked him if he was feeding them peanuts. Yes he said, I do it every day.

In total surprise I said, “Are you serious? I walk this every day and have never seen you before, how can that be?” The man replied, “Sometimes I come a little later.” The squirrels knew this man most assuredly as they sat up with their tiny paws outstretched. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Then he quietly said something about the chickadees being thin this time of year and needing help. As he was speaking I followed his gaze to a branch of a tree less than a foot from my face and there they were! Tiny little chickadees, chattering away hoping the old man would feed them. Suddenly one of them flew in front of me landing on my left shoulder for just a moment. I gently put my right hand out and low and behold one of them landed right in the palm of my hand. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with joy that seemed to bubble up inside of me bursting out like I was a child with a new toy at Christmas. I also noticed the sun somehow seemed brighter. I just kept repeating to the gentlemen, “I can’t believe this; I can’t believe this! I have had chickadees nesting in my yard for years and never once did this happen.”

As I walked away I was in tears from the reality of knowing what I had been missing. Joy!!! At that moment I became fully aware that “joy” had been lacking in my life. It was a real awakening for me. Then I remembered last year while on a Mission in the West Indies a priest had prayed over me asking the Lord to “Bring this woman joy Lord, she needs joy in her life.” At the time I was confused, not fully understanding why he had chosen that word “joy” but now I do.

I truly felt the Lord’s presence; even the sunlight seemed brighter than usual. As I started to leave, squirrels were all around us sitting up begging for peanuts. The old man gently spoke to the squirrels and the tiny chickadees, and I honestly believe they recognized him. As his pockets were now empty, he said he was going home to get more seeds for the birds.

Wow! Lord I don’t know what to say except Thank You! You nourished my soul and brought light to my heart. It reminded me of St Francis, how perfect. Your wonder has never ceased to amaze me Lord. I took it all in like a starving child. The sunlight skipping across the river, the geese bathing and the sheer sheet of ice beginning to form at the water’s edge. This is God’s house. How blessed am I to know you so intimately? Your love for me is astounding. As I finished my walk I couldn’t stop the tears of joy running down my face. How blessed am I this day. Thank you Jesus as you continue to remind me that you are there in the simplest things.
Since that day I have continued to walk the same paths never seeing that gentleman again. I truly believe you sent an Angel to meet me that day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"How Advent Saved My Christmas"

Recently, a member of the Commission for Women (Susan Bailey) made a presentation at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Northborough, MA on how focusing on Advent themes and following in the footsteps of Mary restored peace and harmony to her Christmas.

You can listen to the talk (with music from her Advent/Christmas album, Wait with Me) here - just click on the title "How Advent Saved My Christmas":

You can watch video highlights too:

Susan wishes to thank Pearl Martino, another member of the Commission, for extending the invitation. It was a wonderful evening!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Listen to a beautiful song about Advent

I have a musician friend, Nancy Krebs, who has written such a beautiful and telling song geared for the Advent season. It's called "Waiting for the Christ Child." You can listen to it here on the player - just place your cursor over the song title of "Waiting for the Christ Child" and click to listen. I've included lyrics too. You can visit Nancy's site for more information at Enjoy!

© Nancy Krebs 1996

In the hustle and the bustle at this time of the rolling year.
In the merry songs and carols, only shrill demands I hear.
Grad the presents, make the cookies, trim the tree, and spread the cheer.
Forgetting constantly, the reason for this special time of year.

All the nervous apprehension, stealing joy in one more way.
Commerce beckons, frantic shopping, knowing there is one less day.
All this wild anticipation, we’ll be happy so we’re told.
But will the baby born in Bethlehem be left out in the cold.

Like John the Baptist, we need a desert
a place of refuge, a place of prayer.
And in that wilderness, in one small corner of our hearts;
we can wait for the Christ Child there.

In the hustle, and the bustle at the time of Our Lord,
John was sent into the desert, wearing skins tied with a cord.
As he fasted and he waited for the moment of his call;
both his heart and mind were centered on the Savior of us all.

Like John the Baptist we need a desert,
a place of quiet where we prepare.
And in that wilderness, in one small corner of our hearts
we can wait for the Christ child there.

Like John the Baptist we need a desert,
a place of refuge, a place of prayer.
And in that wilderness, in one small corner of our hearts;
we can wait for the Christ Child there.
We will wait..we will seek...
we will welcome the Christ Child there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent season reflection

Advent season
by Brunhilde Luken from her book, My Walk with Christ

Advent, a time to wait
Decorations and lights are everywhere.
The smell of Christmas cookies
Christmas bazaars
Everybody is so excited
Happy faces, Children’s eyes sparkling with excitement

What are we waiting for?
Will this be a new awakening

Yes we all wait for the birth of Christ
What does this mean for us?

We are running from store to store buying gifts for one another
Yes we give love with a little gift, a thank you
Love that God gave to us with his Son
That love that came to awaken our hearts to one another
We forget so often.
But Christmas, yes on Christmas
Now we allow ourselves to give a gift of love
And to receive that gift

For now we are waiting with excitement
For the celebration
The birth of Christ in each one of us
To receive the gift that God gave to us

Matthew 1:21
“She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus,
For He will save His people from their sins.”