1 Samuel 1:27-28

For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me my petition which I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”

889 days. It was October 2014 when we decided to change up our NFP routine and actively try for children. It was sooner than we had originally intended, but it was clear that God had wanted us to get started…or at least try. After eight rough months, we did conceive a child who lived a short life here on earth, but is now our little one in heaven interceding for us. We continued to wait, pray, and work hard (surgery, elimination diets, lifestyle changes, somuchmore).

And PRAISE GOD! On March 7th, we found out that I was pregnant! While the wait was often not easy and many tears were shed, I could not be more grateful for how the Lord worked and for the timing of this gift. This trial has brought Kevin and I closer together, it has put our trust in the Lord to work, and it’s allowed us to take note of so many other blessings throughout these past few years that could easily have been overlooked.

Life is still a bunch of unknowns for us, but that’s okay. This pregnancy has been full of so much peace and a tremendous amount of joy. I know for certain this is the Lord’s work, and not mine (as much as I’d love to boast it is), because of these fruits. What shall we do for childcare? How will we financially thrive? What career changes might need to be made? Will our current living situation suffice? Will we survive without any family around? Lots of questions and no answers. But still, that’s okay. God’s grace is flowing and I have every confidence that these things will be figured out in due time. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” [Matthew 6:34]

Also, since so much time has passed on our wait (and yet, so little compared to what many couples experience), we’ve been blessed to witness many of our friends and family welcome babies (and second babies) into this world. We’ve seen our friends cope with tremendous obstacles during this season of life: military demands, life-changing prenatal diagnoses, cross-country moves and new jobs, postpartum anxiety/depression, and marital struggles. We’ve been inspired by their faithfulness and love, despite the difficulties presented to them. We’ve also been able to see the joy that a new child brings to their lives, even when the struggle is real. (That’s probably because we know such wonderful men & women.) They allow these hardships to bear fruit in their family life, and this gives Kevin and I strength as we embark on this journey. As well as a whole lot of wisdom to benefit from.

So while I could easily complain about how long it’s taken (I’ve certainly done enough of that over the years) and how much money/time has been spent on my health (which has actually been a real blessing), I sincerely thank God for this gift. I really trust that His timing is perfect. And if this pregnancy does not result in a healthy child born this November, than we will continue to trust that all things work for good for those who love God. But for now, we simply say deo gratias.

Baby Gearns coming November 2017 🙂

Community that spans years & miles.

I have no idea how to put into words the complete beauty and heavenly bliss that was our recent trip to Boston. Boston will forever be my spiritual home, where I spent eight of the most formative years of my personal life, where I also met my husband and began married life. Many of our friends have moved away from Boston by now (not all!), but every trip back there is still so great. The most wonderful part of this particular time, though, was that basically my entire college Catholic community (#bucc) came back: all of my best friends. (Fun fact: this is the first time EVER that my four best friends and I have been in the same place WITH our spouses – it was epic). But the big reason we all reunited for this long weekend?

FATHER MICHAEL ZIMMERMAN

Mike Father Michael is one of my absolute dearest friends. Christ used him in a very specific and profound way to bring me back to the Church in my sophomore year of college. It wasn’t that I had left the Church, but I was extremely far from God, living a life that now makes me cringe when I look back on it. And I was hurting in so many ways. From the time that Mike invited me around, he was a constant support. Our friendship became something truly special, and I was constantly amazed by his holiness and zeal (and goofiness – we always had a good laugh). He has a great gift of evangelization, and I know I’m not the only one who has been deeply impacted by his witness.

BABIES! My 20th birthday (hence my blue cake teeth)!

Throughout our remaining years at BU, Mike continued to be one of the most unique and important supports for me as I journeyed along in the faith. When he told me that he’d be entering seminary following college, it just made sense. And praise God, seminary is only minutes from where I lived post-graduation. So we still got to frequent Mass together (we recently laughed about this because most of the Saturday Masses at my local parish were funerals…sometimes in Spanish…but we pushed through haha), and grow in friendship. He also got to meet Kevin as the two of us began our relationship – a great joy for me! Since that time, we’ve had plenty of long distance phone calls as he’s been studying in Rome and we’ve made sure to get together when he’s back in the US.

2013 – Mike, me & Kevin – just before he left for Rome!

An Ordained Man

Our entire community has been looking forward to Mike’s ordination for years. It is just so evident as to how wonderful he is given that people traveled from California, Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio – literally all over. And the entire reunion and celebration was total perfection (minus the lack of sleep I got, but a sacrifice I’d happily offer again!).

The ordination itself was so moving, so beautiful. Cardinal Sean’s homily, the laying on of hands, the music (“Oh God, Beyond All Praising” – my all time fave), the new Priests! I’ve been to a few ordinations before, and they are always wonderful, but there was something truly special about this one.

And the festivities to follow – my goodness. Party after party after party. The reception for Father Michael was incredible – lovely and soul-stirring toasts given by Mother Olga and a fellow Priest, the BUCC community singing “Prince of Peace” (a college classic for us all), and just being in the presence of such phenomenal people. Afterwards, a smaller group of us went to Father Michael’s parents’ home for a late night barbecue – it was so nice to have a more intimate gathering with the newly ordained man.

We then had a Sunday breakfast at Mother Olga’s convent with the BUCC folks. How do I explain the grace that overflowed? Some of these people I talk to on a daily basis (looking at you #allthemarriedladies), some are still very close friends but with less frequent contact, and some I have not seen since college. But it was like stepping back into our old brownstone on Bay Stated. This community is real and beautiful. We socialized, but also shared graces of our lives as well as prayer intentions. Then we booked it to Father Michael’s first Mass of thanksgiving. Again – WOW THE BEAUTY. I can’t describe what it was that made this so incredible, but man it was. And Kevin and I got to bring up the gifts, which was so special! Seeing Father Michael celebrate Mass was a tremendous gift.

Reunion of all Reunions

The days that were not filled with ordination festivities were spent with my bffs. An accidental sleepover with three of our families in an apartment (a memorable experience), one-on-one time with a few people here and there, playing with the babies & toddlers, a ladies night out, living the joy that is growing families (there are now seven kids between us – some moving & grooving, some in-utero), and just enjoying the rare moments of being physically present to one another.

 

Looking forward to our big family vacation happening next spring. I think most couples committed whole-heartedly as we said our tearful goodbyes, pretending it wasn’t going to be many months until we [hopefully] saw each other again.

Thank you, Father Michael, for your yes. We all will be praying for you and your Vocation of selfless love. And we owe you a ton for this monumental reunion.

Alleluia, Alleluia

A very joyful Easter to you all! He is risen, and all is well with my soul.

This past Lent, like so many of my recent Lents, was not exactly a “successful” one (whatever that means). My personal circumstances have changed a lot in the past couple of months, and consequently, I wasn’t exactly doing as much as I had originally hoped. But as I find year after year, my heart flooded with joy at the Easter Vigil. Singing Alleluia brought tears to my eyes (as did most of the Mass). I was, and am, so grateful for this great celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. Whatever I may have thought of the previous forty days, I know that God was still tilling the soil in His own way. He was building up the hunger for the Easter season. As JPII so famously said, “we are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.” That doesn’t mean that we forget the cross; quite the contrary, we live with our eyes on the cross, but with the confidence and hope in Jesus’ resurrection.

Amidst my joy for this wonderful part of the liturgical year was (and is) also a deep sorrow. As we were so unbelievably fortunate to celebrate the beautiful Paschal Triduum at our wonderful parish (that we have felt so much at home with for the past several months), there are countless Christians around the world who must worship in secret and in fear. I’m not usually great at empathizing with others that seem so distant from my present state, but God has really placed this intention on my heart. I’m horribly ashamed of all the unnecessary interventions our US government has taken upon itself in the past couple of decades (and century, really). While we are fed constant propaganda meant to garner support for terrible wars, there are so many people suffering the consequences. I am convinced that the situation would be better in the middle east were we simply not involved. I’m not saying it would be perfect by any means – there are clearly deep-seated problems. But our government’s imperialistic plans have not made life for Christians any better.

My political ramblings aside, the situation in the middle east is a frightful one. And this Easter season, I truly pray that no matter the circumstances, all Christians may be able to experience the great joy Christ calls us to. And that God would particularly bless and console those who suffer greatly for love of Him.

P.S. The beautiful lettering above is from my good friend, Ashlie. Check out her new Etsy shop!

 

Finding Jesus in the Temple

I hate to admit it, but often times when praying the rosary I’ll be mindful of the appropriate mysteries on the first & last Hail Mary. The rest of the time? Distraction. It’s a real tragedy and one I am trying to work on. During Advent & Christmas, I typically pray the joyful mysteries straight through. This gives me ample time to really work my way through the infancy narratives (while simultaneously never being enough).

Recently, I was struck by something that I haven’t encountered before. I was on the fifth joyful mystery, the finding of Jesus in the temple – it’s a story with much significance in Jesus’ hidden life, but one which I so often gloss over. To try and stay focused, I’ll usually keep in mind one verse while praying: “did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?” I’m not even sure what that translation is, but it’s always stuck with me from a homily way back when.

So I was repeating that phrase, imagining Mary & Joseph searching for Jesus, finding him, asking why he would do this to them while they look for him anxiously. And his response, on the surface, can sometimes seem a bit rude. Like, Jesus – have a bit more respect for thy parents. But no. It is not rude at all. Jesus was not where Mary & Joseph expected or wanted Him to be. He was where his Father needed Him to be. 

How often do I turn to Jesus with my naive question: where were you? where are you? why are you not with me? why are you not doing what I think, in all my mediocre human wisdom, you should be doing right now? But now I see His response: “did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” I am just now starting to understand how He gave is the most loving, merciful, and just response of all.

There are [many] times we are seeking Jesus, seeking help and answers that only God can give, and we do not find that for which we are looking. At least for me, my mind will so often resort to, “obviously you just want me to suffer and remain where I am.” Well, maybe He does…in that moment. But I need to remember that He is always working, healing, and redeeming. It may not be in the way that I am expecting or wanting, but it is always in accordance with the Father’s will for my life.

“All things work for good for those who love God.” [Romans 8:28] Kevin used to say this all the time when we were dating. It was basically his catch phrase. Still, we usually will say it to one another when things are not going our way. Because while we are so overcome by the small details and moments of our lives, God is reigning over all of mankind. He is profoundly aware of our small details, but has the gift of seeing them in light of, quite literally, everything. 

I’m pretty sure that I’d rather our omniscient & omnipresent God do His thing than have me mess it up. So thank you, Lord, for giving us the fifth joyful mystery. Thank you for letting us know that when we feel like we can’t find you, you are assuredly about your Father’s business – which is always good.

 

Start building, start small

My love for Saint Andre Bessette runs deep. I don’t pray to him nearly as often as I should, but every time I think of him my heart melts with love. Constantly turned away and looked down upon for his physical & mental limitations – of which there were many – he eventually made a home with the Holy Cross Brothers (despite their reluctance). His placement was Notre Dame College in Montreal where he was asked to do the minimum – answer the door, welcome guests, and deliver mail. Talk about humble work!

At some point, he requested permission from the Archbishop to build a chapel dedicated to St. Joseph on the nearby hill. The Archbishop refused to go into debt and tasked Andre with raising the money himself. He collected donations over the years (“donations for St. Joseph”), building piece by piece as he went. At first, it was a little wooden shelter. This little structure grew & grew, people began coming for Mass, and great healings occured. Brother Andre did not live to see his work finished (which he insisted was impossible, because there will always be new ways to express this devotion), but what stands there today is a grand & majestic basilica honoring St. Joseph. The Oratory draws in a great deal of pilgrims every year, and for good reason. It has played a profound part in me & Kevin’s relationship since our first of three (we intend for many more!) visits in January 2013.

What strikes me so is that even with financial obstacles & little support, Brother Andre persisted his entire life with this one cause. While he never saw his work as complete, he also completely trusted with each small step. I know, in my own life, I’m quite hesitant to start something unless I have it all figured out. Unless the plan is laid, the details ironed out, and I see, quite practically, how things will fall into place. But not Brother Andre. He started so small that many probably thought his venture was completely ridiculous. Go take a look at the Oratory now – it brings magnificent glory to God and honors, in such a beautiful manner, the protector of our Church.

So I ask for Saint Andre Bessette’s intercession today & all days. For the work of our family – that we might not be intimidated or overwhelmed at what God is calling us to, that we might be at peace with each small step we are taking. And how appropriate is this quote by him: “It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the best paintings.”

Let’s make 2017 a beautiful year for the small things – may they become great one day! In what ways will you start building, friends?

Praising God in Weakness

Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. – 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9

This passage was taped to my wall for a while when I was single. It spoke to me in a really big way. It particularly stayed with me during Lent of 2012. God was working something in my heart, and I was feeling it physically. During this time, I was struck with powerful imagery of the humanity of Christ. The poor analogy I made was the scene of the cartoon film Hercules when he gave up his godly powers, but continued fighting. He experienced what it was to be human, and how that manifested itself primarily was profound physical weakness. While Jesus is far superior to the fictional Hercules, I imagine He experienced hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and physical limitations. Carrying His cross to Calvary was not a light, midday stroll. It was painful, difficult, and a burden He needed Simon the Cyrene to carry with Him. It was precisely through these moments of weakness & suffering, though, that Christ conquered. He reigned.

Now several years later, this is still one of my favorite passages of Paul’s. But it has take on different meaning. Since 2014 (maybe a bit earlier, but wasn’t paying too much attention), I’ve been struggling with a random assortment of health issues. Back in the day when I was so much more ignorant than I am now, I did not put them all together. Symptoms began popping up sporadically on top of things I had dealt with for years (but of course, was “professionally” told that all this was normal). So I really took my health into my own hands and began researching and experimenting.

2016 was the year of progress. I met with a surgeon who took my symptoms very seriously, and within three weeks I was recovering from a laparascopy during which they removed endometriosis. Then I began seeing a naturopathic doctor to continue my health journey – as I expected, we began to uncover much more. You see, for some reason, I was struggling with things like acne, daily painful bloating, stomach issues, back pain, random nausea, and continued severe menstrual pain even post-surgery. Much of this was all relatively new to me (who starts getting acne at age 25?!). Why now? And how come?

I’ve worked arduously to improve my condition, to eradicate these frustrating symptoms, and to reach a state of healing. While I had always been a healthy person by normal standards, I’ve done Whole 30’s, gone strictly paleo, and in the past six months been practically AIP (which basically means you never want to invite me over for dinner because it’s a burden on both you and me). I’ve swapped out pretty much any product in our home for a purely natural & organic substitute. I’ve strained the budget more than you can imagine trying to eat high quality food, while also eating substantial portions (it’s an effort to NOT lose weight). We’ve sacrificed a great deal in our life so that I can do acupuncture, take [the most expensive] supplements, do doctor-advised detoxes, and try out other occasional, but seemingly necessary, ventures.

And yet here I am. I am doing as much as I think I can do. And for the past month, an unwelcome friend came back to visit me. One that I have not had to really deal with since October 2014 when I gave up cow milk. It’s a golf-ball sized lump underneath the skin on my chin. The kicker is that unless the swelling really goes wild (which isn’t that often), nobody notices except me. But the discomfort, the pain, the inability to smile, the exhaustion of a long conversation, the difficulty with brushing my teeth or washing my face – it’s as frustrating as a mild health issue can be. I’ve experienced terrible illnesses & conditions in my life (besides the chronic pain with endometriosis, esophagitis takes the cake for the worst), but this one just seems to come with no explanation, interfering with my life in all the right ways. Why has it come back? After I finally felt like I was making some substantial progress all around? I have no idea. But maybe, just maybe, it’s something God allows me to experience, as Paul so beautifully states in 2 Corinthians, to keep me from being too elated. To rely on Him more than my own efforts. To recognize that I can do everything & anything, but He is healer, savior, & redeemer.

While I’ve learned so much over the past two years, I have come to accept that I may never know the source of all of these ailments. I can work towards healing, but even when I attain the type of health I am seeking, we still may not be given a child (which is what so much of this has been for). Some days, I wake up and want to cry because I can feel the lump or the pelvic pain. But I don’t tend towards tears, or even mentioning it to Kevin every five seconds (which used to be the case). I don’t love these scenarios either, but at some point I need to accept that God’s grace is sufficient. Even when my face is in pain, or my period comes like a freight train, or when we have to buy baby shower gifts for another couple who accidentally got pregnant. These thorns in my side at least serve to help me turn towards my Creator and to appeal to Him as Paul did. Because, let’s be real, if all of this were to go away instantly, I think there’s a big part of me that would credit myself for all of my hard work. I’d thank God, but maybe only in that formal way that I know I’m supposed to.

So while I wait (and work for) my thorns to be removed, I pray that God fortifies me in Him. That the power of Christ may dwell more in me & my weakness. That He would use my small suffering in a fruitful way. For all of this, I truly praise Him!

In Christ,

Katie

Let’s re-claim the Advent season.

Every year, Advent seems more & more overtaken by secular Christmas. And don’t get me wrong, it can be so pleasant to walk around the city with lights flickering all around, or to get my Christmas cup at Starbucks, or to hear Christmas music as I walk through Target. All of that gives me the warm & fuzzies. But it’s out of place! Because Christmas has not yet come! I’ve found myself pretty frustrated this year as I scroll through facebook and instagram (weeks ago, by the way) and read captions of “Christmas time is here!”…because it’s just untrue. And I try so hard to enter into the silence of Advent (which would be easier if I would simply avoid social media…working on it!).

The first Sunday of Advent we were at Mass back in PA, and the Priest gave a pretty on-point homily about this time of year. Remember last year when a bunch of people went all up in a frenzy that Starbucks was ruining Christmas because of their updated holiday cups? First off, Christmas does not belong to Starbucks. It is a feast for practicing & believing Christians. If you let big franchises and celebrities ruin your holiday, you may need to re-evaluate your own perspective on what Christmas really is.

The Priest’s point was: let the world celebrate how they will celebrate. If they want to listen to “Christmas music” and decorate their homes and have parties, let them. But we need to our part in reclaiming the liturgical seasons. Advent will not make a cultural comeback until those of us “in the know” start celebrating it as it ought to be celebrated. We need to witness to the world the beauty of waiting and the reason for which we wait. It doesn’t have to mean we shut ourselves off from the world during these four weeks, but it may call for us to discern where to sacrifice.

Let us reclaim Advent within our own little Nazareth’s. And may the choice to live the Christian way resound with those around us.

Election Reflection (see what I did there?)

I reluctantly voted. I did not want to, but have read over and over by Priests and Bishops that it is my “obligation.” I respectfully disagree because for that to be true I would first have to acknowledge our government as a legitimate authority (which I’ve been wrestling with for quite some time). And while I was quite undecided as to what I’d do until very recently, I gave in and “exercised my right” as the people say.

No matter the outcome of this, or any, election, our hope is not and should never be in government or its leaders. As human beings, we ought to do what we can to love our neighbor without government intervention. Government simply cannot take the place of people loving & serving one another, and to think that it can is a prevalent and dangerous thought into today’s society. All our government does is steal, use the threat of violence to accomplish its agendas, and feed the deadly sin of envy. All under the lie of “for the people.”

So how can we, despite the downward path of our nation (which is most likely to continue), still work for a better society?

  • Have thought-provoking conversations with others and learn to think critically. Most of us are very good at being proud, opinionated, and emotion-driven, which keeps us from seeking truth. (I am terribly guilty of this, but thankfully have a wonderful husband who has been helping me grow in this regard.)
  • Give charitably to individuals & organizations that you believe you ought to support. (And how much more so could we all do this without the government stealing our resources and using them immorally?!) Take away the government’s “social policies” (which often do far more harm than good) and it is still our moral obligation to serve others according to the gifts God has given us.
  • Engage in community! Families, churches, neighborhoods, schools (private ones, homeschooling co-ops, universities, etc.) – beautiful support systems that help us grow and live fruitful lives. Good relationships will lead to a better society.
  • Do honest work. Work in business, education, healthcare, whatever. Stay at home with your kids raising little humans. But do it earnestly, and have enough courage to turn away from corruption and evil when confronted with it.
  • Love your neighbor. Yes, it’s great to care for those in need all around the world. But we often do so and neglect our next-door neighbor. Your co-worker having a rough day. The homeless person you drive by everyday on your commute. The cashier at the grocery store. Extend kindness to the people God has placed in front of you and make real connections.
  • Care for the vulnerable. There are many among us who need our care in a profound way. Lend some help to the expectant mother who is faced with a tough road ahead of her. Show generosity to the poor in ways that you are able. Look after the elderly and disabled. Peacefully advocate for the lives of the unborn. There are so many people often overlooked that could use our attention. And be genuine – grow in virtue and see all of these individuals as valuable parts of our lives.
  • Pray! Maybe you don’t believe in God or the efficacy of prayer. I still think this is by far the most important. Pray for conversion of hearts to the truth. When everyone’s heart is converted, then maybe we won’t be so naive as to think we need select men & women lording over us and directing our actions.

May God have mercy on us all. The world, our country, our neighbors, ourselves. God’s goodness will still reign no matter the craziness we see happening. Christ is the Victor. God bless!

Given & Grateful

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This past week, June 7-12th, I had the absolute privilege of attending the GIVEN Forum hosted by the CMSWR (Council of Mother Superiors of Women Religious). The application required each woman to develop an action plan based on a need she saw in her parish, diocese, or community. We will all be held accountable for these action plans that are expected to be implemented by spring 2017. Once accepted, each woman received a full scholarship generously provided by sponsors and a grant given to religious sisters for the year of consecrate life.

It was essentially a group of 80+ religious sisters from various orders coming together to build up 300 young lay women (ages 20-30) of the Church through encouragement, formation, spiritual nourishment, and practical advice. I’ll be the first to admit, I was a little skeptical about the entire thing, but all of my doubts were cast aside upon arrival.

WHAT WE EXPERIENCED

There was something so unique about this conference, it’s attendees, and the women pouring out to us. It probably has much to do with all of the cloistered orders in the US praying for us (talk about a storm of grace). At first, I thought it was just me, but it wasn’t long until it was out in the open: every personal encounter at GIVEN was an encounter of the holy Spirit. Simple “hello’s” lead to life stories (mainly because nobody knows how to answer the question “where are you from?” simply – understandably so!), and instant connections were made.

I truly felt God’s presence in every interaction, every talk, every meal – even my roommate and I believe that our pairing up was of divine Providence. I had come to GIVEN with a lot on my heart: many unknowns and an uncertainty of how to move forward. And while this was a conference, not necessarily a retreat, I think we all received the best of both worlds and experienced what we needed. And finally, I was most pleasantly grateful for the ways in which the sisters mothered us throughout everything.

WHAT WE RECEIVED

It was evident that the religious sisters took this event very seriously; much prayer and careful planning went into it. Every speaker was handpicked and had a specific message to deliver, while revealing his/her (mostly her) own vulnerability. It very much felt as if each individual was speaking directly to our heart of hearts while masterfully contributing her piece to a beautiful puzzle.

All of the speakers were true powerhouse women (with a couple men for more practical talks) who clearly live out their authentic femininity through service to Jesus and His Church. I could go on and on about all of them (each one was truly a necessary part of the entire conference), but some of my favorites included: Sr. Mary Gabriel, SV, Helen Alvaré, Sister Amelia Hueller, O.P., Audrey Assad (witness & concert), Dr. Carolyn Woo, Hallie Lord, Gloria Pervis, Dr. Mary Healy, Dr. Catherine Pakaluk, Ph. D., and Dr. Elvira Parravicini.

While it was a packed schedule and I think most people went home in a state of exhaustion, we all knew we had received something great. We had been given something wonderful. And it was the perfect blend of spiritual, practical, and emotional to propel us forward in our missions as Catholic women.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Now, it’s going to take me weeks, maybe even months, to unpack the graces and lessons from GIVEN. But here are ten of my favorite quick points impressed upon us by the speakers:

  • We, as women, cannot “have it all” and that is not only okay, but it is good. Our differences matter and point to something much greater than ourselves. Our world resists the idea of two sexes and that there is a possibility for diversity to co-exist among complete equality [Helen Alvaré].
  • We all have a desire to be noticed because we are meant to be noticed. And as much as we desire this – think of how much Jesus craves our attention. Therefore, we must also take notice of the Church and Her needs, as only we women can [Sr. Mary Gabriel].
  • We must develop the capacity for God to work through us [Dr. Carolyn Woo].
  • We can plan a lot of things, but we can never predict how God will move mountains [Hallie Lord].
  • The best decisions are non-decisions – they are accompanied by joy [Luanne Zurlo].
  • If God calls you to something, He will give you the time, energy, and desire [Hallie Lord].
  • The evil one is desperately afraid of women who know who they are and are filled with the holy Spirit. Walk in victory [Dr. Mary Healy].
  • God did not create us to be at the foot of the cross all the time – it is a state. We are called to be joyful; we are meant for the resurrection [Dr. Amal Marogy].
  • We cannot right every wrong. We are not always called to fight evil, but we are called to always do good. And an abundance of our good can drown out the evil [Dr. Amal Marogy].
  • The most important thing we can do to have an objectively successful career, and a spiritually fruitful one, is to be an authentic woman [Luanne Zurlo].

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Finally, as we go forward with all of this wisdom and grace, ready to respond to God’s call for our particular life, I’ll end with words from Gloria Purvis:

You are chosen – are you willing?

Now, what are you willing to risk?

You are able.

a happy Easter!

Happy Easter! He is risen!

Despite me being a little bit lazy and out of it this past Lent (though, our Pastor gave an excellent homily about this recently and it really encouraged me even in my failures) – Saturday night brought such joy. I didn’t realize how much my soul was longing for Easter until it was upon me.

These past several weeks have been quite full. Work challenges, more big life decisions (and no resolutions as of yet!), finally seeing the grass in our yard before it getting covered in snow again, etc. March always seems to have a consistent air about it, doesn’t it? At least for me, every year that March hits I’m 100% ready for spring and the Easter Alleluia. And yet every year it’s a month that drags on and taunts us. That’s what I get for living in northern climates, I suppose.

Anyway, enough of the dreariness, it’s Easter! In all fairness, we’ve experienced a great amount of peace this winter/Lent. God has been merciful. It’s such an odd thing to say, but I just feel so at home in this Diocese and it’s really hit me in the past month or so. I could say I feel at home in Duluth, but I think it’s actually something more particular to the Duluth Diocese. Not sure how to describe it, but it’s a lovely consolation. So thank you, Jesus.

Now as we head into spring, we’re in a similar situation as we were last year (classic!): do we stay, do we go, what about work? Of course, we’re praying God will provide for us to stay in Duluth (which is not what I had intended when we moved here), even if our life looks a little atypical. But may His will be done! Because as I’ve discovered this year (and all my years…), He values our little leaps of faith and will make it work out for the best (even if it’s not what I had initially wanted).

May you all carry the joy of the Spirit with you this Easter season! Let us rejoice and allow ourselves to hope in the One who makes all things new!