St Elizabeth Ann Seton and a small band of sisters moved to Emmitsburg MD in 1809. A friendship was born between Mother Seton, as she was known then, and Father John DuBois. Her small group accepted Fr. DuBois’ hospitality and lived for six weeks in his mountain cabin while their first home in the Valley, the Stone House, was readied. Elizabeth and her sisters founded Saint Joseph’s Academy and Free School, which eventually evolved into St. Joseph College.

When I moved to Whiting and St Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in December, I felt like I’d come full  circle. You see, I was a student at St. Joseph College in the late 60’s. I’ve walked the ground St Elizabeth Ann Seton trod with her sisters and her children, and I’ve climbed the mountain where she stayed in Fr. DuBois’ cabin.

When I arrived freshman year, I was a Protestant. I wasn't require to take the Scripture classes or to attend mass, but I did. There were the usual college campus distractions, but I was hearing a clear call to investigate this Catholicism that was all around me. I studied the Baltimore catechism with the college chaplain for several months, all the while attending mass nearly every day.

Like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, I came to see the Blessed Virgin as my own mother. Like her, too, I fell in love with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It was almost painful for me to remain on my knees while others went forward to receive Holy Communion. Finally, six months after arriving at St. Joe’s, I became a Catholic; the next day I was privileged to receive the Blessed Sacrament for the first time.

My Protestant family did not ostracize me like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s did, but they were none too happy. Nor were they pleased when I married a good man from the Catholic men’s college down the road, but they eventually got over it. Many years later, I sponsored my own mother as she made her profession of faith and entered the Catholic Church. I thank God for Mother Seton’s little school that grew into the fine college that brought me and my mother into the Church.


Thanks to Sister Clara for this beautiful, thought provoking video on gratitude.  (Full narration begins at :43) 


SCHEDULE UPDATE:  We received word from Epiphany that due to work being done in the church, they have had to rearrange meeting locations for the various ministries and groups.  Because of this we will not be able to meet for School of Leaders on Friday March 21.  
With Lenten observances and parish activities during this time, it has been decided that School of Leaders for March will be cancelled.  

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:   We hope you can join us on April 12 for a special day to listen, discuss, reflect and share on three stories from the series by Fr. Robert Barron, "Conversion-Following the Call of Christ".  We will start our day at Epiphany's 9 o'clock Mass, and then gather at the parish hall (little white church on the corner).  Following light refreshments we'll watch the first of three segments and have group discussions. We'll do the same with two other segments.  More details will be coming.  
There will not be a School of Leaders in April 

BLESSINGS FROM FRIDAY'S MASS: The power of prayer, the strength of community, the joy of fellowship, the praise and thanks we offer to our loving, generous God, the deepening of the bonds we share.  All these were so evident at Mass last Friday evening at Holy Family.  Many thanks to the parish family there and the Lakewood/Brick Ultreya for their hospitality.  There were Cursillistas from many parts of the diocese, some near and some far and there were people who came from St. Denis at Fr. Ed's invitation, along with others.  Tony Martucci witnessed to the complete and unfailing presence of God in his life, throughout all the pain and medical issues of the past 14 months.  Tony always witnesses to the trust and faith he has in God and never more than through this illness.  

And then we received an additional blessing- the joy of having John Cifrodella with us!  A miracle of God's healing power, John is feeling better every day and working hard to restore many aspects of his wellness,  With John was his aide, Issac, who helps with the daily tasks as John continues to heal.  Let us pray for Issac and all who give such care to others and please continue to pray for John and his family.


February - School of Leaders  

With Ash Wednesday on March 5, Father Ed gave a wonderful talk on Lent.  He reminded us that we are never alone, that wherever we are or whatever we are experiencing, Jesus has been there and is there with us.  Fasting, prayer and giving alms are all ways to unite us closer to God and are ways to help us detach from the things that imprison us.  Father spoke of three possible ways to go; 1st, the way of John the beloved who sat close to Jesus, stood with Mary and points to God.  This is a deeply personal and spiritual way.  2nd, the way of Judas who saw Jesus as a means to an end and when he tried to force action and it didn't happen, he despaired.   And 3rd, the way of Peter.  One of the closest followers of Jesus but so very human.  He walked on water until the fear turned his head away, he denied Jesus but was first among the apostles and shows how God can use us even with our weaknesses.

I spoke about the Pastoral Plan which was updated in 2012.  Each part points to two things Rick has asked us to focus on from 1 Corinthians, that we are called to be holy and united in the same purpose.  When I was preparing the talk I wrote united ON purpose instead of united IN purpose, but aren't we both!  Every day we consciously decide to live a certain way, to follow Jesus in all we do-on purpose and in purpose we unite with others to witness in our environments to our belief.  The other main point I'd like us all to take away is that while all of us who have lived a Cursillo are in our 4th day - Post Cursillo, we are also all in Pre-Cursillo - always and in all ways in Pre-Cursillo.   For what else is our 4th day if it is not witnessing to each person with whom we come in contact about God in our life.  We do that in our moveable square meter, and that is Pre-Cursillo.  All is Pre-Cursillo or why are we here?  All is sharing the best news of the best reality...that God loves us, as He loved Peter, no matter our weakness.   Let us live our 4th day fully and be aware of the people God is placing in our life, build relationships and friendships with these people and when God's time is right-invite them to live a Cursillo weekend.

I wish all a fruitful Lent.
De Colores and Ultreya!


P.S.: Please remember - Diocesan Mass, Friday March 7 at Holy Family in Lakewood.  Mass begins at 8 p.m.  Please join us and bring some friends.


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