Graduations, “May-hem” and Looking Forward to Water From the Rock Retreat at Cabrini

So I will start by saying that the original idea for posting again was shameless marketing to promote the upcoming retreat presented through the Notre Dame Club of Denver. Of course on reflecting on this past month, I realize how wonderful it will be to stop, listen and take in moments with Our Lord and Our Lady at Cabrini Shrine in anticipation of the Feast of Corpus Christi.

When you are a parent, May is the craziest month. School is winding down with the usual graduations, final exams and summer activities planned and begun. If you are Catholic, throw in First Communions and Confirmations, maybe a wedding over Memorial Day weekend or other family activities. This year was exceptional for my extended family: my youngest sister graduated from Notre Dame with her MBA (May 17), twin nephews from Regis Boys (morning of May 18), my niece was Confirmed (afternoon of May 18), my newest Cotillion group of the eighth grade class at St. Vincent’s had their presentation that we only had 5 weeks to prepare, May 22, and the coup de grace, my oldest son graduated Mullen at 9:00am on May 24 and my daughter graduated Chapman University in California that same evening 6:30pm pacific time! It officially made for May-hem!

In the midst of all this, I found myself yearning for quiet. It is intriguing how we say we thrive on activity, yet it is the quiet that allows for reflection. It is simple as a mother to appreciate the small line from St. Luke’s Gospel “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Now many mothers have words out there on the internet about that small line because it touches all of us so deeply. We are the keepers of the stories of our children as, often, we are blessed enough to spend more time with them. They are of us, we carry them and slowly release them to the path that Our Lord has made for them to follow.

My son had a lovely Mass at his graduation. He had himself commissioned so that he could give us Communion. I lost it. Seeing him in his cap and gown, holding the Eucharist for me was overwhelming. To have given your children so much and then to have them be able to give you the Eucharist… words fail me.

My daughter’s graduation was exciting. My moment was just after she received her diploma. A smile as she looked over her shoulder holding up her diploma and kicking up a heel, was a victory for her and pure joy for me. She had made it through four years, away from home. She has found her talent and the future is before her.

These are just the beginnings of my reflections. I look forward to time at the “Water from the Rock” Retreat at Cabrini Shrine (yes, this is the shameless plug), some quiet and Our Lord’s Presence as I reflect and pray for my children’s and my own future. I will have a little rest from the excitement and the opportunity to pray deeply. I hope you can come too!

go to and click on the event page – Sign up now!

Note: Our priest is Father Peter Rocca of the University of Notre Dame Basilica and our retreat director is Joanne Holt of St. Thomas Moore. The retreat is co-ed and overnight.

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For Boston

Yesterday, we witnessed a great tragedy at the Boston Marathon.
We saw the images of the explosion, the blood, the injury.
We stood in still, silent shock.

Today, we fall to our knees and reach out to You.

In Thanksgiving for everyday heroes,
for first responders,
for those who ran toward the explosions,
for those who fashioned makeshift tourniquets,
for those who saved lives.

In pain for Martin Richard, dead at 8 years old,
for Krystle Campbell,
for the as-of-yet unidentified third victim,
for those injured, physically, emotionally, and spiritually,
for our own emotional and spiritual damage as witnesses,
caused by the cruelty of another.

In need for peace,
for patience,
for understanding,
for the ability to find forgiveness within ourselves.

Today we fall to our knees and pray to You without direction, without words, but with open hearts for the healing of humanity in the wake of this tragedy.

I grew up in Boston, and my family is still located in the area. I am feeling very thankful today that my brother and his girlfriend were visiting my mother in the suburbs, and that my father was at work and not taking a break to hop across the river and watch the end of the marathon. I am incredibly grateful to have heard from friends and acquaintances alike who were running the marathon, assuring us that they were out of harm’s way.

Yesterday was a very difficult today. So is today. So will tomorrow be. But even as we bow our heads in continued prayer for the healing of humanity, the prevention of evil, and the execution of God’s will, we pick ourselves up and carry forward.

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Day 2: Genesis 16-30

May God give to you
of the dew of the heavens
And of the fertility of the earth
abundance of grain and wine.
May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you;
Be master of your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be those who curse you,
and blessed be those who bless you.
~ Genesis 27:28-29

Today’s chapters cover Abraham’s long life, as well as the lives of Isaac and Jacob. We see the birth of Abraham’s children, their growing up, marrying, and the births of their children, as well as how each found success and prosperity.

Included in this are a few particular stories, like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the substitution of Leah for Rachel at Jacob’s wedding, and the testing of Abraham by God’s command to sacrifice Isaac. I noted, in particular, the story of Jacob stealing is brother Esau’s blessing, which is quoted above from Genesis 27. This is predicted before the birth of the twins, when Sarah cries out to God during her tumultuous pregnancy and He responds: Continue reading

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Day 1: Genesis 1-15

For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
~ Genesis 4:19

Today’s reading was the first 15 chapters of Genesis, which covers a lot of biblical time. From the Creation story, which we just experienced over Easter, to God’s covenant with Abram. In between, we read such notable stories as Noah’s ark as well as some of the less repeated stories, like the Tower of Babel. In additional to all of the good old fashioned “Bible Stories”, we also saw a lot of the oft-dreaded “begats”, lists of lineage indicating how certain major players, like Abram, were related to others, like Noah and Adam. Continue reading

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90-Day Bible Study Challenge

bibrosIt’s time to take up a challenge!

The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.
– St. Augustine

I have had an increasing feeling over the past couple years that Catholics don’t study the Bible enough. We hear the readings at Mass on Sunday, some of us go daily and hear those as well, but not nearly so many of us actually get our Bible out and read it. Myself included.

So I’ve decided to challenge myself to a cover-to-cover reading of the New American Bible in 90 days. Every day, I will post here with a couple of passages from the reading that spoke to me and a brief reflection. This entry will serve as a table of contents or guide, each day I will edit it so that the listing below links to that day’s post. Continue reading

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