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Showing posts from June, 2011

Celebrating 60 Years of Service

On June 29, 1951, a young man named Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest in Friesing, Germany. Sixty years later, he serves God and the church as Pope Benedict XVI. A few months ago, this rare video emerged online showing the young Ratzinger during his ordination (4:52-4:55 mark). In his 1997 autobiography, Pope Benedict reflects on the most important moment of his life : “We were more than forty candidates, who, at the solemn call on that radiant summer day, which I remember as the high point of my life, responded “Adsum”, Here I am. We should not be superstitious; but, at that moment when the elderly archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird—perhaps a lark—flew up from the high altar in the cathedral and trilled a little joyful song. And I could not but see in this a reassurance from on high, as if I heard the words “This is good, you are on the right way.” In honor of the 60th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's ordination, please pray with us for an increase in vocation

Working Mom Travels

Last month, halfway through my second trimester, work related travel beckoned me to Little Rock, Arkansas. Traditionally I (Shelly) enjoy work-related travel, though at times it’s inconvenient. I’m fortunate that I’m only asked/required to travel three or four times a year, so it’s less of a burden and more of a perk. Work related travel requires some creative childcare options, but largely I’ve been extremely fortunate to have family and a husband that help to manage this. When my oldest child was a baby and I was nursing, I tried to limit most of my travel and one time I invited my mother and sister with me so I could bring my daughter along. After she weaned, I left her home with my husband to manage, and this practice continued as our family grew. On several occasions, my parents offered to keep our daughters so my husband could join me on my travel. Now that our daughters are older, I watch for opportunities, particularly during the summer, to bring the whole family along.

Pregnant College Students Offered Support for Life

College students who find themselves pregnant and unwed many times turn to abortion because they feel they must choose between their baby and their education.   Room At The Inn provides hope for those young women and their babies by giving them support to care for their family and further their education at the same time.  For years, they have offered college outreach to pregnant women and a residential facility in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Almost two years ago, I wrote about their plans to open a maternity home located on a college campus to further support young women in obtaining their education.     It is now a big step closer to becoming a reality.   Room At The Inn broke ground this week on the nation's first college based mater nity home at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.  This 10,000 square foot pregnancy and after-care home will have  two residential wings, one for maternity and one for after-care, and can house up to 15 mothers, 15 infants and eight toddle

2012 Presidential Candidate Watch List - Rick Perry

Our Texas Governor, Rick Perry, made a splash with a speech given in New Orleans at the Republican Leadership Conference  over the weekend.  The Sunday talk shows buzzed about the passion he stirred in the audience.   In a 25 minute address, Perry touched on many of the top button issues bridging social and fiscal conservatives with the Tea Party.  Pro-Life, Economics, Spending, Voter Integrity, Obamacare, the Tenth Amendment and American Exceptionalism are just a few of the big topics to which the crowd actively responded.   For Texans, this speech reminded us of many given by Governor Perry over the last election cycle.  While he might not be known well nationally, the importance he places on many of these top issues is not new.  He has been focused on these topics for several years, but only now is gaining a national audience as rumors that he will join the GOP primary rise to the surface.  Specifically, Perry mentioned that Texas is the top exporting state in the nation and  47.

How to Feed a Starving Community

In this time of economic uncertainty and financial hardship, many people are focused on their tangible needs: feeding families, paying the bills, clothing their children.  I’m fortunate to live in a community that is a bit insulated from the growing poverty and economic strife brought by the country’s recession.  But my community is starving. Not for want of food or material items, but with a burning spiritual hunger. Most of our families do not worry about putting food on the table each night. They have a roof over their head, two cars in the driveway, several big screen televisions and from all outward appearances a nice life.  Yet, there is dissatisfaction, a raw unease among many.  We need something more. Our society encourages families to focus on bigger, better and more of everything. We strive to succeed at any cost. Society tells us not to be content with the small abundant blessings in our everyday lives, but to seek more.  We must not overlook this need and hunger that se

Returning to the Sacrament

For many years I felt no compunction to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation , having only been once - on the day of my Confirmation with no formal preparation. As I began to rediscover my connection to the faith, this missing Sacrament began to pull at my heart. At first, God’s gentle tug was easily ignored. But as the years wore on, I learned more about the beauty and grace offered, the reasons why it was a Sacrament of healing and felt God’s pull getting stronger. My turning point began while helping my daughter in her own preparation to receive the Sacrament for the first time. We read John 20:19-23 together, where Jesus bestowed the gift to forgive sins on the disciples. We discussed how our sins are forgiven, and we " experience healing and wholeness and the tenderness of God’s divine mercy in the Sacrament ." In Reconciliation, we humble ourselves before God, as he asks us to do. The Sacrament imparts divine grace through the real presence of our Lord.

Be a Light: Inspire Others

The daily scripture arrives in my mailbox every morning via and is a positive way to begin my workday. Of course there are mornings when I don't have time--correction, don't make time --to spend five or ten minutes reading the Word of God and meditating on the daily message. Here are a few lines from today's reading and Gospel that really stood out to me. I hope they bring you some inspiration. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see now how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God’s wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through

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