Help Us Get to the Eucharistic Congress!

EucharisticDonation

We are so excited about the upcoming Eucharistic Congress is coming July 17-21!
If you go to the website you can even check out the countdown – www.eucharisticcongress.org
Little Flowers Girls’ Clubs® are just over 30 years old now with thousands of families being
positively impacted, including your own. We are looking forward to impacting thousands more
by being at the Congress as an Exhibitor.
As you know, we have always been a family owned shop. Friends from the start, Joan and I are
raising 21 children between us and each of us have been promoted to grandmothers. Little
Flowers, Blue Knights and the entire Behold Publications product line has always been a labor
of love from our family to yours.
May we have your help to get to Indianapolis for the Congress as it exceeds our small budget?
We know from our 30 years as the only Catholic to the Core clubs that we had a huge impact on
families and schools.
We are hoping you are able to help us get the $5,500 necessary to cover the exhibitor fees,
traveling and housing.
Every amount will help. CLICK HERE TO DONATE!
Everyone who donates and submits their address will receive a “Thank You” note from Rachel
Watkins.
Those able to give at least $100 will be given a copy of “Search for the Madonna” (a fun,
Catholic historical mystery) as a Thank You.
Let us know your own prayer intentions and we will take them to every Mass we attend and
include them in every Rosary we say during the Congress.
As parents, we know all about budgets and are so grateful for anything you can do to help us
spread the word.
Are you going? Please find us and let us thank you in person! Make sure to donate to get us to the Eucharistic Congress!
Donate here!

Happy Easter! Adding an Easter element to your meetings.

While it might seem I am a bit late to the game, it is important to remember that we are in the middle of the Easter season.

In my family this includes forgoing meatless Fridays but we do a bit of the Good Friday sacrifice and rely on leftovers which are not always a favorite in my house.

With Easter lasting until May 19, 2024, maybe you want to add a bit of Easter joy to your club meetings. Maybe end a meeting with an Easter music sing-along?

(I realize I am suggesting this as someone who can’t play an instrument or even really sing well, but that has never stopped me!)

You can easily build a song list from Spotify or YouTube:

A great choral arrangement with lyrics!
No lyrics but easy to sing along with!

It is important that we know how long the Easter season is meant to be. Life is busy, hard and complicated but God knows that doesn’t He? The lengthy Easter season is a real gift that should remind us that no matter how dark the day may seem, or how difficult our problems are, Jesus did rise from the dead. He won! And so shall we if we remain faithful. Until that day, Easter joy can lift us up when we are down if we lean into it and recall it throughout the whole year.

Another song choice from Matt Maher. This one has become a real favorite of mine and a song of support when I feel discouraged.

Here’s some thoughts about Easter from the USCCB:

https://www.usccb.org/prayer-worship/liturgical-year/easter#:~:text=The%20season%20of%20Easter%20is,cry%20of%20the%20Christian:%20Alleluia!

Image by 4222320 from Pixabay

Mother Cabrini and Me

cabrini shrine

I first met Mother Cabrini through a book called “Immigrant Saint,” by Pietro di Donato, published in 1960. I thought it was a truly moving story and wanted to make her story accessible to children. Her work in New York City especially with orphans, makes a lovely children’s story. I wrote “The Orphans Find a Home,” in 1996, in which three orphan girls are rescued from their furnace room (rather than the sewers, as seen in the movie). The girls are brought to Mother Cabrini’s home, which was the home formerly owned by the Jesuits, named Manresa. I sent the book to Our Sunday Visitor and got the best rejection letter ever! The acquisitions editor told me that the book was wonderful and story needed to be told. Unfortunately, OSV had no place in their catalog for a chapter book for young readers. My husband then encouraged me to publish the book myself. That publishing house is now over 25 years old and has dozens of books, as well as all the product lines for Little Flowers Girls’ Club®, Blue Knights Boys’ Clubs and our other virtue based programs for youth.

The Cabrini Movie

I enjoyed the movie very much and loved that it was the same time frame as my book on Mother Cabrini. The movie was far grittier and widely appealing to an older age group than the book, which is perfect for ages 7-12. I used my research from “Immigrant Saint,” as well as several other biographies to write The Orphans Find a Home. I also obtained research from the archives at Manresa, to write the book, however, some of the characters are fictional. The three orphan girls are real, but they their names and back stories are historical fiction.

Did the movie show Mother Cabrini’s piousness or religious motivations? I think it did. Although her charism was action oriented, I know from my research that Mother did what she did out of love of God. In the movie, the word “ambition” is used to describe Mother Cabrini’s actions. In my experience, it was her “mission” rather than her “ambition” that allowed her to do the things she needed to do for Christ. What did Mother Cabrini rely on for her strength, which didn’t come out in the movie? Mother’s order is the “Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.” If you look closely at the end of the movie, the foundations that Mother Cabrini founded are pinned with a Sacred Heart on the map of the world. So the movie tries hard to show her piety, you just have to look harder.

After reading the Orphans Find a Home, or Immigrant Saint, why not watch the moving again! You may pick on things you missed about the life of this incredible American Saint!

Enriching the Year of Eucharistic Revival

As many of us know our Church is celebrating a Year of Eucharistic Revival. In response to the sad lack of belief in the Real Presence, the Church is hoping it will serve to educate, enlightened and inspire all of us to increase our love and devotion to Jesus Christ truly present, Body, Soul and Divinity within the Eucharist. It is planned to last until July 17, 2024.

https://www.eucharisticrevival.org/

With this as our inspiration, we have created a Eucharistic Certificate and accompanying activities you could share with your group. You might decide to do them as a group or just share it with the members so they might do them within their family.

We have both the list of activities to do, along with a printable certificate. Like our other badges, you may decide as a Leader/Parent how many and which ones best fit your life.

Another lovely image using flowers from St. Francis de Sales! And Leader’s Chat today!

This past Wednesday, Jan. 24, was the feast day of St. Francis deSales who is my diocese’s patron saint. By cool coincidence, he is also my ‘saint of the year’ I got from Jennifer Fuilweiler’s Saint Name Generator back at the start of the new year.

So anyways, on Wednesay, I went to Daily Mass as I often am blessed to do, and then read the meditation from the Magnificat after Mass as I often do. It was from St. Francis deSales as expected, but what I did not expect were these wonderful words that reminded me so clearly of what we strive to do here at Behold Publications with all of our clubs:

“Let us make our way through the low valleys of the humble little virtues. There we will see roses among thorns; charity shining forth amid interior and exterior affliction, lilies of purity, and violets of mortification.”

Sounds just like us, doesn’t it? He goes on to encourage us”

“We ought to love above all others these three small virtues: meekness of heart, poverty of spirit, and simplicity of life, together with these common labors of visiting the sick, visiting the poor, and consoling the afflicted. Yet let it all be done freely and without anxiety.”

Now, I am still working on the ‘freely and without anxiety’ aspect of this but reading his words made me smile. Letting us see our virtue attempts as flowers, both small and large, to be collected and presented to Jesus and the Blessed Mother in heaven is a powerful image. Let this encourage us to keep trying, keep striving to find opportunities to do those “little virtues”!

LEADER’S CHAT ON ZOOM TODAY AT 2:00 P.M. EST. Check your email for the link. If you haven’t received an email from us (is your club registered?). Reach out via our website and we’ll get you started.

https://beholdpublications.com/home/

Getting a ‘new’ patron saint for the year is a tradition my family has had for a number of years. It gives us an opportunity to learn more about the saint (maybe a new one to us) and be assured we have an extra holy one on our team. It is always so encouraging! Maybe you want to do it for your family or group:

https://saintsnamegenerator.com/

Another lovely image using flowers from St. Francis de Sales! And Leader’s Chat today!

This past Wednesday, Jan. 24, was the feast day of St. Francis deSales who is my diocese’s patron saint. By cool coincidence, he is also my ‘saint of the year’ I got from Jennifer Fuilweiler’s Saint Name Generator back at the start of the new year.

So anyways, on Wednesay, I went to Daily Mass as I often am blessed to do, and then read the meditation from the Magnificat after Mass as I often do. It was from St. Francis deSales as expected, but what I did not expect were these wonderful words that reminded me so clearly of what we strive to do here at Behold Publications with all of our clubs:

“Let us make our way through the low valleys of the humble little virtues. There we will see roses among thorns; charity shining forth amid interior and exterior affliction, lilies of purity, and violets of mortification.”

Sounds just like us, doesn’t it? He goes on to encourage us”

“We ought to love above all others these three small virtues: meekness of heart, poverty of spirit, and simplicity of life, together with these common labors of visiting the sick, visiting the poor, and consoling the afflicted. Yet let it all be done freely and without anxiety.”

Now, I am still working on the ‘freely and without anxiety’ aspect of this but reading his words made me smile. Letting us see our virtue attempts as flowers, both small and large, to be collected and presented to Jesus and the Blessed Mother in heaven is a powerful image. Let this encourage us to keep trying, keep striving to find opportunities to do those “little virtues”!

LEADER’S CHAT ON ZOOM TODAY AT 2:00 P.M. EST. Check your email for the link. If you haven’t received an email from us (is your club registered?). Reach out via our website and we’ll get you started.

https://beholdpublications.com/home/

Getting a ‘new’ patron saint for the year is a tradition my family has had for a number of years. It gives us an opportunity to learn more about the saint (maybe a new one to us) and be assured we have an extra holy one on our team. It is always so encouraging! Maybe you want to do it for your family or group:

https://saintsnamegenerator.com/

Happy Feast of Mother Cabrini

A few years ago I was blessed to be able to visit my daughter, Amelia, in Colorado and we took a trip to visit the Shrine of Mother Cabrini. It was a lovely drive and hard to imagine the nuns who first took the long hike up the mountain to their new home!

https://mothercabrinishrine.org/

Photo from the Shrine Museum

“Mother Cabrini loved the mountains of Colorado. The foothills west of Denver held a special attraction for her. During her journeys in 1902 to visit the Italian workers and their families in the Clear Creek, Argentine, and South Park mining districts, Frances X. Cabrini discovered a property on the east slope of Lookout Mountain owned by the town of Golden.

No reliable source of water was known to exist on the property at that time, although there were two fine barns and a springhouse built in the 1890s. In 1909–1910, she negotiated the purchase of this property as a summer camp for her charges at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver, CO.

A farming operation, with poultry, other livestock and dairy cows, was established and maintained by three of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who set up living quarters in the loft of the larger barn. During the summer months, groups of about twenty girls, according to age, would spend several weeks at the summer camp. They enjoyed the freedom of the outdoors and recreational activities in addition to tending the animals and performing farm chores.”

The spring is still there and you are invited to take a drink from it, or take some home. It is said it contains healing properties but who knows. I do know the chapel is lovely and the view of the mountains spectacular. If you are in the area, consider making the trek up the mountain as those nuns once did.

Our good friend, Joan, has a lovely book about her –

https://catalog.beholdpublications.com/product/the-orphans-find-a-home-a-st-frances-xavier-cabrini-story/?v=2320522a6676

And, finally, have you seen the trailer to the movie planned about her remarkable life?

https://www.angel.com/movies/cabrini

I am so looking forward to it!

Thank you FB ladies & Oct. Zoom Meeting Overview & Surprise Guest!

We had our October Leader’s Zoom Meeting this past Friday and it was lovely. But – before going into the meeting, I want to send along a shower of roses for our amazing FB group –

THANK YOU, thank you, Thank You to everyone who came to the help and rescue of Tracie who found herself charge of her LF’s group with little advance notice! She felt overwhelmed and lost but not for long. You gave her excellent ideas along with the encouragement and prayers she needed.

Give yourself some badges!! You all showed so much generosity, love of neighbor and friendliness (and so much more) to someone in need. You are all so kind and a sign – once again – of how amazing LF leaders (and their daughters) are.

Onto Zoom – we had both new and old friends there and a lovely surprise with a visit by Sister Stephanie, LIHM.

She is a member of the Leaven of the Immaculate Heart of Mary order founded in the Philippines in 1991 and spoke of her work leading a group of Little Flowers in Nebraska. She was an absolute delight and we were so pleased to meet her and her ‘new to us’ order. Please take a moment and visit their site, their smiles alone with lift your spirit.

https://www.lihmsisters.org/

If you would like to find out about more religious orders to inspire you or your clubs head over to the Council of the Major Superiors of Women Religious. They are a dozens of orders who serve us and the Universal Church in a manner we can all be encouraged by.

Do you sometimes feel discouraged about the state of religious in the world? Well, the CMSWR

We also talked about try to incorporate music into your meetings through great Catholic music (Matt Maher, perhaps?) or just excellent Christian contemporary music. A quick dance mid-meeting can energize sleepy members or prayerfully send them on their way at the end.

Other news? A jubilee year for St. Therese was recently announced (more on that later), a movie about Mother Cabrini is coming (more on that as well).

If you have not dropped in on one of our meetings (last Friday of every month), please consider doing so. You never know who might show up and seeing other Moms who are doing their best to grow holier one virtue at a time is such a source of encouragement. We are ready for your questions!

Novena for Mental Health begins today!

(from novena.com)

Please forgive this late notice but I only found it myself today. I know many of us know and love someone who is struggling with mental health. It might even be ourselves. Please consider joining others as we join others in the “The Novena for Mental Health, which starts on Oct. 10, is offered “in solidarity with those suffering from mental health challenges as well as health care professionals, family, and friends who are caring for people in need.” (https://www.ncregister.com/cna/u-s-bishops-launch-mental-health-campaign-with-special-novena-discussions)

Continuing from the article at the Register, “Additionally, each day of the novena includes a reflection on a different theme related to mental health, such as removing stigmas, poverty, and suicide awareness; or a specific population affected by mental health challenges, such as families, children, and young adults.”

From the USCCB –

https://www.usccb.org/resources/Novena%20for%20Mental%20Health%209-Days.pdf