"If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts!"
Hebrews 3:15
Spring Edition 
Volume 3 Issue 17  

As I begin to formulate  my Lenten practice this year, I have been hearing much about fasting. It is a practice I have not been able to do consistently or very well. I need more grace! What is it about fasting that makes it so special in God's eyes? I recall, many years ago, attending a weekly Charismatic Prayer Meeting that was pretty low key most of the time, but one time I attended and it was more inspiring and Spirit-filled.  I asked the leaders, what had made the difference in this meeting? They immediately looked at each other, smiled, and told me they had been fasting in preparation for the meeting. Our Lady, in many of her apparitions, calls for prayer and fasting. This Lent the USCCB is calling for prayer and fasting for Life, Marriage and Family. Jesus, prayed and fasted before all of His important decisions. The readings for Ash Wednesday call us to "Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a fast." This Lenten Season I am determined, with the grace of God, to pray more AND fast. God bless you in your Lenten observances. Please pray for me as I will be praying for you.

Kathy MacInnis, Coordinator
Central Service Team

Holy Father's Monthly Intentions

Support for Persecuted Christians
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church

Young People
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
Christians in Africa
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.



Open bible w cross shadow
Liturgy of the Hours

Second Reading

From a catechetical instruction by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

Acknowledge your sins at a time of God's favor 

If there is any slave of sin here present, he should at once prepare himself through faith for the rebirth into freedom that makes us God's adopted children. He should lay aside the wretchedness of slavery to sin, and put on the joyful slavery of the Lord, so as to be counted worthy to inherit the kingdom of heaven. By acknowledging your sins strip away your former self, seduced as it is by destructive desires, and put on the new self, renewed in the likeness of its Creator. Through faith receive the pledge of the Holy Spirit, so that you may be near, to be marked with the supernatural seal, so that you may be easily recognized by your master. Become a member of Christ's holy and spiritual flock, so that one day you may be set apart on his right hand, and so gain the life prepared as your inheritance.  

Those whose sins still cling to them like a goatskin will stand on his left hand because they did not approach Christ's fountain of rebirth to receive God's grace. By rebirth I mean, not rebirth of the body, but the spiritual rebirth of the soul. Our bodies are brought into being by parents who can be seen, but our souls are reborn through faith: the Spirit breathes where he wills. At the end, if you are made worthy, you may hear the words: Well done, good and faithful servant, when, that is, you are found with no stain of hypocrisy on your conscience.  

If anyone here present is thinking of putting God's grace to the test, he is deceiving himself, and he does not understand the nature of things. You are but a man; there is one who searches out men's thoughts and hearts. You must keep your soul innocent and free from deceit.  

The present is a time for the acknowledgement of sins. Acknowledge what you have done, in word or deed, by night or day. Acknowledge your sins at a time of God's favor, and on the day of salvation you will receive the treasures of heaven.  

Wash yourself clean, so that you may store a richer store of grace. Sins are forgiven equally for all, but communion in the Holy Spirit is given to the measure of each one's faith. If you have done little work, you will receive little; if you have achieved a great deal, great will be your reward. The race you are running is for your own advantage; look after your own interests. 

If you have a grudge against anyone, forgive him. You are drawing near to receive forgiveness for your own sins; you must yourself forgive those who have sinned against you.

quill and pen
Father Kevin's Korner
Magnificat CST Spiritual Advisor
Fr. Kevin Scallon, C.M.

Lent is upon us again, a liturgical season which is poorly understood by many people, particularly when it comes to the requirement of fasting. The authoritative Papal document on the church's teaching on penance was written by Blessed Pope Paul VI in his famous Apostolic Constitution called 'Paenitemini.' I have found that people know little of what is required in terms of Christian penance, so I include for your benefit the appropriate text found in Chapter three of 'Paenitemini.' May I suggest that this document be read by all of us in Magnificat because it is a beautiful presentation of the Church's understanding concerning the age old tradition of fasting. The document is short, but a real gem coming from the pen of this saintly Pope, Blessed Paul VI. To read the document 'Paenitemini,' click here.

Here is the relevant passage from the document concerning the Church's understanding of fast and abstinence:

By divine law all the faithful are required to do penance. The prescriptions of Church law regarding penance are totally reorganized according to the following norms:

* The time of Lent preserves its penitential character. The days of penance to be observed under obligation throughout the Church are all Fridays and Ash Wednesday. With regard to the manner of fulfilling the precept of penitence on such days, abstinence is to be observed on every Friday which does not fall on a day of obligation, while abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday.

* The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat.

* The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing, as far as quantity and quality are concerned, approved local custom.

* To the law of abstinence those are bound who have completed their 14th year of age. To the law of fast those of the faithful are bound who have completed their 21st year and up until the beginning of their 60th year.

* As regards those of a lesser age, pastors of souls and parents should see to it with particular care that they are educated to a true sense of penitence.

The spirit of Lent is described in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday [Matthew 6:1-18] when Jesus, in addition to the practice of fasting and abstinence, refers to the giving of alms and to prayer. Many parishes throughout the world provide each home with a charity box where family members are encouraged to make financial sacrifices for the benefit of the poor. The monies collected are given to the parish at the end of Lent for that purpose. So this Gospel teaches us the principle elements of Christian penitential practice. In the reading from Isaiah 58:1-9 on the Friday after Ash Wednesday, we have the passage entitled "Is this not the sort of fast that pleases me?" where the prophet describes the many things we ought to do if our fasting is to be pleasing in the sight of God. It is interesting that in places where Our Lady has appeared, she asks us not only to pray and repent, but also to fast. Many of us can attest to the spiritual fruits brought about by this ancient practice of the Church.

Let me finish with this quote from Blessed Pope Paul VI: "Penance therefore -already in the Old Testament - is a religious, personal act which has as its aim love and surrender to God: fasting for the sake of God, not for one's own self. Such it must remain also in the various penitential rites sanctioned by law. When this is not verified, the Lord is displeased with His people: " Today you have not fasted in a way which will make your voice heard on high .... Rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the Lord your God." The social aspect of penitence is not lacking in the Old Testament. In fact, the penitential liturgies of the Old Covenant are not only a collective awareness of sin but constitute in reality a condition for belonging to the people of God. We can further establish that penitence was represented even before Christ as a means and a sign of perfection and sanctity."

May the Lord bless you during this Lent and fill you with joy when Easter comes.

CST Visitation in Pittsburgh
By Mary Wilson and Kim Rodriguez-Torres, CST Members

L to R: Diane, Mary, Kathy, Kim, Donna
Imagine being at The Ark and The Dove, home of Baptism in the Holy Spirit, a week before the 50th Anniversary of the Duquesne Weekend. That's exactly where the CST met with Magnificat members from Greensburg, PA, Morgantown, WV, Pittsburgh, PA, Stark County, OH, and Living Praise for a Visitation.

Twenty-one Service Team members, Regional Reps, and Advisory Team members spent time in fellowship, praise and prayer,  and shared a meal together at The Ark and The Dove. There was a presentation covering ministry highlights of the past year and plans for the near future. The Chapters and CST shared how Meals are going, what new training modules have been put into place and details about Conference 2017. Excitement was in the air!  Dessert was a special treat (Mardi Gras King Cake) that had been shipped in from New Orleans for this Visitation. 

Living Praise led the group in Praise and Worship and there was a time for prayer and prophetic words for each Service Team.   It was a blessing to connect with one another and share in the excitement of what the Lord is doing in the ministry and each of the Chapters. This was just the beginning of a Spirit-led, work week for the CST's Annual Planning Meeting.  
The CST made an onsite visit to the William Penn Omni Hotel where the Magnificat Luncheon will be held on Saturday, July 22 in connection with the NSC Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.  The Pittsburgh Chapter will be coordinating this Meal. Please register with them at www.magnificatpittsburgh.org if you would like to attend. 

Kay Burkot, Assistant Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Chapter, arranged a visit to St. Anthony's Chapel, which houses the largest collection of relics outside Vatican City. Our week concluded with the CST attending the Pittsburgh's Magnificat Meal where over 400 women in attendance magnified the Lord. It was a gift to stay at The Ark and The Dove and a joy to be with so many of our Magnificat sisters! 

Feb. 5 Visitation - The Ark & The Dove stairwell filled with Magnificat sisters!  

Kathy MacInnis with the King Cake!

Watch the video on the Conference by clicking on the arrow !!!

Conference 2017 Video
To register for the Magnificat Leader's Conference 2017 

Registration Deposit Due by May 1st

If you would like to attend the NSC Magnificat Luncheon, 
c lick here to register: 

To volunteer at this Pittsburgh Magnificat Luncheon,
email: info@magnificatpittsburgh.org

Life in America is Winning Today
By Michelle Seghers, Magnificat Conference Planner

"Life in America is winning today" was the opening line of Vice President Mike Pence at the 44th March for Life in Washington D.C on Friday, January 27. Having now attended this March for the last four years, I was profoundly struck by the pervading sense of hope this year; hope that the battle for life would soon be over; hope that someday soon the March for Life would no longer be needed. This year, I was blessed to attend the March with the 500 teens from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, led by Archbishop Gregory Aymond, many young priests and seminarians, and lay volunteers like myself. Our trip was a difficult one beginning with a twenty-hour bus ride. Over the years this journey has taken on the form of a pilgrimage, filled with Liturgy of the Hours, educational films and discussions, praise and worship, and intercessory prayer. All of this is designed to educate our young people on what it means to truly be for life, not simply once a year but in their day to day lives.

Helping to enforce this message, one of the movies shown annually on the bus is the documentary Blood Money, designed to expose the truth behind the abortion industry. Amidst interviews from noted people such as Norma McCorvey (Roe, in the case which legalized abortion) and Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece, Alvida King, there are also testimonies from former Planned Parenthood employees detailing the money making procedures that are commonly used to convince women to have an abortion. As the evil behind the industry is exposed, the film clearly shows that these women are also victims. One of my teens was so affected by the movie that she threw up on the bus. Yet, though the film is difficult to watch, it served an important purpose in pushing these future leaders of our Church and world to think about abortion and its long term effects. For example, I was asked the question, "What if my future spouse was aborted?" These teens understand what many of their peers are missing; they understand the horrors of abortion and are passionate about changing the law. They march for those who are helpless, much like past revolutionaries who have fought against legalized slavery or the Nazi death camps.

Group Leaders, Michelle Seghers & Teens
Archbishop Gregory Aymond Speaking
At the actual March, we were energized by the number of people who are fighting for that same cause. Reports say that there were 800,600 people marching this year. By the time of the actual rally and march through the Capital, our young people had already been blessed by Mass and confession every day. Armed with these sacraments, our youth were ready for the journey, carrying the sense that they were representing the voiceless and defenseless. They were also proud to represent the Magnificat ministry. We walked to cheers of, "Roe v. Wade has got to go!" and prayers all around us. Yet, what is perhaps most captivating of all is the happiness that radiates from the participants. Unlike other protests, ours was not marked by hatred or bitterness, but rather the joy of Christ and the confidence that He will make things right.

Following the March, our group broke off from the multitudes to one of the Federal Buildings where we had a session with the Archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory Aymond, D.D. He reminded the kids that we need to be pro-life in our everyday lives; that it was important to focus on the abortion issue, but that there are many other life related issues in need of advocates. He talked about the death penalty, assisted suicide, and human trafficking. The archbishop also shared that every time he speaks on abortion, he assumes that someone there has had one and is in need of our compassion and love. In so doing, he reminded us of our calling to be a people of mercy, talking about organizations like the Rachel's Vineyard retreats, foster care, and adoption. We, as a pro-life people, need to help homes that take care of pregnant mothers and the women who have been made victims from all of these atrocities.

Finally, as we made the long journey back to Louisiana, the teens took turns coming up and sharing short testimonies. This is where God's work truly becomes clear as the trip's impact on these young lives is revealed. Many of them have truly understood for the first time why they should stand up for life. Motivated by a new purpose and cause, they eagerly began planning how to make a difference in their homes, schools, and youth group. Most importantly of all, they are filled with hope as the Vice President's words resonate once more through our minds and hearts: "Life is winning in America today!"

Ohio's Huron Chapter Celebrates 10th Anniversary!
By Judy Roberts, Huron Chapter Coordinator 

Ohio's Huron Chapter, which like the international Magnificat ministry, grew out of a prayer group, recently gathered for its 10th Anniversary Breakfast.

Fr. Jeff McBeth, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Huron, was the speaker and shared the story of how God called him out of pre-med studies and into the seminary and priesthood. 

Because the gathering was on Feb. 10, the tables had a Valentine's Day theme and Historian/Co-Treasurer Lori Michalek added the special touch of a homemade decorated heart shaped cookie for each place. 

Established in 2006 to serve women in the northern part of the Toledo Diocese, the Huron Chapter held its first meal on Feb. 3, 2007, after two and a half years of formation. The speaker was Donna Jones, wife of Deacon Alex Jones, a former Pentecostal pastor who died Jan. 14, some 16 years after bringing dozens of his congregation members into the Catholic Church.  The Inaugural Breakfast, held at Crystal Arbors in Fremont, OH, drew more than 100 women, including several members of the Little Sisters of the Poor. 

The Chapter has been going strong ever since with such speakers as Magnificat sisters Kathy MacInnis, Kathleen Beckman, and Maria Vadia, who will be the April breakfast speaker.

In the years since that first breakfast a decade ago, the Chapter has been forced to relocate several times, but now is back in its original location, which is now known as Anjulina's. Besides its quarterly breakfasts, the Huron Chapter hosts a women's retreat each January at Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center in Fremont.
Ephesians Six Prayers in Spiritual Warfare
By Kathleen Beckman, CST Advisory Team Member

St. Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6, brilliantly describes the real spiritual battle that is the human experience on earth. Defending ourselves and families against the wiles of the devil requires grace, not self-reliance; prayer, not fear; wisdom, not folly. 

It is foolish and outside Church teaching to deny that the devil is not in the mix of the spiritual world. Yet, he isn't to blame for every evil thought or deed since sin is at work in our fallen nature. Daily we decide, consciously or unconsciously, to cultivate virtuous habits that strengthen our spiritual armor or destructive vices that weaken or remove the armor. Absent God's armor we become extremely vulnerable to diabolical vexation (cf. Book of Job). 

We may get weary of the spiritual battle, and procrastinate about doing anything constructive to combat the interior or exterior onslaught of negativity, lies, doubts, fears, and darkness that weigh heavily on the soul. To a degree, we give up; lethargy sets in. We just want the spiritual tension and torment to end. The flesh cries out for pleasure; the world beckons us to comfort. The devil taunts us, "Your God wants you to suffer. He doesn't care. You're in a fantasy world. Get real." How do we respond to spiritual combat at its various levels of temptation, oppression, or obsession? 
Eight weeks ago I took a strange fall and broke my right upper arm bone. This new physical incapacity and chronic pain took a toll on my prayer life. Attending daily Mass was impossible because I couldn't drive for weeks. I felt my spiritual armor weaken, even as I offered up the deprivation of the Eucharist and chronic physical pain. Undergoing an intense purification in the silence and solitude of suffering, I thought I'd be swallowed up by the darkness. I didn't feel like praying at all but with great effort of my will, I prayed to the best of my ability. Daily grace was sufficient to keep my eye on the light at the end of the dark tunnel. 

Taking up the word of God, I prayed Chapter 6 of Ephesians in the following way. It is always more fruitful to pray, to turn to God, than to complain about the fiery ordeal. 

Ephesians 6:10: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 
'Lord, I've never felt weaker or more defeated in the battle against the evil spirits. In your mercy, hold me upright in the strength of your might. Protect me from this evil onslaught and increase my faith that I may not succumb to diabolical temptations. O Incarnate Mercy, embrace your suffering servant with tender strength.'
Ephesians 6:11: Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  
'Lord Jesus, you are the whole armor of the Christian soldier, cover me please. Wherever there is a weak link in my spiritual armor, please heal and restore its integrity. The wiles of the devil are manifold leading me into darkness, discouragement, doubt, and division - even against myself, friends and family. I need your light to see, your encouragement to persevere, and affirmation that, with your grace, I can resist and the enemy will flee.'

Ephesians 6:12: For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

'Eternal Father, what defense do I, a poor sinner, have against powers and principalities, and their wickedness? You have given me your Son Jesus Christ as spiritual armor. Father, graciously place me into the depths of the Sacred Heart, my refuge against this present darkness. If I have succumbed to evil, lead me to repentance, reparation and restoration. I am your unworthy child but the Blood of your Son Jesus is my garment because you willed it. Thank you for your loving, perpetual care.'
Ephesians 6:13: Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
'Eternal Father, I reach for you like a child who seeks to be picked up into the arms of his or her loving daddy. Only in your arms am I safe from the evil one. Have I done all, to stand for Christ against the evil day? I'm sure that I have not. Therefore, have pity on me and supply what is lacking in your servant please.'   

Ephesians 6:14: Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.  

'Jesus, Incarnate Truth, please build me up in the truth that I may stand against my soul's enemy. You, the only Righteous One, be my breastplate, shield and protection in this present spiritual battle. With Incarnate Truth, I can stand, am safe, and able to proclaim the victory that you won on the cross. My only righteousness is your Precious Blood; and because of it, the devil is defeated. Consecrate me in this truth, I beg you.'  

Ephesians 6:15: and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace 

'Lord Jesus, the gospel of peace rests in my heart but my feet feel the hot coals of the fire set by the evil one. Teach me please, the way of surrender, strength and suffering wherein I do not lose my peace of soul. Did you lose your peace on the Via Dolorosa? No! You entered into the fiery ordeal with confidence in Your Father's plan. Teach me this way of wise confidence, I beg you. I admit my faith, hope, love are too small. Increase it, I pray.'  

Ephesians 6:16: above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. 

'Mother Mary, first disciple of the Lord Jesus, I implore your maternal help to strengthen my faith so it becomes an impenetrable shield. When the flaming darts of the evil one raged against you, they could not mortally wound you. You who where privileged to see God's glory with greatest clarity also saw the unimaginable depths of evil at work all around you. You were not afraid, you believed, and proclaimed God's victory in the greatest battle at the foot of the cross. You stood valiantly in faith. Please strengthen the faith of your battle worn child now.'  

Ephesians 6:17: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
'Lord Jesus, please renew my mind, that I may think the holy and good thoughts of a redeemed child. Please secure the helmet of salvation upon me so I am never without protection.'  
'Holy Spirit, come and fill me now. Graciously release your gifts of faith, hope and love, discernment and praise. Help me to pick up the sword of the Spirit to cut down and clear away all that is not of you. Keep me rooted in your living Word that is sharper than a two-edged sword against my enemy.' 

Ephesians 6:18: Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints .  
'M ost Holy Trinity, as a member of your Church militant, I have recourse to the Church triumphant. On earth I can look to, count on, and pray to saints as my heavenly family. In the midst of spiritual battles I have saint friends who passed the test, and their witness strengthens me to fight the good fight. Thank you, my Triune God, for your loving mercy, assurance, protection and blessing.'  

'S t. Michael the Archangel, most powerful against Satan and his cohorts, defend me in battle now, and until I am safely home with the Church triumphant. Archangel Michael and beloved guardian angel, please aid me in wearing the full armor of God.' 
My Mother's Re-Connect with God
By Kay Burkot,  Assistant Coordinator of the Pittsburgh, PA Chapter

Many of you know that my Mom recently had a stroke. It was serious enough that she was not the same afterward. She seemed "out of it", and showed little to no interest in anything. She lives in an assisted living facility, and she took no interest in participating in any of the activities they offered. I am told that she would just sit in her room and stare out the window.

My Mom had a re-awakening of her Catholic faith many years ago, and before the stroke she had been participating eagerly in daily Mass, Rosaries, Adoration, and she loved to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But after the stroke, things were different. She never spoke about her faith, or said anything about praying. I wasn't even sure if she remembered any prayers. Then one day, out of the blue, she called and informed me that she wanted to start praying again, and that she would be calling me or one of my siblings every night to help her pray. I was thrilled that her desire to pray had awakened. I prayed faithfully with her whenever she called, and she seemed to easily remember the words as we prayed together.

While I was enjoying this prayer time with my Mom, I couldn't help but find it curious that she all of a sudden decided to start praying again, and decided that she wanted us to pray with her. Then one day I was reading Fr. Kevin's article in the last Magnificat newsletter. Fr. Kevin told the story of his sister who had a beautiful ministry of praying with the elderly. Fr. Kevin said that the elderly need us to pray with them so that we can help them keep in touch with God. What a beautiful explanation of what was happening with my Mom!

After about a month had passed since my Mom had started calling on us to pray with her, I began to notice a difference in her. She seemed to come alive. She began participating in activities in the assisted living facility. She engaged in conversation and seemed to be very aware, almost like her old self. The difference was like night and day. It was an amazing transformation, and it all started with prayer. Because what she really needed was to  re-connect with God!
Atlanta Chapter Magnificat Meal- January 2017

L to R: Jo Ann Rademacher-Treasurer, Beth Gowasack-Coordinator, Gail Buffong-Speaker, Grethen Keiser-Asst. Coordinator,  Diane Auler- Historian
Our Wonderful CST Secretaries!
Jill Arteaga and Cindy Delger

We welcome Jill and thank her for her 'yes' to serve as one of our new CST Secretaries and thank Cindy for her continued dedication to a job well done!



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An Excerpt from the March Issue of Magnificat Prayer Booklet

The Power of  Prayer and Fasting

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast him out?"  So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."    Matt. 3:19-21  NKJV

The conversion of the kingdom of Iberia (Georgia) in the east was the work of a saintly woman named Nino. The historian Rufinus, writing in about the year 400, gives us an account of her impact on the royal house based on what he had learned orally from a Georgian prince he came to know in Palestine. Here is the story as told by Rufinus.

Nino had been taken captive by the Georgians and made a slave. She lived a chaste and virtuous life and offered her prayers to God. The Georgians were amazed at her austerity and her persistence in following her religious ways. It was a custom among the Georgians that if a child fell ill it was carried by its mother from house to house to see if anyone knew a trustworthy remedy. After a certain woman had made the rounds of her neighbors without finding a cure, she went to the captive woman. Nino said she knew no 'human remedy' but would pray to 'her God Christ.' Placing the infant on the bedcover of horse's hair, she offered prayers and returned the child to her mother healed.

When news of the healing reached the queen, Nana, who was ill, she asked for the captive woman to be brought to her. But Nino refused, because it was not right for her to break her regime of prayer and fasting. So the queen was carried to the captive, and like the infant was laid on the bedcovering. Nino called on the name of Christ, Son of God Almighty, the queen was healed, and Nino told her that 'Christ, the Son of God had healed her; and she should acknowledge Him as the source of her life and health. When the queen returned home, the king, Mirian, was overjoyed and ordered presents to be sent to the woman, but the queen said that Nino would have nothing to do with gold and silver; she was sustained by fasting, and the only reward she would accept was for the king and queen to worship the God Christ.                                                     

R obert Louis Wilken

From Doctor Wilken's book 'The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity

Magnificat-Omaha, Advent at Candlelight & Our First Year
By Karen Dwyer, Magnificat-Omaha, NE Chapter Coordinator

MariLou Lonergan-Secretary,   Kathy Andreasen- Asst. Coordinator, Kathy Wheeler- Treasurer, Karen Dwyer-Coordinator, Kathy MacInnis- Speaker, and                   Kristi Coughlin- Historian
December 4, 2016, I am writing these words as a thanksgiving to the Lord for all the things He has done for Magnificat-Omaha this year. Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5: 20); Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15:). In addition, I want to offer a big thank you to Kathy MacInnis and the Magnificat Central Service Team as well as our Regional Representative, Mary Harper. We are most grateful for your support.

There aren't enough words to express the graciousness of our God to us. The finale of our first year was held on Sunday evening, December 4th, with our 'Meal Advent at Candlelight.'  We publicized it as a special evening of light supper and cookies with guest speaker Sharon Doran, Teaching Director of Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study and frequent guest on EWTN and Spirit Catholic Radio.  Women were invited to hear Sharon "proclaim God's goodness plus Advent reflections on Women in Scripture--how they and we are chosen to bear Jesus from deep within to the outermost spaces of the world."  We are always shocked, and even panicked, at the response to our feeble efforts. Four hundred women came to our Meal and we even had to turn away reservations a few days in advance because we had hit the fire-code limit. 

It was a great evening as we ate and sang and the women led by our 44 table hostesses discussed how we, like Mary, are also called to bear Christ to the world. The food was marvelous. The tables were lit with candles and decorated with greenery and our logo glittery signs of JOY, thanks to our decorations committee. Our Spiritual Advisor, Fr. Michael Voithofer, played the guitar and led the music ministry team in praise and worship. After introductions and prayers and Fr. Michael's exhortation to open our hearts even more to Jesus this Advent, Sharon began to speak. Her message pierced our hearts. "Satan hates our special gift of childbearing and our call to bear Christ to the world around us," she said. From the time of Genesis and throughout Scripture until now, Satan has come to challenge our purity and our desire for the TRUTH. The holy women in the Bible and those in every generation have had to stand up for God in the midst of evil.  We must stand with Jesus and for Jesus in this present time. Sharon said, "we must be empowered with His Word, prayer and the Sacraments!"  We were captivated with Sharon's message for over 75 minutes before we all rose to rededicate our lives to Jesus this Advent.

As we look back on the highlights of our first year, we remember the Meals with over 1,200 reservations and four wonderful speakers, including, the Magnificat Breakfast in February with Sr. Ann Shields, who called us to deepen our faith and the Breakfast in June with Dr. Margarett Schlientz, who called us to activate the power of healing prayer. Our October Tea, we were greatly blessed with Magnificat International Coordinator Kathy MacInnis who shared her faith journey and invited us all to abandon our lives to Christ.  Finally, our year ended with Sharon Doran and Advent at Candlelight.

Our Magnificat-Omaha Service Team, our nine committees and the Heart of Jesus Prayer Group have prayed and sacrificed much in time and talents to make our Meals happen and bear fruit. Our Spirit Catholic Radio station helped greatly with interviewing our speakers and discussing our events on air. Our parish ambassadors guided all of our announcements into the many church bulletins. THANKS to everyone who has helped in so many ways. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

"God knows us better than we know ourselves, and he knows that if we would forget to worship, little by little, we would forget who He is, and if we forget who God is, we will forget who we are."
                         Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi

Magnificat Pittsburgh, PA Celebrates 50th Breakfast 
By Pam Baker, Chapter Publicity

L to R: Mary Samsa, Maria Boylan and Lorraine Sarver

It's hard to believe that Our Lady of the Visitation Chapter has celebrated a great milestone, it's 50th Breakfast!  Yet, on August 6th, we did exactly that!  Our coordinator, Mary Samsa, greeted over 260 women saying, " Welcome to the Magnificat Pittsburgh Prayer Breakfast number 50!"  We are so glad you are here and that we are together."  Together we were, for more than 12 years now.  Our speaker, Maria Boylan, shared her faith journey, which at times was filled with adversity and tears, and a perseverance that can only come from faith in a big God.  One attendee shared, "The breakfast was so wonderful, and Maria gave an inspiring testimony. I brought a new girl, and she was in tears. She said she was coming back for sure. It is an honor to be a part of this wonderful event. Everyone is so good and filled with the Holy Spirit."  Maria's message hit home for our Chapter, as well, as we reflected on the past 50 breakfasts.  Through prayer, hope, perseverance, and a desire to give all glory to God through Our Lady, Magnificat Pittsburgh will continue to serve women of all ages in the Pittsburgh region. Thanks be to God!

Myriam England's Husband Receives Honorary Doctorate!

Myriam writes, "We had this wonderful celebration of Richard getting an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Malta on the 2nd of December. We wished to share this with you knowing that this was a God given gift as a family for the great talent that the Lord gave him. All the family came from England to share in this wonderful celebration. We thank God as this is all HIS doing." 
Congratulations and may God continue to bless you, Myriam, 
and your dear husband, Richard! 

The reason I like Magnificat Breakfasts is because it is the only time I can count on being with all my friends for an inspiring faith - filled time. 

CCRNO Women's Conference
By Paulette Renaudin, Newsletter Editor

A number of  members of five Louisiana Magnificat Service Teams were represented at the Annual CCRNO Women's Retreat. We even had members of the Nova Scotia Magnificat Service Team present with their Spiritual Advisor. Michele Moran from England was the featured speaker along with Fr. Joe Kraft, from New Orleans. Patti Mansfield spoke about the 50th Anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. She was one of the university students on retreat at The Ark and The Dove Retreat House when the Holy Spirit came in power and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began!

Mary Powell, Nancy Skok and Carol Dazzio

Tampa's February Retreat 
By Patricia Eddy, Coordinator of the Tampa, FL Chapter

It was a wonderful retreat in February with 56 women attending at our Diocese Bethany Retreat Center. We were blessed to have our new Bishop Gregory Parks preside at our Saturday Mass. We had a healing service Saturday night that was very powerful. Our retreat leaders were Sisters from the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ from Prayer Town, Texas. We were blessed to have Mother Juana Teresa, Sr. Damiana and Sr. Elizabeth Ann.

The retreat theme was on 'Evangelization,; how to spread the Good News', starting with our family and friends using our own unique gifts and talents. The women left on fire and renewed. I have heard from many of the women who have stepped out of their comfort zone and have made a real difference in someone's life. Praise the Lord!

L to R: Front: Mother Juana Teresa, Sr. Elizabeth Ann, Sr. Damiana L to R: Back:Peggy Pfeiffer-Historian, Jane Michalak- Asst. Coord., Mary Azzarelli- Secretary, Patricia Eddy- Coordinator

Praise and Worship
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Thank you to all who have commented, liked, and shared our posts. Every time you like, share, or comment you create activity which then multiplies the number of souls exposed to the Magnificat mission, which in turn reaches out to more souls in need of our Savior. Let us glorify the Lord in all we do, even on Social Media, and they will come to know the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!   All glory to God!

Our Annual Magnificat CST Fundraising Appeal 
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Click on the blue link below to make a gift to  Magnify the Lord through Magnificat!!! 

Magnificat Proclaims airs on EWTN RadioPlus !

Did you know everyday on EWTN Classics at 1:00 pm EST,  the new EWTN RadioPlus network features Magnificat speakers? It is also available online ( www.ewtnradio.net ) and on the EWTN app. Tune in and hear these incredible testimonies!  

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Paulette Renaudin, Editor 
Elise Botch, Layout Page Designer 
CST Communications Ministry