Spring Edition
Lent  is a time for repentance and transformation. It is a good opportunity to reflect on where we have been and to prepare for what is to come. Many parishes have missions, Stations of the Cross and additional times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation to help us. We encourage you to take advantage of this special time to draw closer to the Lord. In doing so, our entire life is enriched.

On behalf of the Central Service Team, wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Lent and a glorious Easter.

God bless you, 
Donna Ross, Coordinator
Central Service Team (CST)

Volume 3 Issue 18
Holy Father's Monthly Intentions

Formation in Spirtual Discernment:
That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.


For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters:
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.

The Mission of Laity:
That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.
15th International Magnificat Leaders' Conference
Breaking News! Save the date!!!
July 18-21, 2019
Hilton New Orleans Airport, LA
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Liturgy of the Hours
Open bible w cross shadow
Office of Readings

Second Reading

From the S piritual Testament by Saint Angela Merici, virgin

He has disposed all things pleasantly

Mothers and sisters most dear to me in Christ: in the first place strive with all your power and zeal to be open. With the help of God, try to receive such good counsel that, led solely by the love of God and an eagerness to save souls, you may fulfill your charge. 

Only if the responsibilities committed to you are rooted firmly in this twofold charity will they bear beneficial fruit. As our Savior says: A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit.
He says, A good tree, that is, a good heart as well as a soul inflamed with charity, can do nothing but good and holy works. For this reason Saint Augustine said: Love, and do what you will, namely possess love and charity and then do what you will. It is as if he had said: Charity is not able to sin.

I also beg you to be concerned about every one of your daughters. Bear them, so to speak, engraved upon your heart-not merely their names, but their conditions and states, whatever they may be. This will not be difficult for you if you embrace them with a living love. 

Mothers of children, even if they have a thousand, carry each and every one fixed in their hearts, and because of the strength of their love they do not forget any of them. In fact, it seems that the more children they have the more their love and care for each one is increased. Surely those who are mothers in spirit can and must act all the more in the same way, because spiritual love is more powerful than the love that comes from a blood relationship. 

Therefore, mothers most dear to me, if you love these your daughters with a living and unaffected charity, it will be impossible for you not to have each and every one off them engraved upon your memory and in your mind. 

I beg you again, strive to draw them by love, modesty, charity, and not by pride and harshness. Be sincerely kind to every one according to the words of Our Lord: Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart. Thus you are imitating God, of whom it is said: He has disposed all things pleasantly. And again Jesus said: My yoke is easy and my burden light.

You also ought to exercise pleasantness toward all, taking great care especially that what you have commanded may never be done by reason of force. For God has given free will to everyone, and therefore he forces no one but only indicates, calls, persuades.

Sometimes, however, something will have to be done with a stronger command, yet in a suitable manner and according to the state and necessities of individuals; but then also we should be impelled only by charity and zeal for souls. 

Message from Msgr. David Toups
Magnificat CST Spiritual Advisor

My dear Magnificat sisters, can you believe that we are half way through Lent already! It seems like yesterday we were laying the Christ Child in the wooden manger and now we are preparing to move to the wood of the Cross. The season of Lent is one of prayer and penance as we heard on Ash Wednesday: “Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God” (Joel 2:12). Lent is about the body and the soul.

We live in a society which does not understand the Christian tradition of self-denial (i.e. penance and fasting). Rather we are to reward ourselves at all times! “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24) is antithetical to “if it feels good, go for it!” The closest we get to the concept of penance and fasting is trying the latest diet fad. However, are we doing it with a desire to grow in relationship with Christ and identify with the poor, or is it just about losing weight and fitting into a smaller size? As good as dieting is and as good as it feels when we get results, if the spiritual component is not engaged, it is not penance! Guilty as charged - we all are!

Let’s be honest and admit that many of us are not living penitential lives throughout the year, but every Lent is meant to help us reconnect with this great ascetical practice that has been a part of our Judeo-Christian tradition from the beginning. Much could be said about the Old Testament references: from abstaining from the “fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”, to ritual fasting before particular feasts, to an expression of contrition and humbling oneself in the sight of God. Suffice it to say, it is clearly part of our common heritage. Not to mention the heritage of most world religions - fasting plays a role in the spiritual life. In fact, I am embarrassed at how casually we embark on Lenten fasting and how seriously our Muslim brothers and sisters embrace the fasting of Ramadan. We certainly can do better!

Really the bottom line for us is that Christ fasted and encouraged His disciples to do the same. During His 40 days in the desert He was “strengthened by fasting and armed with the Word of God” thus resisting the evil one. As the Preface of the First Sunday of Lent states: “By abstaining forty days from earthly food, he consecrated through his fast the pattern of our Lenten observance...” He is our exemplar par excellence. If He chose fasting as a way of growing in relationship with the Father, shouldn’t we do the same? It is important to note that we practice penance, mortification, and abstinence not because we are some masochistic sect, but in view of our new life in Christ, in view of our desire to be free from even our own disordered inclinations, desires, and attractions. All of our ascetical exercises need to be seen in the light of our truest desire to grow in relationship with Christ. He is our end and penance is just a means and not an end in itself.

It may be helpful to be reminded about the deeper “why” of fasting. 1) Fasting or any penitential act reminds us to invite God into our emptiness – It is He alone who can fill our hearts.
If you are saying “no” to an extra helping, or skipping a meal or dessert, or purposefully sitting next to someone you don’t like it is an immediate reminder to make an interior “yes” to God. The spiritual life is always about a deeper relationship with God, so fasting must be about the same (as are all of the works of mercy of which we have previously spoken).

2) We grow in charity and virtue by penance and fasting and “acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart” (CCC 2043). While the first reason was about self-denial, the second is about saying no to sin. Our will is strengthened and we are more easily able to say “no” to evil, and “yes” to good. Lent is a journey which invites us to have a deeper look at our lives in light of the Word of God so as to be able to re-commit ourselves more fully to the Lord at the Easter Vigil. The bottom line is that it is all about Love! The purpose is always to grow in relationship with God.

3) The Church has always encouraged the uniting of one’s heart with the poor around us who have so much less than we do, whether that is food, luxury, comfort, etc. The reason behind our self-denial is to move our center from ourselves over to God and others; from being self-centered and self-reliant to centering all our life on God and thus serve him in the poorest of the poor. This is not simply an option in the Christian spiritual life, a kind of one spirituality among many, rather this is the fruit of all Christian spirituality. A little sacrifice and penance grounds us, even if in the smallest of ways, in the profound truth of how “rich” we are and how great our need is to identify in some way with the less fortunate. 

4) Our deliberate and conscious self-emptying leads us into closer communion with God, being more God-like. Penance and fasting are meant to lead us away from sin by learning to say “no” to our every wont and desire so as to learn to say “no” to temptation when it comes our way. Remember that it is not of our own power that we conquer sin in our lives and earn God’s love, rather God is the one who, in Christ, draws us to Himself, and in fasting we open ourselves to His merciful love.

So I invite each of us to reflect on some practical ways we can fast and do penance during Lent? But remember, first and foremost, penance needs to be done with love and for Love Himself. May our Lenten sacrifices not just be for a season, but lead us closer to Christ throughout the year. As Pope St. Leo the Great once wrote: “That which the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.”

Magnificat Celebrates Re-dedication of Metairie Office
and CST Visitation
 By Paulette Renaudin, Newsletter Editor
Back row : L-R Diane Bates, Mary Wilson, Carol Dazzio, Kim Rodriguez-Torres, Marilyn Heap, Paulette Renaudin, Marilyn Quirk, Donna Ross, Elaine Chetta, Sara Ford, Fr. Beau Charbonnet.
Front Row :Judy Zelden, Joan Lococo
The seed that was planted 37 years ago continues to flower everywhere. Our Lady continues to spread the perfume of Magnificat far and wide.

On January 21, 2018, the CST, along with many past members of the CST, Advisors, Chapter Coordinators, and Magnificat friends including office personnel enjoyed a very special reunion.

We viewed the remodeled office with Fr. Beau Charbonnet, Spiritual Advisor for the Metairie Mother Chapter, who blessed each of the redecorated rooms.

The historic event was celebrated with a lovely luncheon and special words given by Marilyn Quirk and Marilyn Heap, who were present for the beginning of the ministry. They recalled with gratitude how this special ministry is dedicated to the Blessed Mother. They also shared some of the earlier moments in the ministry.

We were also blessed with a short video from our new International Spiritual Advisor, Msgr. David Toups. He welcomed us and gave us a very inspirational talk on the San Damiano cross.

Our new Coordinator, Donna Ross, also gave a warm welcome to all of us and updated us on the ministry. Sara Ford informed us about the Chapters in Formation.

Kim Rodriguez-Torres explained the 5-Star Campaign and the importance of financially supporting the ministry. Mary Wilson highlighted the new books;
( Magnificat Proclaims-Holy Orders, A Guide for Presenting Life in the Spirit for Youth ) and led the prayer at the end of the celebration.

Kathy MacInnis was not able to attend but we congratulated her for a well deserved retirement after 25+ years of faithful servant leadership and expressed our gratitude for her Fiat. We also thanked Diane Bates for her service to the CST especially in her role as Conference Coordinator for the last two conferences. She announced her retirement from CST but will remain on the Advisory Team.

The items in the book store were on display for everyone to see. Each Chapter represented was introduced and a time of Praise and Worship followed.

The CST selects one area of the country each year to do a Visitation with the local Chapters in conjunction with their annual planning meeting. This year, New Orleans was selected since the 2019 International Conference will be celebrated in New Orleans July 18-21, 2019. We will be coming home to our roots. They also showcased in a video our past Conference 2017 in Orange, CA.

We closed the Visitation meeting with a time of prayer over each Chapter. On the way home, past CST Member Joan Lococo commented “I feel like the ministry is in good hands.” Thank you, Michelle Seghers, our Office Manager, who planned the beautiful day which was so enjoyable for all of us.
Marilyn Heap and Marilyn Quirk
CST & Archbishop Aymond of
New Orleans, LA
Our Mother's Heart
By Noel Delery, Mandeville, LA

Lord, give me the heart of Our Mother
Pure, faithful, gentle and mild.                  
A humble heart that seeks only Your will
Which is truly the heart of a child.

Lord, give me the ears of Our Mother
That I may hear the cries of the poor
And nourish them with Your
'life-giving' Word. 
That they will hunger and thirst for more.

Lord, give me the tears of Our Mother
That I may weep for the sheep that are lost
And lay down my life without fear or regret
To beget a new Pentecost.

Lord, give me the arms of Our Mother
Open to all You hold dear
That my prayerful embrace will gain
them the grace
To seek You and let You draw near.

Lord, give me the faith of Our Mother
To trust that You'll always provide
For the needs of each of our children
Never doubting that You're by their side.

Lord, give me the hope of Our Mother
Who knows that her pain will give birth
To Jesus in hearts and new life
for the Church 
that Your Kingdom will reign on the earth.

Lord, give me the love of Our Mother
That never ceases to flow
From a heart that is pierced with sorrow
That seeds of virtue and grace will grow.
Lord, give me the peace of Our Mother
That I may be Your vessel of life
Forgiving each time I'm offended
To free others from anger and strife.
“Mardi Gras in New Orleans”
By Paulette Renaudin, Newsletter Editor

Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans this year was special because the city was celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the founding of New Orleans. This city is very unique and the Mardi Gras celebration is one of its greatest assets. Mardi Gras truly defines New Orleans and brings people and families together like no other celebration in the country. The colors of purple, green and gold, with which people are familiar, have deep symbolism. Purple is for justice, green is for faith, and gold is for power. New Orleans is known mainly for its music and food but also for its Catholicity. What other city in the country has the cathedral as its logo? Mardi Gras is the big celebration also called “Fat Tuesday” because the next day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. The main parade on Mardi Gras is the Rex Parade. It is one of the oldest men’s organizations and the King of Mardi Gras is chosen from the members of Rex. The members are leaders in the city in business and philanthropy. Our Archbishop Aymond was in the reviewing stand for the parades along with the Mayor and other dignitaries. This year the Rex Organization chose our historical Catholic roots as designs for some of their floats. What a beautiful way to celebrate our faith!

St. Louis Cathedral -1718
Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Henriette Delille - 1815
Ursuline Nuns - 1727
An Ash Wednesday Reflection
By Peggy Rowe-Linn, Coordinator of W. Palm Beach, FL Chapter
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on one’s forehead. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. As the priest applies the ashes to a person's forehead, he speaks the words: "Remember, man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. When a young couple falls in love and is married, the priest has each repeat the words, “until death do us part.” How many couples understand the intended permanence of the covenant of marriage? Both are reminders of our own mortality.

Ashes are a symbol of penance. They have been made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. Thus, as we enter into this Lenten season, let us give our lives daily to the tasks Christ sets before us. Let us be humble of mind, body and spirit. Let us remember that our life on earth is short, but eternal life is forever. Let us strive to be holy. Let us commit anew to make this “our best Lent ever” by doing something superior that stretches us.

Bud MacFarlane, Founder of the Mary Foundation, has an exhaustive list of suggestions for Catholics this Lent as do Matthew Kelly, Steubenville, Franciscan Media and a host of others. Choose one today! Just get started! Here are my top ten:

1. Pray the Rosary every day.
2. Receive Communion at Mass every day.    
3. Go to Confession once a week.
4. Pray the Family Rosary every day.
5. Pray in silence 20 minutes a day.
6. Make a Eucharistic visit every day.
7. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day.
8. Fast on bread and water one to three times per week (join me!)
9. Read a spiritual book.
10. Give a painfully large donation to charity.

Whatever you do this Lent, be a LOVER of God, family, others and self this Lent!  It will keep you humble and make you holier than thou art! That’s the goal, my friends!
Catholic Charismatic Renewal Retreat of New Orleans- CCRNO
By Mary Powell, CST Advisory Team Member and Region 4 Regional Rep
Women: Gather in the Upper Room with Mary, was the theme of the Women’s Retreat held in Lafayette, LA. The retreat was sponsored by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans. Dr. Mary Healy and Fr. Bill Henry ministered boldly in the Holy Spirit with many signs and wonders!

The talks and ministry focused on the love and power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives as women and on the call to evangelize. In addition to profound and inspiring teaching, there was a strong emphasis on testimony and on charismatic ministry during the weekend.

Dr. Mary Healy is a blessing with her joy, inspiring teaching and powerful charismatic gifts. She is a bright light in the Church today and she will enter the Upper Room with you to teach you how to receive the Holy Spirit in union with Mary and become evangelizers. Mary Healy is in great demand all over the world. She is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author on healing, Scripture, evangelization, and the spiritual life! Fr. Bill Henry is a well-loved pastor from Greenville, MS. He left a successful career in sales to embrace the call to the priesthood. Fr. Bill has been involved with the Renewal for many decades and has a special anointing in prayer. He serves on the Conference Steering Committee and Marian Servants.

A Life in the Spirit Seminar was given for newcomers on Saturday by Deacon Larry and Andi Oney. They are exceptionally anointed!

Many thanks to Al and Patti Mansfield and all the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Team of New Orleans for their many years of dedication to putting these retreats on. We are all looking forward to the next Women’s Retreat in Lafayette January 25-27, 2019. Magnificat’s Spiritual Advisor, Msgr. David Toups will be ministering at the retreat.
Please make plans to come and be filled with the joy of the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Standing: left to right: Mary Wilson, Gwen Gillis, Debra Landry, Linda Ballistrella, Sherree LaBouve, Phillis Nash, Sharla Prejean, Sandy, Chapman, Evelyn Labordette
Kneeling: Kathy Simoneaux, Nancy Skok, Mary Powell, Regina White 
Front row: Carol Dazzio, Theresa Henderson 
A Little Heart to Heart with God
By Joan Lococo, Mandeville, LA, retired CST member
Here I am again, Lord. May I share a few thoughts with you?

This morning I had coffee and beignets with one of my daughters, one granddaughter and her 18-month old son-four generations in the coffee shop-pretty cool! While I love being there, I felt strangely apart from the action, as if I was watching the scene from afar. I was unable to pick up the precious great grandson but I contented myself with giving him a ‘ride’ on the seat of my walker (which he enjoyed).

I am old Lord, and getting older. I am not complaining, Lord, just stating a fact.- one which You, of course, have known for quite a while. I tried to deny it for a long time, but I knew I was fooling only myself. When did I come to grips with it and acknowledge the reality? I really don’t remember the date, the place, the time- it was more like a gradual process. As I found it harder and harder to do certain things that I liked to do. I just tried to continue bravely forward, ignoring the nagging voice in back of my head that kept pointing out the obvious.

You were with me dearest Abba, and let me do my thing. You must have smiled to yourself as You graciously, patiently, lovingly waited for me to awaken from my fantasy world of denial. Dear Lord and Friend, I am so grateful for your steadfastness and faithfulness as I moved through all the stages of my life. The awareness of Your loving guidance has protected me often in the past, so I searched the Scriptures to find some reassurance in Your Word for this new situation.

I was comforted to read, “Gray hair is a crown of glory, it is gained by virtuous living,’ in Proverbs 16:31 and again “My son, from your youth embrace discipline thus you will find wisdom and graying hair.” Sirach 6:18.
I am not sure about the wisdom part but my absolute favorite was in Isaiah 46:3-4

Hear me, O house of Jacob
All who remain of the house of Israel
My burden since your birth,
whom I have carried from your infancy
Even in your old age I am the same.
Even when your hair is gray, I will bear you:
It is I who have done this, I will continue
And I who will carry you to safety.

Wow, Lord that is quite a promise, and I know you are faithful to your promises. I accept that I am old, and I am grateful that you are allowing me to grow older. We sometimes complain that it is not for wimps (and that is true), but it’s not all bad. There are some perks that accompany us on the final leg of our journey. When my children were moving into a one-bedroom apartment, one of my sons said to me, “Mom, you are still teaching us. You are teaching us how to grow old gracefully.” Wasn’t that a dear thing to say?

Each day I meet such wonderful people who are eager to help me with little courtesy’s. And they are so pleased when I express my gratitude for their kindness. It’s like giving them an opportunity to draw from their deep well of goodness and generosity within. Perhaps we could start a new rule, call it the Silver Rule for Seniors, “Let others do unto you as you would do unto them." Do you think that would catch on?

My children are such amazing blessings to me. They outdo themselves to spoil me. I am learning to let go of my own control of things and be spoiled. This role reversal is not easy for a little red hen who was used to doing things herself. Is that part of what You call, dying to self? Since it seems to be Your Will, I am all for it (even if I occasionally voice an objection), and I am truly grateful for my marvelous children and grandchildren and the beautiful companions you have given me.

So now Lord, what’s next? Are You preparing me for Your coming to take me home to You? If so, I humbly ask Your Holy Spirit to get my soul ready for that exciting day. My life has been consecrated to Jesus through Mary, and I pray that Our Lady will be with me to present my soul to my Savior. With her at my side, I will have no fear.

But in the meantime, dear One, I wonder if there still might be some way that I can serve. Is there some way, however small, that I might advance Your kingdom on earth? I am grateful that I can still lead the singing at Mass each week, but how about on a daily basis? Is It enough if I smile at people and let Your love and joy flow through me to those whom seem to be heavily burdened? Will they know that You are the Source of my joy? Will they realize that I smile because You reign in my heart? Will they especially know that You love them when I treat them with love? If they ask, I will certainly tell them. But if they aren’t ready to ask, I believe that You will let them know, in Your own inimitable way and time.

With a grateful heart, I trust in You.
Memoriam- Theresa G. 'Tessie' Trosclair

Theresa "Tessie" G. Trosclair, 95, passed away on December 4, 2017. She resided in Norco, Louisiana. Tessie was one of the founding members of the Mother Chapter of Magnificat.

Rest in the arms of Jesus, Tessie, you are a blessing to many!
5 Star Campaign - Annual Appeal
by the Central Service Team

But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 
Matthew 6:3-4

The Church encourages us to use the 40 days of Lent to follow and take stock of our own faith journey through the Lenten observances of prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving.

We have decided that Lent is the perfect time to launch our annual appeal, now known as the Five Star Campaign.

If you have not already, Magnificat hopes you will consider the following options in your alms giving plans this Lenten season.
  • Become a Five Star Campaign Donor and watch your Lenten offering grow to $60.00 annually through your sacrificial gift of 17¢ per day/$5 per month.
  • If you are already a Five Star Campaign Donor, we ask you to prayerfully discern increasing your reoccurring donation.
  • Give a one-time donation of $40 for the 40 days of Lent. 
To make your sacrificial gift online, please click here:
http://magnificat-ministry.net/donate/ and select a donate or subscribe button. You can also mail a check payable to: Magnificat Central Service Team at 1629 Metairie Road, Suite 3, Metairie, LA 70005.

Your funds will insure that Magnificat can continue to evangelize and open the hearts of many around the world. This year, we have generous donors who will match your contributions to Magnificat during the Lenten season.
We are often reminded that "God cannot be outdone in generosity!" How true! These 40 days of Lent provide each of us with a unique opportunity to recalibrate our spiritual compass and draw closer to God. We are so grateful for your prayer and sacrifice in advancing the Kingdom of God and the mission of Magnificat. Together let us Magnify the Lord!
Magnificat Prayer Booklet
Magnificat has been a daily companion to thousands on their spiritual journey, enriching their prayer life and helping them grow in love and knowledge of Christ and the Church. 

Every subscription to this lovely Mass and prayer guide directly benefits our Ministry domestically and worldwide. 

Regular Edition: first subscription $44.95; second subscription $35; and subsequent subscriptions $29; Large Print Edition: first subscription $64.95; second subscription $55; and subsequent subscriptions $49.

Magnificat  P. O. Box 822, 
Yonkers, NY 10702 
(866) 273-5215
Praise Report

With raising small children, I do not have time for a retreat but the Magnificat breakfasts are just like a mini-retreat. I can make those. 
Central Service Team Facebook
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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!
Magnificat Proclaims  airs on EWTN RadioPlus !

Did you know everyday on EWTN Classics at 1:00 pm EST, the new EWTN RadioPlus network features a Magnificat speaker? It is also available online (www.ewtnradio.net) and on the EWTN app. Tune in and hear these incredible testimonies! 
This Newsletter is brought to you by the Central Service Team

Paulette Renaudin- Editor
Elise Botch- Layout Page Designer
CST Communications Team

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