"This Is What I Do"

Hands
We persist “ whether it is convenient or inconvenient.”
— Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy 4:1-2

A new staff member at Joseph’s House was recently asked via email, “What is it you do at Joseph’s House?” She replied with the above photo she had taken while at work, and the simple statement, “This is what I do.”

Could there be a more concise yet more perfect reply? Or a better description of what we do? Love, compassion, service and security are all portrayed in this image and help all understand the depths of commitment we give to all our moms and their children born and unborn. We are simply family to all no matter where they may be from or what their past might be. If a woman is willing and able to work hard, go by the rules and live in community harmoniously with others at Joseph’s House, she will find the path to change her life.

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We are able to do all of the above because of those who constantly assist us, like our friends from St. Anne’s in Manlius. This past Thursday evening many braved the chilly weather for their Annual Spaghetti Supper in support of our mission. This is the 5th year St. Anne’s has hosted this event on our behalf. More than 300 people attended and the mouthwatering food, warm atmosphere and enthusiastic welcome made our moms realize just how large and loving their Joseph’s House family truly is. Many thanks to Reverend Brian Lang, Kathi Esposito and most especially to Fran and Frank Pavone who have worked for days at a time for many years, making pasta, sauce and tons of meatballs in preparation for this blessed event. The money raised sharing good food and company will once again shower many graces upon our mission and will enable us to be persistent in our work on behalf of the sanctity of all human life. Thank you again to all who attended and all who prepared for your staunch support of Joseph’s House!

St Anne"s

We are able to persist and persevere in our commitment to all who come to call us home, because of answered prayers and unwavering support from so many. We work with all the moms sent our way while they are with us and after they leave us, so they experience first-hand how steadfast we are in assisting with their needs. At this time, we are home to six moms, seven little ones and have two babies on the way and all are experiencing the loving presence of a most dedicated group of people who want nothing more for them than to be safe, fulfilled and understand they are loved by us as well as by their Father in Heaven. We want our moms to always remember some of the happiest, most productive and most life-changing experiences in their lives occurred while living and learning at Joseph’s House. We want them to comprehend, the more persistent they are in sticking to what they learn while with us and relying on faith, the better chance they have of improving their lives for years to come.

The prayer, whether for ourselves or for others, that is not discouraged, which persists and besieges heaven, touches God’s heart; and that is why he tells us to persevere.

— Dom Augustin Guillerand

Persistence, perseverance and prayer in any work, in any life will always pay dividends. Being patient and persistent in our relationship with God and with one another, following the rules and always doing the right thing no matter how difficult, are the tools that lead us to understanding the crosses and sufferings of life give us the strength and perseverance needed to lead us to eternal bliss in Heaven.

And so, this is what we do. We love passionately and we serve purposefully. We persist and we persevere, in prayer and in assistance, whether it is convenient or inconvenient. Is it easy? Not always. Is it joy-filled? Every single day. Will we continue to do this work, to be tenacious and labor unceasingly for all who come to us? Absolutely. Why? Because it is our calling, it is our thanksgiving for God’s mercy and because it is our mission to preserve life on behalf of Our Father in Heaven. Thank You, Jesus for giving us the opportunity to do what we do and for letting us know through Your unending blessings, our work in service to Your most innocent and cherished children is exactly what You want it to be. God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty   

 

Bound to Her Immaculate Heart

Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Commend your children to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When parents pray the Rosary, at the end of each decade they should hold the Rosary aloft and say to her, “With these beads bind my children to your Immaculate Heart.” She will attend to their souls.
—  St. Louise de Marillac

As many of you know, October is the month of The Most Holy Rosary. I have written many times about the impact of the Rosary in my own life and in the founding of Joseph’s House and yet there are always new insights into this prayer that can take all of us closer to Jesus through the Heart of His Mother Mary.

St. Louis de Montfort wrote in True Devotion to Mary, "All our perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ; and therefore the most perfect of all devotions is, without any doubt, that which the most perfectly conforms, unites and consecrates us to Jesus Christ. Now, Mary being the most conformed of all creatures to Jesus Christ, it follows that of all devotions, that which most consecrates and conforms the soul to Our Lord is devotion to His holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more it is consecrated to Jesus.

Here is a beautiful Consecration to Mary.

“I honor you Most Blessed Virgin Mary for you are the Holy Mother of God. You were created pure to be the Vessel of the Word of God. You said "yes" with your heart and with your lips and by the Power of the Holy Spirit conceived in your womb the One who was obedient to death, even death on a cross. Your Most Immaculate Heart is one with His Most Sacred Heart as you shared in His sufferings until the end.

    Because Jesus gave you to me to be my Mother, I now consecrate myself to your Most Immaculate Heart. Please help me to also be a pure vessel of God's word, trust in His Holy Will and to obey even under the most difficult circumstances.

    Lend me a piece of Your Heart, My Lady, as I entrust my entire Heart to you, to shape, mold and form into the perfect image of your own. Help me to always live in you and with you and through you and for you, for the Glory of the Kingdom and the conversion of all God's children on earth. Spread your Mantle of Protection over me and over all those I hold in my heart.” Amen

These words prayed daily have always had a profound effect in my life and recently as I say this consecration, pray the Rosary and bind my children and grandchildren to Her Immaculate Heart, a newfound peace envelops my soul as the understanding my children and grandchildren have Our Lady’s protection is made apparent. Lately however, the thought occurred, “What about everyone else?”  So, more exclamations of cohesion have been requested, for the moms and children of Joseph’s House, for all the children lost to abortion, for all the women considering abortion. For all those performing and working in the abortion industry. For all those who have no one to pray for them. For all the “nones” out there. The “nones” are young people who have absolutely no knowledge of God as stated by Bishop Robert Barron.

These requests bring tears to my eyes as I come to understand how lost these souls may be, how distressed and anxious they are because they have not yet learned they are adored by God. They have no knowledge His love for them is so fervent, He is so impassioned for them, He would send His Son to die on the cross for them alone. For you alone. For me alone.

Close your eyes and say a Hail Mary slowly and quietly to yourself. Where does the prayer take you? Who is at the center of the prayer? “Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb, Jesus”. The Hail Mary takes us to Jesus. Imagine being at The Nativity and being in the presence of the Holy Family. Picture the loving consolation in Her eyes, the tenderness of Her Touch and the comfort of being wrapped in Her mantle and bind yourself to Her Most Perfect Heart. Rest in Her Heart, and ask your Guardian Angel to bind you to Her with the garlands of roses produced and linked together from all the Hail Mary’s recited in your Rosary. Is that not perfection?  Are thoughts of residing in Her Heart not heavenly?

“The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary.”
— St. Louis de Montfort

The life of Jesus began with Mary’s “Yes” when Gabriel greeted her, ‘Hail Full of Grace!”. He performed His first miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana at Her request. He gave Her to us at the Foot of the Cross. The life of Jesus began with Mary, the ministry of Jesus began with Mary and the last words of Jesus were spoken to Mary. Do we believe He would neglect any request She brought His way?

Let us say yes to Mary as Jesus always said yes to Mary. He never refused her requests while on earth and He does not refuse her requests in heaven as long as we are in union with the precepts of our faith and in a state of grace. Bind your children to Her in the Rosary. Bind your grandchildren to Her. Bind and consecrate yourselves to Her and witness the fruit of Her intercession in your life. My prayer for all of you is all your Hail Mary’s produce an abundance of garlands of roses to bind you and your family to Our Lady forever in Heaven. God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

 

Respecting Life

We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of
hatred…If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each
other?
— St. Mother Teresa
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Happy Weekend My Friends,

Here we are at the final weekend of September leading us into the midst of autumn and the month of October. October is a colossal month for celebrating our faith, Our Lady, Respect Life and the Holy Rosary. A bonanza of saintly celebrations commences the very first day of the month with the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. The Feast of Our Guardian Angels on October 2nd, St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th and St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy on October 5th. The following week of October 7th begins with the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.

At Joseph’s House these celebrations all have special meanings since all the titles of October and the saints mentioned above have been key components in the history and growth of our mission. Historically, we closed on the purchase of our home on October 15th, 2013 on the Feast Day of St. Theresa of Avila, another saint who has deep roots in the history of Joseph’s House. We have been blessed throughout the years in the month of October with gifts from God as special tours, visits and events held in our home have been the catalysts for securing large gifts and blessings insuring the life of our mission for years to come.

Joseph’s House is at Holy Family Church this weekend! Come see us there!

Joseph’s House is at Holy Family Church this weekend! Come see us there!

As this is the month of Respect Life and Joseph’s House is a most important Respect Life ministry, October has always included invitations to share our story with others through numerous Baby Bottle Drives in churches as well as speaking about the joy of our work to students and adults from catholic schools and more secular missions as well. These speaking opportunities give us the ability to share the sufferings and triumphs of our moms and children with others, as well as the miracle stories of successes of our moms and our mission that seem to make even those who may consider themselves pro-choice and or not religious, ponder the possibility, God truly does exist.

Give us the grace – When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand
up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.
— St. John Paul II

October and Respect Life Month also include the 40 Days for Life Campaigns nationally and here in Syracuse NY. You may not know the first legal abortion in the country took place in Syracuse NY in July of 1970, making our city of great historical significance to the abortion industry.  Jeannie Owens and Shannon Guy, the leaders of our local campaign, have played an important role in the existence of Joseph’s House as their prayers have always included a home like ours for those wanting to choose life for their unborn children. Through Jeanie and Shannon’s work and the support of many good lay people and priests, most especially, Monseigneur Eugene Yennock, the local 40 Days campaigns have grown and become more visible. Praying the Rosary in front of Planned Parenthood has been life-changing in the fight to preserve the sanctity of life in our city and has led to the most unsuspecting souls finding their purpose in life is simply to pray and be present in this spot thus saving the lives of others. There is no greater gift in the world than learning your prayers, words, or actions are responsible for saving the life of an innocent child and saving the soul of a young mother.

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Joseph’s House is forever grateful to all the saints, most especially, Our Lady of the Rosary for the immense impact they have had on the founding and sustaining of our ministry. We are forever grateful to those sent to us through the intercessions of these most glorious servants of God and the countless rosaries prayed by so many for so very long at Planned Parenthood. There are others whom have prayed for years in their homes, at churches and in prayer ministries so that a home like ours would be built to save God’s most defenseless and angelic unborn children. Those prayers have led to the saving of 55 newborn children at Joseph’s House in the past five and a half years and so we ask you to consider taking an hour to pray at home or perhaps going to Planned Parenthood where your presence would be the manifestation of God’s love, mercy and hope outside this den of deceit, death and misery. Your presence there simply praying silently, may be the inspiration for the saving of a most innocent child and the saving of a most vulnerable soul, both chosen to live here on earth at this time in this place by Our Father in Heaven. Let us all say yes to this invitation and help our Lord and Our Lady save lives. Hope to see you there! God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Right Where We All Belong

The Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta prepared a spectacular dinner for all of us at Joseph’s House!

The Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta prepared a spectacular dinner for all of us at Joseph’s House!

Happy Weekend My Friends,

It’s been a thrilling and busy week at Joseph’s House. Two new moms joined our home, exciting new jobs are beginning, new windows have been installed to keep all safe and warm and a special dinner was prepared and served this week making moms and staff feel like royalty. What a joyous week! A week making our staff as well as our moms realize, we are all right where we belong.

Joseph’s House is able to be the place for these young moms, their children and our staff to belong because of all the people out there supporting us. Renewal by Anderson and Chuck and Nancy Cometti who have gifted to us so many new windows throughout the years, once again sent their installers to repair and replace some of our largest windows. The Knights and Dames of Malta have also given us many most generous gifts providing us with warmth, safety and comfort for our residents in the past several years, and they made a special visit to us this week in service to all. Several Knights and Dames prepared and served a most magnificent dinner of beef tenderloin with potatoes, vegetables, salads and a beautiful “Choose Life” cake for dessert. The table settings and flowers along with the company made this a most impressive dinner and a once in a lifetime experience for many of our moms. Our resident moms and some of our Exodus moms shared their stories with these most gracious and generous Servants of God, speaking of how they found their way to Joseph’s House and the hardships we are helping them overcome. We are forever grateful to our friends from The Order of Malta as well our friends at Renewal by Anderson for all they sacrifice for the good of Joseph’s House and our moms and little ones. We are blessed to have them believe Joseph’s House is a place where their support is most appreciated and is a place right where they belong.

There was another very special night for our moms as Sue our most versatile Exodus Director who serves our ministry and our moms in the most admirable ways, took everyone shopping at Clothes Mentor in celebration of new jobs and the change of seasons. It was quite the fashion show as our most adorable moms modeled, posed and then purchased a few gently worn, “brand new to them” items to lift their spirits and give them a little extra boost of confidence for their new beginnings. Thank you, Sue, thank you to all our volunteers who watched the little ones and thank you to Clothes Mentor for staying open a little late for our moms to enjoy a special outing.

This past Wednesday one of our super daycare volunteers came in and spent a most memorable evening with the kids. Terry is an Occupational Therapist who has imaginative ways of teaching our little one’s new ways to think and interact with people and things around them. Terry and her husband have been great blessings to us serving Joseph’s House as a team as he helps in maintaining the house and she assists in having a great impact on our kids and their moms in her creative ways of helping all learn. Thank you to Terry and Tom for all you bring to Joseph’s House.

A young mom joining us Wednesday morning was found wandering through the house with a grin from ear to ear. When asked if she needed anything, she simply stared at her surroundings with wide eyes and said, “I am overwhelmed. I can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe this house is here!” A little while later as she plopped happily unto her bed with a journal in her well-appointed room, the wide grin and wide eyes were still apparent because she could not believe she finally had a space to call her own. She was greatly satisfied and totally elated as she understood she found security, safety, peace and hope for her future and the future of her child at Joseph’s House. She finally found a home where she at long last feels, she is right where she belongs.

There are times in all our lives where we might feel lost, alone, and out of place. These are the times when Our Lord is calling to us to turn to Him. In the chaos and turbulence we experience, He begs us to look to Him, reach out for Him and listen to Him speak in our hearts, in our minds and in our souls. Jesus Christ is the way to finding our place in the world. He is the truth we long to hear. He is the light we need to guide us home, and He is the peace only found when abiding in His Most Sacred Heart. Our Lord has given us this magnificent home where all who visit sense His presence through the beauty of the architecture, in the warmth of the sturdy oak and in the glimmer of sunlight through stained glass. There is an abundance of peace wafting through the air, where lost young mothers sense His Presence, yet may not quite understand it is Jesus Christ who is making them smile and feel safe many times for the first time in their lives. It is His Presence at Joseph’s House that makes all feel welcome, all feel at home and makes us all know we are right where we should be.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal
— Matthew 6:20

Yes my friends, these young women and their children are right where they belong, and we who serve at Joseph’s House are right where we should be. What a blessing! What a joy! To find our place in God’s Kingdom through service to others, through investing ourselves in others and through teaching the love of Jesus Christ to others. To know we are doing what we are called to do, and to know so many of you are willing to help us in this most glorious work. Serving others for the Glory of God while always proclaiming His Truth will build treasure in Heaven for each one of us for eternity, and Heaven my friends is right where we all belong. God Bless You Always.

Love and Prayers,

Kitty

Doing Little Things with Great Love

One of our selfless volunteers giving driving lessons to one of our moms, doing little things with great love!

One of our selfless volunteers giving driving lessons to one of our moms, doing little things with great love!

Our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them.
— St Therese of Lisieux

“St. Therese in her “Little Way” teaches that holiness can be attained daily in ordinary activities, in doing ‘little things with great love.”

This little way to sainthood is summed up beautifully in this prayer to the Little Flower who only lived until 23 years of age.

“St. Therese, Little Flower, grant that I may follow your Little Way through Mary to Jesus –– the way of simplicity, joy, meekness and humility of heart, devotion to my vocation, constant prayer, self-immolation, abandonment of my will to the Will of God and confidence and love in Jesus.”

We see all of the gifts mentioned above presented to us each and every day at Joseph’s House in the actions of all those serving our home. These gifts are most apparent in our volunteers as they rise early and stay late to care for our little ones so our moms are able to go to work and school. We witness the joy they bring to others in their eyes and their actions as they simply give of their time, speak quietly, sing joyfully, play with and read to these precious children God sent our way. These children who might not exist if not for this home.

We perceive the self-sacrifice and immolation of a most dedicated staff taking late-night phone calls from those in need, working weekends after a full week, giving up sleep to comfort a mom and rock a newborn and putting in more than their required time because of the charity filling their hearts and the required duty of their chosen vocation.

We notice the humility of heart and constant prayer in our most dedicated prayer warriors joining us month after month, no matter the weather, no matter their age or health because they are committed to this mission of life and love. Prayer warriors who know first-hand the sufferings of life and have learned how to use those sufferings in service to and in union with Our Lord for the good of others, for the good of Joseph’s House.

We at Joseph’s House, whether residing there or working there are the blessed beneficiaries of all those coming into our home to share their gifts, talents and prayers so we may serve those less fortunate than ourselves. These most loyal servants of God model to us and to our moms and children the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux, and yet many of them are not even aware they are impersonating the life of this great saint. They are not aware of the humility of their hearts, the meekness in their service or understand the work they so graciously share with us is a portrait of constant prayer. They are not aware in their service to others they are doing the Will of God.

As if all this goodness and grace is not enough, we are also blessed to behold the most sublime form of great love shared in little ways in the tenderness of a mom caring for her child. We take note of our young moms preparing dinners, doing their chores while dancing and giggling with others, totally unaware they are abandoning themselves to the work Our Lord asks of them, thus insuring their well-being. Their smiles and sheepish looks of thanks as they come to realize sometimes for the first-time ever, they are learning the true meaning of home, of love and of family. These young women who may not know the meaning of the word saint, at times are modeling a great saint as they do little things with great love in thanksgiving for what Joseph’s House shares with them.

There are people in our midst each and every day who are living the Little Way of St. Therese. They are people you know and people you don’t. They are the people who rather than screaming at you when you cut them off while driving, simply give you a wave and a smile. They are the people who forgive those who have hurt them even when no apology was given and no forgiveness was sought. They are the people who tenderly help an elderly person find something at the grocery store with a smile. They are the people who lend time, talent and treasure and expect nothing in return. These are people living the Little Way of the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux, and at Joseph’s House we are blessed to encounter them every day.

Thank you, thank you thank you to all who volunteer, all who work and all who assist us in so many ways, to all of you who sacrifice yourselves in service to our moms and little ones. You most certainly are on the road to sainthood and give all of us something to ponder, something to remember and something to strive for each and every day, to always do little things with great love. God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Hearing God's Voice

A young Joseph’s House volunteer reading to one of our younger Joseph’s House gifts of life.

A young Joseph’s House volunteer reading to one of our younger Joseph’s House gifts of life.

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.
-St John of the Cross

Happy Labor Day Weekend My Friends!

How is it possible that it is September? New beginnings once again, excitement in the air as children of all ages head back to school. The cooler weather already appearing, infusing a sense of cleansing, new found hope and visions of limitless possibilities everywhere, giving us the faith that in all we do we are hearing God’s Voice.

Joseph’s House is brimming with new possibilities as some new staff members will be lending us their expertise enabling us to improve our ministry. Our Miracle Mom Monica, after attaining her permit last week, began driving lessons this week and has been invited to train with Nascentia Health Care. Our youngest mom, expecting her child in January, is volunteering in our home helping with everything from daycare to filing to cleaning out hidden corners of clutter, and has told us her dream for the future is to one day be employed at Joseph’s House. Our other moms are working, saving their money and preparing their children for back to school and outside daycare. More than ten phone calls and interview requests in this past week have shown us our work is imperative, very well respected and received, and the need for what we offer is ongoing.

Each and every day we are called to ask difficult questions. “Are we able take this mom into our home? Does she pose a threat to herself or anyone else? Do we have the capacity and the resources to assist her and help her solve problems?” And then we think about her words to us, which most times include something to the effect of “I am homeless, pregnant and have nowhere to go.”  

There is no black and white in these dilemmas. Moms call us and tell us they are thinking of aborting their babies. They call and tell us they are living on the street or have been sleeping on different couches every night for months. When we know we can’t take them because they are violent, we direct them to someone else who is able to assist. However, many times we wrestle with other dilemmas because we are called to give shelter to those who are pregnant, homeless or have small children. Where is the black and white in these situations? The discernment is constant not only with the moms we take in and their kids, but in the direction we lead our mission, and in the people assisting us in numberless ways as well. We are called to discern……. constantly discern.

How does one discern? How does one know if the voice they hear in their heart, mind and soul is of God? There are many voices out there my friends, many spirits. They are not all of God and they are not all holy, so how does one know the direction they are taking is correct, or to whom they are speaking and hearing from in prayer?

The soul’s true greatness is in loving God and in humbling oneself in His presence, completely forgetting oneself and believing oneself to be nothing; because the Lord is great, but He is well-pleased only with the humble; He always opposes the proud.
— St. Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul

If we take the advice of the saints, the way to discerning God’s voice is through humility and constant reception of the sacraments. This means at least monthly confession and for some of us, confession every other week. It means very frequent reception of the Eucharist, optimally each and every day at mass. The constant reception of these two sacraments are the way to true humility, and a humble heart is needed when discerning God’s Voice. Speaking to God with an agenda of our own is an invitation to hearing a voice other than His, simply because there is no humility in a self-serving agenda.

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues, hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue, except in mere appearance.
— Saint Augustine

The saints also tell us it is imperative to have extended periods of quiet time, extended periods of total silence without distraction, where we are simply still and listen. Persistent prayer and an immersion into holy scripture are also needed in order to understand what is being whispered in one’s heart, mind and soul. In addition to this, one should fast regularly and have a holy, well-trained spiritual director who is not a “yes man” or women. This director must be someone who is able to point out one’s shortcomings, provide constructive criticism and be able to humble us in a gentle way as well as flat out tell us when we are 100% wrong. He or she is someone who knows the difference between the Voice of God and voices coming from other places. This director is also someone who’s advice one is called to listen to and follow, no matter how difficult the advice may be.

We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness; God is a friend of silence
— St. Teresa of Calcutta

This formula led to the founding of Joseph’s House and because of the success it has provided, it is the formula that has been followed day in and day out for more than nine years. That being said, we are far from perfect and all need to be open to new ideas, correct mistakes, seek forgiveness and move forward in faith, knowing our mentor St. Joseph will lead us where Our Father in Heaven wants us to go, no matter the detours we take along the way. This is a most exhilarating ride and many times leaves us all with upset stomachs and headaches. However those temporary problems seem to always be resolved in the smile of a child, an unexpected compliment from a volunteer, the loving, consoling words of a departing employee, or a sincere thank you from a mom knowing she is being given a once in a life-time opportunity to change her life.

God is good my friends, and His Voice is the voice we follow in leading this mission. His demands are sometimes unpopular and difficult, and the Cross He shares with us heavy, and yet every day we say to Him, “I come to do Your Holy Will.” May you find His loving direction in your lives and hear His Voice in your hearts, as Joseph’s House has found Him and heard Him in our mission of life and love. God Bless You Abundantly.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Fun at the Fair & More!

Fair

Happy Weekend My Friends,

A busy week for our moms, volunteers and staff this week as it kicked off at the end of last week with the Syracuse Mets game. More than sixty people joined us at our volunteer appreciation night at the ball park. It turned into a double-header as Friday night was a rain out, and the thunder and lightning nearly prevailed again on Saturday, but the skies did part and staff, volunteers and some of our Exodus moms enjoyed a fun night watching the games, chowing down on some awesome food, spending some time with Scooch and running the bases at the end of the night. The best part of the evening for Bronson our ED was hearing volunteers and staff tell stories about the kids and moms and express to him their joy in serving the moms and little ones of Joseph’s House. Hope next year more of you can join us.

Theresa V & B

At the beginning of the week our Miracle Mom Monica, passed her driving permit test and interviewed for a job.  In most stories young women travel to NYC to have their dreams come true, however our Monica had her life saved and is making her dreams come true right here in Syracuse NY. Thank you, Jesus, Mary and Joseph for the miracle of Monica’s recovery and for saving her life and the lives of her two beautiful boys!

Monica

On Tuesday we had a very special guest at Joseph’s House. Father Tariq from Pakistan and the leader of the Sacred Heart Apostolate celebrated Mass in our Chapel along with a few of our most dedicated prayer warriors. After mass he blessed the house and we enjoyed a wonderful lunch where he shared stories of his work in Pakistan and the fear encountered in being Christians in an Islamic culture. He is a true hero of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to all the seminarians he leads in his native Pakistan. Thank you and God Bless you Father Tariq, we wish you safe travels and God’s Blessings in all your heavenly inspired works.

Father Tariq

Thursday evening of this week our dear friends and board members Chuck and Nancy Cometti once again gifted all the moms and kids and 4 of our staff members with a night at the Great New York State Fair. The evening began with dinner with the Cometti’s and everyone from Renewal by Anderson. Dinner was followed with trips to visit the animals, the butter sculpture and ended with ice cream in the Dairy Building. Our little troop of kiddos went home after a most delightful night with happy faces and full tummies. It was the perfect ending to a blessed evening of sharing with those who are so very good to Joseph’s House.

Cometti's

On Friday a dear friend of Joseph’ House who’s commitment to our mission goes back to before our opening, gifted to us a gorgeous statue of Our Lady. This statue is a treasure to Louise who has supported us financially, spiritually and personally for six years. She had tears in her eyes as she told me about this lovely statue that graced her home and all the photos taken with Our Lady of her children and grandchildren when they made their First Communions and Confirmations. Louise was thrilled and relieved to know her precious possession is in a safe, holy place where it will be cherished and treasured for years to come. Thank you dear Louise and may God bless you as you downsize into your new home.

Our Lady of Grace

We are home to four moms, six little ones and have one baby on the way. Our numbers are a little light right now but Our Lord is giving us this time to shore up loose ends and make the mission of Joseph’s House stronger for the future. We would ask for your prayers as we discern the directions Jesus Christ has for our ministry and as we open our hearts to those most in need doing great things for love, undeterred by adversity. We pray always for the strength and foresight to be the hands and feet of Our Lord Jesus Christ to all those He sends our way. God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

For the Love of Momma Mary

Marys Garden 2019
“……let us acclaim her “Holy Mother of God”. From her, let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon, to be embraced, to be taken by the hand. Especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to Our Lady, to Our Mother.”
— HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS Vatican Basilica Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy Weekend My Friends,

I stopped early Friday morning to visit the beautiful garden pictured above where the journey to Joseph’s House has it’s foundation. As I stood there praying, a homeless man came running from the corner leaving his cart behind shouting, “You’re that lady! You’re the lady that put this here! I stop here everyday to pray, let me give you a hug!” I can admit to you most readily there was a time in my life I would have never spoken to a homeless person, let alone hug them, but this man had the light of Christ in his eyes and his hug made me feel whole in some strange way. He was joyful and as our conversation continued he told me a bit about his twenty years on the streets, his girlfriend and his prized possessions, an American flag and a pen with a flashlight on the end of it. I immediately thought of Matthew 18:3, And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” I understood this ragged man was a child of God in his sweet innocence and exuberance. He thanked me for the care we take of this little corner as I shared with him a colorful rosary. It was the very best part of my day as I realized the gifts bestowed upon me through this most humble man, and the depths of my love for my Momma Mary.

Friday August 16th was also the sixth anniversary of the event propelling Joseph’s House into existence. That evening Father Prior and I gathered all those hoping to learn about the vision of our mission in the poker parlor which has since become our Joseph’s House Chapel. We told them all of our hopes and dreams for this home and a story about the quiet millionaires living in every neighborhood in America. These quiet millionaires were people who had lived frugally, saved their money and found themselves with nowhere to leave their inheritance. We asked the people gathered this evening if the vision and mission shared with them touched their hearts, to go out and speak with their neighbors and all the people they knew and perhaps we would receive the $40,000 we needed within 4 days to purchase this magnificent home steeped in Catholic history.

I can remember clearly wondering what would happen next and was hope-filled, but not worried because I knew in no uncertain terms this home was to be the home of Joseph’s House. The next day a woman called and told me she wanted to give us $250,000 and would write a check on Monday for the first installment of $40,000. I thought to myself, God not only gave us what we needed to purchase our home, He also gave us more. I understood we were given this gift because we had listened to Him every treacherous step of the way, and stepped out continually in unmitigating faith against the volumes of naysayers who told us the house was too big, much too expensive and we could never succeed.

It’s been six years since that night and fifty-five babies who, may have been lost to abortion if not for this mission founded in God, have been saved and will forever call Joseph’s House their first home. It is not easy work, yet it is easily joy-filled and hope-filled as we look into the faces of young, innocent women entrusting themselves to us for our guidance and wisdom in building up themselves and teaching them a better way to raise their children. We call upon many resources and personal experiences to impart better rules of living to the precious children in our midst, but ultimately the guidance and wisdom we share with all those we are blessed to touch, comes through one heavenly source and that source is Our Mother Mary.

Over the years like many of our moms, I have struggled with anxiety, and depression. Hindsight being 20/20 I realize this was due to the abuse suffered as a child and the abortions I chose in my early twenties. I have anesthetized myself over the years with everything from alcohol, to binge eating, to shopping excessively. It took the near death of my younger son and the many years of his recovery to find my way home to Jesus Christ. I traveled this road holding the hand of my Momma Mary because I was too frightened to gaze into the eyes of My Heavenly Father for fear of the disappointments I had caused Him. My gracious Loving Mother led me to Reconciliation through Her Rosary Prayer and countless daily consecrations have assisted me in knowledge of Her ways. Whenever I am fearful, disillusioned or begin to feel as though the battle is hopeless and everyone is against me, I recount the miracles of my son’s recovery and the miracles that have taken place in the building of this mission. I no longer seek comfort through drinking, binging or shopping, but rather I run to Mary. I give all my sufferings to Her for my love of Her because in Her graciousness She receives the sufferings of Her children as great gifts. As I bury myself in Her Mantle and weep in Her Consoling Arms, I ask Her to lay my sufferings at the Feet of Her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and convert them into graces to be showered over those most in need of Her Maternal Love.

“Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”
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— Saint Francis de Sales

Those in need of the Maternal Love and Graces of Our Mother Mary are many. They are not only the homeless, the helpless, the hungry and the immigrant, but they are people like you and me. I believe sometimes we are in more need than those mentioned above because unlike my friend from the garden, we have lost our child-like innocence. We have become blinded by all we possess and command, and our egos make us believe we understand unequivocally the ways of Our Lord. I will tell you quite honestly my friends, the ways of the Lord are rarely logical, in fact they are so illogical they are the foundation of miracles. And Joseph’s House has most certainly been founded in miracles. We only need to take the time to remember them.

I have been blessed over the last seven years to be a part of this mission born through the love of Momma Mary for me Her prodigal daughter. All I do or attempt to do is for love of Her, in thanksgiving to Her and to bring others into the Kingdom of God. Every step taken is directed to me through a spiritual director who’s wisdom I have followed since 2010. I promise Our Lady daily, as I promise all of you I will follow the Will of God and continue the uphill battle for the love of Her and for the Glory of Her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will carry any cross gifted by the King of Heaven that leads to saving innocent lives and bettering the world for damaged young mothers through the ministry of Joseph’s House. We ask for your prayers and support for this mission of life and love as we pray for all of you as well. God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Embracing Change

Do not fear the changes of life, God, whose very own you are, will deliver you out of them all. He has kept you hitherto and he will lead you safely through all things . And when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in his arms.
— St. Francis de Sales
Me and Javi

Happy Sunday My Friends,

Change is a constant at Joseph’s House. New moms coming in, new babies being born. Then there are moms leaving us after extended periods ready to spread their wings to re-unite with family and begin independent living. Moms and little ones we have become so attached to, they take away with them pieces of our hearts as we have grown to love them and their children as our own.

Genie and Jamal

There are changes with the little ones themselves as they grow learning to move, speak, joke and light up our lives in the most memorable ways. There are moms we have worked hard for, sacrificed for, who are not quite ready for the structure we are asking them to live within, who’s departures cause sleepless nights and restless hearts. There are volunteers and staff who have become part of our family and after years of service must depart. All in all, there is joy, there is heartbreak, there is movement forward and back and many times we might feel we are barely keeping our heads above water trying to keep all the moving parts going in the right direction.

Kimmy's birthday

Yet in the midst of all of this change, all this turbulence which for some causes doubt, angst and reeling, we find God. We find Him in a most dedicated staff who continue to move mountains for our moms and kids as they answer the call of Jesus for their lives. We find Him in old friends we do not hear from often but who are still praying for us fervently so we might do all Our Lord asks of us. We find Him in the mini miracles of meeting entirely by accident people we have only dreamed of meeting who then want to know more about us. We find Him in the murmurs of a cloistered nun who through her soft words makes us understand what we are pondering as stepping out faith, is God’s truth and Holy Will.  

What we have come to learn over the years at Joseph’s House is change is good for our faith. Change is a catalyst for more dependence on God. Change is a rake that stirs up the soil of our souls preparing them for new seed filled with new ideas from the Sower who is Jesus Christ, thus giving us the knowledge the seed He is sowing is His Holy Will for our ministry.  The seed as it germinates and sprouts, ignites within us a fire triggering the engines of our hearts and our imaginations providing the impetus for us to go outside the parameters of our earthly intellect and travel in humanly incomprehensible directions. Change tests our resolve, gives us grace under pressure and prepares us for trials we may face in the future.

To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
— Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman

Change is good, albeit uncomfortable and at times disappointing to the point of being unbearable, and yet, it is an incentive to gain patience, perseverance and fortitude and has the ability to make us all saints. Change is a magnet used by Our Lord to attract us to Him so we learn to surrender our direction totally to Him as we come to understand we can’t possibly handle all the crossroads before us alone.  Change is a gift from God He gives to test us, to make us stronger, to purify us so we might more closely resemble His perfection. Change breeds trust, hope and joy as we come to learn by navigating through it, He is right there by our side.

So, as we move forward each and every day encountering detours and unexpected problems, instead of being angered by the inconvenience of it all, let us resolve to take a deep breath and think about what Heaven is protecting us from, or what new direction Our Lord has in store. Let us always search in hope for the silver lining in the cloud that change hangs over our heads as we remember, Jesus is always there to show us the way should we simply take the time to ask and seek the new path He has planned for us. Our prayer today and everyday could be to embrace change so we might see how it is able to advance our mission and better our lives. Let us all consider giving that prayer a try! God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers.

Kitty

The Holy Moments of Joseph's House

Ava 2
What is a Holy Moment? A holy moment is when you make yourself completely available to God. You set self interest aside, you set aside what you want to do or feel like doing, and for that moment you do exactly what you sense God is calling you to do. The saints were masterful at taking the ordinary, everyday events of life and turning them into holy moments.
— Matthew Kelly- Dynamic Catholic

Happy Sunday My Friends,

Busy, busy, busy, that’s what summer is for many and exactly how it has been at Joseph’s House. In the midst of the busyness there have been the graces of witnessing holy moments given as gifts from others who have no idea they are creating and gifting holy moments at all. You might wonder how that is possible, but I would say holy moments are also spontaneous actions of kindness, random acts of gratefulness and thanks to others given from warm hearts and generous souls.

With 7 moms and 11 little ones, unsolicited kindness and gratefulness are observed daily. Summer break has filled our daycare and trips to and from Vacation Bible Schools have been many. The tiny voices of our 2 and 3-year-olds shouting our names as we approach daycare or our older kids when they see us coming to pick them up from VBS, gives us the longing and hope we can give them happiness and protection forever. A tiny toddler who spots you and runs around the corner to hide from you babbling joyously because he recognizes you and knows this kind of hide and seek is a special game the two of you share. Little text messages received from Exodus moms with words of thanks because once again Joseph’s House was there when she had a problem no one else would help her with and she is forever grateful. Colored pictures, poetic words, and tiny flowers from a mom facing many complicated issues as she wraps her arms around you and thanks you, letting you know she realizes no one in her entire life has ever gone to the lengths Joseph’s House has to assist her, to care for her, to love her. Radiant, wistful, cherubic faces glowing in carefree innocence as they run and play in the safety of our boundaries.

Outdoor Seraphina

All of these gracious blessings from those we serve are holy moments returned to us from God for all the holy moments we have given to Him in the building of and our service to His Mission. They are holy moments given freely and spontaneously from little children and their mothers, given to us from those Our Lord sends our way and who many times have no understanding of what holy is or holy moments are.

James

As a result, others responding to God’s grace bless us and more holy moments occur. Just two weeks ago alumni from Notre Dame University held a baby shower for our moms at the house. It was the perfect day for an outdoor picnic and the moms and kids as well as the staff enjoyed a glorious day of sunshine, giggles and good company. We are forever grateful to Rebecca Croucher who graciously organized the day with our House Manager Karen and to Pat Brusa for putting up and taking down the tent he lent to us. Also, a special thank you to Father Cliff Auth from St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville who took time out of a busy schedule to celebrate mass in our lovely little chapel. The abundance of gifts and goodies lit up the faces of our moms and kids who very often have never had brand-new possessions of their own. The offering of mass and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist created many more memorable moments as the chapel was filled with moms, kids, staff and friends. Thank you to all who attended and graciously gifted us with their presence at this special event.

Notre Dame
The brilliant and beautiful truth is you are just as capable of collaborating with God to create holy moments as the saints were.
— Matthew Kelly - Dynamic Catholic

So, my friends here is the challenge. Let us try this week to take those moments when we are struggling or want to give into our temptations and turn them into holy moments. It’s as easy as holding our tongue when we are angry with someone. It’s as easy as saying a Hail Mary helping us walk away from indulging in dessert, social media, or shopping. It is as easy as getting up a little early and reading and meditating upon a bible verse rather than sleeping in. It is as easy as giving up your morning run for daily mass and strengthening your soul which will live for eternity rather than your body which will one day turn to dust. I will promise you for every holy moment you give to Our Lord, He will double down and give you more holy moments from people you know well, and people you may not know at all, as that is the wonder of heaven and the glory of God. The reward is great and the joy insurmountable when we simply strive to look for and think of Jesus in all we do. May God bless all of you as you search for holy moments to give to Him and to others today, tomorrow and forever.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty