Celebrating Four Years of Life

Four years ago tomorrow, the doors of Joseph's House officially opened ready to care for the most vulnerable of God's children, pregnant, homeless women and their children. All of what Joseph's House does would not be possible without faith and trust in God's hand at work in this mission.  Of course it also would not be possible without an incredibly dedicated staff, many of whom are celebrating four years of employment this week, a steadfast and strong Board of Directors, selfless volunteers and of course our many generous benefactors.

43 babies. in 48 months, 43 babies have been born that call Joseph's House their first home. Over 70 women have found refuge. Many of them came directly from living on the street, shelters or some of the most squalid conditions imaginable. A common refrain we hear is "I had no where else to go."  All of this is a result of your prayers, your time and your support.

A key to our success is our monthly Mass and prayer warriors group.  Msgr O'Brien, pastor of Pope John XXIII Church in Liverpool presides over our monthly Mass, usually the 3rd Friday of the month.  The whole atmosphere of the Mass is elevated even higher when all the children of the home are brought through for a blessing from Msgr. O'Brien, as seen below. The prayer warriors stay after mass to pray a litany of prayers, chaplets, and rosaries, all for the intentions of Joseph's House. If you'd like to be part of this wonderful and powerful group, please email us as we would love to have you! 

I'm happy to report that at four years, Joseph's House is stronger than ever.  From that position of strength, we are able to strategically grow and expand our organization. We are expanding and developing our Exodus program to help ensure long term success of our moms after they transition our of our home. The first informal get Exodus dinner took place this past week.  As you can see from the photo, the reunion of these women led to the most radiant smiles!

 A few of our Exodus moms along with Sue Plemons, Assistant Director for Exodus

A few of our Exodus moms along with Sue Plemons, Assistant Director for Exodus

Joseph's House was fortunate enough to be featured in the most recent edition of the Catholic Sun. 

I'm humbled and grateful to be profiled and to have a little bit of my story told as part of the Joseph's House story. I would be most grateful if you could share this article with all your friends and encourage them to like our Facebook page.  We are planning on releasing some special videos to celebrate our 4th Anniversary this week so please do all you can to help share those with your family and friends!

It is an exciting time to be part of the Joseph's House Family.  The work being done in the House is working.  We are growing and strengthening so that we can serve more women and continue to help them achieve long-term success. What started as a house, became a home.  It developed into a family and is now transforming into a community. May God continue to bless this organization and continue to shed his grace upon all of us.

God bless you,



Well we had another busy week at Joseph's House! Mother nature has shown us once again to not get too comfortable and not to put away the snow shovel and bucket of salt just yet.  The week began with the delivery of our new baby bottles for our baby bottle drives!  As many of you know, we've been holding baby bottle drives to support our Annual Fund in parishes throughout the diocese since our inception. 

These have proven to be extremely beneficial for Joseph's House on many fronts.  First, it helps raise the funds necessary to support our Annual Fund and cover the costs of operating our home.  Second, it allows us to spread the Gospel- the good news- of the work that is being done at Joseph's House and provide a concrete example of the true power of prayer.  Lastly, it's a way to bring new people into our mission- from daycare volunteers, buildings and grounds committee members, to new supporters who haven't yet heard about us. If you know of anyone who might be interested in hosting a baby bottle drive for Joseph's House- go talk to them! Whether it's at your work, your church, your school or even your social circles. Help us spread the good news!

We are also in full swing preparing for our 4th Annual Birdies for Babies Golf Tournament.  Please email us if you're interested in sponsoring this great event or if you'd like to participate- whether you want to golf or just join us for dinner! It's going to be a great event you won't want to miss!

As you may know, the Bishop has declared this year the Year of the Family.  In his video message this past week, he asked us to "take time as a Family to recognize one another, thank one another and love one another."

When people ask us to describe Joseph's House, the word that most often comes to mind is family.  Most of the women who come to us have had troubled, or at the very least, complicated family lives.  Often when they find themselves most vulnerable, expecting a child, is when the struggles and relationships with family get even more complicated.  At Joseph's House, they find a new family.  They learn what it means to be a family- and to recognize one another and to love one another. 

We had a mom successfully transition out to her own apartment this past week!  This mom first came to us when she was pregnant without any viable family support.  She stayed with us until after her beautiful daughter was born and then believed she was ready to move out- something we did not agree with.  Unfortunately she soon found herself homeless again and literally sitting on a curb with her daughter and all her belongings.  She called us- as she knew she could- and ultimately moved back in.  When she came, she knew there were going to be strict parameters and objectives to help her get on her feet.  She worked hard, earned her GED and got a job. She now is in her own apartment and is working full time with her daughter in daycare. 

Even her relationship with us- her Joseph's House family- was complicated. She tested the patience of staff and the other moms on an almost daily basis.  She had difficulty with the structure of our home and the rules.  Ultimately, this led to the mutual decision that it was probably time for her and her daughter to move out on their own. She is and will always be part of the Joseph's House family though.  We will continue to provide her the love and support of family through our Exodus program.

Another mom in our house has shown us recently the ways that the moms become a family to one another.  When she had a free afternoon and another mom had to take her two children to the doctors, she offered to accompany them just to help the other mom out.  Later that week a few of our moms missed their bus to work in the AM.  The next day, this mom awoke early and made sure the coffee was made and breakfasts-to-go were ready for each of them so they would be sure to make it out of the house on time.  Another night she made tea for a mom-to-be that wasn't feeling well. These small gestures may seem insignificant but to the residents in our home, these small tokens of respect and acts of kindness are huge steps.  These are hearts that come to us hardened and guarded from years of abuse and neglect- in their own families.  They are learning what being a family truly means. They are learning to recognize one another and to love one another.  And that each of their lives is a gift.

Bishop Cunningham reminds us of the words of Pope Francis that the people in our lives are a gift.  "In order to have a truly meaningful relationship with people, you must recognize their value."  This phrase could sum up all the work that is done at Joseph's House.  We show the moms and children in our home that they have value.  This is not always an easy task.  But through out loving staff, our dedicated volunteers, our generous benefactors and through the leadership of our Board of Directors, they are learning that, as our mission statement says, they have dignity.  They have value. Their children have value. They are our family.

God bless you,


Becoming a Pivotal Player

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful week and survived this March storm.  We've had a great week at Joseph's House and I'm happy to share some of the highlights with you.

 Not all of our little ones appreciated the new fallen snow!

Not all of our little ones appreciated the new fallen snow!

  • We had a mom successfully transition out to her own apartment with her beautiful daughter!  They have been with us for a little less than a year and in that time, we provided a tutor which allowed her to earn her GED.  She worked hard and through our guidance and preparation, obtained a job this summer as a Guest Services Representative and soon was promoted to Lead Guest Services Representative.  She's also begun driving lessons with an eye toward earning her license.  While this resident would admit she was not always easy and cooperative with us, she has learned and grown through her time in our home and we are thrilled that she will remain part of our extended Joseph's House family and Exodus program.
  • As you know, we have been developing our Exodus program so that we can provide the support and resources necessary to ensure the long-term, sustainable success of our moms. I’m happy to share with you that because of the support of very generous benefactors, we are moving forward with the next steps of our Exodus program and  have expanded our staff to include the position Assistant Director for Exodus. I am equally as happy to report that our House Manager Sue Plemons has been promoted to that position.  As many of you know, Sue’s steadfast and indefatigable dedication to our mission has kept our home running efficiently since she joined us more than two years ago. Sue will continue to serve as House Manager until a new House Manager is hired and trained.  
  • We currently have openings for House Manager and Weekend Resident Advisers.  We have been blessed with some of the most dedicated and hardworking staff, many of whom have been with us from the very beginning. All the positions at Joseph's House are challenging and often exhausting.  But the rewards are greater and outweigh the challenges ten-fold!  If you know of anyone who may be interested in either of those positions, please pass along our posting to them or have them email us.
  • We are currently home to 6 moms and 10 children- with 3 more on the way.  We have a couple moms that are beginning to prepare their transition out of Joseph's House in the coming weeks.  Through our Exodus program, we can continue to assist them with finding transitional housing, outside childcare, and other resources that they may need.  We have routinely been receiving calls on our hotline and referrals for women needing housing.  I have no doubt that our home will remaining bustling and busy- and filled with joy!

I had the privilege to speak to the Syracuse Diocesan staff on Wednesday for their Soup and Scripture Lenten Luncheon series. The theme for this years series is "A Living Faith" and I was asked to share a bit of my faith journey which includes being receiving into the Catholic Church in 2015 and joining Joseph's House as Executive Director in 2017. I found it difficult at first to try and open up about something so personal.  Then the more I thought about it, the more I found it difficult to revise it down to 20 minutes of material.  I focused my talk thematically after Bishop Barren's Pivotal Players series- the key players "who shaped the Church and changed the world."  I came up with a list of my own Pivotal Players- those who shaped my faith and changed my life- from my college years through today.  

It was after my talk that someone approached me and said "I want to be a Pivotal Player!" I kept thinking about that the rest of the day.  Isn't that what we are called to be? To recognize those who strengthen our faith and show the love of Christ to others?  To those who need it most- not just to the "easy ones"- our friends and family, those closest to us.  But to the ones who truly need to experience the love of Christ- the marginalized, the stranger on the corner, the colleague or coworker who causes us frustration, the homeless and hopeless. As we're approaching the half-way point of our Lenten journey, lets try to think more about how we can all be Pivotal Players in the lives of others and in their faith journeys.

God bless you all,


A New Direction

Happy First Sunday of Lent! Hope you have been having a prayerful Lent thus far.  Joseph’s House has been quite busy the last few weeks and with 7 moms and 11 children in the house. We thoroughly enjoyed the warmer weather which permitted some of our children to get outside and burn off some energy.  Opening windows to allow in a breeze of fresh air was truly a blessing!

This week registration for our 4th Annual Birdies for Babies Golf Tournament went live.  We’ve rolled out a new website which you’ll find very informative and easy to navigate.  Thank you to Katie Stinson who again has created a beautiful site for us that surpassed all our expectations! This will be a premiere fundraising event this year and all the proceeds support our annual fund and the operations of our home.  The tournament is June 11, 2018 at Skaneateles Country Club.  Since we’ve sold out in years past, we’ve adjusted the day’s schedule so we can accommodate more golfers. It's sure to be another wonderful event!  We hope you’ll be able to join us to golf or even just for a wonderful dinner on Skaneateles Lake.  We have many great corporate sponsorship opportunities for your company which would have a lasting and significant impact on our organization.  Please contact email us for more information. 

This week we were blessed to have Mary Driscoll and Jeffrey Goldstein from Dale Carnegie present a life skills course to our moms.  The evening discussion was lively and engaging.  The world renowned Dale Carnegie leadership courses focus on self-improvement and building confidence. Jeff, who teaches the course locally, secured funding to offer the Dale Carnegie course to those in need in our community free of charge. He graciously reserved two seats in his 8-week course for the moms of Joseph’s House.  We quickly identified two moms that would greatly benefit from these courses.  Both of the moms chosen were excited and grateful for this life-changing opportunity!  Joseph’s House is continually blessed by individuals like Mary and Jeff who go out of their way to improve the lives of our moms and bring new opportunities to our doorstep.

This past week we also welcomed Rebecca Degeilh to Joseph’s House as our new Case Manager.  Rebecca began her career as a Catholic school teacher and as her family continued to grow, she worked as a life coach and a life coach trainer. Rebecca’s faith, organizational and mentoring skills are sure to be an asset to helping our moms set goals and work towards new lives of independence.  Joseph’s House is blessed to have an incredibly faithful and dedicated staff that give selflessly, day in and day out, in serving our Lord by caring for our moms and babies.

Our monthly mass was held this past week along with our faithful, steadfast prayer warriors who, for more than three years, have met in our chapel for mass and prayers. This gathering lasts only a few hours but sustains our home and our hearts throughout the rest of the month.  The whole house changes when this group meets as their words go directly to God’s ears.  Any stress, tension or discord at  the house is immediately lifted.  Joseph’s House is built on a strong foundation and prayer- most especially our dedicated prayer warriors-is the mortar that holds us together. Msgr. James O’Brien whose faithful dedication to our mission brings him to our home on a monthly basis to celebrate Mass, delivered a beautiful homily on reconciliation.  His homily reflected in part on the old testament reading from Ezekiel.

Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD. 
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?
— Ezekiel 18: 23-34

This is the rejoicing that we experience at Joseph’s House.  When our moms turn from the problems of their past, open their hearts, and accept the bigger plans that God has for their lives, we rejoice!  The Lord also rejoices as these moms reconcile their lives.  When they find the strength to turn away from their pasts of abuse, neglect, addiction and malaise, and find a new purpose for their lives and their children, the Lord rejoices as they truly begin to live.  

God bless you all,


On Forgiveness

Happy Sunday My Friends! Hope you have been enjoying this super weekend weather. This quote recently appeared in my readings. It seems to appear whenever the forgiveness held for others in my heart is at a low point and I must once again begin the healing process of letting go of my hurt and anger and searching for the beauty in the source of my agitation. Even those we have difficult relationships with, have beauty and goodness in their hearts and souls and when we search for those gifts, it is easier to forgive their shortcomings.

st. theresa.jpg
Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.
— St. Theresa of Calcutta

We have all experienced relationships in our lives where we were very close with someone only to lose them. The relationship may have been romantic, business related or a friendship where bonds are so very deep one feels a degree of love for the other person. Many times, these relationships end as one person hurts the other so deeply the pain seems insurmountable. It seems the more we love at times, the more likely we are to be hurt, and although everything in our pain screams out for justice, for vengeance, for retribution, we are called to turn the other cheek, forgive and somehow try to forget just as Jesus did during His Passion and as He does each time we approach Him in Reconciliation.

As you can imagine this is a tall order for the moms and children who call Joseph’s House home. Their stories of abuse, neglect and injury by those who are family and those they love the most, are excruciatingly difficult for them to share and for others to hear. There are times when the overwhelming pain and loneliness in their lives cause them to react in fits of anger, in relapses and in making poor choices. What these moms and their little ones have come to learn is Joseph’s House is there for them when these setbacks occur, to be the family they have never had and the loved ones who will forgive, forget, support and nurture them back to health, whether they are living with us or part of our extended family.

Our work at Joseph’s House is difficult, time-consuming and labor intensive as we strive to instill in these precious children of Jesus hearts stoked in forgiveness rather than hearts consumed by anger and vengeance. For all of us, forgiveness may ebb and flow and at times need to be renewed, refreshed and rebuilt. When we forgive faithfully we learn there is great joy and freedom in it as the mercy it spreads will bring us closer to Jesus and bring peace to our hearts. After all, who on earth ever had more to forgive and forget than Jesus? Certainly not you or me. Who are you overdue to forgive today?  Forgiveness embraced and practiced faithfully is a virtue that will lead us to Heaven, while bringing peace to our hearts. Let’s not waste any time!  This is a prayer to help you forgive. 

God Bless You My Friends,

Love and Prayers,





Would You Give Control to God?

Happy Monday My Friends,

It was a busy weekend for Joseph’s House! A fundraiser in Phoenix sponsored by Sheila Dion and her Lilla Rose business along with Jodi Frawley from Mary Kay and Tammy Lynch owner and operator of State Street Café was a blessing in many ways in meeting new people and receiving much needed items from our wish list.  

Sheila Dion.jpg

We also had  kickoffs of four baby bottle drives where our Junior Auxiliary student board took center stage speaking on behalf of Joseph’s House. Many thanks to Madison Prowak and Mairead McIntyre the co-founders of our Joseph’s House Junior Auxiliary board for speaking, along with Erin Byres who recently joined. It’s a great blessing to hear the praises of Joseph’s House being sung through our young people and these most generous business people in our area. They make our future and the futures of our moms and babies look bright!

Are you prepared for Lent? Have you thought about doing anything different this year or are you thinking of the great sacrifice of fasting from chocolate and coffee again? Would you consider giving up control, pride and ego for Lent? Those were the sacrifices of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for us. Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave up for you? He gave up His life & withstood the most grueling death known to man for us. Would you do that for a total stranger, for someone who spit on you? How about what His Mother Mary gave up for you? She lived for 33 years knowing and allowing Her Son to suffer and die so the gates of Heaven might be opened for you and me.  Would you give up your child so someone who slanders you or hates you could go to Heaven? How about Joseph? Joseph abstained from the procreative portion of his marriage his entire life. Is there anyone you would do that for? Would you even abstain for your spouse?  The sacrifices of Jesus, Mary and Joseph did not last 40 days, their Lents lasted their entire lives.  Think we can last for 40 days? Have you decided on more than chocolate and coffee yet?  

Here is a question, what could you relinquish control of for 40 days? Could you turn every decision you make over to Jesus for 40 days? Would you trust Him to run your business, to run your family, to run your entire life?  Would you consult Him before traveling, purchasing, turning on Netflix or playing on your tablet?  Jesus, Mary and Joseph did all of that and more, can we?  It sure would be life changing if we could!

One thing to consider to help in relinquishing control, is adding extra prayer to your life. If you really want the prayer to bring you closer to Jesus and humble your spirit, as well as enrich your heart, mind and soul, be sure the prayer includes meditating on the Passion of Our Lord. One way to do this is by saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet (which takes five minutes) while contemplating the mysteries from the Sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. This combination of meditating on the Rosary while saying the Chaplet is powerful and easy. It is a great way to get through chopping vegetables, folding laundry, cleaning bathrooms and floors, driving to work or to get to sleep at night. It will bring you closer to Jesus and make it easier to relinquish control of your life to Him during Lent and each and every day of the year.

Another long, lost devotion that takes just a few minutes more, are the Stations of the Cross. Although you may not be able to get to a church to say the Stations daily during Lent there are many pocket handbooks you can pick up or you can do them right from your computer. 

I have already begun my Lenten sacrifices as a sort of warm up for the upcoming season. These few days are a primer and give me a little extra faith to bite the bullet and give it all to God. The extra days also give a little buffer should I mess up, which will probably happen sooner rather than later. I will pray for you this Lent my friends and ask you to pray for me and to pray especially for the moms and babies of Joseph’s House. God bless you this Lenten season!

Love & Prayers


The Lost Sheep

lost sheep.jpg

This morning I had to call out a loved one on something. I hadn’t planned on it and after I did it, wasn’t sure I did the right thing. However, my spiritual director let me know it was the right thing to do and Our Lord showered blessings on a couple of his lost sheep through the use of my overactive mouth. I spoke calmly and with love wanting this most special person to understand sometimes we have to say "no" to everyone else, even our closest friends and family, when we are listening to God. My words could have alienated this person, but instead they produced a change of heart that made this person do something he had been saying "no" to for weeks. He made the decision to do the hard thing and please God rather than friends and acquaintances who feel he is indispensable. I have never been prouder and yet so deeply humbled, to witness clumsy words gifted by the Holy Spirit used as instruments to change someone’s direction, someone’s heart and hopefully someone’s soul.

There is not a shepard other than Jesus who would leave 99 sheep alone to fend off enemies, while in search of one sheep lost. We are called to do the same. We are called to find the lost sheep and carry him home on our shoulders so he is as safe as all the others. We have to trust God will provide for the 99 left behind as we step out in love to do as Jesus would do. My loved one did something totally spontaneous today, and although he may not realize it, by changing his direction and doing the right thing, he trusted God to take care of those friends and acquaintances he left behind.

This brings me to the moms and children of Joseph’s House. We have 8 just now with 11 children and 3 more on the way. Most of them have little to no understanding that God wants to be their best friend. They are the lost sheep God is calling through their pain and despair. They may even be called through guilt, as I believe my loved one was this morning. Guilt, pain, suffering and despair can and will be used by Our Lord as a plaintive cry for attention, for a bidding to come to Him, so another lost sheep might be found.

God’s ways are not our ways. They are not always logical and although they may be thought foolish by even the most brilliant minds, they are always the right ways because they are His ways. With discernment built through a one on one relationship with Our Lord,  (click on teal lettering to follow link to Ignation discernment guide) everyone can be sure the Holy Spirit will show them God’s way for their lives.

At Joseph’s House we pave a path for our moms leading them to a relationship with God so they are able to discern His way, His plan, for their life.  We provide the teaching allowing a light to be lit in their souls which serves as a beacon to Jesus the Good Shepard should they become lost, so he might find them and carry them on His shoulders returning them safely to the flock. The Angels rejoice in Heaven each time a lost soul returns to Christ. Our prayer is God will continue allowing Joseph’s House to be an instrument to change the directions, the hearts and hopefully the souls of all who come to call us home, and the Angels will rejoice in Heaven each time we welcome them into our family. There is not anything that would make us prouder or humble us more. 

God Bless you my friends,  
Love & Prayers,  

Patience & Love, Always Softens Hearts

Happy Glorious Sunday My Friends,

 Our newest Joseph's House family member!

Our newest Joseph's House family member!

I will begin with a quote from one of our Joseph’s House Alumni to all her Facebook friends on Tuesday morning.  She posted a quote and wrote "I just heard the best quote and honestly it’s why I am here today."

It’s not about how hard you’ve been hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

This young alumni mom’s post continued on to say, "Joseph’s House girls keep this in mind because you are worth it, you are worth every happiness you could ever dream or imagine!!! (and now my favorite part) Don’t let the bad in your life make you, let it build you into something great!”

And that’s just the beginning, there’s been more great quotes from alumni this week.

Thank you so very much, I love you and am beyond grateful for finding Joseph’s House and you giving me the strength to move back home.

And then just last evening, after a very difficult day, this,

You guys are amazing, thank you again, I really appreciate everything you have done for us.

You should all know not everyone leaves Joseph’s House under perfect circumstances. We have had to ask moms to leave a number of times because there can be a point where, without  their cooperation, we can no longer be of service to them. The last quote above was from one of those moms.  When she left nearly two years ago, we were not among her favorite people. She was at a standstill after spending nearly 18 months with us & was very unhappy with us when she left. Once out on her own however, she blossomed, she matured, she remembered some of what she had taken in while with us and completed her CNA. She now has a great job where she works nights at a wonderful senior center and is beloved by her patients and co-workers. She has reconciled with family and is supporting herself and her kids with their assistance. She has matured in ways I could have never imagined.  As you can probably surmise from last night’s quote, she has also reconciled with us, her Joseph’s House family. We are blessed!

Every time we have had a most difficult departure as we did yesterday, we have been graced by these young moms coming back to thank us, to apologize to us and to reconcile with us. I believe the reason for this is because we always treat them with respect and always in love and kindness. It can be difficult for staff when obscenities are being hurled at them as a young mom departs, but the lack of response to their anger on our part and the fact we return anger with patience and love, always softens hearts and usually diffuses intense situations. In this regard we give thanks and praise for all those who work with us for their gentle hearts that model the behaviors we pray all our moms always remember. One of the biggest lessons we all try to teach and model in our home, is that one does not have to respond emotionally to each and every situation or feeling they encounter.

We try to direct moms to DECIDE how they will react to unexpected situations & feelings. When they figure out what a groundbreaking change decision making is, versus reacting to feelings, a major shift occurs. Along with the quiet and calm exposed to them through rational decision making, an opening is created in their hearts where God can enter and show them a plan for their lives they had never before contemplated. Learning this decision making skill and securing the control needed to insure it, is a huge hurdle for most all of them as they have been immersed in drama since their conceptions in the wombs of their mothers. They have encountered it (drama) since their births, in their families, their living situations and in their everyday culture. We are blessed to have witnessed the change rational decision making provides in many of our moms and to behold the growth and maturity it yields. It is quite simply a monumental experience that helps provide the joy that is the foundation of our work.

Joseph’s House is always about forgiveness, no matter the sins of their pasts or the levels of betrayal. We are about teaching and modeling a way of life which is much like a foreign language to many. This means our work with these moms and their children, to truly succeed, needs to continue after their departure. We accomplish this through our Exodus program and by keeping in touch with as many of our moms as possible, so they come to understand they are loved by us always as they are loved though eternity by their Heavenly Father. We will always be there to continue teaching them, encourage them and support them in any way possible because that’s what family does, it is what Jesus does. We ask for your prayers for a very young mom and her little one who left us yesterday. She is not loving us at the moment as we love her, but our prayer is that very soon her lapsed love for her Joseph's House family will fill her heart once again. We will be waiting for her return home and to her family with open arms!

God Bless you my friends,

Love and prayers,


Sowing Seeds of Truth

Happy Sunday My Friends,

Another beautiful sunny Sunday in Syracuse! Hope you get outdoors to enjoy. Our home continues to be very busy. We are home to 8 moms 12 children, most of them toddlers, and have three little ones on the way. You might think it would be chaotic, however we are well staffed with volunteers, (we can always use a few more) and staff to take care of all these little rascals during the day while moms are busy at work, in school and in learning programs. All of our moms are out and about during the day extending their education and embracing opportunities that give them hope for an improved future caring for themselves and their children.

 Some of our children greeting visitors at our daycare entrance.

Some of our children greeting visitors at our daycare entrance.

This past week our Life Skills program enjoyed a first! One of our former residents returned to present to our current moms all she has learned through her Joseph House experience, and speak about what living independently with multiple children has taught her. She spoke of everything from finances and saving money, to how to successfully extricate one’s self and stay away from abusive relationships. Our moms were transfixed by this success story and given much hope they may soon be living the same successful life as this Exodus mom. There is not anything more rewarding than witnessing our moms learning from peers who once resided in the same rooms they now occupy.  As you can imagine, this experience is quite a milestone in our Joseph’s House history. Our hope for the future includes many more alumni returning to share their stories in our life skills program, and perhaps one day, even as members of our staff! As everyone at Joseph’s House is well aware, All things are possible with God!

Speaking of Life Skills once again we were taken aback by the wisdom being infused into the minds of these young women through our home. I mentioned a week or two ago our moms’ interest being piqued by the Rosary, Our Blessed Mother, Her apparitions and stories of the Saints. St. Louis de Monforte, St. Maximillian Kobe, St. John Paul II, and St. Theresa of Calcutta, all have written the shortest way to Jesus, is through Mary, so the notion that Mary would lasso in these young women is not surprising. Simply put, as mentioned many times before, Mary, The Good Mother will always deposit us, Her Children, at the feet of Jesus. To see the wisdom of these most glorious saints unfold first-hand in our chapel is a gift beyond measure. This recurring gift presents itself each week as our moms begin to ask questions of leaders and staff, only to have them answered beautifully by their very own peers. Their heartfelt responses come with a light in their eyes and a radiance to their faces that only presents itself when the soul is being infused with truth, with hope and with love. We hear in their answers they have learned God will always give them what they need, sometimes even more than they need, though He may not give them what they want, simply because what they want is not what is best for them and He has something better in mind!

The hearts, minds and souls of these young moms and their children are the fertile soil where seeds are being planted for their future and the future of all those their lives may touch. Joseph’s House is there for them to teach them now and forever, if they should want or need us that long. We are family, always there with a soft shoulder and warm heart. Our expectations are high, but high expectations teach these moms how very capable they are and give them a blue print for raising their own most capable children in the future. 

The chaos in today’s world, in our country, in families and in the homes of many is the result of the restless hearts of people seeking truth. At Joseph’s House seeds of truth are being planted in the freshly tilled soil of hearts, minds and souls of young women. Young women born in the chaos, once without hope, once filled with despair, who now light up at the mention of  the Name of Jesus. Our prayer for our home, for all families, our country and our world is the truth learned in our home founded in God, will be passed far and wide, from generation to generation, so all will feel the tug of Jesus in their hearts, hear the voice of Jesus when He calls, and one day soon will all light up at the mention of His Most Holy Name, Jesus. 

God Bless you my friends and thank you for assisting in planting the seeds that continue to change lives two generations at a time!

Love & Prayers,


Here I am Lord

Happy Sunday Everyone!

What a glorious day! I know it’s cold but the sun, the pure white snow, the crunch of footsteps, and the  crisp, clean air that clears our heads and fogs up our glasses, are on my list of favorite things. On top of all of that, special birthday gifts appeared in each reading gifted today from the Liturgy of the Hours, in Morning Prayer and in inspirational quotes received from saints in my inbox. Then there was today’s responsorial psalm “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” Psalm 40:2,4,7-8,8-9,10

As if all of those blessings were not enough, there was the first reading today from Samuel, one of my favorites, 1 Samuel 3:3-10,19.  Samuel knew he was being called in the middle of the night, he just didn’t know who was calling until Eli clued him in. As Father Dunn said earlier in the week when this reading appeared, “Eli, a man of God, was slipping a little if it took 3 interruptions before he understood who was calling Samuel.” Sounds as if Eli gives us all a little hope!


How long did it take you to hear the call? How did you hear it? Did Our Lord call you in the night as He did Samuel?  God was calling me my whole life, however since I am rather dense, obstinate and did not have an Eli in my life, I never heard Him until the gut-wrenching 2 AM phone call saying “There has been an accident.”

Five years ago today, Maria, Barry, Leah and I were on the road going to Spring Valley, New York to check out Good Counsel Homes. We were traveling to see if the idea of Joseph’s House was possible. I can remember thinking how unbelievable it was the 2 AM wake-up call received in 2004 had resulted in meeting these most special people 9 years later. I can remember thinking tragedy had resulted in blessings, and prayers were being answered through a promise made to God at the very lowest point of my life. I remember wondering, “Why are you so good to me Lord?”  “What is your plan my Lord?”  and “Thank you dear Lord for answering my prayers by sending these magnificent people into my life.” And the big question, “Do you really want a Joseph’s House, Lord?”

My prayer each morning and evening since the 2 AM  phone call in 2004 has been, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.”

I will leave you with the words from one of my favorite hymns named Here I am Lord. I promise you, better yet Our Lord promises you, if you give your free will back to God, surrender yourself to Him completely, give Him total responsibility for every aspect of your life, the joy, even through struggles and tears, will be nearly unbearable to contain and you will be singing this refrain to yourself HOPING HE WILLS to awaken you from sleep each and every night.

God Bless you my friends!

Love and Prayers,


I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.

I who made the stars and night
I will make the darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.

I the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away.

I will break their hearts of stone
Fill their hearts with love alone
I will speak my word to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.