The Gift of Motherhood

The gift of motherhood
Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps the child to grow, and is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.
— Saint Pope John Paul II from his Letter to Women

Happy Sunday My Friends,

I can remember being in my car with a 14-year old about eight years ago, old taking her to have the blue hair color removed from her hair to try to prevent her from losing all of it. Somehow the conversation turned to boys, parties and the pressure on her to do what everyone else was doing.  I told her “If you can remember your body is a temple, it is sacred and a gift from God and He dwells in you, you will save yourself much heartache in the future.” Yes, our bodies are temples, temples of the Holy Spirit. They are sacred, that is special, holy and created to be intrinsically good. They are created in the image of God to be used to bear fruit through procreation after marriage, through the sharing of our talents to help others, and by being the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
— St. Paul to the Corinthians 3:17

Our Lord weeps in Heaven my friends, at the state of our world and our country. The shootings. bombings, demonstrations, character assassinations, the trafficking of human beings taking place daily in our country and our world. What must He think? Where did we lose the understanding we are created in His likeness, in His image for good, to be of great virtue, to be all He longs for us to be? When did we begin to believe as women true freedom, true equality, means we should be able to have what men have at the cost of our ability to be the true feminists God created us to be? At the cost of sacrificing our gift of motherhood?

Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity.
Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of “mystery,” to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.
— Saint Pope John Paul II from his Letter to Women

The moms who come to us have been enlightened enough to realize their child is a gift from God. However, it is still a tall order to teach them of the inherent dignity of their femininity and its value in our world. They have been abused in so many ways by so many people they do not believe there is an ounce of good in them. They believe love is giving up the sacred temples of their bodies to those who do not understand how special they are. They have come to equate love with sex, as have so many others in this day and time. Yet they long for the good, they hope for the good and we try to make them believe, to make them understand, they are good, no matter the mistakes they have made or what others may have told them. We want them to know, to understand they have the capability to be great because Our Lord created all of us to be that way. We want them to know they can become the mothers, daughters, sisters and workers Saint John Paul II describes above, mothers, daughters, sisters and workers as gracious, loving and as feminine as our Blessed Mother Mary.

If everyone understood and believed how magnificently created they are, if they understood they are sacred, they are temples of God, if they understand and believed Jesus died on the Cross for them and would die on the Cross all over again, for them alone, wouldn’t the landslide of bullying, of suicide, of abortion, of euthanasia, not be stemmed? If we all only understood how remarkably unique, we truly are, how we have been specifically chosen to live at this time, in this place in order to fulfill God’s plan for our lives and for the world, wouldn’t Our Lord no longer weep in Heaven?

Let us teach our sons and daughters they are sacred, they are temples, they carry God within them every moment of every day. Let us help Our Lord and Savior wipe away His tears, to bring joy to His Heart, to be the hands and feet of Jesus on earth, to make Our Lord look down upon us in wonder as we step out in faith fulfilling the Holy Will of God our Father. We have the power my friends, through prayer and sacrifice and with unfathomable faith to work all these wonders. Let us be courageous in all we do in service of the Heavenly Kingdom because even helping one person come to understand the intrinsic nobility of their humanity will cause ripple effects on earth and celebrations in Heaven that will be never-ending!

God Bless you my friends,

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Patience, Perseverance & Surrender

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“Amen I say to you, unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

Happy Sunday My Friends,

Look at those little faces above. While some of them look rather exuberant, the others seem to be saying, “What are these adults doing now? Can’t I just have my bottle and go to sleep?” What these little faces are showing us adults is patience. And within their patience they are showing us their perseverance in patience as they get dragged around, dressed up, and taken on excursions never knowing where they are going and what they will be doing. And yet for the most part they take it all in stride and totally surrender their little lives to our discretion and care, never questioning our motives, our plans, our desires, but just rolling with the punches day in and day out totally oblivious to their own wants. They trust us totally and rely on us constantly to provide everything from dry diapers, clean clothes, warm food and drink and a roof over their heads. They never question us, they simply follow our lead always having total faith in our direction. In their childish innocence they surrender their lives to us.

In your patience you shall possess your souls
— Luke 21:19

There are times in our work at Joseph’s House where we truly wonder how in the world a situation will resolve itself. The complications and hurdles facing a mom and her child many times seem insurmountable. A fundraiser may fall flat, or a grant request given hours of attention may not be bare fruit. We may be excited by a mom doing very well when she unexpectedly decides to leave us before she is ready, making us question ourselves and what we do. We may send out emails in search of support and never receive answers. Important meetings may be cancelled, expected funding may not come through. All in all, at times this joyful work can be as frustrating as any job on earth and the expressions on our faces might resemble some of the faces of the little ones above as we wonder, “What is God doing now?”

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast (or perseveres) under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
— James 1:12

As is true with all trials and disappointments, our setbacks make us stronger and our failures make us more resilient. We learn from our mistakes and have come to comprehend along the way we are called to extreme patience, unprecedented perseverance and unconditional surrender. We are called to never question Our Lord, but to simply follow His lead always having total faith in His direction. In child-like innocence we are called to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.

Prayer is nothing but that complete surrender, complete oneness with Christ.
— St. Theresa of Calcutta

We have seen first-hand the results of this three-tiered PPS formula in the founding, opening and recent milestones of our mission. We have seen the results as more moms graduate our program and succeed independently. We have seen the results in the growth of our Exodus program as last year’s vision has come to fruition this year in so many ways. Mostly we have seen the results in the numbers of moms and little ones calling us family and loving us because we are always there for them. We see the results in all those coming to visit us and in all those who continue to learn from us, still grateful to us years after their departure.

Our moms have told us often, “I want what you have” and what we have is God. What they want is the patience, perseverance and surrender found when we put Him first in our lives and give Him our free will. We are working day in and day out to teach them this truth while helping them understand they are loved, cherished and adored by their Creator. We are working to help them understand no matter how many times they might fall, God is there and Joseph’s House is there to pick them up, dust them off and give them a fresh start.

Patience, perseverance and surrender make us childlike in the eyes of Our Lord in Heaven and we will continue to be little children to Him, as the ones He sends to Joseph’s House will be little children to us. PPS is the formula producing the miracles of Joseph’s House, and it can be the formula to change your life and all the lives of those you know and love. Work diligently my friends to be patient, to persevere and to surrender. You will fall in love with the result, and the result is God!

God Bless you always!

Love &Prayers,

Kitty

All Hands On Deck!

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Happy Sunday My Friends!

That is the kind of October it has been at Joseph’s House! After kicking off four Baby Bottle Drives, hosting the Parade of Homes with Sciuga Builders, working with Team Chevy and Gaspirini Landscaping on our playground, preparing for our At Home With Joseph’s House, Our Gala in Your Home video and then the day to day activities of our home with six moms and 10 little ones, it has been busy to say the least and very much a full team effort tackling all the happenings.

This week there have been days with all our moms working or in school where we have a very full daycare. This is an area of our home we could not run without our volunteers and our dedicated staff.  This week we also hosted mass and dinner for the Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference speakers and the Women’s Commission. This event required the help of all our moms who scrubbed, polished, dusted and shined all areas of our spacious home along with our staff and many volunteers as well. Furniture was moved, flowers were arranged and accouterments were added making our lovely home more spectacular than normal and giving everyone a sense of pride because of their hard work and contributions.

The mass and dinner that took place Friday evening were a celebration of reverence and companionship with humble, talented people on fire for Christ, our church and our mission. While we visited and shared our story with these wonderful folks, our moms and little ones enjoyed a night out at Billy Beez with more staff and volunteers.  Yesterday as we attended the Women’s Conference and heard the testimonies of the new friends met the night before, our moms and kids once again had a fun day out at Trunk or Treat at Holy Family Church once again with the assistance of more dedicated staff.

As if this wasn’t all enough we had parishioners from St. Mary’s in Skaneateles and students from Bishop Grimes drop off van loads of diapers, wipes, detergent and personal care items for our moms and little ones. As an added bonus, we had a visit from an Exodus mom who came bearing gifts of homemade soaps for all our moms and hand-written notes from her now 6-year-old daughter.

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I thank God often for the people He has brought into my life because of this mission. There are moms and children as well as staff young enough to be my children and grandchildren whom I have come to love as family. There are many others as well, working as volunteers, working in parishes in our area, in other ministries, those who visit our home and support our mission I now consider friends and mentors. When I think about how many I have come to know, how many new friends have changed my life because of this work, I am taken to my knees in thanks and praise. I never knew before Joseph’s House how many truly good, selfless, God-loving people there are in our city and in our church. I am amazed by the depths of their faith, the depths of their compassion and the oceans of hope, faith and love radiating from them.

Such is the scope of this mission. Quite honestly a scope we could have never envisioned as we began this work. A scope that not only changes the lives of moms and babies but a scope also changing the lives of staff, of volunteers, of all those hearing our story of mercy and miracles. Joseph’s House is a mission not only requiring all hands-on-deck, but also a mission altering those hands, those minds and those hearts showing them first hand, the love of Christ.  It’s no wonder we are constantly joyful and joy-filled! Come visit us, join us and become part of our crew as a staff member, a volunteer, or as a supporter and experience the presence of Christ in our home and in your hearts. I can promise you, you will never regret it! God Bless you my friends!

Love and Prayers,

Kitty

THE JOY OF LIFE!

 Mason, now four and a half years old, born in April 2014 our first Joseph’s House newborn baby!

Mason, now four and a half years old, born in April 2014 our first Joseph’s House newborn baby!

“Every October, the Catholic Church celebrates Respect Life month to honor God for creating all human life. We are reminded that every human life is made in God’s image and likeness and has infinite value and worth. Each of you, through your baptism, has been called to discipleship. You’ve been called to learn more about yourself and God, to celebrate the Sacraments, and to serve one another in love. When we do these things, we show God how much we value his gift of life.

— Lisa Hall, Director of Respect Life Ministry Diocese of Syracuse

Happy Sunday My Friends,

Beautiful words above from our friend Lisa Hall spoken at the Respect Life Mass this past Thursday at the Cathedral. Powerful words were spoken by Msgr. Yennock concerning the toll abortion has taken on our society. More than 60 million lives and souls lost because the law of our land says it is legal to kill the most innocent lives in the safest place they should ever know, the womb of their mother. More than 60 million lives lost because we do not understand every life is a gift from God.

At mass at Joseph’s House this past Friday, Msgr. O’Brien reminded us of this gift that is life. He reminded us Our Lord knows every hair on our head and has a unique plan for our lives that only we are able to fulfill. Each time we kill a child in the womb of his mother we alter God’s plan for our world and something good and special, something holy, and of God is lost.

Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
— Luke 12:7

Joseph’s House is the antithesis of the law of our land. We are a place where any expectant mom can come with her children and find people supporting her decision to carry new life and bring their child into the world. We are a place where young lost souls, many of them once considering abortion, can find God’s unique calling for their lives so they may then help their children find theirs. We are a place where hopes and dreams once thought impossible come to fruition. We are a place surrounded and enveloped in the mercy of Christ for the good of His children.

We impart this good news to all who join us so they understand in every way the depth of God’s love for them and their children. This results in many accomplishments and much good news to share. Every mom in our home is either employed, interviewing or taking classes for their GED or classes at the college level. Our success stories are increasing, our transitional housing program is moving forward and the calls from those wanting to join us or open a home like ours are never-ending.

We have a mom working full-time, taking GED classes who just received her driver’s license because of our newly instituted driver’s ed program. We have a mom working full-time taking classes at OCC with a 90+ average, who’s older child will soon be entering outside daycare. This is the first step to transitioning out of our home and into transitional housing. We have a mom with a flair for cooking who fills our home with fragrant aromas warming our souls and tummies as the colder weather shares its’ chill. We have a mom who never believed she was capable of passing any high school exams doing so well in her classes her instructor told her she will be ready to take her equivalency exam in a few weeks. We have an Exodus mom who successfully passed her GED exam with flying colors after failing it several times before.

We are Joseph’s House and we exist to promote the sanctity of human life and the dignity of all women. We exist to help those who believe they are helpless and hopeless and show them the way to growing in confidence in themselves and envisioning new possibilities for their lives. We exist to make all our moms and children understand they are truly loved and cherished by God and by us. We exist to make them believe for the first time in their lives they are strong, they are capable and they are worthy of finding a good man who will love and respect them in the way God has ordered.

This is a life-affirming, life-giving, most inspiring place to work, volunteer and live. Our home comes with all the problems of a very large family, sometimes with the heartache of disappointments but more often with the joy of milestones achieved. We are blessed to witness our moms and their children blossom from the depths of despair to the heights God has planned for them. We are given each day in our home the opportunity to respect life, to save life and to renew life for all those calling Joseph’s House their home.

We invite you to join us in this most glorious adventure that is Joseph’s House through working with us, volunteering with us and or supporting us with a monetary gift. The possibilities are endless for your life and the sanctity of human life should you decide to join us! We hope to hear from you soon! God Bless you my friends!

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

October, The Month of Mary

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Happy Sunday My Friends,

It may be a bit damp and gloomy but the weather never gets us down at Joseph’s House. There is always an air of excitement in our home, always a new opportunity for someone’s life to be improved and changed and always the blessings of new people learning of our mission and falling in love with it.

This all happened again this week as another new mom and infant joined us from downstate and the Zone and District Managers from Chevrolet led by Natalie Taylor came to Joseph’s House to help us prepare our playground area for new equipment. This new equipment for our playground was provided through a grant from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.


It was cold and rainy but this group of men and women from #teamchevy soldiered on through it all making remarkable progress in transforming an over-grown, rather barren landscape into a little secret garden of beauty and solitude for our little ones and our moms as well. We would like to extend our thanks to the Gaspirini Family and their landscaping company for their assistance in the procurement of needed materials to enhance this area and to volunteer Mary Burgoon who developed the idea and layout after spending time in our yard during volunteer hours in our daycare. As if all the outdoor work was not enough, other team members painted a dorm room for us and put away a number of heavy air conditioners. These volunteers were a God-send as we do not have the staff or the funds to take on all this work on our own. Thank you, Natalie and team for joining us and to Todd Caputo for sending you our way. You are all a blessing!

Our Lady of the Rosary

I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to Our Blessed Mother on Her Feast Day today of the Most Holy Rosary. As many of you know the Rosary Prayer was the vehicle which carried this prodigal daughter back to the arms of Jesus through the intercession of Our Lady. Without the Rosary I am simply a lost soul on her way to hell. Without the Rosary there is simply not a Joseph’s House. The Rosary is the prayer my friends, that will lead you to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ through its mysteries.  As you meditate on these 20 mysteries, which are really bible stories, you will come to understand the depths of Christ’s sufferings. You will come to understand the depths of suffering and sacrifice of Our Blessed Mother. You will come to understand the times we are living in are not much different than the times of Jesus as the Pharisees and Sadducees of His day were as misguided as many believe our church leaders are today. The Rosary makes one understand the wisdom of God. It leads one to discern in the same way our Lord discerns. It leads one to a friendship with Jesus through an introduction to Him from His Mother. And what good, loving Jewish boy would reject a friend of His Mom’s ? What good Jewish boy would reject a request from His Mom on behalf of Her friend? Yes, friendship with Mary obtained through Her prayer of the Rosary gives us an EZ Pass to Jesus and an EZ Pass to Heaven! Be sure to join us on the highway to eternity through the vehicle of Mary’s Prayer, The Most Holy Rosary. It will change your life! God bless you my friends!

Love and Prayers,

Kitty

Joseph's House The Happy Place



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Happy Sunday My Friends!

And Happy Everyday when you are immersed in the work of Joseph’s House! The unprecedented joy obtained through working with these most remarkable, most resilient young women and becoming a part of their life, a part of their family is the most rewarding experience one could ever imagine. When I ask myself “Why” is this so, I come to understand the answer is manifested in the love Our Lord has for each and every member of His creation. As we love Him more, He increases our capacity to love everyone around us more, and as we love others more the love becomes contagious and radiates outward and envelops others in the most magnificent way so that is palpable, visible and draws people into its light.

What a great gift to be given, to understand the depths of God’s love for each and every one of us. To understand the more we give, the more will be given to us. To witness first hand the way the lives and attitudes of these young moms change when they come to understand we will not desert them. We will not forget them. We will not abuse them or use them in any way. When they come to understand our only purpose is to teach them and surround them with respect, with faith and love and enhance their self-worth so they come to believe they are cherished by us and by Our Lord in Heaven.

I miss you guys so much. I may struggle day to day to keep afloat, but you and everyone at Joseph’s House give me the strength to push and be brave doing so. You brought me back to God. I love you guys.
— JH Exodus Mom

We are awestruck daily as we were yesterday when a mom, her husband and her children went out of their way to return to us before leaving the country. It is a great blessing to see them healthy, happy and thriving knowing Joseph’s House was integral to their growth. We are awestruck when we witness one of our oldest toddlers prepare for his first day of school and walk off in the morning with his mom to the very same building where she is taking classes to obtain her GED. We are awestruck when one of our very successful Exodus moms volunteers her time off to come and assist us in manning a table at one of our upcoming events. We are awestruck when a mom praises God and Joseph’s House in a Facebook post. We are awestruck when an email or phone call is answered and we realize the response was an answer to a prayer. God holds us captive daily as He mesmerizes us with miracles always encouraging us to move forward, always encouraging us to go out on a limb to serve His most precious children. We will always work to never disappoint Him!

We have so many special happenings to share with you this month of October, Respect Life month, the month of The Most Holy Rosary. The excitement begins with three Baby Bottle drives next weekend at Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville, Sacred Heart in Cicero and Blessed Sacrament in Eastwood. The following weekend we are at St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville with more Baby Bottles and at the Parade of Homes all through October. There is another Baby Bottle Drive the last weekend of October at St. Francis in Marcellus along with the Catholic Women’s Conference and the conference dinner held the night before in our home.

We will also be kicking off our “At Home With Joseph’s House” video event within the next week or two. You will hear first hand from our newest Exodus mom who recently moved into our first Joseph’s House transitional apartment. She will share with you her courageous story of choosing life for her second child and all the ways Joseph’s House has been the avenue through which she found a hope-filled new beginning for herself and her children. She is proof of the words, “Joseph’s House is changing lives two generations at a time.”

We hope to see you at one of these upcoming events and we ask you to share the good news of our mission with others remembering always while our home runs 24/7/365, so does our fundraising run 24/7/365.  We take no state, federal, Diocesan or Hope Appeal monies. This is unheard of in most maternity homes or homeless shelters and makes us unique in the city of Syracuse. Our funding comes from and through the generosity of all of you, through your prayers as well as through your spreading the word and sending monetary gifts.

We  offer our prayers of thanksgiving to you for helping us continue this most rewarding work, this most crucial work, this work which is a mission of life given to us to preserve, to protect and to grow according to Will of Christ.

God Bless you my friends!

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

"It's Been a Good Week"

Another week has gone by at Joseph’s House and there continues to be amazing blessings bestowed upon this mission of life and love. This time of year is extremely busy for Joseph’s House as we’re preparing for many events and fundraisers for this year and next. With many weekend events and engagements, these updaets may be a little bit brief in the coming weeks but hopefully we’ll be able to continue to show you the wonderful good news of the continued success of our moms.

This week we had the first mom in our program to take advantage of our Driver’s Education program. Through the generous support of the Auer Family Foundation, we can assist the moms in our home, and our Exodus moms, obtain their driver’s licenses from permits through driver’s tests. This mom in particular has been working hard and is contiuing her education so that she can continue to take her life towards independence.

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We also began filming a short video update that will be shared with you all soon. Filming something like this is always an adventure. Finding the perfect location for shooting, preparing all the equipment, educating the filmmakers on our mission and the messgae we want to convey all always take longer than expected. As the time builds so does the anticipation and excitement. When the residents of our home, or in this case one of our Exodus moms, are interviewed, we learn more and more about the all emcompassing impact that Joseph’s House has had on their lives. We learn more and more about the challenges of their past. Most rewarding though, is hearing that in their time at Joseph’s House, they’ve learned that God exists and has a plan for their lives.

When they surrender their will and start to understand that God’s plan for them includes them being right where they are in their lives- sometimes that means being a resident of Joseph’s House. This deep an understanding and revelation has happened and when it does, that resident is truly able to excel. This step aids them in shedding the necessary baggage they’ve been carrying for years and starts to build their lives on a new foundation.

We ended our week with Mass celebrated in the chapel in our home. The home feels even more alive when the faithful gather for Mass and Adoration. There is an indescribable feeling when you’re attending Mass and the muffled cries and laughs of the children from other areas of the house are heard. The muffled cries and laughs that are only possible because of His love for our mission, His love for our residents and His blessings that are showered upon us every day. Through the ups and downs of the stresses of the week, I couldn’t help but think that God was looking upon our home and thinking “It’s been a good week.”

God Bless,

Bronson

A Few Words on the Scandals of Our Church

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This past Friday the 14th of September was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. While the center of our faith and our church is the Most Holy Eucharist the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, the Cross, specifically the Crucifix is the crossroads where Our Lord gave up His Earthly Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity as redemption for our sins thereby converting the cross from an instrument of torture into a symbol of freedom for all who call themselves Catholic.

The teachings of Jesus are counter cultural. We do not understand why we must suffer during our lifetimes with health issues, financial matters, natural disasters and for many, being abused, homeless, hungry or alone. The answer is quite simple, our reward will be great in Heaven if only we pick up all the problems in life, throw them over our shoulder and carry them as Jesus carried His own Cross. The difference between our own cross and the Cross of Christ is that His Cross was made and is composed of ALL of our crosses, all our sufferings and all of our sins and so carrying it for Him who was sinless Himself and most pure, made His burden heavier and His task more daunting than we can ever imagine. The weight of our individual crosses can never come close to the weight of the Cross of Christ which encompasses all the crosses of the world, past, present and to come. And yet He offered Himself up to God the Father, with the full consent of His Mother, Our Blessed Mother, as a sacrifice so we might all share in the Kingdom of God. He died on the Cross so we might one day have infinite life with Him in Heaven. Who else would undergo such agonizing torture so you might go to Heaven? Who else loves you enough to die for you in this most harrowing way? Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the cross, an instrument of torture, becomes our symbol of freedom as it is the instrument leading us to eternal life, to eternal freedom.

Our Catholic Church is carrying a great cross created by its very own hierarchy, and as Catholics we carry the cross with her. We are mortified by the revelations made by the PA Attorney General and the comments from Cardinal Vigano. How is it the men to whom we look for guidance and interpretations of The Word are unable to apply the truth of The Word to themselves and their own behaviors? How are we to trust anyone, as it seems so many believe all our clergy, all of our church are either perpetrators or are complicit in these vile behaviors?  

Simply stated our Catholic Church is made up of human beings who by our very nature are imperfect and filled with concupiscence. What we must remember as our pastor so eloquently noted this past Sunday morning at mass, is that 98 to 99% of our clergy are not guilty of any of these behaviors, and these very same most atrocious behaviors are more prevalent in other public and private institutions than they are in our church. Please don’t think I am saying this makes the mistakes made by our clergy understandable. Even one offense of this nature is too many. I truly believe as Catholics all of us, priests, bishops, religious and lay people are called to a higher standard we have failed to attain. In our failure to reach those higher standards many innocents have been irreparably harmed.

So where do we go as Catholics from here? We double down my friends. We unite our individual crosses to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We unite our crosses to this most malodorous cross being dragged through the mud by our church. We assist our church in hoisting it upon our shoulders and we carry it with and for our church, with and for our clergy and mostly with and for the victims as Jesus carries and carried our crosses for us. We carry it with love, with compassion and with resignation knowing God is Mercy and we are called to be the same. We double down in prayer, we attend weekday mass as well Sunday mass, we spend more time in Adoration, and we beg for healing for the victims of these horrendous crimes. We pray, we fast and we sacrifice for all the lives destroyed by these horrific failures, as well as for all those priests and bishops who have sinned so grievously. We pray as Father Dunn asked all of us this past Sunday, for the 98-99% of good, holy, faithful priests and bishops who are thought guilty because of the sins of others. The priests, bishops and clergy maligned even though they have done no wrong. The innocents who carry the burden of the sins of their brother priests and bishops as the innocent Jesus Christ carried the burden of all of our sins to His Crucifixion.

We are all far from perfect my friends, and we are not to judge the people involved here, we are only to judge the sins perpetrated by them. Our Lord is Mercy. Along with Our Lady He will provide solace for the victims. He will forgive all involved in these scandals should each and every one repent appropriately. The resulting thorough cleansing of His Most Holy Catholic Church may make us a much smaller church, but we will be a new church built upon a solid, stable, faithful foundation rooted in the Word of God and we will regain our strength and numbers as we are restored to fertile ground.

We are the Church of Christ, built upon the Rock of Peter and satan shall not prevail. We need to be strong my friends, we need to be the Army of Christ. We need to pray the Rosary through the intercession Our Mother Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, who wants nothing more than to bring each one of us to the Heart of Her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Persevere my friends, have faith my friends, be joy-filled knowing Good Friday is always followed by Easter Sunday, and your reward will be great in heaven. Let us soldier on, carry this cross for our church and pray we give some comfort to Our Lord God in Heaven who stands weeping for His beloved children and His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Please take an extra minute to read below a much more intellectual reflection from Sundays’ Magnificat on The Cross and take a few more minutes to listen to Bishop Robert Barron on the scandals. His words are right on target.

God Bless You Always,

Love and Prayers,

Kitty

Take Up Our Cross

If we are going to stay close to the cross of Jesus with Mary, we must constantly increase our knowledge of the mystery of the cross to relive it….

The cross is, above all, what divides and separates. In fact, it separates what belongs to the spirit from what is of the flesh (see Gal 5:24), what belongs to faith from what is of the law (see Gal 5:11), the old self from the new one (see Rom 6:6), believers from nonbelievers, Christians from Jews and Greeks (see 1 Cor 1:18 ff.), and the Christian himself from the world….

The cross is what unites, what breaks down the walls of hostility, reconciles people among themselves and with God….

Thanks to the cross of Christ those who were far off have been brought near, the dividing wall has been broken down, all are united….

The cross is both these things together. It distinguishes in order to unite. It separates from the world to unite to God; it rescues from corruption and unites all those who accept being crucified with Christ. It overcomes all differences, revealing their relative and secondary nature before the new radical difference, which distinguishes the friends from the enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil 3:18)….

The cross separates and divides. This is true: it is the tool God uses to prune the shoots of the great vine of the Body of Christ so that they may bear fruit….

But above all the cross unites. It unites us one to the other. It makes us understanding and caring. Whoever suffers often becomes less egoistic and sees the needs of others; he is no longer impervious to compassion.

However, the cross unites us especially to God.

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, o.f.m. cap.

Celebrating the Work We Do!

Happy September My Friends,

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It’s been awhile since writing to you all and it’s just because of the busy transitions we all undergo this time of year. Things at Joseph’s House are much the same as they are in your own home with new beginnings and transitions for many this time of year. Mom’s going back to school, mom’s moving in, others leaving us all while managing a home and activities and running 24/7/365 just like yours.

We have many events coming up where we could use your assistance, whether it’s representing Joseph’s House at the Parade of Homes or assisting handing out baby bottles at our Baby Bottle Drives, check out our events page and email us if you’re interested in helping!

We do have some excitement to share as our 4th Annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ was held Saturday, September 8th at Sacred Heart. More than 125 attended this event including many moms and little ones from our earliest days. Volunteers serving more than 250 hours at Joseph’s House in the past 3 years were honored including Paulette Schillo with more than 700 hours and Mary Ann Muhunik with more than 500 hours. Other honorees included John Viscoe, The Byrnes family, Kathy and Katrina Schwanke, Nancy Cometti, Mary Burgoon and Michelle Argentieri. You can tell from the quote below that our volunteers are an integral part of carrying out our mission and embody the spirit and heart of Joseph’s House.

As a volunteer in the day care, I am so honored to be part of the Joseph House mission. Such a wonderful, beautiful place!
What a huge reward we get, seeing these moms and babies absolutely thriving. Joseph’s House is truly in the business of doing God’s work, every single day.
My heart is here at Joseph’s House- I just love coming here.
— JH Volunteer

Our BBQ event was also the venue for announcing the winners of our $5,000 Cash Prize Raffle! They are Kate Holmes as the $5,000 grand prize winner. Second prize winner Elaine Salvetti receiving $1,000, and third prize winner Suzanne Pietramonica taking away $500.

This successful event was sponsored by many local Rotary clubs and Knights of Columbus Councils and chaired by Sue Plemons and Torrey Lansing along with JH Executive Director Bronson Kopp.  Our chairs coordinated the volunteers, food and activities so everything ran flawlessly. Many thanks to all for your tireless work.

There are special thanks for many others as well, including Chick-fil-A Cicero, Byrne Dairy and Dunkin Donuts for donating yummy sustenance. Special thanks too for Rev. Richard Prior for the use of the beautiful grounds at Sacred Heart and Josh Kay the Life-Teen coordinator for his assistance with layout and bounce houses. Special thanks also to the Brusa family for the use of their tent and to Patrick Brusa for putting it up and taking it down again this year. Also volunteers from Immaculate Conception. Alex Peterson, Amelia Grenier and her mom Celeste, and James Dziergas and his mom Janet. Also, our Junior Auxiliary high school students, Madison Prowak, Mairead McIntyre and Erin Byrne always available and helpful to all.  Sharon and Sam Giordano were everywhere all evening as well helping in every needed way. “Many hands make light work,” and this crew proved that axiom to be true. Thank you!

Then there were our musicians brought to us by our friend Greg Hoover and the Syracuse Sunrise Rotary. These young high school musicians Haley Sweeney and Sydney Irving kept the mood mellow, and everyone humming the entire evening.

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On Wednesday September 12th, Joseph’s House was honored at a Biz Events gathering at Drumlins as one of Central New York’s Best Places to Work. It was a wonderful evening of networking and great food where we touched base with old friends and made some new ones. Although we were not number 1 in our category, we are the first not for profit to ever be included in this group and we gathered some great information that will help us be #1 next year! Remember, all things are possible with God! BIZ EVENTS 2019 here we come!!!

Thank you to our staff who made this win possible through the survey questions they answered. The best part of reviewing the survery results is seeing the word cloud that shows the words most used by our staff to describe working at Joseph’s House.

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All of our tremendous staff and their loving hearts and words come to Joseph’s House through one source and one source only, Our Lord God in Heaven. Thank you, Jesus for the staff you send our way and for their delight in working with your most vulnerable children. Thank you Jesus, Mary and Joseph for another successful BBQ event, our volunteers and for all those who made it possible and mostly thank you Jesus for this most sublime work gifted to us through Your love for us and for all humanity. We are blessed beyond measure in doing this work inspired through the Holy Spirit. We welcome you, our friends, to learn more about us, to join us for monthly mass, or to become a volunteer. There are so many ways to help us serve God’s creation. Join us, pray for us and visit our website. Thank you and May God Abundantly Bless You!

Love and Prayers,

Kitty

Buy Great Coffee and Support Joseph's House!

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with LifeBoat Coffee Company! LifeBoat bills itself as the "Official Coffee Company of People Who Love Life!"  What drew Joseph's House to LifeBoat is they are founded on 3 principles, first of which is: All human life is sacred, beautiful and deserving of protection from natural conception until natural death. No exceptions and no compromise!  They also believe coffee should be ethically sourced, sustainable and superior quality and taste AND they give back 10% of every purchase to YOUR favorite life-affirming charity! 

I encourage you all to read a little bit about the company and how the "Skipper" John Lillis started the nation's first ever front-line pro-life radio show in Sioux City, about 25 feet away from Planned Parenthood. The purpose of the radio station was to bring tens of thousands of people together via radio to pray that the women arriving across the street may change their mind and choose life for their babies. It's a story that is deeply moving and inspiring, I encourage you all to read more about it!

By using this link, or by clicking on the LifeBoat picture, 10% of your coffee purchase will come back to support Joseph's House!