The Impact of Joseph's House

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Finally, there is the most important component in building our fortitude and instilling us with the ability to impact so many, the place where dynamism is received through Heaven propelling us forward.....
— HS

There are weeks in this mission where quite honestly, we wonder why we do what we do. Moms and kids are not always appreciative or happy. Staff and volunteers get overwhelmed and exhausted and pleadings to Our Lord seem to be unheard. Thank God there are also MORE weeks like this one where we see, hear and feel first-hand the impact of this mission on those inside as well as outside our home.

This past week there were many accomplishments some might consider small however in the lives of the young women calling Joseph’s House home, they are milestones. When we see our moms learning and then executing new ways to handle bumps in the road, anxiety issues, and make solid efforts at being consistent in parenting their children, we know we are on the right path to helping them truly change the ways of their past.

Then there are visits to other life-saving programs where we hear from people we admire, people whose work we consider heroic and most imperative, where we are told they love our program and want to partner with us. These meetings, while pumping us with enthusiasm and making us realize God IS hearing and answering our pleadings, also confirm the knowledge our work is most important, the need for it is always increasing, and we must continue to pursue new avenues of assistance for all those encountering unplanned pregnancy, homelessness, impossible circumstances and child rearing on their own.

As if all of this isn’t enough, there are ever increasing visits and notes from students and young people where we see the beauty of pro-life belief blossoming profusely making us understand there is a bright future for missions like ours. We recently heard a story about a 16 year-old preparing for Confirmation and the letter he wrote to Bishop Cunningham explaining to the Bishop how his mom’s involvement with Joseph’s House has changed his life and given him a new perspective. This young man seems to have an improved attitude and more appreciation for his mom and his family because of the eye-opening effects of this ministry. There is also the enthusiasm of the students pictured above from Holy Cross Academy in Oneida, their warm reception, impressive Baby Bottle Drive and most heart-warming notes of thanks, allowing us to see the impact of Joseph’s House has no bounds and will carry on for years to come.

Finally, there is the most important component in building our fortitude and instilling us with the ability to impact so many, the place where dynamism is received through Heaven propelling us forward. Our monthly mass gatherings where our union with Jesus, Mary and Joseph through the reception of the Eucharist followed by an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, are our most empowering driving forces . In those moments where we bow our heads to Christ, offer all we are and all we have to Him and where we receive His Divinity within our own bodies, Heaven comes to earth to penetrate us and fills us to overflowing. This time in prayer instills us with a faith so deep, so pure, so viable, we bound out of our beautiful chapel like little children inebriated with staggering amounts of hope and joy. A hope and joy fueling our determination, perseverance and commitment to Jesus and His mission of Joseph’s House. We do not exist without Jesus, without the mass, without the Eucharist, without prayer and without Adoration in thanks and praise of Our Lord Almighty.

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No moment spent in My presence is without value. Every moment given Me is precious in My sight and becomes fruitful for the whole Church. It is not a question of quantity, of spending long hours in My presence when the duties of one’s state in life require something else. What I ask instead is the moment of pure adoration and of love offered to Me from a simple, childlike heart. Just as a mother takes as much delight in a single wildflower offered by her child as in a great bouquet of flowers, so too do I take delight in the moment offered Me out of love.

Begin, then, by offering Me what you can. You will see that I will move you to add moment to moment, until you are giving Me all the time of adoration and of love that I desire from you. Too many souls are discouraged when they attempt to pray. They think, wrongly, that unless they undertake much, they should undertake nothing. And so they abandon prayer and leave Me alone, leave Me waiting for their little moment of presence, a consolation to My Heart.

Give Me the little moment of adoration and of love and I will multiply it, making it possible for you to give Me an hour of adoration and of love, as they become available in your life, and as I ask them of you. Too many souls try to do too much, and end up doing nothing. It is better to begin by doing what is very little, and by entrusting that little offering to Me, confident that I will receive it and turn it to My glory and to the glory of the Father.
— In Senu Jesu

I would ask you all who are far away from God at this moment to recommit yourselves to His Divine assistance. If you are Catholic and not attending mass, please go to Reconciliation and find your way back to peace, where the emptiness felt in your life, in your heart, mind and soul will be filled with the friendship and consolations of Jesus Christ. If someone like me is able to muster the courage for this grace from God and has been truly forgiven, I know you are able as well. And should you feel the need to speak about this and I can help in any way, please feel free to contact me through our website at www.jhfw.org.

My promise to God for all the ways He has blessed my life is to let as many people as possible know about His longing to call all of us home to share in His love, His mercy and the Glory of His Presence impacting as many souls as He wishes to send my way. I am here to help you and Joseph’s House is here as well. God Bless you my friends!

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Put Out into Deep Water

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My family went to Mass this weekend, it was a real treat for me as I got to listen to the readings and homily without distraction! Of course that means my wife was wrangling our 17 month old son in the crying room and my 4 year old was at the children’s liturgy. Since I didn’t have to juggle Cheerios and quietly answer each question or shush each giggle or whine, I was able to spend a good bit of time immersing myself in the Word of God. Since it had been another busy week at Joseph’s House- as most of them are- and once again seemed particularly draining- as many of them are, this was a much needed blessing.

This weekend’s Gospel reading is one of my favorites. There are a few reasons this particular reading has always appealed to me. First, you have the beautiful image of the crowd.

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening
to the word of God

This quote brings to mind the concerts I’ve been to where the crowd becomes so entrenched in the performance they continually try to get closer, to push further, so they can more fully get the most from the experience. I imagine the crowds listening to Jesus teaching had a similar experience. Hanging on each of his words and being so fully consumed by his teaching, those gathered kept pressing closer and closer. They pressed so very close, Jesus had to get into a boat and “put out a short distance” and began teaching from the boat. One can easily imagine His voice radiating across the water in symphonic ripples reaching the hearts and souls of all who continued to gather in the growing crowd. Such a beautiful image to contemplate.

‘Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.’
Simon said in reply,
Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing

When Jesus tells Simon to go into the deep water and lower his nets, Simon’s first instinct is to almost say “We’ve tried that, we’ve worked hard all night and have caught nothing.” You can almost imagine the thought was accompanied by an eye roll or a shoulder shrug. But Simon acquiesces. I’m reminded of this story often in my daily life as well as at Joseph’s House when I find myself getting caught in the pattern of “we’ve tried that” or “I already attempted that” or “that won’t work.” It’s a dangerous pattern in which to fall.

The first part of this verse “Put out in deep water” is a call for something more. A call to go the extra mile, to go where it’s uncomfortable, to push the limits and go out on a limb. The deep waters are where it’s rough. The waves are bigger and more dangerous. It undoubtedly takes longer and requires more patience to navigate the deep rather than the shallow. Going into the deep water makes one stretch the boundaries of their solace, beliefs and talents so it always feels easier and safer to stay where the waters are peaceful, calm and shallow, to stay within the cocoon of familiarity where one always knows exactly what to think, to do and to say.

‘Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.’
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.

Simon agrees and says “at your command I will lower the nets.” To his utter surprise and amazement the catch fills their boats, along with their partners, to the point where they were in danger of sinking. The abundance of the catch is symbolic of the blessing of those who acquiesce and follow Jesus. I imagine that as the boats got precariously full they may have thought to themselves, “Oh no what have we gotten ourselves into?” Isn’t this a common feeling when carrying out God’s work? When you step out in faith you’re almost always surprised- amazed even- and perhaps a little scared at the blessings provided. One might even think at times, “Oh no, what have we gotten ourselves into?”

I know our work at Joseph’s House requires us to often step out in faith always with cautious trepidation. We do so only when we are sure we are following His call for something bigger. Generally whatever it is we’ve imagined, we find Jesus works in exponents and are our expectations are minuscule compared to his plans. But this is only found when one has the faith to “Put out into the deep water.”

When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

The end of this passage could easily be over looked, but remember the Apostles were so overcome with what had happened, they went on to follow Jesus. They not only went to follow Jesus but they “left everything.” They had just finished probably the most successful fishing trip of their lives and they left it all behind for Jesus. How many would have thought “Great! Now we know where we can get more fish and grow our business! Now we know how we can be more successful!” Instead, the Apostles left it all behind to follow Jesus. Perhaps this is another way we can “put out into the deep water” or answer the call to step out in faith. Abandoning ourselves and our personal fulfillment and surrendering ourselves to the greater glory of God.

Have a Blessed Week!

Bronson

WE ARE LIFE!

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It’s been a celebratory week at Joseph’s House. Baby Showers celebrating the gift of new life, new schools and new possibilities for our pre-k kids, a fun night at a Crunch game and the realization that each and every person spoken to this week share our concerns and feelings of the horrendous legislation put forth in the State of New York by our governor and legislatures. People are enraged and disgusted by the vile comments of the governor of Virginia and the efforts being made in many other states to enact this satanic law. As if all of what we heard this past week is not enough, we now have doctors promoting abortion after birth. In other words, murdering a newborn child.

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant .
— From After Birth Abortion, Why Should the Baby Live?

Look at the photo above and know Joseph’s House is the antithesis of the above quote and what took place in legislative chambers in our state last week. Contemplate the differences between the joy above and the hate speech spewed by our governor concerning pro-life people.

Do you see the contrast? Do you see we are hope-filled while Mr. Cuomo and his cronies are hate-filled? Can you see how we are the positive and they are the negative? Do you understand we are in the fight of our lives for our future because if we continue voting people like this into office, they will kill off our grandparents and parents by euthanasia and our children through contraception and abortion?  Margaret Sanger the founder of planned parenthood was a eugenicist as was Hitler. She built her clinics in poor, black neighborhoods in the hopes of aborting a whole race out of existence. Her views on birth control and abortion have caused a Demographic Winter in China, all over Europe and now in the United States of America. We have come to the point where we are euthanizing, aborting and contracepting ourselves out of existence.

Quite honestly this evil is having some positive results our legislators never saw coming. It has exposed many to the true agenda of the liberal, progressive people in our government. It has made many realize, including many who are pro-choice, abortion is out of control. It is enlightening people to the fact that late term abortion has been a part of our law since the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions of 1973. Liberals are so afraid these laws will be overturned by our Supreme Court at the federal level, they are pushing through the same legislation at the state level.

Here is the Good News. All people are enraged. I know many of you are and have spoken to many pro-choice people feeling the same. Many people who have never spoken on this issue before are digging in and speaking out as they see the evil and the insanity now in a way they never witnessed before. In the wake of all of this negativity, here is an example of one of the many positives.

With the passing of the extended abortion law here in NY and the bill that was presented in VA and the statements made by their governor it is clear what the goal is with these people. I think it’s more than aborting baby’s, I think it’s to remove God from people’s life. Because with God, there are laws more powerful than theirs.  And how can they rule over us if we have a God more powerful than them.  It seems so clear to me. Innocent babies are just collateral damage.  

My financial contribution is my small way of having my voice be heard.  You are providing help and a true alternative for woman who really don’t want to have an abortion but don’t know what else to do.

God is working through you all, and love always wins.

At Joseph’s House we know we are of God. We understand without God there are no limits to the depths of depravity the human race can sink. Our friend above is quite correct in believing the ultimate goal of many people controlling our government at every level as well as our educational institutions from pre-k to the most prestigious of universities, is to rid society of God because belief in Him impedes their freedoms. If only they had the wisdom to understand true freedom is found only in God, with God, through God and in working for God!

Joseph’s House has a very exciting, positive vision for the future. Everything we hope, plan and pray we will be able to accomplish in the future celebrates life, celebrates family, celebrates education, celebrates love and celebrates the Glory of God. Our mission will always be to overcome this hatred for God’s creation through our work and to turn the tide of bigotry directed at all generations in this country. We will make our voices heard for every facet of life. We ask for your prayers, we ask for your support, we ask you to consider praying at planned parenthood, joining us for monthly mass, writing to all your legislators at every level of government to let them know you support life. We ask you to educate yourselves on the beliefs and values of all those you vote for, even those running for your Board of Education and your local governments because those same people may one day be your state legislators, congressmen or senators.

We can only change the future by giving birth to our children and raising them with love, respect and faith in God and helping those without family to become members of our own. We have everything encompassing the truth and love of Jesus at Joseph’s House and that is why

WE ARE LIFE!!

God Bless you my friends,

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Celebrating 50 Gifts of Life!

It’s been another busy week at Joseph’s House and one that started in the best way possible- with welcoming another new life into the world! The 50th newborn baby to call Joseph’s House home was born early this week. 50 of God’s most precious gifts that got a chance at a better life because of Joseph’s House.

This gift from God was welcomed to the Joseph’s House family at exactly the time it was needed most. This was a difficult week for those who belief in the sanctity and dignity of Life as New York State passed and enacted the Reproductive Health Act. Another woman served and child born, a life saved because places like Joseph’s House exist. The RHA expands the abortion laws in NYS and creates a stark and sobering reminder of the gravity and importance of the work we do at Joseph’s House. The work that includes the love that we give to each person who crosses our path or enters our home. The love modeled after the love that Christ has for all of us.. The dignity of each and every person that comes to call upon us for help. The value and uniqueness of each and every human life and the understanding that God knew them before they were formed in their mothers womb and that God has a plan for their lives.

I share with you the words of Bishop Cunningham on the enactment of this legislation and ask you to join us as we pray for the conversion of the hearts so that all of God’s children will receive the dignity and protection they deserve. Keep the faith and preach the Gospel of Life. If it helps save one of God’s most precious creations, then it is worth all cost. One more soul saved. One more live given a fighting chance. Joseph’s House will be there to provide the love and support necessary to see them thrive.:

New York State has failed women and their unborn babies by passing and signing the Reproductive Health Act. As Catholics, we must continue to preach the Gospel of life. We must also continue to work towards policies that protect and uphold the dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception to natural death. Here in the Diocese of Syracuse, we will continue to offer resources, services, and support for any woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Today, I not only call upon the faithful to pray, but to assist me in spreading the word about the resources available to any woman considering an abortion. I am grateful to pro-life New Yorkers who made their voices heard in an effort to stop the expansion of our state’s already far too expansive abortion laws. Please join me in prayer for a conversion of hearts for those celebrating this horrific moment in history.
— Bishop Cunningham

God bless you,

Bronson

Why We March For Life

2019 March For Life Washington D.C.

2019 March For Life Washington D.C.

Remember, vote for life, it may be your own.
— Mother Angelica

Happy January Blizzard Weekend My Friends,

As the largest crowd ever, estimated at 3,00,000 to 400,000 mostly young people converged this past Friday on Washington D.C. for the Walk for Life, let us praise God for their conviction and courage and contemplate some of the reasons they feel they must walk. Let us contemplate the repercussions of the landmark Roe vs Wade decision of 1973 and think about the decline in the morality of our culture, the coarseness of our society and the breakdown of the family over the past 46 years. Most importantly let us realize the most devastating repercussion of the Supreme Court decision has been the 60 million innocent children lost because society rebelled against the law of God. Rebelled against His commandment “Thou shall not kill.”

The theme for this years’ walk was Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science and this past week I had the opportunity to share this truth with two groups of high school students from Holy Family Life-Teen and Holy Cross Academy in Oneida, as they prepared for the journey to Washington. I shared with them a strictly scientific presentation that never mentioned God or any morality. It is simply scientific facts and statistics that prove God’s statement to Jeremiah,

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb, before you were born, I set you apart.”   Jeremiah 1:5

If one considers the chances of their parents meeting, the chances of their grandparents meeting, the chances of all of their ancestors surviving, meeting and creating the exact human life chain necessary for each one of us as the individuals we are in this present moment to exist, one cannot deny the scientific facts presented to us. These unarguable facts prove God chose us to be here now. He chose us with a specific purpose. He chose us to carry out a plan only He can share with us. He created us as unique, as special, as one-of-a-kind and infused us with His Divine Love so we might carry out His Will for our lives and the lives of those we touch.

The odds of you existing right here, right now, in the place where you are, are:
1 in 10 to the 2,685,000 power
so basically, the odds that you would exist are zero.
— What Are The Odds You Would Exist, Trevor McCans

A perfect example of this was shared by EWTN Foundress Mother Angelica in the story of how her parents met. She told the story of her mom as a young girl washing dishes in front of the kitchen window and singing. She had a beautiful voice and as she sang, a young man passed by and heard her. He was so taken with her voice he hung around until he had the chance to meet her. They were married and Mother Angelica was their only child. The marriage didn’t last and Mother Angelica lived a rather miserable childhood and yet she grew up to be an icon of our faith and our church and many believe will one day be a saint. An only child born because a man happened to hear a woman singing as she washed the dishes. An only child, who grew up poor and uneducated, maligned by many as a daughter of divorce, who would find God’s plan for her life and go on to change the world.

I can tell you truthfully, without Mother Angelica and the EWTN network there would never be a Joseph’s House and I’m sure there are a thousand other ministries that would not exist either. Mother gave me the understanding of the meaning of true faith. She made me understand through her teaching and her witness one finds true joy only when one sacrifices themselves entirely for Jesus Christ. She was the role model who made me believe all things are possible with God if only we forget our own will and surrender to the will He has set apart for us.

Every life touches the life of another. Whether it be a family member, a friend, someone we work with or someone we have never met but know through social media, we are all interconnected. We are all in need of the graces provided by the gifts of those around us. In the wee hours of the night I often wonder how many people are suffering today because 60 million of those unique graces and gifts have been lost to abortion. I wonder how many young people cannot find their husband or wife because the perfect person created for them was lost to abortion. I wonder how many generations will suffer in the future because of the loss of the ancestors of others. The wondering is never-ending and I think, how many, how many, how many?

Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three-quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.
— St. Teresa of Calcutta

Many deny the truth of the loss we all suffer from what they believe is a victimless choice, but abortion is a choice with unending repercussions for our culture, our country and our world. Any young women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy needs to know her future is brighter when she chooses life. I have met many women who regret their abortions, but have never met anyone who regretted having their child.  Could that be true because life is positive and killing is negative? Could it be because life is of God and death by taking an innocent life is born of evil? I believe we all know the answers to those questions and anyone who like me has chosen abortion in the past, needs to know the negativity of poor choices can be turned into goodness, blessings and joy for themselves and many others because of the never-ending forgiveness and mercy of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist as well as programs for men & women with post abortive pasts such as The Project Rachel ministry have been proof of this for me and for many others.

I implore you to step out in faith, to be brave and courageous in your convictions, to be outspoken for the gift of new life and to be the guardians, protectors and heroes for the innocent children being carried by those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. For more purely secular, scientific proof of life beginning at the moment of conception, please visit The Contend Project where you will find resources for all ages and as you read the unquestionable research and the purely common-sense truth, ponder the question;

Without life, what is there?

God Bless you my friends.

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

The Joy of Joseph's House

Happy New year!

Wishing you a Blessed Feast of the Epiphany and Joyous New Year from all of us at Joseph’s House! 

The Magi set out because of a deep desire which prompted them to leave everything and begin a journey. It was as though they had always been waiting for that star
— Pope Benedict XVi

At Joseph’s House the road leading moms and their children to us is a journey begun from a deep desire prompting them to leave the problems of their past and begin a life-changing journey for their future. It’s as though they have always been waiting for a new opportunity leading them to a life filled with the Presence of God. It is as though they are awaiting their own personal epiphany and are led to it through the light of our mission.

Our hope has always been at some point the epiphany they encountered would include gratefulness for Joseph’s House. What we never anticipated however, was how beautifully they would express their thanks and how their words would affect our faith in what we do and our perseverance in doing it. We also never anticipated there would be staff members as well as benefactors who would let us know how deeply they appreciate our work. Today as we begin a New Year and continue to discern the direction given to us for Joseph’s House, I wanted to share with you some of the words making the endless hours, sleepless nights and hard work worthwhile. I’d also like to express my sincere thanks again to our incredible staff who are many times the recipients of these gifts of thanks.

“Thank you to all who donated to make Christmas special for our kids. I thank GOD for this blessed opportunity to be a part of something so special and rare. You make all of us moms feel loved and there’s nothing we can’t handle as long as we have our JH family on our side. It’s not everyday you meet people who care about others and not just themselves. You make this world a beautiful place and give us hope that one day we can give back to JH for all that’s been done for us. You are truly selfless and wonderful people inside and out. Thank you for being there, thank you for caring.” JH Exodus Mom

“I just realized how much I love you guys. I read the little note in my gift and it made me feel really good. I’m just so grateful, and so appreciative of you guys. You know without you I would have nothing. Joseph’s House changed my whole life. I just couldn’t ask for better support. I know you guys love me and you care and that I hurt all the ones I love, so I’m going to try my best to do good, but I wanted to say thank you, and let you know how much you guys are worth to me, you’re my family and I love you” JH Exodus Mom

“I know I get worked up sometimes but I am really grateful for all Joseph’s House has done for me and my boys.” JH Resident Mom

We also receive notes of appreciation from our staff letting us know they consider their work at Joseph’s House to be a blessing.

Thank you so much for listening to God and starting Joseph’s House. I can tell you really take your relationship with God seriously, and it seems like there aren’t many who honestly take the time anymore …Thanks so much for all you do, may God Bless you and give you strength and perseverance.” JH Staff Member

“Thank you for the opportunity to work at JH, it has been a blessing and I am in awe of what is done here.” JH Staff Member

“Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for being able to be a part of this wonderful mission ... being a part of all the help given to these moms and their children is amazing.” JH Staff Member

And when writing thank you notes to benefactors, we often receive notes of thanks back to us.

“Your presentation at our church was very inspiring and compelling. You are doing great work at Joseph’s House and we wanted to take part in a small way … Thanks for the work you do.”

“I heard about Joseph’s House through my parish….and have the utmost admiration for their positive impact on the community. Syracuse is so lucky to have this amazing organization. Thank you for what you do!”

So, there you have it my friends! Just a few of the many reasons we are so blessed to do this work. God sends us graces and appreciation from so many unexpected sources and they always seem to arrive just when they are needed. The numerous miracles we are privileged to witness as these young women transform their lives every day, take us to our knees just like the Magi. We kneel down in awe and thanksgiving to Our Blessed Mother for Her Fiat, to St. Joseph for his courage and to Almighty God for sending us His Son, the Christ Child. The Child reminding us all, each and every child is a gift from God with a mission to complete for His Kingdom. Our prayer is we are always here to help all of those children sent our way witness the epiphany they are meant to encounter so they might find their mission and Our Lord’s Holy Will for their lives. We invite you to come join us on this journey of new beginnings and share in the Joy of Joseph’s House. God Bless you my friends!

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

Prayer, Woven Through The Seasons of Our Lives

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Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trail as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.
— St Therese of Lisieux

A Blessed Feast Day of Mary Mother of God and Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2019 and the New Year and the special day in our church when we honor Mary as Mother of God. This Octave of Christmas has been jammed packed with beautiful scenes from the early days of the Christ Child and the daily readings and liturgy are an abundance of beauty and poetry. This Octave of Christmas is quiet at Joseph’s House. Some moms are away visiting family while others are out of school or have extra days off work. As a result, our daycare and life-skills programs are limited making for a quieter home being enjoyed by all after the frenzy of Christmas. This quiet time in all areas of our mission, give us an opportunity to count the many blessings of the past year, collect ourselves after the hectic Christmas season, and knowing January is right around the corner, make final preparations for our growth in the New Year.

These thoughts of seasons, preparations, celebrations and thanks bring to mind Advent and the other seasons of our Liturgical Calendar. Our church in its wisdom, gives us within this calendar a road map for every facet of our lives from our daily work and family plan, to our end of life journey. Advent is about new beginnings, Christ’s birth and the arrival of our Redeemer. Lent is about preparation for the end of our lives and the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross dying for our sins. The rest of the liturgical year called Ordinary Time, is a time of prayer, conversion and a time of living the life of Christ through the scriptures. Prayer is the common thread through all of these liturgical seasons and should be the common thread woven through our lives as it was through the lives of the Holy Family.

Advent is a time when we are to prepare our hearts, minds and souls through prayer for the Christ Child. It is much the same when a mother conceives and carries her child. While the infant grows in her womb, the mom and her family pray and make preparations for the arrival of the new child. The celebration of Christmas and the birth of Christ was for Mary and Joseph akin to the birth of any of our own children. As they celebrated the birth of Jesus, they continued to pray and plan the best they were able for the unexpected journey His arrival would bring to their lives. I’m not sure they anticipated the trials they would face at the time of His birth, but I’m sure they anticipated the joy the newborn infant would bring to their lives. It is much the same each time we have a new child arrive in our own lives or at Joseph’s House. The landscape of life changes. A new dimension is added, bound in excitement and joy, apprehension and worry as we anticipate and celebrate the blessed addition, and pray we are able to navigate the unexpected journey we are called to embark upon, always giving thanks along the way.

Lent is the same type of preparation that we will all face as we get closer to the end of our time in our earthly home. Many of us have witnessed the passing of a loved one and taken part in the journey as they came closer to death. Hopefully you have witnessed the preparation, the growth in reliance on God and have come to understand there is a celebration in Heaven as your loved one enters eternity. Hopefully you have been blessed with a kind of joy and thanks when through answered prayer a loved one’s suffering has ended and they are resting in peace in the arms of the angels and saints. It was much the same for our forsaken Blessed Mother as She witnessed the agony, death and abandonment of Her Son Jesus Christ. One can only imagine Her tearful prayers at His death followed by the joyous celebration and thanksgiving when He was resurrected.

The thread woven through all the seasons of our church, through all the preparation, celebration and thanksgiving is prayer. In our lives and in the lives of the Holy Family prayer is and was the nourishment sustaining us and them through the sometimes treacherous adventure of life. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were prolific in prayer and we can be prolific in prayer too. Deepening our prayer life might begin with Reconciliation with a priest if in mortal sin, or if not in mortal sin, simply with an Act of Contrition. To make prayer more intense and prepare for a more personal relationship with Jesus and His Mother one might begin saying the Rosary daily, starting with one decade and slowly adding on until saying an entire 5 decades. One might begin to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration for 10 minutes at a time, working up to 30 minutes or perhaps an hour. One might meditate on the Stations of the Cross, go to daily mass, read and meditate on bible passages or take in the magnificence of the stained-glass windows in our Catholic churches infusing the soul with the truth of scripture through the gift of artistry given by God to masters. In short, there are more than 100 ways to become prolific in prayer. and there is no better time to begin than at the beginning of a New Year.

Prayer -A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.
— St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

Adding more prayer when done consistently, adds a new dimension to the landscape of our relationship with Our Lord. This time spent meditating upon and speaking with Jesus through prayer makes us more aware of not only the sufferings of Our Blessed Mother, Jesus and St. Joseph, but also of how perfect they were in response to God’s Will for their lives. When we come to understand their sacrifice and the depths of their surrender to God’s Will, we have a barometer for every minute detail of our own lives and a road to perfection leading us to Heaven.

For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.
— ST. Teresa of Avila

Our prayers are the preparation needed to carry us through all the seasons of our church, our lives and this brand-new New Year. Prayer is the instrument leading to the daily celebration of friendship with Christ and giving us a depth of gratitude and humility that will make us pillars of comfort to Jesus. As a New Year begins let us make a promise to Our Lord and Savior, we will make more time for prayer, knowing the time spent in preparation on earth will someday lead us to the unending celebration of joy in Heaven where we will live in thanks, praise, and in the Glory of God forever. Wishing you all a Very Blessed New Year! Mary Mother of God pray for us!

God Bless You My Friends,

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

The Holy Innocents

the holy innocents

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Thousands were killed, and history tells us the wails of the mothers of these children could be heard for days. Herod killed these innocents in the hope of killing the Christ Child so he might retain his kingship. Herod was proud, arrogant and selfish, however ultimately he killed all of these little boys 2 years of age and under because he was filled with fear. He was fearful of losing his power, losing his riches, losing his place in society, losing his place in the hierarchy of the Roman Empire. He was fearful his legacy would be destroyed and his son would not succeed him. Herod was afraid of an innocent child, an innocent new born baby.

Unfortunately, it is not any different today. Millions of young men and young women are afraid of their unborn children. They are afraid of the changes the child will bring to their lives. They are afraid of being alienated by friends and family, afraid of being inconvenienced, afraid of the cost, and afraid of the responsibility of caring for another human being. All of this fear has resulted in the loss of the 58 million Holy Innocents of our lifetime, the Holy Innocents murdered in the safest place they should ever know, in the wombs of their fearful mothers.

It’s your obligation to speak the truth, and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such a poverty of truth today.
— Mother Angleica

Poverty of truth is precisely where our culture resides. It is our call as pro-life Catholics to be the heralds of truth, to call a spade a spade, to let everyone know unequivocally Abortion is Murder. Abortion is a mortal sin against the Fifth Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Kill” and yet how many believe because abortion is the law of the land and is legal it is somehow not murder? Instead we call the dismembering of an unborn child in the womb of his mother “women’s reproductive rights.” What we should be fearful of rather than an unborn child is the wrath of God for the 58 million Holy Innocents lost to abortion in this country. Unborn children gifted to their parents as blessings from God. Unborn children, tiny souls, given special missions by God that could change our world, or at least our corner of it if only they are given the opportunity to be born.

Please know if you have had an abortion or worked in the abortion industry I am not condemning you. I know first hand the fear of unplanned pregnancy and first hand the destructive spiral caused by abortion. I have come to realize God forgives all our sins no matter how heinous but it is sometimes more difficult to forgive ourselves. The guilt carried after abortion has many repercussions including depression, anxiety, addiction problems, and eating disorders. If you or someone you know is suffering these problems please consider reconciling yourself with God, and to seek healing through programs such as Project Rachel and Then There Were None. I promise you your issues will dissipate, albeit slowly, as you heal from guilt and reacquaint yourself with Jesus Christ.

We have no reason to fear as long as Jesus Christ is in our life. Whether we are facing unplanned pregnancy, illness or bankruptcy, He is the answer to the fear, the anxiety, and the distress in our lives. We must discern in prayer and be sure we do not supersede His desires with our own simply because His desires make us fearful. Do not be afraid, Our Lord has your back. He has your plan. He has everything you need whenever you need it, you only need to call on Him in trust and surrender your will to His holy will for your life.

Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything
— St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

It is written that Herod died deranged, of chronic kidney disease and gangrene of the groin. Could it be this very rare, very painful, very confusing death was a symptom of the sin in his life? Could it be the pain he suffered was a result of killing 14,000 innocent children out of fear and fury? Could the baffling drug problem all over this country today be a symptom of our sins? Could the uncertainty in everything from the news, to politics to the stock market be the result of a gangrene of greed? Could the rage, disrespect, self-centered society we are a part of today be the result of the taking of more than 58 million innocent lives in this country through abortion? I fear the answers to all of these questions are yes my friends as the further we move away from truth, away from God, the deeper the confusion becomes and the deeper we fall into the black hole of disregard for others. God is the opposite of all of this. God is simply peace, love and stillness. He is the rest stop where our worries are hushed, where our confusion is stifled and our lives are filled with tranquility. When we are anxious and fearful due to sin, the Sacred Heart of Our Lord is wounded simply because He loves us and longs for us to trust and rest in Him. If only Herod had known these simple truths, how different things might have been.

God Bless you my friends!
Love & Prayers,
Kitty

A Christmas Thank You to All

Erin Byrnes, with some of our little ones, is a never-ending gift to Joseph’s House!

Erin Byrnes, with some of our little ones, is a never-ending gift to Joseph’s House!

It’s been an incredibly busy and celebratory few weeks at Joseph’s House. The generosity of all has overwhelmed us as well as the moms and kids in our home and in our Exodus program with an abundance of blessings. There are no words to thank you for the many ways in which you have served us. From prayer to daycare and tutoring, cookie making to specially prepared elegant dinners, Christmas gatherings in the homes of donors, and every type of donation from diapers to hams, many needs have been met. We are witnesses daily to miracles as all these gifts, all this generosity comes as answers to prayer so we may assist these most vulnerable Children of God in all the ways Our Lord calls us to. To sum it up, we are forever grateful and you all are simply Magnificent!

In today’s Gospel Story we hear the story of the Visitation of Our Blessed Mother to Her cousin Elizabeth. Mary went to serve Her cousin at the most life-changing moment in Her young life as She had just conceived through the Holy Spirit the Child Jesus in Her womb. It was inconvenient for Her to go on this long journey into hill country but She went to serve someone She knew to be in need.  

At Joseph’s House we are called to serve those in need at the most life-changing moments in their lives and the lives of their children. Many times their most life-changing times are inconvenient times for all of us. Sometimes phone calls from moms without a home come to us at the very end of a long day just as staff are preparing to leave for their own homes. Other times a personal crisis or a mom in labor in the middle of the night, on a holiday or weekend have been the stimulus for staff to lose sleep, work extra hours and miss time with their own families. Many times through their sacrifice, our staff with their compassionate souls become the only real family these young, homeless moms have ever known. They become soft shoulders of solace to moms, who in the midst of crisis, are beginning a new family, a family they hope to keep intact and never abandon as they know abandonment all to well. Every minute of every day at Joseph’s House must be supervised by staff, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter. We are forever grateful to our most gifted, patient, resilient, self-sacrificing staff who give up their family time, their personal time and their comfort and sleep for our moms and little ones. They are most certainly serving others just as Our Blessed Mother Mary served Her cousin Elizabeth. Once again, to sum it up, all our staff at Joseph’s House are simply Magnificent!

MARY
The Mighty One has done great things for me and Holy is His Name
— Luke 1:49,50

The Gospel story yesterday was Mary’s Song, better known as The Magnificat. On EWTN’s televised mass yesterday, Father Joseph Mary asked in his homily for all to consider writing their own Magnificat verse of praise and thanks to Our Lord. He challenged all to ponder their favorite bible verses and to then compose their own prayer. Below is my humble attempt written to Our Lord in thanks and praise. When I think of all the wonderful people I would have never known if not for the heavenly work of Joseph’s House, I understand more clearly how God has sent all of you as answered prayers and as instruments to help sustain His mission of life and love. My prayer today is you will consider this not so magnificent Magnificat a thank you and a promise to all of you I have had the great pleasure of meeting and working with through service to Joseph’s House. To sum it up one more time, you are all most assuredly, simply Magnificent!

God Bless you my friends!

Love & Prayers,

Kitty

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;/ my spirit rejoices in God my savior,
— Luke 1: 46,47

My heart is full My Lord and My God as I reflect on the mercy so generously bestowed upon me, a great sinner. You have graciously shared with me the plan You destined for my life and I am constantly delighted with the possibilities, people and open doors You have sent to bless me. You are my Savior, My Lord, and Your generosity in answering my thoughts and prayers elates me, dropping me to my knees and saturating my soul with thanks, joy and unending praise. You have somehow considered me worthy of carrying Your love and Your word to others and so the mission You have entrusted to me will be my life’s work forever. Please help me to always be a pure vessel of Your Word, to trust in Your Holy Will and to obey even in the most difficult circumstances as I strive to carry within my heart the glory of Your Word and within my eyes, the light of Your Love. Help me to always be an ever-flowering limb on the Vine that is Jesus Christ as well as Your Hands, Feet, Eyes, Ears and Tongue on earth so Your Holy Word may flourish. Help me, My Lord and My God to always work in You and with You and through You and for You so all whom I know may find the glory of Heaven. I aspire always to be Your most humble servant & to forever proclaim the magnificence & the never-ending Glory of the Kingdom of God.”

Amen

"What Should We Do?"

Crib
The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise...
— From Sunday's Holy Gospel Luke 3:10

“What should we do?” It’s a question asked daily at Joseph’s House as we do our best to assist the homeless, pregnant moms and their children sent our way. Sometimes the answer is more complicated than giving them an extra coat or food. Sometimes it means going out on a limb for them, stretching our boundaries and our resources to deal with complex problems we are unfamiliar with or we have never dealt with before.

The one thing we are always able to do is give our moms the opportunity to preserve the life of their unborn child. That is our calling and is the very least we can do as Catholics and as people who believe life is a gift given by God.  What John is saying in Luke’s gospel story today is simply common sense and what we do at Joseph’s House is the same. It is simply common sense to give shelter to God’s most vulnerable children. It is simply common sense to fill them with food, drink and the spirit of Our Lord. It is simply common sense to provide structure in their lives, to help them with their education, to offer daycare for their children, so they have the opportunity to be good parents, good citizens and the Children of God He wants them to be.

Leah and Elena.JPG

By the grace of God, we have done this successfully over the past 4-and three-quarter years. We have had more than 75 moms call us home and have given 49 newborn children the opportunity to come home to their very first home at Joseph’s House. 49 little souls who may have been lost to abortion if not for our home. 49 newborn lives, unplanned by their parents, but planned by God from eternity. 49 babies who would have been taken from the arms of their moms as they left the hospital if those moms were homeless and had nowhere to go.

As we prepare for the arrival of Our Blessed Mother’s unexpected child, our Savior Jesus Christ, let us remember all the other young women awaiting the arrival of an unexpected child. Let us remember that Mary’s unexpected child changed the world and there are more unexpected children who have the ability to do the same in other ways. They may be great doctors, lawyers or statesman. They may be future moms and dads whose child will be a priest or a pope. We have no idea the plans Our Lord has for our lives or theirs so it is incumbent upon us to be sure we nurture all new life and give all moms the opportunity to give birth to their children.

Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
— Matthew 18:4-5

So, what can you do to help us continue our life-saving work this Christmas? You can assure God you understand what the Gift of Life truly is. How? By making a monetary donation to Joseph’s House. There is no amount too small as every cent goes directly to providing all the resources needed to run our program. Unlike other local charities we take no dollars from the government, the diocese or the Hope Appeal. We rely totally on private funding.

As you look at your home decorated for Christmas and the gifts piling up to be wrapped and placed by the tree, remember the common sense advise given by John when people asked “What should we do?” Think about what you can do, pray about what God is calling you to do, and please remember the newborn babies, remember the moms, remember the good works of Joseph’s House, and remember Our Lord needs our help to implement His plans for all. God Bless you my friends!

Love & Prayers,

Kitty