As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Once Upon a Time, a Friend Asked Me to Write with Her

...and oh, what a transforming experience it has been!  I have been keeping this personal blog for the better part of nine years now (writing more in some years, less in others), but this is the first time I've had a project to work on with another person.  You guys, what a blessing!  Here's how it came to be.

My friend Jen emailed me a few months ago and said, "hey, I have this idea on my heart for a website that will be a hub for the diocese, to foster community and provide encouragement.  Would you pray about writing with me?"  Writing had been on my heart, in fact one of the things I had endeavored to do in this new year was to write more.  So it wasn't hard to say "yes" to her request.  But while I thought this idea was in its infancy, really it had been brewing on Jen's heart for a long time.

The next day she posted this beautiful website,, which she had evidently been working on for a long time. There she had not only a beautifully written blog (her first post,, very accurately describes the current situation in our diocese and offers her vision for community and hope as we go forward), but also an Events Hub section. This she built by contacting every single parish in the diocese to find out Mass times, created links to each of their websites and provided phone numbers. 

(Side note, if you don't know this exists you need to:  I can't count the number of times I've said, "what parishes are offering Masses this Saturday? When I remember this spreadsheet she created that is available online, it's so much easier than calling every individual parish. Seriously, check it out!) 

She very generously announced the website as being hers and mine, but the reality is that she did sooooo much leg work on creating this beautiful community, and she deserves to be recognized for that.  Not in a superficial, pat-on-the-back way, but in a sincere and honest way.  Because this partnership with her has caused something to come alive in me.  Looking back I can see it is the wind of the Holy Spirit, stirring this desire in me so that I would be able to respond when she made this request with an enthusiastic, "yes". 

I have tried to start things before, and they inevitably loose steam and fizzle out.  But this is different, because it is a partnership between two people. And for me, seeing her enthusiasm and boundless energy has awakened me to the spirit in my life.  It stirs my creativity and causes me to always be on the lookout for how Christ wants to use me, so I can share it.  I have never been so connected to the life of the church, and more than just being able to produce blog posts about how Christ is moving in my life is the fact that my eyes are constantly opened, that through this friendship, I am becoming more aware of the small ways He introduces Himself into my life every day. When I see something on social media that I think would make a good article I dive into it, and even before any words hit my paper my heart is changed.  I have read so much that I never would have made time to before, because I have a friend who believed in me enough to ask me to help her out.

This is the missionary call to each of us.  When we share our lives with others, Christ uses that.  By being ourselves (as Pope Francis says in his newest apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate), we light the world on fire.  How can your unique gifts, the personality He had endowed you with, communicate Christ to the world?  For me, it has been a beautiful journey into the heart of a friendship, that helps me search for Christ in a more meaningful way.

I would be so honored if you would check out Daughters of Saint John, and subscribe if you feel so inclined.  I truly feel that it is a movement of the Holy Spirit, and I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of it.

"To the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. The bishops of West Africa have observed that 'we are being called in the spirit of the New Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the empowering of all you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of the world wherever you find yourselves'." (Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate)

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