Friday, June 26, 2015

Mother Mary (Mama Mary) and My Little Joan

Good Morning, Y'all! I was listening to our Catholic radio station yesterday,
91.5 FM on my way home from the noon Mass. The program was, Called to Communion,
with Dr. David Anders. A Protestant called in and asked why we worship Mother Mary. I
just want to share my thoughts on this much asked question. I was raised Methodist, and
one day I met the most wonderful, Catholic man who was very devout in his faith. I told
him that I would go to Mass with him and see what I thought. I really wanted us to go to
church together as a family. I fell in love with the Catholic faith, and in 1986 I began
taking classes  (RCIA) and was confirmed as a Catholic during the Easter Vigil in 1987.
Now, back to Mama Mary. I picked this picture because this is how I see her, as a loving,
respected, precious mother. We do not worship Mother Mary, but we do see her for the
very important person that she was and still is. God chose her, to give birth to His Son.
She is a wonderful example for us to follow. We ask Mother Mary to pray and intercede
for us. Just like you might ask someone who has a lot of faith to pray for you, we ask
Mother Mary to pray for us. She wants to bring us closer to her Son. When I look at this
picture, I think about when my granddaughter, Joan, was in the hospital and so very sick.
I remember walking over to Sacred Heart Cathedral. I walked into the Sanctuary and went
to the side where they have the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, (picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the candles and the kneeler). I lit a candle and knelt down, I was so overcome
with worry that I sat back on my heels and lay my head down on my arms on the arm rest
of the kneeler and began to cry. I asked Mama Mary to please pray for my little Joan.
I just remember crying and praying and asking her to please pray for healing, to please
pray that the doctors would find out what was wrong, to please pray for me to have
the strength to help my daughter, her husband, and their daughters, my granddaughters.
I felt like I was sitting at Mother Mary's feet, my head in her lap. My mom died when
I was twelve years old, and at that moment, I really needed my mom. Mother Mary is
a beautiful example of love, compassion, selflessness, and faith.  When I finished asking
for her prayers,  I walked up to the kneeler in front of the Tabernacle and knelt down
and prayed to Jesus. I knelt quietly for awhile just taking in His Presence, His peace,
His comfort, and then I knew I could go back to the hospital and be strong for my
family once more.
I have a picture of Joan sitting on the kneeler beneath the picture of
Our Lady of Guadalupe, she calls her Mama Mary, and even though at that time she
wasn't yet two years old, it was like she knew that she needed to sit at Mama Mary's feet,
and ask for her prayers.
Our God is an awesome God, and He is who we worship, and He is who answers our
prayers, and Mother Mary intercedes for us, and leads us closer to Jesus.

Joan is 3 years and 2 months old now. She is doing very well, thanks be to God. She
loves to go to Mass. She loves Mama Mary, but she has also started kneeling somewhere
else now. When her mom goes up to receive communion and Joan receives a blessing,
she tugs free of her mom's hand when they get close to the Tabernacle. Little Joan
goes to the kneeler and kneels down, she places her little hands together in prayer, so very
serious. When I see her do that, my heart stops beating for just a second, and I know
that Mama Mary is leading Joan to her Son.

Friday, June 19, 2015

There is No Place Like Home!

Good Morning Out There! Today is Friday and I hope you all have a really
great day, a day full of blessings! In my previous post, I wrote about the vacation
that Jim and I took. I told you about the beautiful Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady
of Guadalupe in Dallas, TX. Today I'm going to tell you about our trip to
Jefferson, TX, the Catholic church and the priceless (to me) pictures we bought
at an antique store.

Jefferson is a beautiful little town, full of history, and northeast of Dallas.
They were having a corvette show on main street that Saturday morning. Jim and
I walked up and down the street looking at all the old and new, shiny and
colorful corvettes. Proud owners sitting in chairs behind their cars, or polishing
them with a rag, telling people all about the statistics and stuff. In the distance,
over the top of a building I spotted a bell tower and told Jim that I bet that was
where the Catholic church was. So we started walking towards the church, and
sure enough, the beautiful old white church with the bell tower was
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. We went up the steps and through the
front door. The priest was inside making sure everything was just right, he was
fixing to go out of town and so there would be a visiting priest celebrating Mass
that Saturday evening and the next morning. He told us to take our time and that
he was going to lock the front door, so if we would please go out the side door
when we were through and just make sure it locked behind us. Jim and I walked
up and down the inside of the church admiring the amazing stained glass windows.
The windows told the story of the Life of Jesus. One window pane was The
Annunciation, the next was The Visitation, The birth of Christ, scenes from the
Joyful Mysteries. Then there was the pane showing the Wedding at Cana, one of
the Luminous Mysteries. The Crucifixion and the Pieta were two more of the
beautiful, but heartbreaking stained glass panes. The entire church was so breath-
taking. Jim and I knelt down and prayed, and even though we were the only ones
there, we whispered when we wanted to point something out. Finally we walked
out the side door and made sure it was locked. We walked back around to the
front of the church and checked the Mass schedule and decided that we would
come back for the 5:30 p.m. evening Mass that night. I took a picture of two
signs they had at the side of the church.

One said,                     PREGNANT AND NEED HELP?
                               (Mujer Embarazada y Necesita Ayuda?)
                          The Catholic Church sees the birth of each baby as
                         God's unfailing love. We offer immediate & practical
                                 help to any woman faced with crisis pregnancy
The picture next to the words is the beautiful "Madonna of the Streets"

The next sign was about the:
                                             Society of St. Vincent de Paul
                                        Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference
                The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to                                  
                                       those in need on a person to person basis.

We walked back to our truck, both of us realizing what really matters, what is
really important, and what and who God cares about. Taking care of one another,
carrying each others burdens, lending a helping hand. We passed an old antique store
and walked in. In one room, high upon a shelf, dusty and dirty, were two old pictures.
One was the beautiful "Madonna of the Streets" and the other was a picture of Jesus
I had never seen before, his face in the middle, and small scenes of his life all around
the edge. I told Jimmy, "We have to rescue them, and take them home." Jim smiled
and reached up and carefully handed them to me. The owner commented on how
beautiful they were, and that she had never even noticed them. She carefully wrapped
them up for us, and $35.00 later they were safely tucked in the backseat of our truck!
That evening Jim and I did go to Mass at The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
We walked through the doors, dipped our fingers in the Holy Water, made the Sign of
the Cross, genuflected and knelt down to pray. There truly is no place like home.
                             May your day be full of blessings! Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Vacation, A Pilgrimage, Life and Healing

Hello Out There! How are y'all doing? I am just fine! Jim and I returned home on
Wednesday evening. We took a little vacation to celebrate our 32nd wedding
anniversary! We love to visit Catholic Churches while we are on the road traveling
from one place to the next. I like to think of it as a mini-pilgrimage! I got out my
big ole Random House College Dictionary to look up the complete definition of
the word pilgrimage. On page 1006 it says:
pilgrimage n. 1. a journey, esp. a long one, made to some sacred place as an
act of devotion. 2. any long journey, esp. one undertaken for a particular
purpose, as to pay homage.
I'm not sure if our visits are really a pilgrimage, but they are definitely a must on
any of our trips out of town. I don't know if Jim and I will ever make it to The Holy
Land, Lourdes, Fatima, or to Rome but we do try to visit Catholic Churches wherever
we travel! I'm going to start with some of the churches we visited on this trip.
Before we head out of town I look up the Catholic Churches along our route and
in the town or city we will be staying.
Last Friday we went to The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas, TX.
This beautiful church is located right downtown at 2215 Ross Ave. Jim and I parked
and walked around the building until we found the door to go in. This church is
beautiful, you should see the organ pipes! People were inside kneeling and praying.
Jim and I quietly walked around looking at all the stained glass windows, the statues,
and then we knelt down to pray. We found where they were having First Friday
Eucharistic Adoration and we went in there to pray also. We read the historical
markers and walked out into a hallway where they had all kinds of brochures. I
brought several of them home with me. Just listen to the titles of these brochures:

1. Abortion AfterCare-Healing/The Rachel Ministries in Dallas, TX
(214)544-CARE(2273) Helpline
(972)679-4760 Espanol
(817)923-4757 Ft. Worth area
2. Project Joseph - An Outreach to Men Suffering from Abortion
Abortion AfterCare-Healing Diocese of Dallas
(469)416-2101 or
3. Convert-to-Life/Sidewalk Counseling
Rescue those who are being dragged to death.......Proverbs 24:11
Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas
Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas

I felt overwhelmed as I looked through these brochures! I am just so thankful
that there are so many places for people to call, go online, or go visit to receive
the healing and answers they need. There was also a flyer for the upcoming
Rachel's Vineyard Retreats.
English Retreat - August 21-23 and November 6-8 this year.
Retiro En Espanol - 5-7 de junio and23-25 de octubre
For services or more information with assurance of confidentiality, contact:
214-544-Care (Dallas) - 972-679-4760 (en espanol) 817-923-4757 (Fort Worth) or (en espanol)
Retreats for men only/Retiros para los hombres solamente
Project Joseph / Proyecto Jose: 469-416-2101

Tomorrow I will tell you all about the Catholic Church in Jefferson, TX where we
attended Mass! I hope you all have a wonderful Friday evening. I'm going to close
with some of the facts listed on back of one of the brochures:
-Approximately 30 abortions are performed daily in the city of Dallas
-Over 9,750 abortions are performed yearly in Dallas County
-Sidewalk counselors assist approximately 900 women each year to choose life over
-Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the world
-33% of Planned Parenthood's annual budget is funded by taxpayers
-More than 50% of teenage girls who abort their first pregnancy will develop
breast cancer
-The Susan G. Komen Foundation (Race for the Cure) donates funds to
Planned Parenthood and does not acknowledge the abortion-breast cancer link

I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you
life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and
your descendants may live.     Deuteronomy 30:19

                                          Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Thankful for God's Blessings

Hello Out There! How are y'all doing? I haven't posted anything new in almost
three weeks! It isn't that I haven't had anything to say or to share with y'all, I have
just been so busy! Here is a condensed version, a kind of quick summary:
   My life is full of busy blessings! When you have ten grandchildren there is always
some place to go, something to see, and fun things to do! are a few
of my activities the past three weeks:
We have been entertained and enjoyed being at the following productions:
Tap and Jazz Recital, Pre-K Graduation, Parish Family Picnic, Little League Game,
Birthday Party for one of our granddaughters who turned 9 and Memorial Day Weekend
with all of our children and grandchildren combined. 3rd Grade Awards Ceremony,
Baskin Robbins for ice cream, feeding hungry tummies, and putting band aids on
wounded knees and toes! Kissing all the boo boos, nap time and rocking back and forth.
Spending time with our grandchildren and adult children is the best! I love watching
all the kids play together. The age ranges are: (2) baby granddaughters, 8 weeks and
11 weeks old, (2) toddler granddaughters, almost 2 years and 3 years old, (1) Pre-K
graduate grandson who is almost 5, (2) young granddaughters, 6 1/2 and almost
8 years old, and (3) 9 year olds, our oldest grandchild, who is also our oldest grandson,
and our (2) oldest granddaughters, born just over two months apart! Blessings and
blessings galore!
     Now I will share what has been going on with church activities. I mentioned the
Parish Family Picnic above. It was held at the City Park and there were about 250
people who came and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Both of our
parish priests were at the picnic having a good time! We served chili dogs, chips,
desserts and drinks! The junior high and high school kids were playing touch football
and basketball. The younger kids were playing tug-of-war and other games. The young
kids were swinging and sliding and climbing! Parents were playing with their children
and it was awesome! I also noticed that the older teenagers were too busy having fun to
be talking on the phone or texting! I loved seeing their smiling faces and listening to
them laugh. It was just a great evening!
     The next event is something very near and dear to my heart and that is trying to
spread the pro-life message on a daily basis! I had a lot of help planning this get together
and I am so thankful for everyone involved! I especially want to thank my husband for
fabricating the frames for our pro-life banners! About 40 people gathered in the
courtyard at Sacred Heart to pray the Pro-Life Rosary after we hung up the banner of
"Our Lady of Guadalupe." A beautiful picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the
statement, "God is Pro-Life - Are You?" is what the banner says. We took turns leading
each decade of the rosary. We prayed two decades in Spanish and three decades in English.
I love praying the rosary, we prayed the Joyful Mysteries, they are so beautiful. After we
prayed the rosary, and closing prayer, we gathered in the cafeteria and all enjoyed a
pot-luck dinner. We had plenty of food, and we invited other groups who were at the
church for other meetings to join us. The cafeteria was full! The Life Teen group joined
us also, many of them prayed the rosary with us! It was an evening of blessings for me!
    Helping with our Parish Sack Lunch Ministry is something else near and dear to me. I
am so thankful for this wonderful ministry that feeds so many. We provide sack lunches
Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. I am only able to help 2 -3 times a
month right now, but I wish I could help everyday. It is a wonderful ministry. We have
been handing out over 100 sack lunches a day! The sacks have words of encouragement
and bible verses on them. Sometimes the kids draw pictures on them for us. My heart
is always so full after I help with this ministry.
    This past weekend I helped serve at the reception after the Ordination of three priests!
My eyes filled with tears as I watched the young priest greet the people and pray with those
who came up for a blessing! These young men are all amazing, their prayers are so
    The night before the Ordination I woke up about 2:30 a.m. It was raining outside, and
as I lay there listening to the rain I prayed for each of my grandchildren, and I prayed for
the young men who would be ordained later on that morning. I thanked God that these
young men said "Yes" to devoting their lives to Him. I prayed that God would guide them
and keep them safe and help them to always be discerning. It is so important that we pray
for all of our priests, bishops, deacons, the pope, and so on.
    I hope I haven't bored you with my daily activities, I was just trying to catch up. I will
try not to wait so long before my next post!
     I hope your day is full of blessings, full of life, full of happiness. Whatever is going on
in your life, remember to pray, God loves us all so much!
                                     Blessings to you and yours! Bye for now, Sharla