Thursday, July 31, 2008
It seems that, no matter the season, all bridal gowns are strapless affairs which have no place in church. Perhaps it's because fewer couples are marrying in church or synagogue. But, there is a trend, however small for bridal gowns with a sense of mystery. . .and decency.
"'Customers will say, 'I'm having a religious wedding, what can you do to these dresses to fit my standards?' -- usually arms covered, neckline covered, no cleavage, very little skin," Sarra said.
Much of the country has seen an increase in conservative branches of mainstream religions.
The Camille La Vie store at Palisades Center in West Nyack, N.Y., tends to get more Orthodox Jewish brides, while the California stores have many Islamic customers, and an Arizona shop gets requests from Mormon customers.
These brides, Sarra said, don't want plain when they ask for "modest." "They still want the look that's hot. That's why we offer more options to add a sleeve, add a neckline," she said. "
I'm embarrassed that no one mentioned Catholic brides, the only link I could find was for Mormons! What's wrong with Catholic brides? We have Our Lady as a role model, and we are not interested in modest bridal gowns? Just look at how modest Our Lady is and use that as a guide. Here are some more guidelines from EWTN on how a Catholic bride should dress.
Read the entire story here.
HTJewish World Review
Cause of Our Joy and St. Leopold Mandic
Feast day - July 30th
“It is almost impossible to say how much Father Leopold loved the Madonna. The tone of his voice when he spoke of her, the light in his eyes when he looked at a picture of her, cannot be put into words at all. You would have to have seen him in order to comprehend something of the ardent love for Mary in the heart of this Capuchin.”
Father Pietro Bernardi, O.F.M. Cap, postulator
Ferdinand Holbock, New Saints and Blesseds of the Catholic Church Vol I, (Ignatius Press), 223.
“During his assignment at the friary in Thiene, near Vicenza, in the years 1906 to 1909, Father Leopold often helped the lay brothers humbly with the household chores, washed the dishes, cleaned the cells, and set the table. Since his soul was turned constantly toward God, he wanted them to pray during their work, especially the Litany of Loreto. At the invocation ‘Cause of our joy’, he interrupted his work, lifted his eyes to heaven, and remained for a while in this attitude, as though enraptured. Once a confrere asked him, ‘Father Leopold, why do you interrupt your work at this invocation of the Litany of Loreto and raise your eyes to heaven?’ At that he exclaimed, ‘O Madonna, the Madonna, the cause of our joy!’ Then he remained looking up to heaven for a long time, his face beaming.”
Ferdinand Holbock, New Saints and Blesseds of the Catholic Church Vol I,(Ignatius Press), 226-7.
What did St. Leopold have to be joyful about? He was only four feet six inches tall. His dream of missionary work was never fulfilled. Instead he spent hours every day in the Confessional. In fact, at his canonization John Paul referred to Saint Leopold as “the Confessor”. How many crosses did he bear in hearing so many confessions?
I will imitate St. Leopold who during his work paused at the invocation Cause of our Joy and looked up to heaven. I will ask him to explain this mystery to me and teach me to find my joy in Our Lady.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We had a major rainstorm on Sunday with multiple power outages, and lightning which looked like it had crashed the computer, reducing me to tears. You see, I hadn't taken the time to save my photos and important documents, counting way too much on this blog to preserve my memories.
I prayed the rosary with the girls for a computer. It wasn't entirely frivolous, it reminded me of Jesus' parable of the woman who has lost a coin, searching through the entire house till she recovers it. However, I discovered a far more precious treasure. . . the sight of my husband lovingly restoring my files while still suffering.
That is one memory nothing can erase.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Please continue to send your financial support through Regina's Paypal account.
We have gotten emails from people who don't even have a child, but they learned so much from reading the blog. It has been just wonderful.To celebrate, we wanted to do a give away! So we hope you will join us in celebrating and try to be the one who gets our little gift.
Thanks for helping us to get this site into the hands of those who need this.
Diane and John
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Dear EWTN Family,
Since the end of last year, Mother has been enjoying the company of a little feline friend we all call, “Mikey”. He loves being with her and often takes his little siestas on Mother’s bed, with his paw or his chin resting on her. He’s a bit on the round side but beautiful nonetheless and enjoys the affection of all. Mother is often amused by his little quirky behaviors that are often described as, “Only Mikey would…” She especially gets a kick out of watching him chase his tail.Besides all that makes up her day indoors, on occasion Mother is able to go outside to feel the sunshine and enjoy the beautiful cloister gardens. She loves those cherry Marigolds.All in all, Mother is still Mother. With that Mother Angelica twinkle in her eyes and her warm smile, she can brighten up a room. As always she is appreciative of all your love and prayers. Rest assured, Mother holds each of you in her heart, while she asks her Spouse, Jesus, to bless you.
From The Sisters at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery
Don't you just love the image of a kitty resting on on Mother, bringing her joy by being playful?!
As a fellow cat lover, this just makes me purr. ...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Today's Meditation from Mary Vitamin
St. Teresa of Avila writes about the spirit of recollection:
“You know that God is everywhere; and this is a great truth, for, of course, wherever the king is, or so they say, the court is too: that is to say, wherever God is, there is Heaven. …Avoid being bashful with God, as some people are, in the belief that they are being humble. It would not be humility on your part if the King were to do you a favour and you refused to accept it; but you would be showing humility by taking it, and being pleased with it, yet realizing how far you are from deserving it. A fine humility it would be if I had the Emperor of Heaven and Earth in my house, coming to it to do me a favour and to delight in my company, and I were so humble that I would not answer His questions, nor remain with Him, nor accept what He gave me, but left Him alone. ...
Do not be foolish; ask Him to let you speak to Him, and, as He is your Spouse, to treat you as His brides. Remember how important it is for you to have understood this truth -- that the Lord is within us and that we should be there with Him.
If one prays in this way, the prayer may be only vocal, but the mind will be recollected much sooner; and this is a prayer which brings with it many blessings. It is called recollection because the soul collects together all the faculties and enters within itself to be with its God.”
The Way of Perfection, Chapter 28
Sign up for Mary Vitamin daily spiritual emails here.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
They remind us that to be born with Trisomy 21 is a rare gift. It makes you one in 800.
The deadline for submissions is August 10, and the Mary Moments Carnival will be posted on August 15 at Behold Your Mother. There’s an online submission form, or entries may be sent to peerybingle-at-gmail-dot-com, with Mary Moments in the subject line.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Now, thanks to the experience and literary gifts of home educator and author, Alice Gunther we have not only an eloquent answer to this question, but an inspiring guide on how to help our children find friendship and acceptance outside the domestic church. “A Haystack Full of Needles” is the book we have been waiting for, the book we may give as a gift to questioning family members, but one we will also keep close as we seek opportunities to help our children develop socially.Alice, like so many of our family members had concerns about a home educating mother’s ability to meet her children’s need for social interaction. She takes us back to the days when she thought home educators were doing the impossible, to her early attempts at finding companions for herself and her young daughters, to the successful support group she is a the center of on Long Island. She inspires the mother who feels alone in her decision to home educate with her fond anecdotes and down to earth suggestions on how to find other Catholic home educating families, how to build community, how to run a successful social event, and how to support one another in good times and bad.
“ Home-educating mothers share a unique cultural experience. We understand one another, and a large part of "socialization" should be geared toward nurturing friendship for mothers who choose this narrow, but incredibly rewarding, path"
Haystack is far more engaging than a dry how-to manual, however. Alice, whose childhood involved many trips to family in the Emerald Isle has inherited the legendary Irish facility with language gives her prose a poetic lilt which leads to such picturesque images as,“The truth is homeschooling groups are not founded—they trickle together gradually, like a barrel filling up with rain. Still, there are ways we can help the process along, fastening the hoops around the staves of the barrel, lest we lose a precious drop.”
The secret to the success of Alice’s home schooling groups is her heartfelt compassion for the struggles of the home educating mother and her natural generosity in reaching out to meet their needs. “Socialization for homeschoolers is every bit as much about friendship for mothers as it is for the children. Many best friends have been made around the kitchen table”Haystack includes an impressive array of Alice’s social involvements, nature study groups, Shakespearean plays, creative crafts woven into celebrations of the liturgical year, but the greatest strength of this book lies in the fact that no one in the community is overlooked, not even the special needs child who is shy to become involved in a group activity. Alice has tips for getting these children involved and making them feel loved, “One trick I have is to pull out something especially fun, like a game or interesting little novelty. Not only does this entertain the child who happens to be alone—it also attracts others to be his companions." She describes the pains she has taken to teach her children the art of making the newcomer to the group feel welcome in her home, and that explains why at some of her Little Flower meetings, her lawn is filled with hundreds of happy participants.
Many people wonder if home educating is possible through high school. Alice admits that though many high school age boys attend school; home education social groups nurture the teenage soul as well.“When I think about home schooled teenagers, the image that presents itself in my mind is that of a rose freshly blooming. Those little children who once played in our house or crafted at our table are fine young men and women now, and they are a joy to behold. How many mothers of teenagers are able to say that they love all their children's friends? Yet this is what I can say wholeheartedly, and I believe that these vivid roses are even more beautiful when arranged together in a bouquet.”
That is why I recommend Haystack for all mothers seeking a sense of community in a fast-paced world in which children fail to savor the sweetness of childhood in their headlong rush to emulate questionable role models. Alice Gunther in her distinctly poetic manner, reminds us of the riches of a childhood fully lived in the loving embrace of the Body of Christ. The advice she offers in Haystack, is valuable even if your children are in school you are seeking ways to find like-minded friends for your family. She explains her balanced view of home educating here," As I mention this, let me be clear in saying that I do not think families who are not called to home educate are any less faithful or blessed by God. Yet, I do think, for whatever reason, God calls some of us to serve him in this specific way—not a more exalted way—but a different and necessary one."
I agree with my friend Alice that communities like the Immaculate Heart of Mary group which we enjoy on Long Island may just be the seedbed of the New Springtime of Evangelization which our dear Pope John Paul II predicted. One innocent child spending a pleasant afternoon among friends in the garden, one family sharing the joy of the Faith with another, young families are rediscovering Christian community and renewing the Body of Christ.
Alice Gunther's book is available for pre-order through Hillside Education
The tragedy which took Thom and his 18 year old son's life on June 30 is made all the more poignant when you hear Thom praise his son for achieving knighthood during the Encampment. Thom was drowning in a lake that day, and his son Marc died while trying to save his life. He had truly put the concept of sacrifice and chivalry into practice.
There is a fund for Mrs. Girard, Thom's widow, who will be caring for the couple's four surviving children. Read about it here. See if you can help out this family which has seen so much tragedy.
"No greater love has man than this to lay down his life for a friend".
Eternal rest grant to them O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon them,
May their souls, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
You are invited to participate in a study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of
Health and the Johns Hopkins University.
Why is this study being done?
To learn more about how caregivers adjust to having a child with Down syndrome (DS). We are
interested in hearing from caregivers who may be learning to adjust and also from caregivers
who feel well-adjusted.
Who can participate in this study?
You must be 18 years of age or older and must be the primary caregiver for a child with DS.
Please fill out only one survey per household.
What is involved in this study?
There is one survey that takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. It asks about your
thoughts and feelings about your experience as a caregiver to your child.
What are the risks of the study?
There are no known risks of taking part in this study. If taking the survey makes you feel upset,
you can stop taking the survey at any time. If it causes you to become upset or worried about
yourself or your child, you can also contact the researchers (see below) and they will help direct
you to the appropriate resources.
Are there benefits to taking part in the study?
You will not personally receive any benefits from taking part in this study. We hope to learn
more about how caregivers adjust to having a child with DS and pass that understanding on to
help caregivers in the future.
Do I have to participate?
No, you do not have to take part in this study if you do not want to. Your decision to take the
survey will not have an affect on your child’s healthcare. If you begin the survey, you can
choose to skip any question that you don’t want to answer. You can also stop taking the survey
at any time. If you finish the survey and then change your mind, we will not be able to delete it
since the surveys are all anonymous.
Social and Behavioral Research Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
31 Center Drive (B1B36) – MSC 2073
Bethesda, MD 20892
(301) 443-2595-phone (301) 480-3108-fax
Who else will know that I am in the study?
We do not ask for your name or contact information on this survey. If you provide us with your
name by calling or writing to us, we will not link your name with your responses. This study
will not be part of any medical record. When we report our research results, it will be done with
no identifiable information from individual participants.
How do I participate?
The survey can be found online at www.downsyndromesurvey.com.
If you prefer to complete a paper version of the survey, please contact Megan Truitt at (301) 443-2595 or firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the survey and a pre-addressed and stamped return envelope.
Any contact information you give to the researchers in order to mail the survey will be
immediately destroyed after it is mailed. Also, if you are more comfortable completing the
survey over the phone, please contact Megan Truitt (see contact information above) to arrange a
time to do so.
Thank you for your interest and time! If you are taking this survey online, please print a copy of
this consent form so that you have the researchers’ contact information.Also, after the study is complete, we plan on giving out a short summary of the results through
the recruitment sources as a way of saying thanks for participating. If interested, please check
the Kennedy Krieger Institute website below for the study summary:
Megan Truitt Barbara Biesecker
Associate Investigator, JHU/NHGRI Primary Investigator, JHU/NHGRI
Genetic Counseling Training Program Genetic Counseling Training Program
(301) 443-2595 (301) 496-3979
Sunday, July 6, 2008
A physician has diagnosed the Child Jesus with T21 as well, despite the protests of the curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
I agree with the doctor.
HT The New Atlantis
Here's another painting where people with T21 are included.
I think we mothers get confused about loving the child and hating the disease. Children with Down syndrome do have their personalities somewhat shaped by their chromosomal enhancement, so many mothers can't imagine them without DS, and they love them as they are, so anyone who wants to change them is seen as rejecting them. The child faces a lot of rejection from society, and her mother becomes her best defender and loves her child with the ferocity of a lioness.
SO, if a researcher says he's got a cure, isn't he rejecting our children's uniqueness?
Let me tell you the history of Dr. Lejeune. One day in the 1960's there was a TV program in France about aborting children with DS,and a teenage boy with DS started sobbing after the program, 'Mom, they want to kill us!" The next day, he begged Dr. Lejeune to protect him from those who wanted to kill him. Dr. Lejeune made finding a cure for DS his life's work. Dr Lejeune told Dr. Marie Peeters Ney, who came to work with him in Paris, that it was the duty of Catholic researchers to do this, because, if not, "in twenty years, there won't be any children with T21 left". With a 90 percent abortion rate, and better prenatal tests available for T21, he wasn't far wrong, was he?
Now, if your typical child came down with a bacterial infection, you wouldn't hesitate to give him an antibiotic, would you? If he had Cystic Fibrosis, and was slowly dying before your eyes, wouldn't you give anything for a cure to save his life? Down syndrome is a disease just like the other two, and if a well-tested drug came along to help Christina's memory, her coordination, her speech development, or her ability to learn, should I say, "no, I love her as she is?" or give it to her?
I would certainly give it to her.
Just because I believe that God chose her for me doesn't mean that if a cure became available that I would see it as outside His will. That doesn't mean that I keep looking at her and imagine "what if she could do this or that?" No way, I love every little advance she struggles to make,and her dogged persistence to learn things I took for granted when her sisters leaned it ( like potty training!!) I admire her pure heart, her cheerfulness and her curiosity, just as I admire the good qualities of her sisters. She has unique gifts from God, and nothing will ever change that.
I think sometimes that the more resistance we faced from family and friends to giving birth to and keeping our child, the more defensive we get, AND sometimes we can back ourselves into an unhealthy position. We attribute evil motives to the scientists who are working on a cure, or
dollmakers who want to make our children happy with a toy that resembles them. Or doesn't.
Did you know, that only 6 years ago, when my Christy was born, the mentality of the medical community went something like, "we told you how to diagnose and abort your child with Down syndrome, you chose not to, so tough, don't come running to us for a cure!" Do parents of children with Autism hear this? NO. For one reason, Autism is diagnosed after not before birth. The mentality used for dealing with Down syndrome at the March of Dimes was cure the disease by killing the diseased. Sick. Dr. Lejeune was taken off the list of the MOD beneficiaries because he was prolife. I have this from the founder of the Michael Fund(raises funds for researchers on Down syndrome who are pro-life) Randy Engel, who heard it directly from the good doctor on two occasions.
Now, thanks to thousands of active parents, legislators and scientists are coming together to find cures for the delays caused by T21. Programs to educate our children, NOT warehouse them are proliferating around the nation, and I feel an optimism in the air that someday soon, having a child with an extra chromosome will no longer be seen as the greatest tragedy that can happen to a mother. They will no longer be aborted, and my daughter will look around and see lots of beautiful faces like hers.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
My article includes this prayer for the intercession of Dr. Lejeune:
Prayer to Obtain Graces by God’s Servant’s Intercession
God, who created man in your image and intended him to share your glory,
We thank you for having granted to your Church the gift of professor Jerome Lejeune, a distinguished servant of life. He knew how to place his immense intelligence and deep faith at the service of the defense of human life, especially unborn life, always seeking to treat and to cure.
A passionate witness to truth and charity, he knew how to reconcile faith and reason in the sight of today’s world.
By his intercession, and according to your will, we ask you to grant us the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon become one of your saints.
As the cause for canonization of Lejeune moves forward, testimonies of medically inexplicable cures sought by his intercession will be recorded, and holy cards with this prayer are available at this address:
Postulation de la cause de béatification
et de canonisation du Serviteur de Dieu Jérôme Lejeune
Abbaye Saint-Wandrille F-76490
I am asking the good doctor's intercession to help Christina with potty training, behavior, and speech development.
Our Father's God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
Of Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Four places I go over and over:
2. My parents house
3. The local public school where Christina receives her therapies
4. the library
Four people who email me regularly
1. A Homeschooling Thespian
Four of my favorite places to eat:
1. on my pool deck
2. at my mother's house
3. a Chinese Buffet, so we can get the food quickly and Christina doen't get restless and run around the restaurant
4. a picnic in the park
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. in the mountains
2. at the ocean
3. in Rome, meeting Pope Benedict
4. in front of the Blessed Sacrament
Four TV shows I watch all the time
1. Sunday Night Live with Fr. Groeschel
2. The World Over
3. Life on the Rock
4. Living His Life Abundantly
Four words which best describe you
Four favorite old school actors
Four favorite "old School" TV game shows
Kids say the Darndest Things
That's My Line
Four Favorite "old school" TV shows
The Andy Griffith Show
Leave it To Beaver
The Flying Nun
List four things you liked best about Christmas when you were a child
1. family gatherings
2. setting up the Christmas tree and sitting behind it in a special corner playing with my toys
3. visiting the stores all decorated in the city
4. the Christmas play at Mass
List the four things you liked best about Halloween when you were a child
1.getting dressed up
List the four
things you did not like about growing up
1.the ugly culture of the seventies
2.junior high; need I say more?
3.public school teachers who taught lies about the Catholic Church
4.having no sisters
List four events that impacted your life
1. seeing Pope John Paul II as a teenager
2. My Cursillo Weekend
3. my wedding to Francisco
4. becoming the mother of three lovely girls and three saints in heaven
I tag A Homeschooling Thespian, and Elizabeth.
Anyone who wants to play is tagged.
Read the sad story here. We are asking for prayers and financial support for Thom's widow and her four surviving children.
HT Mary Victrix
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Students at Our Lady of the Lake tend to appreciate Megan, giving her high-fives, helping her when needed and treating her like anyone else when that seems right. Megan ran on the school’s track team this spring and is part of a local swim club. Word spread around the school one day this spring — Megan had poured in 30 points during a pick-up basketball game at recess."
Read the entire story here.
HT Catholic Sentinel
Just as we emerged from the building, Francisco excitedly pointed to a familiar figure making his way into McDonald's. "Look", he exclaimed, "it's Fr. Benedict Groeschel!" And so it was.
My girls scurried into the car, shy to meet such a famous man, but I was so thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with one of my favorite authors and TV personalities, that I summoned up my courage, and greeted Father by opening the door for him.
Fr. Groeschel was made very feeble by his terrible accident a few years back, and gratefully accepted my help as I told him how much I appreciated his work. I've read nearly all of his books, own many of his CDs and regularly watch his TV shows.
A young woman who didn't know who Father is, came forward to ask for his prayers, and I told her how to access his Sunday Night Live Program on the computer, if she wanted to speak with Father. I shared that we were considering a move to send the girls to Catholic school with the Sisters of Charity of Mary, Mother of the Church in Baltic, and wanted to live near his friends the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Griswold, CT. Father recognized both these fine religious orders.
Soon we were greeted by Fr. Terry, Father's traveling companion, who remembered me as the lady from Long Island "with a lovely teenage daughter who takes very good care of her little sister". I shared this story from the time we met Fr. Terry at Youth 2000 on Long Island last summer, and he told me he would be missing the event this summer, as he was heading to Australia for World Youth Day.
Fr. Terry went over to greet my family in the van, while I told Fr. Groeschel of the book Monica and I have been working on, "Be Not Afraid: The Vocation to Special Motherhood". He and Fr. Terry gave us their blessing, and we said goodbye. This is the third time I've been so fortunate to meet Fr. Groeschel, he has always been so patient and kind to speak with me.
I wish I had photos to share, but the camera stayed behind in the car with the girls, and I was too excited to remember it.
What a wonderful birthday gift this was!