A mother’s prayer

weddingTwenty-seven years ago this day, my eldest son was born.  He came into the world on the feast day of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus.  He was given a middle name after my father, Christopher.  He was our first son and both our parents’ first grandson.  He rose to the occasion!

He was a curious and talkative child with a kind heart and big personality.  He made friends with everyone.  I watched him grow and mature into a handsome (no, I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother), confident and faith-filled young man.  He was taught values according to our Catholic faith and he lives that faith.

He has always been a hard worker and has exceled at just about every endeavor he has put his mind to.  From the teenage band to elocution contest to football and powerlifting… he went on to graduate from college and begin a successful career.  Sounds like he has it all…but as a mother, you know when something is missing.  That something turned out to be a young lady named Megan.

A year ago my husband and I took a pilgrimage to Caritas Birmingham, Alabama.  My focus for this pilgrimage was to consecrate my family, especially my children to Mary.  Nine days prior to arriving at Caritas Birmingham, I began a novena, saying a special consecration prayer for my children.  I had not told my husband of the novena.  When we arrived on the ninth day, we visited the chapel, which had a beautiful Mary room.  There was a life size statue of Mary with a sand box in front, in which candles could be lit and placed.  I grabbed a candle to light.  My husband quickly told me that I should light three candles, one for each of our children.  After lighting the candles and placing them at the feet of Mary, my husband stated, “you just gave your children to Mary”.

I was overjoyed!  I excitedly told my husband, “That is my novena!”  I took out my prayer booklet and opened it up to the prayer I had prayed for the last eight days and we stood there together in front of our mother and said the ninth prayer together.  I instantly felt a connection and peace in my heart.  Mary would be praying and interceding for the intentions in my heart concerning my children.

About a month after our return, my son called to inform me that he had met someone special.  They became engaged last month and will marry in the Catholic church in January, 2015.

Her name, Megan, means pearl.  And like a pearl she is a rare and valuable treasure.  She is gorgeous on the inside as well as the outside.  She was raised with the same morals and values as my son and loves her Catholic faith.

Christopher means “he who holds Christ in his heart”.  My son who has Christ in his heart has made room for a precious pearl.  May God bless them during their engagement and bless their marriage.

I gave my children to Mary…and she gave me a precious daughter.

Happy Birthday son!

C’est Bon!

Love,

Mom

God, the Author of Life

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January 22, 1973, Roe vs Wade was decided by the United States Supreme Court.  January 22, 1973, Life in the United States drastically changed.  In a country that was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness”, LIFE was taken out of that Declaration which was signed July 4, 1776 by our founding fathers.

If God is the sole Author of Life, man is the author of death.  And so the deaths began…

A February 2008 issue of Scientific American, posted an article entitled, “Your cells are my cells“.  The article revealed that research has proven that women carry cells from every child we have ever conceived for the rest of our lives.  Surviving children also carry our cells and any subsequent children who follow the loss of a sibling carries cells from that sibling.  We are all connected because we all have one Creator.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb we have been created.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb, we are a human being, and as such, we should have the same rights and protections as all humanity deserves.

There are millions of babies who have never had a choice; never had protection under the law.  It is time that society stands up for these babies and the countless more who have yet to be created.

I met a remarkable woman this past week.  Her name is Brenda DesOrmeaux and she founded the DesOrmeaux Foundation.  After the tragedy of 1973, Brenda felt a calling and decided to act.  She became an active member of the Acadiana Right to Life, working for the Pro-Life cause.  Her years of participation in this Fight for Life led to her running the Women’s Center of Lafayette.  After forming the DesOrmeaux Foundation, Brenda gave up her role in the Acadiana Right to Life and devoted herself to defending Human Life, the sanctity of marriage, and promoting chaste relationships.  Through her efforts, Lafayette, Louisiana now has a Pregnancy Center which offers free pregnancy test, family planning counseling, free ultrasound and financial assistance; the St. Marguerite d’Youville home which provides women with a peaceful, secure setting to help them process their needs, emotions, and choices; and the Baby and Me Boutique which specializes in selling maternity and baby items at give-away prices. Brenda heard God’s calling and she responded.

These are urgent times.  The more we advance with technology, the more technology points to the fact that a pregnant woman does not hold a blob of tissue. Each person is created unique and in the image of God.

Jesus said it best to Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia, January 6, 1991: “Oh what a terrible, grave sin abortion is.  Man does not know the destiny of each child conceived, does not know the destiny of any child conceived.  So popes are murdered, priests are murdered, nuns are murdered, and on and on. Does this grave sin not bring about the wrath of God?

And again to Nancy on February 6, 1993: “You must know that abortion is murder. I am the Creator, you are not.  I am the Author of Life, you are not. Do not kill who I have created.  The commandment of God is “Thou shall not kill”. You will battle with each other over laws that you create apart from Me.”

We are all called.

Romans 11:32 “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.  Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is proper.”

September 29, 1992; Our Blessed Mother’s message to Nancy Fowler for America: “America pick up your Rosary, kneel down and pray.

This week marks the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Do something.  Go to a March for Life; attend a prayer service or mass; contact your state representatives…. Together we can give hope to all the children of God who are yet to be.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

Health S(care)!

Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court

Obamacare Protest at Supreme Court (Photo credit: southerntabitha)

If you like your plan, you can keep it; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Oh wait, that was not exactly correct….and by the way, you can’t keep your moral convictions either!

The Affordable Care Act is proving to be (1) not so affordable and (2) not so caring.  Since when do we live in a country where you must choose between your religious beliefs and your government mandates?

I am seeing first hand the effects of this Health “Care” bill.  My daughter is one of the millions who lost their insurance policy.  A co-worker of my husband was told that his insurance no longer covered a needed medicine and his out of pocket cost would be in the thousands.  I read in the “National Register” that most of the exchange plans, in order to meet the law’s mandate on spending, have narrowed the panels of doctors and hospitals that are available to patients.  Many medical systems that have advanced care capabilities are being omitted.  This will result in diminished care for life threatening illness.

The HHS mandate was the show stopper for me.  I did email my state senators during the government shutdown.  Mr. David Vitter replied promptly that he has always been opposed to the mandate and was working diligently to try and make changes.  I received an email back from Ms. Mary Landrieu’s office that she was unable to respond due to the shutdown.  I did finally receive an answer from Ms. Landrieu last week.  According to Ms. Landrieu, she “was one of the voices who expressed concerns about the Obama Administration’s initial, ill-advised policy requiring women’s reproductive health benefits as a health insurance benefit option for policyholders.”  She goes on to say that as a result of her efforts, “the Administration made changes to its initial proposal…resulting changes better protect the religious freedom and liberty of churches and other religiously based institutions.”

The White House did offer a yearlong extension for religious nonprofits. During that time period, the government promised to amend the mandate to address religious-liberty concerns.  However, the government did not amend the mandate.  The only exemptions are applied to churches.  Religious nonprofits, such as EWTN, are not exempt.  EWTN filed a law suit challenging the mandate as unconstitutional and the state of Alabama has joined them.

In the meantime, how do we get health care coverage that does not contradict our beliefs?  There are Christian alternatives. Three major Christian medical sharing ministries are Samaritan Ministries, Christian Medi-Share and Christian Healthcare Ministries.   Members of these medical sharing groups make their own decision with their chosen medical professionals in how they treat life-threatening conditions.  None of these ministries share in abortion or care that is found to be morally objectionable.

I am not a Democrat.  I am not a Republican.  I am a Christian.  I was baptized in the Catholic Church and my religious beliefs are my life.  I am only one of many women who understand that pregnancy is not a disease.  Each child is a gift from God.  The important choice was made long ago when a young virgin said yes to God and gave birth to a Savior.  Choices happen prior to pregnancy.  Once a child is conceived – there is no “choice”.  There is only that gift of love.

If you feel like your beliefs are being trampled upon, speak out.

It’s getting Health Scary out there!!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

The Family that Prays Together…

rosary

rosary (Photo credit: rebeccavalfl)

“Henceforth all generations will call me blessed”  Luke1:48

The special prayer of The Most Holy Rosary was given to St. Dominic by Our Blessed Mother in the year 1220.  St. Dominic was asked to spread devotion to this powerful prayer, which is a meditation on the life of Jesus Christ as seen through His Mother’s eyes.

As a child, I learned to say the Rosary; however, it seemed to me that it was a prayer that was recited by old women who had a lot of time of their hands.  My grandmother said the Rosary over and over again in her final years on earth.  It is only now that I see and understand the value of this Holy Prayer.  I hear others my age talk about their grown children as having lost their faith, or as having delved into other “modern, new-age” faiths.  My three children have all held onto their Catholic faith.  I do not take credit for it.  My mother-in-law twenty-one years ago became inspired to host a once a week family Rosary.  My children and my nieces and nephew have grown up leading these weekly Rosaries.  It has become imbedded in their souls.  Over the years we have prayed for many sick, dying and departed.  We have given thanks for healings and blessings.  The spiritual growth that has occurred in this family has been awesome.  My mother-in-law has three children, all of them still married to their first and only spouses.  All of the grandchildren seem to have a deep understanding of their faith and are all witnesses to that faith.

Pope Pius IX once said, “If there were one million families praying the Rosary every day, the entire world would be saved.”

St. Pio of Pietrelcina said, “The Rosary is THE WEAPON.”

I can now say thank you to my grandmothers for all their Rosary recitations.  To my mother for her daily Rosaries on behalf of her family.  To my mother-in-law for laying a solid foundation for her grandchildren that is being carried on in the great-grandchildren (my grandchildren).

The power this prayer yields is strong beyond belief.  Pray the Rosary.  Form Rosary clubs or weekly family Rosary nights.  Together we can change the world – one family at a time!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

Blessed are the Persecuted

Grand Pré memorial church and statue of Évange...

Grand Pré memorial church and statue of Évangeline. User Semhur on the french wikipedia, modified the original picture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Religious Persecution….Isn’t that an oxymoron?  It makes no sense.

Recently I have researched my Cajun ancestors.  My mother was a Melancon and a direct descendant of Pierre Melanson from Grand Pre’ in Nova Scotia.  She grew up a devout Catholic.  Her parents with their children said the rosary on their knees every evening.  Her father went to mass with the Knights of Columbus every Monday morning and always showed up at their house after mass to kiss her mother good morning, with the saying, “Kiss me mother, I have Jesus in me!”  They were taught to honor and respect the Blessed Mother.

I was surprised to find out in my research that the founder of the Melancon family was Pierre Laverdure, a Huguenot.  In 1627, Pierre lived in La Rochelle, France, which had been established as a Huguenot sanctuary by the Edict of Nantes.  In that year, King Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes and laid siege to La Rochelle, which had a population of about 28,000 Protestants.  Nothing could go in or out during the seige.  People began to starve to death.  Several months later, La Rochelle surrendered.  Pierre Laverdure was one of only 5000 survivors.  King Louis allowed the survivors to leave and Pierre moved to England where he met and married Priscilla Mallinson in 1630.  The two of them had three sons, Pierre, Charles, and John.  The family migrated to Nova Scotia while it was under British rule.  In 1667 Acadie was returned to France and Pierre was unable to live under French Catholic rule due to his persecution in La Rochelle.  Pierre and Priscilla and their son John moved to Boston.  Sons, Pierre and Charles, stayed in Acadie, where they converted to Catholicism after marrying Acadian girls.  In 1664, Pierre married Marie d’ Entremont and changed his last name to Melanson.

Again, Acadie was to exchange owners as Colonel Nicholson captured Port Royal on October 13, 1710. The Treaty of Utrecht allowed England to keep Nova Scotia.  England’s anti-Catholic laws would not allow Acadians to hold office or vote.  The English spent 40 years trying to get the Acadians to take an oath of allegiance to the English King.  The Catholics would not swear and allegiance to a Protestant King – in their eyes, this was an act against God.

July 31, 1755, the Acadians were rounded up and were deported soon after.  Their homes and crops were destroyed. Families were separated and dispersed among 13 British colonies. Many of them perished. For ten years, the Acadians were detained, moved around, and lived in utter misery.  They held on to their faith and the hope that one day they could create a new Acadie.  By the end of the French and Indian War, the Acadians began arriving in Louisiana and were inviting exiled cousins to join them.  This led to the largest group of exiled Acadians in America living in Southern Louisiana.

That was many generations and hundreds of years ago; yet religious persecution continues today.

It seems to be everywhere today.  In Syria 2 million Christians are scattered and are in hiding.  Father Paolo was abducted and his whereabouts are still unknown. Coptic Christians in Egypt have been targeted.  Churches that are hundreds of years old have been burned to the ground. We are not immune. The Catholic Church is being ordered by the United States government to pay for birth control practices that are against the church’s beliefs…..It is everywhere.

“Blessed are the persecuted for the sake of Righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Jesus warned us.  To follow His ways will lead to suffering and persecution.  The funny thing is that the only way to stop the madness is to follow HIS ways!

As a family, as a community, as a nation, as a world; we must pray and love in imitation of the life of Christ.

We are all God’s children.  We are all created equally with equal value and worth to this world.

Generations from now, will my great-great-grandchildren look at these times with sorrow and compassion for ancestors who were persecuted for their beliefs??  My granddaughter is six years old.  She is in first grade at a Catholic school.  Two weeks ago, she led the family rosary at my mother-in-laws.  There is hope!

C’est Bon

Love, Sherry

Cajun Catholic

20130725_122513Hello from Cajun country, southern Louisiana!

I feel very blessed to have grown up in an area of the country that is heavily populated with Catholics.  Driving down any street in Iberia Parish, (it’s Parishes in Louisiana, not Counties), one can see the evidence of our  faith. There are many homes with statues of Mary and Jesus proudly set in front of the home as a Blessing to the family and to all those who pass by.

Cajun people are very warm and loving of all God’s children and are extremely respectful of God and our Blessed Mother.

During this Year of Faith, it is with great excitement and timidity, that I embark on this sharing of my faith, beliefs, and spiritual journey.

I am proud of my faith. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my words and thoughts and speak to my heart so that I can speak to your heart.

C’est Bon!

Love Sherry