Thursday, August 29, 2013

Find My Gift: The Called & Gifted Workshop


Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John the Baptist Martyred for Love of Jesus

August 29th
It's a good day to show love to one of your cousins,
Or to a co-worker who goes above and beyond,
Or to a lifelong friend,
Or to Our Lord, like St. John the Baptist.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Teenagers

The other day, I dropped my daughter of fifteen off at the parish office so that she could return something to our parish priest. (She thinks he's pretty awesome, which factors into what I'm about to tell you.)

So, I dropped her off, and she bounced in and bounced out within a few minutes. As we pulled out of the church parking lot, she said, "That office is just like home."

I know what she means. But the best part of the whole thing is that she gets it!

She gets it because we have an amazing staff and an active youth program. But she gets it most of all because we have an amazing priest.

He takes the time to know each of us - even the teen who likes anime and manga. He even knows what anime and manga are. He speaks her language, and in doing that, he is able to find moments when he can teach her the language of faith.

Which brings me to my second happy moment as a mom.

Quote by St. Augustine, St. Monica's son.
Last night, I watched TV in my bedroom, but the door was open, and I could hear my daughter who was showering in the bathroom down the hall.

She was singing.

What was she singing, you ask? Not some tune from her iphone. Nope. My daughter-of-fifteen-almost-sixteen was singing "And I will raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of my hand."


That's my mom story.

St. Monica, pray for us - that our children stay close to the Eucharist and that those children who have fallen away from their early faith will feel the pull to come back. May they remember, somewhere in the deepest recesses of their souls, the beauty they once knew. Lord, hear our prayer!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Take a Second Look at Elizabeth - She's on fire!

Elizabeth Westhoff and I were in graduate school together. She was single, and I was a divorced mother of three. We knew of each other, but we didn't really know each other.

I'm not sure what she was like outside of classes, and she didn't know that I was the daughter of a Protestant minister and the former wife of a United Methodist minister.

I don't know if she was living for Christ at that time, but I wasn't. That's for sure.

Our worlds only intersected at school, and after school, not at all.

Fast forward sixteen years, and our worlds come together again.

Elizabeth is the Director of Marketing and Mission Awareness for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. She began working for the Archdiocese 9 years ago.

Eight years ago, I converted to the Catholic Church. I became a Catholic writer.

She was hired under Raymond Cardinal Burke (Archbishop at that time), and I was received into the Church when he was shepherd of the St. Louis flock.

God works in strange ways. We found each other through Facebook about a year ago. Since then, I have been amazed by everything Elizabeth touches. I love her work. My heart fills with joy when I see what God has done in and through her. And I am in awe of the God who is working at all times to form us for His service - even when we're sitting in a poetry workshop class on a secular campus, thinking that the class is worth very little save the three credits we will bank at the end of the semester. When we think we're just living life one day at a time - that's when God is at work and has His eyes on us and on what He has planned to accomplish 16 years down the road.

Please take the time to read what Elizabeth Westhoff has written. You can find her most recent post here. I tell you, it will light a fire within you.

We are in this battle together, even though sometimes life seems to meander and have no moments of clarity. God is at work in each of us and has called us to serve Him.

When we do that, we are fused together with every part of the Body of Christ--

and those who once were faces-in-the-crowd become brothers and sisters-- like Elizabeth.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New at Catholic Lane by Denise Bossert

Friday, August 16, 2013

St. Joseph and Eucharistic Prayers I, II, and III

           I met John in 1996, just a year after the failure of my non-sacramental marriage. I was treading water, spiritually, financially and emotionally. The future loomed before me. I had a teaching degree, but no job. I had three children (seven, nine, and eleven). My only option was to live in my parents’ basement and see if I could gain some ground by working on a master’s degree.
Grace has a way of showing up when we are at the end of ourselves. And that’s what happened in graduate school. That’s where I met John. Eventually, we married and began rebuilding a family out of the ashes.
I look back over the years now and realize just what a gift John has been in my life. Like so many other step-fathers (and step-mothers), he has taken on a responsibility he did not have to accept. He has become a father to my children and given them the most normal childhood one can possibly have when their biological parents are not both under the same roof.
Daily, John has picked up this unique cross and carried it with a very steady hand. In many ways, he has been my St. Joseph. He could have married a woman without children, a woman without a non-sacramental marriage in her past. He could have remained unmarried and spent his salary on himself rather than on orthodontia bills and school clothes. Instead, he has given his entire life to making a family where there was very little hope for a normal future. He has offered advice and meted out discipline, always carefully weighing in the balance the fact that he is not the biological father, and yet he is a father. He is a St. Joseph in this family. And I know that Our Lord’s beloved foster father, the real St. Joseph, must be interceding on John’s behalf.
Blended families need St. Joseph. We need someone to carry our burdens to the Lord and intercede for our children. We need someone to pick up the pieces when we are at the end of ourselves. We need a saint who is given to the mission of helping the family to endure the present age and triumph in its effort to raise saints for the Kingdom of God. St. Joseph is that saint. As Pope John Paul II said, "Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care.”
He is a patron saint for every family and most especially for every step-parent and non-traditional family that is trying very hard to create a home following their own cataclysmic familial event.
In June of 2013, in his first decree of a liturgical nature, Pope Francis announced that St. Joseph would be added to Eucharistic prayers II, III, and IV. I believe Pope Francis understands that we are living in an age of blended families, single-parent families, and step-parenting, and that we desperately need St. Joseph’s intercession. May God bless the step-parents and all blended families!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Catch Denise Bossert's Conversion Story On Seize The Day With Gus Lloyd August 7th

I will share my conversion to the Catholic Faith with Gus Lloyd on Seize The Day during their "Conversion Corner" this Wed at 9:30 EST (8:30 Central). Catch it on the morning program on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mary, the Mother of a Converted Heart

Mediatrix of All Graces

Let me be your daughter - truly.
As I grow in this love for you,
and learn this new avenue to God's own Heart [which mysteriously takes to Itself and is also given Flesh by your Immaculate Heart],
let us be as Mother & daughter.

Little by little I will learn
what to ask for-
how to ask-

For now, be loving & patient with me,
and even though I might seem greedy,
or my requests at times silly,
or even presumptuous,
Mother, consider the requests and present them to the Throne of Grace
        for His permission,
and render your graces to me-
yes, even me.

-Denise Bossert (April 25, 2007)

Blessed Mother, for graces received, thank you! (August 3, 2013)


Friday, August 2, 2013

Sharing Conversion Story with Epiphany in St. Louis August 4, 2013

I will be sharing my conversion story at Epiphany parish in STL this Sunday at 7:00 PM. The talk will be 30 minutes - followed by parish Covenant Night fellowship/small group activities.