Kathy Mac Portrait Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with His Holy Spirit to strengthen, guide and inspire us.  What a privilege and blessing it is for me, a mere handmaid of the Lord, to be welcoming you to this Summer Newsletter.   I am constantly aware of the varied and outstanding God-given gifts that each of you brings to this ministry; and, to be leading such a holy army of Magnificat women, I am truly humbled.  But God has graced me with 15 years of mentoring and nurturing by the founders of Magnificat and with an equal number of years working with you who have formed Magnificat Chapters.  For this, I am forever grateful to Jesus and our Blessed Mother.    May God continue to bless, protect and inspire each of you and multiply your gifts to build up His Kingdom.

Your Sister in Christ, single rose






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Volume 8 Issue 13
Summer Edition
In This Issue
Holy Father's Monthly Intentions
Welcome From Your New CST!
Riveted Magnificat Audience!
"Song of Songs" in Malta
Father Nicholas Baker
World Youth Day
Praise Reports
Liturgy of the Hours
Fr. Kevin's Korner
Magnificat Prayer Booklet
New CST Secretary
Mary's Garden is Growing!
Blessed Virgin Mary
Holy Father's Monthly Intentions

Parents and Teachers:
That parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life.
The Church in Africa: That the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice.

Value of Silence
: That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.
Persecuted Christians: That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

People in Despair:
That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love.
World Mission Day: That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's word.



Welcome From Your New CST!
by Paulette Renaudin
L-R  Diane Bates, Nancy Skok, Kathy MacInnis, Donna Ross and Paulette Renaudin
All changes, even the most welcome, have their sense of sadness, because when we move on, we leave a little of ourselves behind.

We are all creatures of habit and the CST is no different. Our weekly meetings alone have evolved from 30 plus years meeting around Marilyn Quirk's dining room table. When Kathy Mac moved, she came to the weekly meetings by speaker phone propped up in one of Marilyn's teacups! Then, when Donna and Diane joined us, we moved to a partial-online WebEx meeting so we could see each other.

Some people find change exhilarating, while others are a little slower to adjust. Your new CST is fully charged and ready to undertake the weekly challenges and surprises that arise at our meetings. We thank God for the ability to meet by computer on WebEx and we consider it a privilege to serve you! We feel each CST member has something special to offer. With Kathy in Florida, Donna in California, Diane in Texas, and Nancy and I in Louisiana, WebEx provides a wonderful opportunity to meet face-to-face and heart-to-heart. This ministry is all about relationships, and what better way to forge relationships than to meet together and pray, sing, and work!

So many exciting things are going on in the ministry. Recently we said at a meeting, "we feel like the apostles must have felt, witnessing the multiplication of the loaves and fishes." We are always singing, "Lord, we are amazed by You." We thank YOU, the members of the Magnificat ministry, for your prayers for us, and you can be assured of our prayers for you. We all serve an awesome God!

Riveted Magnificat Audience!!!
By Catherine Gurgone & Carrie Shannon

The McHenry Illinois Chapter of Magnificat, 'Mary ~ Mother of the Eucharist', held its annual Fall Breakfast on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Saturday, December 8, 2012. It was a packed house, with more than 365 people, yet included in their numbers were a good number of priests, other men and religious. They all enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast and wonderful praise music. 

This chapter's new spiritual director, Deacon Joe Phelan, of the Church of the Holy Apostles had the privilege and pleasure of introducing his sister-in-law, Trudy Harris, as the keynote speaker.
Trudy Harris
Trudy Harris
Harris,  a Hospice nurse for more than 22 years, also served as president of the Hospice Foundation for Caring. During those years she was responsible for all public relations, marketing, fund raising and development. She personally raised more than 45 million dollars for her local Hospice program. Her testimony reflected her years working with the terminally ill.

It was the spiritual treasure gained from these deathbed experiences that riveted Magnificat's audience that Saturday morning. Trudy shared how it was in her work with the terminally ill where she gained deep spiritual truths and a profound awe in the face of all the overwhelming evidence of life beyond death. Compassionately told in the stories of her patients' final moments on earth, she presented astounding encounters with Heaven and gave all a glimpse of life in eternity.

Trudy's first book, Glimpses of Heaven, was a bestseller and has sold over 300,000 copies. It is currently published in nine languages.  Her latest book, More Glimpses of Heaven, was published in November 2012 and is already enjoying a wide readership. She also writes a blog for Guideposts.

Currently, Trudy remains active in connecting the needs of the terminally ill in her community with the Hospice program. She and her husband live in Jacksonville, Florida and enjoy the love and friendship of their four sons and seven grandchildren. A member of the audience was heard to say, "I have never been at a talk of over an  hour where no one moved, no one left, and everyone listened intently!"  



Magnificat "Song of Songs" on The Island of Malta
by Paulette Renaudin 

Song of Songs Chapel on Malta
Private Chapel 

While visiting the Island of Malta for Magnificat in March, I had the privilege of visiting with Jan Tate and was privileged to also visit the beautiful summer residence of Myriam England, our gracious European Regional Rep. The cultural flair combines this tranquil oasis with traditional grandeur. It was the childhood home of Myriam's husband, Richard, and was renovated and gifted to Myriam as an anniversary gift.


"Song of Songs" is a private summer residence belonging to the England family ideally situated on the water's edge on the northern part of the island of Malta in the vicinity of St. Paul's Island where the apostle was shipwrecked.


The property is presently being used as a Retreat House and a College of Bible Studies. Myriam hosts visiting speakers and guests for workshops on Biblical and other Christian studies.


"Song of Songs" is made up of extensive bedroom facilities, dining and breakfast areas, a garden, and terraces overlooking the bay. It also contains a small private chapel which provides an ideal prayer and meditation space. The mirrors on the terrace reflect the church on the hill at Wardija where Myriam and Richard were married 50 years ago.


The College of Bible Studies has recently been visited by His Grace, The Archbishop of Malta and has hosted a number of prayer and study groups.




Father Nicholas Baker Celebrates 

50th Anniversary, Retires as Spiritual Advisor to Morning Star Chapter

By Rhonda Litt, Coordinator


When I asked the Service Team members and Spiritual Advisor to comment by email about the International Magnificat Conference we had just attended, the following was what Father Nicholas Baker wrote.  It gives us a glimpse into the heart of this wonderful Priest! 

Fr. Baker
Fr. Nicholas Baker


"Rhonda, it seemed to me that this Conference was one of the better ones I have attended (I have been to 9).  I was blown away by the homily of Father Francis Martin, although the other homilies were good too.  I enjoyed all the talks, and the band.  Father Kevin Scallon's homily turned out to be the model for my own homily on Holy Thursday.  Archbishop Aymard's homily was good and I thought it was so meaningful that after Mass he went to Marilyn Quirk and gave her a big hug, then he called up Kathy MacInnis and put his hand on her head and prayed for her.  Just to be with all of YOU HOLY LADIES was a tonic for me.  God Bless you for having me for your Spiritual Advisor."

Father Baker was the only son and youngest of seven children born to Frank and Ida Baker of Falls City Nebraska. He lost his father when he was only 11 years old and planned to stay home and take care of his mother. However, during his last year at Sacred Heart School, "I just kind of felt this conviction that the Lord was calling me to be priest." His mother was "delighted and excited" about his calling.


After his ordination by Bishop Casey, Father Baker said he has loved every minute of the Priesthood for the last fifty years. "Saying Mass every day... funerals and weddings... just being with the people is my joy.  Sometimes we Priests think we are supporting our people, but they are supporting us too."


Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz appointed Father Baker as Spiritual Advisor to the Morning Star Chapter in 1996.  The Chapter has been truly blessed by this wonderful, kind and caring Priest who has been both friend and advisor. On his retirement in June 2013, Bishop James Conley appointed Monsignor Paul Witt as the Chapter's new spiritual advisor.   


Thank you Father Baker!  You will always be in our hearts and we will pray for many happy and blessed retirement years for you!  




World Youth Day a Huge Success!

It is estimated that more  than 3 million people attended  World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro, including over 84,000 volunteers! WYD 2013 was led by Pope Francis, with Pope Benedict XVI the first registered attendee! See coverage of this monumental event at EWTN or the World Youth Day website!

Praise Reports

"Through the affirmation and support of Magnificat women, I have been empowered through the Holy Spirit to become what God created me to be...His woman."

"The Blessed Mother has kept me busy non-stop for her Son, who is the love of my life!"

Liturgy of the Hours
Open bible w cross shadow

Office of Readings
Second Reading

From a homily by Saint Amadeus of Lausanne, bishop

Queen of the world and of peace

Observe how fitting it was that even before her assumption the name of Mary shone forth wondrously throughout the world. Her fame spread everywhere even before she was raised above the heavens in her magnificence. Because of the honor due her Son, it was indeed fitting for the Virgin Mother to have first ruled upon earth and then be raised up to heaven in glory. It was fitting that her fame be spread in this world below, so that she might enter the heights of heaven in overwhelming blessedness. Just as she was borne from virtue to virtue by the Spirit of the Lord, she was transported from earthly renown to heavenly brightness.

So it was that she began to taste the fruits of her future reign while still in the flesh. At one moment she withdrew to God in ecstasy; at the next she would bend down to her neighbors with indescribable love. In heaven angels served her, while here on earth she was venerated by the service of men. Gabriel and the angels waited upon her in heaven. The virgin John, rejoicing that the Virgin Mother was entrusted to him at the cross, cared for her with the other apostles here below. The angels rejoiced to see their queen, the apostles rejoiced to see their lady, and both obeyed her with loving devotion.

Dwelling in the loftiest citadel of virtue, like a sea of divine grace or an unfathomable source of love that has overflowed its banks, she poured forth her bountiful waters on trusting and thirsting souls. Able to preserve both flesh and spirit from death she bestowed health-giving salve on bodies and souls. Has anyone ever come away from her troubled or saddened or ignorant of heavenly mysteries? Who has not returned to everyday life gladdened and joyful because his request had been granted by the Mother of God? She is a bride, so gentle and affectionate, and mother of the only true bridegroom. In her abundant goodness she has channeled the spring of reason's garden, the well of living and life-giving waters that pour forth in a rushing stream from divine Lebanon and flow down from Mount Zion until they surround the shores of every far-flung nation. With divine assistance she has redirected these waters and made them into streams of peace and pools of grace. Therefore, when the Virgin of virgins was led forth by God and her Son, the King of kings, amid the company of exulting angels and rejoicing archangels, with the heavens ringing with praise, the prophecy of the psalmist was fulfilled, in which he said to the Lord:

At your right hand stands the queen, clothed in gold of Ophir.

Fr. Kevin's Korner
Magnificat CST Spiritual Advisor 
Fr. Kevin Scallon, C.M.

quill and pen With the harp I will solve my problem [Psalm 49:5]

The greatest book of poetry ever written is in the Bible.  It is called the Book of Psalms. It is also the most frequently read book of poetry in the world. Tens of thousands of men and women celebrate this sacred poetry in song every day, seven times a day. Being part of the Bible it is the inspired word of God. It used to be thought that the author of the Psalms was King David, but as you can imagine it is a bit more complicated than that.

The church celebrates the Liturgy of the Hours making use of these wonderful inspired prayers which variously give expression to every emotion and movement of the human spirit, and there is nothing that does not find expression in these wonderful poems. There is an amazing description of the Psalms written by St. Ambrose which you will find in the Divine Office of Readings, Saturday of Week Ten in Ordinary Time. I could not do better than to quote some passages for you and recommend that you read the lesson from St. Ambrose for yourselves.

"A psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, a hymn in praise of God, the assembly's homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song. It is the voice of complete assent, the joy of freedom, a cry of happiness, the echo of gladness. It soothes the temper, distracts from care, lightens the burden of sorrow. It is a source of security at night, a lesson in wisdom by day. It is a shield when we are afraid, a celebration of holiness, a vision of serenity, a promise of peace and harmony. It is like a lyre, evoking harmony from a blend of notes. Day begins to the music of a psalm. Day closes to the echo of a psalm.

In a psalm, instruction vies with beauty. We sing for pleasure. We learn for our profit. What experience is not covered by a reading of the psalms? I come across the words:  A song for the beloved, and I am aflame with desire for God's love. I go through God's revelation in all its beauty, the intimations of resurrection, the gifts of his promise. I learn to avoid sin. I see my mistake in feeling ashamed of repentance for my sins."

Magnificat recommends that we celebrate Morning and Evening Prayer from the Divine Office every day. It is the prayer of the church. It is the prayer of Christ himself. It is the word of God. We lift two arms to pray the Divine Office. One is the arm of praise of God so beautifully expressed in all of the Psalms. The other is the arm of intercession for God's people and for the whole church. When you take up the Divine Office be aware that your prayer reaches to the ends of the earth, because it comes from the heart of Christ Himself.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and that you are finding Christ in every person and in every moment.

Magnificat Prayer Booklet

The Magnificat prayer booklet has been a daily companion to thousands on their spiritual journey, enriching their prayer life and helping them grow in love and knowledge of Christ and the Church. 
Every subscription to this lovely Mass and prayer guide directly benefits our Ministry domestically and worldwide.  


P. O. Box 822
Yonkers, NY 10702


Magnificat Welcomes Peggy Toso

to the Staff!


two cst secretaries
Carolyn Bonck & Peggy Toso 

The Magnificat Ministry is blessed in ways too numerous to measure, but our latest blessing is Peggy Toso. Peggy comes to us on the heels of Jane Margavio's retirement after the International Conference. Peggy is married and is the mother of one young son. She has a very gentle spirit and is a pleasure to work with. She is well versed in Database Analysis and Office Management.  Peggy is working alongside Carolyn Bonck, our present secretary, on the many and varied responsibilities of our Central Ministry Office. Peggy and Carolyn have also both been helping Kathy Mac with her duties with Chapters in Formation, a very important part of our ministry.   


We look forward to getting to know Peggy better and we are grateful for her YES to Magnificat.



We have a "Treasury of Prayers" on our Website!

Mary's Garden is Growing!

The Holy Spirit has been working overtime planting seeds in Mary's Garden, and so we welcome three beautiful additions to our Magnificat family:  our Denver, Colorado Chapter, our New Tallahassee Chapter, and the most recent addition, our Central Arkansas Chapter.

The Denver, CO - Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Chapter in the Archdiocese of Denver will hold its first Magnificat Meal on October 26, 2013, with their original Coordinator, Mary Lou Alexander Bruch, as their first Speaker.  Their Service Team members are Mary Anne Dagli, Coordinator, Marion Budz, Secretary, Mary K. Nielson, Treasurer, Martha Foelker, Historian and Fr. Kenneth Koehler, Spiritual Advisor.

Our New Tallahassee, FL - Mary, Mother of Mercy and Hope Chapter held their first Magnificat Meal on June 1, 2013, with Julie Bettinger as their first speaker. They are located in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee.  Members of their Service Team are:  Terry Shine, Coordinator, Mary M. Farmer, Assistant Coordinator, Dolores M. Henderson, Secretary Tracey Cottle, Treasurer, Tomisha E. Eaton, Historian, and Fr. Chris Winkeljohn, serving as their Spiritual Advisor.
And last but not least, our Central Arkansas - Jesus, Bread of Life Chapter, became the second Magnificat Chapter active in the Diocese of Little Rock. Their Service Team consists of: Debbie Eckert, Coordinator, Diane Branson, Assistant Coordinator, Sarah Thornton, Secretary, Doris Williams, Treasurer, Lib Harrison, Historian, and Msgr. Jim Mancini, Spiritual Advisor, who is well known to Magnificat women. Their first Meal is being planned for September 28, 2013, with Aggie Neck as their first Speaker.  Aggie is currently the Spiritual Advisor for our Alexandria, LA Chapter.

We extend a warm welcome to each of our new chapters, and thank each Service Team member for their commitment to Magnificat. You are in our hearts and in our prayers!
The Passing of a Magnificat Sister

Babsie Bleasdell, known to many as "Aunty Babsie", went Home to her Eternal Reward on July 22, 2013. She will be remembered in a featured article in our next issue.
This Newsletter is brought to you by the Magnificat Central Service Team 
Paulette Renaudin, Editor 
Elise Botch 
Jeanne Greenfield