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Spring Edition 
Volume 3 Issue 16
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3

I hope your Lent has been fruitful thus far. In this Year of Mercy proclaimed by our Holy Father Francis, we can make a response to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and participate in plenary indulgences for ourselves and our deceased relatives and friends. What hope is extended to us in the many ways Our Lord is calling each and every one of us to turn to Him and be converted and live!


Kathy MacInnis, Coordinator
Central Service Team
Holy Father's Monthly Intentions
Universal:  That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.

Evangelization: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.

Universal:  That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift from God.

Evangelization: That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church.

Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbors who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.

Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.
Open bible w cross shadow
LIturgy of the Hours

Second Reading 

From a letter by Saint Maximus the Confessor, abbot

The mercy of God to the penitent

God's will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with our true repentance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God's desire for our salvation is the primary and preeminent sign of his infinite goodness. It was precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God's heart that the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled. He healed our physical infirmities by miracles, he freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suffering and dying, taking them upon himself as if he were answerable for them, sinless though he was. He also taught us in many different ways that we should wish to imitate him by our own kindness and genuine love for one another.

So it was that Christ proclaimed that he had come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous, and that it was not the healthy who required a doctor, but the sick. He declared that he had come to look for the sheep that was lost, and that it was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that he had been sent. Speaking more obscurely than in the parable of the silver coin, he tells us that the purpose of his coming was to reclaim the royal image, which had become coated with the filth of sin.

You can be sure that there is joy in heaven, he said, over one sinner who repents.To give the same lesson he revived the man who, having fallen into the hands of brigands, had been left stripped and half-dead from his wounds; he poured wine and oil on the wounds, bandaged them, placed the man on his own mule and brought him to an inn, where he left sufficient money to have him cared for, and promised to repay any further expense on his return.

Again, he told of how that Father, who is goodness itself, was moved with pity for his profligate son who returned and made amends by repentance; how he embraced him, dressed him once more in the fine garments that befitted his own dignity, and did not reproach him for any of his sins.

So too, when he found him wandering in the mountains and hills the one sheep that had strayed from God's flock of a hundred, he brought it back to the fold, but he did not exhaust it by driving it ahead of him. Instead, he placed it on his shoulders and so, compassionately, he restored it safely to the flock.

So he also cried out: Come to me, all you that toil and are heavy of heart. Accept my yoke, he said, by which he meant his commands, or rather, the whole way of life that he taught us in the Gospel. He then speaks of a burden, but that is only because repentance seems so difficult. In fact, however, my yoke is easy, he assures us, and my burden is light.

Then again he instructs us in divine justice and goodness, telling us to be like our heavenly Father, holy, perfect and merciful. Forgive, he says, and you will be forgiven. Behave toward other people as you would wish them to behave toward you.

quill and pen
Father Kevin's Korner
Magnificat CST Spiritual Advisor
Fr. Kevin Scallon, C.M.

Living in the Shadow of the Cross
When Jesus told the Apostles that he must go up to Jerusalem, and be rejected by the high priests and people and be put to death, he was admonished by Peter who said, "Lord, nothing of the kind is ever going to happen to you." Dietrich Bonhoeffer commenting on this passage said that even the apostles wanted a Christ without suffering, without the cross. Even though Jesus had explicitly told them that unless they were going to take up the cross daily and follow him, they could not be his disciples. The central action of the redemptive work of Jesus was performed when he breathed his last and died hanging on the cross.
In the past, the cross was frequently mentioned as an integral part of our lives in Christ. People had no problem with it because they could see that everybody suffered something or other, sooner or later.
The mysticism of the cross is seldom mentioned in the Church of the 21st century, and there seems to be an expectation that no one, young or old, should ever have to suffer anything. The truth is that the doctrine of the cross is essential to the Christian life: it was for Jesus who was lifted up on the cross, it was for Mary who stood beneath the cross of her son and watched him die a terrible death, and it was for the saints known and unknown who experienced strength through their embrace of the cross of Christ in their own lives. St. Paul wrote, "I make up in my body what is wanted to the sufferings of Christ." In reality, the cross is the only thing that gives meaning to human suffering, because it changes human misery and pain into peace and joy. The ultimate healing is that of being able to embrace and kiss the wood of the cross because all healing comes to us through the sacrifice which Jesus offered on the cross. "By his wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). Human life brings its share of anger, bitterness, resentment, fear, withdrawal, timidity, anxiety and guilt. These afflictions of fallen human nature can be healed, but only when we transform them into meekness, humility, acceptance, and fortitude, etcetera. The healing of the cross for us Catholics comes to us primarily in the Eucharist: "Say but the word, and I shall be healed." The Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ is augmented for us in Eucharistic adoration and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and wonderfully in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and of the Anointing of the Sick.
Jim Murphy, a fine Catholic man, was inspired one year to carry a large wooden cross all the way across the United States. He told of many encounters he had, and of healings he had witnessed. One that stands out happened when he was walking on a lonely road somewhere in the deep South carrying his cross. A car passed him going in his direction, and a couple of hundred yards further on screeched to a stop. When Jim came up to the car he saw the driver kneeling in tears by the open door. Jim stopped and waited. Eventually, the man spoke. He said, "You know sir, I have been a Baptist minister in this area for nearly forty years, and in all of that time I have never preached on the cross of Jesus. I see now, and I was wrong and regret it very much."

For those of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus, who are tabernacles of the Most Blessed Trinity, there must never be any fear of the cross of Christ. It is not simply bitterness and pain. It is in truth, the joy of the Lord, the peace of Christ, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I have known so many people who in spite of great suffering were radiant with the presence and holiness of Jesus Christ.
Finally, the devotion of making the Stations of the Cross has virtually disappeared from  the devotional lives of Catholics. We in Magnificat should try to rediscover this beautiful Catholic practice.
May the Lord continue to bless all of you during this Season of Lent, and prepare your hearts for the great celebration of the Paschal Mystery.
Fr. Kevin Scallon, C.M. 

Magnificat's Leadership Shares a Blessed Time 
at the Annual CST Advisory Team Meeting
By Paulette Renaudin, CST Member

L to R: Front Row - Donna Ross, Diane Bates, Kathy MacInnis, Carol Dazzio, Carol Razza, Angela Rizzo, Gloria Gomez Center Row - Mary Wilson, Barbara Anne Moore, Mary Powell, Nancy Skok, Diane Dudenhoefer, Kay Burkot, Kathleen Beckman, Pat Higginbotham, Susan Potvin Back Row: Judy Zelden, Paulette Renaudin, Susan Shaw, Bernadette Patrick, Jackie France, Barbara Serba, Donna Garlock, Mary Harper, Michele Trichter.

The beautiful Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra, CA, run by the Carmelite Sisters, was the location chosen by the CST to host the annual CST Advisory Team Meeting. The loveliness of the grounds with fragrant blooming flowers and the Sisters' presence, was conducive for the Holy Spirit to work in a powerful way at each session. The CST is positioning the meetings in new areas around the country to afford more "Visitations" with the local Chapters before the actual Advisory Team Meeting begins. On Sunday afternoon, we were able to visit with seven California Chapters who joined us for dinner and prayer together. Meeting like this has proved immensely fruitful because of the shared fellowship with the Chapter Service Teams. It builds sisterhood with the chapters and bridges the distance between the CST and the Chapters in unexpected and delightful ways. All those present felt like they were strengthened through the prayer after the meal and a number of them commented that they left on eagles wings! It certainly was an anointed time for everyone.

The Advisors and Regional Reps joined the CST on Monday to start the Advisory Team (AT) meeting and experienced a prayerful, peaceful, and productive week. Every day the Holy Spirit, invisibly but powerfully, opened the heavens for us through praise and worship before each session led by Susan Potvin, AT Member, from "Living Praise Worship Team". There is nothing better than friendship in the Lord with all your Magnificat sisters! Getting together in person brings such fresh ideas forth in each area of discussion. The topics covered included Formation, Communications, Finance, Leadership, and a brainstorming session for the 2017 International Conference to be held in Orange County, CA, October 6-8th. The seeds planted here will manifest in fruit for the entire ministry. Nothing could have prepared us for the surprise awaiting us at the closing dinner. The entire congregation of sisters, including the Novices, Postulants, and Professed Sisters sang a farewell song to us! A true choir of angels! A slice of heaven was experienced by all ... what a gift!

Lenten Manna: Reflections on the Joy of Lent
By Ana Sosa, Miami, FL Chapter

Becoming a Diamond
It seems like only a few days ago we were getting into the hustle and bustle of the holidays, putting up our decorations, celebrating Christmas and ringing in a new year.  Then, in the blink of an eye, here we are, at the doorstep of Lent.  I have yet to put my decoration bins up in the attic and Ash Wednesday is upon me. 
Lent. As I rush around, I begin to think about the journey that will unfold over the next 40 days.  What will happen? How will I live it? Will it transform me?  Reflecting upon this, a song that has been playing frequently in recent weeks on my favorite Christian radio station comes on again and gets me thinking about Lent, me, my journey and, depending on how I live my journey, what the outcome can be.
Perhaps you have heard the song.  The title is "Diamonds" by Hawk Nelson, from the album with the same name - Diamonds.  Part of the lyrics go like this:
Here and now
I'm in the fire
And above my head
Being held under the pressure
Don't know what'll be left
But it's here in the ashes
I'm finding treasure
He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining
And in His timing
He's making diamonds out of us
He's making diamonds, diamonds
Making diamonds out of dust
He is refining
And in His timing
He's making diamonds out of us
Oh the joy of the Lord
It will be my strength
When the pressure is on
He's making diamonds
I'll surrender to the power
Of being crushed by love
Till the beauty that was hidden
Isn't covered up
Oh it's not what I hoped for
It's something much better

Why does this song make me think of Lent you might ask?  Because, as we enter our walk through Lent, we start off as the remnants of a fire; we are dust and ashes.  Dirty; shapeless, easily scattered by the wind.  But, through our journey, the Lord gathers this dust and ashes, shapes it, presses it, and refines it over and over again.  On and on He goes until, from being refined, pressed and crushed by His love, in His timing, we are made into a diamond. But not any diamond.  His favorite diamond.
How will I be crushed, pressed and shaped during Lent?  In simple, but profound ways.  First, I will be crushed through fasting and penance.  But, not by fasting of chocolate or coffee or something like that.  Rather, by fasting of those sinful traits I often give into - like gossip, or grumpiness, or laziness, or selfishness.  Through a conscious effort we can recognize when we indulge in these tendencies and stop ourselves.  By making willful acts of kindness - like helping someone whom we don't quite like at work, or taking on someone's least favorite chore at home, or spending extra time with someone in our family doing what they like to do - we can do penance. 
How will I be pressed?  Through reading the Scriptures and meditating upon them daily.  By spending 30 minutes each day reading a verse or passage from the Bible and quietly reflecting upon and thinking about it, what does it "tell" me, what thoughts come to mind, how does it relate to my life at this moment, I begin to be pressed by the realization of God's immense love for me (for us) and the endless sea of grace and mercy that He wants us to submerge ourselves in.
Last, but not least, how will I be shaped?  Through daily personal prayer.  But by prayer I don't mean the Our Father and Hail Mary.  I mean personal prayer - one in which I give God thanks, recognize my weaknesses and sins, intercede for others, and ask Him to speak to me; to guide me and let me know His will for me and for my life. One in which I not simply "talk" to God; but, rather, also make time to "listen" to Him.
Each one of these things is often uncomfortable for us, or perhaps new.  That's why we are crushed, pressed and shaped through them.  But, at the end of this 40-day journey, if I surrender to the "crushing power of his love", this pile of dust and ashes that I am, will be refined, it's beauty uncovered, and, on Easter Day, a beautiful diamond will be revealed in me through the life, love and sacrifice of Jesus.  This Ash Wednesday, let the crushing begin so that in Easter, I am forever changed - revealed as a beautiful new diamond!
Lord, here I am; a dirty creature; a pile of dust and ashes, waiting to be taken into your hands to be molded and made anew.  Let me be docile to your will and to your Word.  Let me see and recognize you in my helpless brother or sister; in that brother or sister who perhaps I don't like at all.  Help me give of myself so that with each act of sacrifice, through your love, the old me may be crushed and pressed. Give me an open mind to understand as you speak to me through your Word, and an open heart thirsty to get closer to you.  Here I am Lord, ready for you to make me into your special diamond.  Amen

Paulette Renaudin's Review of 
"As By a New Pentecost": Golden Jubilee Edition
"Share with all in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit."   Pope Francis

Beginning with the apostles and disciples we have eyewitness accounts of their time walking with Jesus and receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the early Church. Pope Francis has said, "Share with all in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit." That is the aim of this exciting new Golden Jubilee Edition of Patti Mansfield's manuscript by Amor Deus Publishing.  In February, 1967, about 25 college students from Duquesne University attended a retreat at The Ark and the Dove Retreat Center near Pittsburgh. It was on the retreat that the Holy Spirit fell in a sovereign move. Today, we trace the beginnings of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal back to this historic event, the Duquesne Weekend. This edition includes many new eyewitness accounts of those who shared that epic weekend plus testimonies of many lives that have been forever transformed when they received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This grace is for the entire Body of Christ not just for a movement within the Church. No life could be changed as dramatically as the lives of the people in this book except by the incredible "dunamis" (a Greek word meaning power) of the Holy Spirit!

My personal spiritual life went from black and white to living color, and the color has not faded, since I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit 28 years ago.  I will be forever grateful to Patti Mansfield for dedicating her entire life to praying and listening to the call of the Holy Spirit, by speaking around the world, to spread understanding and the 'fire' of the Holy Spirit awakening the Church, 'the Body of Christ', to the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the current of graces that flow from the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.


Prepare for the Golden Jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal!
By Patti Gallagher Mansfield

Those of us who are married, rejoice if we are able to reach our Silver Jubilee anniversary.  But to reach a Golden Jubilee is an even greater blessing!  Next year, 2017, will be the Golden Jubilee of this "current of grace" called the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.  Pope Francis surprised and delighted us by inviting everyone in the Renewal to come to St. Peter's Square to celebrate this milestone with him on Pentecost next year.  Amazing! Sisters of Magnificat, think about coming to this glorious celebration! You will meet sisters and brothers from around the world.

When the Holy Father met with the Renewal in Olympic Stadium in June, 2014, he said he expected us to "share with all in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit."  My new book, As By A New Pentecost: Golden Jubilee Edition, is a direct response to the Pope's mandate.  It describes the Baptism in the Spirit as it was experienced by a dozen students on the Duquesne Weekend in 1967.  I reflect on the move of this "current of grace" over its fifty-year history, especially in the fruit it has borne in the Church. 

Readers of the original edition will find in this Golden Jubilee Edition over one hundred pages of new material.  There are never-before published testimonies from many of the pioneers in the Renewal. There is a description of three prophetic women: Bl. Elena Guerra of Italy, Ven. Conchita of Mexico and Ven. Marthe Robin of France.  All three women spoke and wrote about "A New Pentecost" long before it was mentioned by any pope! Reading of their prophetic insight will inspire and challenge you as a woman. There is also an appendix with quotes about the work of the Holy Spirit from all our recent Popes.

Capuchin Fr. Rainero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household has written, "I cannot help but rejoice that the event of Duquesne, which started the grace of a New Pentecost in the Catholic Church, is told again by its eyewitness, Patti Mansfield, in a new and enriched edition of her book ... even more inspiring." As you probably know, Fr. Cantalmessa has been baptized in the Spirit since 1977 and witnesses to the change that this grace has made in his life.

I have to confess to you that many times while working on this new edition, I was moved to tears, as I reflected on the miracle of what the Lord has done among us in the past five decades.  Over 120 million Catholics in every country of the world have been baptized in the Spirit.  Powerful ministries like Magnificat owe their origins to this outpouring of the Spirit in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.  Where would we be if we had not encountered the tender love and mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord (I Cor. 12:3)?  Where would we be if we had not discovered our heavenly Father is a loving "Abba" who has good plans for us (cf. Gal. 4:6)? Where would we be if we had not opened ourselves to the "love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Romans 5:5)? The profusion of charisms of te
aching, healing, prayer, prophecy and intercession have been evident in the lives of the women who have given their testimonies at Magnificat breakfasts.

Why read this book? Those who have been baptized in the Spirit will find
here an authentic account of the actual beginnings from
eyewitnesses and participants. But this book is not intended to be simply historical. It is, rather, a proclamation with Our Lady that "He who is mighty has done great things, and holy is His name" - a kind of "Magnificat." God truly chose the weak to begin a worldwide movement called Catholic Charismatic Renewal that is now the largest in the Church.   Sisters, "Magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together!" (Ps. 34:3). 

For an autographed copy of As By A New Pentecost: Golden Jubilee Edition, send your name, address and a $20 check made payable to Patti Mansfield to CCRNO, PO Box 7515, Metairie, LA  70010-7515.
Nancy Skok Retires from the Central Service Team
By Paulette Renaudin, CST Member

It is with bittersweet emotions that I pen this article about my soul sister and dear friend, Nancy Skok. Nancy is retiring from the CST. Her family is excited to be able to share more time with her and the new home Nancy has been building all year is almost completed. She can see the finish line!

Nancy has been a faithful member of Magnificat for many years. I first met Nancy when she was Coordinator of the "St. Elizabeth of the Visitation" Chapter in Baton Rouge. Since Baton Rouge is only eighty miles away, we saw each other fairly often at Magnificat events and luncheons. Nancy was a natural coming on to the CST seven years ago at the suggestion of then CST member, Carol Dazzio.  She brought many organization skills and much wisdom to the team.  Nancy is a trained Spiritual Director from The Divine Providence School of Spiritual Direction in Clearwater, Florida. She also brought her wonderful gift of music to the team. Nancy led us in song at many meetings singing "Lord, We are Amazed by You!" and we, of course, joined in. The best times though were when the CST meetings were held at the home of Marilyn Quirk. Carol Dazzio and Nancy Skok would come in from Baton Rouge and after the meeting, the three of us would have lunch together. Many loving sisterhood bonds were forged during those times.

Nancy's responsibilities on the CST were in the area of Active Chapters. She worked closely with Jackie France and the Regional Reps to assist our Chapters. With eighty-nine Active Chapters, there is always much to do! Nancy used her wisdom to assess many different situations that came up and used the best strategy to work out solutions in a number of areas. She is a gentle spirit and a true Magnificat woman.

Nancy has four married daughters and now eleven grandchildren and she feels in her heart that is where God is calling her now. Nancy, we will always love you and we do thank you for the seven years of heartfelt service to Our Lady through the Central Service Team of this beautiful ministry of Magnificat. May the Lord bless and protect you on the next steps of your journey. 


20th Anniversary Celebration of Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter
By Donna Chmielarski, Birmingham, AL Chapter
With grateful hearts, the Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter of Magnificat in the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama joyfully celebrated its 20th Anniversary on February 6, 2016 at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.   In the beautiful social hall, there were over 250 men and women in attendance!
The celebration also honored Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley on the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest and his 30th anniversary as a bishop. Bishop Foley was our speaker at this event and is the current spiritual advisor of Magnificat in Birmingham. "God's love endures forever," (Psalm 136:1) was the theme of Bishop Foley's personal testimony, which showed us God's enduring love and His secret, silent, powerful presence in the bishop's life. The current bishop of the Birmingham Diocese, Bishop Robert J. Baker, was also in attendance and thanked Bishop Foley for "his guidance, inspiration, pastoral love and zeal."
L to R: Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley, Service Team Members: Sena Higdon, Mary Margaret Rohling, Meredith Young, Olga Coburn, Virginia Springer, Sarah Young, Barbara Cole, Bishop Robert J. Baker
Birmingham Chapters Previous Guest Speakers 
Carolyn Wright, the founder of the Birmingham Chapter, spoke about the small group of faith-filled women who persevered in prayer to make Magnificat available to the women of Birmingham. Paulette Renaudin read a beautiful letter of congratulations from the Central Service Team.  Olga Coburn, who has been a member of the Birmingham Service Team since its inception, shared a word given to her by the Lord which was a blessing to all. We were so honored to have thirty previous speakers and thirteen religious in attendance.
         L to R: Carolyn Wright (Founding Coordinator)
               Virginia Springer (Current Coordinator)
               Carolina Maenza (Former Coordinator)
"Love was in the air," said Olga Myers, who is the founder of the Atlanta Chapter and a previous speaker.  All the beautiful women whom God chose to prepare for this grace-filled celebration felt like "wedding planners" preparing for the coming of the bridegroom! And He came in splendor!!! Even though the Birmingham Service Team had worked for a year in preparation for this celebration, they were overwhelmed to tears upon entering the social hall.  It was like walking into a wedding celebration filled with joy, laughter, music and love.  We all felt the strong presence of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.  It was truly a taste of the joy experienced by Mary and Elizabeth at the Visitation. 
Circular wires holding photos of all previous speakers were lovingly placed in each flower arrangement on the beautifully decorated tables.  At each place setting were lovely handmade beaded rosaries donated by special ladies in the church community.  Rosary booklets provided through the evangelization ministry of the Edmundite Missions were also on the tables. Rosary CD's purchased from the Mary Foundation were available on the Resource Table.  
Each attendee was also given a St. John Paul II holy card and bookmark.  Because of an opportunity to visit the Shrine of St. John Paul II while attending the Magnificat International Leaders' Conference in Washington, D.C., our service team provided fabric which was touched to the reliquary containing the saint's blood.  Six hundred eighty laminated bookmarks were lovingly made from this fabric that had become a third class relic.  These bookmarks and handmade rosaries will also be given to attendees at the remaining meals during our 20th Anniversary Year.

God had chosen each one of us and used our hands, feet and voices to glorify Him at this extraordinary celebration. The Praise and Worship was befitting the angels!!!  The kitchen ministry along with our "Josephs" prepared and served the delicious food for the luncheon.  An overwhelming task well done!!!  From the hostesses and greeters, set up and flower ministries, CD and book sellers, sound system crew to the Service Team who all gave so unselfishly of their time, talent and treasure to this ministry, WE GIVE THANKS for their love and hard work!!!!  

We are so grateful to our mighty God who has done great things through His faithful servants of the Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter in Birmingham.  As we all continue working in the Magnificat Ministry, may we carry Bishop Foley's closing words in our hearts, "May God's enduring love be experienced in your lives now and forever."

                All the attendees praying over Bishop Foley.

How Can This Be: A Meditation on the Barth Image of the Visitation
by Dorinda Chiappetta Bordlee, Metairie, LA Chapter

The words of the angel were ringing in her ears. 
"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!  Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."
"How can this be?"  This question on the lips of Mary was not one of doubt but one of curious amazement in the midst of her Fiat.  And similar words of exclamation were soon on the lips of her cousin Elizabeth. 
"How can this be," Elizabeth exclaimed with her babe leaping in her womb, "that the Mother of my Lord has come to me?"  Just as Mary, Elizabeth proclaims this sentiment not as question of doubt.  She was looking right at her cousin Mary, yet she was expressing an even deeper truth.  With the aid of the Holy Spirit, there was no doubt.
Elizabeth proclaims and exclaims these words as an expression of joy and wonder borne of humility.  Who am I that you and the unborn King should come to me?  Yet, here you are!
Elizabeth's joy overflowed into the first words of human prayer said in solidarity with Our Lady.  "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." 
Elizabeth's words of prayer followed the first act of praise and worship of Our Lord by her unborn son, John the Baptist. "For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
And Mary said,
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever."

As we gaze upon this image of the Visitation, we see Our Lady with the King of the Universe in her womb.  We see Elizabeth and unborn John in the first expressions of praise and worship.  We are invited to witness and imitate this scene of joy and wonder at the dawn of our own salvation. 
And we respond,
How can this be?

Dorinda Bordlee, Esq. is Vice President, Senior Counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund, a  Law and Policy Organization that advocates for human rights for life.

A Magnificat Milestone - March 5, 2016!
By Lenora Grimaud, Palm Desert, CA Chapter

Betty Gorey isn't your average speaker.  She is 102, just shy of 103 years young. This was the first time Betty ever spoke for an hour, standing before a large crowd of women, but you wouldn't know it.  She showed no fear or trepidation.  I think Jesus would describe her as "having no guile" like Nathanael (John 1:47).  Betty had a message to share with us and she was so excited to have this opportunity to give it to so many people at once.  More than excited, she was gleeful, like a child ready to open her presents on Christmas.

She told us that when her mother was baptized in the Holy Spirit, she was pregnant.  Betty is convinced that while she was in her mother's womb during that momentous occasion, she was the recipient of that baptism, as well.  She feels the close relationship she has enjoyed these past 102 years with the Trinity and Blessed Mother can be traced back to that divine event!   
Our Lady asked Betty over 50 years ago to give up her Saturdays to attend Mass and offer it up for priests.  She was also told to share that message with each Catholic woman who came into her beauty shop, which Betty affectionately called 'Our Lady's sub-station'.  Amazingly, 10 out of the first 10 she told accepted that commission and followed her example.  She was ecstatic as she said, "This is so wonderful.  I can tell all these women at one time instead of just one at a time!"

Betty gave us other examples to follow, like how to "age gracefully."  She modeled a "woman of grace" by her extraordinary child-like faith, her obedience, and her humility.  At one point, she turned to our moderator and asked her, "How much more time do I have?"  Our Spiritual Advisor answered, "Take a couple days!"  She had everyone hanging on her every word.  She had us laughing and crying, and touched our hearts as if we were listening to our mother or grandmother share their testimony.  She did not have any notes, so a few times while she paused to gather her thoughts, there was a moment of silence.  She commented, "Well, just wait until you are 102!"  She openly said to Jesus, "Jesus, you have to help me out here.  I know you don't want me to just stand up here, saying nothing."  Sure enough, the next recollection came quickly to her.  Then, one of our team members gave her a glass of water.  Betty held it up and said, "Thank you, now I feel like a real speaker.  I would always notice that when speakers are giving a talk, they have a glass of water next to them.  Now I know why."  At the end of her talk, Betty received a standing ovation from everyone who attended.

I can't close without mentioning that Betty probably would never have been our speaker if it wasn't for Noreen Fortier, our Assistant Coordinator.  The Lord had placed it on her heart to invite Betty, so Noreen was persistent in bringing up her name at our meetings for consideration.  When the whole Service Team prayed together, despite any misgivings, we discerned that the Lord was calling us to trust in Him.  As always, the Holy Spirit showed up at our Meal and set Betty on fire!


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Fr. Al Davidson Gives His Testimony at the Baton Rouge, LA Chapter
At the meal they also honored Nancy Skok with a beautiful gift as she retires from the CST and previously served as Coordinator of the Baton Rouge Chapter..

L to R: Kathy Simoneaux, Gwen Gillis, Nancy Skok, Theresa Henderson,
Fr. Al Davidison, Carol and Pete Dazzio, Judy Zelden and Paulette Renaudin.

Central Service Team Facebook page
Thank you to all who have commented, liked, and shared our posts. Every time you like, share, or comment you create activity which then multiplies the number of souls exposed to the Magnificat mission, which in turn reaches out to more souls in need of our Savior. Let us glorify the Lord in all we do, even on social media, and they will come to know the One who is the way, the truth, and the life!  All glory to God!

Magnificat Ladies attend Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO) Annual Women's Retreat 

Lake Charles, LA Chapter L to R: Sherree Labouve, Pam Duplantis, Brenda Hardee, Sharla Prejean, Phyllis Nash, Judy Landry

Beth Montelepre, Coordinator of the West St. Tammany, LA Chapter,          giving a brief testimony on motherhood and her own mother

              Northwest LA Chapter (NOWELA)  
L to R: Sandy Chapman, Allison Bringham, Susan Tousignant,                     Linda Ballstrella, Majorie Ainsworth, and Kathleen Rhodes.

The Magnificat Meal is always an uplifting prayer boost in my life, to be among women of strong faith is a blessing.

He is RISEN!

Wishing You a Glorious Easter!

Magnificat Central Service Team 
Kathy MacInnis, Diane Bates, Donna Ross and Mary Wilson  


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