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  • Thanks for the update, Rebecca. I really hope this forum doesn't go away for good. I want to thank those of you who offered prayers and advice and good wishes for the recent trip I took with my daughters to NYC. We had a fantastic time and enjoyed tea at the American Girl Store so much! Even my often-sullen 13-year-old kept grinning and saying "This is awesome!" We also visited Chinatown and the Metropolitan Museum and Times Square as well as some gorgeous churches. Good weather and great memories!

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 10:22 AM by Anne in NC

  • Me too, Anne! We'll see what we can do. This message will close soon, but I didn't want to leave people hanging w/no explanation.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 10:42 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Rebecca, thank you so much for giving us an update. I'm so glad to hear that there's a chance for good news in the future. It was really disturbing to think that the forum might end permanently.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 12:30 PM by Claire S

  • Anne, I'm glad you and your family had a good trip to NYC! A blog I follow called The Happiest Home just had a post about the American Girl store, and I have to say that it made me really wish I had a daughter! I might have to buy a doll for my niece one of these days!

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 12:32 PM by Claire S

  • Oh, I hope there's good news soon! I really love this forum.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 12:47 PM by Alice

  • Thank you for helping Rebecca---I understand if you need to close it--as it was before!

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 12:58 PM by Donna L.

  • Hi Rebecca:) I just wanted to say how I pray that this site can somehow stay open. Four years ago, I was in the depths of Postpardem depression. I was trying to tough it out and pray it away, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was a burden on everyone and that they would be better off without me. In a final act of sheer desperation, I posted a comment about my feelings, asking for advice and prayers. Within an hour, there were 15 posts that offered me not only prayers, but comfort and solid advice in seeking help. Though it have wonderful holy friends here in my area, I just couldn't voice my pain fully to them. I can honestly say that this site saved my life. I just needed someone to help me find help, to say that they'd been through this and survived. So now, years later, I try to offer the same support to women online and in person. I pray that God will bless this site and help it bloom once again. God Bless, Melita~

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 1:20 PM by MNS In Oregon

  • Thanks for the explanation, Rebecca. I figured that was the case, but I also often have problems with my computer, so am glad to know it wasn't my computer that was missing you. I too will eagerly await the return! No facebook or twitter, but I'll keep checking in here.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 1:21 PM by Mary Therese

  • Rebecca: Thanks for the update & for all you do to help keep this forum up & running. Anne in NC: I had been wondering how your venture to NYC went & am glad that you had such a special time! Melita (MNS In Oregon): Thanks be to God that you found the help you needed! Praying that you continue to be in good health! Wishing you all a blessed Feast of the Dormition/Assumption tomorrow! May the Theotokos & Ever-Virgin Mary, the Mother of Life, be our unfailing hope & intercessor!

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 1:30 PM by Patricia

  • Melita, your comment brought tears to my eyes. Your experience is the perfect example of why this forum is so important, and why we shouldn't let the cruelty of one person prevent it from continuing.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 1:38 PM by ClaireS

  • Oh, Melita, thanks for sharing that. I have a family member struggling mightily with severe depression so it means a lot to me to know this forum helped someone in a similar condition.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 1:49 PM by Rebecca Teti

  • I treasure this site - it has helped many times! Will keep in touch!

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 2:25 PM by Nadine

  • Dear unknown, My heart goes out to you. I pray that you will truly find peace in your heart, will see and hear and feel how deeply God loves you, how He made you perfectly, has a purpose that can only be fulfilled by you. I pray others are kind to you, that you have supportive and helpful friends. I did need help, and I needed someone to help me get there. I am so very thankful for my in town friends and amazing church community, my doctors, my husband, my online friends, and just for all the support that I've received from everyone. Isn't it amazing how God shines in so many places? I pray He will shine through you. God Bless, Melita~

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 4:51 PM by MNS in Oregon

  • I too have been helped through this site. Most weeks I just "lurk", but it has been helpful to know that there are like minded women and men who have important knowledge or advice to share on issues that effect me and others. Please continue to keep this forum open so that we may have a place to share those issues and grow and learn from each other for the benefit of our spouses and our families. God Bless. I will keep you all in my prayers.

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 7:01 PM by Theresa

  • I am so sad! I missed the recent drama but I hope the blog will come back!

    Posted on Aug 14th, 2013 at 10:36 PM by Lisa

  • I can't wait to have Coffee Talk back! For those who have been praying, my husband still hasn't found a job. We know God has one out there for him. He's been trying to stay positive, as we know that even unemployed, we are greatly blessed. We start school here tomorrow...praying for everyone who is getting back in the swing of things. ;)

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 7:46 AM by Amy

  • Why such hate when this forum shares love, prayers, and support? I just don't understand.

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 9:43 AM by LauraL

  • Well, I really need to come up with a better name - Marriage Misery is too depressing. Anywho...I was hoping to ask some questions and get some good feedback/advice/opinions, but I won't bother since I'm sure this thread will be going away soon. Hoping and praying one day this community can return to the peaceful, vibrant community it used to be over at F&FL. Sad.....the devil is surely alive and well. :-( Thanks MNS for sharing your happy ending. I pray that I will be able to pull myself out of my years-long depression one day soon, too!

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 11:08 AM by Marriage Misery

  • Will keep you in my prayers, Marriage Misery. I will ask the Little Flower's intercession, since she is not only my patron, but I believe her parents may be on the path to Sainthood for their marriage! (Louis and Zelie Martin)

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 11:38 AM by Mary Therese

  • Amy: it's good to hear from you. I was wondering how your husband's job hunt was going. My husband lost his job 2.5 years ago, and it took a few months before he found another one. Unfortunately, I think that's pretty standard. I will pray that it happens as quickly as possible for you. I know how stressful it is to wait and wonder!

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 12:38 PM by Claire S

  • Thanks, Claire S. Last time he was laid off, he was home for 4 months. Praying it doesn't last that long this time!

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 1:35 PM by Amy

  • I hear ya, Amy! It's really frustrating how slow the process can be. My experience has been that even when an employer is pretty sure they want to hire a particular candidate, they take forever to put the wheels in motion. I certainly pray that this will go quick for you!

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 6:09 PM by Claire S

  • Marriage Misery: Yes, the devil has definitely found an instrument to use against us on these forums. It makes me realize how fine the line is between mental illness and demonic possession. Anyway, I will continue to pray for you as well, for healing of your depression (I can relate!) and your marriage issues.

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 6:12 PM by Claire S

  • Thank you Mary Therese and Claire for your prayers. I appreciate them so much!

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 9:58 PM by Marriage Misery

  • I miss coffee talk too! I usually "lurk" as well, but occasionally have asked for, and of course received, advice and support from this forum. I'm a new mom, and revert to the Church, and unfortunately don't have any Catholic friends. It's nice to know that there are other people in the world that have similar views on family and life!

    Posted on Aug 15th, 2013 at 11:26 PM by DW

  • I found out that I'm pregnant for the first time last week. We're thrilled, and terrified. Apparently I'm at a high risk of early miscarriage because I have PCOS, so everything seems so tentative. I feel like I'm walking a tightrope between excitement and anxiety. My blood tests earlier this week showed everything looks good so far, and my first Dr. appointment is this afternoon. I'd appreciate your prayers for a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby, particularly through the intercession of St. Gerard Majella and St. Anne, both of whom seem particularly important right now. (If a boy, the baby's middle name will be Gerard, and I believe I conceived on the Feast of St. Anne last month, which is significant for a whole host of personal reasons.)

    Posted on Aug 16th, 2013 at 9:07 AM by K

  • Dear K: Congratulations! What a wonderful blessing! You can count on us asking the intercession of St. Gerard Majella & St. Anne for you! --- O All-Merciful Christ our God, look down and protect Your handmaiden from fear & from evil spirits that seek to destroy the work of Your hands. When her hour & time is come, deliver her by Your grace. Look upon her with compassion & deliver her, Your handmaiden, from pain. Grant her fortitude & strength for birth-giving by Your almighty help. Send Your faithful angel, a guardian of soul & body, to protect, keep, strengthen, & shelter the child in her womb until the hour of birth. +

    Posted on Aug 16th, 2013 at 3:31 PM by Patricia

  • K: How did your OB appointment go?? Praying for you & your little one.

    Posted on Aug 19th, 2013 at 5:01 PM by Patricia

  • K: so very excited for you! Although it may be tough to know about your high-risk label, just take the best care of yourself that you can and know that I am praying for you and your family! Try not to be stressed, as that releases cortisol into your body. Relax and breathe as often as you remind yourself to do so. I think it's beautiful the way you have already thought about middle names---God bless you and keep you!

    Posted on Aug 20th, 2013 at 9:47 AM by Donna L.

  • Hi Patricia, regarding natural flea solutions---I have heard that diatomaceous earth can help, but I've not used it personally--good luck! I am in the hope that someone can help me script what to say to "get permission" to educate our 7 year-old for first Communion-rather than have her attend the classes each week. I am running into bureaucratic "red-tape" and have not had this problem for the faith formation of my older 3 kids. Help, please?

    Posted on Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:37 AM by Donna L.

  • Update: The dr. appointment went well and was reassuring. However, I started spotting this weekend. It was very minor, and hasn't happened again (it's been about 4 days now), and my doctor ordered bloodwork after I told her about it that showed that my numbers are still good. Still, it makes it hard to feel confident that everything's going well! It will be another 2 weeks or so until I can get an ultrasound, and I feel like I'll be on pins and needles until then! Thank you for all of your prayers!

    Posted on Aug 20th, 2013 at 4:02 PM by K

  • Donna L--I am a DRE and can't imagine denying a parent that opportunity. You and your husband are the primary educators of your children. What is their issue? Maybe they want you to use their materials? Maybe they want to be sure she knows everything required? Those things are easy enough to adhere to by using their text and maybe having your daughter visit with the priest before receiving the Sacrament. I'm anxious to hear how it turns out for you.

    Posted on Aug 20th, 2013 at 4:20 PM by Amy

  • Prayers K! I know that spotting can be very stressful. Many times it ends up being benign, and I pray that's the case for you.

    Posted on Aug 21st, 2013 at 6:34 AM by Claire S

  • Hi Amy, thank you for your note. The 2nd grade teacher who is in "charge" of sacramental prep is not overly fond of homeschool families, as she works for the school. I had this problem to a lesser degree with my son, but I guess I'm just surprised and saddened that we are "required" to sign our kids up for the classes each week when it is our job to instruct them in the faith. I am very blessed to have kids who are still in our faith, and I really wish someone else would teach this! I would if I didn't have other littles to watch over...

    Posted on Aug 21st, 2013 at 12:21 PM by Donna L.

  • Hi K, I'm glad your numbers are still good---I am blessed with 5 children, and I had spotting with two of them during the pregnancy {so scary}, and they came through just fine! I was over doing it, though, so I had to remember to rest--I'll keep the prayers coming!

    Posted on Aug 21st, 2013 at 12:23 PM by Donna L.

  • Donna L: Thanks for the flea treatment tip, I will look into it! As you are aware, parents do not need permission to educate their children, especially in matters pertaining to the Faith. I would charitably & firmly express your desire to provide for your children's First Communion preparation since you understand that the Church teaches that this is your parental right & responsibility. In regards to a child's moral education & spiritual formation, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2221) states: "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable." The Catechism (CCC 2225-6) also states: "Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege to evangelizing their children...Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years...Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God." -- K: Thanks for the update, we will continue to pray for you both!

    Posted on Aug 22nd, 2013 at 9:30 AM by Patricia

  • Thank you, Patricia! I really appreciate your note, as it inspires me to do the right thing! I am happy to use their materials, as long as I can add ours, too!

    Posted on Aug 23rd, 2013 at 2:45 PM by Donna L.

  • It's Marriage Misery, decided to change my name to something more hopeful. Question(s): What do you do when your husband throws himself into work? As in work is work and work is his hobby. He works on the laptop while we're watching a movie, reads his Twitter feed when we're taking a leisurely walk. This work isn't necessary to provide for us, but it makes him happy and he has gotten what he has always wanted - to be successful in his career. Also, this work involves a lot of travel, so he is gone A LOT. So, I am happy that he is happy and has found what he loves to do. Meanwhile, I am miserable. I am sick of him working all the time. I feel like my dreams for us living out our faith together as a happy, Christ-centered family are shattered. I am trying to get in with a counselor/psychiatrist so I can work on changing myself/my perspective, but the waiting lists are impossible (no appointments until December, another has a year-long waiting list). Do you have any advice for me or suggestions for prayers in the meantime?

    Posted on Aug 26th, 2013 at 11:16 AM by Marriage Hope

  • Marriage Hope: Personally, I think your husband should commit to giving you 30 minutes/day of his undivided attention, and possibly another 30 minutes for the kids. I agree that it's great that he loves his job, and that he can provide for your family by doing something he loves to do. But, you and your kids need his presence, too. Can you ask him to turn off the devices for two 30-minute chunks of time per day? It might seem like a lot to him, but it might be worth asking.

    Posted on Aug 26th, 2013 at 12:23 PM by Claire S

  • Marriage Hope: Claire S offers a good suggestion that is worth a try. Though your desire is to live & grow in Faith together, he may take some time to get there. Continue to nurture your domestic church through your own spiritual life & that of your children. Your example may lead him back & be an eye-opener for him. Ask the intercession of St. Joseph for your husband, as well as Bl. Louis & Zelie Martin for you as a couple. Offering prayers for you! I find this to be a beautiful prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ our God, our Sweet Savior, Who taught us to pray always for each other, so that by thus fulfilling the holy law we will be made worthy of Thy mercy: look down with compassion on our married life & keep from all perilous falls, from enemies both visible & invisible, my husband whom Thou hast granted me, that we may pass our time together until the end with oneness of mind. Grant him health, strength, & fullness of wisdom enlightened from above, so that he may be able to fulfill his duties all the days of his life according to Thy will & commandments. Protect & keep him from temptations, & may he be able to bear & conquer those temptations that come upon him. Strengthen him in right faith, strong hope, & perfect love, so that together we may do good deeds & that we may order all our life according to Thy divine ordinances & commandments. O Greatly-Merciful Lord, hear us who humbly pray to Thee, & send Thy divine blessing in truth on our married life & on all our good deeds, for it is Thine to hear & have mercy on us, O our God, & to Thee we ascribe glory: to the Father & to the Son & to the Holy Spirit, both now & ever, & unto ages of ages. +

    Posted on Aug 26th, 2013 at 3:26 PM by Patricia

  • Claire - thank you for that suggestion. I think he will be receptive to that, for sure. He is trying to do things that will help me be happier, and that sounds pretty simple and doable. Now, if we can just find something to talk about besides work (sigh). Patricia - I am very sad because I thought I had found the spouse that would be sitting beside me in Mass for the rest of our lives and building our faith and family together. He is still by my side sometimes (most of the time when he is not traveling), so I do have that. Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers and for your prayer suggestions. I am going to try my hardest to be PATIENT and to continue to nurture my spiritual life and that of my daughter, as you suggested. I will ask the intercession of St Joseph, Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin. I do not turn to the Saints as often as I should. I'm going to print out this prayer you shared also. Thank you again, ladies, for your support. I have felt so lonely lately and in despair.and there is no one really "in real life" that I can share this with.

    Posted on Aug 27th, 2013 at 8:54 AM by Marriage Hope

  • Also - some good news! I am able to get back in with a psychiatrist I had seen in the past in a couple of weeks instead of waiting until December to be seen as a "new patient." Hopefully we can get my meds adjusted so I am not crying most days. I am still looking for someone that can do cognitive therapy, though. I don't think I've mentioned it, but I had miscarriages in 4/12 and 3/13 and that has just compounded my depression and sadness, of course. Looking forward to happier days!

    Posted on Aug 27th, 2013 at 8:58 AM by Marriage Hope

  • That's awesome news, Marriage Hope! I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. But glad to hear about this encouraging turn of events that you'll be able to be evaluated sooner rather than later.

    Posted on Aug 27th, 2013 at 12:54 PM by Claire S

  • Marriage Hope: I am so sorry for your loss. This quote from from Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen helped me during a similar loss: “When God takes someone from us, it is always for a good reason. When the sheep have grazed & thinned the grass in the lower regions, the shepherd will take a little lamb in his arms, carry it up the mountain, lay it down, & soon the other sheep will follow. Every now & then Our Lord takes a lamb from the parched field of a family up to those Heavenly Green Pastures, that the rest of the family may keep their eyes on their true home & follow through.”

    Posted on Aug 28th, 2013 at 6:15 PM by Patricia

  • Help with Confirmation class and roadblocks...please I have called, e-mailed and met with the two people who are supposed to be organizing the retreats, and the whole program. There were some big problems last year, in the sharing by team leaders of inappropriate info, as well as lack of guidance that led to alcohol, mixing of couples, and leaving the retreat without permission. I do not have the answers I need to feel comfortable and confident in them enough to trust the further formation of my daughter. I am going to call the pastor, who thinks I am a bother, perhaps I am, but my husband and I are the ones who will answer to God about her preparation, and I don't feel that the leader is taking the role seriously. Help! I'm praying, and I know grace can still rain down in less than ideal situations--but I have an uncomfortable feeling about this man in charge, and the very new person who is now taking over some of the planning.

    Posted on Sep 5th, 2013 at 1:53 AM by Donna L.

  • Donna, that sounds like an awful situation. I wouldn't trust leadership like that, either. And I highly doubt that I would send my child on one of those retreats, given the issues in the past. I'm sorry that your pastor thinks you're a bother just because you're concerned about your child and inappropriate formation in his parish. I pray that this will resolve for you in one way or another, even if it means getting permission to do the Confirmation preparation at home.

    Posted on Sep 5th, 2013 at 4:46 AM by Claire S

  • Yikes! Is there another retreat offered by either your diocese or another parish that your child could attend? I'm the DRE in our parish and I know we had a handful of students from other parishes join us last spring for our Confirmation retreat because they couldn't make it to the ones offered by their parishes. Just an idea....

    Posted on Sep 5th, 2013 at 7:58 AM by Donna L.

  • Okay, that last comment is from me, Donna L. Oops! That's what kind of day I'm having! ;)

    Posted on Sep 5th, 2013 at 12:33 PM by Amy

  • Amy, I've done that before too! I've accidentally put the name of the person who I'm addressing in the name slot, and then it looks like that person wrote the comment. I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who has done this!

    Posted on Sep 5th, 2013 at 2:21 PM by Claire S

  • Thank you, Claire and Amy for responding. I tried to meet with our priest, but he is booked solid, and them leaving for a two-week vacation. I sent an e-mail but haven't received a reply-but I didn't really expect to. I *could* attend another parish, and had considered that, but I want OUR parish to do better, and I'm not going to go away, like the youth director said I could. I want ALL of our youth to have a better program. He is probably upset with me because I am holding him to a higher standard, and he says in his last 9 years of serving as a youth leader he has never had a parent complaint. I offer help, and bring snacks, and stick around-and have for the last two years, to give him a "chance" to do better on his own, and it's simply not happening. Please pray that he will take my concerns for what they are, and not a personal attack.

    Posted on Sep 6th, 2013 at 10:03 AM by Donna L.

  • Donna L: Our old parish had similar issues when it came to Confirmation preparation. Keep in mind that one need not get permission to prepare your child to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at is your right & duty as a parent, inherent in the Sacrament of Matrimony & your child's Baptism. That being said, this is certainly no guarantee that you won't experience resistance to this. Praying for you & your daughter!

    Posted on Sep 6th, 2013 at 11:42 AM by Patricia

  • Donna L., I have no suggestions but can offer a sympathetic shoulder. I ran into similar issues with the Girl Scout troop at our Catholic school. They schedule weekend camping trips that make it impossible to attend Mass. This drove me crazy, but when I complained, they looked at me as if I was the one in the wrong and said that no one else brought it up. I finally withdrew my daughter from Girl Scouts, much to her disappointment, but I didn't have the stamina and courage to fight that battle. I applaud your efforts to improve the program and wish you the very best -- I will say a prayer that you will succeed. I know I would give up and go elsewhere.

    Posted on Sep 6th, 2013 at 11:49 AM by Anne in NC

  • Donna, I can't believe he told you to go elsewhere. He really doesn't sound like the best person to be preparing adolescents for confirmation. I will definitely keep your situation in prayer.

    Posted on Sep 6th, 2013 at 11:54 AM by Claire S

  • Thank you all, once again for the outpouring of support and personal stories. Patricia, thank you for telling me that, as I was going to make an appointment with our Bishop to discuss preparing her ourselves. When it was mentioned to our priest last year that a parent wanted to prepare their own teen for Confirmation, he scoffed, "good luck getting the Bishop to come to your house." He did respond to my e-mail and simply said I was being unnecessarily negative but that was my choice. I don't know if I should respond, or simply let him go in love with my prayers and ignore the attitude. I must sign my kids up in the program {I've been told} and the $95 will pay for the materials and retreat {that she probably won't be attending.} I could just give up, and keep her home. I just thought it would be a powerful thing to be with her peers learning about our beautiful faith.

    Posted on Sep 6th, 2013 at 1:44 PM by Donna L.

  • Unnecessarily negative, just because you have valid concerns? And knowing you, I'm sure that you approached the youth minister and the pastor in a very respectful way. It makes me so mad when things are handled this way in parishes. I've already had issues at my parish, and I'm sure I'll have more as my son gets older, although so far I've been impressed with the young adult ministry at my parish. We'll see. Anyway, continued prayers, and I am really sorry that you have had to put up with this.

    Posted on Sep 7th, 2013 at 9:11 AM by Claire S

  • Donna L.: The families that we have know who have had similar concerns did 1 of 2 things...They either prepared their child at home & still had them Confirmed in their own parish with the rest of the Confirmandi (The "good luck getting the Bishop to come to your house" comment seems a bit snide & unnecessary, as that isn't even the case in these situations.) ...or they found a sympathetic priest -- who either knew them well enough to trust that they were doing the Confirmation preparation or who was willing to meet with their child -- & had their child Confirmed at that priest's parish. Just as an FYI, in the Eastern Catholic Churches, it is the priest who Confirms (in the East it is referred to as Chrismation). Perhaps there is one such parish in your area where you could speak with the priest? Continued prayers for you & your daughter! And a blessed Feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God & Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, tomorrow! May she be your intercessor & guide!

    Posted on Sep 7th, 2013 at 5:46 PM by Patricia

  • Donna I just want to thank you for sticking in there. I too have been asked why I don't leave (parish, school, etc.) but I too feel we could be doing better, and I want to see others benefit from that. It helps me to know that thought is not crazy (in spite of everyone who tells me it is). Anne-- I had the same problem with my Catholic High School. When my daughter was asked to participate in a cheer camp, but no provision was being made for Mass on Sunday, I told them that was a deal-breaker for me. I could not believe that the coach and other parents thought I was crazy, but I stuck to my guns, and the entire team did go to Mass that weekend. Yes, I did go along as "chaperone", so maybe that had something to do with it. Still--I was sad that it had to come to that point--at a Catholic School no less. Thank you to all you ladies for sharing your struggles--you have no idea how much that helps me, to realize I am not alone, or crazy, and that there are others trying to stay the course as well. Prayers for all of you!

    Posted on Sep 7th, 2013 at 7:16 PM by Mary Therese

  • Well, I guess I'll share my story, although it is going to be somewhat long and possibly hard to follow. My son went to an awesome Christian (non-denominational) preschool for two years; he graduated this past June and will be starting kindergarten on Monday. I am normally very firm about sticking with Catholic resources, but this school did not teach any doctrine or anything that would be contrary to Church teaching. They just covered the basics (like God created the world, etc), in addition to the rest of their preschool curriculum which was amazing, as were the teachers. So, last year, when he was in his second year of preschool, I enrolled him in the Faith Formation program at our parish. He was in a combined preK/kindergarten classroom. The teacher for his class was also the teacher for the parish's preschool week-day class, so I was really excited that a professional preschool teacher was also teaching Faith Formation. Well, little did I know that I was in for a disappointment. When we arrived on the first day, she barely said hello to us, and told each child to sit down on the rug right away. She told them that there would be no playtime (the class was held in the parish school's preschool classroom, so there were toys all over the room.) It was obvious that she wanted the parents to leave right away, and I'm pretty sure she had the kids sitting at tables the whole time. I arrived early to pick him up, and I saw her hold up a picture that one of the little girls had colored, and she showed it to the class and said "I want you all to look at how carefully Amy chose her colors". So here are my issues with that situation: the teacher showed no warmth or enthusiasm, in contrast to the amazing teachers at my son's Protestant preschool. This was not the impression I wanted to give him of Catholicism. I feel that play-based would have been more appropriate for this age group, but if she really didn't want to do a play-based curriculum, she could have presented that in a more positive way, rather than to just say "we're not going to play". And, the class had over 20 kids with only one teacher, which I think is a totally inappropriate size for that agegroup. I talked to the director of Faith Formation and told her I was concerned about the class size, and I volunteered to help out in the classroom as an aide, but she was very opposed to having me in the same classroom as my son. She tried to get me to be an aide in a 5th grade class that was large. Which would have been fine, except that it did nothing to address my concern about the inappropriate teacher:child ratio in my son's class. I will continue this in a new comment, since this is getting very long.

    Posted on Sep 7th, 2013 at 7:35 PM by Claire S

  • So, I pulled my son out of that program after two sessions, and plan to try again when he's in 1st grade and will have a different teacher. For some reason there are 2 or 3 1st grade classes, and the classes are much smaller. And at that point, I don't expect it to be a play-based curriculum. Also, a grandmother who I'm friendly with brought her granddaughter to one of the 1st grade classrooms by mistake, and she said that the teacher there was 10 times friendlier than this preK/kindergarten teacher. So hopefully we'll have better luck next year. They require kids to start Faith Formation in 1st grade in order to make their first Communion in 2nd grade, so I really hope it works out. The good news is that we have a new director of Faith Formation. He spoke at Mass tonight, and I was really impressed with him. Very charismatic and enthusiastic, and seems faithful to Church teaching. So, we'll see.

    Posted on Sep 7th, 2013 at 7:39 PM by Claire S

  • So glad you all are still using this thread. No update yet -- I am as disappointed as you are. But will let you know as soon as I do.

    Posted on Sep 9th, 2013 at 11:01 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Thanks for checking in Rebecca.

    Posted on Sep 9th, 2013 at 11:19 AM by Claire S

  • Thanks for keeping us updated, Rebecca!

    Posted on Sep 9th, 2013 at 12:27 PM by Amy

  • Hi Claire, Thanks for sharing what you have had to go through, and I'll keep you and your son in my prayers.. Mary Therese, I appreciate what you had to say--I will keep praying, and I'm so thankful that you took the time to tell me to "hang in there", because I was wondering if it was worth it. It's a lovely thing to feel that others are out there who believe as you do--not so alone, now. Patricia, I thank you, too, and talked to a different class leader who is getting the materials for me to help prepare my daughters for their Sacraments. I feel empowered knowing that I do not *have* to put up with any of this baloney! If it comes down to it, we do have a beloved priest who will help us, and that gives me great peace. I would love to say a novena for our parish priest--he is young and inexperienced, and I realize he only has to be there to give us our Sacraments and the Holy Mass--and I am certainly not perfect, and do not expect perfection. I want to help him act better, and challenge him politely, but unfortunately he is often caustic and arrogant. I know my best choice is to choose prayer for him, but I am having a hard time focusing. Any good prayers? Thank you ladies, and so happy we have this little, hidden place...

    Posted on Sep 9th, 2013 at 6:39 PM by Donna L.

  • Donna L.: Here are a few prayers for priests that we love... O Lord Jesus Christ, enkindle the hearts of all Your priests with the fire of zealous love for You, that they may ever seek Your glory; Give them strength that they may labor unceasingly in Your earthly vineyard for the salvation of our souls & the glory of Your All-Honorable & Majestic Name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit, now & ever, & unto ages of ages. Amen. --- O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Your Christ, & for love of Him Who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on Your priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak & frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to You, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation. O Jesus, I pray for Your faithful & fervent priests; for Your unfaithful & tepid priests; for Your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Your tempted priests; for Your lonely & desolate priests; for Your young priests; for Your aged priests; for Your sick priests; for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests in Purgatory. But above all I commend to You the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests at whose Masses I assisted & who gave me Your Body & Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught & instructed or helped me & encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly (your priest’s name here). O Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart, & bless them abundantly in time & in eternity. Amen. Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many & holy priests. Amen.

    Posted on Sep 10th, 2013 at 7:07 AM by Patricia

  • Just so beautiful! Thank you for posting that, and I already prayed for our priests!

    Posted on Sep 10th, 2013 at 10:28 AM by Donna L.

  • We finally had our first ultrasound yesterday, and although we haven't gotten any official results from my doctor yet, the tech was able to tell us that "everything looks good" and that the baby was measuring 9 weeks, 5 days. Since this is my first pregnancy, I wanted to ask about how accurate dating is at this point - it's got me about a week further along than I thought I would be. Looking back over my charts, it wouldn't surprise me if I were a few days further along than I'd thought, and my temps bounced around a bit last month and so are hard to interpret, but I'm feeling a little surprised that I could have ovulated a full week before my sustained temp shift.

    Posted on Sep 12th, 2013 at 6:48 AM by K

  • K: Thanks for sharing the good news, thanks be to God! Praying for both you & your precious little one! Asking the intercession of St. Gerard Majella for you both.

    Posted on Sep 12th, 2013 at 7:41 AM by Patricia

  • K, I'm so glad to hear that your baby is doing well! When I was expecting identical twins 6 years ago, they always measured big for their estimated gestational age (which was based on the date of my last menstrual period). However, this did not surprise me, as I have had short cycles and early ovulations for years.

    Posted on Sep 12th, 2013 at 7:47 AM by Claire S

  • K...great news!!! Please continue to keep my husband in your prayers. He is still without a job and is beginning to get a little discouraged. I'm doing my best to pump him up and keep him positive, but any extra prayers would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Posted on Sep 13th, 2013 at 11:29 AM by Amy

  • I'm sorry to hear this, Amy. I wish the job-searching process moved faster. I will continue to pray that he finds a good job very soon.

    Posted on Sep 13th, 2013 at 1:15 PM by Claire S

  • Thanks, Claire S. I really appreciate it!

    Posted on Sep 16th, 2013 at 6:20 PM by Amy

  • I'm going to pretend it's the old "Tuesday-anything goes" forum and ask for advice. Our missionaries are here and are going to move into a home next to the church that previously had heavy smokers living there. We need to wash the walls, windows, ductwork and have the carpets steam-cleaned--or do that piece ourselves. Has anyone come across some great cleaning supplies that will make the old house smell like new? What kind of soap/solution should we use on the walls? We may end up having to paint, but budgets are tight, as they are all over, so I'm trying to be extra frugal! Thank you in advance for your ideas

    Posted on Sep 17th, 2013 at 9:22 AM by Donna L.

  • Hi Donna! I think the carpets are going to be your biggest challenge. 13 years ago, when I was still single, I bought a condo that was previously occupied by smokers. Thankfully I was able to rip up the carpet, which I replaced with laminate flooring. That in itself made a huge difference. I didn't end up cleaning the walls or anything, so the smell lingered for a few months, but then it was summer and I was able to air it out quite a bit. After a few months there was no trace of it. I don't have any advice regarding cleaning supplies, but I do think that if you're able to get the smell out of the carpet and give the place a good airing, it should make a huge difference. Good luck!

    Posted on Sep 17th, 2013 at 9:44 AM by Claire S

  • Hi Claire, and thanks for the anecdote...I am concerned that the carpet is ruined--or looks that way. I am in the hope that when we get there, we can pull them up and see the flooring beneath in case {praying} the old hardwood floors are still intact. I can get area rugs cheaper than carpeting!

    Posted on Sep 17th, 2013 at 11:56 AM by Donna L.

  • Donna, if you do end up pulling up the carpeting, see if you can talk to some local carpet warehouses and see if they have anything "old" or "outdated" they could give you--might be able to come up with something relatively inexpensive that way. Our entire basement is done in "free" flooring (vinyl and carpet squares) that were unwanted. Good luck with your cleaning!

    Posted on Sep 17th, 2013 at 6:08 PM by Mary Therese

  • Donna, I've heard good things about Nok Out for getting rid of odors, but I have no experience with it myself. Good luck with the project!

    Posted on Sep 18th, 2013 at 11:13 AM by Anne in NC

  • Hi there! I am looking for suggestions for wholesome magazines for my soon to be 13 year old daughter. She is outgrowing American Girl it seems. I googled some mags, Shine Brightly, Sisterhood (faith based), New Moon Girls, and Kiki. Has anybody heard of these or know of magazines that cater to teens without being too "much," so to speak. I don't need her reading nonsense, if you know what I mean. Thanks!

    Posted on Sep 22nd, 2013 at 4:19 PM by KMB

  • KMB, we've been getting Discovery Girls magazine for our 13-year-old daughter and she loves it. As in, she LOVES it, devouring it the day it arrives in the mailbox. I'd also considered Kiki, but Discovery Girls is cheaper! Hope this helps!

    Posted on Sep 23rd, 2013 at 11:34 AM by Anne in NC

  • Thanks, Anne. Discovery Girls seemed a little youngish for my 13 going on 30 daughter but I really like it. I liked their web page info so I might consider it. I would give anything to keep her under a rock a little while longer.

    Posted on Sep 23rd, 2013 at 9:09 PM by KMB

  • KMB: I wouldn't necessarily consider it "keeping her under a rock" (and believe me...I do sympathize!)...perhaps it is more like remaining in that enclosed garden that is the fleeting safety & innocence of childhood just a little bit longer. :)

    Posted on Sep 24th, 2013 at 6:51 AM by Patricia

  • Oh, Patricia, how beautiful. Thank you. Opening that garden gate is sooo hard some days, huh? Our jobs were so easy when they were babies. I'm feeling woefully inadequate lately and trying to hold on and plug away at what's "right" amidst the daily societal onslaught of, well, crap. (For lack of a better word at the moment.) I just keep repeating Dory from Finding Nemo, "just keep swimmimg, just keep swimming." Oh, I guess it's one of those days. Well, pity party over! Back to work. Have a wonderful day!

    Posted on Sep 24th, 2013 at 11:28 AM by KMB

  • I really appreciated the "enclosed garden" thought, too! Hang in there, Moms!

    Posted on Sep 24th, 2013 at 2:00 PM by Donna L.

  • For those difficult days we all experience, I thought this quote from a sermon by St. John Chrysostom might inspire someone today... "Paint your house with the colors of modesty and humility. Make it radiant with the light of justice. Decorate it with the finest gold leaf of good deeds. Adorn it with the walls and stones of faith and generosity. Crown it with the pinnacle of prayer. In this way you will make it a perfect dwelling place for the Lord. You will be able to receive Him as in a splendid palace, and through His grace you will already possess Him, His image enthroned in the temple of your spirit."

    Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 at 7:29 AM by Patricia

  • That's beautiful, Patricia. Thank you for sharing it.

    Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 at 7:39 AM by Claire S

  • Thank you so much, Claire S! We are still searching for the job that God has for my husband. It won't be long and he'll have to start looking out of our area. It won't be the ideal situation to have us separated, but he will do what needs to be done to take care of our family. Luckily, this time around, I am working full-time (teacher and DRE), so we know we are blessed. We were able to get on the Church's insurance plan. That helped a lot! We continue to pray that God leads him to where he should be. So far, my husband has kept his positive attitude. Just praying it stays that way. Thanks for thinking about me!

    Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 at 11:19 AM by Amy

  • Amy, I'm so glad to hear that you have a source of income and health insurance. I will continue to keep your situation in my prayers.

    Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 at 1:02 PM by Claire S

  • Thank you!!!

    Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 at 1:06 PM by Amy

  • Hello ladies, I have kept up with you guys in this hidden area. I need your input. Her school requires sex-ed for freshmen. We have opted her out of all of these lessons. Now, her school has invited speaker Pam Stenzel to speak. I have heard good things about her - but I need to see what you guys know. We have kept her pretty sheltered but she does go to a Theology of the Body youth group at our church that is a very dynamic and awesome group. What do you guys think? Should I let her attend this abstinence only speaker or pass on it? Thanks.

    Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 at 3:25 PM by Nadine

  • Well, in anger I have done something terrible in the last few weeks. I have brought up to my husband that we might be better off apart. I said this because things seemed so bad and because I wanted him to see how off things are in our marriage and to stop saying that it's normal and everyone's marriage is like this (I know there was no good reason for me to say what I did and I feel terrible about it). So, now he is fully admitting that things are really bad and that we might be better off apart. He came home from a 10 day trip on Sunday and told me that he has found genuine happiness in his work and that he doesn't want to spend the next how many ever years in a miserable marriage. He's not sure what the best of course of action is - to try to save our marriage or to split up. I have been distraught since Sunday night, crying most of the time. My in-laws are on their way to celebrate my 7 year old daughter's birthday and will be here through Sunday. These visits are tense anyway, but now hubby has asked that we keep our issues quiet this weekend. I'm begging your prayers that we will be able to get through this weekend okay and, of course, for a miracle in our broken relationship. Our marriage is at a true crisis point now.

    Posted on Sep 26th, 2013 at 1:18 PM by Marriage Hope

  • Marriage Hope, We will pray for you! I am so sorry you find yourself in this situation. This is a hard cross you have to bear.

    Posted on Sep 26th, 2013 at 1:37 PM by Nadine

  • Marriage Hope, I am so sorry to hear this. I will certainly pray for a breakthrough for you and your husband. Please check back with us after the weekend with your in-laws (or sooner if you can).

    Posted on Sep 26th, 2013 at 1:42 PM by Claire S

  • Marriage Hope--praying for you!

    Posted on Sep 26th, 2013 at 3:40 PM by Amy

  • Adding my prayers for you Marriage Hope. And yes, please check back, if for no other reason that to remind us to keep praying!

    Posted on Sep 27th, 2013 at 11:21 AM by Mary Therese

  • Nadine, did you google Pam Stenzel and maybe read, or, even better, watch one of her videos? I'm pretty sure she's even been on EWTN. Very solid, abstinence speaker; I'd be thrilled if my high school had her come to speak!

    Posted on Sep 27th, 2013 at 2:52 PM by Rosie

  • Thank you. Yes, I did read about her and looked her up. I just wanted to see if anybody had any other comments that you may not find on a website. I also asked close acquaintances and the also vouched for her. So my daughter is there now and I will watch a video this weekend.

    Posted on Sep 27th, 2013 at 2:59 PM by Rosie

  • I'm 12 weeks pregnant now, and we've started telling our families. We've also started worrying about how we're going to structure our lives with a baby - we'd love for me to be able to stay home, and daycare around here would probably eat up almost my whole salary, but the math doesn't work out for us to be able to manage on just one income. I have 2 questions: 1. How does one vet a daycare or other childcare provider? What questions should we be asking? 2. Does anyone have any experience with any real, legitimate ways of making a decent amount of money while staying home?

    Posted on Sep 30th, 2013 at 7:07 AM by K

  • Congratulations K! This is an exciting time for you. My husband has never made much of a salary, but when our first daughter was born I was able to switch to a 30-hour per week job. It was a big cut in our income and we still had to have our daughter in day care, but it did minimize the time we had to be away from her. Maybe you could look into that as a possibility. I still have that same job, 13 years later, now with two daughters. As for day care, there are advantages and disadvantages to both at-home care and a day care facility. We have experience with both, and so much depends on the caregiver's personality. Really you have to talk to people and look around and see if places look clean and smell clean and if everyone involved (children and adults) seem happy. If you choose a smaller, in-home kind of situation, ask about obvious things like smoking or guns, the ages of other children in the home, what happens if the children get sick, and what if the caregiver gets sick. Always ask for (and contact!) references. And don't worry -- it will all work out. Good luck!!

    Posted on Sep 30th, 2013 at 11:57 AM by Anne in NC

  • Thank you all for your prayers. We survived the weekend. It was okay having my in-laws here as they provided a distraction from our worries, in a way. I know my husband did talk to his mom a little, but no big family discussions or anything. I'm not sure how his mom feels about me and he even told me this weekend that she might be happy if we split up. So many hurtful things have been said, on both sides. I feel all talked out, but my husband keeps wanting to talk so I'm trying. There is years of hurt, anger, and resentment that we're trying to deal with. He will not go to marriage counseling (told me that again today) but he did go see a priest today. I was hoping the priest would reinforce the permanence of our marriage vows, but it sounds like he did not. He did ask us to come in together to talk on Thursday, so that is now a priority. My husband told me today that he had planned to come home from his trip last Sunday (a week ago) and tell me that it was over. So, as hurtful as that is, I'm glad that he has not given up completely yet.

    Posted on Sep 30th, 2013 at 8:58 PM by Marriage Hope

  • My husband also told me that some of his work friends advised him to talk to a lawyer about what might happen financially if we split up, so he found a lawyer but has put off making an actual appointment for now. I'm in shock that all this is happening, that it has come to this. I'm now thinking of what I will do if I have to go back to a work (I have been working for my husband [another big problem in our marriage]). I brought up that this is the work of Satan, for sure (my depression, him wanting to split up) and he just said, "I'm sure you do think that." In other words, he doesn't think that at all. My heart is shattered, but I do have hope and my faith in God that everything will be okay and life will go on, no matter what happens. Thank you again for your prayers.

    Posted on Sep 30th, 2013 at 9:04 PM by Marriage Hope

  • Oh, Marriage Hope, I'm so sorry to hear of all the hurt! Sounds like he needs some better friends! Is there a That Man Is You! group at your parish that he would be willing to try? Or would he go to Retrouvaille? If he doesn't want to do something long-term like marriage counseling, would he agree that he owes it to your kids to try at least a weekend retreat to work things out? Prayers for you!

    Posted on Sep 30th, 2013 at 11:28 PM by Anna

  • Marriage Hope, I think Anna's idea about Retrouvaille is a great one. Maybe you could bring this up when you meet with your pastor (hopefully he'll encourage your husband to consider it). I do think it's a good sign that your husband is wanting to talk about this. You will certainly be in my prayers, especially on Thursday. I really pray that the priest will be helpful.

    Posted on Oct 1st, 2013 at 8:17 AM by Claire S

  • Marriage Hope: Thank you for checking in with us--I'll keep the prayers coming for you! If one priest isn't helpful {I went through some similar things marriage-wise a few years ago} find a BETTER one! It has made all the difference in our marriage. {Our own parish priest is very holy, but he is YOUNG and didn't have any experience with our kind of situation so was NOT HELPFUL AT ALL} I drove three hours to a beloved priest we know well, and I truly believe he is the reason we are still together--have faith!! Now for the practical/financial side of this: I don't know the particulars of each state, so I am only speaking from experience...{take with a grain of salt} I was informed/counseled that if the husband leaves, and there are children involved, he may have to pay child support, and the rent/payment for the house. Alimony is something, too, but I'm not trying to be negative, as much as I'm trying to help you to see that you might not be required to go back to work right away---and there may be a short time that you can receive funds for food/housing etc as well as places to get food, clothing and job training, in case you do have to return to a regular work force. Hang in there, and look to Saint Rita for help as well as our Blessed Mother...sending out a prayer to you!

    Posted on Oct 1st, 2013 at 11:22 AM by Donna L.

  • K--that is such great news! I'm sure your family is just thrilled as you are! I left the workforce, and made it a game of being very frugal: second-hand clothing, lots of homemade foods, books and movies from the library and such. There is a calculator {somewhere in cyberspace--pre-coffee brain} that you type in the cost of gas, take-out foods, dry-cleaning along with other "work related costs" and clothing costs as well as child-care to determine if staying home is truly as dismal as it first often isn't. I am very blessed to be able to stay home, on my husband's income, but I know it is hard, too. I pray that you can figure out something that will work for your family!

    Posted on Oct 1st, 2013 at 11:29 AM by Donna L.

  • Marriage Hope: praying that your meeting with the priest was helpful today. Please update us when you can.

    Posted on Oct 3rd, 2013 at 7:10 PM by Claire S

  • My husband didn't go to the meeting on Thursday. Someone asked him at the last minute to go to a conference a couple of hours away and he decided to go. I went and met with the priest by myself. I feel much better about what the priest had to say. After my husband talked with him, he reported back to me that this priest had actually been married at one point and had divorced his wife because of mental illness. I felt like, "Really, God?!" for matching up my husband with this priest (he asked for first available) because, as you know, my depression is being named by my husband as the root of all our problems. But, the priest made it clear to me that he himself was in a situation that couldn't be salvaged and that he did try everything he could to save the marriage. I feel our situation is very different and so does our priest. We have rescheduled our meeting for Monday morning, so we will see what happens. My husband doesn't seem very hopeful that we can work things out or rekindle the spark that brought us together in the first place. At this point, I can't imagine it myself, either, so I am just putting all my faith in God that He can work this out. Thank you again for all your prayers over the last weeks. I feel much calmer and at peace since Tuesday and I know your prayers have a lot to do with that.

    Posted on Oct 5th, 2013 at 10:30 PM by Marriage Hope

  • Donna L.: thank you for the info you shared. I didn't take it at all that you were trying to be negative and I do appreciate what you shared. Like it or not, I've quickly realized that I do have to think practically about these things. I've been thinking not only about work, but about how to move and keep my daughter in the same school for the rest of the year, etc., if it comes to that. It's good to know about the resources that are available in these situations, for sure!

    Posted on Oct 5th, 2013 at 10:36 PM by Marriage Hope

  • Hi Marriage Hope, I'm so glad to hear that you had a chance to meet the priest, and that he is hopeful about your marriage. I will continue to pray as you have your meeting tomorrow.

    Posted on Oct 6th, 2013 at 7:24 AM by Claire S

  • Marriage Hope--still praying for you! And please continue to pray that my husband will find a job. It's looking more and more like he'll have to relocate temporarily to work. Not ideal, but he'll go if he has to. Also, please join me in praise this month. My 45 year old sister had a massive stroke last December 30. We began praying to Fr. Emil Kapaun (he's from our diocese and on the path to sainthood) and we went from being asked to unplug her life support to her giving a thumbs up in a few days. It has been a LONG journey and she's far from "cured," but she is going home on October 20! When I look in the closet and see the dress I bought for her funeral and then hear her voice on the phone or see her latest video of relearning to walk, I can do nothing but cry tears of joy. We are two states away from her, so we won't be able to be there the day she goes home, but you can bet we'll be celebrating with her in spirit.

    Posted on Oct 7th, 2013 at 11:02 AM by Amy

  • Any news about a new discussion board, Rebecca? We've all been waiting patiently! :D

    Posted on Oct 14th, 2013 at 10:53 AM by Anne in NC

  • Was just thinking the same thing this morning, Anne!

    Posted on Oct 14th, 2013 at 1:57 PM by Amy

  • Yes, me too! I looked back at this "secret spot" and noticed it's been two months since this started...Also want to say 'thanks' for all the help and ideas about carpet cleaning for our missionary youth home--it went well, and looks and smells much cleaner!

    Posted on Oct 15th, 2013 at 12:07 AM by Donna L.

  • Marriage Hope, if you're still checking this thread, I wanted to let you know that I'm still praying for you and your husband. I understand if you're not up to posting an update, but please check in when you're ready. Amy, I'm still praying for your husband's job situation, too.

    Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 at 9:17 AM by Claire S

  • Claire, thank you so much for your continued prayers. That means so much to me. We went to see the priest together last Monday and it went okay. He referred us to the counselor and said he was hopeful that by the spring we could be in a position to go to a Retrouvaille weekend. My husband has *very* reluctantly agreed to go to the counselor. I guess I'll believe it when we're sitting there in the office together. The big problem now is that my husband is so booked up for travel for work (his way of escaping our problems) that I don't know how long it will be until we can go. I think I'm going to see if the counselor will let me come by myself. Honestly, I'm not feeling all that hopeful about our marriage. He feels no spark and doesn't see how we could ever be happy again. He doesn't want to save our marriage and just have it be mediocre, he said. He thinks any little disagreement in the future will bring us right back to the topic of divorce. While he admits he takes all the travel to avoid our problems, he's not ready to give it up to work on things. As he told me last night, work is a "sure thing" while a happy marriage is not. I am so conflicted. I am hurt and angry by his actions and words and by his continuously refusing to work on our problems that led us to this point. On the other hand, I feel sorry for him. I feel like his priorities are so skewed right now. I am really having trouble navigating this situation. Any thoughts or opinions are welcomed as are suggestions for how I could best pray for him now. Right now everything is so raw that I'm having trouble praying for him like I should.

    Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 at 10:22 AM by Marriage Hope

  • Thanks, Claire S!!!

    Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 at 10:33 AM by Amy

  • It's me again, hoping to get some advice. Over the eight years of our marriage, I feel I have gone along with a lot of stuff (mostly little) that I didn't feel comfortable with, just to keep peace in the marriage. Well, that tactic obviously didn't work! Anyway...during this marriage crisis I am standing my ground and reclaiming some of myself, if that makes sense. I told my husband that I'm not willing to compromise on NFP-related issues anymore. He thinks that NFP has had a big part in driving a wedge between us. Since he travels so much he feels that, in times when we are trying to not conceive, that it's okay to meet each others needs in other ways besides intercourse, if you get what I mean. He thinks that if the only week that month we are going to be together (because of travel) is during my fertile time, that it is okay to do this. I disagree. He wants me to compromise on this and said it may be an "irreconcilable difference" if I won't budge. Any thoughts?

    Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 at 11:24 AM by Marriage Hope

  • Marriage Hope, that certainly puts you in a difficult position. He is basically saying that unless you compromise your values to compensate for a situation that he himself has volunteered for (lots of travel), it's a deal-breaker for your marriage. The truth is that agreeing to do something immoral is not going to benefit your marriage, even if it makes him happy in the short-term. Sticking to your values isn't a guarantee that your marriage will work out, but compromising your values most certainly will not bring you the marriage that you want or deserve. I don't really have any other advice; hopefully someone else will. I do want to say that I totally relate to your difficulty in praying for your husband. When I'm mad at my husband or having marital issues, I find it very hard to pray for him (or to pray at all).

    Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 at 11:54 AM by Claire S

  • I've noticed there haven't been any posts in the past few weeks, and am just testing - is 120 comments the limit, or has there just been no interest lately?

    Posted on Nov 5th, 2013 at 1:55 PM by Kathleen

  • Hi Kathleen, It looks like the thread is still accepting more comments. I think people are just kind of starting to give up, and it's fizzling out. It's so frustrating. Here we have a community of women who want to connect, the way we did on F&F, and there just isn't a good way to do it. I still check the thread for new comments each day. I was even thinking of starting a yahoo group if there would be interest for that (we could keep it private so certain trolls would not be able to comment...)

    Posted on Nov 5th, 2013 at 7:22 PM by Claire S

  • I keep checking too and hoping for an update.

    Posted on Nov 5th, 2013 at 8:25 PM by Alice

  • Hi Ladies! I've also been periodically checking in. Calire S, a yahoo group is an interesting idea. Offering this prayer from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for everyone... We give You thanks, O King invisible, Who by Your immeasurable power have fashioned all things, and in the abundance of Your mercy have brought all things from nothingness into being. + O Master, look down from the heavens, upon those who bow their heads to You, for they do not bow to flesh and blood but to You, the awesome God. + Therefore, O Master, make straight the path that lies before all of us, according to the need of each and for our good: sail with those who sail, travel with those who travel, heal those who are sick, O Physician of our souls and bodies. + Through the grace, the mercies and the love for mankind of Your only-begotten Son, with Whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

    Posted on Nov 6th, 2013 at 9:08 AM by Patricia

  • I've been checking back, too. Still thinking about and praying for everyone here. My husband is still without a job, but he's still upbeat and for that, I'm thankful! Hope everyone is doing well!

    Posted on Nov 6th, 2013 at 11:33 AM by Amy

  • Hi Everyone! I owe you all "thanks" for the advice I've received here these past few weeks and months...years! *Carpets came clean for our Missionaries *I've run into a lot of resistance about preparing our two daughters for their Sacrament {First Communion/Reconciliation and Confirmation} but I am being pro-active, and honest, and forging ahead. *I found a couple of books that my daughter is really enjoying *I have loved the beautiful prayers posted, and often pray for all of you ladies-your intentions and your families, too! I will try to post here every couple of weeks, and we can just check in! God bless all of you, and our brave Veterans, too!

    Posted on Nov 8th, 2013 at 11:50 AM by Donna L.

  • Donna L. ~ Thanks for the updates & good news! So good to hear! Wishing you all a happy Feast of the Synaxis (gathering together) of the Archangel Michael & All the Angelic Powers! Commanders of the heavenly hosts & ministers of the divine glory, we who are unworthy beseech you, by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory, & faithfully preserve us who fall down & cry to you: "Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!"

    Posted on Nov 8th, 2013 at 2:48 PM by Patricia

  • Yes, thanks for the updates Donna! I'm glad that it's mostly good news.

    Posted on Nov 8th, 2013 at 5:13 PM by Claire S

  • Lovely quote from our Holy Father Francis: “In my own life, I have so often seen God’s merciful countenance, his patience; I have also seen so many people find the courage to enter the wounds of Jesus by saying to him: Lord, I am here, accept my poverty, hide my sin in your wounds, wash it away with your blood. And I have always seen that God did just this – he accepted them, consoled them, cleansed them, loved them. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his wonderful tenderness, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love.” –Pope Francis, Homily at the Possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome Archbasilica of St John Lateran, 7 April 2013

    Posted on Nov 9th, 2013 at 5:56 PM by Patricia

  • Hi Claire - I will join your yahoo group!

    Posted on Nov 9th, 2013 at 9:02 PM by Monica (momof2)

  • Hi Monica! I haven't started it yet; still contemplating! I know the idea was attempted last year and the participation wasn't great, but that's when the old F&F was still active. Now that F&F has fizzled, I thought there might be more of a market for it. But my first choice would still be for this blog to get up and running! I don't know how much longer we can all wait around for it, though.

    Posted on Nov 10th, 2013 at 8:16 AM by Claire S

  • I miss F&F too! Marriage Hope, I'm praying for you.

    Posted on Nov 10th, 2013 at 10:56 PM by DW

  • Hi Everyone--Gee, it sure is quiet here, in F&F land... So, prayers are still coming out to everyone for jobs, babies, families in general and marriages, too. Does anyone have a great idea for outfits for Christmas photos? We have done: Overalls and green polos, jeans and black long-sleeved tops, white tops and black pants, reds {matching} and blue...I'm all out of ideas! No pajamas please, but any other ideas? Thank you in advance!

    Posted on Nov 21st, 2013 at 2:38 PM by Donna L.

  • Well, around here, college football team gear is a popular group photo choice! (No pro teams of any kind in the state and only one Division A college football team.) Or garish Christmas sweaters? Missing the forum activity too; completely silent is a crummy alternative to the troll...

    Posted on Nov 21st, 2013 at 11:43 PM by Anna

  • I know. It's pretty sad that her behavior resulted in achieving exactly what she wanted. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

    Posted on Nov 22nd, 2013 at 4:25 AM by Claire S

  • I was going to say sports teams, too! Glad to see a little activity. Still thinking about and praying for y'all. Please continue to keep my husband in prayer. He received a phone call yesterday with a job lead that sounds promising. Praying that everyone has a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

    Posted on Nov 22nd, 2013 at 7:54 AM by Amy

  • That's great news Amy! I know this has been a long haul for you and your family, and I know it can be particularly stressful around the holidays. I will pray that this is the opportunity he's been waiting for.

    Posted on Nov 22nd, 2013 at 8:13 AM by Claire S

  • Thank you so much, Claire S!!! It's been amazing that I've not been more of a basket case, which is my usual condition during stressful times. I owe it all to the prayers being offered!

    Posted on Nov 22nd, 2013 at 9:57 AM by Amy

  • Thank you for checking in, ladies! I guess we're kind of an anomaly as a family and don't have any sports jerseys as we don't care for sports nor watch cable, either! I think we should "take back" this blog, even if it *is* only a few of us! Hang in there, and have a wonderful weekend!

    Posted on Nov 22nd, 2013 at 3:19 PM by Donna L.

  • Donna, one suggestion I thought of I don't think I saw in your list of previous suggestions...I saw a really nice extended family photo and all were in blue oxford shirts/khaki slacks/skirts. I feel for you--it is so hard to get a decent family photo. Not only do I have trouble getting outfits to not clash, but my family all seems to have a great dislike and does nothing but complain when I ask for a family photo. I don't think I will ask them to do it again--not worth the frustration of listening to them.

    Posted on Nov 24th, 2013 at 1:16 PM by Mary Therese

  • Donna, if your family consists of 7 members you could dress in rainbow colors! A dopey idea, but I'm afraid that's all that comes to mind!

    Posted on Nov 25th, 2013 at 10:51 AM by Anne in NC

  • Donna - I remember a friend's family taking very nice photos of everyone wearing khakis and a white shirt. As for me: I'm 20 weeks today, have begun to feel the baby kick, and everything looked good at my 20-week ultrasound. We're very blessed to have had a happy and healthy pregnancy so far!

    Posted on Nov 25th, 2013 at 3:54 PM by K

  • That's great news K! Thanks for the update!

    Posted on Nov 25th, 2013 at 5:33 PM by Claire S

  • Wonderful news, K!! Continued prayers for the intercession of St. Gerard Majella & to your little one's Guardian Angel for a healthy pregnancy! God bless!

    Posted on Nov 26th, 2013 at 8:28 AM by Patricia

  • Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving! From the Akathist of Thanksgiving...Everlasting King, Thy will for our salvation is full of power. Thy right arm controls the whole course of human life. We give Thee thanks for all Thy mercies, seen and unseen. For eternal life, for the heavenly Joys of the Kingdom which is to be. Grant mercy to us who sing Thy praise, both now and in the time to come. Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age. Glory to Thee for calling me into being, Glory to Thee, showing me the beauty of the universe,
 Glory to Thee, spreading out before me heaven and earth
 like the pages in a book of eternal wisdom
, Glory to Thee for Thine eternity in this fleeting world,
 Glory to Thee for Thy mercies, seen and unseen
, Glory to Thee through every sigh of my sorrow
, Glory to Thee for every step of my life’s journey,
 For every moment of glory
, Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age.

    Posted on Nov 27th, 2013 at 6:07 AM by Patricia

  • Hi, everyone! Sorry for the long editorial silence, and I'm afraid I don't have positive news. Bayard Inc. wants to focus on Catholic Digest magazine and not so much on building or maintaining this on-line community. I am happy to start new threads periodically so you can keep talking here for as long as possible, but at some point down the line I believe the "blog" section will be removed from the site (though there seems to be no hurry to implement any site design changes). So I am sorry to say I think you all starting a yahoo group to stay connected would probably be a good idea. To the extent there is audience interaction and communication, Bayard is more interested in that happening on social media -- facebook, pinterest, twitter. I'm sorry for this news; I too have valued the Coffee Talk conversations, but I respect Bayard's right to go in another direction. Let me know via comments over the next weeks if you would like another thread so you don't have to scroll through so many comments. In spite of this news, on behalf of Danielle & Robyn & myself, we wish everyone a blessed Advent and happy Christmas!

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 9:37 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Thanks for the update, Rebecca! Ladies, I can look into creating a Facebook page for us, if everyone is interested. I, for one, enjoy discussing things here and receiving prayers and support from the rest of you. Let's not let our community die!

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 11:13 AM by Amy

  • I enjoy the online community here, as well. Could we do a yahoo group, since some of us are non-facebook users? Blessed Advent to all!

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 5:18 PM by Patricia

  • I vote for yahoo as well, as I closed my FB account a few years ago (I do go in occasionally through my husband's...)

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 5:48 PM by Claire S

  • Fine with me! Who wants to set it up? I'm not as familiar with Yahoo, but I could figure it out.

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 6:46 PM by Amy

  • I don't have facebook either, and am not familiar with yahoo groups, but willing to give it a shot. I'm also a member of another Catholic Mom on-line group, but at the moment they are in transition and are not accepting new members, so I can't invite you there right now either. Would be nice to find a way to support each other and stay connected! Prayers that the right venue will become available for us.

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 6:50 PM by Mary Therese

  • I've never actually started a yahoo group, although I belong to several. I'm not thrilled with the new format, but I think actually setting up the group should be pretty straightforward (I'm pretty sure they provide step-by-step instructions). The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy for me between Christmas and my son's birthday on January 8. I'm hoping this thread will stay up till then, but in the meantime, if anyone else wants to jump in and start a group, be my guest. I hope we can spread the word about it. I have to say that I am really disappointed that the blog here is going to come to an end. F&F was a really great resource, not just the Coffee Talks, but the articles about all kinds of topics that were helpful to Catholic moms. There have been some good articles here on CD, but the format doesn't invite the kind of dialogue and community that we had on F&F. I have missed that for the past year, and was holding on to hope that we would get it back here on CD once some website kinks were worked out. I'm really sorry that it didn't work out. But I'm thankful for those of us who have stuck around for fellowship, and I hope we can continue to do so even if it has to be in a different setting.

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 9:31 PM by Claire S

  • I'd rather stay here! I know it's less than ideal, but I like to scroll through so I can pray for other families, and their intentions. I don't do FB, nor twitter or any other social groups, but if someone wants to in a few months, I may be able to meet you there! Rebecca, thanks for letting us know---couldn't we just keep this here? We won't be any trouble...

    Posted on Dec 10th, 2013 at 10:45 PM by Donna L.

  • Just wanted to point out: Blogger would take issue with the idea that they are not a part of social media, like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Having said that, I'd invite the most organized of you ladies to simply start your own blog, call it something that alludes to the former Coffee Talk discussions and post the link here. Simple, easy, free and obviously everyone here knows how to post on a blog! (And by "most organized", I'm referring to someone who can remember their password...I've had a blog before and to continue these discussion on a new one would be a snap.)

    Posted on Dec 11th, 2013 at 12:22 PM by AThought

  • A Thought: that's a great idea. My one question: is there a way of setting it up so that members have to have a logon id and password in order to post? Because it seems to me that is the only way to prevent excessive disruptions from trolls like Jeanne (who I'm sure is very happy--and crediting herself--for the closing of the CD blog). If you are willing to set this up, I gladly participate. Anyone else willing to give it a try?

    Posted on Dec 11th, 2013 at 2:32 PM by Claire S

  • Oh darn! I started reading Coffee Talk when Danielle started it on her blog and I am sad that Catholic Digest doesn't seem to feel that it's worth continuing. I don't think a Yahoo group would do much for me since I don't think I'd be able to go anonymous if I wanted to ask something sensitive. I like the idea of a blog.

    Posted on Dec 11th, 2013 at 3:00 PM by Alice

  • Yes, AThought, I'd say we've been pretty social media! :-) And I miss the F&F format with both Coffee Talk and the articles. But a blog sounds like a good idea if we can avoid the trolls... Danielle, you wanna hook us up like in the olden days? :-)

    Posted on Dec 11th, 2013 at 11:14 PM by Anna

  • I forgot to say that we are able to block people, so our previous issue shouldn't be a concern.

    Posted on Dec 12th, 2013 at 10:06 AM by Amy

  • Thanks Amy!! I just went over and added a Christmas memory of my own.

    Posted on Dec 12th, 2013 at 10:58 AM by Anne in NC

  • Amy, this is awesome! Thank you so much! I'm going to head over right now.

    Posted on Dec 12th, 2013 at 12:44 PM by Claire S

  • Just in case anyone is technology deficient like I am...keep at it. It took me forever to figure out how to post something over there. I finally realized I had to create a "profile" which I did not have on any of the listed names. Unless there is an easier way to post--and I don't know about it! Thanks for starting it, though Amy!

    Posted on Dec 12th, 2013 at 5:51 PM by Mary Therese

  • So glad there is a new blog, but if i may, another suggestion? Unless I'm not seeing it, right now there is no way to post anonymously. I think that defeats most of the purpose; there are far too many of us who wish anonymity and would never post otherwise. I understand you're looking for a way to keep out trolls, but really, unless it's obscene or blasphemous, why not just try ignoring? Is it really that bad that we can't just scroll on by? Or even better, let us take care of her ourselves? I'd have no problem going toe-to-toe with her, but again, only anonymously! Thanks for listening.

    Posted on Dec 13th, 2013 at 12:43 PM by AThought

  • can set your username as anything you wish. Mine is not my name. And there may be an option underneath the comment box to choose a different "name." I'd have to play around with it.

    Posted on Dec 13th, 2013 at 1:37 PM by Amy

  • AThought: with most trolls, you're right. We could just ignore them and/or delete their comments. But Jeanne from Florida is mentally ill and was extremely persistent, posting these long crazy comments and then copying and pasting and posting them repeatedly. She posted new ones as soon as they were deleted. We would have to scroll through tons of repetitive nonsensical comments. It ended up driving away many of our regular commenters. It's really sad, because so many of the original F&F commenters never made it over here to CD, and of those who did post here, many left because of Jeanne. And it's going to be hard to spread the word to those people about this new blog. Maybe there is a way to post anonymously on the new blog; let's keep trying.

    Posted on Dec 13th, 2013 at 3:09 PM by Claire S

  • Mary Therese, did you sign up for a google email or something? I don't have anything that seems to qualify for the profiles either...

    Posted on Dec 13th, 2013 at 8:13 PM by Anna

  • Anna, I have a google account, which is how I signed in. (You don't have to sign up for Google email, though.) You might want to create either a google account or a blogger account. Good luck!

    Posted on Dec 14th, 2013 at 4:47 AM by Claire S

  • Anna, I do have a google e-mail, but it was using my full name on the account and I didn't want that. I was able to link to the kid's gmail account with the name 'Mary Therese', so that's how I finally did it.

    Posted on Dec 14th, 2013 at 3:14 PM by Mary Therese

  • The way the new blog is set up, you have to have a profile. Like AThought, I found the ability to post really personal things anonymously to be one of the best features of the F&F blog, so I guess the new blog is not the place for me.

    Posted on Dec 14th, 2013 at 9:18 PM by Alice

  • FYI--new question posted on the blog today. Hope everyone is having an awesome Advent!

    Posted on Dec 17th, 2013 at 9:46 AM by Amy