Category: Foundations and Pillars

Last week we got to sink our teeth into a new episode on the last of our four pillars, freedom. Helen Alvare did a fantastic job at giving us so much to start chewing on and this is our opportunity to build on and start finding some ways to apply these principles to our everyday lives in our domestic churches. Megan and Becky take listener questions and comments to lead the conversation this week.  The hosts talk about practical ways to introduce the concept of true freedom to children of various ages and also about how we can approach our fertility in light of potential health risks.

Show Notes:

If you have never heard from our guest, you are in for a treat.  Get your mind ready to absorb what all Helen Alvaré has to share with us on Freedom.   Professor Alvaré helps us start to see how we should be seeking freedom-for not freedom-from the misguidings in our world.  We as a culture today are more free than we have ever been yet there does not seem to be contentment.  Is it possible that women are seeking to fill themselves with some ideology that will never truly satisfy themselves?  True freedom comes in the form of total self giving not in this over individualized culture we live in. 

Helen Alvaré is a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. She publishes on matters concerning marriage, parenting, non-marital households, and the First Amendment religion clauses. She is faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a consultor for the Pontifical Council of the Laity (Vatican City), an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Washington, D.C.), founder of WomenSpeakforThemselves.com, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.

In addition to her books, and her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré publishes regularly in news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and USA Today. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Prior to joining the faculty of George Mason, Professor Alvaré taught at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America; represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops before legislative bodies, academic audiences and the media; and was a litigation attorney for the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young.

Professor Alvaré received her law degree from Cornell University School of Law and her master’s degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of America.

Show Notes:

Call to Action – 

Try to take a look inward to see if there may be something that you are seeking to be free from rather than seeking to be free to be or to do.  Ask the Lord to show you where you have been conformed to this world rather than to His plans for you.

Scripture – 

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2

Saint Quote – 

I have given everything to my Master: He will take care of me… The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us!” – St. Bakhita

20 year old college sophomore and 25 year old new mom in the business world/blogger kick off the lead the conversation on Freedom part 1.  The hosts and guests recount some of the very powerful statements made by Gloria Purvis in our previous episode on Freedom. All ladies agreeing on how we get to stand firm on the Truths of the feminine genius laid out by Mother Church and that true freedom ultimately lies in freely choosing God’s divine will for our lives by choosing to be who our loving Father created us to be.  

Our Guests:

Elizabeth Schrieber is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Science & Business. She is a daughter, sister, friend, D1 rower, comedian, bible study leader, tailgater and a serious foodie. She attended SEEK 2017 and will be serving on a FOCUS missionary trip this summer. She loves family,  friends, and quick witted banter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha Povlock is a 25 year-old Indiana native finding her way in the big city of Chicago. She’s married to her college sweetheart, Matt, who’s a fellow Notre Dame business/theology grad. They have one son, Liam. Samantha currently works in finance consulting, and spends her spare time (coffee in hand!) running FemCatholic.com, a blog to educate, encourage, and empower women in the Church.  She’d love to hear from you there, on Facebook or Instagram.

Show Notes:

  • Interior Freedom by Jacque Phillipe
  • “The highest and most fruitful form of human freedom is found in accepting, even more than in dominating. We show the greatness of our freedom when we transform reality, but still more when we accept it trustingly as it is given to us day after day.
    It is natural and easy to go along with pleasant situations that arise without our choosing them. It becomes a problem, obviously, when things are unpleasant, go against us, or make us suffer. But it is precisely then that, in order to become truly free, we are often called to choose to accept what we did not want, and even what we would not have wanted at any price. There is a paradoxical law of human life here: one cannot become truly free unless one accepts not always being free!
    To achieve true interior freedom we must train ourselves to accept, peacefully and willingly, plenty of things that seem to contradict our freedom. This means consenting to our personal limitations, our weaknesses, our powerlessness, this or that situation that life imposes on us, and so on. We find it difficult to do this, because we feel a natural revulsion for situations we cannot control. But the fact is that the situations that really make us grow are precisely those we do not control.” ― Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom

**Please note there are mature topics talked about in this episode**

“We must learn to see the difference between the false freedoms sold to us by the culture and the True Freedom bought for us by Jesus Christ.” -Fr. Mitch Pacwa  We are fighting the culture wars and true femininity is hard to detect anymore.  Some pretty bold faced lies are being sold out there and it is time to put on the armor of God and spread the Gospel Truth of who we are created to be.  Our beautiful guest, Gloria Purvis, joins with us this week to do just that.  You don’t want to miss this.

Our Guest:

Gloria Purvis views her role as wife and mother to her six year old daughter as her most important. Also, Gloria graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. She worked for nearly two decades in the mortgage industry before becoming a policy director at a major financial services company.  She served on the National Black Catholic Congress’ Leadership Commission, and as an Advisory Board Member on the Maryland Catholic Conference’s Respect for Life Department as well as the Archdiocese of Washington’s Pastoral Council. She also taught Natural Family Planning and helped prepare engaged couples for marriage as a member of a Pre-Cana team in the Archdiocese of Washington. She has appeared on Catholic Answers Live, The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio, and EWTN ‘s Life on the Rock and EWTN Live.

She is a Board Member for the Northwest Pregnancy Center and Maternity Home in Washington, D.C.  She is the creator and host of the EWTN series Authentically Free at Last that deals with the modern challenges to the expression and understanding of authentic human freedom. She is also the co-host of Morning Glory which airs 7 to 8 am Monday – Friday on EWTN Global Catholic Radio.

Show Notes:

Call to Action – 

“This week, can we be open to God’s prompting to tenderly speak the truth with someone who may not even realize they are living in bondage but can live in freedom?

Scripture – 

Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;  and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16

Saint Quote – 

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought” – St. Pope John Paul II

“By this power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear much fruit.” (CCC 736)

Megan Mastroianni shares and helps us start the journey of pursuing joy, one of our four pillars and this week’s new topic.  We are so thankful to have this young and vibrant voice to point us toward rejoicing!

Our Guest:

Megan Mastroianni first began speaking in 2007. Since then she has been featured as a speaker for Youth Defence at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, on EWTN’s Life On the Rock, at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, and for retreats, assemblies, and rallies all over the country.  Megan has also been a speaker for the Steubenville Youth Conferences for 6 years and will continue.

After graduating from Franciscan University in 2009, she has been in full-time ministry; she spent three fulfilling and wonderful years at Mount de Sales Academy serving as their Campus Minister.  Her hopes were to create a culture of authentic beauty, femininity, identity in Christ, and freedom at the school; and that is her driving force when speaking to women of all ages.  Since then, Megan has become the Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  She has and will continue to take what she has learned through speaking and ministry and apply it to her new role; her desire is to help ignite the city and to help create disciples.  She is passionate about proclaiming the mercy of Christ and she is grateful that God calls the weak to lead the strong!

You can connect with Megan on FB and IG or at meganspeaks.com

Show Notes:

  • “Do not abandon yourselves to despair.  We are Easter people and Halelujah is our song.” -St. John Paul II
  • Franciscan Stuebenville

Call to Action – 

Can we make the choice for joy knowing that it produces perseverance in our faith; even in suffering?

Scripture – 

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-3

Saint Quote-

“Joy is prayer; Joy is strength; Joy is love.”  – St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

This week is our segment called, Lead the Conversation.  This is where we invite you, our listener, to join us to keep unpacking the previous week’s topic – Friendship and Laughter. 

We invited listeners Christy White and Adrea Stuecker to lead the conversation for us. Christy and Adrea share with us about the burden of loneliness and friendly confrontations. But don’t worry, we get to the laughter too.

Our Guests:

Christy White and her husband,Tim, have 5 children (3 boys/2 girls) and have been married for 20 years.  Their eldest son is in his first year of college and she home schools the 4 younger ones in Bella Vista, Arkansas.  Christy is a convert (22 years this Easter!) and absolutely loves being Catholic! Bring her a great cup of coffee and a good book and you will be her best friend!  

You can connect with Christy on FB and IG.

Adrea Stuecker is a convert to the catholic faith, the wife of Jason, and mama to three sweet babes Hampton (8),  Hadley (5), and one son born into heaven.  Adrea is a self proclaimed recovering CPA trying to suppress her type A-ness in the midst of motherhood’s messiness.  She loves cooking, baking, and anything her kids are into.  Her favorite saints are St. Faustina and St. Mary Magdalene.

 Adrea wold love for you to come say hello and connect on IG. 

Show Notes:

  • “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”C.S. Lewis

  • “People won’t care what you know until they know how much you care.” – original author unknown.
  • “28 Peter began to say to him, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.[g] 31 But many that are first will be last, and the last first.'”Mark 10:28-31
  • “Yet we all know from experience that when we give God time, we are happy. When we cheat God, we cheat ourselves. We know this from thousands of repeated experiments. And yet we keep running away from God, from communion with God, from prayer, as if it were bitter medicine” –Peter Kreeft on Time
  • “Complaining to the Lord of her treatment, she heard him reply, “Teresa, whom the Lord loves, he chastises. This is how I treat all my friends.” She replied tartly, “No wonder you have so few!'” St. Teresa of Avila

 

We are working through the four pillars of our podcast: joy, laughter, freedom and friendship. Today’s guests are the friends of Megan and Becky and they all share how God has used their friendships and laughter to thrive in the trenches of daily life.  From singleness to sheer loneliness in the middle of family chaos, these 4 ladies talk about the Ultimate Friendship and fulfillment that is in Christ alone.

Our Guests:

Sam Kelley is the Founder and current President of FIERCE Athlete Inc. Sam was a Division 1 soccer player and came back to her Catholic faith in college. She has since committed her life to spreading the faith, especially to female athletes. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Catholic Psychology as well as Certification in teaching Theology of the Body.  She loves continuing to be active and through Megan’s inspiration is currently involved in rowing. Sam and Megan met over professional circumstances but have since become dear friends as well as work out, and prayer partners. Oh and they don’t mind putting a beer on the line in a friendly workout competition.  You can find Sam on FB, IG, twitter, and at FierceAthlete.org

 

 

 

Marie Darrin is a thirty-something Catholic wife and mother.  She is a wife to a painfully handsome man, who puts up with her crazy, and loves her endlessly. She is mama to one tiny hot mess of a daughter and one miracle baby boy and they sanctify her daily. Marie struggles with infertility, and successfully conceived her son using the NaPro Technology method.  After suffering emotionally, physically and spiritually through I.V.F.  and surviving the devastating loss of twin girls, she found a better way.  A way that respects the sanctity of life.  Marie is a professional photographer, owns  Firefly Photography and loves what she does.  She loves her Catholic faith, Jesus, and thinks the Virgin Mary is pretty boss. Becky and Marie met when Marie helped Becky deliver her first baby.   You can find Marie on FB, IG, and her blog.

Show Notes:

A pleasant voice multiplies friends,
    and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.
Let those that are at peace with you be many,
    but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
When you gain a friend, gain him through testing,
    and do not trust him hastily.
For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience,
    but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.  –Sirach 6:5-8 (but read the whole chapter it is great!)

Call to Action

If you find yourself in a season of loneliness and yearning for close friends, we encourage you to either start praying or to continue in steadfast prayer. Ultimately we are all to seek the ultimate source of companionship and happiness, our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Recognize and give thanks for the God-given friendships in your life. Then, take time to gather with your friends, even if you have to Skype or face time.  Pour a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of wine and then relax and share your heart, your love, and your laughter.

Scripture – 

14 “A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter:
    he that has found one has found a treasure.
15 There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend,
    and no scales can measure his excellence.
16 A faithful friend is an elixir of life;
    and those who fear the Lord will find him.”  Sirach 6:14-16

Saint Quote – 

Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious”  –St. Thomas Aquinas

We are so excited to introduce our “Lead the Conversation” portion of the podcast! This is were we invite you, our listener, to join us as we breakdown the topic from the previous week’s episode. This week we follow up on Episode 2 – Domestic Church.

On this week’s episode, Megan and Becky invite listeners Christine Rizzo and Mary Kate Wallin to lead the conversation.  The different perspectives from these women offer encouragement, inspiration, and comfort.  From a divorced, single mom of grown children who is now hosting exchange students in her home to a mom who is just starting out; we hit many different aspects of the fullness, uniqueness, and universality of the Body of Christ in our Domestic Churches.

Our Guests:

Christine is a mom, educator, speaker and minister to those separated/divorced.  Experiencing the trauma of divorce personally, Christine’s life was broken open and blessed in new and unexpected ways.  Falling back into the arms the Catholic Church, she discovered much hope and healing in the Sacraments, the Gospel and Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  Her experiences led to a profound reversion and a new vigor for sharing the faith, especially the Church’s teachings on vocation, married love and responsible parenthood.   


Christine received a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from St. Bonaventure University and Master’s degree from St. Charles Seminary’s School of Theology.  Spending most of her professional career in the corporate world, she is currently sharing her love for Christ and His Church as a high school Theology teacher in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.   She enjoys traveling and cooking for her family – and considers herself a passionate advocate for life, marriage and authentic healthcare.  Christine lives outside of Philadelphia and has three college age children.  

Christine can be reached at chrizzo@aol.com, On twitter or in the kitchen cooking up some goodness!

 

Mary Kate is a mom to two energetic little girls, Emily (4) and Madelyn (2). Married to her best friend, Andrew, the Wallins are trying to thrive in the trenches daily! Mary Kate and Andrew both grew up in the Philadelphia area, attended Catholic grade school and high school and both graduated from Saint Joseph’s University. Mary Kate went on to receive a Masters Degree in school counseling from Villanova University and has been working to spread Christ’s light and love through counseling students K-8 for over 5 years. The Wallin Family loves the beach, Matt Maher’s music, lots of ice cream, their alma mater- SJU but most of all spending time with their families, their greatest models of joy-filled domestic churches. Mary Kate and Andrew are especially grateful for God’s mercy, grace and love as they navigate the challenging and exhausting waters of parenthood.

You can connect with Mary Kate on IG

Show Notes and Links:

 You: Life, Love, and Theology of the Body By Brian Butler, Jason & Crystalina EvertYou:

Theology of the Body for Beginners By Christopher West

My Friends the Saints

Saints for Young Readers (Vols 1 and 2)   “I love this one because it follows the church calendar so you read one a day.  They are short and easy to understand”. -Becky

This week we get to delve into a huge topic that is at the foundation of our podcast and our trenches.  The Domestic Church.  What is the Domestic Church?  You’ve heard the term but are wondering how that applies to you?  Single? Married?  Kid or no kids, we all live in the Domestic Church because we are all part of the family of God.  Our guest, Bill Donaghy, completed the Theology of the Body Institute Speakers Training program in 2005, Head & Heart Immersion Course in 2006. He is a Theology of the Body Institute Certification Program instructor, international speaker, and curriculum specialist. Bill worked in mission, evangelization, and education, and has a background in visual arts, philosophy, and systematic theology. He can also juggle almost any three objects.

Links and Quotes:

  • “The well-being of the individual person in the human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy conditions produced by marriage and family.” Gaudium et Spes  
  • “The Holy Family is the icon of the domestic Church, called to pray together.  The family is the domestic Church and
  • must be the first school of prayer.  It is in the family that children, from the tenderest age, can learn to perceive the
  • meaning of God, also thanks to the teaching and example of their parents; to live in an atmosphere marked by God’s
  • presence.” -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, December 28th, 2011, Feast of the Holy Family
  • “The family is the domestic church”. The meaning of this traditional Christian idea is that the home is the Church in miniature. The Church is the sacrament of God’s love. She is a communion of faith and life. She is a mother and teacher. She is at the service of the whole human family as it goes forward towards its ultimate destiny. In the same way the family is a community of life and love. It educates and leads its members to their full human maturity and it serves the good of all along the road of life The family is the “first and vital cell of society”. In its own way it is a living image and historical representation of the mystery of the Church. The future of the world and of the Church, therefore, passes through the family.” APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE TO BANGLADESH, SINGAPORE, FIJI ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA AND SEYCHELLES HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II Perth (Australia), 30 November 1986
  • “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”  St. John Paul II
  • What is a Home Enthronement?
  • Lumen Gentium
  • The USCCB
  • Call to Action –

Aesthetically:  What can we do this week to create that feeling of a domestic church in our homes.  Is it hanging an icon on the wall? A framed picture of your favorite Scripture verse?  Putting up that holy water font by the front door?  Find one simple way to make more visible the reality of the sacredness of the Domestic Church.  

Spiritually:  What can we do to be the domestic church to someone else?  Could we serve a neighbor in some way?  Invite the widow/er over for dinner or take her a bouquet of flowers.  Sit and have tea or coffee together and just listen to them talk about whatever they want to talk about.  Hug them to ease some of their loneliness.  Or maybe it is really listening to your teen when they walk in the door.  

Scripture – Matthew 18:20

 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

“Love begins with a smile” – St. Mother Teresa

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