Friday Introduction

Hello, friends!

On Instagram there is this wonderful thing that happens on Friday’s called Frday Introductions. If you’re on Instagram all the time like I am, I am sure you are familiar.

So let me just introduce myself to you y’all!

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I am Mary. I am a daughter, a sister, a brand new wife, and a youth/young adult minister. I always have the travel bug, adore green tea frappuccinos, am a big fan of the Jesuits, and admire Dorothy Day. I recently began this blog as a continuation of my beloved Tumblr which has been my place on the internet for lovely pictures and inspiring quotes since 2009. It is my safe place. This blog exists to get me out of my comfort zone.

I studied Theology and Religious Studies for my undergraduate degree at John Carroll University. After graduation I participated in the most amazing two year internship program, the Young Adult Leader Initiative with the Catholic Extension Society. During my two year program I studied at Fordham University to earn my masters degree in Religious Education. The program covered 100 percent the cost of tuition. #blessed does not even begin to describe. My courses were online during the academic year and on-campus (yes, in NYC!) during the summertime. I worked as a Catholic Campus Ministry Intern at Radford University in Southwest, Virginia where I fell in love with the slower pace of life, sweet tea, Mama Karen’s homemade rolls, my college students, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I also taught Religion classes at the sweetest school, Saint John Neumann Academy, in Blacksburg, Virginia.

During those years I dated my lovely new husband long distance and was so happy to be closer to him when my internship ended. I accepted my position as a youth and young adult minister back in my home state of Ohio, moved home, and shortly after Steven proposed! We were wed on September 19th, 2015 so the adventure is just beginning. I’ll introduce you to him soon, I promise 😉

I know some of these Friday Introductions include a question so I’m going to close with one.

Q. Where have you seen God’s grace lately?

A. Steven and I made the decision to wait to live together until marriage, which you can read about here where I wrote a post titled “Self Control is More Important than Saving Rent” for Blessed is She. Marriage is full of God’s grace, but I have especially felt His presence as we have hung pictures, labored over a bedroom curtain decision, and bought our first piece of furniture as a married couple. Each experience, even the tiny ones, we have made together as one. I love our tiny, cozy apartment, because it is filled with God’s grace and protection.

I’d love to know your answers so introduce yourself and leave me a comment.

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#BISsisterhood Link-Up // Communion of Saints

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“I suffered a lot but my soul was singing!”

I’m joining in with the #BISsisterhood Link-Up today to share with you about Blessed Chiara Luce Badano. As we approach the feast of All Saints this weekend, it is a wonderful time to pause and remember the legacy of this soon-to-be-saint dressed in blue jeans.

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I first fell in love with Chiara when I found out she failed math in high school and loved to wear blue jeans. Hello,soul sister! Then as I read more, I found a best friend in her.

Chiara was born in 1974 in Sassello, Italy. She loved to sing, hike, play tennis, and spend time with friends. She was a very simple, kind-hearted young teenager who kept Jesus at the very center of her life. She even referred to him as her “spouse” and consistently attended daily mass.

One day while playing tennis, Chiara felt a felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. Soon after the incident she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. When she became ill, she said, “For you, Jesus. If you want it, I want it too” and continued to put her faith in Him.

She is a prime example of love and suffering. She continually gave her pain to Jesus, trusting in His will and timing, up until the moment of her death in 1990. Her life, love, and light shows me how to lay my suffering down at the feet of the cross. I do not have to bear any of my suffering alone. We do not have to bear our suffering alone!

Come, holy spirit, teach us how to live more like Blessed Chiara!

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#4: Finish the Marian Consecration

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This Spring Steven and I finished 33 Days to Morning Glory, a do-it-yourself retreat in preparation for Marian Consecration. We spent 33 days studying about and praying with the teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed John Paul II.

What I find especially neat is that you begin your retreat on a specific Marian Feast Day. We started on our Lady of Fatima, which is April 10th.

Steven and I went to a wedding on August 14th (the Feast Day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who Steven and I fell in love with during the 33 days) and after the wedding at Peak ‘n Peak we drove up to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York. It was a total spur of the moment random trip (which completed #1: Visit a New Church & #94 Go on a Spontaneous Adventure). I am not realizing until just at this moment how cool it is that we started our consecration on Our Lady of Fatima and then we got to visit the shrine!

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” Saint Maximilian Kolbe

What I loved about our consecration:

  • Total consecration to the Blessed Mother is beautiful beyond measure.
  • A set time to pray with Steven every day.
  • We gave Mary an even larger role in our lives and we feel more passionately in love with her as our Mother.
  • The passages to read were very do-able. We did not feel overwhelmed. It was the perfect amount of nightly reading and reflection.

If you’re interested, let me know! I would love to give you more information.

Enjoy a few pictures from the Shrine!

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#78: Attend 3 Weddings

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“Marriage is a feast – a Christian feast, not a worldly feast…some are more preoccupied with the exterior signs, with the banquet, the photographs, the clothes and the flowers…These are very important things in a feast, but only if they are able to show the true motive of your joy: the blessing of the Lord on your love.”

Pope Francis, St. Peter’s Square, 14 February 2014

I will be sharing with you updates on my “101 in 1001” list. First up is #78: Attend 3 Weddings

Steven and I were blessed this year to witness three couples lay down their lives for each other in holy marriage. We believe marriage is a sacrament which has the power to sanctify, to make us holy, and to draw us into deeper relationship with Christ. It has been beautiful for us to look at these three couples as true witnesses of sacramental love. We have been inspired by their devotion to the Lord, their unwavering love of the Catholic faith, and their ability to stay focused on the sacrament during each step of their engagement. We are joyful to have such holy friends!

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Rob and Karisa
May 23, 2015

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Jillian and Jason
August 14, 2015

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Katie and Patrick
October 17, 2015
Love, Mary

PS. We cannot wait to celebrate our 50th anniversary year with these three amazing couples! 2015 was a great year to get married 😉

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Hello, sweet friends!

Welcome, sweet friends!

This is my brand new humble corner of the internet. I can also be found here at my joyful tumblr. I have been posting there since June or 2009, but after much prayer I have decided to begin a brand new blog for sharing the adventures I have with my charming new husband, our life in ministry, and beyond.

I am glad you stopped by! Grab a glass of sweet tea, or wine, and stay awhile. There’s something tremendously magical about taking a few minutes to journal and capture memories to be cherished for a lifetime and beyond. This is my effort to do just that. I pray my blog can inspire, uplift, and give you a moment of peace in this busy world.

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