Who Am I?
I am blue sky on a bright summer day
I am warm winter sun on cold white snow
I am brave green buds on springtime trees
I am colorful leaves in autumn
I am moonlight shining in a soft dark sky
I am the stardust of God’s wonderful universe
My heart is so happy I could fly!
Today was our last daytime meeting of the parish year, which began with the Rosary in the chapel at 11:30. We are grateful to all those members who come early each month to pray or to help set up before the meeting. Brown bag lunch was at noon complemented by delicious desserts coordinated by Refreshment Co-Chair Maureen Viglietta and Barbara Saake, filling in for Co-Chair Kathy Faistl.
Co-Chairs Eleanor Crawford and Margie Delaney decorated with yellow tablecloths, votive candles and centerpieces of pots of pansies and miniature daffodils. Beautiful, as always.
Jo Towne and Kim Leshick, Welcoming Co-Chairs, placed sign up sheets on the tables and warmly greeted the members as they came in.
Sr. Helen offered a prayer of the Universal Church for the Week of Easter which focused on the love of God and the healing presence of Jesus.
Audrey Finan, Co-President chaired the business meeting. She thanked Sr. Helen for her prayer and for recommending Sr. Mary Beth Hamm, SJ,
who raised our awareness of the concerns about human trafficking. The amount of $150 collected at the March meeting was sent to Dawn’s Place,
a haven for victims of human trafficking.
The May 2 theatre trip is sold out but there is a waiting list. Elia Gallello and Treasure Herman are working on events for the fall.
The co-president position for the coming year has been filled by Ellen Balestiero. The vice-president position has been filled
by Audrey Finan. Tracy Borut has volunteered to be one of the co-chairs of the September Annual Clothing Sale. Marilyn Simone will handle the Sale’s finances. Two more co-chairs are needed; Audrey encouraged members to step up and fill the positions to make our most important fund raiser of the year successful once again. Our thanks to Ellen, Audrey, Tracy and Marilyn for their generous offers to serve.
There is a waiting list for Sr. Helen’s retreat day at St. Joseph By the Sea on April 24 from 9:30 to 3:00. Anyone who wants to carpool is asked to be at St. Mary’s promptly by 8:45 a.m.
Barbara Schaflin, past MMG Co-President, presented a program on Tai Chi. She gave each member two beautiful poems and a photo she
took at St. Joseph By the Sea after hurricane Irene, which was accepted in a juried photography exhibit. Barbara told us what led her to the practice of Tai Chi. She saw a PBS program on China, then later read an article in the Asbury Park Press and followed up with a phone call to find out the teacher’s name, as many others did, which led to the formation of a group of 27 people who took instruction in Red Bank. She explained that Tai Chi is a journey of discovery, living in harmony with nature, focus on the present moment, health, energy, meditation, peace of mind, body and soul, smoothness of motion, balance, and in some instances, can be used for self-defense, which she demonstrated when she led us in a series of slow, graceful (on her part) Tai Chi exercises. Thank you, Barbara for your wonderful program.
Our thanks to Audrey Finan, Sr. Helen, Maureen Viglietta, Barbara Saake, Jo Towne, Kim Leshick, Eleanor Crawford, Margie Delaney, Maureen Valenziano, Susan Monaco, Barbara Keefe, and our faithful members.
Peace be with you.
Spring in Winter
It’s another new day!
It’s a glorious morning!
The sun smiles down
from a cloudless blue sky.
fill the air with music.
God is singing a love song
to you and to me.
What a difference in the weather this month! Last month snow was in the air – and later on the ground. It’s still winter, but temperatures in upper 60s and low 70s definitely feel like spring. Hallelujah!
Our general meeting began at noon, following the Rosary at 11:30. We brown bagged our lunches. Kathy Faistl and Nancy Bauer, filling infor Maureen Viglietta, served delicious desserts, some of Irish origin,and beverages. Thank you, Kathy and Nancy.
Eleanor Crawford and Margie Delaney decorated in green in honor ofSt. Patrick’s Day. Thank you, Eleanor and Margie
Audrey Finan, Co-President, chaired the brief business meeting. She announced that the nominating committee will be meeting soon to find candidates for the positions of Co-President, Co-Vice Presidentand Co-Chairs for the Clothing Sale, and asked members to respond in the affirmative if called upon.
Elia Gallello reported that everyone enjoyed the trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Tickets for the NYC trip to see the show Nice Work If You Can Get It on May 2 are sold out, but there is a waiting list. Please call Elia at (732) 308-0789 or Treasure Herman at (732) 946-8982 to check on availability.
Sr. Helen offered a prayer for victims of human trafficking, introduced Sr. Mary Beth Hamm, SSJ, and acknowledged what Sr. Mary Beth does to keep the Sisters of St. Joseph Congregation on track regarding their corporate stands: their Preferential Option for the Poor, Opposition to the Death Penalty, and their stand Against Human Trafficking.
Trafficking is the recruitment, retaining, transporting by any means, of any person for forced labor, slavery, servitude in any industry or site such as agriculture, prostitution, domestic service or marriage. Trafficking is a world-wide problem that affects every continent and most countries and is one of the most lucrative forms of international crime. Two million people are trafficked world wide annually; 27 million are in slavery around the world.
She spoke about children as young as 6 years-old forced into child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields and the million children employed in dangerous and abusive conditions on West African cocoa farms, little children weaving carpets in Nepal, and girls between the ages of 13-18, the largest group of among the 400,000 children being sexually exploited in the U.S. More women and children are enslaved today than in 19th century America.
Some things we can do:
Our thanks to Sr. Mary Beth for her informative talk. Thanks to Maureen Valenziano and Susan Monaco for arranging for Sr. Mary Beth to speak to us today.
The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
What a Day This Is!
feels like summer.
Flowers still blooming.
Sunny, warm and breezy.
Doors and windows open.
Remember this day next February,
It was typical February day – cold, damp, cloudy – with a hint of snow in the air as we gathered together for the Rosary at 11:30 and lunch at noon. Kathy Faistl and Maureen Viglietta served beverages and delicious desserts made by our refreshment committee members to go with our bring-your-own-lunches. Thanks to all who helped clean up afterwards.
Audrey Finan, Co-President, called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. Sr. Helen offered a prayer to “our God of love who is with us in the community of love here on earth.” We prayed a Hail Mary for our sick and homebound members.
Sr. Helen will present a weekend retreat on Joy from March 2-4. Cost of the retreat is $190. Phone Gail Cargiulo, 732-431-2815 to sign up.
Gloria Ziemienski, Newsletter, announced to the members that the Newsletter is only available online at St. Mary’s website due to lack of room in the parish bulletin. We will try to reach as many members as possible by making the Newsletter available at general meetings for those members who do not have computer access. Suggestions: Request that it be printed on the blank side of the monthly parish calendar which is a bulletin insert; e-mail it to members.
A nominating committee will be formed to select a new Co-President, Co-Vice President and Clothing Sale Chair(s). Audrey asked for members to be generous with their time and talent if called upon to serve.
Sr. Helen offered a beautiful Afternoon of Retreat on Gratitude. She began by saying that she is very grateful for the women of the Martha Mary Guild – and the feeling is mutual: we are so grateful for Sr. Helen’s loving spiritual guidance. Sister said that gratitude, or thankfulness, is like the weather: not to describe, but we all know how it feels.
Gratitude is a positive grace that brings us closer to God; it is a virtue. She quoted Anthony DeMello who said “whatever we are grateful for is sacred,” St. Therese of Lisieux, Mother Teresa, and Charles Shelton from his book The Psychology of Gratitude. She said gratitude brings joy and contentment and trust (in God). Finding God in all things comes out of a grateful heart. The most important gift of gratitude is God’s presence within us.
Sister advised us to ask for the gift of a grateful heart. Grateful people are happy people, which leads them to move out in service to others, which fulfills the grace of a grateful heart. We sang Psalm 139 and prayed Psalm 136. Based on Psalm 136, we wrote our own psalms of gratitude. The afternoon ended with a ritual of anointing for the things we are grateful for.
Our heartfelt thanks to Sr. Helen for this very special afternoon. Thanks to Maureen Valenziano and Susan Monaco, Program Co-Chairs, for arranging Sr. Helen’s retreat. Thanks to all who attended and all who served.
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart…
The Martha Mary Guild is a women's spiritual, charitable, educational and social organization of St. Mary's Parish. We are dedicated to assisting women and children in need. We carry out our mission through fundraisers and outreach.
The world calls me Martha, the do-er
Martha here, Martha there
Martha, Martha, everywhere
Jesus calls me Mary
Mary here, Mary here
Mary, Mary, only here
for only if you are Mary, Mary here with me
will you have the strength to be Martha, Martha everywhere
- Gloria Ziemienski
- September 23, 2001