St. Jerome’s Mothers Group – 5 Fabulous Facts!
Where do Mothers’ Group Leaders come from?
The short answer to this question is “everywhere!” The mothers at St. Jerome’s parish in Brampton, meets every single week of the year. The leaders are cradle Catholics from devout families, fallen-away Catholics who have returned to the Church and some who were relatively unchurched until they found their way back to the Catholic Church.
What does this MG group do?
This group not only gets together for support, but they take part in pilgrimages, service projects and other things. The St. Jerome’s group makes food a big part of their ministry. They lend a hand at the Canadian Food for Children Warehouse donating time and food. They also have picnics and dinners together and make casseroles for the Good Shepherd Centre in Toronto.
St. Jerome’s Mothers group went on an outing to the Marian Shrine of Gratitude with their children
Some of the moms in this MG are involved with Rosary Apostolate in the elementary Catholic Schools and become liaisons between church, school, principals, teachers and parents, demonstrating that there is no limit to the outreach and impact these women and groups can have on society at large.
They have made pilgrimages to the Doors of Mercy, bringing along their families, attend Masses together and make Holy Hours together! They live a rich, spirit-filled fellowship as mothers and friends.
This group was started a few years ago by Daniela DallaVia and Jyotsna Dias, when they felt a strong need for a Mothers’ group at their parish. They spoke to their pastor, got a room and sent out a few emails. Daniela describes the turning point in the success and growth of their group; “About a year ago, Dorothy came to visit, a few of us took the MG Leadership Training and our MG seems to have taken on a life of it’s own.”
Sandra Priselac makes a poignant point, “I realized that I truly needed to revisit the teachings of the Church with my adult eyes, mind, and heart, and what a journey it has been! Could Catholicism be more beautiful? The answer is yes – it is endless in its beauty. Thanks be to God!” Her MG helped her to explore her faith in a deeper way.
Brenda Winterdal echoes that idea, “I completed my confirmation about 2 years ago after completing the RCIA program at St. Jerome’s parish. It was a wonderful experience that led me to want to further develop my faith and ultimately to the St. Jerome’s Mother’s Group.”
How does the group run?
This group follows a format to keep them on track. The start with an opening prayer, Gospel reflection, sharing time, resolutions, and closing prayer. This helps to stay focused and stick to a time frame.
Who comes to the MG?
Daniela states, “We now have a very diversified group, in terms of culture, age, life stage and situations, yet we are centered in Christ and Our Blessed Mother. Three of our members come from different Parishes in Brampton and yet we meet every Tuesday morning at our St. Jerome’s parish. Here we come together as women of faith, feeling accepted and able to share in a safe environment. We form, challenge, console and encourage each other. As any loving sisters, we’ve also had our loud disagreements and rocky moments…
Since I’m the only woman in my household, this MG grounds me as a wife and mother, woman, sister, daughter and neighbour.”
Sandra describes it this way, “A true gift along the way has been the Mother’s Group. Weekly, I am surrounded by women of different ages, different backgrounds, different life experiences and different family structures and yet we are all united in our desire to seek the Lord. We share, care, laugh, and challenge each other. In a meeting room at St. Jerome’s, we embark on a search for our Lord – whether in conversation, a shared story, a new book, a group outing. And guess what? Hand-in-hand with my sisters, we find Him, each and every time.”
What helps the MG to grow?
One of the most helpful things in this MG was the support of their pastor. He even ran the “I Love my Mothers’ Group” ad in the church bulletin for a month. The group was shocked and felt it really encouraged the group and others in the parish considering joining. In fact, an evening group may soon be spinning off the original MG.
Clearly these women have found a way through their MG to enrich their faith, form new friendships and find support.
Recently, Dorothy Pilarski, Founder of CatholicMomsGroup.com gave a presentation to 100 teachers at St. Augustine’s high school, hoping to reach out to moms who have disengaged fro the parish and promoting the St. Jerome’s Mothers Group. The chaplain at the school commented that it was hard for working moms to go to a day time mothers group.
Guess what this amazing team of Mothers Group Leaders did? They started an evening group too! There is no end to the love this team of mothers has! St. Jerome’s Mothers Group rocks!
Mary Lou Rosien