Pope St. John Paul II said that “As the family goes, so goes society.” Look at the state of society nowadays, then look at the state of families, and finally, look at the state of mothers, the hearts of the families… They are stressed out, pulled in a million directions with many demands placed on them so that they get distracted from their primary vocation – Holy Motherhood.
When my son was 5, I really felt the need to connect with other Catholic moms. I was raised Catholic, but always kind of felt alone in the world. When I had my son, I found there was no shortage of parenting advice to be found in the secular world.
For the first few years, I read a lot of Today’s Parent magazine. It was all useful and interesting, with all sorts of ideas from how to organize your baby’s nursery, to fun crafts and family outings, tasty new recipes to help curb picky eating, and even various disciplinary techniques for certain behaviours, However, there always seemed to be an important component missing, which was how to raise a faith-filled child with strong character.
At the time, I was doing the best I could with what very little I had. We attended Mass every Sunday (though we knew very few families), taught our son his prayers (which we said morning, noon, and night), and my husband and I even taught the R.C.I.A. class at the parish.
Then, my sister-in-law introduced me to small group of Catholic home-schooling moms in our area. That was extremely eye-opening and amazing. I just couldn’t believe that there were Catholic mothers out there actually practicing their faith and passing it on to their children in such a beautiful way. They gathered together and prayed together and supported each other. I desperately wanted that type of fellowship with those types of moms. The problem was, that I didn’t feel called to home school and so could not meet up with them as often as I would have liked.
My son attended a small Catholic school in our neighborhood, where, sadly, there was a great dearth of Catholic moms. I lamented to my spiritual director that there was a huge vacuum when it came to fellowship among Catholic moms in general. I wanted what the home-schoolers seemed to have, and I thought that other mothers (home schooling or not) needed that as well. How wonderful it would be to have a group for like-minded Catholic mothers that offered prayer, support and encouragement to each other as we strove to raise our children in the faith, amidst all the secular world’s influences! My spiritual director simply asked “Why don’t you start one?” “Oh no, I couldn’t,” was my automatic reply.
Time went by and I happened to be surfing the Salt and Light website and came across this “Mothering” show. I watched the first episode, and was hooked. It resonated with me so much! Suddenly a thought struck me – this is IT. THIS is how I can start a mother’s group.
Cathy Haynes is a former Corporate Computer Trainer and R.C.I.A. instructor, who holds a BMath degree from the University of Waterloo. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to 5 children under 12, 4 of whom are recently adopted. Cathy has happily hosted a Catholic mother’s group for the past 7 years.