Story of a Successful Mother’s Group Leader Change
I joke that I run on caffeine and the Holy Spirit – which is pretty close to the truth. I always joke that I am a much better teacher than I am a mom – which is why the Catholic Moms Group ministry is so important to me.
I’ve been a member since our former leader, Paola, did her pulpit announcement in April 2017. When I heard her speak, it was like the heavens were opening and angels were singing! Finally, a group for like-minded mothers who wanted to support one another in a prayerful atmosphere. I couldn’t ask for more. My husband, who is a Knight of Columbus, has his group, now, I finally had my own!
Our group started off as a small, but close group of mothers. It quickly became my lifeline and I would look forward to attending our monthly meetings. There were times when I would go completely exhausted from teaching and mothering, but when I left the church basement, I would be refueled by the support of my fellow moms. Not only did I make new friends, but it expanded my own children’s social circle. What a relief it was to find moms who parented with faith as a cornerstone, and who we see at mass and various church functions.
When Paola asked me to take over for her, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I knew that despite being busy (but aren’t we all busy?) that I would find a way to make space and time for the Moms Group. It also helped to know that she would still be an active member of the group, so I could ask her questions if needed. The planning meeting in August was also a great way to help me prepare and plan out the year. Not only did I get to meet and network with experienced leaders, I was introduced to many resources that I could use at our meetings.
Since my husband, children and I are very active members of the parish community, I knew that my membership drive would have to be bit different. I’m very comfortable with public speaking, so doing the pulpit announcements at all the weekend masses was the easy part. With the help of my husband, we filled out the information about our first meeting on the back of the postcards and business cards that I received from Paola and at the Moms Group training. I handed out cards at each mass after my announcement and I prayed. It isn’t a coincidence that I was standing close to the statue of our Blessed Mother as I “drummed up” business.
The day of our first meeting I was nervous, as well as sick with a bladder and ear infection. It was truly by the grace of God that I got myself prepared for the meeting. Knowing that I had the generous support of our pastor and our youth minister was such a comfort. At my first meeting we had twenty moms present and even more children!
Even though I had a full agenda, after praying the Rosary, what I had planned was put aside and we just talked. Our group expressed the need for more parenting supports – for moms with younger children who need babysitting, to a mom who had to suddenly flee her country with her daughter to empty nesters that are supporting their ageing parents. I started a WhatsApp group where we can check in if we need something in between meetings, even if it’s just a quick prayer.
My hope is that the moms that attend our meetings find something that will feed them not only socially, but spiritually as well. We forget as the primary caregiver to our families, that we need to feed our souls as well. I look forward, with Our Lady at my side, to leading our small, but mighty ministry.
Jen is a Catholic wife and mom of a nine girl and an eleven-year-old boy. Both Jen and her husband are very active in their parish. Jen is the new Moms Group leader at St. Christopher Parish in Mississauga. She is a part-time grade two teacher, and a full-time mom who is thankful for God's grace and caffeine.