Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Christian Mothers

     A little over a year following the establishment of the new Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in the Diocese of Greensburg in 1978, a group of ladies from the parish along with our founding pastor, Father Mack, established a Confraternity of Christian Mothers that was united with the Archconfraternity based in Pittsburgh.  This past Sunday our Confraternity of Christian Mothers celebrated their thirty-fifth anniversary with a Mass and a dinner.   It was a great celebration of the acomplishments and the vitality of this parish organization that contributes so much to the life of the parish.

     I was honored to celebrated the 11:00 am liturgy that was scheduled to honor and pray for the living and the deceased members of the group.  It was a part of our regular Sunday schedule, with the ladies sitting together as a group and witnessing by their prayerful presence.  We were joined at this Mass by the National Executive Director of the Archconfraternity, Father Angelus Shaughnessy, OFM Cap, who was also our guest at the dinner that followed.  Father Angelus is a noted speaker, spiritual director and spiritual guide to the Christian Mothers and many others and is located in Pittsburgh.

     Under the patronage of Mary, the "Mother of Sorrows", the Christian Mothers are encouraged to joyously undertake the important task of training and helping to make holy their children, both through word and action.  They pray with and for each other and become the mainstay of the spiritual life within their own family, and a fruitful source of blessing to the parish and the community in which they live.

     The movement began in France in 1850 as a way for women and mothers to get together to pray and reflect upon how best to serve the spiritual needs of their children and families.  The Capuchin Franciscans brought along this popular organization to the United States and to the Pittsburgh area and the Confraternity was canonically established on January 16, 1881 in Pittsburgh.  Since then over 2,000 Confraternities have been affiliated with the Pittsburgh Confraternity.

     Our ladies do a great job in countless ways to help their families, their children, our parish family and the children of our parish.  In addition, they are blessed with working and praying together in the spirit of Christ.  I/we congratulate our Confraternity and I thank them for allowing me to be a part of their celebration this past Sunday.

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