Nativity of the Blessed Virgin

Hello friends of the Marian Center in Joy Valley!

So glad to have you join us for this little weekend email! At this moment we are enjoying a quick rest after a busy summer! (We say quick because October conference preparations are in full swing!) Thank you to all who visited the Marian Center this summer to see the Eucharistic Miracles of the World Exhibit. It is our mission and joy at the Marian Center to evangelize and educate folks about the amazing beauty of our Faith and hosting exhibits is one way we try to do that! 

As you know, we have a devotion to Our Lady and this week’s Cause of Our Joy is almost all about her! Whether you have a strong love for the Mother of Jesus or you are on the fence about why Catholics seem so enthralled with her, we’ve got something in this email for you!

So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

What’s the Hype?
If you find yourself a little baffled as to why Catholics seem to be so caught up with Mary, you’re not alone. It is one of the most misunderstood parts of our Faith. But, once the misconceptions are sorted out, devotion to the Blessed Mother is found to be one of the most beautiful gifts that Jesus has given us. We found this article, Why Do Catholics Have a Devotion to Mary, by Dr. Mark Miravalle to be a nice summary of why Catholics get so excited about Our Lady. 

Fall Mary Garden Class 
You may recall that The Marian Center hosted a Mary Garden Class this past May in which Ellen Willson from Willson’s Garden Center presented on how to design, plant, and maintain a Mary Garden through the summer. Well, it’s that time of year to be thinking about cleaning up your garden and preparing for next Spring! We will be hosting a Maintaining Your Mary Garden Class next Saturday, September 14, at the Center from 9:30-11:30 am. We’ll be talking about how to prepare your garden for next year and which bulbs to plant for a lovely spring bloom! No need to RSVP, just come to the class – we’ll have coffee, treats, and lots of helpful information! 

Scott Hahn has a short but wonderful reflection on the Readings available in text and audio. 

Marian Feast Days Galore!
We just checked our Catholic calendar and what a lovely lineup of Marian feast days we have in the upcoming week! While tomorrow is the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, and that takes precedence, it is also the feast of the Nativity of Mary. Then, this coming Thursday is the feast of The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And lastly, next Sunday is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows! (Our Lady of Mercy and Our Lady, Undoer of Knots have feast days in September too!!) How wonderful that the liturgical calendar gives us so much to think about, pray about, and be thankful for! 

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
As we mentioned above, the birthday of Mary is celebrated tomorrow (exactly 9 months after the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.) Tradition holds that Mary was born to faithful and devoted Jewish parents (Anne and Joachim) who, like Abraham and Sarah and Elizabeth and Zechariah, were childless for much of their married lives. We found a helpful article from The Catholic News Agencythat sheds some light on Mary’s birth. 

To celebrate this great day with your children or grandchildren, follow this link from Catholic Icing

Tomorrow’s Gospel – The Cross and Detachment
Sunday’s gospel from St. Luke speaks of two main qualifications to be a disciple of Christ: to carry our cross and follow after Him and to renounce our possessions for the sake of discipleship. 

When we hear people speak of taking up the cross daily and walking with it, oftentimes it sounds noble and even appealing to bear a cross for the sake of holiness or for redemptive suffering. However, when the rubber hits the road and a specific cross is before us waiting to be hoisted, that inspired feeling can ebb away. Those Catholic Men have a great article that speaks of the discipline involved in carrying the cross and how it can even be a source of joy! 

Like taking up our crosses, the word detachment can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Interestingly, detachment, when understood correctly, is a freedom! We found the article, Detachment: Letting God Be All We Need, from Catholic Exchange to have a great perspective on how detachment can be a great help in our lives! 

Nifty News 
Since we’re focusing so much on Our Lady for this Saturday’s email, we just had to include this darling video of a toddler snuggling with a statue of Mother Mary. The innocence and purity of a child’s heart is breathtaking, isn’t it?! 

Lastly, here is a touching story about how Congressman Sean Duffy will be resigning from his position as a Wisconsin representative after learning that his daughter, due in October, will be born with holes in her heart and in need of much care. How wonderful to have a politician choose his family over his career in politics! God bless Sean and let us pray for his family as they prepare for the birth of their newest family member! 

Saint Spotlight 
We celebrate the feast day of St. Peter Claver this coming Monday, September 9th. We didn’t know too much about him so we did some research and found out he was a missionary to the slaves in the slave trade in the early 1600s. As you can imagine, the slaves were treated less than human, but St. Peter made their comfort, dignity, and salvation his life’s work. Read here about how over 300,000 slaves were brought to Jesus through St. Peter’s care! 

Marian Center Update

September 14th – As we mentioned above, the Marian Center will be hosting a Mary Garden class next Saturday. It is for those who would like follow-up help with their gardens but also those who don’t have a garden and would like to learn more. Click here for more info!

Moms’ Rosary Group every Tuesday 10-12 

Volunteer meeting for Marian Conference will be held Sunday, September 22, at 3 pm. Join us as we pray the Chaplet, have some snacks and coffee and discuss volunteer opportunities. 

Fr. Christopher Jarvis will be with us for the Feast of the Archangels on Saturday, September 28, to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at 9:00 am. Following the Mass, he will dedicate and bless our new statue of Saint Juan Diego in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Memorial Garden and bless our new playground. After that, we’ll have brunch together to celebrate. Please bring a dish to pass. 

Oct. 25-27 – Marian Conference XXVIII – Register online at (make sure to use Firefox and Chrome browser).

To Christ Through Mary, 

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

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