32 years ago, Matt and I became one another’s “At last.” (Genesis 2:23-24, the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of man this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”
Never would I have imagined the life God had in store for me in marriage, motherhood and
ministry! And looking back, I would not change a thing…….. well, maybe a few……but God gave
me the grace during the struggles.
Both of us raised cradle Catholic, married in the Catholic Church, looking back, sadly, we told
God at the time, “We will let you know when we need you.” Thinking we knew better than
God, we began our marriage with the contraceptive mentality; we were in control of when and
if I was to become a mother. A miscarriage in the first year, and then the amazing blessing of
our first daughter. Three children were born in the first three years of our marriage……. all the
while thinking that I was still in charge.
Five years into my life as a new mother of three, this is when God revealed to me His glorious
plan for marriage, love and openness to life. This was mostly discovered by immersing myself
in Saint Pope John Paul II’s writings titled The Theology of the Body; and for the first time
reading the encyclical Humanae Vitae, On Human Life.
Motherhood is an extreme privilege and gift! There is no greater role that a woman can have
than to raise up the future generation with faith formation, generous love, the truth, kindness,
gentleness and mercy. Now, there are moments as mother that we feel disappointed by our
children, that we failed in some way; that we are solely responsible for their behavior. God
gives each of us our freedom; we too must (at some point) give freedom to our children. We
might make the mistake of thinking that we can make our children holy. What we can do is
strive to live a holy life and be an example to them of God’s generous heart and love for each
one of us.
“Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in
a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile
upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps it to grow, and

who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.

Thank you, women who are wives! You irrevocably join your future to that of your husbands,

in a relationship of mutual giving, at the service of love and life.

Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the
family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness,

your generosity and fidelity.

“Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social,
economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution
to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the
sense of “mystery”, to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more

worthy of humanity.

Thank you, consecrated women! Following the example of the greatest of women, the
Mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, you open yourselves with obedience and fidelity
to the gift of God’s love. You help the Church and all mankind to experience a “spousal”
relationship to God, one which magnificently expresses the fellowship which God wishes to

establish with his creatures.

Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is
so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make

human relations more honest and authentic.”

Saint Pope John Paul II

It was this glorious openness to life that started us on the journey to ministry work and
eventually fulltime missionary work for marriage. We felt called to share with others God’s
beautiful plan for life and love; and so we volunteered to help with marriage preparation at St.
Thomas More and taught Natural Family Planning classes for five years.
Matt, I and our six children at the time then prayerfully discerned joining The Alexander House
(Matt’s sister, Julie and husband Greg; their ministry in Texas). Five years of working with
them, we then discerned starting our own non-profit called Marriage Missionaries; where we
strive to live our ordinary marriage made extraordinary by the companionship of Jesus and
helping others do the same. The three ways in which we do this is Marriage Coaching, Retreats
and Talks, as well as being on the formation team at the St. Francis School of Theology for
Deacons, a division of the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary for the Archdiocese of Denver.
Marriage Coaching is one couple to another couple: a mentoring friendship. Marriage coaches
help the couple to discover, and sometimes rediscover, the importance of their sacramental
marriage where God’s grace abounds with Him at the center, as well as giving tools to
implement to help married couples forgive, communicate in a healthy way, and to love one
another with a generous heart – like Christ who loves us, His Church.
God helped my marriage uncover that He is the Lord and Giver of Life; Matt & I are not. With
God’s patience, mercy and abundant grace, He helped our union by giving us the utter gift of
faith. Faith in God as well as putting Him right at the center of all aspects of our life. Now, as a
mother and grandmother, God’s design for marriage is far more glorious and rich in possibility.
Inviting other married couples to the same is our mission.
The words of a Faith-Filled Cardinal from Hungry wrote a beautiful tribute to motherhood, the
Venerable Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty (b. 1892- d. 1975). Cardinal Mindszenty experienced the
effects of this world as he fought a lifelong battle against atheistic Communism in WWII in

Hungary. His life was completely disrupted by Communism: he was arrested by the
Communists, tortured, put on a sham trial, and imprisoned. He was subsequently held under
house arrest for fifteen years. Despite the brutality he encountered, this great princely prelate
never wavered: he remained steadfast always in his Catholic Faith, at no time departing from
his God ordained Catholic beliefs. This small paragraph details the traditional Catholic view of
motherhood; a view that echoes deep within my heart as a wife, mother, grandmother and
woman, all praise be to Jesus Christ.

“Mother” by Cardinal Mindszenty

“The Most Important Person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of
having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more
magnificent than any cathedral -a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of
her baby’s body. . . The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot
share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven. Only a human mother
can. Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces
with mothers in performing this act of creation. What on God’s good earth is more

glorious than this: to be a mother?”
~ Venerable Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty

Lord, thank you for your goodness, guidance and protection as a wife, a mother and a
missionary! May all wives and mothers feel your abundant love and consistent mercy
as we journey back to you.