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Lil' Angel

Stacie MartinezComment
 Lil' Angel Joey chillaxin in his onesie...and at his baptism. 

Lil' Angel Joey chillaxin in his onesie...and at his baptism. 

I would like to inform everyone that this is not Stacie nor John, but their eldest daughter writing this blog post. My parents are super busy with all my siblings, work, and moving; so they have delegated some work. Maybe we will finally have some regular blog posts going on now.  And just to warn you, there may be some modern humor/sarcasm that my parents might not use. An example is: When people see our ‘Lil’ Angel” onesie, they are like “Aw, this is so cute! I should get it for my niece, nephew, daughter, son, grandchild, friend’s child, dog, fish, etc”...these days you just can’t be too sure.

All kidding aside, we gifted a family friend with this onesie as a baptism gift for their son, Joey. (We customized it too, cause this is a free country and you can do that with this onesie! ) Joey, is such a little angel! Now there might be some who say, “Sweetie, you can not say that a baby is like an angel, or you can not compare the beauty of an angel to a baby.” I’d smile at them and try to think of something clever to say. I’ve got nothing but, “Mam’, it’s just a metaphor,”...while smiling politely, because I am such an angel too. But after thinking about it I finally got it: “If an angel had a body, it would look like a baby.”  Boom!  Well, enough of this debate of angels and baby cuteness. I better not get too off topic or I might not be allowed to write any more blog posts...and I am quite enjoying this.

So, back to the family friend and the onesie. Okay, so we went to Joey’s baptism and it was so beautiful. Out of all the baptisms I have ever been to - and I am the oldest of six kids, I’ve been to A LOT of baptisms - I have never in my sixteen years seen a priest lay hands on and say a special prayer over the baby. I mean, a personal prayer that came from the heart. It was amazing and beautiful, and if I ever have kids I would want my priest to do just that. The ceremony was so God-filled, and I am sure that the family has received lots of graces just from having their little angel.

Son's of the Father Retreat

Stacie MartinezComment

Proud Catholic Company invites you; single, married, fathers & sons (ages 10 & up). Please see below for more details and please pass along the flyer. A special invite for you and any men you know:

Catholic Men's Fellowship Weekend! 
(single, married, fathers & sons ages 10+)
Experience the love of God during this masculine weekend held on the 200+ acres of Camp Haycock in beautiful Upper Bucks County, PA through outdoor activities, sacraments, and the brotherhood of men who desire holiness. 

Date & Location
Friday, Mar 31, 2017, 6:00 PM –
Sun, Apr 2, 2017, 9:30AM
Haycock Camping Ministries
3100 School Road
Kintnersville, PA 18930

HEATED cabin accommodations, HOT showers, MODERN bathroom facilities, 4 professionally prepared meals

Mass, Confession, Rosary, Adoration & Meditation, Evening fellowship around the campfire

Archery, Rifle target shooting, Shotgun Skeet shooting, High ropes, Climbing tower, Zip line

Register by March 14th to:,,
with your: Name, Phone Number, and Address

Send Check for $125 per person payable to:
"Sons of the Father, LLC"
Catholic Men's Weekend
1770 E. Lancaster Ave, Suite 4
Paoli, PA 19301

Thinking of Mom

Stacie MartinezComment

I am currently reading A Song for Nagasaki by Fr. Paul Glynn.  It is an inspiring story of Takashi Nagai, detailing his spiritual journey from Shintoism to atheism to Catholicism.  It is woven with family history, heroic tales, and stoic virtues while revealing interesting details about Japanese history and culture.  The biography traces his spiritual quest which reveals providential influences that helped shape his journey.  I am only 65 pages into the book, however, today I read something that brought tears to my eyes and made me think of my mom.  

I share something in common with Takashi Nagai, the death of a mother.  As sorrowful as it was at that time, God used that "bad" situation and made much "good" out of it, using it to bring both of us into a deeper relationship with him.  For Takashi Nagai, in the very last moments of his mother's life, her eyes spoke to his and revealed to him that the human spirit lives on after death.  As an atheist, it was hard for him to grasp, however he could not but believe.  This moment of grace spurred his spiritual journey.  In 2006 at the time of my mother's death, I was a cradle Catholic, a Sunday mass goer, attending a Renew group in my parish, slowly getting interested & involved in my faith - I probably considered myself a "good person".  God was definitely working in my life, but I did not notice it yet.  The death of my mom was a major impetus in my spiritual journey.  Immediately after her death I became very concerned for my mother's soul and gratefully a priest ministered to me and answered all of my questions with much love and wisdom.  My job as was to pray for her soul.  And pray I did; for her soul and all the souls in purgatory.  Much later as I grew in my faith I came to understand that part of our job as Church Militant, the living Church on earth, is to pray for Church Suffering, the souls in purgatory.  

I often think of my mom, especially during days such as these.  While I'd like to believe that her soul is now part of Church Triumphant, enjoying eternal glory in heaven with God the Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit and all the angels and the saints, I'd rather continue to grow my faith in prayer for her soul and others.  Please join me in praying for my mother's soul, Takashi Nagai's soul, and all the souls in purgatory.  

St. Gertrude the Great is invoked for souls in purgatory and for living sinners. Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the following prayer would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners as well.  So let us pray, 

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."

A Divine Mercy Encounter

Stacie MartinezComment
  Derek & Jennifer Nelson sporting their PCC gear.  

Derek & Jennifer Nelson sporting their PCC gear.  

Our friends Derek & Jennifer are a tremendous witness to the faith!  Listen to what is being said about their beautiful and inspirational Divine Mercy Encounter:

The beauty of A Divine Mercy Encounter lies in its simplicity. All that is needed are a couple of microphones and a piano (which can be supplied if one is not available). The Nelsons provide all the materials for publicity beforehand, and the programs and Divine Mercy image for the holy hour. They are excellent communicators who require only about a half hour to set up for the encounter. They only ask that the Encounter be well publicized; however, they are happy to share their gifts with however many, or few, attend. (I believe we had about 75).

My favorite thing about this Encounter is that it is, truly, an encounter. It is not a concert/show where one sits back and gets entertained. The music, composed and played by Derek (angelically accompanied by his 9 year old daughter) is other-worldly beautiful, punctuated with short meditations reverently read by Jennifer. And then there are powerful pauses, giving silence a chance to work its magic.

Jennifer expertly explains the flow of the Encounter at the beginning, gently reminding everyone to please not applaud during the Encounter, rather to direct all the praise to our Lord, who is prominently present, front and center, on the altar in the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

In the last portion of the hour (and they are intentional about keeping the Encounter to one hour), all are invited to share in prayer, which is easily followed in the programs.

The Nelsons are not front and center during the Encounter. They are off to the side, fully aware of the Giver of all gifts. But they are very personable and approachable, available afterwards to share their journey and eager to hear about yours.  A review from the AFF Dir at St. Brendan Navigator, NC.

If you're interested in bringing the Divine Mercy Encounter to your parish, please contact Jennifer at!

Must You See To Believe?

Stacie MartinezComment

Catholic Exchange recently posted a great reflection about seeing and believing.  While reading it, we immediately thought of our Jesus Puzzle t-shirt.  This t-shirt was one of the first shirts we ever designed and produced way back in 2008.  Its still running strong and is a favorite among people.  The shirt reminds us, as Sean Fitzpatrick writes in his article, "Catholics are called to look beyond the evidences of their eyes, to believe in miracles, and to be optimists when pessimism is the only reasonable conclusion."  May we all walk by faith, not by sight, Amen!

Another "Pray Hard" story

Stacie MartinezComment

We were at a parish mission at St. Mary's in Middletown, NJ with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  One of the days during the parish mission we saw a gentleman wearing a "Pray Hard" hoodie.  I approached him and started having a conversation with him.  He then told me a story about when he was wearing his "Pray Hard" hoodie.  He emailed it to us:

"Here's my story, so here it is:

I was wearing the pray hard sweatshirt one time and one of my fellow workers saw me wearing it. He asked about the sweatshirt and it initiated a conversation about church. I had no idea he was religious as well. Many other people have approached me in a positive way while I have worn it. I wear it very proudly."

Donato Basso

Pray Hard

Stacie MartinezComment

This message and image was shared with us from our good and holy friends the Nelson Family:

"This is our friend, Leo Yanas. He is a 4th degree blackbelt, and runs like 10 miles every day through our town and is the town track coach.   We bought this shirt for him to evangelize as he runs. He says he's been stopped multiple times from people who say they like his sweatshirt.  He also said that he hopes that people who see him running remember to "pray hard!"  Leo trains his body, and this shirt is a good reminder to train the spirit too :-)"

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