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Friends of Madonna House is a free hand-out of short reflections drawn from the words of Catherine Doherty and Madonna House Staff.

“Nothing is foreign to the apostolate,” Catherine often declared. The aim of this publication is to cover a wide range of topics relevant to Christian life and Church teachings. They are made further accessible by being written in layman’s terms and easily available for reproduction.

The name of these publications has evolved over the years from Penny-A-Copy and Pass It On! to Friends of Madonna House. Catherine called the first pamphlets Penny-A-Copy to give people dignity in buying them and to help defray printing costs. “Pass it on!” was an expression she used to describe the apostolic spirit of evangelization.

Now those who desire to live in the Nazareth spirit of Madonna House can be further encouraged by subscribing to the Friends of Madonna House monthly e-newsletter that also features occasional news about the Madonna House Apostolate, new book releases, Catherine’s cause for canonization, and our publications. A searchable archive of past issues is accessible through our publications website. PDF files of the physical handout are also available there for download and reprint.

We encourage you to make copies of our Friends of Madonna House issues, create links to the online articles and pass them on to anyone: perhaps in your parish bulletin, in your correspondence — share it with friends, family, school or business associates. Friends of Madonna House is seed to be scattered, ready to sprout and take root where God wills. May he bless you as you read it. You are free to copy and republish them (even in a commercial publication), but you may not alter or edit the text, and you need to attribute the author (e.g. “by Catherine Doherty”) and specify Madonna House Publications as the source.

The Masterpiece of Society is the Family

by Pope FrancisFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 9. Read More…

Joseph Dreams

by Pope Francis — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 8. Read More…

Nurturing the Family Spirit

by Catherine Doherty — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 7. Read More…

Heaven Is In You!

by Archbishop Joseph RayaFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 6. Read More…

The Consecrated Life I Know Best

by Theresa DavisFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 5. Read More…

Our Hope — the Resurrection

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 4. Read More…

Why are we so indifferent to Christ’s love?

by Fr. Émile Brière — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 3. Read More…

No one is left for dead…

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 2. Read More…

Silent Listening Hearts

by Fr. Jim DuffyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 3, no. 1. Read More…

Farming with Integrity

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 72. Read More…

Our Christian Calling

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 71. Read More…

The Glad Season of Advent: Preparing for Christmas

by Fr. Robert D. PeltonFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 70. Read More…

Loving and Letting Go: The Mystery of Death

by Fr. Robert D. PeltonFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 69. Read More…

God’s Troubadours of Beauty: Artists and Handicrafters

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 68. Read More…

The Transforming Cross

by Fr. Robert D. PeltonFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 67. Read More…

The Spirit of Nazareth and the Vocation of Madonna House

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 66. Read More…

The Eucharist: Banquet of Love

by Fr. Robert D. PeltonFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 65. Read More…

Spirituality of Pilgrimage

by Catherine Doherty and Fr. Robert WildFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 64. Read More…

Lenten Customs and Traditions

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 63. Read More…

Celebrating Epiphany

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 62. Read More…

Hospitality of the Heart

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 61. Read More…

Easter Hope

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 60. Read More…

Pentecost: Feast of The Holy Spirit

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 59. Read More…

With God, Every Moment is The Moment of Beginning Again

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 58. Read More…

The Faith That Resurrects Hope

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 57. Read More…

God first, my neighbour second, and myself third

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 56. Read More…

Do you know what the storm is to the trees?

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 55. Read More…

Christ in the Other

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 54. Read More…

Christ, The Divine Beggar

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 53. Read More…

Celebration: A Dance of Faith

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 52. Read More…

A Girl Named Eve: Pilgrimage to the Virtue of Obedience

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 51. Read More…

A Child

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 50. Read More…

Plug into Sacramentals

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 49. Read More…

Appreciating the Eucharist

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 48. Read More…

A Christmas Story

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 47. Read More…

Preach the Gospel with Your Life!

by Fr. Jim Duffy Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 46. Read More…

Lent: A Sea of God’s Mercy

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 45. Read More…

Lenten Fasting: Lessons from Old Russia

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 44. Read More…

The First Church Bells

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 43. Read More…

Tips for Parents: How to Combat a Secular Culture

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 42. Read More…

The Duty of the Moment

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 41. Read More…

The Pilgrim’s Story: A Tale of Old Russia

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 40. Read More…

Silence Prepares Us for the Coming of Christ

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 39. Read More…

A Woman Wrapped in Silence

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 38. Read More…

The Love of God Pierces My Heart

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 37. Read More…

Purity in Marriage: Love, Lust, and Self-discipline

by Rosalie DouthwrightFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 36. Read More…

A Source of Hope for the Church

by Mark Schlingerman — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 35. Read More…

Lent: Re-configuring our Relationship with the Father

by Denis LemieuxFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 34. Read More…

What Do You Mean: I Can’t Love!

by Fr. Émile BrièreFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 32. Read More…

Truth is Painful but Healing

by Fr. Émile BrièreFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 31. Read More…

May You Live All the Days of Your Life!

by Fr. Émile Brière Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 30. Read More…

Love Yourself As Your Neighbour

Fr. Émile Brière Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 29. Read More…

Is Christ Relevant?

by Fr. Émile BrièreFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 28. Read More…

In Weakness, Strength

by Fr. Émile Brière Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 27. Read More…

God Is My Friend

by Fr. Émile Brière Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 26. Read More…

He Gave All For Me

by Fr. Émile Brière Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 25. Read More…

Changing the World Begins With Me

by Fr. Émile Brière — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 24. Read More…

The New Year: We Are Our Brother’s Keeper

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 22. Read More…

St. Joseph: Man with a Mission, Enlightened Obedience, and Vigilant Energy

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 21. Read More…

Peace: The Foundational Gift of Pentecost

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 20. Read More…

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail Against the Church

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 19. Read More…

Becoming a Living Flame

by a Madonna House Staff Worker Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 18. Read More…

Stay Awake

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 17. Read More…

A Life and Death Struggle

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 16.
Read More…

The Mighty Deeds of God—Cloaked in the Ordinary

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 15.
Read More…

Suffering has Meaning — “The Usefulness of Uselessness”

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 14. Read More…

Families as ‘Domestic Churches’ and the Heart of Evangelization

by David Douthwright Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 13. Read More…

Are You Aware Of Your Angel Guardian?

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 12. Read More…

Living ‘Gospel Poverty’

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 11. Read More…

God, Tear Open The Heavens And Come Down!

by Fr. Robert WildFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 10. Read More…

What it Means to Repent—Examples from Christ’s Words

by Fr. Robert PeltonFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 9. Read More…

The Gift of God’s Fire on Earth

by Fr. David May Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 8. Read More…

Where You Could—Did You?

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 7. Read More…

‘O Happy Supper Room!’

by Fr. David MayFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 6. Read More…

Cooperating With The Graces of Pentecost

by Catherine Doherty Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 5. Read More…

Our God is a Consuming Fire

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 4. Read More…

Chitchat—A Ministry of Service

by Catherine DohertyFriends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 3. Read More…

An Invitation To Intimacy With The Father

by Fr. Kieran Kilcommons — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 2.
Read More…

“And On Earth Peace…”

by Archbishop Joseph Raya — Friends of Madonna House, Vol. 2, no. 1.

Read More…

The Soul of Bread

Pass It On #70 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.” (Gospel of John, 6:35) Read More…

To Receive the Eucharist is To Be In Heaven Already

Pass It On #69 — by Catherine Doherty

Do you ever stop to think of the immensity of the gift that God has given to us in the Holy Eucharist? Have you ever stopped to think what it is to be in communion with God—that is, to communicate of the most holy Body and Blood of Christ? This is a communion that is incredible, impossible to understand! That is wrapped up in a mystery beyond all mysteries: that God, the second person of the most holy Trinity, should give himself to us, as bread and wine. Approach it as if you hear the words: “Take off your shoes; the place is holy.” Read More…

The Mercy of Refusals

Pass It On #68 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

“My desires are many and my cry is pitiful but ever didst Thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has wrought into my life through and through. Day by day Thou art making me worthy of the simple great gifts that Thou gavest to me unasked…Day by day Thou art making me worthy of Thy full acceptance by rescuing me ever and anon from the perils of weak, uncertain desire.” — Gitanjali No. 14, Rabindranath Tagore Read More…

The Heaviness of Feast Days

Pass It On #66 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

For some reason, I have been thinking a great deal lately about the sense of disappointment or heaviness that often seems to cloud religious feast days, days that should be full of light and joy. Do you ever feel this? Read More…

Rise, Sun of Justice!

Pass It On #65 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” (Liturgy of the Hours, for December 23rd) Read More…

Of Speech and Silence

Pass It On #63 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

Last night a friend was here. We spoke about how much of our speech is to avoid communication rather than to communicate. We chatter away to keep any gap of silence well filled. We’re all guilty of it, for somehow we fear silence. I wonder if we don’t fear silence because we fear to face ourselves! When we are alone we rush to a radio or switch on the TV or call someone on the telephone—anything to avoid the silence. When we are together with people we refuse to let silence fall upon us. Read More…

The Prodigal Father

Pass It On #62 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

Father, I have been our prodigal son, for I have taken the riches you have showered on me into a far country and have squandered them in riotous living. I have used your gifts of nature and even of grace in a kingdom apart from yours, using them not under your will and for your purposes but taking them into my own control, for my own purposes, for vanity, for arrogance, for domination, for admiration, for ambition, squandering and dissipating them in disorderly self-centeredness. And when I had wasted them I found my spirit starving; for there was neither nourishment, nor vitality, nor healing for the soul in those tusks for swine. And I came to my senses and turned back to you. Read More…

Light of My World

Pass It On #60 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

“All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.” (John 1:4-5) Read More…

Continual Epiphany

Pass It On #59 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

Life at our mission house, a soup kitchen, is a continual ‘epiphany’—a continual showing-forth of Christ, through the gifts others bring us. They bring food and clothing which we may use or give to the poor. They bring gifts of love and friendship. They bring gifts of their human need for food, clothes, and shelter, for comfort and consolation. Our door bell is rung by people who bring gifts so constantly that we feel we are visited by God’s Magi who come to us in the name of Christ. Read More…

Do Not Lose Heart

Pass It On #58 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

Do not lose heart. God has filled the earth with his love! From the morning sun to the fading moon there is beauty everywhere. Read More…

Paschal Existence

Pass It On #57 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

Our life is a mystery, lived in time, but moving, through love, into the dimensions of eternity. This movement, at root, is our total self-emptying, our radical consent to self-surrender. And this process means death to all that is false in us. It means journeying through darkness into light, when we turn our eyes away from the darkness of self to look at Jesus who is light. With this turning, we begin to truly see. The eyes of our soul open up and we recognize him. Read More…

God Became Man

Pass It On #56 — by a Madonna House Staff Worker

We roam across the miles, across the pages of many books, seeking our identity. We strive and strain to leap over the prison walls of a limited concept of who we are. In the night we dream of performing fantastic and courageous feats. In our dreams we have our “moments of glory.” Read More…

Dialogue Between East and West

Pass It On #55 — by Catherine Doherty

The dialogue between East and West must be brought down to individuals. It must be engaged in by the grass roots, as it were, if we are really to reach that unity we all desire and the Pope dreams about, but which is so dear to the heart of Our Lord who prayed before his Passion — that we may all be one. Read More…

Unity of Mind, Heart and Soul

Pass It On #54 — by Catherine Doherty

A new word fleetingly makes its appearance in Catholic magazine and quarterlies. It is a word so very familiar to the people who follow the Byzantine Rites of the Church, or to put it another way, to “Eastern Spirituality.” It is a simple word: Sobornost. Read More…

A Key to the Loneliness

Pass It On #53 — by Catherine Doherty

Do we really realize how utterly, how tragically lonely man is, especially in our Western world? The only way we can insulate ourselves against this loneliness which cries out for help at the top of its voice, in the most profound silence that man can be filled with, is to use the key of love. Read More…

Love Expressed in Hospitality

Pass It On #52 — by Catherine Doherty

Love, today, is an “in” word. It is being used constantly. It is a good word, but we who use it should understand what it means… what it entails… where it leads. Read More…

What Are We Going To Do About It?

Pass It On #51 — by Catherine Doherty

Christ is Risen. Verily he is Risen. Alleluia! Alleluia! Read More…

She Watched Love Himself Grow to Manhood

Pass It On #50 — by Catherine Doherty

Desperately men seek happiness. The majority understand that happiness is found in love. But today the word “love” is losing its very essence. Along with man himself, love is losing its identity and doesn’t bring the fulfillment that is expected of it. Perhaps because love has been equated with lust, with encounters that barely touch the hearts of those who casually have met and as casually have parted. Read More…

The Cross and Easter Morning

Pass It On #49 — by Catherine Doherty

This Holy Week and Easter Week, I meditated much on the Cross and on the Resurrection. And I was struck at the power of the Liturgy to bring those two together. From the very beginning of Lent, the crescendo of the Liturgy of the Church brought us to Good Friday… Her day of mourning… Her day of loss. Read More…

To Be A Witness

Pass It On #48 — by Catherine Doherty

Slowly, slowly, quietly, like a tide coming in, we Christians are beginning to pray. Across America and Canada people find time to enter into solitude, fasting and prayer, to be able to confront Christ.

For this confrontation is needed if we are going to change the social, political world that is swiftly rolling to the brink of disaster. Read More…

Priests Filled With Pain

Pass It On #47 — by Catherine Doherty

Compassion is a word I know well, or thought I did. Compassion and mercy. Always one together in my heart. I thought of God when I thought of these words. For he is the all merciful one, the all compassionate one. Read More…

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