Written by Madonna House staff, Restoration is an essential part of our witness to the Gospel. Here we share our personal stories and reflections on the Gospel challenges of today, along with writings from Catherine Doherty and the Catholic Church.

Posted December 17, 2014 in Advent and Christmas:
Christmas in Our Houses 2013: MH Arizona

by Kathy McVady.

As I was dropping off one of the many plates of Christmas cookies we deliver to friends, benefactors, and the sick and elderly, someone asked me, "Did you hear about the miracle at our Walmart?" I listened as she told the story.

Continue reading "Christmas in Our Houses 2013: MH Arizona"...

Posted December 15, 2014 in Advent and Christmas:
Christmas in Our Houses 2013: St. Joseph’s House

by Alma Coffman.

In December, it got down to as low as -30 C (-22 F), and we had an accumulation of almost three feet of snow. Carol Ann Gieske and Martha Reilander tried to make a skating rink on the marsh ice, but the snow cover won. Yes, it has been a real winter so far.

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Posted December 12, 2014 in Advent and Christmas, and in Word Made Flesh:
Bah! Humbug!

by Fr. Pat McNulty.

"Bah! Humbug!"

Where does that "humbug" thing come from, Reverend?

You mean you really don’t know where "Bah! Humbug!" comes from? You’ve never read the famous book, Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or seen it on TV during the Christmas season?

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Posted December 10, 2014 in The Pope's Corner:
St. Joseph’s Advent

by Pope Francis.

In Matthew 1:1-18, the evangelist tells us about the events preceding the birth of Christ from Joseph’s point of view. The following is a reflection on Joseph and how he responded to what he could only have experienced as a shattering crisis.

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Posted December 08, 2014 in Advent and Christmas:
Tear Open My Heart and Come Through!

by Fr. Bob Wild.

All during Advent we’re going to sing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!" Desiring Christ’s coming, begging him to come, sharing in his own longing to come to us: this is what Advent is all about. But did you know that besides desiring Christ’s coming, we also have within us the power to affect that coming both in our own hearts and in the world?

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Posted December 05, 2014 in Advent and Christmas:
A Candle in Our Hearts

by Catherine Doherty.

Advent is the time of expectation. True, Christ has already come upon earth. He has been crucified, and has risen. He is with us now, in his Church. And yet, somehow, as the season for commemorating His birth approaches, something stirs in us, something deep and profound, as if we are expecting a great miracle.

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Posted December 03, 2014 in Combermere Diary:
Combermere Diary (December 2014)

by Paulette Curran.

October is a lovely month in Combermere. With the trees blazing red, orange, and yellow, it is arguably the most beautiful one. For the most part, the weather is good, too—not too hot and not too cold.

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Posted December 01, 2014 in Advent and Christmas, and in Things New and Old:
The Source of All Renewal

by Fr. David May.

Late evenings in December have a special beauty here at Madonna House in what we call "the Main House."

For most of Advent, the décor is kind of spare and simple. Unlike many folks today, we don’t decorate for Christmas until about a week before the actual feast. Still, the house has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, nicely heated against the cold’s encroaching from outside.

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Posted November 28, 2014 in Advent and Christmas:
Soon Christmas

by Catherine de Vinck.

Autumn’s gold spent
the trees bare, iron branches
studded with crows.
What is real?
the apple on the table,
the rain rapping the window
with wet knuckles,
the otherness of others,
each and all locked
in their own story
their own dreams?
No need for speech,
no reason for coming
or going: Why travel
when here and there
become everywhere,
when space upon space
open their bright corollas.
Soon winter,
snow furring the land.
Soon Christmas: candles lit
for the Child radiant
under a crown of stars.

Posted November 26, 2014 in One Man's Scrap:
One Man’s Scrap, Another Man’s Gold (November 2014)

When we are dodging bleak winds on cold November days at Madonna House, the Lord gives us the gift of perseverance. Catherine Doherty wrote that perseverance in our daily life is like saying to God, "Lord, I throw my life at your feet, and sing and sing that I bring you such a little thing."

Continue reading "One Man’s Scrap, Another Man’s Gold (November 2014)"...

Posted November 24, 2014:
Little Ways of Loving

by Catherine Doherty.

Sometimes the ways of the Lord are strange—strange to every one of us. We are offered the opportunity to preach the Gospel without compromise quietly, hiddenly, unobtrusively, every moment of our lives. Why don’t we catch these moments? Why do we let them go by?

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Posted November 21, 2014 in Milestones:
Milestones (November 2014)

New Applicants: Mark Olszewski, Donald Young, Nadine Bruneau, Mary Frances Henderson.

Assignments: Fr. Michael Weitl, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pembroke, Ontario; Zena Hitz, Roanoke.

Posted November 19, 2014 in Combermere Diary:
Combermere Diary (November 2014)

by Paulette Curran.

Have you ever turned the crank to make ice cream? Have you ever carded or felted wool? Have you ever made butter? Have you ever helped make rope by hand? Have you ever tried wood-carving?

Continue reading "Combermere Diary (November 2014)"...


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