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 March 04, 2015:
He Taught With Stories

by Fr. Jim Duffy.

Fr. Duffy had a repertoire of stories taken from everywhere and/or perhaps written himself, which he used in homilies and teachings. Here are just a few of them.

Continue reading "He Taught With Stories"...

Posted March 02, 2015:
He Became a Bonfire

by Fr. Jim Duffy.

Fr. Duffy wrote the following story about his soul in 1981, the 25th anniversary of his priesthood.

If I live to be a hundred years, I will never be able to stop thanking God for the greatest miracle I have ever witnessed—my ordination to the priesthood. Tears overwhelmed me as my family and friends surrounded me with congratulations on the cathedral steps.

Continue reading "He Became a Bonfire"...

Posted February 27, 2015 in One Man's Scrap:
One Man’s Scrap, Another Man’s Gold (February 2015)

February is a quiet month; even its feasts, such as the Ash Wednesday and Presentation, are quiet ones. And winter, which in early February is still very much with us, has its own stillness. After our busy days, that winter stillness and the beauty of the snow can be good preparations for Mass or community prayer as we walk to our island chapel.

Continue reading "One Man’s Scrap, Another Man’s Gold (February 2015)"...

Posted February 25, 2015:
Repeat Performance

by Lolita Jardeleza, a longtime friend of MH.

Lord, we have been through this before.
The pruning, the stripping, the reaming,
The purifying, the purging,
The burning off.

Continue reading "Repeat Performance"...

Posted February 23, 2015:
God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

by a staff worker.

I find at times that the seed of my soul dies, and necessarily so. I am not saying this in a negative sense. It is so necessary that the seed fall into the soil and die. And when the seed is dead, it is unaware of the hope of life—that one day it will sprout and surface and blossom under the heat of the sun.

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Posted February 20, 2015 in Lent and Easter, and in Word Made Flesh:
How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

by Fr. Pat McNulty.

"How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways." Did you know that famous poem?

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Posted February 19, 2015 in Lent and Easter, and in The Pope's Corner:
Going Beyond Where We Are

by Pope Francis.

Rend your hearts and not your garments (Joel 2:13)

With these penetrating words of the Prophet Joel, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday leads us into Lent, pointing to conversion of heart as the chief characteristic of this season of grace….

Continue reading "Going Beyond Where We Are"...

Posted February 18, 2015 in Lent and Easter, and in Things New and Old:
When Life—or Lent—Goes Off the Scale

by Fr. David May.

Lately, life’s been right off the scale. I rarely use a musical term and even more rarely know what it means, but this one has a common meaning that goes beyond music.

Continue reading "When Life—or Lent—Goes Off the Scale"...

Posted February 17, 2015 in Milestones:
Milestones (February 2015)

Deaths: Peter Gravelle’s father, Bernard.

Posted February 16, 2015 in Combermere Diary:
Combermere Diary (February 2015)

by Paulette Curran.

By the time you get this newspaper, Lent will be on the horizon. But, due to the practicalities of getting out this newspaper, I am writing this column a few days after Christmas about what happened in December.

Continue reading "Combermere Diary (February 2015)"...

Posted February 13, 2015 in MH Roanoke VA:
Notes from Near and Far: Roanoke, Virginia

by Zena Hitz.

I arrived in Roanoke October 3 and was warmly welcomed at the airport by Patricia Lawton and Marie-Therese McLaughlin. A month or so later, Canada followed me in the form of a great frosty weather system from the north, which the media called "a polar invasion."

Continue reading "Notes from Near and Far: Roanoke, Virginia"...

Posted February 12, 2015 in MH Washington DC:
Notes From Near and Far: Washington

by Beth Holmes.

Ellie Pettersen and I are both new here, and when we arrived, the local director, Cynthia Donnelly, told us that this was a fairly quiet house. Well, you could have fooled us!

Continue reading "Notes From Near and Far: Washington"...

Posted February 10, 2015:
Not a Very Nice Idea of Me

by Fr. Bob Wild.

When we are at a celebration of the Eucharist and there’s singing (and probably a number of distractions as well), we ordinarily do not experience any fear of approaching God.

Continue reading "Not a Very Nice Idea of Me"...

Posted February 09, 2015:
Raising Our Children Catholic (Part 3)

by Ella Connor, friend of MH England & Combermere.

In this final section, Ella gives some pointers on keeping the lines of communication open with one’s children and teenagers. Though this English woman wrote this forty years ago, the essence of it still holds true.

Ella is now 92 years old.

Continue reading "Raising Our Children Catholic (Part 3)"...

Posted February 06, 2015:
A Dream About Rags

by Carol Campbell, a former working guest.

During a recent visit to Madonna House, I was working with a staff worker tearing up worn-out clothing and household linens to make rags. That night I had a dream.

Continue reading "A Dream About Rags"...

Posted February 05, 2015 in My Dear Family:
How Unfit I Am!

by Catherine Doherty.

In this diary entry from December 1934, Catherine Doherty shows that she had the same kind of struggles as the rest of us. She was in her thirties at the time and heading Friendship House Toronto, which she had founded.

Continue reading "How Unfit I Am!"...

Posted February 03, 2015 in MH Robin Hood's Bay, England:
Do You Love Me?

by Cheryl Ann Smith.

When I was younger, I aspired to be like St. John, the disciple Jesus loved. John seemed to be one of those rare, limpid souls who know they are loved, and who intuitively know the one they love. And I envied him at the Last Supper, as he leaned on Jesus’ breast to drink in his words and love.

Continue reading "Do You Love Me?"...


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