Tools for the Journey

by Raphael and Stephen

Out of the many letters of gratitude we receive from former guests, here are just two.


This one was written a while back.

I’ve always worried that my faith was too cerebral, my belief too theoretical, that it was limited to what I read in books and valid only to the extent that it “made sense” to me.

At Madonna House, I saw a faith lived so deeply and simply, it seemed to be second nature! It was amazing to see people’s faith so secure in the love of Christ.

The habit of prayer and the charisms of Madonna House have made Christ more real and present in all I do, whether in biochemical experiments, laboratory work in preparation for medical school, or washing dishes. (I’ve even begun to clean our toilets at home!)

Madonna House has shown me how beautiful the Christian faith is when it can be lived authentically, especially in the context of communion and community. I hope to bring this beauty into my own daily life—via my work in the lab, my studies, my friends and family, and the secular world I live in.

Raphael, age 22


Back in 1979, when I was 23, I was a working guest in your community for three weeks. It was a time of searching. Arriving at Madonna House, I entered deeply into your life, and it has remained a firm anchor in how to relate to God and to people.

I was given the tools necessary for the journey of life.

Now, in my late fifties, I look back in wonder on what God has done. Your Little Mandate is a way for me to go personally to the poor and feed them, knowing this very act will feed the “giver-of-the-gift” more than the “gift” itself could ever feed others. Please accept my small gift [a donation of money] for the building-up of your community in the present day—a community that is needed in this world more than ever.