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Mark Griswold plays piano for the band FireHill Worship. He is the Director of Religious Education for St. Norbert parish in Paoli, PA where he has been directing teens & adults, leading worship, and organizing events and trips for over twelve years. Mark married his beautiful college sweetheart and together they have four children.
FireHill Worship played on the main stage at the 2015 World Meeting of Families held in Philadelphia, PA. Mark is a founder of The Abbey Faith & Music Festival, “AbbeyFest,” an annual experience of faith-filled music, inspiring prayer, communal worship and the joyful celebration of our faith. We are thrilled to have Mark be a part of Made New Retreats, leading us in praise and worship to the Lord!
We all have some “knots” in our lives… and Mary can untie them!
The devotion to Mary, Undoer of Knots has become more popular ever since Pope Francis encouraged the devotion in Argentina, and then spoke about it during his first year as pontiff.
The theology of the devotion actually goes back to the second century. Saint Irenaeus wrote that, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.”
Mary’s faith unties the knot of sin!
This is one of my favorites! I find myself repeating the “chorus” many times a week, outside of the novena itself: O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!
The Feast of Christ the King is a moveable feast that occurs on the last Sunday of the Liturgical year. Pope Pius XI created this feast to help the faithful to remember that allegiance to Christ is above any allegiance to government of a nation.
The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.
“He who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23:12).
The litany of humility is a moving prayer that can bring us closer to Christ. I first found it in one of those little prayer booklets that showed up on the bookshelf, but I had no idea when it got there or from whom. Know what I mean? Let’s just say Jesus put it there for a reason. In the case of the Litany of Humility, it was time for me to release to Him all those nagging doubts and fears about myself, as well as my misguided search for others’ approval and recognition. The harder I sought to have these needs met by people around me, the less fulfilled I felt. The litany of humility is a powerful way to claim the Lord’s freedom from all that is not of Him!
Use the link below to download the Litany of Humility.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually.
The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.”
The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Moreover, the reading from the Word of God at each Hour with the subsequent responses or troparia and readings from the Fathers and spiritual masters at certain Hours, reveal the deeper meanings of the mystery being celebrated, assist in understanding the psalms, and help one prepare for silent prayer. The lectio divina, where the Word of God is so read and meditated that it becomes prayer, is thus rooted in the liturgical celebration.
The Liturgy of the Hours, which is like an extension of the Eucharistic celebration, does not exclude but rather (in a complementary way) calls forth the various devotions of the People of God, especially adoration and worship of the Blessed Sacrament.
The worship “in Spirit and in truth” of the New Covenant is not tied exclusively to any one place. The whole earth is sacred and entrusted to the children of men. What matters above all is that, when the faithful assemble in the same place, they are the “living stones,” gathered to be “built into a spiritual house.” The Body of the risen Christ is the spiritual temple from which the source of living water emanates. Incorporated into Christ by the Holy Spirit, “we are the temple of the living God.”
Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two, Section One, Chapter Two.
There are many, many consecration prayers to Mary. Below is one that I (De) feel particularly drawn towards.
O Exalted Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, I consecrate myself to you this day and humbly ask that you take me into your constant care and protection as your devoted child.
O tender Mother of our Redeemer, fill me with your love for your beloved Son and make me into a likeness of Him. Fashion my heart after your heart. Make it tender, pure, gentle, and kind. Give me great reverence for life and devotion to duty.
O Spouse of the Holy Spirit, fill me with your virtues that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may become a true spouse of Jesus Christ.
O Star of the Sea, guiding light, ever guide me into a deeper union with Jesus that I may glorify Him in time and eternity for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
– Adapted from “Consecration to the Mother of God,” The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood, page 122.
Good morning Jesus! Thank you for bringing me to the light of this new day. Thank you for all the blessings and graces you have in store for me today. Thank you for _____________[what are you grateful for today?]
Send Your Holy Spirit to open my heart and enlighten my mind so I may receive everything that You will offer me today. Help me to be ready for all, and to accept all. I wish only Your will be done in and through me this day. Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given. I trust that however much sleep I had last night, it is enough. I trust that however much time I have for each activity of the day, it is enough. I trust that Your grace is always enough for me.
Jesus, I love you. I trust you. I am grateful to be journeying through this day with You by my side. I pray in Your most Holy Name, Amen!
Lord Jesus, I pray your protection today upon me, my family, ____________ [name of others]. Mary, my Mother, I seek your protection and intercession especially for _____________ [specific intention]. St. Michael the Archangel and our guardian angels, come defend us in battle this day. Guard our hearts and minds, delivering us from all thoughts and beliefs that are not of the Lord.
In the name of Jesus, I command each and every spirit that is not of the Holy Spirit, to depart right now from me, my family members, and __________ [name of others].
I thank you and praise you, Lord Jesus, for your boundless Mercy, Love, and Protection! Amen.
Megan first began speaking in 2009. Since then she has been featured as a speaker for Youth Defense at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, on EWTN’s Life On the Rock, at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, and for retreats, assemblies, and rallies all over the country. Megan has also been a speaker for the Steubenville Youth Conferences for 6 years and will continue.
After graduating from Franciscan University in 2009, she has been in full-time ministry; she spent three fulfilling and wonderful years at Mount de Sales Academy serving as their Campus Minister. Her hopes were to create a culture of authentic beauty, femininity, freedom and identity in Christ; that is her driving force when speaking to women of all ages. Since then, Megan has become the Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. She will continue to take what she has learned through her experiences and apply it to her new role. Her desire is to ignite the people of Philadelphia, to remind them the truth of who they are, and that they are infinitely loved by God. She is passionate about her work, and she is grateful that God calls the weak to lead the strong!
After getting a Master of Art in Sacred Theology and a Master of Divinity from St. Charles Seminary, Father Steve was Ordained to the priesthood in 2004. He served as parochial vicar of SS Peter & Paul Parish and as school minister (chaplain) for Archbishop Carroll and Pope John Paul II High Schools before being named to his current position as Director of the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Vocation Office.
Father Steve is a gifted retreat leader and speaker and is very alive in the Spirit! During his first parish assignment Father was able to reinvigorate the parish’s youth ministry from seven to seventy participants! He also ran the Alpha Course and started Door to Door evangelization. During this time he became active with Rachel Vineyard’s post abortive healing retreats as well as retreats offered by the Malvern Retreat House, including Women Afire and Spirit Power. Father Steve has run the Kairos Retreat Program for high school seniors and has become a popular speaker for Theology on Tap. He was honored to be the Chair of the Youth Track for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015.
Megan first discovered her passion for ministering to girls and women in high school, while serving as a youth leader for annual girls’ retreats. While studying at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Megan had the opportunity to serve as a founding core team member of the campus Women’s Ministry and later as the ministry’s Student Coordinator. Through this ministry she was introduced to the writings of St. Edith Stein and Pope Saint John Paul the Great on women and the feminine genius. Exploring these writings, and studying about the influence of female saints throughout the history of Christianity, deepened her desire to share these truths and, by doing so, empower women to embrace their gifts and vocations.
After graduating with a degree in Theology and Classics in 2012 Megan continued to serve college-aged women as a Residence Hall Director at a small Catholic college for 4 years, where she assisted in the formation of a campus women’s ministry group and faith based learning-living community. She has presented papers at The Edith Stein Conference (The University of Notre Dame, 2015) and The Labor and Leisure Conference (Holy Cross College, 2017); and has been invited to speak at youth and women’s events in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana. Attending the GIVEN Young Catholic Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. in June of 2016 confirmed for Megan her call to serve in women’s formation. Megan loves writing and speaking on women’s role in the Church and the World, living out our vocation in the day-to-day of marriage and motherhood, growth towards a fully integrated life, and really anything to do with our faith.
De Yarrison is a Professional Coach, Speaker, and Women’s Retreat Facilitator. In 2009, after coaching leaders and their teams within the business community for several years, her focus shifted to working more exclusively with women, and in particular, mothers. De has designed and facilitated women’s retreats for numerous churches and organizations with a focus on cultivating self-compassion and self-support, along with tools for claiming the freedom found only in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
De is super excited about guiding women to discover the Truth of who they are – God’s chosen and beloved ones! These days, the majority of her coaching happens in small groups, bringing women together in support of one another’s growth, healing and freedom!
De graduated from Immaculata University with a degree in Psychology. She holds post-graduate certifications in Co-Active Coaching and Gestalt Therapy and holds a coaching credential with the International Coach Federation.