Thank you to Vanessa Chastain for her blog posts. Vanessa's article relates to prayer life here.
Vanessa Chastain, a friend of the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation has written a blog with prayer tips for broken families. Please see her blog link below.
The Mission of the Foundation
The mission of the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith is spiritual outreach to families in crisis. Since 2015 at our founding, our initial mission over these five years has been to those who are affected by divorce and separation.
We have brought retreats, on-line reflections and Masses, and support groups in order to help to bring healling to those famililes and individuals who have been somehow wounded by the affects of family break-up.
We continue our efforts, and our most recent work has been Catholic podcasts which are available on our YouTube site called "Philly Nonnatus". Learn more about our podcast on the events page of our website at Nonnatus.org.
Appointments are Available
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of Spiritual Direction appointments with our Spiritual Moderator and/or our Director, Anne DeSantis. If you have something you would like to discuss with a priest, you can find a safe place to have your questions answered and to find the healing you are looking for.
To make a one hour appointment, email our Director at this link. We are here for you and your family.
Feel free to share this information with a friend. We hope to be able to reach as many people as we can to serve them in their time of crisis.
Appointments are availble via phone call on an on-line platform. Just specifiy what you prefer and whether you would like a call with both our Spiritual Moderator and Director or just with the priest (Spiritual Moderator).
Learn more about us on our website at Nonnatus.org.
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation offer TWO new monthly podcasts through the foundation making outtreach to families in crisis.
The first podcast held the first Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. ET is the "Podcast for Catholics Affected by Divorce and Separation". This is a one-hour long podcast. Access to this podcast can be found at the YouTube channel for the foundation called "Philly Nonnatus". By SUBSCRIBING to the YouTube channel and clicking the small bell on the page you will receive ALL notifications for new podcasts and videos. You will be notified when the podcast is live on YouTube each month. Click here ot subscribe.
The last Thursday of each month is a "Podcast for Families in Crisis". This podcast will be held at 8 p.m. ET and is one hour. SUBSCRIBE to this podcast on YouTube at the "Philly Nonnatus" YouTube channel for notifications, and again, please click the little bell to receive notifications for live podcasts. Each month the foundation will feature guests ranging from adult children of divorce, and also topics such as anti-pornography, Natural Family Planning, human trafficking and other subjects related to families going through challenging times. Subscribe by clicking here.
In addition to our podcasts being available on YouTube, the podcasts are also shared on the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation's Facebook pages and can be viewed on FB. Please follow both St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation on Facebook and send a friend request to our profile called "Philly Nonnatus" to connect with us.
More Good News!
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation is pleased to announce collaborative work with two networks who are also producing and sharing our podcasts. Patchwork Heart Ministry and Fiat Ministsry Network are Catholic non-profits offering premium Catholic content to enrich your faith life. Please check out the website at Patchwork Heart Ministry by clicking here and also subscribe to their YouTube Channel here. Be sure also to like the Fiat Ministry Network Facebook page here for good Catholic programing.
Patchwork Heart Ministry and Fiat Ministry Network are sharing our podcasts on podcasting apps called Podbean and Tune In. Look for "Patchwork Heart Radio" on your favorite podcasting app and you will find these two new podcasts including the one for those affected by divorce and separation and for families in crisis.
Stay in Touch with Us
Check out our website at www.nonnatus.org to learn about the work we are doing to help families through offering spiritual accompaniment. Our mission is to make outreach to those families and individuals through prayerful outreach and dialogue.
Feel free to emai our director for more information at this link by clicking here. Our phone number is 215-870-9913. Text or call to stay in touch. We would love to hear from you and pray for your intentions.
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith offers spirtual accompaniment for families in crisis. Our initial mission is outreach to those affected by divorce and separation. A friend of the foundation, Vanessa Chastain, is an adult child of divorce, and in this interview she tells her story of faith.
I was born and raised initially in California. I was baptized as a Catholic as a baby at Sacred Heart Parish in Saratoga, California, where I also received my First Communion and did Confession for the first time. The first prayers that I recall learning were a prayer to my Guardian Angel and the Sign of the Cross in Spanish. I had an interest in Our Lady. I was particularly drawn to depictions of Our Lady and the story of Our Lady of Lourdes, which I encountered in a booklet about the Saints when I was seven years old. Furthermore, I was interested in the Arts from a young age. I first sang when I was one year old and was involved in music during my childhood.
I found out that my parents had separated when I was eight years old, something that surprised me and affected me emotionally.
I moved with my mother to Sarasota, Florida in the summer after fifth grade. I continued to be engaged in the Arts and started singing at church. In addition, I liked working with computers and had diverse academic interests.
The earliest part of my teen years was spent handling the illness and death of my mother and the divorce of my parents, which occurred towards the end of my mother’s illness with cancer. This time period was challenging, but there was also a sense of great hope in it and a growing awareness of God. I received the Sacrament of Confirmation and was in Contemporary Choir at church for most of it, transitioning from children’s choir at the beginning of eighth grade.
The second part involved the aftermath of these events and took me to the end of high school. This time period involved spiritual battles. I experimented with bad things like transcendentalism and Yoga. However, God was still reaching towards me through the Catholic Church. I was involved in Contemporary Choir at church during part of this time.
In Holy Week of 2009 when I was in eleventh grade, I found out that there was a connection between my suffering, the suffering of my mother, and the Passion of Christ. Furthermore, I also learned about the Pieta, a concept common in Art of Our Lady holding her Son Jesus after His Death, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows, a title of Our Lady, and the related Seven Sorrows of Mary, sorrowful events in her life. I had difficulty understanding the Seven Sorrows of Mary, but I could understand the Pieta and Our Lady of Sorrows enough that these influences stuck in the back of my mind for years. Moreover, it was through the idea of the Pieta that I first thought of Our Lady as somebody that I could look to as a Mother to make up for the absence of my own mother.
These realizations during Holy Week helped me, but I decided towards the end of high school that it was not sincere to continue attending Mass if I was not sure of God’s existence. At that point, I decided that I was an agnostic.
Right before I started college, during the third part of my teen years, my grandmother passed away, and almost a year later, I was going through her things when I happened upon something that looked like an icon of Our Lady. Since then, I have heard that it was not an icon of Our Lady from somebody, but I am not sure if that is true. I was mysteriously drawn to it. Moreover, there was a small bust of Our Lady that I found very beautiful and was drawn to. I decided to keep both of them. I still considered myself an agnostic at the time. I continued to admire Our Lady during this time period and to be drawn to Catholicism though I rejected it.
When it comes to healing from suffering involved with divorce, it might be necessary to grow in trust in God. After all, trusting Him is necessary to handle suffering well. Prayer could help with doing that. I would suggest reciting the Rosary every day and engaging in daily mental prayer, especially with the ability to trust in God and persevere in trust as one of the intentions. That might help growth in trust to occur.
Lectio Divina is a method of prayer with Scripture that traditionally involves four steps. It is a great way to practice mental prayer as two of the steps are the two kinds of mental prayer (meditation and contemplation). It can help people to focus on the Truths of the Faith and the Persons of the Holy Trinity. Furthermore, for people who are dealing with suffering, it can help the person to reach towards God by focusing on Him and bringing one’s life to Him, with any suffering that one might have, to be made holy with His help.
Meditating on the Passion is trying to understand the Passion and relating it to one’s life in the context of prayer. An example would be the meditation (Meditatio) step of Lectio Divina with a passage from a Passion account in the Gospels. It is important for people who are going through suffering. It can help a person to understand how the suffering relates to the Passion of Christ and the Mystery of the Resurrection, and it can help the person find meaning in the situation and understand how to respond to it well (virtuously, with devotion, etc.).
The Seven Sorrows of Mary are seven events that involved suffering in Mary’s life. It can be helpful to meditate on these events, saying one Hail Mary with each event while meditating, or to do the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows (otherwise known as the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows). It is especially helpful in times of suffering. Our Lady of Sorrows (Our Lady under the associated title) can intercede for us, and we can find meditating on her sorrows helpful for dealing with suffering.
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation is here for you and your family during times of crisis for spiriutal accompaniment. Please stay in touch with us through our website at Nonnatus.org or and send us your prayer intentions here at this link. Learn more about our monthly on-line support meetings held the last Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. ET for adult children of divorce. Information is on our website.
Our Lady of Mercy and St. Raymond Nonnatus, pray for us!
Please check out https://olsprayerforbroken.wordpress.com/ for more information
The Importance of Prayer...Always
Taking the time to pray as a family of great importance, but most imperative during times of crisis holding families together through trial praying for all those in need. During the COVID-19 pandemic, families are drawn together but most powerfully through prayer.
Ideas to Stay Close as a Family of Prayer
The St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation for Freedom, Family, and Faith is devoted to outreach to families in crisis. We pray daily for those families and individuals going through challenging times offering our sacrifices and prayers for them. We at the foundation continue those prayers always for your own intentions.
Here are a few ways you and your family can stay close to the Lord during this crisis for our country and the world.
1. Daily Rosary. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is offering a nightly Rosary on-line via the Zoom platform at 8 p.m. ET. People from all over the country are joining in to pray. Go to www,phillyevang.org for more information. One does not have to join an on-line call to pray. Pray the Rosary at anytime of day as a family!
2. Chaplet of Divine Mercy. During the pandemic, many families are home together even during the middle of the day. Take 15 minutes together and reflect and pray on the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It is a beautiful prayer from Jesus given to St. Faustina calling on the mercy of God so needed in all of our lives. Reflect now on that love God has for you. He has mercy on you at all times. The Chaplet is generally said at 3 p.m. each day, but can be prayed at any time.
3. Scripture Reading. Even if just for 10 or 15 minutes a day, read Holy Scripture. Take the time to slowly read over the words and think about how God is speaking to your life. Bible reading is a powerful way God speaks to all of us.
4. On-Line Daily and Sunday Mass. Although churches are not holding public Mass, it is the perfect time to watch an on-line Mass and also offer a prayer for "Spiriutal Communion" to stay close to Jesus. Go to your archdiocese or diocese website to find out where you can watch on-line Mass. Unite all of your prayers to the Lord during the Mass!
5. Interceding for Those in Need. This is the time to pray for the sick, those who have lost their jobs, for those who have died, the suffering, and all those on the frontlines working to help end this pandemic and serve others. Take a few minutes or more each day to pray for them. Don't be shy to offer an intention on social media and ask others to pray along with you.
6. Holy Hour at Home. Catholics all over the world are missing receiving the Holy Eucharist, attending Mass, and visiting Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. Since this is not possible for most of us at this time, take an hour during the day praying in front of a crucifix or religious image and "be with God" in prayer. The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are a true blessing right from God; take time to pray along with them if you have these images within your home setting.
7. Sacrifice and Do Good for Others. This is an important aspect of what it means to truly be "Catholic". Our words and prayers must match what we do in reaching out to those who feel marginalized, away from God, and unloved. Be sure to reach out to them, give when you can to the poor, and "care" about all people not just people you happen to know. God blesses us in great ways always, and he smiles upon us when we love the unlovable. This is the mission of every Christian to love all people. This can never be forgotten when we reflect on "catechesis".
True Catechesis includes the importance of aspects such as forgiving people, loving your enemies, reaching out to the marginalized, and being kind to everyone, no exceptions.
We hope these ideas are helpful to you and your family! Trust that God will get you through this time of the pandemic. He is with you always. Send us a prayer intention by clicking here. Although our initial mission is outreach to those affected by divorce and separation, we pray and accompany families and individuals in crisis. Our prayers are with all of you at this time. Learn more about us at www.nonnatus.org.
God bless you and your family!