Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.

Email: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!

 

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Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.

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And your BFF didn't know this story? Great article to read. I,can envision it! What an amazing intuition you followed. Someday soon we will talk more!

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God is in the clouds

The power of a smile: Words of wisdom to keep you smiling all day



"A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken."

―Proverbs 15:13


Praying for peace with the boating community:

When my husband George retired last March, he bought his first boat from one of our neighbors in Florida. And when we returned to our home on Singer Island in early June, after I retired from my ministry at John Carroll, George and I went through the steps necessary to become official Florida boaters. We took the local course through the U.S. Power Squadron, passed the test, and got our Florida boating licenses.

Our next-door neighbor is the commander of the local Palm Beach Sail and Power Squadron and the instructor of the boating course. He encouraged us to become members, and to serve the squadron actively during our "rookie year."

The commander invited me to serve as chaplain, a role for which I have much experience as longtime John Carroll Campus Minister. And this past Saturday night was the annual Commanders' Ball for which I was asked to give the invocation.

Gathering for this festive occasion just two days after the terrorist attacks in Paris, I made note to those attending the formal gala that we would be remiss to not pray for peace in the world. I shared with those in attendance that Blessed Mother Teresa said, "Peace begins with a smile."

The cost of a smile:

There is so much truth in that short statement, isn't there? When a smile is given forth, a barrier is broken, so to speak, and both parties are put at ease. Smiling costs us nothing and usually regenerates itself over and over.



The wisdom of smiling: 


"A smile cures the wounding of a frown."

―William Shakespeare

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“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

―Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

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"A smile is the shortest distance between two people."

―Victor Borge (1909-2000)

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"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."

―William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)

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"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."

―Phyllis Diller (1917-2012)

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"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."

―Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

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"Here's wishing you the smiles o' life and not a single grumble."

―Irish Blessing

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"If you see a friend without a smile, give him one of yours."

―Proverb

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"The world always looks brighter from behind a smile." 

―Proverb

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“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.”

―Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

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"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."

―Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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"A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever."

―Author Unknown

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"If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it." 

―Andy Rooney (1919-2011)

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"I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful."

―Author Unknown

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"All people smile in the same language."

―Proverb

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"Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

―Blessed Mother Teresa (1910-1997)


January 13, 2015 11:39
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Our Lady of the Rosary: Praying for peace in the world and in our families



October has always been the month of the Rosary, with the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated annually on October 7.

Formerly known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, the day honors the Virgin Mary for her intercession which led to the victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Pope St. Pius V and crew members from more than 200 ships prayed the Rosary to prepare for the battle, and were joined in prayer in churches throughout Europe by the faithful.

Pope St. Pius V established this feast two years later in 1573 to give thanks to God for this victory, with Pope Clement XI extending the feast in 1716 to the universal Church.


Saints on praying the Rosary:


"The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary." --St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

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"Pray the Rosary everyday to obtain peace for the world." --Our Lady to the children at Fatima

The Blessed Mother appeared with a rosary in her hand when she gave her first message to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, in Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1917. She prayed the rosary with them monthly on the 13th from May through October.

"There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary." --Sister Lucia of Fatima

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"The Rosary is a school for learning true Christian perfection." --Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

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"The Rosary is the 'weapon' for these times." --Saint Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap (1887-1968), Franciscan stigmatic and popular Italian confessor, who almost unfailingly ;had the rosary in his hands:

Sitting in his famous rattan chair, he prayed to the Blessed Mother every waking hour of the day.

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"The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual, and in that order."  

--Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) 

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"The Family that prays together, stays together." --Father Patrick Peyton, The Rosary Priest (1909-1992)

"If families give Our Lady fifteen minutes a day by reciting the Rosary, I assure them that their homes will become, by God's grace, peaceful places." 

Father Peyton's cause for sainthood began on June 1, 2001: Go to his website for canonization to submit your prayer petitions and testimonials of miracles through the intercession of Father Patrick Peyton.

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Read about the miracles attributed to Mother Teresa's (1910-1997) rosary here.


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"The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and its depth. In the prayer we repeat many times the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel, and from her kinswoman Elizabeth."

--Pope Saint John Paul II (1920-2005)

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"With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives,” --Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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Pope Francis praying the rosary (Photo: Getty Images)

During the November 20, 2013 Angelus, Pope Francis prescribed praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily as volunteers gave away about 20,000 boxes containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medical-style instruction sheet:

"I would like, now, for all of you to consider a medicine. But some may think, ‘The Pope is being a pharmacist now?’ It is a special medicine to make the fruit of the Year of Faith that is coming to a close more concrete.  This little box contains the medicine, and some volunteers will distribute it to you as you leave the square. Take it! It’s a rosary with which one can pray also the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood everywhere. Don’t forget to take it. Because it does good, eh?  It does good for the heart, for the soul, for all of life.”



October 07, 2014 08:40
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Remembering Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to Denver for World Youth Day 1993

“I came that they might have life, and have it to the full.” –John 10: 10
Theme for World Youth Day, Denver 1993

 

Photo: Helen H. Richardson/ Denver Post

“Imagine Woodstock with all of the good and none of the bad… It was an event of more than 100,000 young people that changed society, but there was no marijuana; no beer bottles on the ground.” –Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, communications director for World Youth Day Denver

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Looking back to 1993:

The third visit of Pope Saint John Paul II to the United States (not counting two flight layovers in Alaska) was held in Denver for the 1993 World Youth Day (August 10-15, 1993). The Archdiocese of Denver, under the leadership of then Archbishop J. Francis Stafford, hosted this historic event.

This marked the eighth WYD, which was started by Pope John Paul II in 1986 in Rome. Denver’s event was the first World Youth Day to be held in North America, as well as in an English-speaking nation. Pope John Paul II initiated plans for World Youth Day in 1984, with the first celebration in 1986. The Denver event was the eighth celebration and the first to become an international media sensation.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

The Holy Father arrived in the Mile High City on August 12 following the first-ever papal visit to the island nation of Jamaica (August 9-11), and a brief stop in Mexico. He arrived by helicopter. The photos taken on board showed him, rosary in hand, as the young people gathered at Mile High Stadium gave thunderous applause, pointing to a rainbow that lit up the southern sky.

“Young people were pointing to it [the rainbow] in wonder…The Pope wept openly before the thunderous ovations of the universal Church.”  --Cardinal Stafford reminisced last year during the 20th anniversary of the event 


President Bill Clinton met with the Holy Father at the Welcome Ceremony on August 12, just eight months after his inauguration as the 42nd President of the United States. This was the first of four meetings of President Clinton with this Holy Father.

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Photo: James Baca/ Denver Catholic Register

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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"Jesus has called each one of you to Denver for a purpose! You must live these days in such a way that, when the time comes to return home, each one of you will have a clearer idea of what Christ expects of you."

–Pope John Paul II to the youth at Mile High Stadium

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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Gifts for the Holy Father--Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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The August 15 Closing Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption had to be moved to Cherry Creek State Park because the massive crowds could not be accommodated at Mile High Stadium. Estimates mark upwards of 750,000 in attendance.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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Photo: Denver Catholic Register

“It was predicted that the papal initiative would attract no more than 20,000 young people. Mile High Stadium would be more than adequate, they said, for the activities culminating with the vigil and papal Mass.” --Cardinal Stafford recalled.

Photo: Denver Catholic Register

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The History of World Youth Day:

Enjoy this ten-minute video which traces the history of World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II.






August 14, 2014 03:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Catholic Throwback Thursday: Remembering the 1996 visit of Blessed Mother Teresa to Baltimore

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) in Baltimore on May 30, 1996

"Any man, woman or child feeling unloved with nowhere to go is welcome to come here... I have no gold or silver to give you, but I'm giving you my sisters."

--Mother Teresa at the 1992 dedication of her Missionaries of Charity "Gift of Hope" hospice for AIDS patients, located in the former St. Wenceslaus convent on Collington Avenue in East Baltimore.

Our encounter with a saint:

I remember the day so clearly:

I had an unsettled feeling all morning as I taught my religion classes at John Carroll. It was May 30, 1996 and Blessed Mother Teresa was scheduled to visit Baltimore later that afternoon. And I wasn't going to be there....

Mother was scheduled to attend a Mass at the Basilica of the Assumption, our nation's first cathedral, where 35 of her Missionaries of Charity would renew their vows in her presence. This was the top story on all the local news stations, which included announcements of the closure of Cathedral Street after lunch, along with the notice of possible rush hour traffics delays later that day.

As the day progressed and the unsettled feeling persisted, I came to an abrupt realization that I simply had to stop everything I was doing and make it happen. And I came to this conclusion just 90 minutes before the Mass would start at the Basilica of the Assumption in downtown Baltimore, when I was 30 miles north of the city in Harford County.

Long story short, I called the nearby Catholic school and asked if they could have my children packed up and in the main office for an early sign-out in ten minutes. Having a free final period that day, I quickly packed up my books and made my way over to St. Margaret's, realizing with dismay that I needed to stop for gas before I got on the highway toward Baltimore City. Obstacles galore met us along the way, including every red light possible....

By the time I got to the packed parking lot located around the corner from the basilica, it was 2:50 p.m. It was actually a miracle that we made it there before 3... The kids and I jogged through the garage and around the corner to find the street closed to cars to accommodate the numerous media vans and TV satellites.

Just as we slowed down in front of the basilica, the most amazing thing happened. The doors opened and out onto the portico stepped Cardinal William Keeler, the Archbishop of Baltimore, accompanied by the diminutive 85-year old Mother Teresa. And we were there!!

My children, dressed in their Catholic school uniforms -- ages 7, 9, and 11 - -and I were right at the bottom of the steps in direct view of a press conference with these two incredibly inspiring people. I had my pre-digital camera with me and took a number of great photos.

After the press conference, the children and I made our way in the side door of the capacity-crowd basilica where a very long liturgical procession was ready to begin. I told the kids to follow me closely and we made our way down a side aisle and found a place to stand where we had a perfect view of the entire Mass.

It was amazing to be in the presence of this saintly woman, who I had first seen in 1976 at the International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia. She had gained much notoriety over those 20 years for her work for the poorest of the poor.  I was overcome with gratitude to be there.

We watched as Mother led the vow renewal ceremony, after which she addressed the congregation, asking all of us to pray for her sisters and their apostolate. She asked those in attendance to "give us some of your daughters" so her Sisters can continue to serve the poor and disenfranchised.

 Speaking to the congregation on a raised platform to be seen by everyone present


Gathering with Cardinal Keeler

After Mass was over and we waited to leave our standing-room location, I looked over my shoulder and couldn't believe my eyes... Mother Teresa, who had recessed out in the liturgical line with her sisters, was coming back down the side aisle toward us. Surrounded by security guards, Mother walked right past us with her hands folded as if in prayer, while making eye contact and smiling with her head bowed down toward each of my three children.

It was such a humbling experience to be so close to this holy and inspiring woman. As we joyfully made our way out of the basilica to walk to our car, we saw why Mother Teresa walked past us.... There in the little alleyway next to the basilica was the motor coach bus that her sisters were boarding. Mother was able to slip out the side door by the sacristy and get onto the bus without being overwhelmed by the massive crowds gathered out front.

 On the side of the basilica


I will never forget this last-minute, Holy Spirit-inspired, experience as long as I live.

God is good.... All the time!!

 Visiting the headquarters of Catholic Relief Services earlier that day: Ken Hackett, former CRS president, now US Ambassador to the Holy See, at left with Bishop John Ricard, SSJ. (Photo by CRS staff)


 Handwritten note left at the CRS Headquarters

 Photos courtesy of The Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Archdiocesan Archives, and Catholic Relief Services.

 

May 29, 2014 03:01
By Patti Murphy Dohn