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.


Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!



September 2016
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Recent Comments

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


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!

God is in the clouds

Calling on Saint Medard: Prayer to the patron saint of bad storms

Once again, our family and friends along the east coast are in the calm before the storm... a huge snowstorm which meteorologists are calling Jonas. 

With blizzard warnings and school closings pinging alerts to my cell phone, my husband and I share the worry with our family back in Maryland as the hours tick down to the arrival of this huge storm. 

Praying to Saint Medard:

It's time once again to call upon the intercession of Saint Medard, the sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, whose feast is observed on June 8. He is the patron saint for protection from bad storms. 

According to legend, as a child, Medard was once sheltered from the driving rain by an eagle hovering over him.  

The last time I wrote about praying to Saint Medard was two years ago in February of 2014 as Winter Storm Pax was making its way to the east coast. It dumped more than a foot of snow on the Baltimore area.

As we get closer to the start of winter storm Jonas, let us again call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep our loved ones safe and to protect all those who are in need of shelter and warmth.

Prayer to Saint Medard:

Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms,
we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.

Protect our families and our homes.

We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, especially for the upcoming snowstorm that is headed our way this weekend.

Loving God, send in more helpers, and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.

You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.

Saint Medard, pray for us.


January 22, 2016 12:42
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Music Monday: Caribbean steel drum rendition of "How Great Thou Art" to warm your heart on a winter day



Winter blues?

Another snowstorm has hit the mid-Atlantic seaboard and most of the school systems across the state have closed due to the weather conditions. My John Carroll students are having yet another cyber day of study at home on their laptops. And the local news anchors are increasingly playing off of Shakespeare and Steinbeck and calling this "the winter of our discontent."


Here's a song and a prayer to help warm your hearts and get your week off to a good start:

One of my all time favorite traditional hymns "How Great Thou Art" with a Caribbean twist on the steel drums of the Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra.
Warming to the heart and soul... Enjoy!!


"How Great Thou Art"


Traditional morning offering prayer for a new day and a new week:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day and week
for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.


Fellow "Catholic Review" blogger Rita Buettner of "Open Window" and I are getting ready for Lent.
Today Rita honors the 110th birthday of Dr. Seuss with a snowy poem.


March 03, 2014 12:08
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Winter Storm Pax, being a snow angel, and a prayer for those in need of shelter and heat



Over a foot of snow greeted us this morning at our home in Barrington in Bel Air (Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)


The snow started last night as Winter Storm Pax made its way up the I-95 corridor into DC and Maryland. Everyone knew what to expect for days in advance in order to be prepared. Of course, the grocery stores and gas stations were packed.

I spent the afternoon with my daughter Meighan and my 6-week old granddaughter yesterday. Meighan ran out to the store before dinnertime to get food for their pug Lilly. When she returned, Meighan told me that Pet Smart was packed, the nearby Target and Walmart parking lots were jammed, and that there was a back up to get into the huge lot at the liquor store. Nothing like an impending snowstorm to help the economy!!

Almost every county school system in the state is closed today. Tomorrow is certain to be a repeat as the next wave of snow moves through later tonight. We measured over a foot here at my home in Bel Air. And my students are having cyber days while school is closed.

Schools with 1-to-1 computer programs and teacher websites can get a lot accomplished when school is not in session.... Just as many adults work from home when they can't get out of their neighborhoods due to bad weather. The nice thing about cyber days is that you can work at your own pace and set your own hours. Looks like there will be a long weekend to get everything done and submitted online.

Be a Snow Angel:

I too jumped on the cyber bandwagon and sent out my Morning Prayer to the students and teachers via email with a renewed call for our students to be snow angels

Please don't forget my snow day challenge from yesterday morning:

Let your light shine by offering your help at home with the shoveling and cleaning off your family cars:

Have a positive attitude and amaze your parents with your kindness!!

Also: Look out for your neighbors and be a #snowangel!!


Today's Prayer: 

Join us as we pray for all those affected by this winter storm. Today's prayer is for those who are in need of shelter and warmth during this stormy weather: 


God of compassion,

your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus,

whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable

and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross:

we hold before you those who are homeless and cold

especially in this bitter weather.

Draw near and comfort them in spirit

and bless those who work to provide them

with shelter, food and friendship.

We ask this in Jesus' name.


God is good : all the time!!

Archbishop John Carroll, pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Medard, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Be safe and warm. And don't forget to be a snow angel!!


 The view of our backyard before sunrise this morning (Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)

February 13, 2014 02:19
By Patti Murphy Dohn

Enough already: Tired of cold weather and the winter blues


“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Is winter weighing down on your spirit? If so, you are not alone.

This has been the coldest winter that I can ever remember, especially with last month’s episodes of polar vortex. Such bitter cold is unusual for our area in Maryland. And the multiple occurrences of snow, sleet, and freezing rain have felt endless. Without a doubt, I have had enough of the harsh cold temperatures and the snowy weather.

We went to school on time yesterday in the wintery rain despite forecasts of it turning to snow and ice. I'm sure I was not alone in double and triple-checking for an early morning email or text alert of a two hour late start. My Catholic high school follows the Harford County school system and they occasionally call for a late start in order to monitor the bad weather for a possible closure.

Those alerts never came yesterday, so it was off to school bright and early on the post-Super Bowl Monday. Except it was not bright at all....

All the young people at John Carroll were shaking their heads and wondering out loud if we would be dismissed early since the driving rain that we were experiencing was slated to turn to snow within the hour. My husband had actually driven me to school since he was concerned about the roads being slick. He said that he'd pick me up after school, no matter the time. Bless his heart.




And, in addition to the craziness of winter, the Church was observing the Feast of St. Blaise, patron saint of those afflicted with ailments of the throat. How appropriate.

Each year I offer the opportunity for our Religion classes to gather in our Chapel for a brief presentation on Saint Blaise and to have their throats blessed. I explain to each group that this is another good lesson on Catholic culture for our students who are not Catholic. And indeed it is, as we who are Catholic parents and grandparents recall our earliest memories of having our throats blessed during childhood.



By the time I finished with the first two classes, I was met in the hallway by lots of students who were joyfully shouting out rumors of a 10 a.m. dismissal. It has been highly unusual in recent years for school systems to quickly send the children back home once they are in school. But that is exactly what happened here in Harford County. The ice was pinging off my office window as the principal made the official announcement. Our parking lots were a bit chaotic with both students and teachers attempting to exit campus, while many parents were still trying to enter to pick up their sons and daughters. The lots and roads were slick, so I worried about the novice young drivers. Ice is nasty even for the most experienced drivers.

Personally I have had enough winter. Indeed, enough already!!
And as I sat here typing, my cell phone rang with an automated call from Harford County containing warnings about the snow and ice storm that is expected tonight into tomorrow.



Are you tired of winter too?

I am dreaming of warm sunshine, longer days, and the promise of new life with flowers and trees coming into full bloom…. 

Rumor has it that there are 43 more days until Spring. I just am not sure that I am going to make it….


This principal and teacher from the Boone County Schools in Kentucky used a sense of humor while sending out a recent school closure notice to students and parents: Check out their announcement here delivered to the tune of a well-known song by Queen.


Prayer for light:

God our redeemer, you created light that we might live, and you illumine our world with your beloved Son. By your Spirit, comfort us in all darkness and turn us toward the light of Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

From the Lutheran Second Sunday of Christmas



February 04, 2014 02:45
By Patti Murphy Dohn