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

Counting our blessings: Prayers to enhance your family’s Thanksgiving feast



"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."  
~Meister Eckhart


Happy Thanksgiving!

It is that special time for counting our blessings and having an attitude of gratitude!

Each year, I like to share some prayers for enhancing your family’s celebration
Perhaps one of these blessings will be the right one for your family feast.



Loving God,
We gather in prayer on this Thanksgiving Day to acknowledge with grateful hearts our many gifts and blessings.
Thank You for the overflowing goodness of Your love for us as seen both on and around this table.
Bless all who made it possible for us to share this meal, especially those who cooked and baked and all those who work the land, farmers and harvesters of this bounty.
Bless us as we share from their labors.
Bless each of us gathered at this table. Help us to grow in love for one another.
Bless all those who are in need and help us care for them as generously as You care for us.
As we gather we remember too those who have gone before us who rejoice in Your glorious presence with the angels and the saints.
May we always remember them and honor their memories with love.
With gratitude in our hearts for all blessings big and small, we pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

——


Light a Candle as You Offer Up This Prayer:

Dear Father who art in Heaven,
Please join our family on this Thanksgiving day,
And bless each one as we sit down to pray.
As we remember those who have joined You above
So dearly missed and deeply loved.

Please provide us strength on this Thanksgiving Day:
Bless us with memories of those faraway.
Please grant patience to family and friends as we grieve
And help us reach out to others who are bereaved.

We give thanks to You on this Thanksgiving day:
For Your presence in our lives each and everyday,
For Your comfort, guidance, and never ending love,
And for taking care of our loved ones in Heaven above.

As we light this candle on this Thanksgiving day,
And it glows in memory of those in Heaven today:
May their lights always shine down on us and give us light,
And may we feel their presence along with Yours tonight.
 
May the peace and tranquility of this Thanksgiving day
Be an everlasting light within each of us along the way.
Let’s bow our heads and give our Thanks to God above
For our blessings, whether on earth or in Heaven above.
Amen.

——


Bless this food we have before us, O God.
Let it provide the nourishment we need.
Bless this family and our friends gathered around this table.
Let us be nourished by our love and care for one another.
Bless those who have less than we have. 
Let our eyes be open to their needs.
Bless us as we bless Your Holy Name on this day of thanksgiving.
Let us praise and thank you always in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

——


Prayers Before Travel:

Lord Jesus Christ my God, be my Companion, guide and protector during my journey. Keep me from all danger, misfortune and temptation. By Your divine power grant me a peaceful and successful journey and safe arrival. In You I place my hope and trust and You I praise, honor and glorify, together with Your Father and Holy Spirit now and forever and ever.

Amen.

——


Loving and Compassionate One, 
We gather on this Thanksgiving Day to share our love and friendship and the overflowing goodness of your love seen on and around this table. 
Bless those whose livelihood comes from toiling the earth: the farmers, growers, and pickers of this bounty. Bless us as we share from their labors. 
Bless all who have less than we have and help us to care for them as generously as you care for us. 
Bless each of us gathered at this table. 
Help us to grow in love for one another. 
As we gather we remember those who have gone before us gathered in your loving embrace. 
May we always remember them in love. 
We ask this in Jesus’ name. 
Amen.

——


O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.

——


Litany-prayer or families with young children and persons with disabilities:

For the gift of life: We thank you.     
For the gift of family: We thank you.
For the gift of this food: We thank you.
For our friends: We thank you.
For laughter: We thank you.
For our safety: We thank you.
For our shelter: We thank you.
For the gift of love: We thank you.
For the abundance of your love, O God: We thank you.
Amen.

——



Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino! 

~Hilaire Belloc

Wishing you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving!



November 24, 2015 12:02
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Thanksgiving prayers, blessings before the big meal, music, and reflections: Day 9



  

 


O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.

—William Shakespeare

 -------

 Introduction:

In the nine days leading up to Thanksgiving I will share a novena of prayers, reflections, and music selections that may enhance the celebration of this special day with your family and friends.

 Day 9: Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

 Day 9:

After eight days of sharing reflections, music, and prayers with you, Thanksgiving Day has finally arrived. This day has great importance in the history of our nation with the prayerful observance and grateful feasting of our forefathers.

The Greek word for thanksgiving is “Eucharistia,” reminding us that the Sacrament of the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord is the source and summit of all our blessings. For Catholics, each time we go to Mass is a celebration of thanksgiving. And since we can go to Mass just about every single day, every day can be Thanksgiving.   

 

 

My Wish for You Today: 

 

May you be surrounded by the peace of Christ as you offer your thanks and count your blessings this day.

Realizing that many people carry the burden of loneliness, worry, illness, grief, and the trials of family disharmony, may we be conscious of the needs of others as we spend this day recalling the goodness of our loving God. 

 

 

And to our elder brothers and sisters in the faith:

 Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings of Hanukkah to all our Jewish relatives, friends, and neighbors:

 May you have great joy on this rare occurrence of “Thanksgivukkah.” 

My first prayer today is for you as you begin the holy season of Hanukkah on our national day of thanks.

 

A Prayer for Thanksgivukkah:

On Hanukkah and Thanksgiving:

Grateful for our gifts and grateful for our past,
We cherish our spiritual inheritances:
The pilgrims who journeyed,
The Maccabees who fought,
The generations who struggled and sacrificed to preserve their memory.
As Americans and Jews, Dear God, we are doubly blessed:
Given so long a legacy to celebrate in so sublime a land.
So we light a candle, set the table, say our prayers
And declare the miracles – of our tradition, our freedom and our future.
We rededicate ourselves to live so that we might be worthy
Of the greatness bequeathed to us,
And merit the joy of handing it on to generations.

By: Rabbi David Wolpe

 

 

 More Thanksgiving Prayers:

 A Thanksgiving Prayer:

 

This Thanksgiving let those of us who have much and those who have little gather at the welcoming table of the Lord.

At this blessed feast, may rich and poor alike remember that we are called to serve one another and to walk together in God's gracious world.

With thankful hearts we praise our God who like a loving parent denies us no good thing.

Amen.

 

From: Songs of Our Hearts, Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics, edited by Cecilia A. Moor, Ph.D., C. Vanessa White, D.Min., and Paul M. Marshall, S.M.

 -------

Thanksgiving Day Prayer:
 

Lord, we thank you
for the goodness of our people
and for the spirit of justice
that fills this nation.
We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the
land and the challenge of the cities.

We thank you for our work and our rest,
for one another, and for our homes.
We thank you, Lord:
accept our thanksgiving on this day.
We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From: Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

 

Thanksgiving by Joe Heller

 

 

Help Me Thanksgiving Day Prayer:

 O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.

 By: Samuel F. Pugh

 ------- 

Here's a fun limerick to enjoy as you raise your wine glass on Thanksgiving (or any other day):

 Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,

 There’s always laughter and good red wine.

 At least I’ve always found it so.

 Benedicamus Domino! 

By: Hilaire Belloc

 

Music for a Thankful Heart: Day 9:

  This lovely medley by CRC Worship will raise your hearts and minds in gratitude to our Heavenly Father who has bestowed so many blessings to us each day. Lyrics are provided for “We Gather Together;” “For the Beauty of the Earth;” and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.”

 


 

 

 

November 27, 2013 08:19
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Thanksgiving prayers, blessings before the big meal, music, and reflections: Day 5



  


Introduction:

In the nine days leading up to Thanksgiving I will share a novena of prayers, reflections, and music selections that may enhance the celebration of this special day with your family and friends.

 Day 5: Today I share another general Thanksgiving prayer for use with your family before the holiday meal on Thursday.

 

 

Luann comic by Greg Evans  

 

Day 5:

Today's prayer was adapted from "Prayers of Our Hearts" by Vienna Cobb Anderson

 A Prayer of Thanksgiving:

God of all blessings, source of all life, giver of all grace:

 We thank you for the gift of life:
 for the breath that sustains life,
 for the food of this earth that nurtures life,
 for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life.

 We thank you for the mystery of creation:
 for the beauty that the eye can see,
 for the joy that the ear may hear,
 for the unknown that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
 for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

 We thank you for setting us in communities:
 for families who nurture our becoming,
 for friends who love us by choice,
 for companions at work who share our burdens and daily tasks,
 for strangers who welcome us into their midst,
 for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding,
 for children who lighten our moments with delight,
 for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.

 We thank you for this day:
 for life and one more day to love;
 for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace;
 for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved;
 for your grace and one more experience of your presence;
 for your promise to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation.

 For these, and all blessings,
 we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,
 through Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.

 

 

 

Music for a Thankful Heart: Day 5:

 

“Thank you” – by Hillsong—from Best Worship Song with Tears 6

With lyrics and background photography for meditation.

 



 


 

November 24, 2013 02:27
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Thanksgiving prayers, blessings before the big meal, music, and reflections: Day 3

 

Introduction:

In the nine days leading up to Thanksgiving I will share a novena of prayers, reflections, and music selections that may enhance the celebration of this special day with your family and friends.

 

 

 

Day 3:

Today I will share a prayer-meditation by Rev. James Martin, SJ, Editor of America MagazineFather Martin touches on almost every basic area of gratitude that we Americans have to offer back to God this Thanksgiving. Read when you have time to reflect on each word.


"I'm Grateful, God: A Thanksgiving Prayer for Everyone"
By: Rev. James Martin, SJ

I'm grateful, God, for so many things. Now, I know I'm not the most grateful person you know, God, so let me take some time to tell you what I'm thankful for.

I'm grateful, God, for the gift of life. Without you I wouldn't be here. Without you nothing would be here. Without you nothing would be at all.

I'm grateful for my parents, God. Even if they weren't perfect, or completely functional, they loved me the best they could, and they worked hard to make sure that I had enough to eat, that I was clothed and that I had a place to sleep. I'll never know all that they did for me, like the things they did for me when I was a baby, but I can be grateful for the things that I know. Help me to be a grateful child, and remind me to be grateful in person. If my parents have ended their time on earth and are with you, help me to be thankful for their lives, and fill me with the hope of meeting them again in your company, where I'll be able to say thanks again.

I'm grateful for my friends, God. Even if I have only one good friend in my life right now, I'm so grateful. God, you show your love for me through my friends in ways that I sometimes overlook. They give me advice, sometimes when I need it, sometimes when I don't, which in both situations is a sign of their care for me. They listen to me complain, which I do too much, and they celebrate with me, even if things aren't always going well for them. They help me to laugh. And they help me to laugh at myself. That alone is reason to be thankful. Help me to be a good friend in return.

I'm grateful for my family, God. Yes, I know that all families are a little nutty, and mine is no exception. Even Jesus's family tree had its share of complications. But I'm thankful that, even with the nuttiness, I'm part of a family that has helped to make me the person I am. I know that they try to love me the best that they can. Help me to be a good family member, trying to help out when I can, make the phone call or pay a visit when they're lonely, and keep my mouth shut when I should be listening, or when I don't have anything sensible to add to the conversation.

I'm grateful for my job, God. It's not always a bed of roses, but at least I have a place to work and I am able to make ends meet. That's more than many people have. And I know the people I work with can drive me crazy, but they are doing their best, too. Help me to be a good co-worker, to give people the benefit of the doubt, to care for the people with whom I work, and not to take everything so seriously on the job. And help me remember that all work done freely and with a loving heart is worthy in your site.

I'm grateful, God, for all the things that I know many people in this world don't have. And that's a long list. So I'm grateful for food. And clean water that is easily available. And clothes. And heat in the winter and air conditioning and screens in the summer. I'm grateful that I can go to the doctor and get a check up and even get shots to help me avoid illness. That's a lot more than most people have. Help me to be grateful, and help me remember that I can help those who have less by being generous. That's one way of thanking you.

Did I mention how much I appreciate all the things you created? For the color of orange autumn leaves against the deep blue sky? For the smell of the sidewalk after a thunderstorm on a hot summer afternoon? For the way that the frost makes crazy patterns on windows in the winter? For the amazing smell of daffodils in the springtime? While I'm at it, I'm also grateful for the beach (that's a pretty great thing you created), the mountains (also great) and sunsets (really great). And hamburgers, too.

Most of all, God, I'm grateful for your presence in my life. You're everywhere, and if I remember to pay attention I can see you invitation to meet you in every moment of the day. I know that it is you who turn my mind to thoughts of gratitude. And when I'm tempted to focus only on the problems and worries and fears, I know that I'm being led away from you.

Now, I'm not always as thankful as I should be, but today I am. Today I will try to be grateful all day, since you are generous all day to me, like you are every day.

Amen.

 

Music for a Thankful Heart: Day 3:

“All Good Gifts”— from the musical Godspell—Sung by Merrell Jackson



 

 

November 22, 2013 03:57
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Thanksgiving prayers, blessings before the big meal, music, and reflections: Day 2


 

 

Introduction:

In the nine days leading up to Thanksgiving I will share a novena of prayers, reflections, and music selections that may enhance the celebration of this special day with your family and friends.

 

 

 

Day 2:

Today I will share another general blessing from the Sisters of Saint Francis for use with your family before the Thanksgiving meal next Thursday:

 

Thanksgiving Day Dinner Blessing

 

Bless this food we have before us, O God.

Let it provide the nourishment we need.

 Bless this family and our friends gathered around this table.

Let us be nourished by our love and care for one another.

 Bless those who have less than we have. 

Let our eyes be open to their needs.

Bless us as we bless your holy name on this day of thanksgiving.

Let us praise and thank you always in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

 

 

Music for a thankful heart: Day 2: 

"Thank You, Lord" sung by Hillsong with lyrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2013 08:39
By Patti Murphy Dohn