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Communion Luncheon Awardees Feeding Our Faith

By: Anne McGlone

Flipping through the television stations late at night a few weeks ago, I heard the words from a well-known preacher, “We must feed our faith with the promises of God.”

These words resonated tenderly in my heart; such simple words and a magnificent promise.  Why would we doubt the Lord’s promises in the moments of desolation or confusion?  For me, as a wife, mother, grandmother and working professional, I often cling to the Lord in quiet hours of the early morning. How would I feed my faith with the Lord’s ever-present message of hope and mercy?

St. Therese of Lisieux once wrote, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” 

Yesterday, at Malvern Retreat House’s Communion Mass and Breakfast hosting over 200 men and women, I experienced the surge of the heart when listening to the introductions of the awardees of the St. Joseph the Worker medal:  Joseph Petrongolo, Samuel Chairs, Dave White and Kathleen McCarthy.  These four individuals exemplify lives which embraced joy and trial with grace.  In doing so, they shared their lives with the men and women of Malvern, not for just one retreat but, most importantly, throughout the decades leaving a legacy for generations to come.

The St. Joseph the Worker Medal is awarded to individuals committed to the highest professional standards who have reached significant achievements and have a strong moral compass that reflects his or her Catholic faith.  These four awardees certainly represent the ideals set forth by this prestigious medal.

This holy retreat house has fed the souls of over one million people since its inception, offering the promises of God through the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and devotion to the Blessed Mother. 

Sitting in the dining room yesterday listening to the introductions and, finally, the keynote address by Kathleen McCarthy, I knew my soul was fed just being present to this afternoon event.

“We do not know the hour or time when the Lord will come.  We must always be ready,” shared Kathleen McCarthy.  “As a widow and mother of 12 children, my children learned the importance of prayer when we held family Bible meetings just before school each day.  Each child had to learn how to do a teaching,” McCarthy said.  Today, the McCarthy family, 12 married children, 54 grandchildren and six great grandchildren pray together and enjoy the extraordinary effects of a mother who fed their faith through God’s promises.

Corrie Ten Boom, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps once wrote, “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.”

Malvern Retreat House is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.

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