Monday, April 14, 2014


Hail Mary, full of grace

At a Lenten overnight retreat with 65 adolescent girls.

The Lord is with thee

Yoga pants, push up bras, still trying to make sense of their bodies and their souls, clear skinned and broken complexioned, immature and seeking- all seen and heard and embraced by a higher power.

Blessed are you among women

You are precious and perfect in God’s eyes, a temple of the Holy Spirit, hope for the world. Don’t ever underestimate what lies yet dormant within you. You are destined for goodness and prosperity.

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus

Co-creators with God, the capacity to bring forth life both literally and figuratively. Nurturer, dreamer, lover, sanctuary. You have so much to give. I wish you could see what I see when I look at you.

Holy Mary, mother of God

Look within yourself for inspiration and strength. Look outside yourself and see your journey unfold. Reach out and make a holy connection with all of human kind. You are never alone in this world.

Pray for us sinners

Let Mary be your spiritual mother. Let her life and her sacrifice inform your every decision. You are loved and forgiven. Again and again and again.

Now and at the hour of our death

Live like there is no tomorrow. Take joy in this day. Be the woman you are destined to be. Start now. Don’t dilly dally. Your life is precious and you are already on the path. Be kind. Be in solidarity with the poor and the poor in spirit. Be the womb that gives forth life.

Be a woman of God.



8 Responses

  1. Rosemarie, this reflection is absolutely beautiful. Extraordinary. Your words have left me breathless.

  2. Oh, Kathy. You are so kind. When I get weary of all the energy it takes to do this job I step back and marvel in being fortunate enough to have this very wonderful experience with these beautiful young women. Oh.. God is good! Sending you good thoughts and love for Holy Week. xox

  3. This gave me chills. It’s so beautiful and moving. I wish that every young woman had the chance to see herself and her life through this lens. It would change the world. I join my prayer to yours that they may see and know that in ever aspect of their lives.

    One of the most heartbreaking days of my career was when a student confided that she had been raped. I held her and we cried together, and I went with her to tell her other teachers when she was ready. For the rest of that year, she and I had some long talks as she worked through the humiliation, the anger, the pain, the shame. Each time I reminded her that if she allowed the rapist to take her future – her happiness, her success, her good health, her joy in living, that he would get exactly what he wanted. “He does not get to win,” I told her one day. “How do you know?” she asked sadly. “I simply won’t allow it,” I answered in my best teacher voice. She smiled and from then on, we talked about ways SHE could win. In May of the year, I went to New Orleans to sing for a wedding. I lit a candle int the cathedral for her and took a picture of it. I also bought her a Miraculous Medal and had it blessed. When I gave her the picture and the medal, I told her, “This candle is burning for you in one of the greatest houses of God in this country. It’s light will burn for a week, but yours will glow for eternity.”
    She went on to 8th grade. Matt was injured that summer and I didn’t see her much after that.

    A few years later, Matt and some friends and I went to dinner at Mimi’s. I opened the door, and there she was, working as a hostess. After a big hug and introductions all around, she showed us to our table and brought us waters and menus. She told me that she had finished high school the year before and was taking classes at the local community college while she saved her money and decided what she wanted to study. “Your server will be right with you,” she beamed. And before she left, she bent over and whispered in my ear, “Miss Johnson, I won.”

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