Antoinette Moms – Under the patronage of powerful ladies

I wrote previously the vision for Antoinette Moms, the mother’s group I am beginning here in my home town, through the Young Ladies Institute. With the goals of prayer, fellowship and formation, it did not take long for me to consider who would be amazing patronesses for this ministry.

St. Gianna Molla

St. Gianna Molla (1922-1962) was an Italian wife, family doctor and mother of four children. Deeply in love with her husband, she loved fashion and traveling, particularly skiing. She died following the birth of her fourth child after opting to save her child’s life and risk her own with surgery, rather than end the life of her unborn child through an abortion and hysterectomy. Along with being a caring doctor, Gianna also served her community as a child and young adult through her participation in Catholic Action, a movement whose aim was to mobilize the Catholic laity to live a more intense spiritual life.

She is a model for those women who feel called or compelled to work, who have particular professional gifts, who must make particularly heroic choices to serve their families and who seek to inspire girls and other young women in the faith.

Blessed Zelie Martin

Blessed Zelie Martin (1831-1877), the wife of Louie Martin, and mother of nine children (five daughters survived childhood), including St. Therese of Liseiux, Doctor of the Church. Zelie lived an intensely devout Catholic life and raised her daughters to do the same. She operated a small business from her home, making lace. Zelie died of breast cancer at age 45. She and her husband will be the first married couple to be canonized as a couple this September.

She is a model for those faithful women who have suffered miscarriage and the death of their children, who themselves suffer from ongoing health issues, who teach their children at home, and who use their talents to earn extra income for their families.


There are more non-married (priests or consecrated life) saints recognized in the Church than married saints. For those heroic men and women who said little but did much, there is perhaps little record. This is not unlike Saint Joseph, one of our greatest saints. What we know of him is based on a few biblical passages of action without words, of total obedience to God, and tradition.

So we entrust this group to Zelie and Gianna, women who were exemplars of the dignity of their vocation, who fulfilled their vocation in different ways, whose legacy is a testament of the beauty of marriage and motherhood. Inspired by their example, we move forward with hope, asking God to bless this endeavor.


You can find us on facebook at Antoinette Moms, send a request to join the group and you’ll be able to see updates on the happenings of Antoinette Moms.

With an energy spike, other projects have taken off – Behold, Antoinette Moms!

Some recent time ago, my energy spiked. It’s been rather insatiable. There has been the energy to do things for our home, but an intellectual energy as well. This was in part satisfied through my summer position, interviewing and writing for the marketing department. But other projects have been brewing.

My desire for a stronger community continues to grow. A stronger community for myself and my family, and a stronger community that the Catholic Church is part of. It is a tragedy when the local Catholic parish has done nothing to reach out to the town it is situated in. Too many churches open their doors and expect the people to simply come. Or they have events to encourage and create friendships or projects for those who attend their parish. It becomes a nice little self-satisfied microcosm. Perhaps it will do some pro-life work. But where are the trenches?

We don’t see the individuals, desperate for direction who enter those office doors. We don’t hear about them from the pews on Sunday.

But we need too. In fact, we need to go out into them. We are in a mission field and the Church is the hospital. How can we care for those who are ill or wounded if we never go out to find them, into the hovels, as Mother Teresa did? There are traces of it here and there, but I have yet to see a parish that partners with other local non-profits. If Republicans complain about too big government doing too much for the people and the people accepting too much from big government, then make the churches bigger, stronger and provide more, gasp, social outreach.

Why have the priests and parishioners I talked to never heard of the amazing non-profit where I have worked off and on for the past seven years. In part, it’s my fault, never following through on promoting it. But really, shouldn’t every youth program know about the temporary shelter for teens that provides crisis counseling and family advocacy. Or the family resource centers that hold ESL classes, help people complete paperwork for food stamps or aid for bills or the forms for health insurance? There isn’t enough information being spread around. I’m not sure I believe the local parishes are looking outward enough.

I’m seen touches of it, of course. On youth minister took the teenagers out to feed the homeless. They loved it of course, because teenagers and young adults are zealous beyond compare if we just give them the opportunity to do so. But what else, besides partnering with pro-life organizations are we doing?

So it’s been on my mind. Therefore, I’m beginning a mom’s group in my town. The goals are to provide support, fellowship and formation for mothers in the area, pointing out without reserve that mothers of any walk of life are welcome: married, divorced, never married, abandoned, with children long gone from home, with children who were never born, with newborns and toddlers. There will be play dates at the local park because we need to create third places, those centers in the community where people gather together spontaneously, like the bar in Cheers or Luke’s in the Gilmore Girls. We won’t do that if we don’t ever go there to begin with.

There will also be family potlucks. Too many demographic specific groups serve only that group. It never opens up to a wider group. It never utilizes the incredible gifts of that group to serve the community. Teens feeding the homeless certainly does, but how many Catholic youth groups have regular and consistent service projects? Not enough. So family potlucks because if anyone in the world tends to be other focused, its mothers. It’s the feminine genius after all.

So beyond the temporary support provided by monthly meetings or play date, family potlucks can provide opportunities for free social activities at the parish that are not fundraisers, and help families get to know each other in that soclal setting.

I also would like to see an annual yard sale hosted at the Church, where each family has their own table, proceeds benefiting the family. Some parishes may object because they are cash strapped, but families, often, are too. It’s marketing. Provide things that benefit the consumer and the consumer will come back. “The Catholic Church is a place that understands, where we can be who are, perhaps, as poor as we are. We don’t have to pretend we’re not in need of a little extra cash to paint that room or pay that bill. The whole person is welcome here.” Imagine if ordinary people said that.

I’d like the group to provide concrete support by advertising meal planning websites to the entire parish when a member of the parish has a baby or has a child who is ill or who is grieving.

And I’d like the group to also keep track of important days for members of the group and in the parish. Telling a kid happy birthday when it is some time around the play date. Giving a lady a rose at an evening meeting to celebrate her wedding anniversary. Offering prayers when a day of remembrance, such as the death of a spouse or child rolls around. Seeing if she needs anything when an anniversary of a divorce comes about. Taking into account the whole person. It’s on her mind, and we can be there for her.

So that is the vision! I’ll write more on the patronage soon.