Spring Gift Guide – Father’s Day Gift Guide

Join us May 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for The Loreto Market

While you shop for yourself, your home, for Mother’s Day, check Father’s Day gifts off your shopping list after a visit to the Loreto Market. While many of our vendors feature lovely items with feminine appeal, we haven’t forgotten our fathers or the men among us. In this Year of St. Joseph, at the Loreto Market, you’re sure to find something for the father figure in your life.

Order a custom set of windchimes or music lesson package by Casey Music Service

Casey Music Service offers lessons for children and adults, tunes pianos, repairs instruments and can make the fully custom windchime set of your dreams. Talk with owner Kyle Casey about how Casey Music Service can help you with all things music.

Tap into the masculine heart through the strength of history and tradition with curated vintage religious goods by Domestic Joy

Aid his prayer with tradition and dynamic icons by Sue Forrest Artwork

Sue Forrest began in Advertising and after decades of experience in fine art, became a Certified Iconography through the Iconographic Institute in Mount Angel, Oregon. She produces icons, original and reproductions, greeting cards, fine art, and painted rocks. Along with the incredible selection original icons she’ll bring to the market, she also takes commissions for particular saints.

Celebrate his sense of whimsy with a patron saint peg doll by Whymsical Lotus

To learn more visit whymsicallotus.Etsy.com

Feed his mind with solid Catholic reading and straight-forward apologetics with used books sold by A Catholic Teachers Treasures

Tanya Valasquez, a Catholic Teacher for 21 years, is bringing her collection of Catholic resources in order, both for teenagers themselves and those who seek to be ready to answer their children’s questions arise in the search for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

Find all this and more at The Loreto Market!

Spring Gift Guide – Gift Guide for Liturgical Living

The Loreto Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 1. If you’re in the Central Valley of California this is the perfect opportunity to support your local Catholic community and the artists, makers and entrepreneurs who are part of it.

Liturgical Living is the mode du jour these days, especially as activities in parishes are still limited to la vida virtual. Bring liturgical traditions into your home with:

A May Crowning – Add flair and flavor to your family’s May Crowning with May Crowning themed cookies by Cakes by Patricia

At the last Loreto Market, she made waves with her St. Nicholas and Advent Wreath cookies.

This spring, Cakes by Patricia will be selling homemade cookies – Peanut Butter & Snickerdoodle as well as May Crowning Iced Sugar Cookies (Flowers and Crowns) in Honor of our Mother Mary. After working 35 years in the educational system, Patricia retired and began baking for family and friends. All profits are donated to nonprofit organizations.

Organize family prayer with beautiful holy cards featuring fine art by Ora et Flora.

Along with the Memorare, Prayer to St. Raphael and Divine Mercy, Ora et Flora is offering a wide variety of prayers to St. Joseph to help us focus in on the Year of St. Joseph, declared by Pope Francis for this year.

Create a child-friendly shrine with saint peg dolls by Whymsical Lotus

After five years of being in business, Lotus Vele has enough saint peg dolls to fill the heavenly hosts! Find your patron saint of the patron of your gift recipient. To learn more visit whymsicallotus.Etsy.com

Let beauty inspire and deepen prayer with beautiful rosaries by Simple Beadings

Yuehesi Cuellar, owner of Simple Beadings, said, “I strive to offer affordable rosaries and jewelry to drive people closer to Christ!” At her booth you’ll find rosaries (corded, beaded, chained), religious & non- religious earrings, religious & non religious necklaces and bracelets. Learn more at @simplebeadings (Instagram) and simplebeadings.square.site .

Build your home alter or prayer corner with vintage religious goods including statues and framed prints by Domestic Joy

The joy Dezirae LaGro finds in Catholicism, homemaking and antique shopping spills over into the beauty of her booth as she brings to you Curated Catholic Treasures. Check out her instagram page of the same name.

Center your prayer around a particular devotion with spectacular icons written by Sue Forrest Artwork

Sue Forrest seeks to bring beauty to all, through the medium of paint and spread the Gospel with icons. Her breathtaking work will be on display and available for purchase. To see her past projects, visit her Facebook page, Sue Forrest Artwork.

Build your rosary supply so you have rosaries a home, in the car and on the go with rosaries by Catholic Kids

You’ll have to hurry to purchase a rosary from these ambitious entrepreneurs! The young ladies who run Catholic Kids sold out of their popular rosaries at last year’s Loreto Market. This year, their proceeds will go towards supporting Traditional Latin Mass Seminaries.

Light a candle during prayer to illuminate prayer time with candles by Healthy Mind Healthy Soul

Adriana Ramirez is will be selling a a candle perfect for May called “Mystical Rose.” “Mystical Rose in inspired by Our Lady of Guadalupe and offers notes or rose, frankincense, and Myrrh.

Integrating her passion for her profession as a future mental health counselor, and passion for her faith, Adriana , owner of Healthy Mind Healthy Soul, hit upon the idea to utilize the inspiration from her faith and the power of aroma through candles and nature’s natural scents. Thus she made candles inspired by the saints. Check out her work at on Instagram @healthymindhealthysoul_

Find all this and more on May 1 at The Loreto Market!

Spring Gift Guide – Gift Guide for Mother’s Day

Join us for The Loreto Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 1!

With the market taking place one week before Mother’s Day, it’s the perfect opportunity to shop local and celebrate a mother in your life.

At the Loreto Market, you will find:


Original artwork by SQHQ Art

Few reproductions could compare with an original piece of artwork. One of the best ways to add to your art collection (or your mother’s) is by shopping local. At the Loreto Market you have the opportunity to discuss her work with the artist herself. Come meet Susan Fisher and snatch up one of these beautiful paintings!

Chemical-free cleaning products by Norwex

Featuring their Safe Haven 5 Package – The EnviroCloth, Window Cloth, Dusting Mitt, Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent and Cleaning Paste.


Ice sugar cookies for your gathering by Cakes by Patricia



Sheep milk soap and yarn by M&J Farms plus Marcie Davis’ newly published picture book perfect for the mother who loves to read aloud!

Marcie of M&J Farms shared about this particular illustration, which may be recognizable to locals. “It’s the original farm that was settled on and has been in the family for over 100 years. The barn was there when my great grandparents, John & Anna Baptista, arrived from the Azores. John worked for Charles Geer of Geer Ranch, giving our current busy road it’s familiar name. The AB stands for Albert Baptista who, with his brother Alfred, ran a cow dairy on site, which was eventually taken over by Raymond Baptista. I tried to add a little bit of Hughson nostalgia and family pride to my book.”



The opportunity to care for herself by signing up for a course through The Woman School.

Salve for parched skin and rosaries for her and her children made by Catholic Kids.

You’ll have to hurry to purchase a rosary from these ambitious entrepreneurs! The young ladies who run Catholic Kids sold out of their popular rosaries at last year’s Loreto Market. This year, their proceeds will go towards supporting Traditional Latin Mass Seminaries.

A moment of tranquility made possible by a set of custom wind chimes made by Casey Music Service.

Kyle Casey began experimenting with creating my own wind chimes about 10 years ago. Over time I learned much about their construction and developed my own unique techniques and designs. He now sells them mostly online to those who wish to have a very specific set of notes that no other known wind chime company can do for them. He said, “I strive to provide the highest quality custom made wind chimes made with the best materials available that not only sound great but look great as well. I also strive to provide the most effective music lessons specifically tailored to each individual student.”

An Icon by Sue Forrest Artwork

Sue Forrest seeks to bring beauty to all, through the medium of paint and spread the Gospel with icons. Her breathtaking work will be on display and available for purchase. To see her past projects, visit her Facebook page, Sue Forrest Artwork.

The beauty of age and tradition with curated antiques Domestic Joy

The joy Dezirae LaGro finds in Catholicism, homemaking and antique shopping spills over into the beauty of her booth as she brings to you Curated Catholic Treasures. Check out her instagram page of the same name.

Jewelry by Simple Beadings

Yuehesi Cuellar, owner of Simple Beadings, said, “I strive to offer affordable rosaries and jewelry to drive people closer to Christ!” At her booth you’ll find rosaries (corded, beaded, chained), religious & non- religious earrings, religious & non religious necklaces and bracelets. Learn more at @simplebeadings (Instagram) and simplebeadings.square.site .

Candles by Healthy Mind Healthy Soul

Integrating her passion for her profession as a future mental health counselor, and passion for her faith, Adriana Ramirez, owner of Healthy Mind Healthy Soul, hit upon the idea to utilize the inspiration from her faith and the power of aroma through candles and nature’s natural scents. Thus she made candles inspired by the saints. Check out her work at on Instagram @healthymindhealthysoul_

There’s more to come!

See you at the Loreto Market!

May 1

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spring Gift Guide – Gift Guide for Sacraments

The Loreto Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 1. With so many holidays and events on the calendar in the coming weeks, I thought a gift guide might be handy.

Do you have a Confirmation mass to attend in the afternoon? First Holy Communions coming up? Whether Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations or the beginning of the wedding season, at the Loreto Market we’re featuring:

Saint peg dolls by Whymsical Lotus

After five years of being in business, Lotus Vele has enough saint peg dolls to fill the heavenly hosts! Find your patron saint of the patron of your gift recipient. To learn more visit whymsicallotus.Etsy.com

Home decor with spiritual themes by Simple Beadings

Yuehesi Cuellar, owner of Simple Beadings, said, “I strive to offer affordable rosaries and jewelry to drive people closer to Christ!” At her booth you’ll find rosaries (corded, beaded, chained), religious & non- religious earrings, religious & non religious necklaces and bracelets. Learn more at @simplebeadings (Instagram) and simplebeadings.square.site .

Curated Vintage Artwork by Domestic Joy

The joy Dezirae LaGro finds in Catholicism, homemaking and antique shopping spills over into the beauty of her booth as she brings to you Curated Catholic Treasures. Check out her instagram page of the same name.

Original and Reproduction Icons by Sue Forrest Artwork

Sue Forrest seeks to bring beauty to all, through the medium of paint and spread the Gospel with icons. Her breathtaking work will be on display and available for purchase. To see her past projects, visit her Facebook page, Sue Forrest Artwork.

Handmade Rosaries by Catholic Kids

You’ll have to hurry to purchase a rosary from these ambitious entrepreneurs! The young ladies who run Catholic Kids sold out of their popular rosaries at last year’s Loreto Market. This year, their proceeds will go towards supporting Traditional Latin Mass Seminaries.

Candles by Healthy Mind Healthy Soul

Integrating her passion for her profession as a future mental health counselor, and passion for her faith, Adriana Ramirez, owner of Healthy Mind Healthy Soul, hit upon the idea to utilize the inspiration from her faith and the power of aroma through candles and nature’s natural scents. Thus she made candles inspired by the saints. Check out her work at on Instagram @healthymindhealthysoul_

There’s more to come!

See you at the Loreto Market!

Two New Projects…and an Announcement

As I stood around a group of students, putting parrot to paper with borrowed paints, I began to dream. I dreamt of an opportunity to come together as Catholics to delight, learn and engage in our shared Catholic culture. I dreamt of ways to highlight those local Catholic artists, makers and entrepreneurs who seemed to go it alone in the Central Valley of California, finding their way through non-denominational Christian or secular avenues because the infrastructure was lacking for a Catholic market in our area.

Two projects came out of this dream:

The Hildegard Arts Cooperative

and

The Loreto Market


The Hildegard Arts Cooperative brings educational and communal opportunities to local students and their families with music, visual arts and literature utilizing traditional, skill-based techniques and Catholic cultural traditions.

How have we done this? Basically, with a lot of parties.

Blessed with an outdoor space that can accommodate a spaced out crowd in 2021 we have hosted a St. Valentine’s Day parties for children, a St. Patrick’s Day Fest for the whole family, opera in the afternoon watching a streamed production by Opera Modesto through their Festival @ Home program, and a Mardi Gras Speakeasy. Upcoming events include The Loreto Market, Midsummer Night Shakespeare Festival, Hot August Nights (an outdoor speakeasy) and so much more. It is our goal to make these events free. We do this through donations and vendor fees paid by our amazing vendors at the Loreto Market.

On May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., we’ll host our second Loreto Market. The first Loreto Market took place on December 5, 2020, and was a wonderful success. 16 Catholic artists, makers and entrepreneurs came together (along with a gaggle of kids) to showcase their work and sell their products just in time for St. Nicholas Day.

Now, just in time for May crownings, Spring Sacraments, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations and the wedding season, the Loreto Market will bring together no less than 16 Catholic vendors to do it again.

We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, May 1, for the Loreto Market. Between now and then, I’ll share some handy gift guides to give you an idea what you’ll be able to purchase that day and some of the incredible vendors we’re featuring.

If you’d like to receive future emails regarding the Loreto Market and the Hildegard Arts Cooperative, or are a Catholic artist, maker or entrepreneur and would like to know more, email me at hildegard.arts.cooperative@gmail.com .

Take Back the Culture One Shopping Trip at a Time

The Black Friday Tradition

What will Black Friday be this year?

Many of us grew up with a tradition of Black Friday shopping on an actual day after Thanksgiving. Some people woke up early, some meandered out around 10 a.m., but many enjoyed it in their own way.

I remember snippets of this tradition. We were in a little town just outside Redding, where my family traditionally celebrated the day. Thanksgiving morning, my father went out and bought the newspaper. After the early Thanksgiving dinner, the men poured over the advertisements to ascertain the year’s “hot item”. The search was on for an electric scooter. They left early the next morning. I recall them only after their return, celebrating the success of their hunt.

The ladies were more leisurely. We breakfasted, combed through ads and then went to the same stores we would have otherwise. I sat in the backseat, watching and learning how it is done from the more seasoned shoppers. My mom bought decorative bags for cookies at a great deal in an old-school discount store. We ate Chinese food together at a restaurant. No one was successful at Macy’s. I had no idea there were so many stores so near my aunt’s idyllic home.

Family celebrations shifted as our nuclear family grew. My husband would rather hunt waterfowl than deals, so Black Friday shopping belonged solely to me. At that time, deals gradually moved online, earlier and earlier. I prepped my online shopping carts. When labor pains began at 3 a.m. in 2012, I ordered my items before going to the hospital. Black Friday shopping has never been the same.

And it never will be again.

I feel confident in saying the big box retailers ruined it.

Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

I still imagine a big shopping day, the hustle, the music, the aromas of the Christmas season with Christmas preparations. When “ahead of time” meant a month before Christmas, not October. When Thanksgiving itself commanded some attention.

With the Covid-19 pandemic and its accompanying restrictions, stores cannot push the deals they became accustomed to pushing to draw more and more people through their doors. Little local shops have to spread out festive shopping events because of their max. capacity stops below twenty while chain retailers can accommodate hundreds. Those not lucky enough to make it in the doors early wait outside in line, six-feet apart.

Thus the former one-night events span four days, from before Halloween leading up to city Shop the Blocks, what was once after Thanksgiving fell on the day after Halloween. Retailers cannot afford to be left in the dust and have their patrons Christmas merchandise purchased from those who dare to go earlier.

And we miss out.

We miss out on a tradition.

We miss out on adding sentiment and meaning to something that could be an irritating task that must be checked off the list.

We miss out on the togetherness that comes from a shared experience, whether shared with family or shared culturally.

We miss out.

What I am proposing is this.

Halfway through November, plenty of shopping may have already occurred, especially with Thanksgiving and other lovely events taking place this month. Rather than encouraging you not to do “this” or “that” I want to encourage you to add one more thing to your schedule. Schedule a shopping day…soon after Thanksgiving. Buy your coffee or hot chocolate, your pastry, whatever you like, grab a friend or family member and make it a shopping event. When you walk into the local small-business retailer tell them you saved your Christmas shopping day for that day, rather than attending the post-Halloween event. Maybe even contact them now to tell them you won’t be coming in before for your Christmas shopping, but have a special day planned as soon as December starts.

And have a marvelous time.

Then maybe, just maybe, over time, retailers will start offering something more than empty shelves for those who shop late. Maybe, by making something special out of it, we can shift the trends that started years ago. And maybe, just maybe, by this little step, we can start to take back the culture.

Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash
Previously published in the weekly column, “Here’s to the Good Life!” in the Hughson Chronicle & Denair Dispatch.