President's Pen - January 2023 with featured image of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
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President’s Pen: January 2023

The new year always seems stressful to me. Empty planners waiting to be filled with appointments and events. Christmas trees tucked away in the basement, and no more twinkly lights welcoming us home on dark, cold nights. Too many weeks stretching out before Easter break. It can seem like a lonesome desert.  

The good news is that God gives us this time to enter into reflection through fasting, almsgiving, and prayer as we consider the forty days Jesus spent in the desert and how we can sacrificially offer our stress, loneliness, concerns, and cares to God. This could manifest in many personal ways, but I encourage you to consider these next two months as a way to nourish your spirit and focus on your spiritual goals for the year.

Maybe your desert takes the shape of family issues that need forgiveness and restoration. You can offer this to the Lord through prayer. More prayer time in our lives is always a good goal, but showering prayer on your family blesses more than your own life. 

Perhaps your health or that of a loved one is leading to anxiety and creating a feeling of barren isolation. Fasting can help us focus on the ways that “Christ in us” is all the nourishment we need to sustain us. This will be the theme of our upcoming retreats, and for those occurring before Easter, they offer a dedicated spiritual oasis during Lent. I encourage you to learn more about the events and register for one near you.

Almsgiving represents a truly sacrificial way to offer up our lives to God. This aspect is bigger than your normal tithing or charity. During Lent, this challenges us to intentionally give in extra ways to the poor. As we look to the beginning of Lent in February, I hope we can all open our hearts to the Holy Spirit for inspiration on how to give of ourselves to help those around us in poverty—spiritual, emotional, or financial poverty–whatever ways those around us find themselves in need. 

However you choose to face the new year, MCCW is working hard to plan retreats that can help you meet your spiritual goals and draw closer to God. We look forward to walking with you as we continue our desert journey together.

In Christ,


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