- women who serve
- women who give
- women who organize
- women who lead
- prayerful women
- welcoming women
- women who have fun
There are many ways to participate in Martha Mary Guild activities. All Christian women are most welcome.
We offer three spirituality days each year: Retreat Days away or at the Parish, Spiritual Reading facilitated by Sr. Fran Lomeo on alternate Tuesday mornings after the 9 a.m. Mass, and an annual Lenten Afternoon of Reflection following the February or March General Meeting, presented by a Sister of Mercy or a Sister of the Good Shepherd. Members are invited to pray the Rosary together in the Chapel a half hour before the start of every monthly General Meeting. Every meeting opens with a prayer.
To support our charitable donations, we hold an annual Clothing and Linen Sale on Thursday, Friday and Saturday after Labor Day. Thanks to our co-chairs, volunteers, and donors of nearly-new (sometimes new) or gently-used clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry, our successful 2015 Sale enabled us to make charitable donations to Merlin’s Kids, an organization that trains service dogs for veterans; Mary’s Place by the Sea, a place of healing and respite, free of charge, for women undergoing treatment for cancer; Habitat for Humanity, for local home construction; Collier Services Kateri Summer Camp for underprivileged children; Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses; Ronald McDonald House, a place where parents of hospitalized children can stay, free of charge; Sisters of St. Joseph Retirement Fund, that cares for the order’s aging and ill sisters; St. Joseph by the Sea, a retreat house at the Jersey Shore where we’ve had wonderful retreat days facilitated by Sr. Helen Clifton, SSJ, our retired Spirituality Chair, and following Sr. Helen’s retirement, facilitated by Sr. Fran Lomeo, Sister of the Good Shepherd. In addition, we have held many other fund raisers over the years to support women and children through our charitable donations.
Our monthly meetings are meant to educate and sometimes entertain, and to always provide opportunities for members to gather and socialize. In the past, speakers have made presentations on the following general topics: faith-related; social issues, e.g., human trafficking, prison ministry; service-oriented; physical or mental health; gardening; the environment; cooking demonstrations on and off site. We are always open to suggestions for activities and general meeting programs.
Daytime bus trips that inspire, educate or entertain are held each year. Trips have included House and Garden Tours of famous homes; Scriptural Musicals at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster PA; The Culinary Institute of NY; The Philadelphia Flower Show; Museum Exhibitions; Grounds for Sculpture in NJ; NY Botanical Gardens; Broadway Shows; Radio City Christmas Shows; Tour of Harlem, NY, and many more. Sometimes the trips include lunch. Other times groups of attendees make their own plans for lunch together. The cost of the trips includes the ticket price and cost of the bus. The trips are very popular and tickets go quickly.
2016 - 2017 General Meeting Schedule
September 14: Sr. Fran Lomeo, RGS, presented a wonderful, inspiring program on “Prayer”… in all its forms. She acted as our “waitress of prayer” who explained the “menu of favorites”, which included the Labyrinth Prayer, the Cleansing Prayer of Breath, and the Wine Selection, which consists of the Sweet Wines of Consolation, the Medium Wines of Nothing is Going On, and the Dry Wines of Desolation. Sr. Fran explained that we sample some of these “wines” and after sampling, we might like to another try one. Or our samplings might lead us back to a favorite that we’ve been enjoying all along.
October 12: Rosary: 6:00 p.m. Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Induction of New Members and Recommitment Ceremonies for Current Members will be conducted by Deacon Vincent Rinaldi in the Church or Chapel. Potluck Supper at 7:00 pm in Madonna Hall. Program: Clothing Sale Fashion Show.
November 9 General Meeting: Program: “Debt of Honor – Our Disabled Veterans.”
December 14 General Meeting: Members will bring new infant clothing which we will donate to Birthright, an annual MMG tradition. Christmas goodies and beverages will be served. Program: Musical entertainment (performers to be announced).
January 11 General Meeting: Program: The Library. The Colts Neck Librarian will speak to us about the benefits of using the library through technology. Speaker Stephanie Laurino.
February 8 General Meeting: Program: Impersonator Linda Kenyon will perform “The Greatest Ever: Babe Didrikson Zaharias’s Story.” Members enjoyed Linda’s program in 2015 when she “was” Eleanor Roosevelt. She will return by popular demand.
March 8 General Meeting: Program: Retreat (facilitator to be announced).
April 12 General Meeting: Program: Volunteers. Some of our MMG members will speak about their volunteer work and the agencies they work with.
May 11 General Meeting: Program: A presentation at Nordstrom’s in Freehold Raceway Mall, followed by lunch at Nordstrom’s or on your own in the mall.
General Meeting dates are published in the Parish Bulletin. Members are also contacted by the MMG Telephone Committee before each General Meeting. Meetings are also published in the Parish Online Monthly Bulletin and in Colts Neck or Colts Neck area publications.
Annual dues are $10, payable in September. Seniors are exempt from paying dues. An Annual Martha Mary Guild Membership Directory listing members’ names and contact information will be available in November. Members are kindly asked to *fill out a membership application which gives the Martha Mary Guild permission to include their names in the annual Directory, whether or not they are exempt from paying dues. *(see JOIN MARTHA MARY box at top right)
Now we ask the question: ‘”What Do We Do?” One of our answers is the following summary of our 2015- 2016 General Meeting Programs, which fits in with the Education part of our Mission Statement. We have, and have had, creative, gifted, dedicated, hard-working Program Chairs/Co-Chairs over the years, too many to list their individual names, but we are most grateful to all of them for planning programs similar to those summarized below. May God bless them abundantly.
On September 13, Sr. Fran Lomeo, RGS, presented a wonderful, inspiring program on “Prayer”… in all its forms. She acted as our “waitress of prayer” who explained the “menu of favorites”, which included the Labyrinth Prayer, the Cleansing Prayer of Breath, and the Wine Selection, which consists of the Sweet Wines of Consolation, the Medium Wines of Nothing is Going On, and the Dry Wines of Desolation. Sr. Fran explained that we sample some of these “wines” and after sampling, we might like to try another one. Or our samplings might lead us back to a favorite that we’ve been enjoying all along.
Note: Please see the Calendar in the MMG sections of the Parish website for a description of our October 12 General Meeting.
Our November 11 program was a Special Tribute to Veterans, which included the DVD entitled Debt of Honor. Members at the meeting were truly moved when they learned that there are about 5.5 million disabled veterans in the U.S, and about the plight of women veterans and their specific healthcare needs.
Disabled American Veterans is a 4-Star, worthy veterans’ organization that provides services, outreach and advocacy for veterans in need across the U.S. that uses 98.3% of donations it receives for its services to our veterans. MM donated $200 to the DAV.
Our December 14 meeting opened with a prayer in Madonna Hall followed by a performance by the Cedar Drive School Chorus and flute and saxophone soloists who sang and played songs of hope and joy directed by Mrs. Hubbard, their music teacher. We wish them well as they go on to tour Broadway, where they will also perform. MM presented them with a monetary gift for their upcoming travels and prepared goody bags for each performer. Our meeting continued with grab bag gifts, a goody bag for each member, egg nog, and many other delicious delights. And, as is our MMG tradition, members brought new baby clothes, diapers, blankets and toys which we donated to Birthright in Red Bank.
Prison Ministry was the theme of the MMG General Meeting program on January 13. Our Program Co-Chair introduced the program with Mt. 25:36, “… for I was in prison and you visited me.” Two of our parishioners, long time volunteers with St. Mary’s Prison Ministry to NJ State Prison in Trenton, recounted experiences from their many rewarding years of prison ministry. Our Program Co-Chair spoke about the Joan Chittister Fund for Prisoners. Joan Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA, who for 40 years has advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women’s issues and church renewal. The Fund provides spiritual support to those in prison with free spiritual materials, the formation of spiritual communities and retreats in prisons or halfway houses. MM donated $200 to the Fund, which depends solely on donations, to continue their work.
Sr. Maureen Christensen, RSM, Co-Director of the Upper Room Spiritual Center in Neptune, NJ, presented an Ash Wednesday Retreat, An Invitation to be Transformed by God’s Mercy, on February 10, following our General Meeting, to help prepare us for our Lenten journey to Easter. Before she retired, our MM Spiritual Adviser Sr. Helen Clifton, SSJ, presented Ash Wednesday Retreats for MMG General Meetings. She thoughtfully and kindly arranged for Sr. Maureen to be with us the following Ash Wednesday.
Sr. Maureen has graciously continued the Ash Wednesday Retreats and we are most grateful to her. At the end of the retreat, Sr. Maureen and Michele McCue, MM Spirituality Chair, distributed ashes to those who attended the retreat.
Mary Goss, of Toms River, a devout woman with deep faith in God, who is a missionary serving with Yamba Uganda, (tr. Help Uganda), presented a program on March 13. She spoke about the women of Uganda, their lives and their struggles and showed us a DVD. Members enjoyed purchasing lovely handmade items created by women of Uganda. (For further info: http://www.yambauganda.org/wordpress/)
Everyone was impressed with impersonator Linda Kenyon’s portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt at our April 13 meeting. Linda arrived as Eleanor and ran through the audience to board an imaginary train where she shared stories of her life with an “invisible friend.” After her performance, Linda answered questions from the audience. Linda is a fabulous performer and we’re looking forward to her presenting another program for us in the future.
Drew Madzin, co-owner, with his wife, Patty, of a well-known local business, From the Garden Honey Shop, a presented program for our May 11 meeting. He told us about the importance of protecting our bees and the benefits of honey. Drew provided honey for tasting and honey to purchase. We are very grateful to Drew for taking time to be with us at a busy of time of year for From the Garden Honey Shop.
If you’re reading this, please know that you are cordially invited to come and see who we are and what we do and so much more. The Martha Mary Guild