St. Matthew celebrates MOMS, sacred role of motherhood
CHARLOTTE — More than 60 women came together recently to commemorate 10 years of the Ministry of Mothers Sharing (MOMS) at St. Matthew Church. Founding members and new ones alike joined to celebrate the bond of motherhood, faith and friendship and to revisit topics that have made the national MOMS program a source of spiritual strength for women since 1992. Past participants shared heart-felt stories on topics such as self-esteem, stress and everyday spirituality, eliciting laughter and tears from the audience throughout the evening.
"Tonight we honor Mary as we celebrate the common bond of motherhood and our reliance on God's grace in our lives," said MOMS Ministry Leader Lisa Tolido during the celebration Sept. 7. "And just like Elizabeth supported Mary, today we have the Ministry of Mothers Sharing to empower us to be the best parent, wife, daughter, sister and friend that we can possibly be." Tolido has been involved with MOMS for more than 10 years, first as ministry leader at St. Catherine Church in Morgan Hill, Calif., then as a small group facilitator and ministry leader for St. Matthew Church. "It's been such a positive part of my life, revitalizing my faith and introducing me to some amazing women who've become cherished friends," she said.
Created by Benedictine Sister Paula Hagen as an outreach of the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Paul Monastery in Minnesota, MOMS is a parish-based ministry centered on the theology of Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium, a document by the U.S. bishops that calls all baptized Christians to take an active and responsible role in the mission of the Church. MOMS helps women see more clearly how their motherhood is in itself a ministry and a lifetime spiritual journey.
For many women, MOMS is often the start of a deeper spirituality and greater involvement in parish life, said Pat Tomlinson, the parish's faith formation coordinator. "Women who go through MOMS become more connected to their faith and to other women in the church, and they're eager to get involved in other ways. Their children and families are also more likely to become involved." St. Matthew Church's Family Enrichment, First Friday and Called to Be Mom ministries were all created by women who participated in MOMS, Tomlinson said.
The experience is the same at churches across the country. Bishop Richard E. Pates of the Diocese of Des Moines wrote of the program, "MOMS has contributed significantly to parishes throughout the country, providing a formative experience of spiritual growth and community for women. Those who go through this ministry often become active volunteers and leaders in their parishes."
Marcie DeMore, mother of two, says MOMS came into her life at just the right time. "I was new to motherhood and new to (St. Matthew Church). It taught me a lot about myself, about my faith and about my need for the friendships of true women. MOMS made me stop and take an inventory of what was important to me, and I learned a lot about my inner strength and what I needed to do to be successful as a wife and mother. I have made some lifelong friends."
— Jenny Cox, correspondent
For more information about St. Matthew Church's MOMS program, contact Adult Faith Formation Coordinator Michael Burck at 704-541-8362, ext. 4.
For more about the national MOMS program: www.stpaulsmonastery.org.
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy