1730 W Guadalupe Rd
Mesa, AZ 85202 (Map)
Phone: 480-775-5200
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We, the Catholic Church of St. Timothy, trusting in the Holy Spirit and committed to the New Evangelization, seek to bring all people to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Women

Welcome to the St. Timothy Women's Ministry page and blog.
Scroll down for posts by parishioners for parishioners!  
For comments and questions, be sure to email Manda Poffel: mpoffel@sttimothymesa.org.

SAYING YES TO GOD'S NO by Sarah Garone
It was one of those days when I was stuck in an e-mail-checking loop. Furtively reaching into my purse for my phone, sneaking off after dinner to crouch over my laptop in my darkened bedroom, wondering how many times a day you can check e-mail before it’s considered an addiction—I was like a lab animal in some sad Pavlovian e-mail experiment. Or, like a Pavlovian pen-and-quill experiment, or whatever they used in the 1800s…with rats…and, um, writing letters? We’ve all been there, right? ….right?

On this particular day, I was waiting to hear about my placement in my third and final rotation of a year-long nutrition internship. Having already completed my clinical and community portions of the internship, I had one prayer as I awaited my final placement for the food service rotation: “Please, God, don’t let me have to work in a hospital again.” My clinical rotation was at a hospital, an experience which, in my more gracious moments, I can call “fine, but not where I see myself.” In my private thoughts, however, I would sum up my feelings more along the lines of “I never, never, ever want to work in a hospital again.” For so many reasons. And I especially never want to set foot in a hospital kitchen again. I’m not going to name names, but the kitchen at the hospital where I did my clinical rotation produced appalling food, looked like a bad 80’s sitcom set, and smelled like tater tots and old mop water. Hence the prayer about not wanting to work at a hospital kitchen.

Eventually, the awaited e-mail arrived in my inbox and my Pavlovian loop was rewarded. Or should I say crushed. I was assigned to a hospital. A hospital I have heard, frankly, really bad things about. WHAT? How could this be? What about all those prayers asking over and over for this very thing NOT to happen? Not gonna lie, at this point I did not exactly react with aplomb. There was quite a bit of ugly crying and all-caps texting to my husband. In fact, I kind of went off the deep end railing at God. Why couldn’t He have granted this one thing I had asked for regarding this rotation? Why did my fellow interns get awesome assignments while I got the short end of the stick? I knew I was being ridiculous over something so relatively small, but in that moment I felt frustrated and powerless.

So I decided to do what any self-respecting Millennial would do in the midst of a spiritual crisis: a Google search. (I mean, I have Phillip Yancy’s classic Disappointment with God sitting on my bookshelf, but I wasn’t really in a literary mood.) Why, I asked the internet, doesn’t God answer prayers sometimes, or what can we do when His answer is a flat-out “no”?

At this point, I was beginning to calm down and felt willing to be a little reasonable. In fact, as I typed my question into that all-knowing text box, I started to think of all the (much more important) prayers God has answered in my past. I have a wonderful husband and family, a circle of dear friends, and a church I love—lifelong prayers answered. And one prayer answered that rang out like a bell in my mind: a miraculous healing God gave me that I swore never to forget.

Years ago, after my second child was born, for over 18 months I suffered with inexplicable muscle and joint pain. Every day was a carnival ride of pain that would migrate from one part of my body to another. There was no explanation, and—seemingly—no cure. My doctor wanted to call it fibromyalgia, for lack of a better explanation. It was the most desperate time of my life, especially in the midst of trying to care for a baby and a toddler. My prayers were raw, wrenching pleas. But little by little, as I prayed, asked others for prayer, and attended healing prayer services, the Lord showed me a way out of the pain. It might sound crazy, but I began to see that the physical pain was a manifestation of emotional issues. As I got help and managed my stress, the pain gradually dissipated. Today, with small exceptions, I am almost entirely pain-free. It was a serious, full-on, miraculous answer to prayer.

This history was floating through my mind as I asked the internet for advice. I clicked on the first link I saw, an article called “When God Doesn’t Answer” on Relevant magazine’s website. The author began by telling her story of battling…can you guess…fibromyalgia. This woman has struggled with this pain disorder for years with no answers and no relief. And in that moment, it was like a door unlocked in my brain. Can I deny the incredible grace I have been given—to be healed of pain while others continue to suffer? Can I possibly compare my disappointment of an unanswered prayer about an internship with the generosity of all the other prayers God has so graciously answered? Even if I wanted to, God’s ways are so much higher than my own, and questioning His will is a futile exercise. As He said long ago to Job, “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” (Job 40:8) Am I so high and mighty that I can’t do a menial job in a hospital kitchen, if that is where God has called me? Even if I have to ladle greasy gravy all day and come home smelling like tater tots for the next three months, I need to have the humility to accept that there is a purpose in this placement, and something to be learned from it.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, I spoke with my supervisor at the hospital. She seems super nice and is letting me coordinate my schedule to accommodate my kids’ school pickup—something neither of my other internships offered. Sounds to me like a classic example of “your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Thank you, Father, that you know what is best, even when it looks to my short-sighted vision like You have said no.


Sarah Garone is a wife, mom of three, blogger, and almost-nutritionist (graduating in December 2016). When playing Two Truths and a Lie, she tells people that she met her husband in the sixth grade, she used to teach college German, and she owns a an 8-foot long chameleon platypus named Howard. Find her at her food and nutrition blog, www.alovelettertofood.com.

THE VOICE SAID, "TURN AROUND!" by Rena Cruse
I recently decided to write down things that have happened in my life – the stories of good and bad, feelings that I may or may not have shared with others. My own little journal of life.

One of these events occurred when I was around seven years old. One hot summer afternoon in Nebraska, I talked my mother into taking me for ice cream. Our street was half-way up a steep hill. As we walked down the hill toward the busy street at the bottom where the ice cream store was located, a voice suddenly told me to turn around. When I did, I noticed a car with two children inside coming down the sidewalk toward us. My mother’s quick reaction was to push me out of the way and try to grab the door handle of the car. By doing this she was able to change the direction of the car to turn into a light post instead of the street below. The children’s lives were saved. That day, I knew my guardian angel had saved us. If I hadn’t listen to that voice, my father may have been left without a family because my mother, my soon-to-be-born-sister and I could have been gone.

I tell this story because I believe there is a reason I didn’t die that day. What was God’s plan? I’ve pondered this question over the years, during good times and bad. What was my mission? How was I contributing to and affecting the lives of others? What should I be doing? I prayed and I tried to listen.

One day during Mass at St. Timothy, the RCIA class was being dismissed. The look on their faces told me that they had something I didn’t feel I had, but I wanted. I started to cry. That voice came back and said, “Then find it!”

This next statement is true: I am naturally a shy person. (Ok, those that know me can quit laughing now.) I don’t have an easy time meeting others, so I had no idea how I was going to “find” whatever the RCIA class had. I would have to take the first step and meet
 with a group of people I didn’t know! Although this might sound difficult, I actually found that most people at St. Timothy are open, friendly and want to get to know you. I just needed to take that first step. The rewards were great. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.
 
We talk about giving of our talent, time and treasurers, but how and why do we do it? St. Timothy offers so many ministries and opportunities to grow in our relationship with God and others.

I learned that sharing our talents can help us—you and me—to build a better relationship with God, whether it is praying together, being there to listen, serving as an EM or giving to the community. The Women’s Ministry offers many opportunities for spiritual growth and building fellowship with other women. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to attend an event, then think about joining us and meeting new people or renewing old friendships.

Becoming involved in ministry has given me my Church family. What does this mean? My Church family is here because we are related and love each other. My Church family is here because we are related to God and support each other in our spiritual and personal journies. A few years ago, my Church family was here for each other when, in one long weekend, we had the baptism of one of our member’s children, the wedding of another and the funeral for the mother of another. We laughed, we celebrated, we cried and we prayed together. What a great gift from God!

While I still wonder what God’s plan is for me, I now have what I saw in the faces of the RCIA class that day—the knowledge, the love and the friendships of God and my Church family, which includes each and every one of you reading these words. So what will you do when you hear the voice that says “turn around” or “find it”? You just don’t know what might happen in your life.

Rena is a cradle Catholic who believes that service to others and to God is important. If you need to find her, she is usually volunteering at Church or in the community. She loves to read, listen to music, travel and just have fun!


NOTHING SHORT OF A BLESSING by Cindy Benavides
Like many Catholics today, I was facing the challenges of trying to be a “good Christian.” In all reality, I didn’t even know what that meant. Did it mean living by all of the 10 Commandments? Was it as easy as just showing up at Sunday Mass? Was it reciting the same prayers that I had been reciting since I was a child?

Growing up a “Cradle Catholic,” one might think the answers would be easy. But honestly, they weren’t. For me, it seemed as though finding answers was more difficult and I was sleepwalking through my faith. I felt I was just told what to do— without having a deep understanding and knowledge of why my Catholic faith was precious.

During this time I felt I needed to find a deeper meaning to and understanding of my life. My day-to-day struggles were beginning to close in on me. I was experiencing the normal struggles many adults face—marriage, work, raising children, finances and, simply, my sanity.

God’s timing is impeccable. Not knowing where to turn, I almost felt a sense of desperation because I was thirsting for more. That was three years ago. I remember hearing an announcement at Mass about the ACTS Retreat and thinking to myself, “I should attend!” After letting fear set in, I began to talk myself out of it, making excuse after excuse—thinking that it would be impossible to get the time off work or to leave the kids and my husband. But, after watching how things just began to fall into place for me, I decided to sign up.

I can tell you today that what I received from this amazing weekend was nothing short of a blessing. From the moment I got on the bus, I handed over my worries, fears and trust over to God. I let the Holy Spirit fill me and guide me the entire weekend. To find that there were other women facing the same challenges that I was experiencing and who were feeling the exact same way that I felt in regard to my faith helped me feel “normal.” There was no need to shut myself off or feel the least bit embarrassed because the entire weekend I was shown God’s unconditional love and acceptance.


I am forever changed because of the ACTS Retreat and the renewal of my faith. My family and I are no longer sleepwalking through our Catholic faith, but have become the humble servants that God has called us to be.

Cindy was born January 13, 1975, in Santa Ana, CA. She has been married to Mark Benavides for 12 years and is a mother to Ryan, age 11, and Nicholas, age 9. She works as the office manager for "Aid to Women Center," a pro-life clinic. She loves spending her evenings with her husband and her two boys, and training Jiu-Jitsu at the Medavia-Carlson Gracie Team AZ Academy.   
 

FAILURE OF FLUFF by Rori Madril
I hate Women’s Conferences. I hate speeches about being a princess because I’m the daughter of the King, and talking about my deep, innermost feelings with strangers. It’s the worst.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge you if you love or thrive on conferences. And perhaps hate is too strong of a word. What I should say, is that I’m tired of them. When I first embraced my Catholic faith, I soaked up the royal treatment. As a young girl, I needed to hear these things. I needed to know that I had dignity and I needed to learn how to be vulnerable with my sisters in Christ. And every once in a while, I still need these reminders. But encountering this in retreat after retreat after retreat, I’ve turned into a veritable scrooge every time someone tells me I’m a princess.

“You are His princess!” they exhort. “You are His flower!”

“No, I’m His enforcer. Leave me alone,” I grumble.

Let me clarify a couple of things, though.

You see, it’s not the concept of being a princess that bothers me. If I had my way, I would be Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast any day. And there are plenty of days that I act more like a spoiled princess than any gracious daughter of the King. I am, however, averse to fluff (unless it’s marshmallow fluff). We are often reduced to a caricature of femininity, rather than being taught to embrace who we are as authentic women of God.

We. Are. Strong. We have a unique gift that can bring life into the world and nurture it. We endure both physical and emotional pain. We cry. We laugh. We poop (spoiler alert, gentlemen). We are human.

We love different things. Some of us are nerds and will wait in line to watch comic book movies at midnight. Some of us are warriors, and will fight for what is good and right and just. Some of us are artsy, striving to make the world a more beautiful place. Some of us are academics, seeking to bring truth and knowledge into the world. Sometimes we are all of these things and none of these things at once (no wonder men think we’re complicated). We are mothers, grandmothers, wives, nuns, single ladies, sisters, aunts, friends. We are doctors, scientists, writers, lawyers, managers, teachers, police officers, theologians, artists, architects and more. The list is endless. We are whoever God created us to be. Embrace it.

I often look to the saints who have gone before me, those women who followed God’s plan and knew who they were. I look to St. Joan of Arc, who was called to be a soldier for God at a time when women had no societal rights, leading the French army to numerous victories. I look to St. Theresa of Avila, who claimed that she was ignorant in the ways of God, but became a Doctor of the Church for her teachings on prayer. I look to Blessed Mother Theresa who experienced a long period of the Dark Night of the Soul, but she served anyway. I look St. Brigid of Ireland, who was beyond generous and created the first Abbey in Ireland. I look to all the female saints who died as martyrs for their faith, unafraid and unashamed. I look to our Blessed Mother, who said yes to God, trusting in Him and the plan he had for her.

These women were strong. They didn’t need to be reminded that they were princesses, because they were striving to be something so much greater; they were striving to love the Lord, our God with their whole heart; they were striving to be saints. Let us look to them for the truest sense of femininity and strive to model them in our daily lives.


Rori is a riddle wrapped up in an enigma and asking her to put her bio into a few short sentences is nigh on impossible. She has worked as a Liturgy Ninja for six years, but was a life ninja long before that. She loves books, all things nerdy, and Jesus.

 
MARY HAD IT EASY
by Kristi Coulter
When my son was first born, things for me were – dare I say – easy.  Basking in the new glow of the babymoon, my new life as a mother was simple: feed baby, change baby, cuddle with baby, repeat. I patted myself on the back for how good of a job I was doing at being a good Christian: loving another more than myself.

And then he turned two.  And learned the word “no,” and how to whine, and how to undo hours of housework in under 60 seconds.

My world was (is) rocked, and as I struggled to find a way to transition into this new phase of parenthood, somewhere along the road my confidence and joy was swapped with guilt and discouragement.

I’ve never had a clearer realization of my own wretchedness as when heading up against an innocent, sinless child. When my temper flares, or I speak to him sharply, or I favor my phone above his needs, he’s never the one to blame. I miss so many little opportunities to love him everyday. I recently lamented to my husband, “I knew there would be days where I would feel like a failure, but I didn’t think it would happen this often!”

On days like these, when bedtime hits, I (sometimes literally) collapse in prayer and beg God for mercy. For me, it’s often difficult in these moments to reflect on Mary, because she’s the perfect mother and though I passionately desire to be a perfect mother to my son, I fall about 200 light years short.  And that makes me discouraged.

Have you ever compared your home life to the Holy Family’s? I imagine them spending every day peacefully and quietly working and playing together. I’m sure there was a lot of hard work without washing machines and Target runs, but since the most sinful person in the family was Holy Saint Joseph, they probably didn’t have very many “I need to hide from my children” moments.

We’re taught that Mary had an important role to play in Jesus’ work of redemption – and her Fiat encapsulated an acceptance of all that being the mother of Jesus would bring, right up to Calvary. Though she didn’t know everything fully at the time of the annunciation, she said yes to bearing him and raising him, and also to the cross. Isn’t that the same in our vocations? Whenever we welcome a new child into our home and our lives, we’re saying an unconditional yes – Fiat – to all the joys and the sufferings that accompany this little person.  We don’t know what those will be, but we say yes anyway.

All God needed from Mary was a “yes” to fill her with the grace for her role in our salvation. It’s true of us too: all He needs is a “yes” (in my case, often given begrudgingly) to give us the grace we need to love in this moment, now.

My child is waking up 5 times a night? Yes, Lord, I will get up to feed him.

Third tantrum of the day before 9am? Yes, Lord, I will be patient with her.

A midnight trip to the ER? Yes, Lord, I will comfort him.

And the Lord sometimes asks us to carry particularly heavy crosses. He gives sufficient grace for those too, just as he does for the small ones ones. I think you can fill in your own blanks here.

I recently came across this quote from St. Thérèse: “Do not fear, the poorer you are, the more Jesus will love you. He will go far, very far, in search of you, if at times you wander off a little.” Yes! That’s me, poor in virtue, yet the Good Shepherd will come after me with zeal, be it the seventh or the seventy-seventh time. And guess who is cheering him on his way? His mother, who wants nothing more than for us to be united with her merciful Son. That’s what I want my son to learn, and apparently I need to learn, re-learn, and re-re-learn it too.


Kristi grew up in upstate New York and moved to Phoenix after graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is a wife, mother of two (baby two arriving soon!), full-time stay-at-home mom, and part-time employee at Maggie's Place. She enjoys listening to near-excessive amounts of Catholic radio, reading good books, and spending quality time with her family.

BUT IT'S NOT LENT! by Katie Burke
I hear it a lot. Sometimes with an up-turned nose. Sometimes with real curiosity. Sometimes from my very own self because I never want a cheeseburger more than on a Friday when I’m abstaining from meat!

It’s true. My name is Katie, and I don’t eat meat on Fridays. Ever. (Most of the time.*)

It’s one of those things that Catholics of a certain age will nod about, knowingly, before assuring me, “We don’t do that anymore, honey.” See also: chapel veils. And if I’m being good and charitable and frequenting the confessional with any regularity, I’ll smile and nod. The rest of the time, I say, “Weyyylllllll….”

The History: Canon 1251 and Vatican II
The short answer? We are all called to make some sort of sacrifice every Friday in commemoration of the Passion and Death of Christ, and the traditional fast from meat is the recommended option. Each Friday, all year round, is supposed to remind us of Good Friday: “Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year (23)”.

I know. You've never heard this! There's a reason for that.

In 1966, the National Conference of Bishops (now the USCCB) issued a pastoral statement determining, as an episcopal conference, that “the traditional law of abstinence [would no longer be] binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday” (24). Though Canon 1251 was (AND IS) still in effect, the US Bishops permitted American Catholics to elect their own “voluntary self-denial and personal penance” on Fridays, though “we especially commend… abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law (24)”. This proclamation was less a direct result of Vatican II than a reflection of the Spirit of Vatican II that we hear so much about. The bishops had a nice idea - enliven and enrich the faithful’s weekly sacrifice by making it personal and not obligatory (in the Church sense. Like your Sunday obligation to attend Mass, the former obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays was binding under pain of sin), and we're all grown ups, right? Surely, we can nurture and grow our spiritual lives without micromanagement.

Needless to say, American Catholics did not continue to abstain from meat. Nor did we manage to hang on to the idea of Friday sacrifices in general very well. A few decades on, and no one knows anything about it! For me, this has become yet another of those things I learned about the Church that I had no choice but to let change me. (A related topic for another time: chapel veils.)

Real Talk
Truth is, making a Friday sacrifice makes sense when you're looking at your week with an eye toward Heaven, and not eating meat on a Friday is kind of nbd in the grand scheme of things. It's obnoxious sometimes, usually when other people are involved (though, for me, sometimes the greater sacrifice is giving up my give up for those other people), but I can't get through a week without thinking about Christ on the Cross anymore. My Sundays are little Easters and my Fridays are little Lents, and my mind, heart, and soul are raised to the Lord more regularly as the weeks cycle by. On the rare Friday when I do eat meat, I intentionally try to make some other sacrifice: an act of kindness or generosity, some small mortification—like no coffee or no video games, etc. If giving up meat on Fridays doesn't sound like something that fits in your life, ask the Lord to show you the sacrifice he wants you to make on Fridays! Let's bring the crucified Christ what little consolations we can in gratitude for the gifts we've received, especially His mercy and His sacrifice on the Cross.

* Caveats, right, because we Catholics love a good “both/and”! There aren’t many, but there are a couple. Solemnities are celebrations of the Resurrection, so when they fall on Fridays, I’ll see you at the steakhouse: BVM Mother of God (Jan. 1), Epiphany (Jan. 6), St. Joseph (Mar. 19), Annunciation (Mar. 25), Friday of the Easter Octave, Sacred Heart (Friday after Corpus Christi), Nativity of John the Baptist (Jun. 24), Sts. Peter and Paul (Jun. 29), Assumption of Mary (Aug. 15), All Saints (Nov. 1), Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), and Christmas (Dec. 25). Note: there are more solemnities than these, but they will never fall on a Friday.


Katie is a wife, mother, and--in the interest of full disclosure--an employee of the Roman Catholic Church. When pressed to do things like write bios, she has a tendency to describe what she does as "bringing the awesome for the awesome sauce." Katie lives and breathes the internet, and she is grateful to know that the Lord is in all places and all things, which means He's online too. In her free time, Katie likes to fold paper airplanes out of $1,000 bills and fly them from the tops of buildings. Oh, wait. Wife, mother, employee. There is no free time!

THE PROBLEM WITH SMALL TALK by Rachel Penate


“Prayer is the life of the new heart. It ought to animate us at every moment. But we tend to forget Him Who is our life and our all. This is why the Fathers of the spiritual life (...) insist that prayer is a remembrance of God often awakened by the memory of the heart. ‘We must remember God more often than we draw breath.’ But we cannot pray 'at all times' if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it.” (CCC 2697)

I hate small talk.

Not people, not parties… just small talk. Put me in a large crowd, with people I don’t know, and I cower like the new kid at school. Hey guys, I’ll be over here drinking my soda; if you want to talk about something other than what I do for a living, cool, you know where to find me.
Yes, there is a time and place for the “easy” questions. It would be a little silly if we walked around introducing ourselves with existential questions about life and our existence. Actually, that would be downright annoying. But, there is something so missed about our relationships with one another if we only skim the surface, if we spend all of our time just meeting people and never really get to know them.

I think that was the defining thought for me when I realized my prayer life needed to change -- when my daily interactions with God had more to do with the pleasantries of my life and less to do with what my heart was truly yearning for. When all I demanded of God was that He skim the surface of my schedule, not reside at the very core of my day. For a long time, I avoided those hard questions, those long aching conversations. I don’t think it was out of fear or unwillingness; I simply didn’t think I had the time or energy. I must’ve missed the memo that He is actually the source of that strength…

For me, I think I just lost sight of my daily purpose. I allowed my busy schedule to dictate my prayer life. I’m not going to lie I love to be busy. Being bored is 10 times worse than small talk. But, so often, we parade our schedules around as though we are achieving something monumental. Oh look at how responsible I am! A job, kids, extracurricular activities, an active and popular blog, a clothing line, a home-decorating-mommy-daycare company…  I’m so busy and so fabulous.

But, being busy isn’t a badge of honor, it isn’t an attribute or quality of who we are. We are daughters of a loving and eternal Father. A father who wants to be at the center of our lives - not selfishly - but simply because of how much He loves us and knows how badly we need Him. Our days should reflect that reality.

Never-the-less, although the theory is beautiful, actually achieving the balance is still difficult. It takes time and a little careful planning. But, rearranging your schedule around your time spent in prayer is life changing. For from the fount of His love, everything else flows.

Some ideas to pray even in the busiest of moments:

1. Carve out 5, 10, or 15 minutes of uninterrupted prayer in your day. Treat it like your morning cup of coffee: non-negotiable.
2. Make a commitment to pray as a family. Whether it is a Rosary or Chaplet, 5 minutes of intentions, or 15 minutes reading the Mass readings for the day. Pray together as a domestic Church.
3. Offer little sacrifices during the day for the sake of prayer.
a. Occasionally turn off the car radio and invite God into that silence.
b. If you find yourself on Netflix, watch one less episode of your favorite show and spend that time in prayer instead.
c. Pray while cooking, cleaning, or exercising.
d. Pray while shopping or running errands.
e. Split time between spiritual reading and reading for entertainment.
4. Make a “Sacrament Date” with a significant other or friend. Go to Mass, Confession, or Adoration with that person and then lunch or dinner after.
5. Re-evaluate every few months with a personal retreat. Whether a weekend or just a few hours, take time to re-assess and edit the way you spend your time.


Rachel Peñate is a Wisconsin girl at heart who loves the Lord with all she can muster. Rachel works for Life Teen, International as an Administrative Assistant/ Copy Editor, and has a few mild obsessions, particularity: reading, running, coffee, Switchfoot, and the Green Bay Packers. She is married to her college sweetheart, and is often entertained by their two adorably rambunctious Labrador Retrievers.



Newest Ministry here at St. Timothy!
Hello, ladies! Let me start with introducing myself. I’m Manda Poffel, the Coordinator of Many Things (my job title is ridiculous and a little long) here at St. Timothy. Quick things about me: I am the youngest of four, born and raised in Denver, CO. I did two years at the University of Northern Colorado before heading off to a year of service with NET – National Evangelization Team – Ministries and then finished my degree at Northern Colorado in 2008. I worked for FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students, as a campus missionary in Kansas City, MO, and then as a Team Director in Flagstaff, AZ.  Finally I landed here at St. Timothy with Jake Etcheverria in Youth Ministry in 2012.  A few months later, Fr. Charlie and I began the journey that is parish evangelization, and it’s been a wild ride since! One of my many roles at St. Timothy is overseeing women’s ministries, and I’d like to welcome you to our newest ministry to women.  I want to answer a few questions before we get into the posts.

Why a Blog?
Ever notice in the bulletin how there are a bazillion men’s events, and we don’t appear to offer a lot for women?  There’s a reason: we’re busy, ladies! We ask for things we really can’t commit to, and we have good reasons for not being able to be involved. So, what’s a parish to do to offer ministry, support, catechesis and opportunities for community to busy moms, wives, sisters, cousins, daughters, students, professionals, grandmothers, granddaughters, etc? This is our start. The blog is written specifically for women, so feel free to pass on to other women (or men), but just be aware that its intended audience is YOU: The St. Timothy Female Parishioner.

Online Ministry Will Never Take the Place of Face-to-Face Ministry
Let me reiterate my earlier point: This is a starting place. These articles are for you to read with a glass of tea or wine, while surfing Facebook, while breastfeeding, while sitting in your favorite reading chair, while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, but definitely NOT while driving. This blog will begin allowing us to reach you where you are, and help give you tools for conversing with other women around you.  This blog is never to take the place of the face-to-face ministry that is already happening and to come in other events. While it is important to be a presence of truth and light in the internet world, we have to remember that we live in a tangible reality as well!

Contributors
All articles are edited for content, grammar and accessibility. To that end, all writers are volunteers that must be registered parishioners and/or staff of St. Timothy. If you are a parishioner and have an idea for an article, CONTACT ME! I would love to sit down with you and hear your thoughts! 

Commenting
If you have a legitimate question or comment about the article or the Faith, please e-mail Manda and we’ll start a discussion. We value your questions and responses. We believe as Catholics that we have the fullness of the truth, so questions should never rustle our feathers or frustrate us! Inappropriate or off topic questions will not be featured. We are using this process to guard against the nasty folks known as “internet trolls,” who attack and degrade caring people. 

If you have questions about Catholicism, we have a generous staff here at St. Timothy that would meet with you over coffee to discuss our faith with you; just contact us!

Finally, we are so excited to get to offer this to our women!  We will be posting every other week at first, and if the demand grows, we will post more! God bless and so many prayers!



For more information regarding women's evangelization and discipleship, please contact:
Manda Poffel
mpoffel@sttimothymesa.org
480-775-5221
We're hoping to start discussions about blog topics and the Faith. E-mail Manda with your comments, mpoffel@sttimothymesa.org.

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