We are Called To A Life of THANKFULNESS

I recently was decorating my kitchen with a new table and some seasonal items. I was placing one of those trendy tabletop notecards display that has catchy quotes on little cards that are somehow supposed to be uplifting or motivational. I flipped to a card that seemed quite timely and it said the following:

“There is always something for which to be THANKFUL.”  Charles Dickens

This really made me stop and take a moment to reflect on the goodness around me and how our lives are often so busy with the details and commitments in front of us, that we forget to remember with gratitude, the blessings in our lives. I then thought about the catchy quote and its author and although I am a fan of Charles Dickens, I think he may have taken some creative licensing from the original source of wonderful quotes- those found in the Bible.

Jesus has called all of us to a life filled with thankfulness. To reflect on our lives with gratitude for the gifts we have received is especially difficult during a time of loss or when we are grieving. We often question God’s plans and from our limited human perspective, we don’t always understand the happenings in our lives or in the world. We must remember that we are designed to live by faith, rather than by sight. We are looking at this tapestry called life from the underside of the tapestry where we see all the knots and ties and not the beautiful design. God is looking at the tapestry of our lives from above- where he sees the beautifully detailed design. Our faith teaches us to trust in Him and to give thanks in all circumstances. Even when we are sad and grieving the loss of a loved one.

Scripture References:

Isaiah 6:3

2 Corinthians 5:7

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Written by,

Kathy McKiernan

All Souls- United In Christ

November is the month where we as Catholics dedicate our prayers to the deceased and give attention to the saints of the church. We pray for the intercession of the saints and for the souls that may be in Purgatory. This is the month when we remember those that served us in our military and give thanks for this wonderful country that through the grace of God, provides us with freedom from tyranny and the ability to worship without fear.  

In our Catholic cemeteries, we witness many expressions of our faith in God, all centered on the gift of salvation – the key to eternal life in Jesus Christ. When we gather to pray for all the saints and the souls of the departed, we do not ask their background nor do we inquire as to the color of their skin, we simply pray for all. A Catholic cemetery is an amazing place of unity, a place where we acknowledge our relationship with God.  

Allow yourself a moment to see this unity the next time you visit one of our Catholic cemeteries. You will read names of all ethnicities and all different nationalities. Kneeling at gravesites you will find members of all races, each taking the time to pray for their loved ones and ultimately expressing their love of God. In allowing yourself to recognize this unity, you will find peace and comfort in a place where there is no partiality. 

In our Catholic cemeteries, we celebrated Mass on Cemetery Sunday, where we offered prayers for all souls that may find themselves in need of our prayers. As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, and the birth of Christ soon to follow, it is up to each of us to pray for the souls of our faithfully departed. We must remember that we are all created in the likeness and image of God and in death each of us will return to Him for our final evaluation. Pray for those that may be in Purgatory, be thankful for the gift of each other as we journey toward our life in paradise.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

Respect Life


In the northern hemisphere, October begins the transition from the warm days of summer sun to the long winter’s rest. The transition is not sudden, as we move slowly from one season to the next. The transition is presented to us through the splendor of God’s creation, in the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, the acorns being stored away for the long winter and the smells of fall telling us to prepare for the time when everything goes to sleep.

Our senses allow us to appreciate God’s creation and we are reminded of how unique this world of ours truly is. It was created for us, His children, to experience life and honor Him until the time that we are called to be with Him in paradise. It is in our appreciation of this gift that we are also commanded by God to respect all life, regardless of where and at what stage that gift of life is presented to us.

At this point you may be wondering what the Catholic Cemeteries Association has to do with respecting life. My response is simply, everything. When we bury our deceased loved ones, we express our respect for the life they lived regardless of the length of time God granted us the gift of that person’s life. When parents come to us to bury their baby that died in the mother’s womb, we bury the fetus in the baby section and provide the family with a memorial because as Catholics, all life, regardless of the time spent on this beautiful home entrusted to us by God, is deserving of respect.

Our natural world is filled with beauty, but God also allows the world to move forward without interference. We are granted the freedom to live our lives with the goal of attaining His gracious gift of eternal life in paradise. Each of us knows the path to paradise; Jesus gave us the map when He told us to love God above all else and love thy neighbor as thyself.


Our cemeteries are places where we celebrate the lives we cherish and are reminded of the final reward.

To Jesus, Through Mary- Finding Comfort, Healing and Peace in the Rosary

“The rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it I have entrusted any number of concerns; in it I have always found comfort.”

-Pope John Paul II

The Rosary is a prayer for finding peace and comfort in times of sadness or distress, however, it is also a continuous source of strength and healing in our routine, daily lives. Throughout my life, I have always remembered having a rosary nearby. Usually, resting on my nightstand or tucked away in a beautiful, zippered pouch inside my purse or drawer. I may not have always prayed the rosary each day, but I remember the peace and comfort of seeing it and holding it in my hands as a child. I received a rosary as a gift on my First Holy Communion and another when I received the sacrament of Confirmation. Throughout my childhood, I was blessed to be taught the praying of the rosary, mainly by my mother and grandmothers. I knew the men in my family to pray it as well. In fact, my father carried his rosary in a tattered black zippered pouch in his pocket every day. Throughout my childhood, I may not have always understood the many reasons that we pray the rosary, but I knew the intense peace I felt as I prayed in unison with fellow church members, students or family. I felt the natural calming effect that the repetition of Hail Marys had on my mind. I could almost feel the Holy Spirit allowing God’s mercy and grace to flow within me.

As I grew older and was blessed to be a member of the Notre Dame community in high school, I found that the rosary was a way to “pray to Jesus through Mary”. While praying and thinking about each of the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries, we journey closer to God spiritually. While praying the rosary, I felt the protection of Jesus, watching over me and guiding me throughout the difficulties of young adulthood. Later in life, as a mother of my own children, I related to this concept because Mary, the mother of Jesus, who held Him as a baby, loved and nurtured Him throughout His childhood, supported Him in His ministry, and ultimately, endured the pain as a witness to His death on the Cross, helped us to see His life from the close perspective that motherhood provides.  She suffered through His difficult moments of strife, as any mother suffers when her child hurts. Like any mother, she also rejoiced in His successes. In His Resurrection, she witnessed firsthand, His triumph over sin and death and His gift of redemption.

One of the greatest joys in my earlier career in education has been teaching the praying of The Most Holy Rosary to young children. I witnessed firsthand, the calming effect that the prayers brought to even the most energetic child. Traditionally, we recited the rosary together in church before or after mass, or during specific times of difficulties, such as on 9/11 or if a loved one was sick or had passed. The recitation of the Rosary has a calming and soothing effect on all of us, whether young or old. At times of loss, we especially feel the strength given to mourners when friends and family recite the Rosary together during the Order of Christian Funerals or before the funeral liturgy at the wake.  It is through Mary and the Most Holy Rosary that we journey together, recalling the events of Christ’s life and allowing our hearts and our minds to be drawn closer to Him, comforted and protected by His love.

Join us in prayer, this month of The Most Holy Rosary, and beyond, as we welcome the Legion of Mary on our CCAirwaves podcast. Remember the month of October is also Respect Life Month. I invite you to listen in to our Rosary Podcast and join in prayer for the intention that all life will remain sacred, in all aspects, from conception to natural death.

In peace,

Kathleen G. McKiernan

Marketing and Communications Manager

Harvesting the Good that has been Sown

The sights and smells of fall are upon us.  We are witnesses to the wonders of our natural world as farmers begin harvesting that which was sown earlier in the year.  All that hard work performed in planting the seeds and nurturing the growing plants, leads to the joy of a bountiful harvest.  God’s gift of this world is an amazing thing to experience.  We see this gift in the relationships that we grow with each other.  


Our senses allow us to enjoy more fully the bounty of persons we are connected to as we plant the seeds of each relationship.  We nurture those relationships over time and treasure the harvest of our experiences.  Sometimes, the seed that is planted sprouts quickly and the time to harvest is short, but the sweetness of the fruit remains.


It is often difficult for us to comprehend why the gift of life in some circumstances may last for a very short amount of time.  In one instance, the joy ended before we met.  For another close to me, the joy lasted 11 minutes.  The profound impact that those short lives had on us continue and it is up to each of us to harvest the beauty of that life sown by God and part of the harvest that is Heaven.   


I know the impact those 11 minutes had on me over 20 years ago and have learned to appreciate the harvest of eternal life through the short life of a little angel.  Whether it is 11 minutes, 14 years or 104, each life is sown by God and it is up to each of us to nurture that seed and harvest every moment until the final harvest of eternal life.  

God bless,


Andrej Lah