We welcome you to Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter’s webpage. These are exciting times that we live in and Magnificat was begun in 1981 for such a time as this. There are now over 100 chapters throughout the United States and its territories and in many foreign countries.
You are invited to a
sponsored by the
Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter
April 30, 2016
at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Hall
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
About Our Speaker:
“I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me.”
– Philippians 4:13
Carolyn Branch describes herself as a “stubborn Southern girl” born into a Methodist family in Cullman, Alabama, and raised in South Carolina. Carolyn attended Sacred Heart College in Cullman. She met her future (and Catholic) husband, Michael on a blind date and they married in 1971. After working eighteen years as a secretary, Carolyn received a degree in accounting from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Carolyn lived a full and happy life raising two sons and flourishing in her secretarial and accounting careers. Then … thirteen years after her marriage to Michael, Carolyn was surprised to find the Lord calling her to RCIA classes. After her conversion to Catholicism in 1984, Carolyn joyfully committed to “being Jesus to others.”
When Carolyn’s husband was ordained as a deacon in 2005, the Lord provided Carolyn new opportunities to serve his people as the wife of a deacon. Faithfully and quietly, Carolyn also assumed a Cursillo leadership role and always responded to whatever the Lord asked of her by saying, “Here I am, Lord.”
With the Lord’s grace and mercy, Carolyn persevered when their home burned in 1977 and her husband received a diagnosis of cancer in 1998. Carolyn retired from her career in 2010. After forty-two years of marriage, her husband died suddenly on February 15, 2014. As the Lord guided Carolyn through a valley of grief and sadness, she followed the Good Shepherd with humility and absolute trust.
Carolyn’s three grandchildren delight her heart. Her young grandson, William, has Krabbe Disease, a rare, degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system and requires constant monitoring by his parents and physicians. William and his family reside in Utah, and Carolyn travels cross country as often as possible to help care for William.
When Carolyn is not in Utah, she cherishes time with her 95-year old mother, who “still has a purpose in life.” Carolyn also finds time to needlepoint, cross stitch, knit, and listen to the Ruppes (a Southern Gospel music group) sing “Angels in the Room,” one of her favorite inspirational songs.
Carolyn’s hopeful outlook is sustained by prayer and her unwavering belief in God’s power to bring us through any difficulty. Come listen to the faith journey of this gentle, strong, courageous woman who has truly been anointed by the Lord.
This Magnificat Meal will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. atOur Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Parish Hall 1728 Oxmoor Road Birmingham, AL 35209
Please arrive early.
The Rosary will be prayed prior to the meal at 9:00 a.m. in a designated room.
Doors open at 9:15 a.m. for open seating
Personal Prayer ministry is available after the meal by the Magnificat Service Team.
Confessions will be available at the end of the meal
Religious books and CD’s are available for purchase after the meal.
Since the day is designed to speak to the hearts of women, free of distractions, it is respectfully requested that young children under the age of 14 not be in attendance.
Tickets to the Prayer Breakfast are $15.00 and may be obtained from our ticket chairwoman, Donna Chmielarski. Please send your name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address (include the names and phone numbers of other ticket holders in your group), with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:Magnificat Tickets 5220 Crossings Parkway Hoover, AL 35242
You may wish to print the form below to order your tickets.
Tickets may also be obtained on-line for $16.00 (this includes the online convenience fee) for you and any guests by using this link: Magnificat Breakfast on April 30, 2016 Payment is made through PayPal with your credit or debit card.
Tickets for priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters are complimentary, but reservations are required and this may be done online or by contacting our ticket chairwoman, Donna Chmielarski.
If you are unable to afford a ticket but want to attend the meal, please call Donna at 205-408-0308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and arrangements will be made for a ticket to be sent to you.
Tickets are also available from Alpha Church Supply and Gifts, 121 West Valley Ave., Birmingham, AL 35209. Phone (205) 942-5750.
Members of the Service Team of Magnificat also have tickets for sale. Your check will serve as your receipt.
Ticket sales end Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 6:00 PM.
No tickets are sold at the door.
Please use this form for Mail In Reservations ONLY
$15.00 per person by mail; Registration Form must be postmarked by
April 21, 2016 to receive your confirmation. (cash/check only)
City___________________________ State_____ Zip__________
Email (Please print clearly)______________________________
Those working in a ministry capacity for this meal, please indicate your Ministry:
Enclosed is $________________for_______________ Number of Reservations.
Please Mail Reservation Form, and $15.00 per person to:Magnificat Tickets 5220 Crossings Parkway Hoover, AL 35242
Upcoming Meals for our Chapter – 2016
|Dates of the Meals||Speaker|
|February 6, 2016||Bishop Emeritus David Foley|
|April 30, 2016||Carolyn Branch|
|August 20, 2016||Johnnette Benkovic|
|October 22, 2016||Devon Bissot|
Rosary Blanket of Prayer
Remember our chapter’s commitment to Eucharistic Adoration and to pray the Rosary on the 2nd of each month for the intentions of Magnificat, Sanctity of Life, Marriage and Family, and World Peace.
Our Prayer Groups
Is God calling you to be in a Prayer Group?
Jesus said “Wherever two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am in their midst.”
Our prayer groups are open to all.
Rejoice in the Lord Prayer Group
Meets Wednesdays at Our Lady of Sorrows Family Life Center in the Library at 1:30PM.
Contact Olga Coburn (205) 822-4366
St. Albert’s Charismatic Prayer Group
Meets Thursdays at Our Lady of Sorrows Family Life Center in Room 103 at 7:00PM
Contact Ray Makofsky (205) 999-8947
Magnify the Lord Charismatic Prayer Group
Meets the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month at Our Lady of Sorrows Family Life Center Library at 8:30 AM – 11:00AM.
Contact Lisa Henderson (205) 540-0213
For more information about other Charismatic Prayer groups, visit Alabama Charismatic Prayer Groups
July 29th and 30th, 2016 CCROB Conference
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Birmingham will be having their annual Conference on July 29th and 30th at Our Lady of Sorrows Family Life Center.
Our guest speaker is Maria Vadia.
Please spread the word. Everyone is welcome.
Our theme is The Glory of God. (2 Chronicles 5:7-14)
About our guest speaker, Maria Vadia:
Born in Havana, Maria Vadia was 10 years old when she and her family fled to Miami to escape the Communist regime in her native country. She attended Catholic schools and was a “Sunday” Catholic with no personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Later married to a wealthy man, she was gripped with materialism; yet in the midst of everything that the world had to offer, she knew that something was missing.
Maria was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1987 and consecrated her life to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the preaching of the Gospel. In spite of great adversity, the Lord has been with her like a “Mighty Warrior” (Jeremiah 20:11)
Active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Archdiocese of Miami, Maria has spoken at many conferences and has travelled extensively around the world including America, the Caribbean, Malta, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Poland and Italy, among other nations, bringing a message of faith, salvation and healing. She is Founder of the “Jesus is Lord” Chapter of Magnificat in Miami, a ministry to Catholic women, and is connected with Glory House of Miami, a safe haven for human traffic victims. Led by the Holy Spirit, Maria’s foundation is helping the Pygmies with new houses in Kabale, Uganda.
As Founder of The Glory of God Foundation, Maria is committed to making Jesus known to the nations by the preaching of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is her desire to see the Catholic Church restored to the beauty of the Bride of Christ with miracles, signs, and wonders. Maria and her team, have been helping God’s people enter into deeper worship and experience the Glory of God. Together with Fr. Tom di Lorenzo she sponsors the School of the Holy Spirit and Days of Glory conference.
Maria has authored seven books: “There is Power in Your Tongue”, “Pressing on in The Spirit”, “An Arrow in His Hand”, “Healing is for You”, “Break Open Your Wells”, “Victory in the Eye Gate”, and “No More Orphans”. She is mother to four grown children: Ricky, Victor, Eddy, and Rosario, and grandmother to seven: Victoria, Alejandra, Eduardo, Micaela, Guillermo, Andrea, and Lulu (Luisa Maria).
Service Team Members
Virginia Springer, Coordinator
Barbara Cole, Assistant Coordinator
Sarah Young, Recording Secretary
Mary Margaret Rohling, Treasurer
Meredith Young, Historian
Olga Coburn, Service Team Member
Sena Higdon, Service Team Member
Spiritual Advisor: Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley, Diocese of Birmingham
If you would like to help with a Ministry of Magnificat, or if you have a question or comment for our Service Team, or if you would like to be on our Mailing list for future events, please contact us at email@example.com
Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter of Magnificat
for the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama
Twenty one years ago, news of an organization in the Catholic Church which ministers to Catholic women was brought by a Daughter of Charity, Sr. Virginia Delaney. She spoke to her good friend, Carolyn Wright, who shared this news with her good friend, Peter Ann Ryan. They prayed for discernment about the possibility of this organization being made available to the women of Alabama, where the Catholic Christian population was only 3% at that time. Exciting, indeed, was the idea of joining women who follow the Magisterium of the Church under the authority of the Pope, who hold dear with great veneration Mary, the mother of God, and who more importantly promote the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Blessed Trinity. Trusting it would be in God’s will, the little cenacle continued to pray, adding a few more faith-filled women the Lord sent.
These prayer warriors persevered out of obedience to the protocols of the Magnificat ministry founders and the circumstances of the diocese in Alabama. In the Lord’s good time, a new shepherd of the Birmingham Diocese was finally appointed, and he explained that he needed a year to get to know his flock. Exactly one year later, he requested 6 more months of reflection and evaluation before he received the women seeking permission for Magnificat, a Ministry to Catholic Women, to be formed in this diocese.
During more time of prayer, many physical efforts were required to determine if the women of the diocese were willing to embrace the vision of this ministry and to step forward in service of such an undertaking. The first Magnificat Prayer Meal in Alabama took place on February 17, 1996 with Sr. Briege McKenna as our speaker and 500 women in attendance. The rest is history in God’s grace.
Magnificat – A Ministry to Catholic Women
The story of the Visitation recorded in Luke 1:39-56 provides the inspiration for Magnificat. This Visitation reveals Mary’s disposition of humble service and selfless love for anyone who needs her help. Mary brought joy to her cousin, Elizabeth, because she brought Christ. She invites us to give ourselves happily to people around us and to simply share with them the happiness that overflows from our hearts. The women of Magnificat have experienced the joy of Mary and Elizabeth through a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and feel compelled to share it with their sisters.
Marilyn Quirk, the founding Coordinator of Magnificat in the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1981, has said, “Mary’s beautiful hymn of praise has become the song of many of us who have been involved in Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women.” Born of and nurtured by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Magnificat’s primary mission is to evangelize and help Catholic women grow spiritually into holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit. At the heart of all Magnificat is PRAYER!
Carolyn Wright, the founding Coordinator of the Birmingham Magnificat Chapter, currently serves as a member of the Central Service Team’s Communication Ministry Team and the South- east Regional Team. Reflecting on the creation of the Birmingham Chapter, Carolyn exclaimed, “The formation of this chapter of Magnificat was nothing short of amazing! It is more than any of us ever imagined or hoped for! It has brought forth fruits of love for The Trinity and Our Lady, as well as support of the Church and her priests. Magnificat Women come together, not only as friends, but as sisters in the Lord.”
Peter Ann Ryan, a close friend of Carolyn, became the first draftee in the discernment process concerning the Magnificat Ministry. She joyfully reminisces, “Over these twenty years, I am still astounded by the gifts of the Holy Spirit as He reveals His plan of love, encouragement and affection in the response of those coming to Magnificat. The awesome “coincidences” that occur between and among faith-filled women, prove the presence of a good and gracious God . . . . touching and uplifting His children.”
The first Magnificat Prayer Meal in Alabama was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Birmingham on February 17, 1996 with Sister Briege McKenna, O.S.C. as the speaker. There were 500 women in attendance. Olga Coburn, who has been on the service team since its inception, also participated in this first meal. Using her gifts of leadership in the Charismatic Renewal, Olga was delegated by the Lord to give His word to the women at the Magnificat Meals. With a grateful heart, Olga proclaims that, “My joy is from being the Lord’s instrument, especially in Magnificat, to pronounce His prophetic word to the women He has called to be present. From the beginning He has blessed this ministry, which became manifested on that first breakfast with Sister Briege proclaiming His works and healing, including my right hand. Through His Mother, Mary, He continues to bless and use women to further His Kingdom.”
Magnificat events are held four times a year on or near a feast of Our Lady. The program includes a shared meal, praise and worship led by music volunteers, a speaker who shares God’s work in her life, intercessory prayer and the availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the end of the gathering. Kathy MacInnis, current Coordinator of the Magnificat Central Service Team says, “At each meal, a woman gives her testimony of how the Lord God has touched her life in an extraordinary way with His grace. The women in attendance come to understand that what God has done for that speaker, He can also do for them. This is a source of freedom and empowerment!” This witness of God’s action and mercy in the speaker’s life focuses on hope in the midst of adversity and brings to life the scripture quote: “They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Rev 12:11
The Service Team of Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter invites and welcomes the women of the Birmingham Diocese to come and experience Mary’s Visitation to Elizabeth. Attend a Magnificat meal, a place where Jesus touches hearts. It is also a place that feels like “going home,” where everyone is loved and accepted by other like-minded women looking to become closer to God.
On February 6, 2016, the Birmingham Chapter of Magnificat celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Our Lady of the Valley Social Hall in Birmingham with our spiritual advisor, Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley, as our speaker. Bishop Foley’s love and devotion to the Blessed Mother is emphasized in the following prayer he has written, “O Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of our Catholic Church, may all women of the world take you as their model of what it means to be a woman. May you, who are Woman of Faith, lead us by the power of the Spirit to a new evangelization of the world. Amen.”
Since its humble beginning in New Orleans in 1981, Magnificat has become an international outreach to women that has touched thousands of lives. It has spread to 105 chapters encompassing the United States, the Caribbean Islands, Canada, Malta, Poland, Ireland, Dominica and Uganda.