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 80 chapters throughout the United States and its territories and in many foreign countries.

           One-Day Women’s Spiritual Retreat

August 23, 2014 at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Hall

 joy that overflows

Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter of Magnificat is sponsoring a One-Day Women’s Spiritual Retreat on Saturday, August 23, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It will be held at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Hall at 1728 Oxmoor Road in Homewood, Alabama 35209. The retreat will be led by Vie Thorgren, Doctor of Ministry, and is entitled Joy That Overflows

During this day of retreat, Vie will lead us in renewing ourselves in the joy of Christ.  Through music, conferences, personal reflection, sharing with other women and opportunities for the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, we will let the Spirit of Jesus encompass us with tenderness and unfailing love.

 During the first presentation, One Who Remembers, we will take time to remember those moments when we knew we were loved and open ourselves to the Jesus who helps us lift up our heads and start anew when we fall down.  In the second presentation, Life Grows When Given Away, we will focus on the unifying love of God that does not put self-care and concern for others in opposition.  The closing presentation, We are Heralds of Wondrous Deeds, will confirm that no matter the challenges and responsibilities that lie before us in our personal lives, we know we will be sustained by the Joy That Overflows!

 “The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize He is already there, waiting for us with open arms.”

                                                     Pope Francis, The Joy of Evangelization


Our Retreat Leader: 

Vie Thorgren, wife, mother and grandmother, is the founder and director of the Center for Spirituality at Work in Denver, Colorado.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in counseling psychology and a doctor of ministry degree in spiritual theology.

Vie has 40 years ministry experience and travels internationally giving retreats and workshops. Her mission experiences living in South Korea and Kenya and her involvement with interfaith dialogue have fostered her deep concern for healing human divisions.  She has called forth and trained others for service in poverty settings.

Her commitment to her Catholic heritage and to people in poverty led her to respond positively to a request from the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, an outreach of the U.S. Catholic Bishops.  She was asked to serve as one of 21 Catholic Climate Ambassadors in the U.S.

Vie was recognized by the Denver Post on Easter Sunday, 2013, as one of the ten most influential women in Colorado for her work with women in prison and their re-entry into society.  She believes everything in her life is a gift from God… her family, opportunities to serve people in poverty and even the unexpected gift of public speaking. As a retreat leader, she has indeed accompanied others to deepen their relationship with God.


Our morning begins with:

7:45 a.m.        Mass

8:30 a.m.        Registration and Welcome

9:15 a.m.      Praise & Worship

9:30 a.m.      Presentation 1:  One Who Remembers

We will take time to remember those moments when we knew we were loved and open ourselves to the Jesus who helps us lift up our heads and start anew when we fall down.

11:00 a.m.      Lunch will be provided

The opportunity for Reconciliation will be available at this time.

Our afternoon continues with:

12:30 p.m.         Praise & Worship

12:45 p.m.         Presentation 2:  Life Grows When Given Away

We will focus on the unifying love of God that does not put self-care and concern for others in opposition.  Like the woman at the well, we will turn to Jesus, fountain of love, who satisfies our thirst and holds self and others in the same embrace.

2:15 p.m.         Presentation 3:  We are Heralds of Wondrous Deeds

We will confirm that no matter the challenges and responsibilities that lie before us in our personal lives, we know we will be sustained by the “Joy that Overflows!”

4:00 p.m.          Closing Prayer and Departure


For more information or questions, please contact Donna Chmielarski at 205-408-0308.

 Religious books and CD’s are available at the retreat.

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.


The Retreat will be held from 7:45 AM til 4:00 PM at

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Hall
1728 Oxmoor Road
Homewood, AL 35209

Registration for the retreat is $18 (includes lunch and refreshments) and may be obtained from our ticket chairwoman, Catherine Patton.  Please send your name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number and email address, including the names and phone numbers of other registrants in your group, and a check made out to Magnificat, send to: Catherine Patton, 486 Westridge Drive, Trafford, AL. 35172.

Alternatively you may wish to use the form below to order your tickets.


Reservations may also be obtained on-line for $19.00 (this includes the online convenience fee) by using this link: One-Day Women’s Spiritual Retreat, August 23, 2014.

Registration ends on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 5PM.

No tickets are sold at the door.

Tickets for priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters are complimentary, but reservations are required.

Please use this form for Mail In  Reservations ONLY

$18.00 per person by mail; Registration Form must be postmarked by
August 12, 2014 to receive your confirmation.  
(cash/check only)


Guest(s) Name______________________________________________


City___________________________ State_____ Zip_____________


Email (Please print clearly)_________________________

Those working in a ministry capacity for this meal, please indicate your
Ministry Name. 

Enclosed is $________________for_______________ Number of Reservations.


Please Mail Reservation Form, and $18.00 per person to:

Magnificat Ministry
C/O Catherine Patton
486 Westridge Drive
Trafford, AL 35172
(205) 680-6007

Meals for our Chapter - 2014 

Meal Type
October 18, 2014Breakfast at St EliasBarbara Cole
January 24, 2015Luncheon at St. EliasMelinda McNamee

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 Rosary 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 St Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Room 203 following the 9:00AM Mass.
Contact Lisa Henderson (205) 540-0213

For more information about other Charismatic Prayer groups, visit Alabama Charismatic Prayer Groups


Service Team Members

Carolina Maenza, Coordinator

Virginia Springer, Assistant Coordinator

Sarah Young, Recording Secretary

Donna Chmielarski, Corresponding Secretary

Mary Margaret Rohling, Treasurer

Meredith Young, Historian

Olga Coburn, Service Team Member

Peter Ann Ryan, Service Team Member

Spiritual Advisor: Most Reverend David E Foley, Bishop Emeritus of Birmingham in Alabama

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 Carolina Maenza, Coordinator at carolinamaenza@gmail.com

History of
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.

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