Welcome from Birmingham, AL  

We welcome you to the webpage of the Birmingham, Alabama Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter. 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

Prayer Breakfast

sponsored by the

Mary, Woman of Faith Chapter


April 29, 2017

at Our Lady of Fatima 

Parish Hall

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


About Our Speaker:

 Diane Penney

     “… for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard”     — Acts 4:20

Diane Penney was born into a “big Irish Catholic” family. The middle of seven children, she has fond memories of always having a playmate and Christmas mornings that lasted for days. When Diane was eleven years old, her dad (a song writer and record producer) moved the family to Nashville. Her mom and five siblings still live there within blocks of each other.

Diane attended the University of Alabama, waitressing her way through school, and graduating with a degree in communications. She worked in advertising and radio until shortly after the birth of her son, Ryan.

The sacraments and her devotion to the Divine Mercy saw Diane through the challenging times of single parenthood until her son entered high school. The busyness of life, scholarship searches, and college admissions averted Diane’s gaze from her faith, and she as Revelation 12 says lost her “first love.” It was during this time that her son, a dancer and freshman in the School of Arts at Samford University, suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Diane will tell us in her talk how during the darkest days of her life she found her “first love” again and why she “cannot stop speaking” now of the things she has seen and heard.

Diane is a member of Blessed Sacrament Church and has a Certificate in Catechetics from Aquinas University. She earned her M.Ed. in 2013 and works with children with dyslexia. We invite you to hear this deeply spiritual Catholic woman, mother, and teacher share with boundless enthusiasm and great joy her unabashed love for God and His one, true church.




This Magnificat Meal will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at

Our Lady of Fatima Parish Hall
708 1st Street South
Birmingham, AL 35205

Please arrive early.

The Rosary will be prayed prior to the meal at 9:00 a.m. in the church.

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 29, 2017  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 magnificat0296@gmail.com 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 23, 2017 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 20, 2017 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:


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 MealsSpeaker
August 25-26, 2017Retreat with Immaculee
November 4, 2017Janice Nelson

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

Service Team Members

Virginia Springer, Coordinator

Barbara Cole, Assistant Coordinator

Sarah Young, Recording Secretary

Mary Margaret Rohling, Treasurer

Melanie McNary, 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 magnificat0296@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.

Magnificat – A Ministry to Catholic Women

Artist: Carl H. Bloch, 1834-1890

Artist: Carl H. Bloch, 1834-1890



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.




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