Happy Feast Day and Anniversary!

stgianna

Isn’t the above picture great? One of these days I need to get around to ordering a portrait of St. Gianna from Portraits of Saints for my home. (What a great shop – I love their images!)

It’s the feast day of this blog’s patroness, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, and the one-year anniversary of the launch of this blog! St. Gianna, pray for us!

I haven’t been as prolific a blogger as I’d hoped (darn real life getting in the way), but our Facebook group is still going strong – we have over 1,300 members now – and I remember most days to post something to the blog’s Facebook page.

In other news, I discovered something tremendously exciting this morning. I’ve always wished that I knew about St. Gianna when I was confirmed in 2003 (she was “Blessed Gianna” at the time, as she wasn’t canonized until 2004), because if I had I would have taken her name as my confirmation name.

However, today being St. Gianna’s feast day, I was curious and decided to look up the etymology of her name. (BTW, shout out to two fantastic sites for name geeks — Behind the Name and Sancta Nomina.)

Guess what I found out? “Gianna” is another form of “Joanna”! I was named after my favorite saint, and one of the patronesses of working mothers, twenty-four years before she was canonized! Somehow, I don’t think that’s a coincidence (especially since family lore has it that my parents had another name for me in mind throughout my mother’s pregnancy, and only decided to name me JoAnna after I was born). Thanks, Holy Spirit!

 

An Anniversary Giveaway!

As I mentioned on Saturday, I’m running a giveaway in honor of the first anniversary of the Catholic Working Mothers Facebook group! We have some great prizes donated by some of our group members.

Use the Rafflecopter app at the bottom of the post to enter. The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. MST on Saturday, August 15. Winners will be announced Sunday, August 16. Please note that entrants MUST leave a valid e-mail address in the combox so I can contact you to award your prize!

Prize #1: Shades of Orange Knitted Infinity Scarf
Donor: Lisa Adkins, ARose4Lisa

Shades of Orange Knitted Infinity Scarf

A beautiful handmade knitted infinity scarf, perfect for fall!

Prize #2: Royal Blue Bracelet with Silver Cross
Donor: Megan Caire

Royal Blue Bracelet with Silver Cross

This bracelet is made with royal blue beads on stretch cord and features a silver-colored metal cross.

Prize #3: Teal Bracelet with Gold Cross
Donor: Megan Caire

Teal Bracelet with Gold Cross

This bracelet is made with teal beads on stretch cord and features a gold-colored metal cross.

Prize #4: Coral Necklace with Gold Cut-Out Cross
Donor: Megan Caire

Coral Necklace with Gold Cut-Out Cross

This necklace is made with coral beads on stretch cord and features a gold-colored metal cut-out cross.

Prize #5: Catholic Sistas 2015-2016 Catholic Through the Year Bundle
Donor: Martina Kreitzer

Catholic Sistas 2015-2016 Catholic Through the Year Bundle

An amazing gift donated by Martina Kreizer of Catholic Sistas!
The Catholic Through the Year 2015-2016 downloadable planner bundle includes a Calendar, a Homeschool Bundle, a Household Management bundle, AND a Blogger bundle!
Go to the Catholic Sistas store link to see the details of which resources are included in each bundle.
(Please note: this is an electronic resource, not a physical one.)

Prize #6: “Like Living Among Scorpions: One Woman’s Quest to Survive Her Suburban Life” by Jennifer Fulwiler (Kindle edition)
Donor: JoAnna Wahlund

Like Living Among Scorpions

From Amazon.com: “Whether she’s soaking her living room in Raid bug spray, fantasizing about living in a $50,000 sleep capsule, or dragging her brood of rowdy children out of Whole Foods, Jennifer Fulwiler’s life is sure to be a source of inspiration (or at least entertainment) in this collection of essays originally published on her blog. With a new introduction and conclusion, as well as a foreword by author Simcha Fisher, Like Living Among Scorpions is a fresh look at the most popular humorous posts that chronicle Jen’s attempts to keep her sanity while managing a house full of babies and scorpions. Longtime readers will love reliving these moments with Jen, and new readers will enjoy this introduction to her unique perspective on life.”
(Note: this prize is for the Kindle edition only. You must have a Kindle or a [free] Kindle app on an appropriate device to receive it.)

ENTER BELOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Anniversary

Mommy and Peter
Peter with his mommy — August 7, 2014

One year ago today, I was sitting in a small conference room at my workplace, pumping breastmilk for my then-10-month-old son, Peter, and thinking about a recent Facebook PM I’d received from a new Facebook friend. A mutual friend had directed her to my blog, and she was glad to find another Catholic mom of many who also worked full-time outside the home. I was happy that she’d contacted me, because it was rare to find someone else who could understand the joys and challenges of being a Catholic working mother.

Which got me to thinking — I knew we couldn’t be the only two Catholic working mothers out there; in fact, a recent thread in another Facebook group for Catholic moms had asked how many of its members worked outside the home, and I was surprised by the number of respondents.

I wondered, not for the first time, why wasn’t there a Facebook group specifically for Catholic working mothers? We really needed a source of community given that it seemed no one around us understood what it was like to live as we did — constantly trying to balance faith, work, and family in a culture that was increasingly hostile to Catholicism.

As I listened to the whirring and hissing of my breastpump — an object that was, to me, a symbol of my working mother status — the Holy Spirit slapped me upside the head. If you want a group like that, maybe you should start one.

I pulled out my iPhone and the Catholic Working Mothers Facebook group was born.

I was kept busy the next several weeks welcoming new members. “I’m so happy to have found this group! I thought I was the only one!” was a common refrain.

One year later, we have nearly 700 members [edit: as of 6:15pm MST on August 8, we have 701 members!) — Catholic working mothers from all walks of life. We have mothers who work full-time, part-time, work at home, or do freelance work. We have mothers who are pregnant with their first child and mothers of large families. We have mothers who are nurses, pharmacists, teachers, software engineers, military officers, editors, and countless other professions. We have mothers who are married and mothers who are single. We have mothers who are wholly committed to their careers and mothers who are only reluctantly working because their family needs their income. Most importantly, we are all faithful Catholics, striving to live our vocations as mothers and employees in accordance with Church teaching.

The success of the Catholic Working Mothers Facebook group was the inspiration for the start of this blog. To commemorate this anniversary, I’m going to have a great giveaway, featuring some prizes created by a few of our members! Be sure to come by the blog on Monday to check out the available prizes and find out how to enter!