I was raised in a devout Catholic family with six kids in Redondo Beach, California, attending Catholic schools, doing Catholic traditions in the home, having regular prayer time with my family each evening, and praying and picketing in front of abortion clinics while my Dad and Mom offered help to the moms. I didn’t really have any plans for my future, but to live each day to the fullest — which included adventures like skydiving, advanced rock-climbing, crewing on racing sail boats, hitch hiking through Europe, and more. Because I didn’t have a concrete/personal relationship with Jesus, I drifted and got into a bit of trouble, including a crisis pregnancy that led to me placing my daughter, Marianna, for adoption at birth. Like the Prodigal Son, my parents welcomed me, and my unborn baby, home with open and loving arms! Because God wants to bring good into all situations, my pregnancy launched me into the most amazing adult life I can imagine — with my feet on the ground, walking with a very present Jesus. I found that the adventures with Jesus are far more exciting than the adventures of this earth.
My thirty years of pro-life work have been full of variety and excitement, working with some incredible people, like Mother Teresa — and, praise God, helping to save tens of thousands of unborn babies and their moms from the pain of abortion. I’m even friends with some young adults whom I saved from abortion — and I can still picture their parents’ faces as they were arriving at the abortion mills.
I met my husband, Tom, in pro-life work and we’re blessed with four sons (Paul 20, Stephen 18, Michael 16 and David 13). My focus right now is to do the best I can at raising our boys to love God, love others, and to be shining lights to others. Even though babies’ lives were in the balance, I discerned that I needed to pull back from a major role in ministry, in order to focus more attention on raising our boys with heaven as the goal. And I’ve learned to offer to God every dish I wash, every meal I make, and every moment I spend with the boys and Tom. Even though my primary focus is on the family, we believe it’s very important to continue to do some ministry to train our boys as active apostles for Christ outside the home.
Mothering has had some challenges, that could have looked pretty severe at the time, but those situations taught me to draw closer to Christ, they taught me patience, unconditional love, and surrender.
Spiritually, and as a mother, I’ve learned that my primary purpose is to be a conduit for God, letting His love flow through me to my children and others. I learned years ago that being in a position of surrender and service to God and others, puts me closely connected with heaven and God’s presence, and is the most fulfilling place in life. God has impacted me through motherhood by teaching me to happily surrender all things to Him, to hand my children and husband to Him, to keep a good balance in life without being too busy, to frequent the Sacraments and prayer time in order to stay grounded, and to have more unconditional love in my heart than I knew was possible. To me, Jesus is my friend, my daily companion walking this journey of life, and He sees me as a simple gal (like a child) who wants to be with Him and help Him here on earth. Jesus continues to call my heart to open up more, to experience more of Him, and to trust and thank Him in all situations. My current prayer is, “Lord, please increase my faith, hope and love.”
And on a last positive note, I met my beautiful daughter when she was 19, and we have since enjoyed time with her and her parents at family reunions, weddings, funerals, and at her recent wedding! Marianna’s adoptive parents are family to us, with her parents telling me that I gave them the most incredible gift ever (usually with tears in her Dad’s eyes).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6