What is Mothering With Grace? The mission of Mothering With Grace (MWG) is to help mothers grow within their vocation, recognizing the importance of growing in one’s own spiritual life in order to fulfill the God-given responsibility to form one’s children in virtue. We are a group of mothers seeking God’s grace to help us in our very important work of raising our children’s souls to Him! MWG is in total support of and in union with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
We presently seek to live this mission primarily through an Annual Mothers’ Conference in Charlotte, NC. There is also an option to start a parish based ministry for monthly formatted meetings as a support for mothers in your parish.
How did MWG start?MWG began in September 2008 when Jessica Ferrante, then a young mom of two small children, recognized her own need for fellowship, encouragement, and support in growth of her vocation as a mother. In today’s culture she found it all too easy to lose sight of the eternal purpose of the hidden moments of motherhood. With the help of a couple good friends (among whom was Sarah Wood, now co-director of MWG), Jessica soon established MWG as a monthly meeting of prayer and discussion for mothers! While the children played in another room with a babysitter, the mothers (some with babies in arms) could have an hour to meditate on the Gospel, discuss a virtue, and encourage each other to grow in their own vocation. What started as a meager group of a few mothers, soon became an extended family of mothers, now expanding to new locations!
Who is MWG for? The ONLY requirement is that you be a mother! MWG does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, parenting philosophy, or state in life (working or stay-at-home mom, married or not). All mothers are welcome to attend. But there is the understanding that MWG is a Catholic program, and while mothers from all religions are welcome, the tone, format, and content of the meetings will be rooted in the Catholic faith. Also, some topics may reference the marriage relationship. This is not meant to isolate those mothers who are single through life’s circumstances, but rather to not ignore this integral dimension of Catholic family life. The speakers at the Conference and the Facilitators at the parish-based groups seek to represent Catholic teaching at all times.
What is the MWG Conference? In November of 2014 the first annual MWG Conference was hosted in Charlotte, NC. Conferences seek to “mother the mother”,so to speak. We want to shower mothers with encouragement, support, fun, gifts, inspirational talks, and spiritual opportunities! The MWG Conference has welcomed speakers such as Danielle Bean, Rachel Balducci, Divine Mercy for Moms Authors Emily Jaminet and Michele Fenle, and Sonja Corbitt! Each Conference includes inspiring talks, Holy Hour, Holy Mass, great food, Catholic vendors, free gifts, and door prizes!
Do I have to attend parish groups in order to attend the Conference? No! The Conference is open to any mother who holds a ticket!
What is the goal of parish based MWG meetings? It is the goal of MWG to provide a safe and loving environment for interested mothers to find encouragement and support in their lives as Catholic mothers and to provide opportunity and means for deepening in their faith through prayer, guided reflection on the Gospel, guided discussion, and cultivating virtue in their lives. There are no requirements, no homework, and no outside reading asked of the mothers. It is a safe place to come, to be honest about the spiritual struggles we face as mothers, and to not feel like we have to impress. It is a place to, in charity, encourage and support each other through the trials and the joys of motherhood.
What happens at a MWG meeting? Each MWG meeting has a particular virtue for its theme and is guided by a MWG trained Facilitator using a MWG approved meeting outline. The meetings always begin with a prayer invoking the Holy Spirit, and a Gospel reading that sets the tone for that month’s virtue to be discussed. A few minutes are spent meditating on the Gospel passage before moving into the Discussion portion of the meeting, where the Facilitator helps to navigate the conversation to explore that month’s virtue in light of our vocation to motherhood. There are usually 4 sections to the Discussion. The first 1-2 sections will focus on a particular predetermined topic, usually an aspect of motherhood, particularly in light of the virtue of the month. The 3rd section examines a quote or text from Church tradition or literature (encyclicals, quotes from the Holy Father, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc.), arousing discussion relating to the topic in sections 1 and 2. The final section illustrates a quality of a particular saint and then explores how it relates to the virtue and/or topic of the month.
The meeting concludes with a prayer for mothers, and all attendees are given a take-home personal meditation guide to help them to carry that day’s virtue and discussion into their own homes throughout the month.
How do I begin a MWG support group near at my parish? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.