TRUMBULL—Magnificat—a Ministry to Catholic Women held a “Come and Listen” informal gathering on Saturday morning, February 22 at St. Stephen’s Church in Trumbull to provide information to those interested in joining their organization. Founded over twenty years ago, the Triumphant Heart of Mary Immaculate chapter of this international group has a goal of bringing Catholic women together. Bonding in a shared love of their faith, these women find a deeper commitment to the Lord through prayer, service, and support.
“We want to give everybody an idea of what Magnificat is,” said new chapter coordinator Carol Flynn who is succeeding long-time coordinator Fran Hood. “We hope to reach others and encourage them to share whatever gifts they may have.”
As an outreach ministry, Magnificat has a service team working to plan and coordinate multiple functions throughout the year. The focal event of this group is the Magnificat Meal, typically semi-annual breakfasts with fellowship, praise and worship, and personal testimony. In addition, the coordinators hold prayer cenacles twice a month, host Masses and Days of Renewal, participate in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and attend international conferences, among others. The success of Magnificat is due to the dedication of the women who feel, as Flynn said, that they are called by name and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Supporting them as well is spiritual director Fr. Larry Carew. “Christ has a message for you to fulfill,” he told the attendees. “God has given Mary to us, and we speak to bring Mary’s love to the world.”
According to Roxane Angotta, assistant coordinator, it was the chance to spread that love, evangelize, and find a Catholic sisterhood that brought her to Magnificat at its inception. “Like Mary, I said, ‘Let me be your handmaid.’ Wherever I am needed, I will come.”
In 1999, in the basement of Trumbull’s Christ the King Church, a small group of women did come, with a shared purpose of growing closer to God. Magnificat’s journey, like that of so many of its members, was not without trial, however. While planning events in the group’s early years, coordinators faced challenges that tested their fortitude. Becoming an incorporated private association under canonical law, adjusting event plans due to the blackout of 2003, forgoing a conference due to a highway collision, and cancelling a breakfast days before a crippling Nor’easter would test anyone’s resolution, but the women of Magnificat persevered.
“Nothing could dampen our enthusiasm, and we count it all as joy,” said Fran Karpiej, the first coordinator who remains actively involved today. “And now, we must maintain our course. God has more for us.”
For the women who accepted Magnificat’s invitation to “come and listen,” they saw the opportunity to join committees of hospitality, music, intercessory prayer, and even tech support, for as Flynn said, “God know our gifts, whatever those gifts may be.” They also witnessed through personal stories the dedication of an outreach group rooted in the principles of their Catholic faith, encouraging others to accompany them on the journey.
“We want to spread the good news,” said Angotta. “This is a beautiful ministry with a place for everybody.”