To me May is the most beautiful of all the months of the year. It is spring - finally - and that symbolizes the return of life. So many of us celebrate Mother’s Day, and think of ourown mothers, who protected each one of us from the moment of our conception so we could enjoy life in this world. And of course, it is the month of Our Lady, Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The month has been documented as “Mary’s month” since the 13th century, according to church histories.
So for 700 years or more people have been making the connection between the month of new life, new beginnings, and motherhood, and made it the month to especially honor Our Lady too. That’s quite a legacy.
Each of us has a legacy too, a legacy of family. I think of our Julia residents during this month, and all women who have been homeless and alone. They all have mothers, and many are mothers themselves. I have heard so many stories from women about growing up, and the impact of their parents on their lives. With Mother’s Day so much in this month’s advertising and with people everywhere around us making plans to visit their mothers and their families, it grieves me to know that this month often hurts people who have painful memories about their mothers. It is a great heartache.
This month is also a special reminder of the importance of women and their gift of being a mother--not just a physical mother but a psychological, emotional, and spiritual mother. All women have this gift and ability in them. We have many sayings that speak to the power of women and mothers in our society: I am sure you have heard the phrase "As the women goes , so goes the nation." And, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." Then of course there is the saying about the family, “When Mom is happy, then everybody’s happy!” No matter how you say it, the power of a woman to change things, whether it’s in her family or ultimately throughout society, is great.
Here at Julia's we believe there is no woman who cannot achieve her goals and become fully alive to her future, if she wants to and will work at it---not matter how rough her past. But she can only do this with God's help. Plus, our Catholic Christian faith also emphasizes an incomparable extra gift that God has offered the world -- and that is the love of a very special woman, the Mother of Jesus! It doesn’t matter what a woman's religion is, or where she is spiritually, the Mother of Jesus has a special love for her. That includes every women, especially the most helpless and heartbroken. For the woman whose mother has abandoned her, the Mother of Jesus will replace her. We here at Julia's dedicate this month to the Blessed Virgin Mary and beg her intercession for every one of her daughters at Julia's.
God bless you all,
Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F. M. Cap