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A New Year's tradition sparks a faith-filled journey. Lilia Grundy shares some of her to-dos for 2022.

In 2016, my husband and I stumbled upon a new tradition for ourselves after discovering a blank notebook labeled “NEW” among our Christmas gifts. On the way to New Year’s Eve dinner, I threw that tiny book into my purse and we found ourselves writing down our new-year goals before our meal arrived. Years later, it’s fun to review the goals we set each New Year’s Eve.

Between camping trips, to more outdoor activities and updates to the house, it’s amusing to see what was important to me througout the years. Interestingly, the last entry I wrote down on December 31, 2020 was “Make time for God every day.” I didn’t know what that would look like at the time, but reflecting back over the year, it’s amazing to see how that one line sparked my faith journey.


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Magnify Pathway

I felt like something was missing. I knew something was missing. My family and I started attending a new parish because I wasn’t content with simply attending Mass on a bi-weekend basis (parish policy implemented during Covid-19). I initiated an online search and found another local parish that was offering Mass every week—that was when I thought “Ah ha—we must go there!”

When the pastor of that parish spoke during homilies, his words touched my heart like never before – he made me curious about my faith. I now know that it was meant to be—God was guiding my family and I to this church for a reason.

Father began encouraging parishioners to participate in 90-day spiritual programs: Exodus 90 (for men) and Magnify 90 (for women). I took a peek at the spiritual exercises and thought, “Uh no way, can’t do that!” But every time the programs were mentioned at church, I felt drawn to try. Before I could change my mind, I found myself clicking the participate button on the parish website, and on top of that, I joined the women’s group that would be meeting weekly to check-in. These spiritual exercises became habits that changed my life—they became my pathway … I finally started a relationship with God and I found my “missing” something. 


Mary statue crowned with roses


Meeting Mary

“Mary leads us to Jesus and makes the road to holiness quick and easy” writes Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC in his 33 Days to Morning Glory: a “Do-it-Yourself Retreat” book in preparation for consecration to Mary. I didn’t know our heavenly mother, but Magnify 90 opened that door for me. Following the completion of the program, I longed to know Mary so I read Fr. Michael’s book and began my consecration to her. It’s been a beautiful discovery, but I must admit, I still feel like I fall short from truly understanding.

When I feel defeated, I sense spiritual hugs from our Blessed Mother, especially when I think about all the gifts I’ve received this past year:

  • I started praying the Rosary every day.
  • I was honored to crown Mary at my twins’ first Communion.
  • Our parish’s Women Ministry Director became my faith sponsor.
  • I launched Catholic Women Professionals (a group for working women).
  • I found the CatholicMom community online.
I smile thinking that these blessings have been sent my way from Mary – she is helping me grow closer to her Son. And for this, I am dedicating 2022 to include more Mary in my life!


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It is my hope that these to-dos will keep Mary and God as my number one focus in the new year. #catholicmom

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My “More God” To-dos

I share a snapshot here of some of my New Year’s goals. It is my hope that these to-dos will keep Mary and God as my number one focus in the new year. More importantly, I pray that I can help others grow in their faith as well.

2022 To-dos:
  • Participate in Magnify 90* again
  • Start a Miraculous Medal club: share Mary with other women!
  • Read Scripture and celebrate the liturgical calendar with my family
  • Register for more Catholic retreats
  • Go to Adoration 1-2x/week (solo, with twins, and with my husband)
  • Continue First Friday and First Saturday devotions
  • Host Catholic Women Professionals Meet-ups each month

*Catholic Women Professionals will host the program through Holy Redeemer Catholic parish, including a weekly check-in group. Visit CatholicWomenProfessionals.com for more information.

Copyright 2022 Lilia Grundy
Images: journal photo copyright 2022 Lilia Grundy; all others Canva Pro