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In this selection from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers, Maria Morera Johnson shares how prayer contributed to the joy of a long-awaited family reunion.

A few years ago, I was reunited with family in Cuba I hadn’t seen in fifty years. The emotional pain of two political exiles, one from the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and another from Cuba during the Communist Revolution, had scattered my family across two continents and three countries. 

The reunion was beautiful. The surprise that should not have been surprising, the warmth and love we shared even though we hardly knew each other beyond names and pictures, touched me deeply. How was this possible? How did we sit down for meals and chatter away, sharing stories of our lives in the intimate way only family can? 

I attribute this ease with one another to the faith that held my nuclear family together and to the source of that example, my grandparents, who through their experience modeled what familial love can be despite physical distance and the hardships that come with it. Prayer was, and continues to be, the bridge that crosses oceans to unite our hearts. I’m certain that my great-grandparents prayed for their children and grandchildren and that, in turn, my grandparents and parents prayed for my generation. I know this because I saw and experienced it. 

Prayer is what made my happy reconnection with family a reunion, not a meeting. Prayer is what gives me hope today as our family continues to grow with new generations while jobs and opportunities continue to scatter us across the country. It remains a strong bridge that unites our hearts across the miles. 

Prayer to Our Lady of Charity

Good and gracious Lord, I praise you and love you. Thank you for the many graces in my life, especially the beautiful gift of my loving family. Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Charity, magnify our love for your son. Keep our family faithful. Although our life’s journey takes us to new places far and wide, pray for us. Keep us safe from harm. Protect us from evil. And keep our love for the Lord and each other burning in our hearts. Amen.


Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers



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Prayer was, and continues to be, the bridge that crosses oceans to unite our hearts. #catholicmom

This is an excerpt from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers, which will be published November 5. 2021.

The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers is your go-to resource to find the perfect words to lift up in prayer for almost any occasion or need. This beautiful, full-color, hardcover book includes a collection of original and traditional prayers and reflections from dozens of moms just like you. You might need “A Kitchen Sink Offering,” “The Nine Annoying Things Novena,” “The Rosary for Warriors,” or “A Birthday Prayer.” Or you might want to read about more traditional prayers such as the Angelus, the Jesus Prayer, or the Memorare.

Join familiar moms including Jackie Francois Angel, Karianna Frey, Rachel Bulman, Sarah Christmyer, Jenna Guizar, Lisa M. Hendey, Haley S. Stewart, Kathryn Whitaker, Kendra Tierney, Michele Faehnle, Emily Jaminet, and Kelly M. Wahlquist as they share their favorite prayers and stories as a way to help you refresh your prayer life, leading you into God’s presence.

Preorder a copy of The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers at a special price of $18 with free shipping with coupon code: CROWN. Good through October 15, 2021.


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Copyright 2021 Maria Morera Johnson
Images courtesy of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
This excerpt from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers is printed here with the kind permission of Ave Maria Press.