March 27, 2022

Dear Ladies and Friends of TASTE,


  • This year seems to have flown by.  Can you believe we only have 4 more talks before we break for the summer?  Specifically, the rest of our TASTE schedule includes: 2 talks before Easter, a 2-week break for Easter, 2 talks after Easter, and then a wrap-up session which will hopefully also include a pot-luck lunch. LINK 

  • To augment one of our earlier talks, Karen shared with us the meaning of the Benedictine Medal and its purpose, history, and blessing.  If you have a Benedictine Medal, she encouraged bringing a copy of that blessing to any priest to have it blessed. LINK.  During announcements this past week, Karen also shared an inspiring story about Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Fatima as presented by one of our speakers (Fr. Chris Alar).  As part of this video, Fr. Alar shared the ‘Miracle of Vistula’: When Our Lady Saved the World From Communism.  He concluded with the urgent need for prayer, sacrifice, and penance.  So much of this is relevant today.  For those who missed it or for those who want to learn more about it, see Fr. Alar's VIDEO or the National Catholic Register's ARTICLE.

  • Last week, Mike Tenney gave his fourth talk in our Lenten Series on Catholic Spirituality entitled "Franciscan Spirituality: Francis, Clare, Bonaventure, Kolbe." Mike introduced us to the Franciscans with some of their symbols, including the "tau" shaped cross, and the Hands of Christ and Francis cross. They are a discalced order meaning they wear scandals, or no shoes, and like the Dominicans, they are a mendicant order.  They are known as the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) and as the "lesser brothers."  Mike talked some about St. Francis himself, both the man and the legend. St. Francis took on a mission from Christ to "rebuild My church," which he originally took literally to mean the local dilapidated St. Damiano church itself, and then understood it to mean our universal Catholic Church. People were attracted to his way of life. Of note, St. Francis was a deacon and never became a priest. Basic principles of the Franciscans include: 1) Learn about Christ by imitation and experience, not book learning, 2) Humility, 3) Poverty, 4) Love of Nature, 5) Community, 6) Optimism, 7) Devotion to the Immaculate Mother. Other famous Franciscans include St. Clare of Assisi, Blessed John Duns Scotus, St. Anthony, St. Junipero Serra, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Padre Pio. So, how do we pray as Franciscans? 1) Pray with people, in community, 2) Make charity your prayer — prayer and actions are intimately tied together, 3) St. Clare's Prayer, a "poor person's Lectio Divina" where an image of the cross or some other image becomes the focus of attention rather than the written word, 4) the Franciscan Crown, a variation on the rosary with seven decades, and 5) Pope Francis' Five Finger Prayer, using our fingers to remind us categories for which to pray.  To finish our time together, Mike led us in using St. Clare's Prayer with a piece of art depicting St. Francis embracing Jesus on the cross. The steps included:  1) gazing, 2) considering what the image means to you, 3) contemplating (being available and open to receiving a gift from God), and finally 4) imitating what you see in the image.  For more details on all of these prayers plus the "Peace Prayer" and the "Blessing of Animals", see this LINK.



  • Upcoming ICC  class  The Institute of Catholic Culture is offering a new on-line class entitled "Catholic Bioethics." Learn not only what the Church teaches, but why.  Registration is now open for this class which runs from May 16 until October 17. The class is free. See HERE for details.


  • SPIRITUAL BOUQUET Thank you for the prayers you offered for Colleen and her family during her pregnancy and also after baby Caleb's birth since his first few weeks have been so challenging.  Colleen reported that she can "feel our prayers" as they were battling Caleb's ongoing digestive problems and complications from his surgeries.  We will be offering Colleen a Bouquet of our prayers — both those already offered and those you promise to make for her family.  Additionally, there will be a card at TASTE once again this week that  you can sign.  If you attend remotely, please send your "flower" of prayers to Joy so it can be included. Praise God, we got an update today from Colleen saying Caleb is doing MUCH better. Doctors are treating him for an aggressive bowel infection and they are talking about one more small surgical procedure to help him stool on his own. In spite of this weekend's setback, Caleb is now back to himself and so much happier!
  • PRAYER REQUESTS —  Several of our TASTE sisters need our prayers. Please also pray for:
    • All our TASTE sisters, especially Kate Christianson, Katylee McInerney, Geraldine Broglio, and Patti Fisher's father William J. Ferguson who passed away last week.
    • Our spiritual director, Fr. Larry Swink as well as all of the priests in the Baltimore and Washington Archdioceses, especially those of whom you may have spiritually adopted.
    • Our speakers and their families — especially: 1) Susan Conroy for her health (see UPDATE from Susan) and 2) Colleen Duggan and family - baby Caleb and  3) Sister Mary Michael Fox: a special intention concerning her family.
    • Supreme Court Justices  Please let us all pray today for wisdom, strength, and courage for our Supreme Court Justices and for Life to be victorious.
    • New prayer requests can be sent to Joy Parker at


  • FR. SWINK'S WEBSITE  His new website called Quis ut Deus includes information on future retreats, talks, videos, pilgrimages, and recollections.  We have permanently included this LINK on Fr. Swink's speaker page for future reference.
  • USCCB & SUPREME COURT — For a reminder of prayer intentions for the USCCB and Supreme Court, please view this LINK and see UPDATE.
  • LOGISTICS — For a reminder of any information associated with zoom small group, parking, masks, public health, babysitting, or registration, please view this LINK.
  • DONATIONS — For a reminder of how to donate to TASTE or the Sisters of the Servants of the Lord, please view this LINK.
Joy, Michele, Carolyn, and Karen
Jesus, I trust in You!