The Greats

November 13, 2023

Dear Ladies and Friends of TASTE,

    • TASTE continues this Thursday with a talk by Sr. Inga Kvassayova. Invite a friend!
    • The video, reflection questions, and other material from last week's talk can be found HERE.
    • This week is our Brown Bag Lunch. Please bring your lunch so we can have more time to talk together.
    • Although the official deadline has passed, it’s not too late to sign up to pray for a priest.  Just reply to this message.
    • For our latest information, follow us now on FACEBOOK

  • OPENING Can we refer to Pope St. John Paul II as ‘the Great’? The term “great” relates to the “human dimension” of a pope’s impact.  Interestingly, it also seems to have a “political connotation” for the only two popes who have that title to date have been — Leo the Great (440-461) and Gregory the Great (590-604). The late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made the case for ‘the Great’ as a recognition of the late Pope John Paul II’s impact on history. He not only changed the world, but he “restored” the Church at a time when her very existence was questioned. The title “the Great” will not so much be decreed as develop organically. So now, with the support of both Pope Francis and Benedict XVI, Catholics favorably disposed to the title should freely use it.  MORE
  • LAST WEEK  Last week, we welcomed back Elizabeth Leon as she gave her second talk to TASTE entitled "Healing in the Heart of Jesus."  Last year, her talk centered around finding glory in your story.  During that talk, she shared the story of her son, John Paul Raphael who died in 2018 and how the Lord used his life and death to impart a profound message to her — “Let Yourself Be Loved.”  Since then, she has recognized that the Lord’s message was not just for HER, but it was to be shared. Thus, her journey shifted into her ministry called “The Journey of the Beloved” to inspire and equip women to let themselves be loved which always involves a healing journey.  Today, Elizabeth built upon last year’s talk by sharing with us how, regardless of our brokenness & woundedness, WE too can find healing and freedom in Christ.  MORE
  • THIS WEEK'S DISCUSSION — We will discuss Elizabeth Leon's talk entitled "Healing in the Heart of Jesus." The video, reflection questions and other related material can be found HERE. The Zoom small group meets on Tuesday mornings. Details on how to join can be found in a link at the bottom of this message.
  • DONATIONS FOR SISTERS  Please help the sisters have a lovely Thanksgiving dinner by bringing in food donations for their meals (canned goods, stuffing mixes, fresh potatoes, pie makings, etc).
  • WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN  Do you ever doubt the promises of God? Do you long for greater peace & joy? "Made for More" is a workshop for women on the journey of the Beloved.  It will be held on Nov 18th, 2023 from 9:00-12:30 at St. Theresa Church in Ashburn, VA.  The cost of $25 includes materials and a light breakfast. Visit HERE to register.  MORE
  • CLASS ON PSALMS Fr. Larry Young is offering an in-depth class: "Journey Through the Psalms."   Did you know the Psalms are the most referenced book in the New Testament being quoted over 100 times?  Starting 11/25, Fr. Larry will be posting a video on one of the Psalms each Saturday morning until he gets through all 150 of them.  Fr. Larry wanted to offer this opportunity to our women since this book has nourished the faith of so many Saints to include our own Blessed Mother. Here is a 2 minute promo. VIDEO
  • JOAN WATSON PODCAST  One of our speakers, Joan Watson, started a new podcast that is connected to Verso.  Interestingly, some of it was inspired by a TASTE talk she did several years ago about life being a pilgrimage.  So if you are planning a trip or just on the pilgrimage of daily living, listen to In Via, her new podcast that explores the daily pilgrimage of life!  Find it HERE or wherever you listen to podcasts. Connections to the other places you may listen (e.g., Apple and Spotify and Google Play) are also on that link.
  • PRAY FOR USSCB  — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2023 Fall Plenary Assembly in Baltimore, November 13-16. Throughout the meeting, the bishops will spend time in prayer and fraternal dialogue with one another. Public sessions of the assembly on November 14 and 15 will be livestreamed. MORE
  • CATHOLIC YOUTH SUMMER CAMP 2024 — CYSC 2024 is designed for youth who will be ENTERING grades 6-12 in the Fall 2024 (in other words, young people CURRENTLY in grades 5-11). Camp will be July 28 to August 2024 at Damascus' Main Campus in Centerburg, Ohio. Registration opened 11/6/23 so sign up soon if interested. See HERE for details.
  • PRAYER REQUESTS Please continue to pray for our TASTE program, our speakers, and the logistics of offering childcare this coming year. This week, please pray for: 1) Cynthia Bandong, one of our TASTE sisters, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer for the 2nd time. Please pray for God's grace and strength to sustain her during her cancer treatments, 2) Fr. Larry Swink as he has left his two parishes in southern Maryland and returned to Washington, DC for medical reasons, 3) Susan Conroy as she continues to have medical issues,  4) Kate Christianson for eradication of her cancer and overall health improvement, 5) God's complete physical and spiritual healing for Helen Griffith's brother-in-law Rod, 6) Kara Helfenbein's daughter Ellie Carter for healing from complications of a bone marrow treatment for AML, 7) Michele Cardamone's mother (Dorothy Cardamone) who is suffering from congestive heart failure, 8) Nicola's son Javon for God to break through and heal him, and 9) peace and comfort to the families of each of the people mentioned above.   New prayer requests can be sent to Joy Parker at
Joy, Michele, Karen, and Helen
Jesus, I trust in You!



CARRY-OVERS - The below information is carried over from the last email.

  • NEW THEME — In the spirit of continuing our theme on the Eucharist, our 2023/2024 theme will be "Abide in My Eucharistic Heart."  Additionally, each year we attach a scripture verse or Saint quote to our theme.  This year, our quote is  from St. Teresa of Calcutta: "When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host, you understand how much Jesus loves you now. It was selected to highlight: 1) Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist, 2) His unfathomable love for us, (His Bride, the Church), and 3) how it increases our unity with Him and the Body of Christ.
  • THEME INFLUENCES — In preparation for selecting our new theme and quote, the following inputs were amongst those that helped to guide us.  First, Fr. Mike Schmitz’ Corpus Christi homily was centered on that theme (VIDEO).  Second, an article entitled "Msgr. James Shea on Evangelizing in a Post-Christian Society, Belief in the Invisible World, and Utopias" addressed our theme and our role in evangelization (ARTICLE).  Third, Fr. Mattia from St. Mary of the Mills presented 4 talks on the Eucharist. TALK1  TALK2  TALK3 TALK4
  • FACEBOOK — We just re-launched our FACEBOOK presence and intend to keep it up-to-date with useful information about our TASTE Program as well as other interesting Catholic information and events.   Follow us on FACEBOOK.  
  • SPEAKER LINE-UP As usual, our speaker line-up looks amazing with quite a diverse set of priests, deacons, religious sisters, educators, and authors.  If you would like to read about our upcoming speakers, click HERE.  If you would like to learn about the titles of our upcoming talks, click HERE.
  • INVITE A FRIEND - It is We encourage you to invite a friend regardless of where they are on their faith journey.  If they are interested, please also encourage them to register.  Attached is a POSTCARD that you can text, email, or print as an invitation to others.
  • REGISTRATION Many of you have registered already, so thank you.  If you have not yet, please help us plan for this upcoming semester by registering using this LINK. Even if you attended last year, please register for this upcoming 2023-2024 year.  If you can't remember whether you have registered or if you need to edit any of your responses, see your email receipt with subject line: TASTE REGISTRATION -- 2023-2024.  If you have deleted or lost your email receipt, simply respond to this email and Joy can help you.
  • CHILD CARE — We are so excited to have the Sisters of the Servants of the Lord back with us providing TASTE for Tots, our Virtus certified child care program. Given that this will allow young mothers to come to TASTE who may not have been able to attend in the past couple of years, please help us share the word. This is a beautiful opportunity for moms to have a mini-retreat each week! Please also spread the word that moms may bring their non-walking infants to the Chapel with them for small group discussions and our talks. We love babies and children!
  • PARKING — For the 2023-2024 season, parking will be available at the St Mary of the Mills School/Church parking lot, Keesler Center parking lot, Phelps Center parking lot, and street parking.


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