JANUARY 15, 2024

Dear Ladies and Friends of TASTE,

    • TASTE resumes this week with a talk by Deborah Brocato, President of Health Not Harm MD Ballot Issue Committee. Invite a friend!
    • Please RSVP for Childcare for Thursday's talk by Wednesday, 1/17 at 8:00 am HERE. Check back after noon to confirm that the Sisters will be present.  See details below.
    • For those considering bringing food donations for the Sisters, we will post a status update by noon on Wednesday on our main web PAGE regarding whether the Sisters will be coming to provide childcare.
    • The video, reflection questions, and other material from last year's final talk can be found HERE.
  • OPENING PARAGRAPH — Are you still trying to think of a good New Year's resolution?  EWTN Radio announced this week that Father Mike Schmitz’s “Bible in a Year” and “Catechism in a Year” podcasts will begin airing nationwide on Monday, Jan. 15.  Nationally, they will air back-to-back in a one-hour time slot beginning at 10 p.m.  Why not consider taking them up on this exciting new opportunity?
  • SNOW POLICY — On Sunday, we had a touch of snow and it reminds us to be sure that everyone be aware of our Inclement Weather Policy.  While our policy can be found HERE, please know that when there is bad weather, we send out an email and also post on our main web page whether TASTE will be cancelled, have a delayed start, or not be affected.  
  • LAST SESSION  Before our Christmas break, we welcomed back Fr. Chris Seith as he gave a talk entitled "Rekindling Wonder." By sharing wisdom from St. John of the Cross, Fr. Seith invited us to enter into darkness and silence which is very difficult when everything in this world is shouting “attend to me, focus on me.” In contrast, St. John of the Cross said that we need to quiet all that noise so we can focus on what is important. In this talk, Fr. Seith demonstrated how we have lost our capability to feel with our heart and how we compensate for it by “manufacturing” experiences of wonder. But Fr. Seith did not leave us there alone and stranded with dull senses. Rather, he showed us how we can authentically rekindle this wonder by transforming our hearts, distancing from our devices, and drawing closer to God.  MORE
  • THIS WEEK'S DISCUSSION — We will discuss Fr. Chris Seith's talk entitled "Rekindling Wonder." The video, reflection questions and other related material can be found HERE. The Zoom meeting will resume on Tuesday, January 23. Details on how to join the Zoom meeting can be found in a link at the bottom of this message.
  • CHILD CARE — Please RSVP using this SIGN-UP by 8am each Wednesday morning if you plan to bring your children to our TASTE for Tots Program. Please provide your phone number and email address to be alerted of any changes. The Sisters of the Servants of the Lord love taking care of the children, but need a consistent headcount to be able to drive to Laurel from Upper Marlboro. All non-walking babies stay with Mom or Grandma in the Chapel for the TASTE talk. Please consider bringing donations of food for the Sisters. If you have any questions, please respond to this email.
  • MARIAN PILGRIMAGE — One of our speakers (Joan Watson) is hosting a Marian Pilgrimage between 20-30 June 2024.  Given her passion for our Church, this pilgrimage will no doubt be a wonderful experience.  MORE
  • 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) Nicola's son Javon for God to break through and heal him, 8) Donna DeLorenzo and her husband Vito as she has a serious illness, 9) Mary Giermek for healing from a recent fall, and 10) 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.

  • UNIVERSALIS APP Are you looking for an awesome Catholic App that includes: 1) Mass readings and associated commentaries, 2) Information about each day's Saint or Feast Day, 3) Liturgy of the Hours, 4) Prayers for throughout the day, 5) A Scriptural Rosary, and more. All of this is currently available for one-time fee of only $11.99 and no monthly subscriptions.  Not only does the Universalis App provide all of that, but it also includes a couple of books that John-Mark mentioned in his recent talk  "A Retreat for Lay People" and "The Catholic Church and Conversion" — both for free!
  • 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 VIDEO promotion and LINK to his talks.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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