Monday, February 08, 2010

A Call to Generosity and Sacrifice

Our late Holy Father John Paul II reminds us, in his Aposotolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem, that there is a constant link between motherhood and the Paschal mystery. We can think of Mary, as she presented her infant son in the Temple, full of the promise and joy and mystery that all babies bring. Before his birth she had carried him, the fruit of her womb, her very flesh, each day her body swelling tight around the life that grew ever-heavier within her. After Simeon's foreboding words that her own heart would be pierced by a sword, she certainly carried the weight of her Son's agony in her soul, each day bringing the inevitable Cross ever-nearer. The Cross will accompany us all as mothers--it is just a question of when, how, or to what degree.

Antonia Broadwell is one of us, a mother, who, like Mary, is bearing the Cross both in her heart and in her flesh. She is a parishioner at Our Lady of Hope, and a mother of triplets. Her husband David has appealed to us for help. Join us, the Our Lady of Hope Mom's Faith Formation group, in responding to their need, in helping carry her (and her family's) Cross, though our own generosity and sacrifices.

Update: Read Catholic Online's story "A Husband with the Heart of St. Joseph" to hear more about the Broadwell's journey.
I've already contacted David and Antonia to tell them to count on our group's efforts to raise them $2500 towards the construction of their home in Slovakia. If each mother in our group--surely there are 25 of us at least-- donates $100, we can reach this goal.

Yes, there are many other appeals for money at this time of year-- Lenten Appeals, Catholic Relief Services, Haiti disaster relief-- but may I suggest that this cause is different? David has termed their effort an "Amish Barn Raising" and I find his title very appropriate for us. There is a physical, incarnational reality to the fact that the Broadwells are part of our parish, neighbors living just down the street from us, to whom we can extend a neighborly helping hand.

Perhaps we gave all of our surplus to these other causes, and we have no "extra" funds left. May I suggest, then, giving sacrificially, particularly as Lent is coming up soon?

Some sacrifices to consider~

Could you...
  • shave $25 off your grocery bill each week for a month, perhaps by fasting from juice, alcohol, coffee, sweets, meat, cereal, or magazines?
  • go an extra month or two before getting your hair trimmed and donate the savings in the meantime?
  • buy your next pair of jeans from a thrift store and donate what you would have spent?
  • "dine in" on a night you might usually be inclined to go out, once or twice, and donate the cash to Antonia and David?
  • plan a $100 cut in your summer vacation budget?
These are real sacrifices, but certainly relatively painless in the face of the true suffering of one of our own parish and neighborhood community.

If you feel called to donate to their cause, or help in any other way, please do the following:

1. Contact me at carlagaldo at gmail dot com
with a) your name; b) your phone number; c) your donation amount (a "pledge" so I know how our group is doing in terms of the $2500 goal). Feel free to add your name in a comment here on my blog too, to let others know you are participating, although of course leave out the personal info and the donation amount, for privacy's sake.

2. Send your actual donation to David Broadwell at 5 Glengyle Lane
, Potomac Falls, VA 20165. (I won't be collecting the funds myself--I think it is just simpler and more direct this way, as they need the funds ASAP for their move at the end of March.)

Anyone else outside of the OLOH community is more than welcome to contribute to the cause too, of course!

You can follow their story and see others who are helping the family at

A few more pictures that David sent me, pre-diagnosis--