“Mothers rule the world. They guide the destinies of homes; that is why God is relying on mothers to keep Christ in the world by keeping Him in their hearts and homes.”
Under the special patronage of Mary, the “Mother of Sorrows”, Christian Mothers are encouraged joyously to undertake the important task of training and sanctifying the young souls entrusted to their care. They are instructed with ways to edify one another by word and deed, to support one another by fervent prayer and in this way become the mainstay of the spiritual life within their own family, and a fruitful source of blessing to the community in which they live.
This is the fundamental aim of all Confraternities affiliated with the Archconfraternity. Christian Mothers learn to unite their own hearts to Christ so that they can help to draw their families closer to the Lord. In that way they become the leaven which makes their own parish and community more alive with the presence of the risen Lord.
A new and revised edition of the Christian mother prayer book, "Mother Love", is the work of our friars Frs. Lester Knoll, OFM Cap., and Bonaventure Stefun, OFM Cap. It has three hundred and eight pages and is copyrighted 2007. It has proven to be most valuable to our mothers at whatever age. More than nine thousand copies have been ordered to date. It can be acquired from our central offerings - we ask for an offering of $15.00 for the Archfraternity. Every mother should have one.
"Mother Love" is also the new name of the Christian Mother quarterly bulletin. Thirty eight hundred copies are printed and sent to the father directors and officers of the confraternities as well as to isolated members. The bulletin has received widespread recognition for its content and its lay-out.
Our office has supplied thousands of the Christian mother daily prayer for the children and the Sorrowful Mother medal.
Our late brother, Fr. Jude Senieur's book, "O God, Why Did I Get Married" has proven a helpful preparation for marriage. We have it available for $10.00.
If you'd like any or all of the Resources mentioned, let us know!
Many powerful graces are available through the prayers and good works performed by members complying with the directives of the Confraternity and the guidance of its Director. We have our Savior’'s own words: “If two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatever, it shall be granted you by my Father in heaven.”
Whenever a member prays for herself and her children, all the other members and their children benefit from her efforts. All members of a Confraternity form a pool of spiritual reinforcement. In choosing Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, as their Patroness, the mothers ensure the particular protection and powerful intercession of their Heavenly Mother adding a special dimension to their own spiritual resources.
The number of Christian Mother Confraternities in North America with headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, has varied over the years. The latest count stands at two thousand with thirteen new affiliations in the past three years, as far away as Nigeria.
Most Christian mothers meet once a month under the direction of the parish priest to support one another in prayer to become the mainstay of the spiritual life in their own families and a fruitful source of blessing to the community in which they live. Our Christian grandmothers too have much to share with their experience and wisdom. In some confraternities the Saint Monica Circle has been established to encourage priestly and religious vocations. The mothers sponsor mother/daughter and father/daughter activities. The women visit the sick and help the needy. Many pastors claim that the Christian mothers are still the best helpers in the parish in matters spiritual and temporal. They recite the rosary at the funeral home for deceased Christian mothers and provide an honor guard at the funeral Mass.
In recent years some of them have become world pilgrims to the shrines in America and in Europe. Many groups still make days of recollection and retreats.
The Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers sprang up from the heartfelt needs of a group of mothers in France. It was a time about the middle of the 19th century, when the secular forces undermining family life first began to seriously challenge Catholic Christian values. A few mothers began to meet and talk about the struggles they all were facing. Together they prayed for a solution. They discussed their problems in raising their children and prayed for one another. In mutual concern and prayers they found the courage to carry out their important vocation.
The movement solidified and on May 1, 1850 the first conference of Christian Mothers was held in Lille, France. Louise Josson de Bilhem, one of the original women, became the selected leader. In the course of time the French mothers sought and received recognition from their bishop for the growing organization. The organization grew rapidly throughout France and neighboring countries and soon over a million women were enrolled as members.
When Capuchin Franciscans came to the United States to minister to German immigrants, they brought along this popular organization for mothers. On January 16, 1881 the Confraternity of Christian Mothers was canonically established at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later it was raised to the rank of an Archconfraternity with the right of affiliating other Confraternities wherever the Bishop of the Diocese approved. Since then over 2,000 Confraternities have been affiliated with the Pittsburgh Archconfraternity.
The Capuchins have staffed the central office of the organization throughout the years.
Any questions? Feel free to contact us.
You'll always find something to read
in our Mother Love Bulletin archive.
Fr. Angelus Shaughnessy, OFM Cap., is the present National Executive Director of the Archconfraternity. He is the editor of the "Mother Love Bulletin" and he visits the various confraternities in the United States. He is away for about seventy five percent of the year. He travels in a 2003 Hyundai unless the trips take more than six hours by car. Then he flies. His travels often include engagements for parish missions, days and evenings and weekends of retreat as a way to introduce the people to the purpose of the Archconfraternity: to help raise their children as good Catholics. This has always been a need in the Church but never more so than now. We have produced six DVD's and fifteen CD's to foster the spirituality of the Christian mothers, plus CD's for the Stations of the Cross and the Biblical Rosary.
The Confraternities hold Fr. Bertin Roll, OFM Cap., in the hearts and memories. He was the National Executive Director for more than sixty years. They recall his joy and enthusiasm of as he addressed the mothers' needs and duties with fervor and exactness. What a blessing he was!
Fr. Bertin made his transitus to the Lord's presence on January 5, 2015.