In 2015, I became a contributor to Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship and in 2016 became a part of their executive team before stepping down that same year. Below is an article on Parish Based Women’s Ministries I wrote for a series “Getting to Know Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship.” It was originally published May 5, 2016.
Anyone receiving these emails in their inbox already knows that Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship is an online Bible Study.
But did you know that Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship is also a parish based ministry?
So, what does that mean, you ask?
Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship got its start in San Bernardino, California. When tragedy struck a local family in November 2008, Michelle Workman, our founder, went to work bringing together the women of the parish to support this local family. The women really came together, and Michelle’s friend whispered,
“we need women’s fellowship at our parish.”
Months later, at a women’s retreat, Michelle heard the whisper again. So, Michelle set to work.
September 5, 2009 was the first gathering of Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship. It was held in their parish library, which seats 70. One hundred women came.
The meetings start with (an optional) Mass at 7:30 am. Immediately following, the ladies pray the Rosary and then move into the parish hall, where they drink coffee and chat until 9:00 am, when Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship Meeting officially begins. They start with a song and then move onto announcements, and later breakfast and either more chat and fellowship, or a speaker.
“Many of the women are ministers in the parish already.” Michelle notes. “So Heart of Mary is a place for them to go and not serve. It’s a place for them to…be served.”
This means that often times the announcements are about other things going on in the parish. The women’s fellowship group is there to support other women, parish ministries, and services that reach beyond the parish.
To date, it’s a huge success. So successful, the group is helping other parishes to set up the same thing at their own parish. To date, a nearby parish in San Bernardino has a thriving group, and a parish in Michigan is on their way.
Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship encourages other groups to meet on the first Saturday of the month, making it easier to fulfill any devotional requirements to Our Lady of Fatima.
The San Bernadino group supplies prayer booklets and rosaries to help other parishes get their own Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship groups started.
Of course, if a parish group is interested in bringing the online Bible Studies to their parish, we can help with that, too.
Women helping women – women supporting other women – in the Heart of Mary. That’s what we’re here for.
If you would like to bring Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship to your own parish – in either capacity – let us help!