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 | Margaret E. Hynes

Moms Gather for Coffee, Community, and Gospel Reflection

Sarah Williford has noticed that motherhood can be a solitary journey, but she’s working to change that.

“Motherhood is not a journey we’re meant to take alone. The Lord wants us to walk with other sisters in Christ,” said Sarah, a founding member of the St. Jude Mom’s Group, a ministry of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg.

She says it’s a relaxed environment that brings people together.

“The nice thing about this group is there’s no judgement. There are no expectations. You don’t have to know everything about the Bible, or about being a Catholic. We simply want women to come as they are. You will be welcomed. We are here to support each other,” added Sarah.

The members also find ways to help each other as needed.

“We’ve had a few pregnant mothers, and the group decided to do a meal train for them when they had their babies. That was really cool to see women who had known each other for about two months step up and love one another,” said Sarah.

Started in August of 2021, the ministry was inspired by the St. Lawrence Mother’s Prayer Group of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa.

Between 8 to 15 women attend weekly, with bonds growing even outside of the meetings through the group’s Facebook page, park meet ups, mom’s nights out, and other activities. Sarah hopes that the St. Jude Mom’s Group will see even more growth in the coming years.

“We gather for snacks or coffee, and then we share our highs and lows for the past week. We pray, read the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday, and reflect on the Word of God together. We have a lot of general conversations about mom life. We even went through a devotional together as a group this past Fall, called ‘I Choose the Sky’ by Emily Wilson Hussem, which was a lovely reflection on different biblical women,” said Sarah.

This past December, the group also hosted an Advent Retreat, presented by Monsignor Mike Muhr, for over 50 women of all ages and stages of motherhood and/or womanhood in the local area.

“The women were expressing a desire to have time to refresh. A full weekend retreat can be difficult for mothers with and without children, so the retreat was three hours and very doable. It was so cool to see all these women gathered together to grow in Jesus,” commented Sarah. “We’d love to have more retreats in the future!”

If you or someone you know is interested in attending the St. Jude Mom’s Group or learning more, please contact Sarah Williford at [] or visit the Cathedral website by clicking on this link.