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 | Katie Camario

Women Meet Up for Food, Faith, and Friendship

Kathy Bolich still remembers when she first attended a Magnificat meeting decades ago. 

“I was 30 years old when I joined the ministry,” she said. 

For Bolich, those quarterly meetings provided the spiritual nourishment she needed as a young, busy wife and mother. 

“It was a time that was just for me,” she said. “I had four children, and they had cheerleading football, baseball, gymnastics, all that stuff. And my husband had to take over, for four times a year, for four hours.” 

Bolich joined Magnificat through her mother, who helped found the St. Petersburg chapter. She said the fellowship and wisdom shared helped her grow closer to God.

“Of course, I brought all my friends with me because I thought this was just phenomenal. We always had multiple age groups,” she recalls. 

Kathy Bolich (right), coordinator for the St. Petersburg chapter of Magnificat, at the anniversary breakfast
Kathy Bolich (right), coordinator for the St. Petersburg chapter of Magnificat, at the 35th anniversary breakfast

Started in the 1980s, Magnificat is a Catholic ministry for women that fosters spiritual growth through prayer breakfast meetings focused on Mary's relationship with the Holy Spirit. It provides a space for women to reflect on Mary's faith and openness to the Holy Spirit through prayer, praise and sharing testimonies, offering a spiritual community beyond weekly Mass.

Since that first meeting, Bolich has risen to become the coordinator for the St. Petersburg chapter of Magnificat. Under her leadership, the ministry continues providing a spiritual home for women. But as the original members age, Bolich recognizes the need to bring in women of younger generations.

“I like to have the input and the point of view of a younger woman because sometimes an older woman doesn't see the hope of a younger woman. We see things that aren't any more,” she said. “The younger women see the future. So, it's important to have multiple generations because those points of view give you a better image of God.”

As Bolich discovered decades ago, Magnificat provides an ideal space for women to enhance their connection with Christ specially in a fast-moving world. Its open invitation to younger women now stands as a reminder of the community available to all seeking spiritual growth and encouragement.

“When you have the Catholic faith, it gives you that security to move in the world in an almost timeless way because God doesn't change,” she said. “It's like holding on to the hand of a parent when you're moving in the world.” 

Women pray at the 35th anniversary breakfast for the St. Petersburg chapter of Magnificat.
Women pray at the 35th anniversary breakfast for the St. Petersburg chapter of Magnificat.

Bolich said the success of Catholic women groups like Magnificat is essential for empowering Catholic women to shape the future.

“Women really can affect change. We affect it in our families, we affect it in our communities,” she said. “It's not women of one age or women of a certain socioeconomical or intellectual capacity. It's all women.” 

The St. Petersburg chapter of Magnificat recently celebrated 35 years of ministry, gathering for a special anniversary prayer breakfast at the St. Jude the Apostle Cathedral. 

For the anniversary meeting, Bishop Gregory Parkes spoke about discerning God's call in his own spiritual journey. 

“Blessed mother has played a role in my life,” he said. “We've looked at her, as an example of her ‘yes’, of her Fiat, to God's will, trusting in his will.”

“The Magnificat is inspired by the Visitation and is modeled after the example of the Blessed Virgin in ‘rejoicing in God Our Savior’.  We are seeking older women, like Elizabeth, and younger women, like the Virgin Mary, to join us in our multigenerational ministry to enhance women’s spiritual journeys,” said Bolich. 

All women are invited to the St. Petersburg Chapter of Magnificat at their next breakfast on April 27, 2024. 

There are two Magnificat Chapters in the Diocese of St. Petersburg:

St Petersburg: