The faith of a group of young people had an impact on the life of the Very Rev. Dan Mahoney some 40 or so years ago.
“I thought that I had it all together as a priest,” he said. “But I had a very rude awakening when some young people introduced me to a new life of faith that I really didn’t think was possible. I saw it in them and I knew that it was something that I had to have.”
Father Mahoney, a retired priest in the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, will give that testimony about his faith journey at the Greensburg Magnificat Breakfast July 31 in St. Paul Church in Hempfield Township.
Magnificat is an international ministry for Catholic women. Father Mahoney has been the spiritual advisor since the diocesan chapter was founded in 2003. He has had many parish assignments around the diocese, and retired last year after serving for 13 years as pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Latrobe.
“Father Dan has been such a blessing to us,” said Karen Douglas of Greensburg, one of the organizers of the breakfast. “We have wanted to have him give his testimony for a long time, but he had a lot on his plate as a pastor. So it didn’t work out until now.”
The quarterly breakfasts are ways for Magnificat members to connect and also to reach out to a broader community of Catholic women. The chapter also meets for prayer and praise from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month at St. Paul Parish.
Members additionally unite in praying the rosary on their own for special intentions on the 19th of each month.
“Magnificat gives women a good opportunity to grow in their faith and to grow in their relationship with Jesus and in their relationships with one another,” Father Mahoney said. “It gives them a chance to build Catholic friendships and to support each other. And at the breakfasts, they hear the testimonies of women who have been through some really dark days and who have come out and survived and flourished. That’s one of the blessings of Magnificat.”
Guests speakers have included prominent authors and evangelists and also local women who have faith testimonies to share.
“Women speak to women about things that women understand,” Father Mahoney said. “It’s very different that I’m coming in to speak. As the spiritual advisor, I have been there for most of the breakfasts, but this is an exception.”
Douglas noted that the Magnificat members have been feeling disconnected since the pandemic shutdown.
“We did have our monthly prayer meetings using Zoom, but it just wasn’t the same as meeting in person,” she said. “We just started having those meetings in person again at St. Paul’s. We wanted to have a full breakfast in July, but in the time we needed to start planning this, that wasn’t an option. No one could plan ahead not knowing what restrictions would be in place when we wanted to schedule a breakfast.”
So this gathering will be different. The traditional past events began with breakfast followed by praise and music, then the featured speaker.
The new and temporary format will begin in the church with the Catholic tradition of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, participation in praise and worship, then the testimony from the speaker. It ends with a gathering outside for light refreshments and fellowship.
Registration is $12 and should be received by July 26. Send checks to Brenda Concannon, 162 Bus Garage Road, Greensburg, 15601. Priests and religious are welcome to attend at no charge by calling Concannon at 724-836-2094.
For reservation forms and more information: magnificatgreensburg.com.