Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

Feed Your Faith

A Taste of Firstfruits

Our Presenter’s “Must Read” Choices

For an in-depth look at some of our presenters’ session topics, check out this list of their favorite books and authors!

Mary Matestic

  • Everything is Grace: The Life and Way of Therese of Lisieux by Joseph F. Schmidt, FSC
  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser
  • Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ
  • A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus by Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin

Sister Carol Ann Smith, SHCJ

  • I Know Just What You Mean: The Power of Friendship in Women’s Lives by Ellen Goodman and Patricia O’Brien
  • When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Plain and Simple: A Woman’s Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender
  • Everyday Sacred: A Woman’s Journey Home by Sue Bender

Mary Crane

  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel A. Van der Kolk
  • Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone by Tara M. Owens
  • Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr
  • Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Joyce Budny

  • Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J. M. Nouwen
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer by Richard Rohr
  • Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See by Richard Rohr
  • Centered Living: The Way of Centering Prayer by M. Basil Pennington
  • The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rohlheiser
  • Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity by Ronald Rohlheiser
  • The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck
  • Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations that All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow by Judith Viorst
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

Mary Beth Rezek

  • The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity by William Paul Young
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue

Diane Gilles

  • Windows into the Soul: Art as Spiritual Expression by Michael Sullivan
  • Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God by Sybil MacBeth
  • Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr

Marcia Isherwood

  • May I Walk You Home?: Courage and Comfort for Caregivers of the Very Ill by Joyce Hutchinson and Joyce Rupp
  • Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water: Reflections on Stress and Human Spirituality by Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.
  • 10 Gospel Promises for Later Life by Jane Marie Thibault
  • Art of Growing Old by Carroll Saussy
  • Moments to Remember: Ignatian Wisdom for Aging by Sr. Carol Ann Smith, SHCJ and Eugene F. Merz, SJ

Linda Maris

  • The Will of God as a Way of Life: How to Make Every Decision with Peace and Confidence by Jerry Sittser
  • The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith
  • The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us by Richard Stearns

Erin Alexander

  • A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson
  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are  by Brene’  Brown
  • Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky (Translator)

Wendysue Fluegge

  • Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
  • Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
  • Recovering Redemption: How Christ Changes Everything by Matt Chandler

Art & Mary Ann Wigchers

  • Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculi Ilibagiza
  • God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dare with Michael S. Sweeney

Women attending recent Firstfruits were asked “What did you like best?”

“The strong program & music & love & cafe atmosphere was wonderful.”

“The gracious atmosphere that fed my body and soul.”

“It inspired me in many ways. I liked that it was just women and felt very at home there.”

“Everything was so well done.”

“The joy displayed.”

Reflections by Joan Carey

Have you been wanting to read the Bible but didn’t know how or where to start?
Or maybe you are reading the Bible but having a hard time making sense out of what you are reading.
Joan Carey,  executive director of Firstfruits, provided scripture reflections at Simply the Word Catholic bible study at Christ King Parish for six years. The audio tapes of those reflections are now available here on the Firstfruits website.  Use them in your personal prayer time to begin finding the treasures in God’s word.
This first series is from the Gospel of Luke with a focus on Discipleship.

Lesson One

  • Luke 5:1-11
    Call of Simon the Fisherman
  • Luke 5:27-32
    The Call of Levi
  • Luke 6:12-16
    The Mission of the Twelve

Lesson Two

  • Luke 9:1-6
    The Mission of the Twelve
  • Luke 10:1-2
    The Mission of the Seventy Two
  • Luke 12:22-34
    Dependence on God

Lesson Three

  • Luke 9:23-27
    Conditions of Discipleship
  • Luke 9:46-48
    The Greatest in the Kingdom
  • Luke 9:57-62
    The Would-Be Followers of Jesus
  • Luke 14:25-33
    Sayings on Discipleship

Lesson Four

  • Luke 8:9-10
    The Purpose of the Parable
  • Luke 10:17-20
    Return of the Seventy-two
  • Luke 10:21-22
    Praise of the Father
  • Luke 22:24-30
    The Role of the Disciple

Lesson Five

  • Luke 6:27-36
    Love of Enemies
  • Luke 6:37-42
    Judging Others
  • Luke 10:25-28
    The Greatest Commandment
  • Luke 10:29-37
    Parable of the Good Samaritan

Lesson Six

  • Luke 6:20-26
    Sermon on the Plain
  • Luke 12:16-21
    Parable of the Rich Fool
  • Luke 14:7-14
    Conduct of the Invited Guest and Host
  • Luke 18:9-14
    Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

Lesson Seven

  • Luke 6:46-49
    Two Foundations
  • Luke 8:16-18
    Parable of the Lamp
    (also see Luke 11:33-36 Simile of the Light)
  • Luke 12:13-15
    Sayings Against Greed
  • Luke 21:1-4
    The Poor Widow’s Contribution

Lesson Eight

  • Luke 12:35-48
    Vigilant and Faithful Servants
  • Luke 13:22-30
    The Narrow Door
  • Luke 16:19-31
    Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
  • Luke 18:18-30
    The Rich Official
  • Luke 21:34-36
    The Exhortation to be Vigilant