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.

Become a Clutter Buster: Free Up Your Life, Find Your Stuff, Find Yourself!-Guest Blog by Claire Hoffmeyer

Meet Mary, an original Clutter Buster. Mary spent the first year of retirement working her way through stuff in her house. She felt empowered by the decisions she started to make, like whether or not to trash, give away, or sell the items taking up realty in her basement and subsequently, her spirit. Working to clear her basement little by little, Mary reflected: “...

Clutter Busters – Guest Blog by Claire Hoffmeyer

“The kitchen ‘catch-all’ drawer is missing! Claire?” Even as a pre-adolescent I liked tidiness, efficacy in my every day habits and helping others. Our kitchen catch-all drawer went missing several times a year. It didn’t travel far. Just to my room, or the dining room table, or somewhere close in the house where I could also secure a trash can to deposit all the unnecessary collections of junk like dried-up pens, crumbled papers, or receipts forgotten. In addition to our family kitchen drawer, my best friend would commission me to organize her entire bedroom closet once a year or whenever her mother commanded order to her always chaotic space. My compensation: a selection of choice from her wardrobe! Beyond helping a busy mom and earning free clothes from a best friend, what motivates this behavior? Clutter busting has and will always provide me with an immediate sense of accomplishment and offers me a touch of inner peace. As I grew up and experienced sharing living spaces with college roommates and friends, I quickly picked up on the reality that sorting through drawers, closets, cupboards, and files does not appeal or even come remotely natural to most. If you find that organizing spaces does not even occur to you as a productive, let alone satisfactory way to spend a few hours, then we’ve got a program for you! These once-a-month, ongoing, drop-in sessions with Firstfruits presenter, Mary Janowak, offer a unique set of encounters with not only your spaces, but with the people and places you call home. Mary recognizes that our spaces fill with stuff, sometimes that of which doesn’t even belong to us but to our spouses, children, friends, relatives. Sometimes our attics, basements, garages transform into storage units utilized free-of-charge. Well, no time like the present to regain your ownership! Join us and learn to sort through and organize a plan of action to take back your space and find yourself, your inner peace in the process. Join other women as you learn together how to decide your plan; commit time to take steps; encourage one another; persist with accountability; discern what matters; and motivate one another through self-knowledge, direction, and clear motivation. Mark your calendar for July’s program: Wednesday, July 18 from 9:30-11:00 AM. Become a Clutter Buster: free up your life, find your stuff, find yourself!...

Encountering Rest – Guest Blog By Claire Hoffmeyer

Rest. Currently, the clock in the upper right-hand corner of this computer screen reads ten to four--in the morning! Rest. The anticipation (of an early start and a busy day) is far greater than the reality. Rest. My repertoire of quieting my mind presently feels stale and ineffective. Rest. With my rosary on my lap I choose to focus my mind, my efforts, my RESTLESS energies on my writing. Rest. Rest. This summer I have the unique opportunity finding rest free of interruptions, distractions, and stressors. You see, this summer---the first in over ten years---I am out of a job. Later this morning (when the dawn beats out this darkness), I interview for a position in an organization in which I feel confident and certain the challenges attached offer both personal and professional growth. Now more than ever, I should be resting, gaining energy, and freshness to step into that interview room full of sprite and spunk. Even with a couple of (welcomed) yawns here and there as I write, I feel my mind awakening while simultaneously calming, dare I say, resting. Rest. Let’s look into the meaning of this word, especially since it is key to our spiritual reflection. “Rest” a verb meaning to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself or recover strength. I challenge that definition as I am finding rest while contemplating in action, while writing. In the twenty minutes since opening this document and coating it with black lettering I am experiencing relaxation. My perspective on being awake and alert during this witching hour is in refresh mode. I know that through this prayerful posture of writing I am recovering my strength. Yes, my feet are propped up and because my fingers tap at the keyboard and my mind searches for the next idea, word, and phrase my body and spirit find rest. Yes, rest can be achieved in motion. Rest. We need it, yes, but how we experience rest seems to vary. I would even venture to say that how we rest, the ways and mechanics of rest depend on our season of life and on any given day, truly. St. Augustine reminds us all of the greatest encounter with rest:  "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." Whether you rest with your eyes closed or your fingers tapping on a...

Never on a Sunday – Guest Blog by Mary Matestic

My memories of Sundays as a child are quiet ones. Stores were closed for the most part; but there were two that stayed open until noon. The corner IGA store, which sold hot ham and rolls and the pharmacy/ice cream soda shop across the street. So after Mass on Sunday our family was one of many who lined up for the ham and rolls and, if we were lucky, we got an ice cream cone across the street. If we arrived a minute past noon, the doors of both were locked. It is hard to imagine a world without malls, box stores or mega sports arenas that captivate our Sundays today. Could we say that the allure of these places has usurped the sense of Sabbath that God intended for each of us? Sabbath, historically and biblically, was a call to slow down, not to mow the lawn or wash the car. I remember I learned to sew and I loved the art. Yet, my mother told me no longer than two hours could I spend at it. Sundays offered the world a slower pace, country drives, visits to relatives or family games. And core to the day was, of course, Sunday worship. Bishop Robert Barron, in his book Catholicism, says that much of modern secularism can be interpreted in this way: that for the first time in history, a culture is developing in which indifference to God is normative. And so the empty pews on Sunday, the myriads of young adults who have abandoned the faith of their childhood, the priorities given to sports and to leagues which call families away from worship on Sunday to more exciting competitive arenas…it has become normative. God, or our relationship with the Divine, has been pushed out of the very framework of our lives. Maybe it all started when society threw out the Sabbath understanding of rest.  Malls opened up for shopping on the holiest day of the week. Sales lured the population into overspending and credit card stretching. Not to mention the sports industry that has become the American pre-occupation. I had a professor of moral theology who once said that sports had become the new American religion.   The reality is that Christ rose from the dead on the “First Day,” the Lord’s Day, and tradition has invited us to remember the God who created the universe, sent his Son to model mercy, and sent...

Sabbath Rest – Guest Blog by Mary Matestic

I was convicted! It’s a strong word, applied to criminals deemed guilty by a jury.  My crime?  I am a workaholic and lost sight of how to slow down the machine I call the self to take time to rest.   Notice I said “take” and not “find” the time for rest.  Frankly, I don’t know anyone in our culture today who willfindthe time for rest.  Time must be stolen, intentionally set aside, deliberately marked off...