“This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

The original four women met in a college Catholic campus ministry and wanted to live together in a life of prayer and service. We had a love for Our Lady of Guadalupe and Mexican food, and a desire to pray for priests, serve the Church and the poor, especially in pro-life ministries. We moved into a two-bedroom apartment, named it Casa Guadalupe, prayed morning and evening prayer together, served with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and began to meet more and more women longing for the same life of discernment.

Under the direction of Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR, we began to gather on a monthly basis to discuss discernment of religious vocation, and Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation, Vita Consecrata. Several of the women in our house were specifically discerning the lay consecrated life, and asked Father Agustino to help them to live out the evangelical counsels more concretely. They also mentioned needing to move into a bigger place…since women would come to visit the apartment and end up staying for days, saying they had received healing and asking to move into “our community.”

Casa Guadalupe hadn’t intended to be a “community,” but it seemed the Lord had other plans.

Fr. Agustino spoke with Bishop Arthur Serratelli, who graciously welcomed Casa Guadalupe into the Diocese of Paterson and provided a home for us. We moved in April 2nd, the anniversary of the passing of Blessed John Paul II, a special patron of ours.

We have built a chapel as we strive to live a scheduled life of prayer in the midst of work and school. (Most of the women in the house work in parish ministry; several are students.)

We now host monthly “Vita Consecrata” meetings at Casa with a Holy Hour offered by Fr. Agustino. We continue to enjoy working with the friars, serving the poor, receiving women for a short visit to receive healing, and serving on foreign mission trips.

We are amazed and humbled to see the Good things the Lord has planned for those who love Him, and await the good things to come, for His Will is love and mercy itself.