Education and Spirituality Commission

St John's Mothers Ministry (SJMM)

 a faith sharing group nurturing women on the spiritual journey of motherhood
SJMM fosters the spiritual growth of mothers through faith sharing, discussion and fellowship. SJMM meets during the school year each week on Thursdays 9:15am - 11:15am and breaks up into small faith sharing groups to discuss a chapter of that semester's book. We meet in the Church Basement. Nursery is provided for children 5 years and younger.

For more information, contact Sabrina Bernauer at 256-740-1126 or

                                          Rachel Bryars at 256-325-1984 or


Latest News

ALL Mothers are invited! We meet on Thursdays from 9:30-11:15AM in the church basement. Nursery is provided for children five and under and opens at 9:15AM. For more information please contact Sabrina Bernauer and Rachel Bryars at, or feel free to call Sabrina at 256-740-1126. 

A small evening group meets on the first Thursday of the month, 6:30PM, Church Library. Please contact Jessica Havin with questions at 256-426-2133. Child Care is not available for the evening meeting.

On January 26 we will begin a study on St. Francis de Sales' "Introduction to the Devout Life". This study will run through May of 2017.   Please join us!! 


Previous Books/Semesters
Fall 2016: Raising Children to be Counter-Cultural (Building better families by Matthew Kelley)
Spring 2016: we read and discussed the book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiz.  This memoir is a rich example of how to know God more intimately through prayer.
Spring 2015: Read and discussed the book Sensible Shoes: A Story About the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown.  We followed the stories of four women who are drawn into a spiritual formation journey at a retreat center.  The book provided an opportunity to travel deeper into life with God and to develop a new understanding of key spiritual practices
Fall 2014:  Pope Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body through Christopher West’s book “Good News about Sex & Marriage.” The book offers a fresh, relevant and convincing presentation of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and marriage.
Fall 2013:  Discussed the book “Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women” by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle!”

Fall 2011: SJMM is excited to work with Father Oscar Lukefahr's We Believe: A Survey of the Catholic Faith. Fr Lukefahr has been educating people about the Catholic faith for 40 years. He's the Director Emeritus of Catholic Home Study Service, which offers free home study lessons on the Catholic faith. This book is particularly appropriate for this Fall because Fr. Lukefahr will be presenting a parish mission at St. John's October 15-23, 2011! Please come and join us on this journey to deepen our knowledge of the faith!         

As part of our Spring 2011 semester, SJMM was thrilled to have John Granger speak to us about why reading matters and how good books and impact our life with Christ. Click below to hear the audio presentation and the Q & A session.


SJMM discussed Amy Welborn's Come Meet Jesus: An invitation from Pope Benedict XVI in Spring 2011. Welborn examines many of Pope Benedict's view on the importance of knowing Jesus and discusses many of the ways that we can "meet" Jesus more closely in our lives. This book is engaging and filled with both Welborn's reflections and Pope Benedict's words as he guides us towards a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

 In Fall 2010, SJMM discussed the book Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out by Joanna Weaver. Weaver is the author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. Having a Mary Spirit "discusses guarding one's heart from distractions and cynicism; bringing thoughts under control; honing a fearless, courageous attitude; and learning to adopt a discerning, malleable and servant-minded spirit" (Publisher's Weekly, Oct 10). Weaver writes that this book is

              an invitation for every woman who feels she isn't godly enough... isn’t loving enough … 
 doing enough…  The life of a woman today isn't really all that different from that of  
              Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord's feet...but
              the daily demands of a busy world just won't leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus 
              and really want to serve him...yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.

For an online version of the Bible Study/Discussion questions in the back of Having a Mary Spiritclick here. You can also find out more about the back story of this book in Weaver's words here.

In Spring 2010, SJMM discussed the book Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony DeStefano. DeStefano is the long-time executive director (and now Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors) of Priests for Life, which is one of the largest pro-life organizations in the world.

Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Vatican City in Rome, says this about Ten Prayers: "Anthony DeStefano has once again drawn his readers into the mystery of God's love and invited us to reflect more deeply on our relationship with Him. In a simple yet profound way, Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To , offers insights, and indeed a practical wisdom, that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled with personal prayer. I recommend this book to any and all who are searching for a fresh perspective on the meaning and value of a life of prayer, and, ultimately, for a more fulsome encounter with the Living God."

Read this little introduction from the Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To website:

This is a book about prayers God always says Yes to.
Not prayers he says "Maybe" to, "Not now" to, or "No" to.
Not prayers he says Yes to sometimes, most times, or
once in a while. This book is about prayers God says
Yes to all the time. Are there such prayers?
You bet there are!

In Fall 2009, we discussed Archbishop Chaput's book Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics. We were blessed to have Fr. Mark Spruill join us for a discussion of Chapter 10: Not a Burden, but a Joy, which discussed the Church's position on fertility and families.