Opportunities abound at Mary’s Homes of Hope

Moira Cullings

For about 20 years, Lynn Reid helped provide maternity homes for women in need. As fulfilling as the work was, she noticed that something was absent.

“One of the pieces that we really found missing is the place that the women ended up was government housing,” said Reid. “That pushed them back into a dependent lifestyle and, most of all, God was absent.”

Reid decided to branch out and create a new opportunity for women and families — one that would offer them a permanent home.

Mary’s Homes of Hope opened its first home in Arvada on June 1. It currently offers single women, women who are pregnant, and women with born children a Christ-centered home and opportunities for stable success in the world.

Lynn Reid started Mary’s Homes of Hope to offer women opportunities for long-term stability.

Mary’s Homes operates with spiritual assistance from the Capuchin Franciscans here in Denver. Priests from the order are able to say Mass at the house, which will soon have its open chapel with the ability to host the Blessed Sacrament.

The home is designed for women who have experienced homelessness, among other struggles.

“Right now, there are so many of our brothers and sisters on the streets that have jobs, that want to get their lives together and are trying hard, but they don’t have a permanent place to live,” said Reid.

“This has been a calling and a prayer for a long time.”

Women who stay at Mary’s Homes have the chance to participate in Bible studies, faith classes and workshops hosted by local professionals.

When a woman moves into the home, she has the opportunity to learn from workshops offered by professionals, participate in Bible studies and faith classes, and budget her income while paying a small rent based on her earnings and bills.

Compared to a maternity home or temporary housing, Mary’s Homes of Hope allows women to stay as long as they need — sometimes, Reid and her team of volunteers imagine, that will mean for life.

Currently, one woman lives in the house along with Reid, and other spots are available. To qualify, the women need to have a job and undergo a criminal and a credit background check.

Reid prays that someday Mary’s Homes of hope will open up more houses, and that they will be able to serve husbands as well.

This has been a calling and a prayer for a long time.”

And from the way everything fell into place when the first house was opening, that dream doesn’t seem far off.

“We began researching, and a Catholic family came forward, purchased the [current] home and now leases it back to us,” said Reid.

Mary’s Homes of Hope offers women a Christ-centered place to live.

Following that, the woman selling the house — who happened to be Catholic — invited Reid to a garage sale, where she planned to sell much of her furniture and house décor.

“As we looked around,” said Reid, “I finally said to her, ‘Would you do me a favor? Would you pray and see what you would want for everything?’ She said, ‘Sure.’ The next day she called, and she practically gave everything to us.

“This was God at work,” said Reid.

Reid looks forward to housing more women in need, and her hope for them is simple: “That they know how much God loves them.”

For more information, call Mary’s Homes at (303) 424-9007.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Mary’s Homes of Hope as a ministry of the Capuchin Franciscans. Mary’s Homes operates independently with assistance from the Capuchins for Mass and pastoral support. We apologize for the error.

COMING UP: Why you can (and should) enroll in the Denver Catholic Biblical School

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Why you can (and should) enroll in the Denver Catholic Biblical School

Seminary Lay Division launches new website and scholarship fund

Whether you’re at the start of your first full-time job, at the top of your career or recently retired, taking some time during the week to dive deeper into your Catholic faith just keeps getting easier in the Archdiocese of Denver.

Exciting things are happening at the Denver Catholic Biblical and Catechetical Schools. With the formal creation of the St. John Paul II Scholarship Fund and the relaunch of the upgraded website that presents the in-and-outs of the program and now offers a faculty blog, any lay person in the archdiocese can see that it is possible to obtain great Biblical and catechetical formation from quality instructors.

The first reason to do it? “We cannot love what we do not know, and we cannot give what we do not have,” as Dr. Nicholas Lebish, Director of the St. John Vianney Seminary Lay Division and teacher for the Biblical School, said. “These are two very common expressions, but they’re very true in our faith. We’re called to follow Christ, and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and our own testimonies. So, when people enroll in our programs, they are learning and loving their faith in order to share it.”

Moreover, the four-year Biblical program and the two-year Catechetical School under the Lay Division of St. John Vianney Seminary offer a wide variety of locations and times for classes, which are once a week and two hours long.

If money is a concern, there is financial aid available. Through the new St. John Paul II Scholarship Fund, the Biblical and Catechetical Schools will continue to donate around $150,000 in financial assistance to approximately half of their student population. Scholarships are awarded not only on basis of need, but also in forms of discounts to employees of the archdiocese or Catholic schools, seniors, veterans, active military and first responders.

“In continuity with the archdiocese’s evangelization efforts through the launching of the More Than You Realize initiative, we decided to formally create the scholarship fund after St. John Paul II,” Dr. Lebish said. The archdiocesan initiative, like the Biblical and Catechetical Schools, seeks to help Catholics follow their calling to become missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, impacting not only parish communities but also society.

Adding to the communal aspect of the programs, in which students have a few minutes of prayer time and discussion in small groups at the beginning of class, the new website now offers “The Scribe,” a new weekly blog written by faculty that finds its roots in an old print letter that was published by the Biblical School many years ago and carried the same name.

“Every week we’ll have a new short article from different members of our faculty. It’s a nice way for our students or non-students to get to know the faculty, as we talk about all things Catholic in the lay division, related to Biblical and catechetical topics, Church history, apologetics, etc.,” Dr. Lebish explained.

If you still have doubts about enrolling, check out the new website, which, other than explaining clearly the mission and structure of the seminary lay division, now offers video testimonials of alumni, attesting to the great fruits that come from diving deep into the Catholic faith through these programs.

“We hear all kinds of testimonies, but one very important thing we see over and over again is people falling in love with Jesus Christ and his Church — people convert, they encounter Jesus and they fall in love with him and his Church,” Dr. Lebish concluded.

To donate to the Saint John Paul II Scholarship Fund visit sjvlaydivision.org/donate.

For more information visit sjvlaydivision.org