October 7, 1981, New Orleans, Louisiana. Two hundred Catholic women from all walks of life crowded into a Knights of Columbus hall to encourage one another, to sing, to pray and to share a meal together. The meal was put on by a group of leaders from some 40 women’s prayer groups involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the New Orleans area. Patti Mansfield, destined to become an international leader in this movement, was the speaker that day and a mighty witness to the transformative actions of God in her life.
Looking back now, we know that the women who attended that day did not leave the same way they came. Much like the apostles at Pentecost, they were touched by the Holy Spirit and filled with a profound awareness of God’s loving presence in their lives. These women were blessed to have been participants in an exciting “New Pentecost,” and left that day with a burning desire to share their personal experience of God with even more of their sisters in Christ.
Today, this “sharing” has blossomed into a global ministry to Catholic women known as “Magnificat,” with chapters all over the world. It is in the spirit of the biblical encounter of the “Magnificat,” when Mary goes to help her cousin Elizabeth, that the the women of Magnificat reach out to each other in love, prayer and joyful service at the Magnificat meal. The highlight of every meal is typically the testimony of a woman who gives her own “Magnificat” to God by sharing how deeply God has touched her life.
Membership in Magnificat is of a spiritual nature so there are no dues. Members are simply asked to pray for Magnificat Ministries and their Magnificat sisters all over the world while striving to incorporate the Magnificat charism into their daily lives. What is the Magnificat charism? It is this: to give your life completely over to Jesus Christ. This involves making a commitment to grow in holiness through daily scripture reading, frequent participation in the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation as well as to nurture a love for Mary, our mother and the model of all Christians.
History of Magnificat, Gentle Woman, Mother of Mercy Chapter, Buffalo, NY
Otherwise, for information on how to bring this ministry to your area, please contact the Central Service Team in New Orleans:
Magnificat Central Service Team
1629 Metairie Road, Suite 3
Metairie, LA 700053926
Tel: (504) 8286279
Website: Magnificat Ministry (New Orleans)
* To learn more about Patti Mansfield’s personal journey with the Holy Spirit, there are several books available on Amazon.com: