Meet Claire

        "He often retired to deserted places and prayed."  Luke 5:16

Claire McGarry

     My husband John and and I have three wonderful children, Zack (13), Mason (11) and Jocelyn (7).  Before kids, I worked in several different fields and traveled as much as I could.

     While in college, I participated in several short-term mission trips to Haiti.  Upon graduating with several certifications in teaching, I began my professional career as a Drama teacher for grades K to 5.  

    Finally answering a long-term call, I joined Franciscan Mission Service and served in Guatemala for three years.  I chose the Franciscans because of St. Francis' charism of teaching faith by example:  "Preach the Gospel.  Use words when necessary."  While in Guatemala, I worked as a teacher and assisted with a child sponsorship program.

     Upon return from Guatemala, I worked as an administrator in a retirement home/assisted living facility, and as a job trainer with a welfare-to-work program.  At that time, I began meeting monthly with a spiritual director to help me further understand how God was working in my life.  Eleven years later, I am still talking with her monthly to see how God is ever-present in the shifts and changes of my life.
     For the past nine years, I have been a stay-at-home mom.  This will be my fifth year running "Faith and Play," a weekly mommy-and-me program at St. Matthews in Windham, NH.  "Faith and Play" offers children ages zero to four an opportunity to learn their faith through fun puppet stories and play, while giving their moms an opportunity to socialize with other moms.

     Despite all my years of service to all different age groups and ethnicities, the past nine years of "service" to my children has been the most demanding, yet the most fulfilling service of all!  Although I thought I had a strong spiritual life before kids, I am realizing that it is through my children, and through my mothering, that I am finally understanding who God is, and the role He plays in my life.

     I am very excited about MOSAIC of Faith!  Not only does it draw like-minded moms who want to explore their faith through motherhood, but it provides me with yet another avenue to deepen my own faith and connection with God as I lead the sessions, and participate in them as well.  

The Inspiration Behind 
MOSAIC of Faith

The inspiration for MOSAIC of Faith was conceived after spending a couple hours alone on the rustic grounds of a local retreat center, after a particularly trying week at home.

Sitting in the outdoor chapel by myself, amidst a canopy of trees, overlooking Lake Cochichewick, I wrote in my journal, and rested in God.

In that short time, I was able to shed some of the angst and stress that go along with raising three active young children, sustaining a marriage, and running a household.

As I came away from that golden slice of time feeling so refreshed, so rejuvenated, and so excited to return to my busy life as a mother of young children, it occurred to me that all mothers deserve a similar respite and exchange with God.  The idea of MOSAIC of Faith was born.

Cedar Hill Retreat Center, Duxbury, MA
After an extensive search for the right location to hold a weekend retreat, I found Cedar Hill Retreat Center.  Set on twelve acres of land, the center is surrounded by fields of wildflowers, stately cedars, a meditation labyrinth, and 500 feet of pristine beach front.  Its peace and tranquility provide the perfect setting for rest and relaxation.

Wanting the retreat to also provide an opportunity for moms to engage with God, I began discerning topics for group sessions.  I wanted the topics to be practical and relevant to the busy lives of mothers of young children.  Being a busy mom myself, I determined what topics would be helpful to me in my daily life.  Although the topic themes come from me, it will be the mothers themselves who determine their own personal answers through the questions for reflection, and the sharing segments that takes place at the end of each session.

It is such an honor to journey with other moms as we seek God's help to be the best mothers we can be!