You and Jacob are high school sweethearts. How did you two meet?
A mutual friend, who knew we both led Fellowship of Christian Athletes at our respective high schools, introduced us. She said, “You both love Jesus, you both love music and you both love sports — you’re perfect for each other.” And the rest is history. The funny thing is that after dating in high school, we spent five years apart before getting back together.
Why did you begin Mount Moriah Ministries?
We say that when we birthed our little saints to Heaven, God birthed a ministry here on Earth. It really grew organically. I have always been an open book, and have been very public about our losses, in hope that others going through the same hardship would know that they’re not alone. More and more women began reaching out to me over the years and we really saw the need for this type of ministry.
Miscarriage and infertility are such common struggles, unfortunately — what do you think the Church’s place is in reaching out to families dealing with these issues?
If we believe that life begins at conception, then we need to provide a space for families who have suffered the loss of their unborn child. We have a very active Elizabeth Ministry at our parish, and I often think of that and Mount Moriah Ministries as the bridge between marriage and baptism — we send these happy couples off on their wedding day, and oftentimes we don’t see them back again until the day they baptize their first baby. But what happens in between is oftentimes unrecognized and unsupported, whether that is infertility, miscarriage or infant loss.
You help to organize the Hope and Healing Mass at St. Charles every year for parents grieving a loss — why is it so important for the Church to have a designated liturgy for this?
As a Church, we know that there is a need for us to minister to couples during this time. Christ is our ultimate healer, and this Liturgy provides not only a time and a space for couples to remember their little one, but also to turn to the Lord to heal their broken hearts. We have couples who look forward to this liturgy every year, even after they have conceived and delivered their rainbow babies — babies born after a loss. It’s just really beautiful to be able to accompany God’s children through their most difficult hours and their most joyful ones.
You were a voice major in college and have a long history with music. What kind of music do you love to listen to in your free time?
We have music on a lot at the house — even our 2-year-old will go, “Hey Google! Hey Google! Play music!” And the genres vary greatly – from Eagles Rock to Toddler Dance Radio to Classical music to Country. I personally love Mandisa, a Christian pop artist. She’s probably my favorite artist to listen to in the morning because she’s got really positive, upbeat stuff. In the liturgy, we are very traditional in that we love the Latin High Mass. The Latin Mass is a huge reason why my husband converted to Catholicism. We’re both music majors; so it’s like opening up a music history textbook while entering into the Liturgy most of the Saints prayed with. After his first ever High Mass, my husband said, “That’s what true worship was designed to be.” It’s the most incredible experience.
You attribute St. Joseph with helping to bring about the adoption of your daughter MaryAnne — can you tell that story?
We started praying in the fall of 2017 that through the intercession of St. Joseph he would grow our family. That next month, when once again we hadn’t conceived, I was surprised to find myself at peace, instead of experiencing the devastation I had become accustomed to when starting another cycle. Strangely enough, I said to my husband, “I think someone else is carrying our next baby.” And it turns out that month, the month we started praying to St. Joseph, MaryAnne was conceived. Nine months later, she was born and in our arms.