According to Barbara Hughes, O.C.D.S., Mary’s entire life was an outgrowth of her relationship with the Blessed Trinity.
Mary’s gentle nature exemplifies the teachings of Carmelite Doctors of the Church, such as Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and Thérèse of Lisieux.
Hughes grew up in Manitowoc and attended St. Mary Grammar School and Holy Family Convent High School.
Hughes, a wife, mother and grandmother who currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, will present a talk and book signing for her recent book, “Mary the Perfect Contemplative.” The talk begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at St. Mary of the Hill Parish at Holy Hill and is open to the public. It is part of the parish’s regular Lifelong Learning series.
Before obtaining a master’s degree in formative spirituality at Duquesne University, Barbara worked as a registered psychiatric nurse and a hospice caregiver. Now she ministers in the Church as a spiritual guide and a lecturer and retreat director on both the parish and national level.
Her column, “In Light of Faith,” has appeared regularly since 2000 in The Catholic Virginian, the newspaper of the Diocese of Richmond. From 2018-21, she contributed a monthly essay on everyday spirituality to the Liguorian, the Redemptorist national magazine on Catholic family life. She is also the author of “Ministry and the Mystical Path: Formation Guide for Lay Ministers” (2009), according to the teachings of St. John of the Cross.
The book by Hughes, a secular Discalced Carmelite, provides an understanding of the Mother of God, from her Immaculate Conception through her assumption into heaven. Blessed with supernatural graces, Mary was able to live a contemplative life of grace. Though she was conceived without sin, Mary relied solely on faith without fully understanding God’s plan.
“A true contemplative, (Mary) was a perfect recipient of all that God asked of her and all that he bestowed upon her,” Hughes said.
The book and talk are important for our time with numerous crises in the world, such as war, famine, and natural and man-made disasters, said Hughes.
“We are called to heed Mary’s call to pray the rosary daily,” she said. “The power behind praying the rosary, which St. John Paul II called a ‘Compendium of the Gospel,’ is that it changes the hearts of those who pray as well as the hearts for whom this prayer is intended.”
If you want to go
Barbara Hughes Talk
St. Mary of the Hill
1515 Carmel Road
Hubertus, WI 53033
Sunday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m.
The talk is free and open to the public
Copies of Hughes’ book will be available for purchase following her talk and she will be available for a book signing