A mother in Wisconsin wanted to know how to pray for her family. Like many people, Robin Brenner of Sacred Heart parish in Reedsburg, Wisconsin wanted to broach the subject of faith with her husband and adult children, but she didn’t know where to start. She yearned to help her family deepen their faith.

“We all have someone in our life who we want to see have a relationship with God,” Robin shared. She felt like she had come a long way in her own faith journey since starting her family, but she didn’t know how to share her faith intentionally with those closest to her.

Robin had been actively practicing and deepening her faith since her children had been baptized over twenty years ago, but it wasn’t until receiving mission training through her parish’s partnership with the Evangelical Catholic that she understood what the life of a disciple on mission looked like. “The mission training really opened my eyes to have courage and confidence in my faith. I learned how to pray spontaneously, how to trust God, and how to be more comfortable with sharing my faith.”

The mission training ignited Robin’s desire to grow deeper as a disciple of Jesus, but she still felt her inability to do or say just the right thing with her family.

“There would be times that I desired celebrating Sunday Mass as a family, but I wound up going by myself. I would spend the whole Mass feeling sorry for myself and hardly pay attention to the Liturgy,” Robin admitted.

After speaking with a spiritual director, Robin realized she needed to start with prayer more than action. She realized that the apostolate she could pour herself into was gathering some friends who also desired a community of prayer and fellowship as moms.

“That’s one of the wonderful things about mission training,” Robin said. “These women who had also gone through the training in different seasons were advocating for this apostolate. We all desired to accompany each other in prayer, formation, and fellowship, and we were keeping each other accountable.”

Robin learned of a national organization called Millions of Monicas that takes its cue from the persistent praying of Saint Monica for the conversion of her son, Saint Augustine. Robin and her friends formed a local chapter.

The fruits of prayer have been concrete. By establishing more intentional prayer habits, Robin feels that her disposition has changed in a measurable way. Where before she was only comfortable reciting memorized prayers, now she confidently prays spontaneously in her prayer group and intercedes for specific people in her daily Rosary. Where she used to be so nervous to speak to others about her faith, she now feels that there is almost a gravitational pull for others to reach out to her with seeking questions and prayer intentions.

Best of all, the once-daunting task of bridging the gap of faith with her family doesn’t seem like such an impossible mountain to climb. “The best thing I learned about evangelization is ‘don’t overthink it!’ ” Robin laughs, “Most people are called to look at the little things they’re already doing and to do those things more prayerfully and intentionally.”

Robin has learned that the yearning she felt for her family was the Holy Spirit inviting her into her apostolate of prayer and into deeper trust in God. “It makes my heart so happy! I am able to surrender myself to God when I ask Him to be my eyes to see who or what needs prayer. The Holy Spirit is leading me not only to intercede for my family, but also for those in my community who I wasn’t aware of before.”

What passions and heartaches are in your heart? How is the Holy Spirit inviting you to face those desires and take action as a disciple of Jesus? Who are you praying for with the fervor of Saint Monica?