Foundation and Growth: My Queen, My Mother Book Club (Chapters 1-3)


Welcome to the My Queen, My Mother Book Club! We’re reading My Queen, My Mother by Marge Steinhage Fenelon. Scroll to the bottom of this post for information on how to order our Book Club selection.

My Queen My Mother Book Club (

How blessed we are to live in a country that is consecrated to the Immaculate Conception. All throughout our great country, there is evidence of our devotion to Our Lady and her devotion to us. In my own backyard here in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is on the very same mountain where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton worshipped. Now, author Marge Steinhage Fenelon has invited me on an “armchair pilgrimage” across America to visit other Marian shrines, to which I say, “Let’s go!”

It amazes me how much the Blessed Mother has been a part of our country’s foundation and growth.

From its very beginning, Our Lady has been showering her graces upon the United States of America. St. Augustine, the oldest city in North America, was founded on Mary’s birthday. I love that the chapel that the Spaniards first built was dedicated to Our Lady of La Leche. The Mother nurturing her Son appropriately watched over the founding of the New World. It is as if Our Lady herself nurtured our country to become the “city set on a hill” whose shining light inspired other countries to yearn for and attain their God-given freedoms (cf. Mt 5:14).

Our Lady continued to guide our fledgling country as it “grew in wisdom, and grace, and favor before God and man” (cf. Lk 2:52). She was there when our country expanded through the Louisiana Purchase with the Ursuline Sisters who lived and taught in New Orleans and had a great devotion to Our Lady of Prompt Succor. I love that during the War of 1812, at the Battle of New Orleans, what was lacking in American soldiers and munitions, the sisters made up for in prayers before the statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. When the Americans won the battle, which lasted all but twenty minutes, even the non-religious General Jackson had to give credit where credit was due, going to the convent himself to thank the sisters for the “divine interposition” they had prayed upon his troops. Our Lady has proven that she will help our country when we ask. Let us continue to pray, especially the Rosary, for our nation.

Our prayers, though, must be consistent. Like the Salish natives who had to travel 3,000 miles to ask the Jesuits to send missionaries to their tribe in present-day Montana four times, we cannot give up. Mary gives us hope.

It seems that as our country expanded, so too did devotion to our Lady. When Fr. DeSmet and two of his fellow Jesuit missionaries finally found the perfect place to start the mission in Montana, the day happened, once again, to be the birthday of Our Lady. Hence, the mission was named St. Mary’s. How almost incredible has been Mary’s presence throughout the history of our Nation!

From the beginning, Our Queen and Mother has guided and protected us. She takes just as much interest and concern in us personally as she does in us as a country. Like the story Marge tells of the young Salish boy named Paul, our Lady wants to help us clear our mind so that we can know and love Her Son better. Mary is always at our side, nurturing and encouraging us. We need only to turn to her in prayer and ask.

My Queen My Mother Book Club (

Questions for Discussion:

  • Our Lady of La Leche is depicting preforming an ordinary “job” of motherhood, nourishing her child. What ordinary task will you preform today for the glory of God? All you have to do is offer it to Jesus through Mary with all your love.
  • Our Lady of Prompt Succor is quick to help when we are in danger of being lost. On whose behalf can you intercede to Our Lady of Prompt Succor so that a beloved soul may be saved?
  • Can you take 10 minutes, maybe even 30 or 60 minutes, out of your day today to reflect on what is good, true, and beautiful in your life?

My Queen My Mother by Marge Steinhage Fenelon

Order My Queen, My Mother from Ave Maria Press and save 20% with coupon code MQMM. This offer expires 10/31/2019.

Read the rest of our Book Club posts.

Copyright 2019 Kelly Guest


About Author

God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at


  1. That National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is one of my favorite places! My first though when I finished reading My Queen, My Mother is that Marge Fenelon should visit there!

  2. It is indeed a holy mountain and one of my favorite places, too! I already invited Marge. If she takes me up on my pffer, I’ll let you lnow and we will meet you there!

  3. Kelly, thank you so much for your reflection. I love the observation that Our Lady’s first chapel in our country is dedicated to her ability to nurture in the everyday! I’m going to try to ponder that all day today. (And this is a little embarrassing, but I’ve been to Emmitsburg MD 4-5 times now and never seen the Lourdes shrine…)

  4. You will definitely have to visit next time you are in Emittsburg! If you let me know when, I will do my best to meet you there.

  5. Keeping your invitation in mind, Kelly. The idea of looking for places of grace right around you is one of the big goals of My Queen, My Mother. I wonder how many of our CM booksters can name places of grace near their homes!

  6. Jennifer Laszlo on

    I am from Canada, but still loving the history behind all these hidden gems you’ve researched in the United States. This book has me wanting to learn more about Marian Shrines that might be found in my own country. I am just growing in my Marian devotion, my 40 years as a cradle Catholic and still so much to learn!

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