Claire’s Front Porch

To Dear Mother

A Mother’s Passing. A Daughter’s Cause

Mom me blankets

After Patricia Gallagher’s mother passed away, April, 2014,  Patricia wanted to do something to honor her mother’s goodness – as a legacy. Her mother lived her life performing acts of daily charity and living the tenets of the Corporal Works of Mercy.  “Feed the Hungry. Give Drink to the Thirsty. Take Care of the Sick. Visit the Imprisoned.” 

 
In March, Patricia found herself obsessively listening to a musical CD marked “Mom’s Favorite Songs” which was  in the “junk drawer” of her mother’s kitchen.  The song that motivated Patricia to conceive of the idea for Claire’s Front Porch was the song “Here I Am, Lord.” 
 
That was the song that her mother sang enthusiastically; sang way above the other parishioners at Sunday Mass. You could hear her voice ring out in joy, standing in her kitchen preparing her famous Campbell’s Soup Chicken and Rice Casserole,  the recipe that always got rave reviews from her family.
 
Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.
 
 
 

Her daily prayer was, “Lord, who can I help today? Who needs me? Send me where You need me.” And she listened to His answer.

 
 In her 88 years, Claire volunteered at prisons, taught a Bible Study for women in recovery, had eight biological children, (four died), cared for five foster children, adopted one, wrote 13 books for children on Christian themes, taught 5th grade, graduated from Villanova University at the age of 58, was honored as Valedictorian, tutored struggling students for free, and was married for 54 years. 
 
So in her memory, Patricia would like to open Claire’s Front Porch
 
Claire’s Front Porch is a place to rest, be nurtured and take a break from daily cares. It is a beautiful and peaceful gathering place, located in a suburb of Philadelphia. It is a large sunny porch in a big old house…… for those seeking solace, laughter and social support. A place of hope… a place for everyone. 
 
For many people, their days consist of doing for others, and carving out very little time for themselves. Sometimes, the responsibility of worrying about family problems is just too much. Perhaps, addictions, health problems, a loved one incarcerated, disabilities, or caring for a mentally or physically ill family member have zapped your spirit and drained you. 
 
Sometimes it is the little things that can brighten a person’s day – a kind word, a listening ear, a place to vent your feelings. Sometimes,  it is a place like Claire’s Front Porch that can make a difference in your day.
 
Perhaps, you will be rocking on the sunny and serene porch with a cup of chamomile, ginger, lemon or fruity tea, on the lovely porch created in Claire’s memory. 
 
If you listen closely, you might hear her comforting words in your mind.  You might even feel the tap on your shoulder from one of Heaven’s newest angels. “Honey, I know what you are going through. Put your hand in the Hand of God. It is better than a light and safer than a known way. Fear can hit you when you least expect it. He has shown up for me many times. Be not afraid. He goes before you always.” 
 
Stop on by! We’ll leave the Porch Light on for you!
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Here I Am, Lord

 I, the Lord of sea and sky,

I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them, They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
I, the Lord of wind and flame
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them,
My hand will save
Finest bread I will provide,
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them,
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
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