Claire’s Front Porch

A place to rest, be nurtured and take a break from your daily cares. A gathering place for those seeking solace, laughter and social support.

Claire’s Front Porch provides programs for people affected by life’s challenges. All programs are provided at no cost to participants.

Donations of time, talents or contributions of any kind are always welcome.

The mission of the Claire’s Front Porch is to provide a place of hope, encouragement and kindness, where people can find emotional support, information and friendship.

Claire Jordan Mohan’s legacy lives on through “Claire’s Front Porch.”

Mother BlanketAfter 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. Often, you could hear her voice singing church hymns, while 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), had 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 opened Claire’s Front Porch.

Claire’s Front Porch 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.

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, someday soon, you will be rocking on the sunny and serene porch with a soothing cup of Celestial Seasonings tea – chamomile, ginger, lemon or fruity, 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 a 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. God has shown up for me many times. Be not afraid. He goes before you always. He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Stop on by! We’ll leave the Porch Light on for you!

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.

CLAIRE’S FRONT PORCH IS ON HIATUS FOR A BRIEF PERIOD. PLEASE CONTACT PATRICIA FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE UPCOMING SCHEDULE OF PROGRAMS WHEN WE RESUME IN NEAR FUTURE.

Please see below for a sampling of Tea and Talk Topics offered on Claire’s Front Porch. Patricia’s programs are free but registration is required as space is limited.

Location: Claire’s Front Porch is located at The Empowering U Center, 511 West Main Street, Trappe, PA. Trappe is a small town that is located about five minutes from Ursinus College in Collegeville. Claire’s Front Porch is enclosed, heated and lovely.

 

We use CareNotes support literature as a discussion guide, published by Abbey Press.
When Prayers Go Unanswered

Have you been praying faithfully for a person, place or situation to change? Do you feel that God has not heard your prayers, petitions or pleas? You might be angry that God does not seem to be there for you at a time of loss or suffering. Are you sad, frustrated, and upset and wonder if prayer even works? You may have blamed yourself thinking that God does not care or He does not consider your pleas worthy. Come to our Care and Share gathering to refresh your spirituality and be comforted that God is taking care of you – in ways that are not evident. Uplifting, inspirational and hopeful! Take heart, friends, Divine Providence is working – even when God feels faraway.

Letting Go of the Pain When You’ve Been Hurt

We have all had difficult times in our lives. We have been hurt or even devastated by words or actions. The pain in our hearts often consumes us with sadness, confusion, anger and hate. Do you want to begin to heal? Join us for a Care and Share gathering as we talk about ways to deal with the difficult emotions that come from the pain that is inflicted upon us in our homes, workplace and friendships.

Journeying through Loneliness

We all have times of loneliness in our lives – when we long for someone to be a companion, share good times and to make us feel “alive again.” We want to have someone who listens and cares. To hug us. To love being with us. At this point in your life, you may not have someone to be physically and emotionally present for you. And it hurts when you experience loneliness. Come to our Care and Share gathering and learn ways to work through this circumstance in your life. We will explore how to connect with others in social situations and open yourself up to new exciting possibilities.   

Family Caregiving: When It Wears You Down

Do you have someone in hospice care, or a loved one who needs chronic care at home? Is the person in a nursing home? The responsibility may be for a physical or emotional illness. You might feel worn out, unappreciated, and depressed from all of the duties that have fallen upon your now fragile shoulders. Learn how to take care of yourself – in the midst of the suffering around you. Uplifting and inspirational – you will be glad that you came! 

Coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Sadly, there are so many experiences that have traumatized our friends and families. And maybe even you. A return from a war zone, living in an abusive situation, witnessing a crime, experiencing a flood, hurricane or tornado – so many devastating life situations. Come to our Care and Share gathering and talk about your feelings with others. And begin to heal – one day at a time.

When Your Child is Being Bullied

Remember when we used to hear “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” How untrue! Ask anyone who has ever been excluded, made fun of, taunted or bullied. Come to our Care and Share gathering and learn what steps you can take to handle this seriously dangerous epidemic. We will discuss ways to empower your child and enlist the support of school staff. This is not a problem that can be handled by your child alone.

Responding Positively to a Difficult Diagnosis

Have you or a loved one received bad news? Every day, people receive a diagnosis of an incurable disease or a condition such as diabetes that necessitates a change of lifestyle. Come to our Care and Share gathering! We will discuss ideas for positive thinking and positive steps to move forward as you gather information and make critical decisions about care options. Medical conditions cause stress and turn lives upside down. Take heart, your new friends in this session understand what you are going through. Courage and grace are needed. And we will share lots of ways to maintain good spirits and continue living vibrantly despite what the doctors’ science books say.

Five Steps toward Forgiveness – Finding the Healing Strength to Forgive

It is hard to forgive. You may not want to forgive. It may seem impossible. What are the benefits of forgiving? We are NOT forgetting – or allowing bad behavior to continue. Join us for a Care and Share gathering and begin to heal a conflict with someone. Learn the words to say and how to prepare yourself for this major step forward. Like many others, you have been violated, betrayed, cheated upon. You are hurt, angry and have obsessed over the wrong done to you. Not sure if you even want to try to reconcile or forgive someone? Join us for an interesting discussion about the feelings of disappointment, sadness, hopelessness….and how the process of forgiving may help you on your journey.

Parenting a Troubled Teen

Come to our Care and Share gathering for support and ideas for how to reclaim your child from rebellious, angry, unhealthy and destructive behavior. When one person in the family is troubled, it affects everyone. It is not only the teen’s problem; it has become a family problem that robs all of you of peace. You feel stress, anxiety and may not know where to turn for help. You may be struggling with guilt feelings about your parenting efforts or your child may have said things that have torn your heart out. You are not alone. There is a Chinese proverb that says: “Nobody’s Family can hang out the sign: Nothing the matter here.” 

Climbing Up from Depression

Feeling blue? Or is it more than that? Want to learn ways to feel less anxious, be happier and begin to enjoy your life again? Join us for a Care and Share gathering as we discuss ways to lift our spirits and climb out of the doldrums. We will share ideas about how to manage worry, talk about sources of additional help and give you techniques to increase feelings of peace and calm.

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