Why is this website named Missionbell and what is St Philomena's connection with the name?

I prayed to St Philomena for a good name for this website, and then I remembered the Californian Spanish Franciscan missions and their Missionbells which call people to prayer, so I named this website Missionbell

St Philomena decided to confirm for me that the idea came from her. Later on in the day I went up to the primary state school to teach Catholic scripture to the kindergarten class. This was late in the school year. The children had been told my name many times, yet one of the little girls asked what my name was. I asked the other children if they knew what my name was. One little girl jumped up and said that my name was Mrs Bell. (This answer does not even come close to my name). A second girl jumped up and said the following words: her name is Missionbell

I am puzzled as to how a five-year old Australian girl would have ever heard of the word Missionbell. It is obvious that St Philomena is behind this.

How I came to know St Philomena the Wonder Worker

In 1976 a Carmelite priest started up a club for singles. I was then twenty years of age. In early May of that year our club attended a dance some miles away. I met my husband Chris there. He joined our club. I liked him very much but he took no interest in me. He also thought that I was too young for him anyway. (There is an eleven year age difference). To make matters worse I was extremely shy. By September I had made no progress in getting his attention.

A novena was needed. I went down to a Catholic bookshop (in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta) during my work lunch hour. I asked the shop assistant for a novena to a good miracle working saint. She was very busy with customers who were picking out First Holy Communion gifts, so she pulled out a box full of prayer cards and leaflets and told me to go through it and select whatever I needed. I then found a leaflet on St Philomena the Wonder Worker. It had a novena, some sketchy information and a black and white picture on it.

The most important bit of information on it was that St Philomena was a wonder worker and that she worked miracles of every kind for people in every class of society.

I had never heard of her before, although I know now that my great aunty Rose’s second name was Philomena, so that implies that my Irish great grandmother (who had migrated to Australia) had known about St Philomena and my mother has since told me that the Church of St Brigid, which was built in the middle of the nineteenth century* which was near our home (on the corner of the street that we lived in) had at one stage had a statue of St Philomena in it. (This must have been when I was very little, or even before my birth because I had absolutely no recollection of it).

I made the novena to St Philomena in September 1976 for a boyfriend. I did not specify anyone in particular and Chris took me out to the pictures the following month on October 15. St. Philomena was fast!

We were married on December 3, the following year. In December 2007 we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  We have five children (three girls and two boys).

Since then St Philomena has done a great deal in my life and I have seen her work wonders for myself and for many others.
Mary Ann Matulis
*St Brigid’s Church at Prospect was demolished in 1975.

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