Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Sister with vocation as hermit will be Magnificat speaker

Published July 5, 2018

ATLANTA—The speaker at the Magnificat meal for women on Saturday, Aug. 4, has a unique vocation in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Sister Mary Beatrice Raphael is a canonical hermit, having professed perpetual vows to consecrated life for the Archdiocese of Atlanta last year.

Sister Mary Beatrice Raphael

How and why does God draw someone from a full and active life, including a medical career and family, to this vocation of solitude? What kind of life does she live, under the guidance of the church, for the church?

Growing up in Marietta, Sister Beatrice was one of four siblings in a faithful Catholic family. The eldest became a priest. Looking back, she was often drawn to solitude and silence.

As an adult, she appeared to have everything one could want: a successful dermatology career, a family, a farm with horses and other animals she loved, travel and a social life. While she considered herself a good Catholic, something was out of order. There was no depth to her spiritual life.

Things began to change when she made a Cursillo and learned about listening to God. She began attending daily Mass and as often as possible spent an hour in Eucharistic adoration. Out of this deepening relationship with the Lord, she was led toward difficult truths about herself and into a major life shift.

This is the Magnificat Sister Beatrice will proclaim: how, in a series of experiences, through prayer and learning to hear the Lord and through wise spiritual direction, this doctor realized the Lord wanted her to consecrate herself to him and also that she would need to give up everything to say “yes” in response.

All women are invited to the Magnificat meal and to hear Sister Beatrice speak.

The Magnificat will be held at Holy Cross Church, Atlanta, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Each table has a hostess and open seating, so women are welcome to come on their own or with friends.

Magnificat is a ministry to women within the church that began in the United States and has spread throughout the world, including Canada, the Caribbean and Africa. The Atlanta chapter, the Joyful Visitation chapter, is 26 years old.

The heart of the Magnificat ministry is to hear the faith story of an ordinary person and to be encouraged and surprised by the actions of God in daily lives around us.

Its purpose is to help women open more and more to the Holy Spirit through a deeper commitment of their lives to Jesus as Lord and to impart the Holy Spirit to one another by love, service and sharing the good news of salvation.

In addition to the speaker testimony, the Magnificat includes a catered hot breakfast, a time of praise and worship led by a music ministry and intercessory prayer. The sacrament of reconciliation and the opportunity for individual prayer from a prayer team are available afterward.

Reservations are $20 and are made in advance. No tickets are returned. Check-in is at the door for those with reservations only.

To make an online reservation, go to To register by mail, please send your name, address, parish, if applicable, contact information and a check payable to Magnificat Joyful Visitation to Debbie DuPont, 315 Rose Court, SW, Lilburn, GA 30047. Mailed reservations must be postmarked by July 28.

The doors open early. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 9 a.m. Holy Cross Church is located at 3773 Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta, less than a mile from the Chamblee Tucker Road exit on Interstate 285.

Priests and religious are invited to attend free of charge, but reservations are still requested to plan for the meal. Since the morning is designed to speak to the hearts of women free of distractions, it is respectfully requested that young children not attend.

For information, contact Debbie DuPont at 770-696-6216 and visit the Facebook page at Magnificat-Joyful-Visitation-Chapter. To receive an invitation to Magnificat meals by email, send a request to