A special welcome to Tara Rohatgi! The Live the Fast community is blessed to have her. As part-time Operations Manager, Tara’s experience, skills and cheerful disposition will help us serve the community and grow the apostolate. She is also a wife and mother of three beautiful children. Be sure to read her full bio below! Welcome Tara!
Tara Rohatgi graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology in 1996. She began her career in the International Students and Scholars Office at Boston University as an international student advisor. In 1998 she married her best friend and college sweetheart and went on to serve as Associate Director of the International Office at Brandies University. In 2001 she was thrilled to embrace her calling to full-time motherhood! She and her husband are blessed with three beautiful children who fill their lives with love and laughter. (See Tara’s family above at the top of Mt. Monadnock, NH)
Tara’s love for Jesus and Mary began at a young age. After receiving her first communion she was filled with joy and exclaimed, “I want to receive communion every day!” As a child she also felt a strong sense of Our Lady’s love and protection. Although she sometimes struggled with her faith as a young adult, God’s love, ever present in the Eucharist, never ceased calling her home. Christ’s mercy and love are overwhelming!
Tara and her family drew closer to the Lord amidst a long struggle with her daughter’s chronic illnesses and experienced peace, joy, strength and hope. By God’s grace and Our Lady’s intersession they have witnessed many miracles and answers to prayer and have found nothing is impossible for God! One of the most joyful days of Tara’s life was the Easter Vigil in 2007 when her husband was baptized into the Catholic Church! Seeking to know and love God more led her to begin a women’s bible study group and to complete the Catechetical Certificate at St. John’s Seminary.
Tara’s discovery of Live the Fast was another answer to prayer! She and her husband sensed God calling them to deepen their prayer life and asked Him to show them how. The next evening she happened upon Andy LaValle speaking at their parish about Mary’s call to prayer and fasting! She rushed home with a sample bag of fasting breads, excited to begin! She feels so blessed to be joining the Live the Fast team.
Live the Fast Invited to International Conference
Founder Andy LaValle to be a keynote speaker
“As a pledge of an abundance of Divine Blessings upon You and Yours, I paternally impart to all participants of the International Week of Prayer and Fasting my most Heartfelt Apostolic Blessing!” –Blessed John Paul II, October 1, 2001
Waltham, MA (August 28, 2013) – Live the Fast, Inc., which provides nutritious breads and educational materials to encourage prayer and fasting, has announced that founder Andrew LaVallee will be presenting at the 21st International Week of Prayer and Fasting (IWOPF) kickoff vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC on September 21, 2013. The vigil begins at 9am will feature three keynote speakers and more than 1,500 attendees. LaVallee will speak about fasting, its benefits, how to fast correctly and why the US Bishops are calling us to fast. Other keynote speakers include Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), a 17-term member of the House of Representatives, and Robin Teresa Beck, author of “I Just Came for Ashes.”
“But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it (demon) out?’ He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.’” –Mark 9:27-9:29
“Jesus Himself says that prayer and fasting is the only means to drive out certain demons,” said LaVallee. “Do we have demons in our society today? The attack on life? The attack on marriage? There are many issues in our society that need a solution. We must practice the Biblical solution given to us: prayer and fasting.”
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has recently heralded a call to fasting, citing today’s fast paced culture and media as a distraction from faith.
The IWOPF recalls President Lincoln’s appointing of the National Day of Fasting and Prayer on April 30, 1863. “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hands which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us…” (News from Washington, NY Times) Lincoln requested all people to humble themselves before the Lord, to confess national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Fasting breads provided by Live the Fast are made with unbleached and untreated flour, with no additives and preservatives and with a variety of flavorful, nourishing ingredients that will help one maintain and finish a bread and water fast. Fasting kits also include prayer and fasting guides to aid a healthy fast.
LaVallee has been in the bakery business since 1969 and started LaVallee’s Bakery Distributors in 1977. The company is known by their customers and colleagues for their excellent product mix, legendary customer service and business model based
on servant leadership.
About the International Week of Prayer and Fasting
The International Prayer and Fasting Campaign is a grassroots movement of Catholics and other Christians from around the world participating in a global network of prayer and fasting for the goals of the week: conversion of nations, build a “Culture of Life,” and establish peace throughout the world.
Established in 1992, the IWOPF has received two Papal blessings from Blessed John Paul II, and has had numerous keynote speakers such as Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel, author and speaker Ted Flynn and many more.
To carry out our mission, IWOPF sponsors this conference every fall at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. They also encourage individuals, families and parishes to offer support through daily masses, holy hours, rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and fasting.
Opportunities in Boston area for community prayer and fasting for peace in Syria
Amid escalating rhetoric between the Obama Administration and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis has proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer on Saturday, September 7 for peace in Syria and the world. The invitation is extended to people of all faiths.
“To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on September 7 the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.” –Pope Francis
In preparation, Waltham company Live the Fast will distribute free fasting breads and fasting prayer cards to all those who desire to unite their fasting and prayers with the Body of Christ for these intentions of utmost gravity.
Beginning at 6pm will be an informational talk on fasting to answer questions such as how to fast and best practices. Breads will be distributed in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in Waltham located at 133 School Street from 6:15 to 8pm. There will be Eucharistic Adoration from 1 to 6pm at St. Mary’s on Friday.
Saturday evening, St. Mary’s in Waltham will host concluding hours of prayer and fasting from 7pm to midnight. There will be Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Rosary, and a talk from a representative from the Syrian Church in Boston at St. Mary’s in Waltham.
Vigil for Peace
Saturday afternoon, there will be a Vigil for Peace with Cardinal Sean O’Malley beginning at 1 pm and will conclude with a Mass at 5 pm in St. John’s Seminary Chapel located at 127 Lake Street Brighton, MA 02135.
On August 14, Founder Andy LaVallee and Director Darcie Guilbert were interviewed on Ave Maria radio with Teresa Tomeo. To listen click here (starting at 39 minutes).
Teresa Tomeo’s fasting testimony
On Friday, July 19, Andy was interviewed by Drew Mariani about fasting and the need for it in our country today. To help promote the practice of prayer and fasting, Live the Fast sends all priests anywhere in the country free Fasting Kits. Click here to listen!
Starting on July 13, more than 50 Live the Fast Community family and friends began their Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. We are blessed to have Fr. Dermot S. Roache, SMA from Dedham, MA guiding the community through the consecration! (His first reflection can be read below.)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Peace and blessings to you!
I am humbled and overjoyed to be joining the Live the Fast team. In many ways, I feel as though Our Lady recruited me and has been preparing me for this for a long time, so I offer her my most sincere gratitude.
A very special thank you to Justin for his dedication, service and prayerful work to Live the Fast. He has been a tremendous help in our transition and I have learned so much from him! We will keep him in our prayers as he moves forward.
I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself, but this is really about Our Lady, so I’ll keep it short.
My love story began at the age of four when I drank water from the fountain of Lourdes in France. There’s a picture that captures this moment. My face is buried in my hands as I drink the water and my whole being proclaims, “I am thirsting for Jesus.”
This thirsting continued throughout my life and grew exponentially when I heard of Medjugorje in 2009. I had to go. In June 2010, I made my first pilgrimage (which also happened to be the same time Andy was on his first pilgrimage, although we didn’t know each other then). I was 21 at the time, about to enter into my last semester of grad school and thinking about my future work. I had gone to college for graphic design, video production and marketing. I remember praying to Our Lady, “Mother, I would love to work for you!” but not really believing that she could actually make it happen…little did I know.
Upon graduating, I spent five months discerning religious life with the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth. What a beautiful time to be still, to listen, to really listen, to pray, to surrender, to receive, and to let God work multiple miracles. It’s amazing what God can do when we surrender to His Will. God being in our heart’s deepest desires and having always had the desire to have a family, I knew my vocation was marriage.
I am blessed to be joining all of you in fasting and prayer with Live the Fast. I pray to serve you in all your fasting needs, to provide inspiration and resources, and together, to create a kingdom of love all through the hands of the Blessed Mother.
You are in my daily prayers and I look forward to what Our Lady has in store.
In Jesus and Mary,
Live the Fast Director
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
We want to thank all those who attended the conference and tasted the breads at our “Live The Fast” Table. Check out the speech given on Sunday by Andy LaVallee. We are grateful for your participation in answering Our Lady’s Call to fast and pray.
On February 23, Live the Fast held its second retreat on prayer and fasting- this time geared for the Lenten season. It was held at our spiritual home base of St. Mary’s Parish in Waltham and featured speakers: Msgr. Charles Murphy, Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, Father Michael Sevigny of the Apostles of Peace and Live the Fast founder Andy LaVallee. Msgr. Murphy knew Blessed John Paul II and worked with Pope Emeritus Benedict. He wrote an excellent book called “The Spirituality of Fasting,” inspired by a conversation with JP II and we were excited to hear his insight. The day also included Mass, confessions and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Overall it was a great day!