Friday, February 22, 2013

Vivian's Story: Why I Fast for Marriage (Pray-Cana Post)

I’m excited to introduce you to Vivian, who has pledged to join the USCCB Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, along with more than 500 other people (you can join here). Vivian is a painter of sacred icons, whose work can be viewed at  Some of her most recent works include a series of the Stations of the Cross.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Vivian Imbruglia, and I’m 54 years old.  I came from a very devout Catholic home where I was one of eight children. My husband and I have three children.  Our son, Nathaniel, is married and has given us three grandchildren whom we absolutely LOVE!

Eight years ago I fell in love with iconography (the creation of sacred images).  It consumed me.  After having worked in the outside world for over 30 years, I told my husband I just want to write (paint) icons every day. When I read this quote from Blessed John Paul II, I knew what I had to do: 

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.” -- Blessed John Paul II


My goal is simply to serve HIM, and touch as many lives as possible with my work.  

2. Why have you responded to the bishops’ Call to Prayer? Why do you believe in the cause of life, marriage, and religious liberty? What do you believe that fasting and prayer can accomplish both in your spiritual life and in the world?

I try to GROW in my faith and therefore try to be open to new ways to do that.  I recognize a value in fasting overall, and I am VERY concerned about the causes pointed out by the bishops.  Life, marriage, and religious liberty are all causes that tie together, and are so important that the very survival of our country is at stake. Fasting for me is a way to develop discipline, but also a means of channeling focus toward God.  I believe God does hear and answer our prayers, like it says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”

3. Was it difficult to fast on Ash Wednesday and then again on Friday?

I actually looked forward to beginning my fast on Ash Wednesday, and had a beautiful day planned out. I drove out with three lovely ladies from our parish to spend the day with the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart in Alhambra, California.  A unique bond between the four of us became even stronger that day, as we attended a one-day Lenten retreat led by Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR.  We said the rosary, Stations of the Cross, Adoration, confession, and ended with Mass. I hardly realized I was fasting, probably because I was so full of the Holy Spirit.


The day after Ash Wednesday was Valentine’s Day. My husband surprised me with an overnight trip, and the next morning we walked to a quaint little restaurant and had a wonderful breakfast. It wasn't until that afternoon that I realized it was Friday!!!  I was supposed to be fasting!!  I felt horrible but then realized our God is a forgiving God, and He knows my intentions.  I decided to fast on Saturday instead.

 4.  What is the top reason you think that other people should answer the bishops’ call?

I turned on the news this morning to hear a twenty year old shot his girlfriend, then hijacked two cars and killed two more people. The news is filled with these types of stories almost every day. Our country and our world is filled with hurting and desperate people. God is disappearing from too many lives. We need prayer.

For more posts in the fasting series, click here: Fasting and Marriage, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

Artwork by Vivian Imbruglia


  1. WHat an awesome idea...especially during this holy season!

    1. Thanks, Patty! I've been fasting every Friday since the campaign started in December 2012 and my Lenten sacrifices (no desserts or junk food)are SO much easier! Fasting really helps in resisting temptation.