Pope Francis and the Elderly

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in News, Papal Address, Women's Communities | No comments yet.

p francisOn March 5th, Pope Francis addressed the Pontifical Academy for Life and told them:

When life becomes very fragile and the end of earthly life comes close, we feel the responsibility to look after and accompany the person in the best way possible.

The biblical commandment to honor our parents reminds us in a broader sense of our duty to honor all elderly people… On the contrary, the Bible severely admonishes those who neglect or mistreat their parents.

Medicine has a special role within society as testimony to the honor due to an elderly person and to every human being. Evidence and efficiency cannot be the only criteria governing the work of doctors, and nor can the rules of healthcare systems and economic profit. A State cannot expect to profit from medicine.

The elderly need, first and foremost, the care of their families – whose affection cannot be substituted even by the most efficient structures or by the most competent and charitable healthcare workers….(Palliative care is) an important help for the elderly who, for reasons of seniority, receive less attention in terms of curative medicine and are often neglected. Abandonment is the most serious ‘malady’ to afflict the elderly, and also the greatest injustice they can suffer; those who have helped us to grow should not be abandoned when they need our help, our love, our tenderness.

Looking for a home where the elderly will be cared for and loved as family?

Check out some of our Affiliates:

  • Carmelite Sisters for the Aged & Infirm
  • Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus
  • Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne
  • Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church
  • Dominican Sisters, Immaculate Conception Province, Justice, IL
  • Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Peoria, IL

For a complete list, visit our website.

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Conventual Franciscan Appointed Bishop

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in News | No comments yet.

Fr. StoweThe Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced today the appointment of Rev. Fr. John Stowe, O.F.M. Conv., as the new bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. Most recently, the bishop-elect was provincial vicar of the “Our Lady of Consolation” Franciscan Conventual Province and rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio. As an aside, the shrine was founded in 1875 and is known for a statue of Mary, a replica of the original, that was brought from the mother shrine in Luxembourg. The Conventual Franciscans have been the guardians of the shrine for over 100 years.

Bishop-elect Stowe was born in Amherst, Ohio, in 1966, professed his solemn vows in 1992, and was ordained a priest in 1995. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in El Paso, Texas; vicar general of the Diocese of El Paso; and chancellor of the Diocese of El Paso.

The Diocese of Lexington is new, having been founded in 1988. It encompasses 50 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky with 63 parishes and 48,000 congregants.

The Conventual Friars said this upon the announcement:

It is with great joy the Conventual Franciscans received the news that Pope Francis has appointed our brother, Bishop-elect John Stowe, OFM Conv., to shepherd the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky.  He is a man of deep faith and integrity, with a sharp and inquisitive intellect, all rooted in a genuine pastoral heart.

Carmelites – Doubly Blessed

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in Cloistered life, Women's Communities | No comments yet.

Malaya Twins This vocation story is interesting because of the generosity of the family in offering two daughters to God, in this case twins, who made their solemn profession as Discalced Carmelites on February 14th, 2015.

The twins, Sr. Mary Sheila and Sr. Shirley Therese, age 25, became Carmelites in Sarawak, Malayasia. Twins are common in the family and these twins are one of four sets in the clan! Their mother Juliana, had a difficult first pregnancy with them and prayed that God would spare at least one of them. He doubly answered her prayers by preserving the life of both. When Sr. Shirley was diagnosed with leukemia at age 10, Juliana prayed again for the life of her daughter, promising if she were healed that she would offer this child to God. She was double blessed again, because both children accepted the call from God to enter religious life.

Rather than viewing this as a double loss, their father, Stephen said, “It’s not a sacrifice by the family. It’s a gain for the whole Roman Catholic community and we are all right with that.” The twins’ mother was instrumental in bringing a Sunday school to the parish and said that the twins at an early age showed a devotion to God, preferring saints’ stories to other books.  A friend said, “Juliana is a very hard-working Catholic and we can all see she has brought up her seven children very well. The twins are the eldest, followed by five other children who are all very obedient and God-fearing. She has set a very high standard for other Catholic women to follow.”

Their monastery in Mir, Sarawak, was founded in 1985 and houses ten nuns. The twins are the first members of the indigenous tribe of the Kenyahs to become Discalced Carmelites.

The brochure from the monastery states: “The Carmelite Monastery is an open witness to the reality of the presence and the existence of God, which in today’s broken world, is often denied. It is a reminder to the world of the validity of Gospel values.”

“In the hidden garden, the needs, joys, wounds and sorrows of the world are carried before the throne of God hourly every day, especially in the Sacred Liturgy.”

To read more, visit the Borneo Post (now that’s a great newspaper name!)

 

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EasterCover_0On March 3, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles released a new album called Easter at Ephesus. And though Easter is fast approaching, do not despair, for the Easter season lasts well beyond Easter so there is plenty of time to order. Mother Cecilia, prioress says, “Hopefully our recording will help bring many to a fuller awareness of the Easter season in its entirety.”

The album includes 27 songs, some in English and some in Latin. Some are familiar and some are original recordings composed by the sisters. Familiar songs include Regina Caeli and Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today while an original composition honors Mary as Queen of Priests. The booklet inlcuded in the CD has the lyrics, translated for the Latin hymns.

“The hymns and chants of Paschaltide convey not only the joy of the Risen Christ, but also deep and humbling gratitude for the great work of our redemption. He rose, and He is alive!” says Mother. “We do not tire of singing His praise as He lives among us, in His Risen and glorified Body in the tabernacle … We pray that the recording reflects the sentiments of gratitude, joy and zeal in our hearts that come with this glorious season!”

The sisters have a deep devotion to Mary, stemming from her role in salvation history. This is evident in the songs chosen for this album. “As Our Lord is the hero in the story of our redemption, it is His Mother that takes up the role of heroine. It was her immovable faith at the foot of the Cross that carried the Church from the Old Covenant to the New. Despite the blood, the jeers, the agony, the utter hopelessness of the situation, she never doubted the truth of her Son’s divinity as He hung on the Cross.”

To read the complete Catholic News Agency story, click here. To order a CD, click right here!

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Benedictine Nuns and Ranchers?

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in News, Women's Communities | No comments yet.

walburga 2Featured in NBCNEWS.com is a short featurette on the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburga in Colorado. Between praying the full Divine Office every day, they also find time to raise highly sought-after cattle. The story behind these cattle ranching nuns is told in this short video.

Their pioneering Sisters started the cattle farm, which supplies the sisters with sustenance and also is sold locally. Llamas are used as watch”dogs” because apparently they really intimidate mountain lions! Their menagerie also includes chickens, pigs, dogs, and numerous barn cats. The nuns do most of the farm work, with occasional help from neighbors and friends.

walburgaIn 1986, the abbey was granted its independence from the motherhouse in Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany. As an autonomous house, they are a member community of the Federation of Bavarian Monasteries of Nuns. They profess three vows: obedience, stability, and fidelity to the monastic way of life.

Guests are welcome to stay and make a retreat. They also have a gift shop and a popular Way of the Cross.

Visit their website for more information!

 

 

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Brother Paul O’Donnell, fbp – RIP

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in Men's communities, News | No comments yet.

fbpBr. Paul Joseph O’Donnell

December 15th 1959 – February 20th 2015

Beloved long time superior of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Br. Paul Joseph O’Donnell, fbp, age 55, of St. Paul, formerly of Omaha, died February 20, 2015.

Br. Paul was a dedicated, nationally recognized leader within the right-to-life movement, advocating for the human rights and dignity of the unborn, handicapped, elderly, and a heart for serving the spiritually and bodily poor. He was a co-founder and president of Pro-Life Action Ministries, founding board member of Human Life Alliance and chairman of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. Deeply loved and survived by his religious community: Brothers, Joseph Katzmarek, Pio King, John Mary Kaspari, Conrad Richardson, James Voeller, Seraphim Wirth, Maximilian Connelly, Juniper Barlett, Benedict Gerard Kelley, Dominic Michael Hart, and Postulants Nicholas Listi and Ricardo Pagba, all of St. Paul.

Brother Paul and his fellow Franciscans were and are a familiar presence at our annual National Meetings, uplifting all by their gentle good humor and  kindliness. Brother Paul’s whole life was an offering of self for those on the fringes of society and suffering from profound neglect or in peril of death . He will be greatly missed. May his Franciscan brothers be inspired by his example to carry on this work of the Lord with the same courage and dedication.

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pccJust in time for Lent, Ignatius Press has released a book of profound and timeless Lenten mediations from Mother Mary Francis, PCC, the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Roswell, New Mexico.

Mother Mary Francis (1921–2006) was abbess for over 40 years and is most famous for her classic book on Poor Clare life, A Right to be Merry. This new work, entitled A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season, presents beautiful meditations on the liturgical season of Lent, revealing the treasures of the liturgy to Christians in all walks of life. Her insight into Holy Scripture and her poetic way of writing make her reflections on the daily Mass readings fresh and attractive.

As the Ignatius Press press release says:

Mother Mary Francis excels in the art of persuasion, aware that the human heart cannot be forced but only gently led to holiness. She makes this goal attractive and desirable by tirelessly explaining why striving for holiness is the happiest and wisest way to live. This book provides a wealth of material for plundering the riches of the Lenten season and for deepening one’s spiritual life. Her meditations are profound and timeless, not changing from year to year, thus providing a lifetime of Lenten meditations in this one volume.

To order, visit the Ignatius Press website (www.ignatius.com) or call: 1-800-651-1531.

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The process towards the future canonization of Mother Mary Teresa Tallon, foundress of the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, took another big step last month when the diocesan phase was closed on January 13, 2015. The closing took place in the chancery of the Archdiocese of New York, and the following day Mother Mary Teresa’s writings and related papers were taken to Rome. The official Roman phase began January 22.

Rebecca

Rebecca

The Parish Visitors had another reason to celebrate as their new postulant, Rebecca Lasota, from Arizona, began her postulancy on January 25. Rebecca had a desire from a young age to become a sister and only knew a little about the Parish Visitors when she ran into Sr. Mary Beata in the parking lot of a Home Depot. Talk about going to the by-ways and highways to find your vocation!

The Parish Visitors main mission is to seek out and reconcile to the Church fallen-away Catholics through door-to-door evangelization.

“She loves our charism,” said Sr. Mary Beata. “We go out as the Good Shepherd. We carry Jesus, the Good News, to our people.”

Mother Mary Teresa told the sisters to “make the truth lovable.” May her increased visibility draw many to Jesus Christ, perhaps as a Parish Visitor of Mary Immaculate.

 

 

 

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Mercedarians Welcome New Postulant

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in Women's Communities | No comments yet.
odemparentsOn February 2, 2015, the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament officially welcomed Yvelyne Bernard as the newest member of their community. Originally from in New York, Yvelyne moved to Florida when she was teenager. After college, she moved to Louisiana and worked in campus ministry. On a Come & See weekend, she met the Mercedarian sisters in Baton Rouge and the rest is history.

The sisters say that right from the get-go, Yvelyne fit in like she had been there for years. So many times, religious have said upon visiting their future community for the first time—I knew I was home the minute I entered the building.

During the ceremony, held on the Feast of the Presentation (February 2), Yvelyne’s parents were able to be in attendance. The sisters said, “Normally, the ceremony is closed, but her parents had never visited odembefore, so this was a perfect opportunity for them to have peace of mind and heart, to know that she is safe and happy. It was a beautiful day. We are grateful to God for blessing us with vocations to our community. We humbly pray that vocations continue to come. We have a couple of women who are visiting and others who are interested or planning on visiting. Keep these women in your prayers. May they be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in their lives.”

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Daisy’s Thank You

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in News, Women's Communities | No comments yet.

In this Year of Consecrated Life, I think it is time to post this thank you letter that we received from a young girl several years ago. I saved it because I loved it. I think you will feel the same…

Daisy - Dear Sisters

 

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