On December 12, 2011, Sr. John-Mark Maria made her first profession of holy vows with the Poor Clare Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, in Tonopah, AZ. She is the first Poor Clare Sister of Perpetual Adoration in Arizona to advance this far in her discernment of religious life.
Sister’s joy on this day was evident, particularly when the “always smiling” Sr. John-Mark Maria received the Eucharist.
Prior to 2005, the Diocese of Phoenix had never had a Contemplative Order of Nuns. Their Chapel was dedicated by Bishop Thomas Olmsted on May 7, 2011. They continue to raise funds for the construction of their actual cloistered monastery. Temporarily, they live in modular homes near the Chapel.
May the Sisters presence and prayers bless the people of the Diocese of Phoenix.
February, 2, 2012, the Feast of the Presentation, was extra special for Sr. Mary Amata, O.P., who professed solemn vows as Nun of the Order of Preachers with the Dominican Nuns of Summit, New Jersey. Placing her hands into those of Sr. Denise Marie her prioress, Sr. Mary Amata made profession of obedience until death.
It had been 62 years since a bishop presided at a profession at the monastery. Bishop Manuel Cruz was the main celebrant and assisted with the veiling but as one of the nuns said, “We have an idea that Bishop Cruz had no idea how many straight pins it takes to keep a nun together!”
During the veiling the beautifully haunting Amo Christum was sung. (You can hear it on the video.) The Dominicans of Summit are an IRL Affiliate Community. Their mission is to pray for the salvation of souls and to support the preaching mission of the Dominican friars.
May God bless Sister Mary Amata with many years of faithful service to her community and to her Jesus.
O Holy Virgin, in the midst of your days of glory, do not forget the sorrows of this earth.
Cast a merciful glance upon those who are suffering, struggling against difficulties, with their lips constantly pressed against life’s bitter cup.
Have pity on those who love each other and are separated.
Have pity on our rebellious hearts.
Have pity on our weak faith.
Have pity on those we love.
Have pity on those who weep, on those who pray, on those who fear.
Grant hope and peace to all. AMEN
On February 7th, the Conventual Franciscan novices of Mishawaka, IN, visited the Poor Clares of Kokomo for the feast of the sister’s patron St. Colette. The friars spent time with the sisters in prayer and visited at the parlor grill. The Sisters explained their life of enclosure to the friars. It was a wonderful afternoon of sharing Franciscan joy together.
The Conventual Franciscan Friars of the St. Bonaventure Province are an IRL Affiliate Community who have as their spirituality St. Francis’ simplicity, love for the Eucharist, and devotion to the Virgin Mary. They strive to further St. Maximilian Kolbe’s mission of evangelization by promoting Marian Consecration and expanding Catholic media to build up the “Culture of Life.”
The Poor Clare Colettines Nuns of Kokomo, Indiana, also an IRL Affiliate, have Saint Clare as their Mother and Foundress and Saint Colette as their second “Mother.” Saint Colette preserved for them the primitive rule of Saint Clare. The Poor Clares are called to praise and worship God, especially in His Eucharistic presence.
Last week, on the World Day of Consecrated Life, Cardinal Carlo Caffara of Bologna said that the consecrated life is a sacrificial offering because “dying and leaving behind the structures of this creation, you enter into the incorruptible life of the risen Lord.”
“Your chastity exalts the spousal meaning of your body; your poverty is for the possession of the good that is only satiated by the person of Christ and communion with Him; your obedience introduces you in an experience of freedom that the world does not know and cannot know,” he explained.
According to the prelate, “perhaps we are moving toward a time in which the Church here in the West will be stripped of many things.”
“But she will not be able to do it without holy priests, capable of sanctifying and of offering sacrifices in keeping with justice.”
“Therefore, remain firmly attached to Christ, and nothing will trouble you,” concluded Cardinal Caffarra.
Please visit Zenit to read the entire article.
Mother Mary Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., Apostolic Visitator for Institutes of Women Religious in the United States, recently presented an overall summary of her findings to Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R., Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL).
It is interesting to read the testimonials on the official “Visitation” website. Here are a few samples:
It was very obvious that Mother Clare’s concerns were for the good and holiness of religious life in the United States and for the Church. Mother Clare asked questions but allowed me the opportunity to pursue responses of my interest.
My experience of sharing with Mother Clare had the qualities of the Gospel account of Mary and Elizabeth’s visitation. We were mutually respectful of and receptive to one another and I believe the Spirit hovered over our exchange. I continue to seek clarity on the underlying motivation for the Apostolic Visitation. I thank Mother Clare for her warm hospitality and gracious receptivity.
The scapular of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy has been in demand by many of the faithful over the centuries. In recent months, its demand in the U.S. has increased.
The Order of Mercy (Mercedarians) is looking for a cloistered religious community who would like to make the scapular for distribution. The Mercedarian community in the U.S. is growing in size, and due to the importance of this part of their apostolate, they are expanding their website to include a page that will make the sacramental available.
The Mercedarians were founded by St. Peter Nolasco in 1218 to redeem Christian captives from their Muslim captors. In addition to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, their members take a special fourth vow to give up their own selves for others whose faith is in danger. The Order exists today in 17 countries, including Spain, Italy, Brazil, India, and the United States. In the U.S., its student house is in Philadelphia, and it also has houses in New York, Florida, and Ohio.
The Order is seeking a scapular maker in the United States, and is willing to pay a fair price for bulk orders. This would be a great cottage industry for a religious community.
For more information, contact Fr. Joseph Eddy, O. de M., at 267-670-0503 (cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 2, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Feast of the Presentation “is a significant icon of the giving of one’s life by those who are called to present again in the Church and in the world, through the evangelical counsels, the characteristics of Jesus, virgin, poor and obedient, the Consecrated of the Father.”
“In the meeting of the elderly Simeon and Mary, a young mother, the Old and New Testaments come together in a wonderful way through the thanksgiving for the gift of Light which shone in the darkness and prevented it from prevailing: Christ the Lord, the light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people of Israel” (cf. Lk 2:32).
Through the Virgin Mary, may “all who have received the gift of following Him in the consecrated life be enabled to bear witness to that gift by their transfigured lives, as they joyfully make their way with all their brothers and sisters towards our heavenly homeland and the light which will never grow dim” (John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, n. 112).
Today, the United States celebrates the World Day of Consecrated Life.
In an article in the The Boston Pilot, a Sister reflected on what it means to be consecrated to Christ:
Consecrated Life is a witness to generous Gospel dedication.
The Consecrated Life is a witness to the promise of eternal life…that God indeed will have the last word in our lives.
The Consecrated Life strives to mirror the compassionate heart of Christ.
The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience proclaim to the world that there is something more to life than materialism and success. Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
THROUGH OUR PRAYERS, MAY WE BE BLESSED WITH THESE FRUITFUL VOCATIONS!
On this Feast of St. Blaise, remember to get your throats blessed!
While traveling through Yugoslavia in 1989, I was surprised, while in Dubrovnik, Croatia, to see statues of St. Blaise in every nook and cranny. He is revered in that beautiful city because, according to tradition, he appeared in a dream to some townspeople to warn them of an impending Moslem attack. St. Blaise was an Armenian Bishop who was martyred c. 316. According to tradition, he cured a boy who had a fishbone stuck in his throat, hence the blessing of the throats today.
The picture to the left depicts St. Blaise holding an image of the city of Dubrovnik.
May God, through the intercession of St. Blaise, preserve us from throat troubles and every other evil.