Archive for the 'Women’s Communities' Category

Pope Francis and the Elderly

Friday, March 13th, 2015

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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Carmelites – Doubly Blessed

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

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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New Easter Album Released by the Benedictines of Mary

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

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?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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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Parish Visitors Celebrate New Milestone

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

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

Saturday, February 14th, 2015
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

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

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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Ven. Maria Teresa Casini Miracle Approved

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

teresa casiniDid you know that in a small town in Ohio, sisters are praying and offering reparation for priests? And to carry this ministry further in the Diocese of Youngstown, they also care for priests in retirement in two homes. These sisters are the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and they are in the news because Pope Francis issued a decree last week approving a miracle attributed to their foundress, Ven. Maria Teresa Casini, thus paving the way for her beatification.

Mother Maria Teresa was born in Frascati, Italy, in 1864. She entered religious life as a Poor Clare until ill health forced her to return home. Here, though, she had a vision of Jesus, His Heart pierced by a thorn, His face contorted with pain. He made it known to Teresa that these wounds were caused by unfaithful priests.

oshjEventually, Teresa and a small group of companions, formed a community whose mission was to sacrifice, pray, supplicate, work and grow weary for the sanctification of priests. She also opened a boarding school for boys to satisfy the Lord’s request to “give me holy priests.”

Mother Teresa died in 1937. The first of her boys, the Little Friends of Jesus, was ordained in 1938. During her life, she offered “the oblation of herself, in faithful response to the Love that overflows from the open Heart of the Savior, and which she imparted to so many daughters and priests.”

Pope Pius X wrote in 1904: “In order to bring about the reign of Jesus Christ, nothing is more necessary than the sanctity of the clergy.” God bless these sisters for their selfless love for these men of God, for through them, through the sacraments, we are fortified and purified for the journey.

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Four Emerging Communities

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The National Catholic Register, in a recent article (Jan 3), highlighted four new emerging communities, showing that in this Year of Consecrated Life, there is life anew in the Church in the USA. Late in 2014, I mentioned a new Franciscan community of women in Buffalo, NY, but here are four more….

sanilacSisters of Our Mother of Divine Grace

These sisters are Associate Members of the IRL who were previously part of a sedevacantist community of sisters in Spokane, WA. Two other sisters in Spokane founded the new community of the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa in California. Four more sisters came to Port Sanilac, Michigan, where they were mentored by the Sisters of Mercy of Alma and were founded as a community by Bishop Joseph Cistone in 2010.

“We are revitalizing parishes through catechesis, perpetual adoration and Marian devotion,” Sister Mary Inviolata said. “We hope to expand to teaching. Ecumenism is part of our charism. We have a vacation Bible school with the Methodists and Lutherans. We have a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.”

Sister Mary Teresita says, “God in his loving providence has wonderfully blessed us in ways beyond our imagination. We strive to promote a greater unity in the truth of Christ.”

mother olgaDaughters of Mary of Nazareth

Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart is a convert to Catholicism from Assyrian Church of the East. She was born and raised in Iraq and came into the Church in 2005. As indicated by their name, the sisters take inspiration from the humble spirit of Mary and Joseph. Their primary apostolate is outreach through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in the Boston Archdiocese. The community, founded in 2011, is attracting vocations, Mother says, because of their faithfulness “to the radical tradition of religious life according to the teaching of the Magisterium.” As someone active in campus ministry for ten years, she says, “Students want to be accepted as people. They hunger and thirst for truth.”

servitoreBrigittine Servitores

The Brigittines in Amity, Oregon, are IRL Affiliate community members and Sister Margarita Igiriczi-Negy, foundress and only member of the Brigittine Servitores in Tyler, Texas, has a close relationship with them. Brother Bernard Ner Suguitan, the prior, said, “Her prayers are priceless.”

St. Bridget of Sweden founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior (aka Brigittines) in 1346. Sr. Margarita is a convert, having been raised Presbyterian in Hungary. Prayers, such as the Brigittine Divine Office, are said in Latin. She hopes to attract other women who love the traditional Latin liturgy. “At the present, the Brigittine Servitores is the only order of the Brigittine family that follows the Latin traditional liturgy,” she said. “Furthermore, it is contemplative in nature. Contemplative prayer is a strong source of graces, both for the individual and for the whole Church.” Sister Margarita teaches Latin at a local parish.

Fraternas

Lastly, Fraternas (Marian Community of Reconciliation) is a community of consecrated laywomen who live in community but work in the world. They were founded in Peru in 1991 and in the United States, are currently in California, Colorado, Connecticut and Texas. Patricia Pollack is with Fraternas in San Antonio, where she is involved in pro-life activities and ministry to the poor. “We meet Jesus in action,” said Patricia. “We are serving teenagers, the poor and families. We work directly with the parish. I see Jesus as a brother who walks that path before me.”

For more information on all four communities, please see the National Catholic Register article!

 

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Catholic Nuns Top Billboard Charts Again!

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ephesusFor the second year in a row, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, topped Billboard’s list of best-selling traditional classical albums of 2014. Actucally, their two albums, Lent at Ephesus and Angels and Saints at Ephesus were the first- and second-best selling traditional classical albums of 2014.

Mater Eucharistiae by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, came in 11th. This album features 15 selections of Sacred Music, all dedicated to Jesus through Mary.

This certainly shows that true beauty never goes out of style. Click below to listen to a sample of the song Duo Seraphim from Angels and Saints at Ephesus.

“He who sings, prays twice” is a quote sometimes attributed to St. Augustine (whether of Hippo or Canterbury is not clear to me) but in any case, the sisters singing here are certainly raising their heavenly voices to God!

 

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