Patron Saint of Infertility

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

nonnatusOne of the most difficult things that some married couples have to face is the cross of infertility. Those not able to conceive and or carry a child to term suffer anguish and disappointment. Today, many couples make use of NFP medical advances, surgery or adoption to start a family. Or, unfortunately, some turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Here is another option—prayer to St. Raymond Nonnatus.

“St. Raymond is the most popular Saint of our Order,” says Fr. Joseph Eddy, O. de M., vocations director of the Order of Mercy (Mercedarians) in Philadelphia. “St. Raymond’s mother died while in labor with him, and he survived only when his uncle made an incision in his mother’s body and pulled him out. Because of his extraordinary birth, he is considered the special patron of childbirth, midwives, and pregnant women.”

The name of St. Raymond Nonnatus, a 13th century Spanish Mercedarian friar, originates from the Latin “nonnatus,” which means “not born.” The prayers to this revered saint have led to countless happy conceptions.  For over seven hundred years women have turned to him for help in conceiving and childbirth. Here in the United States, the friars of the Order of Mercy have promoted devotion to St. Raymond since they came to the country in the 1920’s.

Since the 1950’s the popularity of the St. Raymond’s Guild has grown in America. The Order has shipped thousands of St. Raymond Nonnatus Kits throughout the United States. These kits consist of the Magnificat book (prayer book for expectant mothers and Christian families), St. Raymond holy card, blessed candle, and blessed St. Raymond water. The blessed candle, water, and prayer book are to be used by those desiring to have a child as well as expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy.

Through the intercession of the saints, we can make a special appeal to God to bring more children into the world, who can then glorify Him forever.

St. Raymond Kits are available for an offering, at MercySacramentals.org.  For information on Mercedarian sacramentals, call 585-768-7426.

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Revised screenThe Institute on Religious Life today launched a completely redesigned www.ReligiousLife.com. The new site is more dynamic and user friendly, houses a great resource of information, and provides expanded audio and video features.

“All of the changes are intended to convey a better sense of our mission and who we are as an organization,” said Michael D. Wick, executive director of the IRL. “We are so happy to launch our new website during the IRL’s 40th anniversary and as the Church prepares to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life which Pope Francis declared to begin this October.”

The new site was made possible by a grant from Our Sunday Visitor Institute. It was designed by Solutio Software of Cheney, Kansas.

“The site will be a great help to young Catholics who wish to know more or are considering the priestly or religious life, something very much needed in our times. And it will connect them to faithful institutes of consecrated life. The VocationSearch database is terrific for learning about the IRL’s 160-plus affiliate communities,” said M. Kathleen O’Brien, IRL director of operations. “We believe it is the premier Catholic vocations information portal—a ‘one-stop shopping’ experience for those who are sincerely discerning their vocation or seeking resources to promote and pray for vocations. From its 8-day ‘virtual’ discernment retreats, to the new Religious Life e-magazine, to vocation prayer leaflets for distribution among family, friends or parishioners, the new site offers all kinds of resources for building up the consecrated life.”

The site has in-depth reflections on the consecrated life, print and audio, including meditations by the IRL’s founder, Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., and talks given by IRL national director Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem. The home page photo rotation features IRL affiliates, as well as real-time entries from the IRL’s “Vocation Blog” and a listing of scheduled events.

Young people who are serious about discernment can sign up for the free “Speak Lord” audio download of the month club or find out about upcoming “Come & See” vocation retreats. “Young people need catechesis and direction to be able to discern the Lord’s calling for their lives and the IRL wishes to provide helpful resources that will allow them to discern God’s will,” notes Father Nelson.

The Institute on Religious Life was founded in 1974 by Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Early supporters included Bl. Mother of Calcutta and Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. Its mission is to promote and support the consecrated life as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world.

 

m delores osbDolores Hart was a rising starlet in the 1960s, with a Broadway play and ten highly successful movies to her credit. Then, she made a shocking decision: Hart left the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and entered the contemplative Benedictine monastery of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT.

Now, 50 years later, Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., will be speak on her vocational journey and the spiritual wisdom she gained by becoming a consecrated spouse of Christ on April 25-27, 2014, during the Institute on Religious Life’s National Meeting, at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. Registration is required to attend the three-day event.

Mother Dolores will give three talks at the IRL’s National Meeting. On Friday, April 25, she will address only religious, priests and consecrated persons at 11:00 a.m. On Saturday, April 26 at 1:30 p.m. she will be speaking exclusively to young people, ages 15-25, candidly sharing the story of her vocation. In the evening, Mother will give an after dinner address to those attending the IRL banquet which will honor Msgr. James C. Turro, recipient of the 2014 Pro Fidelitate et Virtute award.

Saint Luke Productions’ latest live drama, Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy, will be performed as part of the weekend’s events. The meeting will feature many other fine speakers including Very Rev. David Wilton, C.P.M, Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, Sheila Liaugminas and Mother M. Julie Saegaert, S.C.M.C.

All are invited to be part of this special weekend, co-sponsored by Ignatius Press, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Institute on Religious Life. You can read Mother’s story in a book published by Ignatius Press: Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows.

For more information or to register, visit ReligiousLife.com or call the IRL office at 847-573-8975.

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“Homily Gems” from Monsignor Turro

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

turroIn 2014, the Institute on Religious Life will confer its’ Pro Fidelitate et Virtute Award on Monsignor James Turro, professor extraordinaire and well-known to Magnificat readers for his former column “Your Word is a Lamp.” The IRL bestows this award on those individuals who display great fidelity to the Faith and deep love for religious life.

Father has been a long-time supporter of the IRL as a retreat master to our communities and priests and as a teacher at our Vita Consecrata Institute. Past award recipients have included Blessed Mother Teresa; Mother Angelica, PCPA; Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Monsignor joins very illustrious company!

Msgr. Turro is known for the brevity, conciseness and depth of his homilies. The website: http://urolm.org/turro/about.htm contains a collection of some of his perceptive reflections on the Faith.

Here are some samples:

“The very hairs on your heads are all counted!” (Luke 12:7) An unusual way of saying a most soothing truth….For even you do not have so passionate an interest in yourself as to have taken a count of the hairs on your head.

A man sits in an airline terminal for hours feasting his eyes on those with destinations. What a satisfaction to have a destination in life! What a horror to drift aimlessly through life! Have you ever stopped to think that Christ has delivered us from such a pitiable condition as that – the condition of not being able to move effectively toward a clear-cut goal? Christ said: “I am the way” and “I am the light.”

“I have this complaint to make; you have less love now than you used to” (Rev 2:4). That first fervor is pitiably fragile we probably realize from our own experience but we may not have realized that we bear a responsibility for keeping it alive, as these words disconcertingly imply.

A forgotten truth: Mary is an opportunity for encountering Christ.

Our trials can be our greatest assets. Our privileges can turn out to be our worst enemies.

Do something beautiful for God: let someone feel the rich warmth of your love. You will be revealing something of God thereby.

Come see Monsignor in person! Join us at the 2014 National Meeting! For more information, visit our website or call (847)573-8975.

 

 

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Prayer of Entrustment to St. Joseph

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in Liturgical Year | No comments yet.

st joseph

Prayer of Entrustment to St Joseph
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Dearest St. Joseph,

I consecrate myself to your service. I give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector, and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart, a fervent love of the interior life, and the spirit of prayer.

After your example may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And you, blessed St. Joseph, pray for me, that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death.

Amen.

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Sr. Agnes Marie (far right)

Sr. Agnes Marie (far right)

They may be little known in the United States, but there is a wonderful community of Poor Clare nuns in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. As the sisters closed the Octave of Christmas and began the New Year of 2014, they celebrated the first profession of Sr. Agnes Marie, OSC. As you can see by the picture, she looks to be about the happiest Poor Clare in the world!

Sr. Agnes Marie professed the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and enclosure. For the next three years, she will journey with “light step, swift pace and unswerving feet on the path of prudent happiness” (St. Agnes of Bohemia who founded the first Poor Clare community north of the Alps). “A continual, silent self-emptying for the sake of bringing souls closer to God: these were the desires of my heart,” Sr. Agnes Marie said. “Though it is a life of sacrifice, the joys and graces I receive from the Lord far outweigh the costs.”

The abbess, Sr. Marie-Celine, was once a Grey Nun and by joining the Poor Clares in far western Canada, left behind all that was familiar to her including her French Canadian heritage. The sisters have bears on their property and wear “bear-bells” to scare them off. One day, Sr. Christine and Sr. Marie Therese were checking on some newly planted trees when one of them heard a rustling sound, looked over a steep bank and saw a bear. Sister cried, “A bear! Run!” They took off and the bear did too — in the opposite direction!

The sisters are very happy that Pope Francis is showing the same love for the Poor Clares as did his predecessors. Last August, Pope Francis visited the Poor Clares in Albano Italy, alone and without anyone present. In October, he visited the Poor Clares in Assisi and let the Cardinals come in with him saying, “I did not have the courage to send them away.”

The Poor Clare Order was established in British Columbia in 1911. These Poor Clares settled in Mission in 1962.The high point of their day is the Holy Eucharist, and they give the Lord praise seven times a day through the Liturgy of the Hours, including the midnight Office of Readings.

The Poor Clare is one who weaves the flowers of each day into a crown for her King…one petal at a time. She is poor, chaste, and obedient. She is one who is alone on the mountain with Christ, enclosed in His Heart and lifting the entire world in prayer to her heavenly Father.

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sample efOn March 1, 2014, Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Brigittine Monastery of “Our Lady of Consolation” in Amity, Oregon. Archbishop Sample is an IRL Advisory Board member and the Brigittines are an IRL Affiliate community.

The Mass was the culmination of a three-day conference on Gregorian Chant and the role of sacred music in the liturgy sponsored by the Brigittine monks and Schola Cantus Angelorum. The conference drew priests, deacons, musicians, and others interested in learning about rich tradition of the Sung Gregorian Mass.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

Click here to listen to the Archbishop’s homily. Some high points for me were his comments on why the the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is important. First, it extends pastoral care to those Catholics who remain attached to this beautiful liturgy. Second, we must remain in close communion to our past. We need a “reform of the reform,” that is reconnected to the Church’s rich tradition. Third, Gregorian chant is not meant to be listened to in the car; it’s proper place is in the Sacred Liturgy, it should be given a pride of place in the Sacred Liturgy.

Especially touching, was Archbishop Sample’s own testimony:

“When Summorum Pontificum came out, and the Holy Father said this is one of the forms of the Latin Rite, the Extraordinary Form, I said ‘I’m a bishop of the Church, I must know this rite!’  And I encourage my priests and my seminarians to learn and to know this rite.  Even if you never have a chance to celebrate it, knowing it, experiencing it – I guarantee you – it will affect the way you celebrate the Ordinary Form. It will do so.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcoming Mass 2012

Welcoming Mass 2012

The Discalced Carmelites of the Oakland diocese have a new home! After coming to the diocese in 2012, the Carmelites of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph have been living in temporary quarters at St. Monica’s Parish in Canyon, CA. Now, thanks to a generous benefactor, the twelve Carmelites will have a permanent home (see complete story).

This is not just any home! It is a Spanish-style, 60-room mansion that was built in 1925. From the west side of the home, there are panoramic views of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. In the late 1940′s, it became the home of the Carmelite community of Berkeley who sadly had to disband because of low numbers. Of the four remaining nuns, two went into a nursing facility and two others moved in with another Carmelite community. The house was for sale and was sought after for a variety of uses. Happily, it will remain a place of prayer.

As I have mentioned before, this monastery is a foundation from the Carmel in Valpraiso, Nebraska. The Nebraska Carmel was founded in 2001 and this will be their 2nd foundation, the other being Elysburg, Pennsylvania (2009). The Tridentine masses are typically celebrated at the Carmel and the Liturgy of the Hours is also in Latin. I also read that they use the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre or “Carmelite” Rite, the first Discalced Carmel to do so since 1588.

St. Teresa of Avila, foundress of the Discalced Carmelites, pray for them.

 

 

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Benedictines Brew

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

osb beerIt seems that the Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, aren’t the only ones to rediscover the ancient Benedictine practice of brewing beer. The Benedictines at Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon will be introducing their own beer this summer with the slogan- Taste and Believe.”

Located in western Oregon in the beautiful Willamette Valley, Mount Angel Abbey was founded in 1882 from the 12th C. Swiss Abbey of Engelberg. The community keeps alive the ancient tradition of the choral office, the love of learning and Christian hospitality. Following the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia, the monks follow the traditional monastic observances, including those of enclosure, silence and the monastic habit. There are 53 priests and brothers living at the monastery.

taste beleiveThe idea to brew beer came about because the recession caused a drop in revenue from their sustainable tree farm. With available farmland where hops are grown and pristine abbey well water, the beer enterprise seems to be a natural way to provide the community with a new revenue source.

Benedictines have always welcomed strangers and the beer, which will only be sold at the abbey, will be an opportunity to introduce beer afficionados to abbey life. Most no doubt will be seeing their first ever Benedictine in the flesh!

Fr. Martin Grassel, OSB,  said, “Our society is badly in need of Christ. This started as a revenue project, but it has become equally important as an evangelization project.”

 

 

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Love of Jesus Crucified

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By Anne Tschanz | Filed in Liturgical Year | No comments yet.

lamb bloodFr. John Hardon, SJ, says that the spirit of Lent is the spirit of Jesus Crucified. Therefore, whatever spiritual practices enable us to better understand Christ’s Passion and Death, and deepen our responsive love for His great love should be encouraged.

Father offers the following suggestions:

  1. Meditate on the Gospel Passion narratives
  2. Read Goodier’s Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Edward Leen’s Why the Cross?, Fulton Sheen’s Seven Words on the Cross
  3. Recite Soul of Christ Sanctify Me
  4. Make the daily Way of the Cross and encourage others to do the same
  5. Having a crucifix within sight as a reminder of the Passion
  6. Say a few times a day: “Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, have mercy on us”
  7. Occasionally recite the Litany of the Precious Blood
  8. Spend extra time before the Blessed Sacrament

O most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ,
Cleanse the sins of the world.

 

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