Now is such a time in our history that our working in unity towards our greater mission will shape our journey together. How we act, what we say, the way we treat one another, the heart with which we respond, will be recounted by generations to come.
We have been through so many challenges as an Institute over the past nearly 140 years since our courageous foundress set sail to New York for the first time in 1880. Over the years we have faced great wars, internal conflict, disease, and many other trials, and yet we have always overcome.
Sister Barbara Staley, MSC
Read the letter statement from Sister Barbara Staley, MSC General Superior.
Over the next weeks, we have been asked by the MSC Generalate in Rome to invite you to submit stories of the Missionary Sisters who have touched your life, particularly, perhaps, in time of difficulty. These stories will be posted on the website of the Generalate: www.cabriniworld.org and we will also feature your stories in The Update and on www.mothercabrini.org
We also encourage each of you to send brief messages of faith and inspiration from your own lives, both from the past and from what you are witnessing or experiencing now. Share how you are coping with our current reality. What is your routine? What gives you joy? What gives you strength? Have you developed a new spiritual practice? Do you have a favorite prayer or mantra that would be helpful for others? In this way, it is hoped that we can draw upon our Cabrinian friendships and connections to give us strength and optimism during these challenging times. Invite younger voices to share how they are dealing with this new reality as they miss their teachers, classmates, their school sports, clubs and extra-curricular activities. And with your narratives, please feel free to share photos, as well.
In submitting stories and reflections please send to both of these emails:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother Cabrini once said, “There is room here for every talent and inclination.” We know that a vibrant sense of community is at the heart of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters. At this time when we must engage in social distancing, it is hoped that by sharing our stories we will strengthen those Cabrinian ties we hold so dearly.
Stories from Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, CO
The heart of our mission is prayer and hospitality. Our daily routine of morning Mass, retreats, praying and lighting candles at the grotto, drinking water from the spring, walking the steps and interacting with our visitors came to a screeching halt with the Coronavirus restrictions. Mother Cabrini Shrine is open 365 days a year and to completely close the Shrine was surreal. Like so many around the world and in the Cabrini family, we too are searching for ways to stay connected with each other and to keep our mission alive in new and creative ways during this time.
Feeding the Hungry
Every Thursday, Shrine staff members, Tom Francis and John McEncroe, pick up food donations from Safeway, King Soopers, Red Robin and other vendors in the Denver metro area. We often have more than the Shrine can needs, so we have partnered with EChO – Evergreen Christian Outreach. EChO assists people in the community with their basic and
urgent needs. Their mission, following the gospels, is to “…feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick…and love one another as He loves us.” During this coronavirus shutdown, we are thankful that our food vendors are still donating and that we are able to deliver it to EChO. The staff at EChO sent over some photos of their food pantry and expressed their gratitude that the Shrine is still able to deliver food during a time when the need for it is greater than ever.
United in Prayer via Social Media and the Internet
We recently completed a nine-day novena to Mother Cabrini, sending it out via email and social media. The novena gave us a chance to pray together and draw inspiration from each other. So many have shared that they were able to find solace in the routine of the novena knowing so many were united in prayer during those nine days. The urging of Pope Francis to pray the rosary, the Our Father and the “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World) blessing, were all ways that united us in prayer during these challenging times.
What a gift social media can be to keep in touch, pray together and share heartwarming stories. We draw inspiration from you, Missionary Sisters and lay collaborators! We love to read your encouraging letters, stories of love and resilience and we are grateful for the life and faith of our foundress, St. Frances Cabrini.
We send our love and prayers to you from Colorado and wish you a Happy and healthy Holy Week and Easter!
More Stories from Colorado
Dear Sisters and Laity,
From the mountains of Colorado we would like to communicate to you how the Holy Spirit community is living the “Shut Down”. This time of crisis and social distancing has given our community the opportunity to grow in connectedness, spending more time together in prayer, meals and recreation. This proves that we are able to make lemonade out of lemons if we have the will and a positive outlook that is based on love and faith.
Wednesday is our community day. We enjoy each other’s company by inventing different things to do together without jeopardizing our safety or the safety of others. For example, this past Wednesday we had a beautiful day barbecuing hamburgers and having a picnic on our patio. The first picnic of the year and the following day, we woke up with two inches of snow which disappeared by the end of the day. This is the way things are in the “Mile High City”.
But what are we doing for others? In this time of anxiety and fear for many?
Sr. Alice Zanon is constantly answering request for prayers and giving advice to the Shrine pilgrims who are devotees of the Sacred Heart and Mother Cabrini. Of course, the Shrine is closed and so she answers tons of emails from home with her gentle and comforting words that calm the body and the spirit.
Sr. Martha Lopez continues her ministry by praying and meeting with people on Zoom and WhatsApp. She is a comforting voice to many desperate undocumented families who have been laid off and can’t pay their bills. Others are desperate and fearful of getting sick with no insurance to back them up. She also keeps in contact with parishioners who have contracted the Corona virus and are at home in isolation and very sick.
Sr. Tigist Loha is keeping up with her novitiate studies on the charism and spirit of the Institute in addition to having classes with Sr. Alice to improve her reading skills in English
Sr. Lucy Panettieri has a phone line with people who live alone, need someone to keep them company even if it is for 15 to 30 minutes every few days. These are the opportunities to talk to them and to make them conscious that God is listening to their prayers.
On Palm Sunday, we celebrated at home. We put a branch of pine with palms blessed last year near our door. It is a sacramental symbol of our Catholic faith.
We are united to all of you and be assured that we pray for your intentions,
Sr. Alice Zanon, MSC, Sr. Martha Lopez, MSC, Sr. Tigist Loha, Novice, Sr. Lucy Panettieri, MSC