Monday, February 8
End injustice with prayer and action
A Catholic sister and former slave, Saint Josephine Bakhita is for many a companion in the fight against human trafficking. Her feast day coincides with the U.S. Bishops’ Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Human Trafficking. In 2013 when this day was inaugurated, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo called upon the church to “lift our voices loudly in prayer, hope, and love for trafficking victims and survivors” and emphasized awareness and action on their behalf.
What a wonderful Latina Night we had last evening hosted by the Hispanic Committee of the NRVC Delaware Valley Member Area! On behalf of the Missionary Sisters, we so enjoyed welcoming everyone to the Cottage.
We made new friends, we shared life, we prayed for the Year of Mercy, we considered the gifts with which God has gifted us, we sang songs in Spanish and English, and we enjoyed a festive meal together!!
Thanks so much to everyone who helped in bringing this evening together. It was wonderful to have Sr. Barbara Brigham, MMS, Sr. Cathy Nally, IHM, Sr. Paula, IHM with us. Special thanks to Sr. Terry Saetta, RSM for planning our prayer program; to Sr. Anita Quigley, SHCJ for bringing dessert goodies; to Sr. Lisa Valentini for bringing her guitar and leading us in song, and to all of you who were able to attend the evening and to all who were supporting us in prayer.
“We are here to create something NEW”
…These are the words of MSC General Superior Sr. Barbara Staley, spoken as she offered her opening remarks at the 2015 Provincial Assembly currently in session in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Missionary Sisters and lay leaders from the Stella Maris Province were united in an Assembly for the first time with the Missionary Sisters from Mexico and Central America. In the near future, the MSCs from Mexico and Central America will join the MSCs of the Stella Maris Province in forming a new entity.
Sr. Barbara reflected, “we are living the dreams and visions of our sisters of the past. We are building the future, which we look to with hope. Sisters and brothers, we are living in the rivers of grace and mercy; a grace that comes to us through charism.”
Fittingly, as the Stella Maris Province unites with the region of Central America, the theme of the Provincial Assembly is “interculture-ality”. To explore the implications of this new entity – this new union – Dr. Arturo Chavez, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, Texas, led the Assembly in interactive exercises designed to consider the many dimensions of culture.
Taken from the work of Edward T. Hall and Eric H.F. Law, “culture is the particular way in which a human group interprets life and relates with nature, God, the world and other peoples. Culture is lived and expressed through traditions, relationships, food, music, religion, beliefs, thought patterns, myths and how we act. It is not only how we are, it is who we are. It is our history, our ethnicity, how we think about our families, who we include in our families, how we speak and when we speak, how we think about God and how we relate to God. It is how we relate to each other and how we relate to the stranger.”
Dr. Chavez asked the Assembly to consider the “Iceberg Analogy of Culture” created by Hall and Law. In doing so, sisters and laity contemplated the internal and external aspects of culture. The Assembly was invited to share in conversation about individual family heritage and traditions – how these serve to form an individual and his or her perceptions of others and of the world.
The first step in building an intercultural community, posited Dr. Chavez, is to get to know our own hearts. Being aware of our own heart, we come to a better understanding of our own power and how cultures have formed us.
One session of the Assembly focused on the way in which Cabrinian ministries are addressing the pressing issues of immigration, migration, refugees, asylum seekers and human trafficking. It is through these responses that we see how the Cabrinian charism is living and active in the world today.
Woven into the Assembly program were times for prayer and reflection each highlighting a different country present at the Assembly. Liturgies at the Assembly were offered in Spanish and English in honor of the new reality. In a further spirit of celebration, during Monday’s liturgy, Vicky Lucio renewed her commitment as a Cabrini Lay Missionary (CLM).
Nothing transcends culture like music and dancing. Therefore, no Assembly is complete without its own fiesta! With smiles and laughter, Missionary Sisters and laity shared the floor dancing to the beat of Latin, Swazi and American songs…united as one. For more photos visit: www.mothercabrini.org
The MSC Formation Community in West Park, NY was privileged to receive a recent visit from the Bruderhoff Community which is located in nearby Esopus. Our brothers in faith came with their wives and together we had a beautiful faith sharing.
The MSCs had already been invited a few months ago to visit the Bruderhoff Community where the members shared their apostolates and activities. There are over a hundred members—men, women and children—who live and work in community there. They have a private school for the education of their children in the faith on the property, as well as several manufacturing efforts to sustain their programs.
The two couples who came to visit us were very interested in everything we could tell them and share: our life, our spirit, our apostolates. They feel that both MSCs and themselves share many beliefs and attitudes, as well as many desires to promote our Christian path in today’s world. How important it is for religious groups to work together for the kingdom and spread the good news of the Gospel!
Both leaders were very interested in our missionary work around the world and shared our enthusiasm for promoting a deeper faith and ongoing commitment to Christianity. Here in West Park, we are blessed to have such interfaith possibilities. Let us together hope and pray that other interfaith groups will grow and flourish so that together we can contribute to a genuine renewal of Christianity.
Fr. Dan Nolan celebrated a farewell mass for Sr. Joan Marie Sariti, MSC. Over sixty invited guests attended. A lovely reception followed the mass that was hosted by her community.
Sr. Joan Marie has lived in Chicagoland for sixty-four years. She did her nurses training at Columbus School of Nursing and later she obtained her masters at De Paul University. She worked in pediatrics and in nursing administration.
Joan Marie was missioned to Cabrini Hospital in Seattle for a year and a half and Cabrini Hospital in Montreal, Canada for about the same amount of time.
Farewell, Sr. Joan Marie. You are loved and will be missed.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents Christ’s love for all mankind, and our devotion to it is an expression of our faith in His mercy. Our festive day began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. followed by Benediction. The Mass was celebrated at 4:00 that afternoon.
Rev. Ted Ploplis, Rector of the Shrine, preached the homily on the theme of opening our hearts to the love of Christ. He illustrated his theme visually through the famous sacred art work of William Holman Hunt’s painting “Christ at the Door Knocking” which hangs in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. A copy of this painting was displayed in the sanctuary during the Mass. Rev. Ted referred to Mother Cabrini’s own understanding of the Heart of Christ as the unalterable sun, aiming its radiant beam of light on our path to a life of holiness and justice.” The Missionary Sisters renewed their vows during the liturgy.
The festive Mass also debuted a new sung Mass written in honor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini by Kevin Keil.
On Friday, June 12, 2015, the Administration and staff Cabrini of Westchester celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart with a beautiful Mass in the Chapel. Several Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as well as four Cabrini Lay Missionaries donned red corsages and renewed their vows and commitments to Jesus and the work of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. A celebratory luncheon followed in the Board Room.
In celebration and commemoration of Pope Francis’s declaration of this year being the Year of Consecrated Life, the National Religious Vocations Conference Region 3 hosted an inter-congregational day of service on Sunday, May 3rd in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.
Sisters from eight religious congregations and young adults were invited to join each other in serving communities in need of some TLC and what a beautiful day we had!
We kicked off the day at 11 a.m. with a gathering at Community Center at Visitation where we had a lovely “sending forth” with our groups to our respective worksites. The air was palpable with excitement for what the day was to hold for each of us.
When I signed up for the event, I really had no idea what kind of impact we were going to have on the communities in which we were going to be serving. [However, due to the cadre of volunteers] La Salle Academy now has fresh, new ground murals of the United States and the world, a new foursquare court, and a beautiful hopscotch court. Several local churches have fresh coats of paint on their walls and doors and the Providence Center has a charming community garden.
I had the great honor of floating from worksite to worksite, taking photos of what was being done at each place. Leaving each site, my heart was filled with joy and gratitude to be able to witness the good work that was being done with a shared objective – to permeate each location with the insurmountable love, joy, and hope of Jesus. Throughout the day, a verse from the book of Matthew kept coming to mind – “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” What a privilege to serve alongside Jesus.
Around 3:00 p.m., we once again gathered at the Community Center at Visitation for pizza, snacks, and group sharing. The room buzzed with enthusiastic chatter as each person described their individual experiences from the day. Throughout the time of sharing, there existed a common thread of beauty seen in these communities that have been hit so hard by poverty; beauty in the people they encountered, beauty in the sites themselves, and beauty in the experience of service. Each reflection contained not only pride in the work that had been done, but a sense of privilege to have been a part of it all. With humble gratitude, I can say that I am so very blessed to have had this opportunity to serve alongside so many beautiful servants of the Lord. What a privilege, indeed! ~ submitted by CMC missioner Ashley Block
The Message of Pope Francis for the 52st World Day of Prayer for Vocations was released this week. This commemoration is traditionally the fourth Sunday of Easter and will be celebrated this year on April 26.
You can read the Holy Father’s Message at https://nrvc.net/256/article/message-of-pope-francis-for-the-52nd-world-day-of-prayer-for-vocations-7482
Sr. Pietrina Raccuglia, MSC, Provincial of the Stella Maris Province has announced the appointment of the new Provincial Councilors who will assist in the governance of the Stella Maris Province: Sr. Lucy Panettieri, MSC and Sr. Arlene Van Dusen, MSC.
Sr. Pietrina expressed her thanks to these sisters for their “yes” to this call of service and asks everyone in the Cabrinian community to support them with your prayers.
Sr. Pietrina expressed her thanks to Sr. Catherine Garry, MSC, Sr. Tommasina Lanski, MSC and Sr. Diane Olmstead for their service on the Provincial Council over the last six years.