Sunday, August 27, 2006

Remembering & Still Healing, A Year After Katrina

As the one year anniversary of Katrina surrounds us, let us together offer the prayer shared last year by Sister Margaret Charles Kerry, fsp, a native New Orleanian:

Canticle of New Orleans
By Margaret Charles Kerry, fsp

Waters of the earth, bless your Maker.
Be kind to the people who need you to quench their thirst.
Hold back your raging destruction of flood and overflowing banks.
Be kind to the city that sings about you in legend,
that travels over you to unknown places.
Unite people - do not disperse them.
Waters of the earth, bless the Lord!
Winds of sky, bless your Maker.
Keep cool breezes flowing over the people of God.
Keep away disease and danger by your healing movement.
Hold back your anger in storm and destructive power in tornado.
Be kind to the city that knows when you caress the land
and keep the heat from overtaking the plants and livestock.
Remind people of God's care.
Winds of the sky, bless the Lord!
City of humanity, bless your Maker.
Keep your people safe who have built you.
Allow them to write music, sing, play
and dance in praise of God-given life.
Keep those in leadership from misusing what is gifted
by the unity of men and women, children and family.
Be kind to the City that brings happiness to so many.
Be kind to her history that tells the human story.
May the city be a city on a hill that shines God's light.
May your music, dance, and food
be a foretaste of the eternal banquet.
City of humanity, bless the Lord!
People of God, bless your Maker.
Keep hope in your hearts in time of distress.
Give hope to those around you
and know that you are loved
by those who worry about you in your distress.
Reach out to those who are near.
Reach from afar in times of trouble
– reach in prayer if you can't reach physically.
Let us ask forgiveness when our response
to trouble seems slow and unthoughtful.
Open your hearts to those who are vulnerable.
People of God, bless the Lord!
People of New Orleans, bless your Maker.
Know that you are loved.
Know that the rain, wind and water that bless the city
and surround it as a hug outside of times like this
will return to their banks and sky.
Your hope is our hope.
May we share what we have with you
as you share your faith with us.
We reach you in prayer
even as we long to reach you with a helping hand
and pluck you from distress.
We share in your distress
and hold in our hearts your pain and sorrow.
May God renew you!
People of New Orleans, bless the Lord!

Margaret Charles Kerry, FSP, is a native of New Orleans and a Daughter of St. Paul. She can be reached at Website:; BLOG:

Copyright © 2005, Daughters of St. Paul. Reprinted with permission.Permission is granted for the free reproduction of the Canticle of New Orleans in newspapers, magazines, bulletins, websites, or in photocopied format, provided that the entire Canticle and the author byline and credit is printed with the Canticle.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Congratulations, Sister Susan!

Today our sister and fellow blogger, Susan Rose Francois, enjoys the blessing of being received into the novitiate of her "Groovy Sisters," Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace (CSJPs) - Our Lady of Peace Province.

Congratulations to Susan on this very important moment in her faith life and journey with Jesus! May every grace necessary to bring this good work to completion be hers. As enriched as her life is by the CSJPs, I know, too, that the community of CSJPs will be richer by her presence among them.

May the time of her novitiate be energizing and enriching as she follows the path of peace and justice set forth by Margaret Anna Cusack many years ago.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And the Blogosphere grows ...

Our fellow blogger, Joe Koczera, SJ, author of Novitiate Notes, has professed his vows as a member of the Society of Jesus (aka "Jesuit," Chicago Province) and has begun a new blog, The City and the World. Pay Joe a visit for worthwhile reflections through his eyes.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Nuestra Senora, Virgen de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros!

Our Lady Virgin of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Latest National News on Immigration

Today on AOL there's a story posted about a woman, a young mother, facing deportation who has taken sanctuary in a church. At this point in time, the authorities do not plan to take her from the safe space, but the whole story really highlights the urgency of immigration issues presently. Click here to read more.

Then click here for more information on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops national immigration reform initiative and learn more about the essential elements they propose.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Jubilee is a time set aside for rejoicing in God's grace and giving thanks.

Traditionally, the Sisters of Christian Charity here in our Eastern Province of the United States together celebrate jubilees on August 21st, the anniversary of the congregation's founding, as it is on this date that Pauline v. Mallinckrodt and her three companions received their habits and religious names, beginning their novitiate as Sisters of Christian Charity.

In that tradition, many of our Sisters also were invested in the habit and received into the novitiate. Of recent years, the Sisters have been invested on the evening of August 20th, but August 21st remains the annual Community Founding and Jubilee Day!

As this August 21st approaches, I pause to give thanks in particular for all the Sisters of Christian Charity, past and present, "those who've stayed a little while and those who've remained a lifetime,"for all they have been, are, and continue to be!

In a special way I honor the gift of this year's jubilee groups, those invested in 1931 (75 years!), 1946 (60 years), and 1956 (50 years). I'm privleged to know a number of them quite well, including two in the 60 year group who were my elementary school teachers, and I can tell you they are all amazing women! In total, the Eastern Province's jubilarians have together given over 1,000 years -- over a millennium of service to God, the Church, and the world.

Let us, today in a special way, celebrate them and all who profess the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience in order to be totally and completely at the service of God and God's people!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Celebrating Consecrated Life

Come, Spouse of Christ!
Receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for you from time everlasting.
Come, Spouse of Christ,
receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for you from time everlasting!!

I will espouse you to me forever, forevermore, forevermore!

With so many communities, including my own, enjoying days of celebration during this time of year, I found reflecting on Bishop Serratelli's pastoral letter on vocations very affirming. It's very thought-provoking and insightful yet also a pretty easy read. Take a few moments for yourself and enjoy!

God bless Sister Elizabeth!

Mary, my mother, let us go to altar together: you, offering your Son, and I, myself with all that I am and have (prayer of M. Pauline).

This morning my SCC community celebrates First Profession of Vows. Today one novice, Sister Elizabeth, will profess poverty, chastity, and obedience for the first time and in doing so consecrates herself to God. Like the sacred vessels dedicated to hold the Eucharist, the religious receives upon her heart the seal of The Beloved and dedicates her entire being to "live Jesus!"

May God bless Sister Elizabeth on her continued journey in religious life as a Sister of Christian Charity and grant her and all who follow this path the graces necessary to bring God's good work to completion in them. In a special way, may God grace those in formation with the fortitude of spirit to follow His Will wherever it may lead.

Blessed Pauline, pray for them!
Blessed Pauline, pray for us!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Congratulations, Sister Annelyth!

Today is the annual celebration of Perpetual Profession for the Eastern Province of the Sisters of Christian Charity.

On this day, August 15, 2006, our Sister Annelyth is professing her perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the constitutions of the Sisters of Christian Charity.

Sister Annelyth is pictured second from right. Joining her is Sister Maria Martin, Sister Marienel, and Sister Tabea. The photo is courtesy of the SCC Generalate website.

These four Sisters, each from a different SCC province, were together in Rome and Germany this summer for the community's tertianship (immediate preparation before profession) program.

The Sisters of Christian Charity were founded on August 21, 1849 by Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt.

Today they minister in the United States (two provinces, Mendham, NJ, and Wilmette, IL), Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, the Philippines, Germany, and Rome.

God bless each of them for the gift of themselves consecrated to Christ in service to God and God's people!

To learn more about Sister Annelyth's perpetual profession, read the follow-up article in the Paterson Diocese's newspaper, The Beacon .

Sunday, August 13, 2006

In the Spirit of Saint Dominic

I've added a link to the Mission San Jose Dominicans. While I've not had the opportunity to meet them personally, I have come to know them through their web presence and value the witness they share. So I thought it would be a sign of support to add them to my list of recommended sites.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feast of Saints Ann & Joachim, Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Happy Feast Day
especially to all my Sisters, friends, and family named Ann/Anne!
(Sister Joachim, too!)

Today our parish novena, definitely a parish retreat experience, concluded with a Festive Mass, including the Honor Guard provided by the Knights of Columbus, a retrospective homily by our pastor, a candlelight procession around the parish grounds, blessing with the relic of Saint Ann, and an ice cream social.

All in all, it was a most beautiful experience culminating in a most festive and thanksgiving-filled celebration of Eucharistic!

Our parish has as one of its mottos,

"For all that has been, 'Thanks!' For all that will be, 'Yes!'"

What a fitting prayer that seems to be for this moment of grace.

Novena to Saint Ann - Day 8, Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Every Tuesday since that fateful Tuesday, September 11, 2001 our parish has held Exposition and Eucharistic Adoration on Tuesday. This Tuesday during our novena to Saint Ann was our Eucharistic Day. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed and people kept watch in prayerful adoration.

The Novena prayer service began with Benediction to close out Eucharistic Day and following Benediction our pastor shared a really motivational reflection on Eucharistic Adoration and the experience of beholding the Eucharistic in the monstrance. Father spoke about the celebration of the Eucharist and the gift that Catholics possess in having the Blessed Sacrament reserved and available for us to be in God's sacramental presence. One particular thought that stuck with me is that when we behold and gaze on Jesus in the Eucharistic he is behold and gazing on us with all His love! That's the "sum it up" thought I took with me for this day of retreat and renewal.

"Oh Lord, you are the center of our lives!"

Novena to Saint Ann - Day 7, Monday, July 24, 2006

This evening we were blessed to have with us a Paulist priest, Fr. Jim Di Luzio. He had been the novena director two or so years ago. Tonight he came to share with us his one man performance, including song, of the Protoevangelium of James, a rich story of Ann and Joachim and Mary's childhood. What a powerfully moving and insightful piece as he relates it! If you've not had the chance to view it, I highly recommend it if he's ever in your area. He follows the reflective performance with a question and answer period which usually raises lots of faith questions and concludes with an amazing praying of the Our Father. He has a number of pieces he performs (and based on his voice I am rather certain, though I didn't get to ask, that he holds membership in Actors' Equity :). I was really moved by the performance (and I am a very harsh critic when it comes to live performance :) More information is available on his website, Luke Live!. Another touching evening of our parish novena (retreat) experience ...