Tuesday, April 22, 2008

God created it and saw it was good!

Image compliments of Sister Susan Rose, csjp-n, at http://www.actjustly.blogspot.com/

From the Sisters of Christian Charity:

On Sunday April 6, 2008, the Sisters of Christian Charity of the North American Eastern Province adopted the following Provincial Statement on Ecology:

"Because we recognize creation as God's gift to us, the Sisters of Christian Charity are committed to a harmonious and interdependent relationship with the earth and its creatures. We will be guided by the principles of sustainability and environmental accountability in our decisions and actions as we claim our responsibility toward self, others, and all of creation."

Guided by this statement, we hope to continue our mission of giving and receiving Christ's love, joy, peace, and healing for the life of the world.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Holy Father, keep in Thy name ..."

The Holy Father is well enroute back to the Vatican having concluded his six day apostolic journey to the United States. My experience of his visit has been very rich, and I know I will be unpacking the new found treasures for sometime to come. Hopefully over the course of the next few days I will be able to share a few initial observations. But for now, I want to mark the conclusion of his visit to US with prayers of gratitude for what he shared and prayers of petition for his safe journey back to the Vatican.

Friday, April 18, 2008

15th Anniversary of the Beatification of M. Mary Angela (Sophie) Truskowska, cssf

Today Felician Sisters around the world are celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the beatification of their foundress, Mother Mary Angela. Click here to hear how the Felician Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Province (Lodi, NJ) celebrated the occasion.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Seventh Annual ACS Caring Basket Gala

Touching the World One Sister at a Time!

This evening Assumption College for Sisters hosts is annual Caring Basket Gala, the college's major fundraiser to support its work and provide the revenues needed to support the full scholarships it awards to 25 international women religious each year to pursue their theological formation and Associates degree at ACS.
This year's Gala honorees are:
Education Award

Most Reverend Giles Hayes, OSB, Abbot of St. Mary's Abbey, Delbarton School, Morristown NJ

Lifetime Achievement Award

Reverend Monsignor John R. Torney, first Vicar General of the Diocese of Metuchen and pastor emeritus of St. Elizabeth's Church, Bernardsville, NJ

Service Award

Attorney Michael Critchley, Esq., alumni of Seton Hall University School of Law and graduate of Saint Augustine's Elementary School, Newark NJ (The Sisters of Christian Charity used to staff St. Augustine's; now it is the residence and ministry of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's Missionaries of Charity)

Join us in celebrating the invaluable contributions these individuals make to the Church and the community-at-large! Support us in supporting ACS .

Official U.S.C.C.B. Papal Visit Website & Blog

Treat yourself to a visit to the United States Catholic Conference papal visit website. There are many resources there, including the texts of the Holy Father's speeches and homilies, the Papal Visit missal, and lots of other good information including a blog that allows visitors to comment (even leave a Happy Birthday message for the Pope). Technology enables us to accompany the visit in a different way than past visits and allows us, if we wish, to enter more deeply into the experience of a papal visit. Television has enabled us partially to have such experiences during past papal visits, but new technologies enables us to connect with others in the experience in a different way.
Celebrate the love of Christ Our Hope!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In Memoriam

Remembering the lives lost at VA Tech...

Welcome, Holy Father, and ...

... Happy Birthday!

Yes, the Pope should have a birthday cake, too, right?

And as I searched a little further, I discovered that he was gifted with a papal birthday cake, U.S. style, during one of his stops on his visit around Washington, DC today!

Birthday Wishes
Pope Benedict, may your days among us be a time for clarity, renewal, and unity and may the challenges that face the Church in the United States today become an opportunity for more deeply becoming the Church God calls us to be.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Remembering A Good Priest, A Good Friend

Rev. Hugh V. Fitzgerald
April 14, 192? - December 31, 1999
Today I also remember an amazing priest friend
who now enjoys his eternal reward.
Happy Birthday, Fr. Fitz!
We love you and still miss you!!

April 14, 1985

On April 14, 1985, Pope John Paul II declared Pauline von Mallinckrodt among the "Blesseds" of the Catholic Church, moving her one step closer to recognition as a canonized saint and enabling public devotion to her to take place liturgically as well as prayers in private.

What a blessed event M. Pauline's beatification was and how we work daily so that God's love may continue to be known through her.

Join us in praying that God may continue be made manifest through her intercession and that her holiness may recognized worldwide as a way of Christian living through her canonization during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI, if God so wills.

Click here to learn more about Mother Pauline's life and way of holiness, seeing in God in all and loving God in all.

Click here to access the Italian version of the homily Pope John Paul II delivered at the Beatification Mass for the Servants of God Pauline von Mallinckrodt and Catherine Troiani.

Now that she is beatified the Church marks her feast day on April 30th. Liturgically speaking, an optional memorial, but for us, it is a day of deep gratitude as we recall the anniversary of her homegoing and give thanks for the life which she marked out for us. Here's a list of other holy ones' feasts observed on April 30th.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Salute to Jasmine

I want to give special recognition to a young friend of the family, 19 year old Jasmine. Several months ago, Jasmine learned that she was pregnant. Unwed and about to finish her final year of high school, Jasmine could very easily have opted to terminate the pregnancy by having an abortion. Given her childhood experiences and the future that lay before her, the pressures in this day and age and the temptation to have an abortion were probably great. However, Jasmine, with the support of her mother, made her choice for life.

Today was the baby shower for Jasmine. I wasn't able to be there in person, but I really want to let Jasmine know that I support her decision to bring her baby into the world and I want others like Jasmine to be encouraged in their choices for life. Sure, it may not be easy and it may mean making adjustments in life, but accepting the gift of life is a gift from God and with God's grace things can work out for all involved.

Thinking about this, though, I gained another insight: We who say we are "pro-life" or that "we stand for life" need to be sure that we are only being theoretical but also that we are living that principle in practice by honoring those who make choices for life and by standing in support and speaking for those who have made these choices for life.
The next time I find myself in a discussion about "welfare" benefits for single mothers or state-provided health insurance for children, I am going to say a prayer of gratitude for the many who have made and continue to make choices for life on a daily basis.
What will you do to choose life today?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

+Pope John Paul II

It's true: we still love you!

With someone who has been a part of your world for over 25 years, it's hard to believe that it is three years since his death. Pope John Paul II was not the only Pope I had known (I was born during the reign of Pope Paul VI and remember his death and the election and soon-to-follow death of Pope John Paul I), but John Paul II was certainly a defining ecclesial presence throughout my youth and early adulthood.

While it's certainly true that I did not personally agree with his personal opinions on every thing, I had (and continue to have) a deep appreciation for his person as well as his pontificate. Besides his deep Eucharistic and Marian love, his sharp intellect and zest for life and people were trademarks that reflected something much deeper. It's that legacy and the richness of his global Catholic leadership that continue to provide so much inspiration.

Soon after his death, I was inspired to honor his life by composing a song memorializing some of his key teachings. Here are a glimpse at the lyrics, never before shared publicly:

In memory of His Holiness John Paul II (1927 - 2005)

Be not afraid,
Christ is before you.
Open wide your doors to Christ
go out into the world and share the Good News.

Have courage
be strong hearted
(have courage)
and filled with love.

Choose life, have no fear.
Christ is your life and guide.
He walks right with you and near.

Totus tuus.
All is yours.
In the hand of our God.
I love you.
You have come
and are here with me now.

Thank God for you.
I love you.
Be not afraid.
God is ever here.
Be not afraid.
God’s love’s ever near.