Friday, August 29, 2008

Remembering Katrina (and Rita, too)...

In remembrance of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and that devastation she brought, I re-post a 2005 post:

The ripples of Hurricane Katrina continue to reach out and enfold even as the flood waters begin gradually to recede. The tragedy and depth of human need post-Katrina continues to move me to the core of my being. This week I received a beautiful reflection, "Canticle of New Orleans." It was written by Sister Margaret Charles Kerry, FSP. It bears with it a request that the Canticle be shared far and wide and with it ongoing prayers for recovery, healing, and renewal so I am passing it on to you. Visit for more information.

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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2008 Eastern Province Jubilarians

This is an image of pure beauty! Joined by the General and Provincial Superiors, pictured here at the congregational founding day and jubilee celebration are all of the 2008 Jubilarians from the SCC U.S. Eastern Province except for the four diamond (75 year) jubilarians and one silver (25) jubilarian. Take note of the Sister in the first row, third from the left: She celebrated 80 years of religious life as a Sister of Christian Charity!

Each of these women's journeys is a unique story of God's love alive in her life and through her life. Together they represent over one millennium of consecrated service, 1,305 years of religious life as Sisters of Christian Charity, to be exact.

While the number of years is impressive and inspiring enough, I thought a bit more about what that means on a day-to-day basis: 476,325 days; 11,431,800 hours; 685,908,000 minutes; 41,154,480,000 seconds. Over 41 billion seconds of ongoing surrender to God! (Can anyone figure out how many beats of the human heart?)

They are prayer ministers, spiritual directors, development associates, transportation ministers (a.k.a. drivers), pastoral care ministers, college librarians, high school teachers, kindergarten teachers, volunteers, former Superiors General and Provincial, missionaries, homemakers, and elementary school teachers. They come from Jersey City, NJ; Williamsport, PA; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; and Bronx, NY, to name a few. They have ministered in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, and Maryland, in the U.S.; in Uruguay in South America; and in Rome, Italy.

Imagine the lives touched, the people served, the inspiration shared! And still today, no matter how many years they have already lived in consecration to God, they each continue to live out the fullness of the evangelical counsels, their baptismal promises, and their religious professions.

To them, I say, "Thank you," and for them, I say, "Thank you, God!"

In the words of one of our community hymns, "For all we praise, and thank, and love!"

Photo courtesy of the SCC Generalate Photo Album .

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Celebrating A Journey!

On August 20th, the Sisters of Christian Charity of the U.S. Eastern Province celebrated the reception of Sister Linda Marie into the Novitiate. Here Sister, now a first year or canonical novice, is pictured here with the two second year novices.

As Sister continues her journey in religious life and embarks upon the start of her life as "Sister," may she and all who seek to follow Christ in consecrated service find in Him the grace to say "yes" each day to God's call to love and serve as women and men set apart to be bread and wine for the life of the world.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Profession of Vows

Pictured are (from left to right) the Most Rev. Edgar da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D., auxiliary bishop of Newark, and newly professed Sister Amy, SCC (Photo compliments of the Sisters of Christian Charity Generalate Website.)

On Saturday, the Sisters of Christian Charity celebrated the first profession of second year novice, Sister Amy. What a beautiful celebration of joy and promise! The liturgy beautifully integrated so many aspects of Sister Amy's journey and the Congregation's charism. Bishop's homily drew together the scriptures with the events of the rite of profession and reflected his own deep understanding of the vows as a religious. Bishop da Cunha is a professed member of the Vocationist Fathers. One point he underscored about the profession of religious vows so clearly articulated the relational dimensions of religious profession: Specifically Bishop da Cunha illustrated that the "profession of religious vows is made to God, through the Church, in [your] religious community, for the service of God and God's people." That clearly mapped set of relationships and interrelationships has stayed with me these past days and also reminded me of the covenant of Associates.

The joy in Sister's heart and in the community that celebrates her deeper integration into its religious life was tangible throughout the Liturgy, especially in the music, and in the sister-ship that followed during dinner.

May God abundantly bless Sister Amy and all novices who profess vows this season! May God grant them all they need to fulfill the words of their professions and may their consecration inspire others to dare to say "yes" to God's sacred invitation and call.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Congratulations, my Sisters!

This week marks a series of special celebrations for the Sisters of Christian Charity in the North American Eastern Province . The festivities began yesterday afternoon when the seven temporary ("junior") professed Sisters renewed their vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience for one year. This photo is courtesy of our Superior General and the generalate website. The Sisters renewing their vows are standing in the back row with their current formation director who is standing in front of the statue of Our Lady. To see more community photos, visit the Generalate's Photo Album. May God continue to bless these Sisters abundantly as they daily live out the fullness of their Baptismal call in consecrated life. In the words of Blessed Pauline, let us pray: "Mary, my mother, let us go to the altar of God together: you, offering your Son, and I, myself with all that I am and have."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to Blogging

Welcome, blog-itors! (That's blog speak for "visitors" :)

As I look at the date, I cannot believe how long it has been since I have posted on my blog. In the time since my surgery, I have been getting back into the full swing of things (as well as dealing with the array of opportunities and challenges life presents) but somehow, although I've been checking in on friends' blogs, have not carved out the time to post here. Part of the problem is that my list of things about which to blog was growing faster than I could keep up with it. Now I have decided to simply get back into the swing of blogging and as time and opportunity present get to the list.
So here I am! I have made good progress so far since my surgery. I am still, until at least the end of September, on a restricted diet in that I cannot chew and definitely can't crunch, but that's fine. I'm happy to make accommodations in order to protect my jaw from fracture as the bone fills in. I still have facial numbness on the lower right side, but that, too, the surgeon said is to be expected for up to four months. It's manageable, and every day my face feels less strange so the nerve must be on its way to restoration.
I thank all of you who have not only been patient in checking in on me but also so kind and faithful in praying for me. I appreciate it greatly and am looking forward to returning to more regular blogging. With the Olympics under way and the presidential conventions coming soon, I anticipate a broad range of seemingly unrelated but hopefully thoughtprovoking topics for posting.
Have a blessed Sunday!