Monday, September 25, 2017

Praying and Helping

There are so many people who need our help these days.  We continue to pray for those who have been devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria -- in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas of the Carribean.  We pray, too, for those affected by the earthquakes in Mexico.  So many local communities and parishes are collecting donations.  Additionally, if you'd like to donate toward the efforts of Catholic Relief Services, click here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Beatification of Father Stanley Rother

Click here to read the OSV article on Father Stanley Rother, who will be beatified today at the Oklahoma City convention center.  Father Stanley, a priest from Oklahoma, was killed in his rectory in Guatemala in 1981. The article provides a glimpse into the life of Father Rother and a timeline of his beatification cause.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf

As part of our ongoing observance of the 200th birthday of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, we continue to post excerpts of Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf (Bonifatius, 2016), the history of the Sisters of Christian Charity since 1881, by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC, translated by Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC.

In 1949, the celebration of the 100th anniversary of its foundation was a highpoint in the life of the Congregation.  In all Provinces, it was a time of deep gratitude, an incentive or the inner renewal of each Sister and an opportunity to help the poor. . . .
. . .
Afterwards the grave of Pauline von Mallinckrodt was frequently "the goal of pilgrimages" for groups and individuals and "many a person weighed down with suffering brought his pain to Mother Pauline and placed his intentions in writing on the marble slab." . . . On the occasion of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the German Catholic Teachers (female) Society in 1955, whole groups of the attending guests came to St. Conrad's Chapel.  At the first public meeting, Dr. Lorenz Jäger held Mother Pauline up as "the ideal of a Catholic teacher and urged all to approach their work in education in her spirit."

That same year the wondrous healing of Sister Christophora Ostermann took place.  Sister was a member of the German Province and at 29 years of age, was seriously ill with Multiple Sclerosis.  All medications were unsuccessful and the neurologist admitted that there was nothing more that he could do for her.  She suffered from terrible pain in her entire body and from severe dizziness day and night.  Failing eyesight, paralysis of her arms and total paralysis of her legs made her as helpless as a child.  In this state, she was transferred to our Home for the Elderly in Wiedenbrück on May 13, 1955.  . . . Completely surrendered to the Will of God, she continued with great confidence to pray to Mother Pauline, to whom we had already made numerous novenas begging her to obtain Sister Christophora's healing.  How surprised we all were, when on the 14th a phone call from Wiedenbrück brought us the joyous news that Sister Christophora had been healed. . . . This healing played a special role in the beatification process. . . . The attending physician had submitted reports about the illness and treatment and after exhaustive study of the matter, he had come to the conclusion that "the healing and the disappearance of all symptoms of the illness within one half hour were medically and scientifically unexplainable."  Various doctors and nurses and also the hospital in Neuhaus where Sister Christophora had been treated in 1954 were questioned.   As the process continued, the Church recognized the healing as miraculous.  After her sudden return to health, Sister Christophora was able to continue her apostolate for 40 years and the participate in daily community life.  She was the director of the knitting department in the School for the Blind and died on June 1, 2010.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is observed each year on September 21.  This year's theme is "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All."  Let us continue to pray for peace in our world.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Dream Act

On September 5, 2017, the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey issued this statement in support of the Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/HR. 3440).  If you would like more information on how to encourage your elected officials to support the Dream Act, please click here to go to the Justice for Immigrants site.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf

As part of our ongoing observance of the 200th birthday of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, we continue to post excerpts of Als Antwort auf Gottes Ruf (Bonifatius, 2016), the history of the Sisters of Christian Charity since 1881, by Sister Anna Schwanz, SCC, translated by Sister Mary Perpetua Rehle, SCC.

Ever since the end of the war, the Sisters in America, and Mother Anselmis, the Superior General who was still living there, waited for the return of mail service with Germany.  It was not until August 1946 that the USA could send 11 pound packages with food and clothing.  Later, the weight allowance was increased. "Immediately a long procession of packages began across the ocean."  . . . At first, the government in Chile only allowed items to be sent generally.  Thus crates with food and clothing were sent to the Caritas Society in Germany.  . . . Until direct mail service was available at the end of 1947, the Sisters in Uruguay sent their gifts to Germany by way of Switzerland. . . . Help from America in the form of money and/or goods, packed in packages, crates or barrels, continued undiminished for several years.  Besides our convents, these also helped many other persons to survive the difficult postwar years.

After a 14 year absence due to political circumstances, the long-awaited return of the Superior General, Mother Anselmis Nickes and her traveling companion Sister Mathilde Niemann took place in May 1948.  In August of the same year, a General Chapter could once more be convened, the first in 16 years.  Representatives from all the Provinces gathered for exchange and deliberations.  The Chapter was characterized by . . . solidarity and a strong sense of unity within the Congregation.  When thanking the American Provincials and Sisters Mother Romana Löffler, Provincial of the German Province said: "After God, we thank you that we are more or less able to work and that we can serve God's kingdom.  Just when the food supply in Germany, which had already been meager during the war, became totally insufficient and most German families knew hunger, the first of your gifts arrived."  Then followed the gratitude for dresses, coats, fabric, yarn, meditation books, rosaries, medicine . . . "Without your help we could not have accepted any Candidates or invested any Postulants . . . and our building!  Without your loving help and support, it would have long remained in ruins."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Father Uzhunnalil

In March 2016, we were horrified at the news of the murder of four Missionaries of Charity and 12 others and the kidnapping of Salesian Father Thomas Uzhunnalil in Yemen.  Yesterday, Father Uzhunnalil was released and today he met with Pope Francis.  Let us offer prayers of gratitude to God for the return of Father Uzhunnalil and let us continue to pray for all who are persecuted throughout the world, especially our brothers and sisters in religious life.  Click here for more information.