Wednesday, June 19, 2019

June 20: World Refugee Day

Resources for commemorating World Refugee Day 2019 are available at the Justice for Immigrants site (here).  Additionally, there is a prayer for refugees, "A Moment of Grace," on the Catholic Relief Services website (here). 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

More from the Border

The women in formation of the Sisters of Christian Charity continue their work with Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.  In this photo, they are seen with Executive Director, Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ.  God bless the work that is being done at the border, especially by those who are under the direction of Sister Norma.  We pray for the ministry and safety of our -- and all --  missionaries to the border.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

SCC Volunteers at the Border

We ask for your prayers for our volunteers who are assisting at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas this month. The Respite Center receives refugees who have been released from the nearby ICE Detention Center by bus, about 400-500 each day.  According to the website, "We believe that human beings who have no food, no security, no access to shelter, etc., are people in crisis.  We will continue responding to the needs of these families in crisis as long as there is a need."  Donations are always welcome!  Click here for more information about how to donate.

Here are some photos of our women in initial formation and their formators at the border.  Thanks to Sr. Bernadette for sharing them!

Through the intercession of Blessed Pauline and the patron saints of refugees -- St. Alban and Saint Frances Cabrini -- may our brothers and sisters in crisis, and all who assist them, receive blessings in abundance. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mary, Mother of the Church

On this Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church (celebrated on the Monday following Pentecost -- liturgical resources available here), perhaps we could reflect with Pope Francis on a mosaic by Marko Rupnik, SJ, a Slovenian Jesuit based in Rome.

In a talk given to priests and seminarians in 2016, the Holy Father reflected on this mosaic:  "So let Our Lady take you by the hand, and cling to her mantle.  In my office I have a lovely image of the Synkatabasis that Father Rupnik gave me.  It shows Mary holding out her hands like a stairway on which Jesus descends.  What I like most about it is that Jesus holds in one hand the fullness of the Law and with the other hand he clings to her mantle.  In the Russian tradition, the old monks tell us that amid spiritual storms we need to take refuge under the mantle of Mary" (L'Osservatore Romano, June 10, 2016, p. 14).

Additionally, Pope Francis talks about this mosaic in the book-length interview with Fernando Prado, CMF, The Strength of a Vocation (see this post from our December 2018 blog posts for an introduction to that book):  "The Virgin is the frame, the human need that God had in order to come down; the hands of the Virgin serve Jesus as ladder.  It is the synkatabasis (condescendence) of Jesus.  God comes down, but needs the flesh of Mary and that is why she lowers her arms.  Jesus clings to her cloak.  Francis tells me [the interviewer] that this image could also be very 'eloquent' for consecrated life" (p. 38).

Today, we pray:

O God, Father of mercies,
whose Only Begotten Son, as he hung on the Cross,
chose the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother,
to be our Mother also,
grant, we pray, that with her loving help
your Church may be more fruitful day by day
and, exulting in the holiness of her children,
may draw to her embrace all the families of the peoples.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June Issue of Stop Trafficking Newsletter

The June issue of Stop Trafficking -- focusing on the issues affecting trafficked persons and what they see as helpful in their journey toward healing -- is available here

Saturday, May 11, 2019

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The 56th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be commemorated on Sunday, May 12.  More information and resources -- including prayers, a holy hour, and even a coloring page -- are available here and the message of Pope Francis for this day is available here.

Here is a prayer for vocations found on the website:

God our Father, You made each of us
to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.

We ask that you inspire
young people whom You call to
the priesthood and consecrated life
to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest
so that the Gospel is preached,
the poor are served with love,
the suffering are comforted,
and Your people are strengthened
by the sacraments.

We ask this through
Christ our Lord,


Monday, May 6, 2019

Prayer for Teacher Appreciation Week

It is quite a busy week!  Not only do we celebrate National Nurses' Week from May 6-12, but we also celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week from May 6-10!  Sisters of Christian Charity have been teachers since the time of our founder, Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt (1817-1881), who said, "Love for the children is the best instructor in their upbringing.  Only to one who loves children may they be entrusted."

Please visit our website to see the list of the various sites where Sisters of Christian Charity teach today.

Thanks to Education for Justice, a project of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, for this prayer (copyright 2019):

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Teachers 

As we enter into Teacher Appreciation Week,
We pause with gratitude to reflect
On all of the teachers who have influenced our lives.

We thank the teachers who patiently taught us to read.
The ones who persisted in teaching us
Addition and subtraction.
For those who taught us to think critically, write clearly,
And discern the questions
We should ask of ourselves and others.  
The teachers who taught us in a way
That made our hearts come alive.

As we continue our sacred vocation as educators, 
We pray that we might also inspire our students
To discover their talents and passions
And the unique ways that they can bring
Peace and justice into the world.

May we also recognize the honor and dignity in our work.
From early mornings prepping
To late nights at events or grading.
From difficult conversations with students
To "ah ha" moments that make it worthwhile.
We give thanks for this most holy vocation.

We pray for the continual guidance of Jesus,
The greatest teacher,
As we re-commit to this work each day.