Thursday, April 30, 2015

Feast of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt

Today, Sisters of Christian Charity and their Associates around the world celebrate the feast day of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, who died on April 30, 1881.  Pauline was born on June 3, 1817, in Minden, Westphalia (Germany).  Her family's wealth and prestige did not close her mind to the hardships of others.  As a young woman, she was particularly involved with the poverty-stricken families on the outskirts of Paderborn, Germany.  She nursed their sick and brought them food.  To aid them further, she opened a day-care center for the children of working mothers -- an undertaking which brought to her attention the needs of blind children and led her to found a school for the blind. 

When Pauline's works of charity became too vast for her to manage alone, she founded a religious community, the Congregation of the Sisters of Christian Charity, in 1849.  The story of the spread of the Congregation beyond Germany to other parts of Europe, North and South America and the Philippines is worth exploring.  Discover more information about the Sisters of Christian Charity by visiting the website of the Generalate,, which will lead you to all the websites of the Congregation, including that of the Eastern Province,

Today, we pray:  Father in heaven, lead us in the way of love as you led Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt.  Open our hearts to others, that loving them as you Son commanded, we may be one with them in your heavenly kingdom.  Amen.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Help Nepal through Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is in need of assistance to help the victims of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal. Click here for more information.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher, CPS

Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood, Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher was allegedly gang raped and murdered in South Africa last week.  She is the second woman religious to be murdered in South Africa in the past year.  Click here for information on Sister Stefani from America, as the story continues to evolve.  Please pray for Sister Stefani and her community.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Misericordiae Vultus: Formal Declaration of the Holy Year of Mercy

The Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, given today in Rome by Pope Francis, is available here.  An excerpt follows:
The Lord Jesus shows us the steps of the pilgrimage to attain our goal: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Lk 6:37-38). The Lord asks us above all not to judge and not to condemn. If anyone wishes to avoid God’s judgement, he should not make himself the judge of his brother or sister. Human beings, whenever they judge, look no farther than the surface, whereas the Father looks into the very depths of the soul. How much harm words do when they are motivated by feelings of jealousy and envy! To speak ill of others puts them in a bad light, undermines their reputation and leaves them prey to the whims of gossip. To refrain from judgement and condemnation means, in a positive sense, to know how to accept the good in every person and to spare him any suffering that might be caused by our partial judgment and our presumption to know everything about him. But this is still not sufficient to express mercy. Jesus asks us also to forgive and to give. To be instruments of mercy because it was we who first received mercy from God. To be generous with others, knowing that God showers his goodness upon us with immense generosity.

Merciful like the Father, therefore, is the “motto” of this Holy Year. In mercy, we find proof of how God loves us. He gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return. He comes to our aid whenever we call upon him. What a beautiful thing that the Church begins her daily prayer with the words, “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me” (Ps 70:2)! The assistance we ask for is already the first step of God’s mercy toward us. He comes to assist us in our weakness. And his help consists in helping us accept his presence and closeness to us. Day after day, touched by his compassion, we also can become compassionate towards others (n. 14).

Consecrated Men and Women Denounce Persecution of Christians

From  A message released by participants of a Congress for Formators of Consecrated men and women (April 7-11) implores governments to implement concrete interventions to bring peace between peoples and break the spiral of violence in which so many innocent victims find themselves.  Click here to read the entire press release.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Living Easter

America has provided a brief editorial summary (available here) of how "each moment of the triduum can offer important insights into our contemporary world and contemporary lives."  As we continue this journey, this article asks important questions:
  • Holy Thursday:  How can we make our church more a “community of equals?” How can we move from self-aggrandizement toward “humble service” in the Catholic Church? And when are we called to meet and touch the poor among us? 
  • Good Friday: In so many ways, Christ continues to suffer in his body today. How can we aid him? 
  • Holy Saturday: Can our government take any serious steps to aid the poor, repair our crumbling infrastructure and improve our faltering public educational system?
  • Easter Sunday:  Yes, we suffer the pain of a broken world, of dashed expectations and seeming hopelessness. But the Resurrection tells us that suffering is never the last word, that God is always a God of surprises and that nothing is impossible with God.