Friday, January 29, 2016


Thanks to Sister Marie Cecilia for alerting us to this:

Although the Syrian government has recently granted permission to deliver humanitarian aid to some of the hardest-hit regions of Syria, there are still many thousands of people at risk of hunger and starvation, especially children in Madaya. Click here for more information and for the possibility to act on this.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Anniversary of Philippine Mission

The SCC mission in the Philippines officially opened on January 25, 1995.  How appropriate it is that the Pauline 200 group is there to celebrate the anniversary of this mission!  Click here to read the interesting reports of their activities as they wind down their time in the Philippines. 

9 Days for Life: Day Nine

May we see and live the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift, and that our lives -- all our lives -- are worth living.  Click here for today's prayer.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Eight

For an end to all domestic violence:  Click here for today's prayer.

Friday, January 22, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Seven

May each person suffering from the loss of a child through abortion find hope and healing in Christ.  Click here for today's prayer.

Remember that today is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.  Additional resources are available here.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Six

May all people reject pornography and discover the true meaning of love through an encounter and relationship with Christ.  Click here for today's prayer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Five

For an end to the use of the death penalty in our country:  Click here for today's prayer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Four

May children awaiting adoption be welcomed into loving families.  Click here for today's prayers.

Monday, January 18, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Three

May those who long for a child of their own be filled with trust in God's loving plan.  Click here for today's prayer, reflection and action suggestions.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day Two

May those near the end of their lives receive medical care that respects their dignity and protects their lives.  Click here for the prayer, reflection and action suggested for today.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

9 Days for Life: Day One

Pray for the conversion of all hearts and the end to abortion.  Click here for today's prayers.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nine Days for Life

From the USCCB:  9 Days for Life is a focused period of prayer and action to build up a Culture of Life.  Marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the novena has as its overarching intention to end abortion.  The novena also highlights many other aspects of respecting each other as ones whose "true identity [is] found in the unchangeable, permanent fact that we are created in God's image and likeness and called to an eternal destiny with him" (from 2015 Respect Life Reflections). 

The novena begins on January 16.  We will post reflections here daily, but you can access the entire set of nine reflections by clicking here

Pauline 200: Philippines

As you may know, the Sisters of Christian Charity throughout the world have begun preparations for the 200th birthday of our Founder, Pauline von Mallinckrodt.  As part of that preparation, a group of Sisters has traveled to the Philippines to learn more about and participate in the ministry with the blind there.  The motto of this trip is:  "Serve the blind. They ought to know and feel that it is a pleasure for us to be with them"  (Mother Pauline, 1853).  Click here to view the daily updates on our Generalate website.  Please continue to pray for this mission.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Saints in Mercy: St. Damien de Veuster

Are you familiar with the series of books provided for the Year of Mercy by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization?  We will attempt to feature excerpts from these books -- which are meant to provide resources for living the Jubilee -- on this blog throughout the year. 

Today's excerpt comes from the book, The Saints in Mercy, and features St. Damien de Veuster (1840-1889).  Most of us will remember St. Damien as a minister to the lepers on Molokai, Hawaii, who eventually succumbed to leprosy.  However, as The Saints in Mercy points out, Father Damien's works of mercy extended beyond ministering to those living with leprosy:

"If one had to choose and describe Father Damien's most significant and effective work, we should remember one that was usually not very frequently or urgently practiced by Christians.  The catechism formulates it in this way: 'bury the dead.'

"It was the most humane thing he could have done in Molokai given that cures for leprosy were ineffective and even pointless.  Instead, only one thing was certain: death. . . . If we consider that, before his arrival, corpses were abandoned in the open air and even fed to the pigs, we can understand the missionary's decision to 'celebrate death' and give it full human dignity.  In that era, lepers were known as 'the living dead' and the government was even about to pass a law to declare them 'legally dead.' Therefore, death -- in all its associated ugliness and depravity -- permeated the island.

"With holy intelligence, Father Damien realized that he had to start by making death sacred and instilling it with Christian faith in the Resurrection.  Therefore, he built a beautiful cemetery next to his hut.  He also founded a confraternity of funerals.  He tasked its members with the construction of wooden coffins and the accompaniment of the deceased to their final resting place with prayer, music and the beating of drums.  This ceremony occurred at least three times a week: it called everyone to silence and prayer, which replaced the anger and drunkenness they were accustomed to" (28-29).

If St. Damien could practice this work of mercy in the midst of an environment permeated by death, perhaps we could choose to be more attentive to the viewings and funerals of people we know.  How often do we ignore the opportunity to assist in burying the dead because it is inconvenient or uncomfortable for us?  During this Year of Mercy, as we strive to practice more fully the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, can we pay greater attention to burying the dead? 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Reflection and Prayer: Human Trafficking

Here's a great addition to yesterday's suggestions for simple actions in the effort to stop human trafficking:  The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange have produced a prayer calendar that runs from January 11 (National Human Trafficking Awareness Day) until February 8 (International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking).  Access the calendar here to find a prayer intention for each day and information about human trafficking.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Stop Trafficking Newsletter

Click here to access the January 2016 issue of the Stop Trafficking newsletter.  This issue focuses on partnerships among organizations that work to end human trafficking.

You may also recall that this month is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month and that January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day (designated by the U.S. Senate in 2007).  Resources for these observances were in the December 2015 issue of the Stop Trafficking Newsletter and are available here

The website of US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking -- available here -- might be helpful to you, also.

With everything that's available to us, we should be able to find at least one way to mark January 11. However, if you miss that commemoration for some reason (and even if you do not miss it), remember that the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking (declared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General) is on February 8 (Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita). 

If you are more of a "summer commemorator," the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (declared by the United Nations) is observed on July 30. 

January 11, February 8, July 30 . . . that's pretty much for us to remember!  Rather than getting caught up in the dates, could we resolve to do one simple thing to increase our awareness, advocacy and action?  Remember that Catholic Sisters have led and continue to lead the efforts to stop human trafficking.  Our efforts will continue to bear fruit by the grace of God and the prayers and actions -- no matter how large or small -- of all of us.