Saturday, March 31, 2018

Break Silence. Overcome Fear.

The Vatican News article available here reports on the Holy Father's homily at the Easter Vigil Mass.  During this homily, Pope Francis issued the challenge not to stand speechless before the events of Holy Week, but to overcome our fears and share in the mission and message of Jesus.

The Lord is risen, indeed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

For your April calendar

Here are some dates you might want to remember in April:

  • April 1 - Easter Sunday
  • April 7 - World Health Day/Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide
  • April 12 - Holocaust Remembrance Day begins at sunset
  • April 22 - Earth Day
  • April 30 - Feast Day of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt (1817-1881), Founder of the Sisters of Christian Charity

Friday, March 23, 2018

Feast of Blessed Oscar Romero

Blessed Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, when he was assassinated while celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980.  Recently, the Vatican announced that Romero will be canonized next year.  To remember his Feast Day (March 24) in a special way, we are sharing these readings that were collected to mark his beatification in 2015. 

We pray:
Almighty God, you called your servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to your Word.  Amen.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

World Water Day

World Water Day is commemorated annually on March 22.  This year's theme is "Nature for Water," exploring nature-based solutions to water challenges we face in the 21st century.  (Check out the World Water Day website for more information.)  

When faced with an overwhelming global issue, we sometimes feel helpless. However, there are small things we can do at home to contribute to a solution.  For example, the "Water -- Use it Wisely" website provides "100+ Ways to Conserve Water" to help make a difference in some of the small things we do each day.  Some of these tips include turning off the water while brushing your teeth or lathering your hands.  The water conserved by employing just a few of these tips can make a big difference!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Heart on Fire

During 2018,  the Society of the Sacred Heart is celebrating the bicentennial of the arrival of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne in the New World. To commemorate the occasion, Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ, has written Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne: A Heart on Fire Across Frontiers (copyright 2017, Society of the Sacred Heart).  Although it is brief (67 pages), the book offers a good overview of Saint Philippine's life and the struggles involved in bringing the charism of the Society to the United States. 

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
In the conclusion of the book, Osiek states,  "Philippine's life was one of courage, vision and generosity.  With open heart, she faced and overcame incredible obstacles in order to bring the love of Christ to those who did not know it.  Two particular characteristics should make her beloved by those who struggle in the same way.  First, though she wanted to accomplish her life's work in younger days, obstacles of all kinds prevented her from following the call of God until she was well into middle age.  Those who struggle to follow God's call for them and are prevented through many years will find in her a companion and friend.  Second, though her zeal and love could overcome great difficulties, she was never able to learn the language that, after her own, would have been the most helpful for her mission.  In our multicultural world, those who find their effectiveness hindered by lack of ability in languages should know that she shared their frustration and can be present as encourager and friend" (64).

Those familiar with the history of the Sisters of Christian Charity will recognize the significance of the Society of the Sacred Heart to Pauline von Mallinckrodt.  Prior to the founding of the Sisters of Christian Charity, Pauline was looking to place the blind children under the care of a religious order of Sisters and to enter the order which would consent to care for the blind.  One of the orders she visited in this quest was the Society of the Sacred Heart.  In her Autobiography, Mother Pauline wrote, "I spent about three weeks with the Ladies of the Sacre Coeur and I consider this experience one of the great graces of my life.  The superior-general, Madame Barat, is a very spiritual and intelligent lady.  Among her spiritual daughters, too, there was evidence of much beautiful virtue, culture and refinement -- all of which served greatly to my instruction and edification."

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
"Madame Barat"  -- Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat -- founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1800 and was its superior general for 65 years.  In 1818, she sent five Sisters (including Rose Philippine Duchesne) to the United States.  We join with the Society of the Sacred Heart in celebrating the bicentennial of the arrival of their Sisters in St. Charles, Missouri, beginning a legacy that has extended to 41 countries through the work of over 2,500 sisters, who strive to "deepen the understanding of God's love and reveal it to the world through the service of education" ("Brief History," RSCJ website).

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Prayer for International Women's Day

Please click here for a prayer from Education for Justice for International Women's Day (celebrated annually on March 8).

Sunday, March 4, 2018

March Issue of Stop Trafficking Newsletter

The March 2018 issue of Stop Trafficking -- focusing on how slave labor is part of our seafood supply chain -- is available here.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church

Today the Vatican announced that the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church will be added to the General Roman Calendar -- which means it will be celebrated by the whole Roman Catholic Church -- on the Monday after Pentecost (May 21 this year). Click here for more information from the Catholic News Agency.