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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Celebrating the Tiniest Life

by Sister Denise LaRock, D.C.

Sister Mary Louise Zollars, D.C., one of the Sisters
who attended the burial service.
Often what makes a Catholic hospital Catholic is below the surface of the hustle and bustle of what is going on in patient rooms. One such event recently was an infant burial.

I live with some of our Sisters at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore. We received word of an upcoming infant burial graveside prayer service. I was very disappointed I would be out of town that day. However, several of our Sisters were able to attend the prayer service with the families whose babies died before or at birth. What a beautiful occasion for prayer and healing for those families. It puts into action the belief that life indeed has dignity and value before birth.

One Sister wrote: "The infant burial service is a tender moment when our precious children are laid to rest. Their mothers and fathers, grandparents and family friends all join together to celebrate the child's tiny life and commit them to the earth. It is a sad and touching ceremony when all those present recognize the holiness of their children. Their parent will one day be united to them in heaven where they live with Jesus forever. The Lord sees our grief and accepts our prayers. He blesses these children as he blessed the little ones who came to him in Jerusalem."

Take a moment to pray for the families who recently lost their tiny infants.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Missioned to Fiji

by Sister My Hanh Cao, D.C.

When I was a young girl, I often heard stories told by one of our parish priests during Mass for Youth about lives of the Saints or Catholic heroes. I loved these stories. I especially liked the stories of St. Maximilian Kolbe who volunteered to die for one of his prison partners in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and St. Damien of Molokai and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta  who both missioned and served the leprous people. I admired the lives of the missionaries who sacrificed their lives and left their home countries and families to go to new places to live with the poor and the suffering to share Christ with them. Knowing the Daughters of Charity were missionary by nature gave me more reasons to continue my discernment to become a Daughter of Charity after I first made contact with them.

In 2007, when I had just completed 10 years of vocation as a Daughter of Charity, I was asked to attend the Cross Culture Ministry program in San Antonio, a program that trained those preparing to work overseas as missionaries. Upon finishing the program, I was assigned to serve in Taize, the central South of France for four months in a clinic providing first aid for pilgrims who came to Taize to worship with the ecumenical Brothers.

I then was asked to serve in the Cook Islands. I served the elderly, sick, homebound, disabled and children, as well as supporting parish work on a small island of less than 300 people. I lived in the Cook Islands for more than five years until the two missions there were closed in 2014.

Earlier this year, I was missioned to Nausori-Tailevu of the Fiji Islands. I have been here for a little more than a month. I am still in the transition stage where I have a lot of things to learn about the places, the people, the culture, the customs and the languages. Most of the things I do now are observing and discerning to see where I am most needed or where God really wants to place me.

The important thing for us, being missionaries, is to live the community life with our companion Sisters and to share in the burden of the poor to bring Christ's comfort, healing, hope and salvation to them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Praying for Immigrants

Join us in this prayer today. We'll be praying it together at 2 p.m. CDT, seeking justice for immigrant mothers and children being held in Dilley, Texas, and elsewhere. Please share!

God of all peoples,

We pray for our brothers and sisters forced to flee their homelands by violence, corruption, and poverty. May they find safety, security and welcome in our land. 

We pray for children who live in fear of the loss of their parents, and mothers and fathers who fear the pain of separation from their families. Be their hope as we work to repair the brokenness of our unjust immigration system. 

We pray for those who fan the flames of fear and discrimination, for those who cannot see the gift that recent immigrants are to our communities. May they be touched with your divine wisdom and compassion. 

We pray for all those who on this day are unjustly detained, especially those families held in Dilley, Texas. Be their strength and give us the courage to continue to demand an end to the immoral detention of your people. 

AMEN

Friday, April 3, 2015

Do you realize I have the power?

by Sister Roberta Treppa, D.C.

“Do you not realize that I have the power to release you and I have the power to crucify you?”

By the time Pilate said this, he had already given in three times to the crowd who kept handing Jesus over to him.  

Three times, the people pushed Pilate to crucify Jesus. 

Three times, Pilate went back to speak with Jesus. 

Three times, Pilate returned to the crowd to say he found no guilt in Jesus. 

But each time, Pilate gave in to the crowd. 

He yielded to the power of the crowd, and used his power to crucify Jesus. 

Jesus' power was love. How do we use our power?

“Do you not realize that I have the power to release you and I have the power to crucify you?”

Jesus said to him, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.”

We have power like Pilate.

We each have the power to release, and the power to crucify. 

We can release, through forgiveness, love, comfort...

Or we can crucify, through hate, abuse, neglect...

All this power is given to us from above…it’s called “free will.” 

Jesus died to release us from the bonds of sin.

And all too often, we use our power poorly…

And Jesus, the one we crucified, still has–and USES–the power to release us from the power of sin.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Foster Care: A Story in Ministry

by Sister Liz Sjoberg, D.C.

I work in the overnight emergency program at Marygrove, an agency in St. Louis that serves abused, neglected and homeless children and teens. The kids we see in our program are ones experiencing a major crisis, such so that they cannot live in their family home or foster home anymore. Their stories are heartbreaking and dark.

One of the girls at Marygrove shared poems she wrote about her experiences. This is the third poem we've shared over the last couple of weeks. Please keep Marygrove and the children we serve in your prayers.

Foster Care

They take you away from your real mom and dad, then expect you not to get all mad.
They try to place you in a home with a stranger, every time for me I'm sent away because I'm the danger.
I maybe finally found the one place I belong, I've been progressing and happy, it's been so long.
I'm growing and learning to be more free, trying to become the best I can be.
My past may form me but it's not who I am, so watch out foster care–I'm taking a stand.