Friday, October 03, 2008

October 3

Outside my window, a tree waves its branches of bright yellow leaves telling me that another season is trying to move in on us. Thanks to the weather forecasters who predict at least a few more days of more pleasant weather. Today I remembered to pray for the respose of the soul of a Daughter of St. Paul whom I met while I was still in high school. Sister Mary Angela Parnoff who hailed from Bridgeport, Connecticut, was the first Daughter of St. Paul to invite me to join her religious community. I owe her a special debt of gratitude. She and another Sister Mary Caroline would pay visits to my home to see me and to influence my mother in regard to my entering the convent. The visits were usually unannounced: once I was horseback riding; another time I was absorbed in reading a movie magazine. Sister's gentle persistance paid off. Sister Mary Angela died on this date in Boston in 1988. I remember her great sense of humor and enthusiasm for our Pauline life. Sister Mary Angela was one of the first to join the fledgling community of Pauline Sisters in New York. I think she entered the convent in the 1930's. May our Divine Master reward her for her life spent for him.

Both in the USA and in Canada, national elections are coming soon. I pray for all the candidates, and especially for all the voters so that we will have light from the Holy Spirit to chose the persons who will "judge rightly," and "with upright hearts," according to God's laws first of all. In our two countries, we can revel in the freedom we have to vote without fear of coercion. As we know that is not true in many areas of our world.

This is also the First Friday of the month, a day dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Every Friday we usually remember, at least momentarily, the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. On First Fridays many remember the promise of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary to those who attend Mass, receive Holy Communion and offer reparation for sins committed against the Lord. The "Morning Offering" prayer puts the whole idea of loveing reparation into a few words. Here is a version of the Morning Offering used in the Pauline Family:
Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer you through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, in union with the Eucharistic Sacrifice: my prayers, actions, joys and sufferings of this day, in reparation for sins and for the salvation of all men and women, according to the special intentions of the Suprior General, in the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of the heavenly Father. Amen.
In some forms of this prayer, the intentions of the Holy Father, the Pope, are mentioned.
Have a great and blessed rest of the day! Sister Mary Peter

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


October is full of lots of Saints' days and Church events. As I mentioned yesterday the Synod on the Word of God begins next week in Rome. Today is the feast of St. Theresa of Lisieux, or the Little Flower. We had Mass in our chapel this morning celebrated by a missionary priest. Father spent years in Tanzania and then in South Africa. He asked prayers for missionaries all over the world since St. Theresa is a co-patroness of Catholic missions. Although St. Theresa lived the greater part of her life in a cloistered convent, her prayers and sacrifices covered the whole world. She "adopted" some missionary priests for whom she offered special prayers. Vicariously, she too was a missionary. At breakfast, Father shared stories about his experiences in Africa. We marveled at the ingenuity of the White Fathers. That is the common name given to the Missionaries of Africa, since their habit is white. At one time where Father was assigned there was no cooking oil to be had. So the Fathers planted sunflower seeds and reaped an abundant harvest of seeds which were ground into oil for the people.

Today is also the anniversary of the death of one of our Sisters who died in Staten Island, New York seven years ago today. Her name was Sister Mary Alba Roagna. Sister was an outcoing personality, very generous and renowned for her culinary talents. She had been affected deeply by the loss of at least one dear friend in the 9/11 tragedy. She left this world silently and peacefully. We pray that she is enjoying the presence of God and interceding for the rest of her Sisters still on this earth.

October is traditionally the month of the Rosary. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7th. The date, October 7th, marks the anniversary of the victory of the Christians at Lepanto when Pope Saint Pius V processed barefoot through the streets of Rome praying the rosary to implore God's help for the Christian fleet.
I think it was on the History Channel where I saw a re-enactment of that famous battle where the skill of Venetian shipbuilders played a significant role in the Christians' victory. Our Founder, Blessed James Alberione, said that he always accompanied any project with much prayer, including many rosaries. May the recitation and meditation on the rosary bring you many graces and blessings this month. Our publishing house, Pauline Books & Media, offers two very useful titles on the rosary. One is The Rosary in My Pocket, a handy sized panphlet. The other is the Scriptural Rosary which offers meditation thoughts from the Bible as a way to reflect on the mysteries of the rosary. Check out the Pauline website: