Thursday, May 23, 2013

Regarding Comments

Good day to all my readers!
Yesterday I enjoyed some spiritual consolation with the Mass in celebration for my 50th Jubilee of religious vows, and Sister Maria Elizabeth's 25th Jubilee of vows as a Daughter of St. Paul.
Bishop Paul Loverde, who is celebrating 25 years of being a bishop, was the principal celebrant of the Mass. He reminded us of the call to follow Jesus every day and to "go out of ourselves" as Pope Francis said. Quoting Pope Francis the bishop recalled too that we as religious sisters are called to be spiritual mothers to the people to whom we minister. After the Mass we were treated to a nice dinner in the Marymount cafeteria. The group in attendance was made up of religious Sisters from several orders. It was a joy to renew my vows and to be in the company of so many good and dedicated Sisters and priests.

Before I write more on various topic, I want to clarify a few points: 

 Some readers want me to publish their blog entries in place of, or on the same page as mine. I am responsible for what I write. I am not free to allow anyone else to blog under my name. As a consecrated woman religious, the content of what I write needs to be in conformity to Gospel values, as well as in readable English. If you have something to publish as a blog, you are free to establish your own blog. 

If you want me to publish your comment, your link has to be squeaky clean. Someone sent what looks like a very positive comment on my blog. yet his or her blog is a front for porn.

Lately some of the comments are solely advertisements for handbags, or some other products. I will immediately reject such intrusions.

Some comments are phrased in a way which I find hard to understand. Please comment in standard American English (if possible). Or you can comment in Italian or Spanish.

Thanks for reading this blog, and -- for you who want to comment -- please keep in mind that I am a religious Sister, so please keep it clean, clear and to the point.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Saints South of the Border

Today the Catholic Church honors St. Christopher Magallanes and several other Mexican priests martyred for their faith in the 1920's.
If you have not seen the film "For Greater Glory" I strongly suggest that you find a copy and see it. Or, you can purchase a copy from any of the Pauline Books & Media Centers (
 in the USA or Toronto.
In the beginning of the film Peter O'Toole portrays Father Christopher Magallanas a kind pastor in Mexico. The country's president, Plutarco Elias Calles, had ordered all Catholic churches to be closed. Many churches were desecrated. It became a crime to be a believer.
Priests were denied a right to vote, the right to a trial by jury, as well as the right to wear clerical garb.   It became a crime to be caught doing priestly things, such as celebrating Mass, baptisms and processions. An atheist imbued with a hatred for Catholics, Calles was not officially a Communist.
However he allowed Mexico to be the first country to host a Soviet embassy. Priests, nuns, religious brothers, active lay Catholics and any who dared to speak out against the Calles government were arrested. It was even a crime to advise a young an to enter a monastery. When arrested some were shot immediately. Others were first tortured and then executed.
Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio
For Greater Glory reveals how Blessed Jose (Joselito) Sanchez del Rio, a teenager, witnessed the murder of Father Magallanes. Only 15 years old, Jose became part of the Cristero movement which opposed the Calles regime. Jose was captured by the Federales -- government troops -- and tortured.
His captors cut the soles of his feet and marched him barefoot to his place of execution. Like so many of the  martyrs of Mexico, Joselito cried out "Viva Cristo Re", Long live Christ the King! as he died.
Andy Garcia plays the Cristero General in For Greater Glory
St. Christopher Magallanes
Even after Calles finished his term as president, he held on to power as the Jefe Maximo, Head Chief of State, until 1934. The US ambassador to Mexico arranged a truce between the Cristeros and the government. The Cristeros were to lay down their arms and be given amnesty. Calles did not honor the treaty. Instead he had former Cristeros executed in their own homes.
One of the martyrs whose superiors first sent him to the USA to avoid arrest is Father Miguel Pro, SJ. He mastered many disguises as he ministered to the spiritual needs of his people before his arrest. Falsely accused of political insurrection, Father Pro died heroically, forgiving his executioners and proclaiming Viva Cristo Re, y Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe.Long live Christ the King and long live the Virgen of Gualadlupe.
Blessed Fr. Pro at his martyrdom

Calles died in Mexico in 1945. 90,000 people died during the years of his time in office. His political party managed to re-write text books or to eliminate the facts of Calles' anti-clerical and ferocious anti-Catholicism from Mexico's educational system. Unless they were instructed at home about the Cristero movement and the religious persecution many Mexican people were unaware of the dark days of the Calles government.Only in the 2000's did one of the Mexican presidents speak plainly of the evil perpetrated during the 1920's and early 1930's in the country which lies to the south of these United States. As we celebrate the holiness of Father Magallanes, Joselito and their fellow martyrs, we ask that God will grant religious freedom to all.

We continue to pray for those grieving the loss of life in Oklahoma, Texas and other areas suffering from floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters. May many generous people respond with help for those in need. I am sure that Catholic Charities USA will be helping along with other community relief organizations.
Have a blessed night and a good day tomorrow.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The Acts of the Apostles tells us the Apostles were gathered in the upper room to "wait for the fulfillment of the Father's promise...when..they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5)." They filled their time of waiting with prayer. "Together they devoted themselves to constant prayer" (Acts 1:14) The Apostles and those with them, including Mary the mother of Jesus, were together after nine days. They were "gathered in one place" when the Spirit came with a noise, a sound "like a strong driving wind." They perceived the Spirit's presence first with their hearing. Then their sight perceived: "tongues of fire..which parted and rested on each of them." Then the Apostles began to speak in languages they did not know before. The many people assembled in Jerusalem for the Pentecost feast were from a variety of nations. Yet, each of them could hear the message of the Apostles in their own language.
The Spirit burst upon them and shook them free of all fear. Immediately the disciples emerged from their upper room hiding place and started to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen. Peter filled with the Spirit boldly said: "Let the whole house of Israel know beyond any doubt that God has made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus whom you crucified."
The narration of the Pentecost scene reads as an attractive drama. The fact is that we too can be released from our private upper rooms. We may pray privately either in comfort or discomfort. Sooner or later at one point what we pray about--or rather who we pray to--is going to make a real difference in our lives. Peter and companions were safely behind locked doors before the arrival of the Holy Spirit. As soon as they perceived the new strength of the Spirit they did not sit still. They ran downstairs and met the crowds. The Apostles and other disciples could not keep the Good News of Jesus to themselves. Jesus had commanded it: Go into the whole world...:." May we allow ourselves to get out of our spiritual couch potato stance and begin a real inner life of prayer. May we preach the good news with our lives and then through our mission. Happy Feast of Pentecost to you all!
Let the waters of grace fall on us!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Waiting for the Spirit

Pentecost will be celebrated this Sunday. It marks 50 days since Easter, and together with Mary the Mother of Jesus and Queen of the  nine days since Ascension Thursday. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that the Apostles and some women, including "Mary the Mother of Jesus" were gathered together in prayer in one place.
The Lord had promised "You will be clothed with power from on high." We Daughters of St. Paul and other members of the Pauline Family pray the pre-Pentecost novena (nine days of prayer) together with Mary the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Apostles. We can imagine the respect and reverence given to Jesus' mother by the Apostles and the earliest Christians. The apostle John took her under his care. As the first Christians gathered in prayer with Mary, so do we. The novena prayers in the Prayers of the Pauline Family recall the Bible passages that mention Mary and her role as mother of Jesus and then of his followers.
May we prepare ourselves well to receive a more abundant outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit on this coming Sunday.
Mary, Queen of the Apostles, gives Jesus to the world.
The scroll in Baby Jesus' hands represent the gospel.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hawaii's Father Damian

The first time I flew to Hawaii I was well impressed as our flight neared Honolulu when the flight attendant told us in brief the story of Father Damian DeVuester. He was also known as Father Damien of Molokai. His parish was the entire island  of Molokai where lepers were exiled in those days. Father Damian volunteered to go to Hawaii as a missionary when his brother also a priest took sick and could not go.

An energetic and resourceful person, Damian served the material and spiritual needs of his parishioners.
Leprosy was common and a cure was unknown. People afflicted with the disease were sent to Molokai and left there to fend for themselves. When Damian arrived, he met not only physical suffering and decaying bodies but rampant moral decay besides. He helped everyone he could whether Catholic or not.
Using bamboo Father Damian set up a system to bring fresh water from the island's high ground down to the settlement closer to the ocean.
 His prayers, sacrifices and tireless effort transformed Molokai into a place where people found hope. Lepers learned to pray and offer their sufferings in union with Christ. Because it was believed that leprosy was highly contagious, Damian could not leave the island. After several years he did become a leper himself. He worked as long as he could and died in 1889.
Very devoted to the rosary and to Our Lady, Damian set an example for those who saw him. The writer Robert Louis Stevenson defended him from detractors. Volunteers came to help, including "Brother" Joseph Dutton, a Civil War veteran who left his home in Vermont to work alongside the Belgian priest.
Mother Marianne Kope
 Franciscan Sisters from Syracuse, New York came to help Father Damian. They were led by Sister Marianne Kope who is now Saint Mary Ann.
In 2009 Pope Benedict canonized Damian. Saint Damian's feast day is today, May 10th.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Mary and the Spirit

I would like to quote Pope Francis on the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit and us. When Mary said "yes" to the Archangel Gabriel, she became the Spouse of the Spirit. 
Pope Francis reminds us:
The Virgin Mary teaches us what it means to live in the Holy Spirit and what it means to accept the news of God in our life. She conceived Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, and every Christian, each one of us, is called to accept the Word of God, to accept Jesus inside of us and then to bring him to everyone. Mary invoked the Holy Spirit with the Apostles in the Upper Room: we too, every time that we come together in prayer, are sustained by the spiritual presence of the Mother of Jesus, in order to receive the gift of the Spirit and to have the strength to witness to Jesus Risen....May Mary help you to be attentive to what the Lord asks of you, and to live and walk forever with the Holy Spirit!
 If you want to take a short break in your hectic day, in addition to praying the rosary, visit the website called:

God bless you!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

More on Mary

"All generations will call me blessed." Those words from the gospel of St. Luke (Luke 1:48) are proved to be true every time a Hail Mary is prayed any where in this wide world. When non-Catholic Christians question our Catholic devotion to Mary, Mother of God I always think first of that line from Luke: all generations... Intercessory prayer is part of our great Tradition. Many times in his letters St. Paul asked for prayers that he might be able to preach Christ against so many obstacles. When Jesus from the cross entrusted Mary to the Apostle John, he said: "Behold your Mother." John represents all of us men and women of all time--children of Adam and Eve. The story of Our Lady's apparitions in the 1500's to St. Juan Diego of Mexico continue the maternal role of Mary, When Juan Diego told the Virgin of his problems convincing the Bishop of the truth of his visions, Mary answered: "Am I not your Mother?" She is our mother, even more concerned about the well being of our souls and our bodies than our earthly mothers could be.
Anyone who prays through the intercession of Mary comes closer to Jesus. He chose her to come to us, and we chose her as a way to Jesus "The Way."
The Rosary is the Gospel in our Pockets. When we pray the mysteries of the rosary we bring to mind all the major events in the life of Jesus.
I am going to chapel now where I will also pray the rosary especially for you who read this blog. Thanks for your patience with me. I hope to keep up a little every day.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Month of Mary, Mothers, Communion and Confirmations

This year's tree allergies have kept me from my blog. Now that the trees here are mostly all in leaf, I can breath much better. A month ago I was in Ohio for a few days to see my sister Coletta who picked up Legionaires' Disease while in Florida. While I was home she was always on a ventilator, hooked up to all kinds of tubes and monitors. Now she remains in the hospital but improving a little each day. 
Thank you to all those who have been praying for Coletta. I am sure that the many prayers and God's kindness toward our family has helped her progress so far.
Our weekends have been very busy. Last Saturday and Sunday we held a book display at Holy Trinity in Gainesville, Virginia. It is a vibrant parish. It is definitely growing just by seeing the numbers of infants and small children. I remain impressed by the fervor of the parishioners and priests at all the Masses. Religious doomsday sayers would cheer up if they peered into the church and saw the parking lot full for the 7:00 AM Mass and for all the Masses after that! 
I want to share more on my blog about Holy Trinity parish at a later date.

As I write I see that the world turns with or without me!  A Jubilee gift from my Provincial team in the form of a globe with a solar powered battery sits in the afternoon sun on my desk..
 As soon as the sun is bright enough. the world spins round and round. When I want to locate a country I take the world into my hands to pinpoint a location. Otherwise my eyes can't keep up with the spinning globe! The globe reminds me to pray for those around the world in need of spiritual and material help: those suffering from war-like conditions; illness; extreme poverty and so many other problems.

Today my thoughts turn to Philadelphia and then to Harrisburg. Yesterday Bishop Joseph McFadden, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, died of a massive heart attack while back in his home diocese of Philadelphia. Bishop of Harrisburg since 2010, Bishop McFadden was a dynamic person fully dedicated to the Church, and intensely interested in his people. My condolences to his family, his siblings and nieces and nephews; his fellow bishops, and the clergy and people of Harrisburg. I have many good memories of Harrisburg. One of those memories is of meeting the smiling and energetic Bishop McFadden. May his soul rest in the peace of Christ the Good Shepherd. 

The month of May brings many beautiful memories to mind. One is of my mother whose blue crystal rosary beads were often in her hands. Even when I was too little to read, I was impressed by a little blue prayer book she used to help her meditate the rosary mysteries. The round brown pictures of the lives of Mary and Jesus fascinated me. Today when I prayed the rosary during the last part of my Eucharistic adoration, I used a copy of the same book my mom had. Thanks to my mom for all the prayers she must have prayed to bring up 13 of us brothers and sisters! Our Grandmother Malone had a blue crystal rosary too. I helped to care for our grandmother before she passed away. She always held and prayed with those beads. 
Grandma Malone was a cheerful person, a great baker, and often our baby sitter. There were times when one or two of us would stay at Grandma's house. The only "price" to pay was dusting. She would give us a dust cloth and ask us to polish the lower legs of the furniture. In those days that was not a problem. My brother John and I were short enough at the time. Funny how it was so easy to dust the furniture at Grandma's but oh, so difficult at home to put a nice shine on the furniture!
As we approach Mother's Day, beautiful memories flash through my mind of my Mother and Grandmother. Now I see one of my younger nieces in the role of mother.I see a lot of love being poured out over and onto her little daughter. I pray that my niece will one day also find the serenity and strength in life that my mom and grandmother modeled for me.

By the way, it is a healthy Catholic tradition to pray the rosary daily during this month of May. I recommend it to you who read this. If you need some help praying the rosary, you might even like to use a CD with the Rosary recited by the Daughters of St. Paul (2 CD's with all 20 mysteries prayed and meditated by the Sisters.) When people ask me if my voice is on any of our CD's I can answer "yes" to that one: my voice is part of a group of Sisters who recite the rosary! As for the music CD's I am an avid listener!