Friday, October 31, 2014

All Hallows Eve

Our Halloween in Boston looks like it will be a beautiful day. Boston's people were saddened to learn of the death of their former Mayor Menino yesterday. Mr. Menino endeared himself to the public because of his attitude of acceptance of all peoples, his fidelity to his faith, and his hard work for the people of Boston. When the Boston Marathon bombing ripped at the heart of his city last year, he checked himself out of a hospital to be of assistance to his people. The Mayor left office only a few months ago. We pray for the repose of his soul. We rejoice in the many good things he did for the city as a whole, and for the many individual lives he enriched by his efforts. Tom Menino was a humble man, because humility is truth. One of the Sisters of our community said this morning, "I met him at the funeral of the mother of a priest. He was in the line." He did not seek first place because he was the Mayor. May his successors learn from we all learn from his example. Tomorrow is the Feast of All Saints. Happy Feast Day to all my readers. God bless you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daily Grace

Today was one of those serendepedus days (I apologize for my not knowing the spelling of this made-up word) when a few things actually went very well. I had a chance to get something done well and fast. Our chaplain came for the sacrament of reconciliation as I was passing by. There were moments of grace. There is a prayer which the Jesuit or Ignatian spirituality recommends. It is called The Awareness Prayer. Since for me it is rather late at night (we have morning prayers very early at 6:40, I will just touch briefly on this prayer. It takes a bit of time, but it helps us become aware of what God is about in our lives. It also lets us slow down long enough to stop for a few minutes; to look at what God has done to me, for me through events and other people and other ways; to listen to my heart, that is my feelings, my desires. Am I happy? Sad? Stressed? Why, why not? How did I respond to the circumstances I was in? Or did I "react" instead? How were my words, my actions? I become aware of my own actions, words, attitudes.... For what is good, I give thanks. For what is wanting in me, for my failures, I ask pardon, I pray an act of contrition. For the grace to do and to be better tomorrow, I pray an act of trust and confidence in our Master's unfailing help. I remain in peace with God. Some of you may already be praying and practicing this kind of prayer exercise. It is very helpful to do this every day. Until tomorrow I say God bless you. For those of us who celebrate the secular feast of Halloween (All Hallows Eve) have a good and safe celebration.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Feast for Jesus Master

Today in our Boston chapel and in Pauline Family chapels throughout the world, we celebrated Mass in honor of Jesus Christ, the Divine Master, Way, Truth and life. The Founder of the Pauline Family, Blessed James Alberione, had petitioned the Vatican for permission to celebrate this feast on a Sunday. Permission was granted in 1958, a few years prior to the Vatican Council II.
The gospel for today's Mass is from John which narrates Jesus' washing of the feet at the last supper. The first reading was from the prophet Isaiah where the writer personifies Jesus' own experience: "I was given a well trained tongue...I gave my back to those who beat me..." yet God was with me. The second reading focused on the Word of God. We are told to keep our focus on it, as on the morning star which breaks through the dark of night.
The readings direct us to Jesus who said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." That is, he is our Way, or our road to travel; he is the Truth of our life. He gives meaning to our existence. He is our Life. His life is not only our moral support. His grace sustains us at each moment. In the Eucharist Jesus sustains us with his own body and blood. May Jesus, Master be our sure Way to follow. May Jesus Truth's gospel enlighten our decisions. May Jesus Life sustain us and "give us each day our daily bread" not only material bread, but bread for our souls. During this week, we Daughters of St. Paul are holding our 2nd annual Webathon, a fund-raiser to help support the many costs of proclaiming the gospel with the media. God to our web site at to find out more. There are lots of videos to watch to focus in on our mission. Thanks ahead of time for your generosity. I assure you that I pray for all of my reader, and especially for those who make a sacrifice to help us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Novena to Jesus Master

Blessed James Alberione founded the world-wide Pauline Family and gave it three underlying devotions: Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life; Mary, Queen of the Apsotles; and St. Paul, the Apsotle. We celebrate the feast of Jesus Master on the last Sunday of october. In preparation, we Sisters usually sing a Novena found in the prayers of the Pauline Family. Our Digital Team formed by Sisters of various countries offers you a chance to pray this Novena with us. Here are the prayers for today: I hope that you can join us. God bless you! Sister Mary Peter

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Good We Do

Yesterday I wrote about Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, a holy man who died in 1948. World news media recently focused on the tragic deaths of four men who were killed by ISIS members. The first was the American photo journalist James Foley. He had been imprisoned by terrorists at another time and released. We know that he prayed the rosary on his knuckles during that time. He was known for his generosity to the poor and his goodness to all his co-workers. Our retired Pope Benedict once wrote that “Only God can bring good out of evil.” This morning I read an article which appeared earlier this week in the Washington Post’s on-line opinion section. The author highlights four victims of ISIS brutality and how their public executions shed light on their lives of self sacrifice and goodness. Had they died in bed back in their homelands, others would have mourned surely. Their public demise brought out their lives of goodness for the whole world to see.
As autumn leaves fall in our part of the world, they reveal more of the landscape. When people leave this life, we often remember the good they did. May we too be remembered for our lives spent for love of God and neighbor.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Timothy Giaccardo

Yesterday was the 19th Sunday in Ordinary time. Had it been a weekday, we Paulines would have celebrated the Mass for the Feast of blessed timothy Giaccardo. [The "Gia" is pronounced as the "ja" is pronounced in the word jaw.]Father Timothy was the first young man to be ordained as a member of the society of St. Paul in Alba Italy. In the Acts of the Apostles we read of how St. Paul took the young disciple timothy as his companion on the mission of evangelizing the world of St. Paul's time. Father Giaccardo was baptized Joseph in the parish of St. Bernard in the town of Narzole in the Piedmont area of Northern Italy. When the young Giaccardo made his first vows as a Pauline priest, he chose to change his name to Timothy. As Timothy was a faithful "son of St, Paul in the Faith," so the young Father Joseph Giaccardo desired to learn from Father Alberione and allow his "father in the spiritual lie" lead him to become a Pauline saint. A totally opposite character type fromn the founder, Giaccardo became a faithful confidant and vicar to blessed James Alberione. Giaccardo loved beautiful liturgical celebrations, music and tasteful decor. Alberione was satified with simple vestments, brief songs, and so on. In one sense, the founder was a minimalist. His vicar instead liked to maximize certain aspects of liturgy and celebrations. Giaccardo accepted the reality of their differences. He learned to open himself to Alberione's guidance especially in his spiritual life.
When blessed Alberione founded his second feminine order, The sister Disciples of the Divine Master, Giaccardo was instrumental in grasping the Founder's intuition regarding these Sisters. While sharing in the spirituality of the Fathers of the Society of St. Paul and of the Daughters of St. Paul, this new branch of the Family would need its own particular direction. In addition to the daily Hour of Eucharistic Adoration assigned to the Daughters of St. Paul, these Sisters were given an additional hour of Eucharistic adoration. They were to serve as a prayer "powerhouse" for the brothers and sisters of the first two Pauline Foundations. Later they were to pray too for the new foundations to come in the expanding Pauline Family.
The year 1947--1948 was one of a spiritual desert for the Sister disciples as certain authorities questioned their very existence. Father Giaccardo not only prayed that the fledgling order be approved, but that it would soon grow in numbers. He offered his life for their success. Father Giaccardo died in the clinic of San Fre, near the city of Alba in Italy on November 24th, 1948. Soon after, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master were recognized by the Church as a truly unique congregation within the Pauline Family. Their work of promoting the sacred liturgy, Eucharistic adoration and help to the priesthood would soon flourish throughout the world. Father Giaccardo had completed his mission on earth as a helper to Blessed Alberione. Timothy giaccardo was recognized as "Blessed" on October 22nd, 1989.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Apologies to all my readers for taking so long to re-blog! I must confess that Facebook has robbed a lot of my on-line time. The other day I wrote something to post for today. Here it is, and I hope it is clear to all my fellow relative or close aquaintenses. Last weekend I was on a retreat. This time I was the one giving the conferences. The setting was lovely—nestled in North Carolina's mountains with a lake shimmering with autumn colors, a lovely chapel and comfortable quarters, good meals, and good people.
This weekend we Sisters in our Boston community are hosting two Sisters who are members of our General Council. The six councilors form part of the team that governs our international Congregation. We Daughters of St. Paul are an international religious family present in 52 nations. Our habits do not always look alike because in many nations all religious sisters are asked to wear local attire. This is true in parts of Africa, in India, in Malaysia and Pakistan, and other areas.
No matter the dress, our Sisters all wear the emblem that identifies them as consecrated Pauline Sisters. What unites us is our faith, our common Baptism and our call to proclaim Christ and his message through whatever media of communication available to us. The theme of our last general chapter—a meeting with Sisters representing the various nations where we are—was “We believe and therefore we speak.” Our speaking is done through radio, television and the written word, in book or printed form, or on the various means of digital communication: apps; emails, digital newsletters; digital programming, etc. Our Founder said we Paulines “must be St. Paul living today.” We are convinced that were St. Paul with us now, he would delight in getting the Good News of Christ out to as many as possible with the many digital means of social media today. Around the world we Pauline Sisters are praying a Novena to Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life. Please join us in this nine day preparation for the Feast of Jesus Master. We Pauline Family members celebrate this Feast each year on the last Sunday of October. Here is link to use to follow the Novena.
As I mentioned above we are an international family of Sisters. This Novena reflects thoughts of Sisters in a variety of English-speaking nations. May you enjoy a blessed end of the weekend and blessed Monday. For us in the northern reaches lead us to praise God for his beauty as he flashes golden, brown and red hues all around us. Here is a link to our Divine Master Novena on-line. .