Every Day Stewardship

02-26-2017Stewardship Reflection

We often say in the Church that stewardship is about the three Ts, time, talent, and treasure, but really, stewardship is about the big "E," which is everything. We are made up of more than just our time, talent, and treasure, and the gifts that come from God are overwhelming. All that we have, from the obvious to the not so obvious, is a gift from God. We are called to cultivate them all and offer them back to God with increase.

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Let Us Go to Jerusalem

02-26-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Our old friend norma loquendi says that the term “toxic asset” is an oxymoron that you can bank on! It is amazing at what speed we distort the meaning of words or just outright change the definition of a word to make it seem like it is something it is not. George Orwell would be proud. One of my favorite obfuscations is “preembryo.” It is a nonsensical and non-scientific redefining of the meaning of embryo to describe an embryo that is not yet implanted in a womb but is rather in a Petri dish. Of course no matter where the embryo is, it is still an embryo. By describing it as a “pre” embryo makes experimenting on it or destroying it a little more palatable. We do the same with baby and fetus. It is easier to stomach “aborting a fetus” than “killing a baby” in the womb. Confronting the language that empowers the culture of death is the first step in defending equality for all human life.

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Meet Sr. Maria Christina

02-26-2017The Sisters CornerSr. Maria Cristina

I am Sr. Maria Cristina. I’m 22 years old and I entered the community when I was 19 years old. All my life God has been taking care of me and guiding me so that I could answer His call. Sometimes when I look back at my story I am surprised to see the cry of the love of God that said to me: “Follow me, I have chosen you”. If I had to summarize my testimony I would do it in one phrase: “all of myself and forever”.

“All of myself”: because my entire life is for God and to serve Him in the needy, in the ones who suffer and in those who are in need of consolation, counsel and love.

“Forever”: because as I started to discern my vocation, I fell in love with the fact that I understood my yes as a yes to anything He wanted to ask of me. Any mission He wanted to give me in any country He wanted me to be serve in. In a full apostolic life open to His Plan with other sisters who share the same joy as mine and who also will proclaim the wonders of God to everyone.

I’m extremely happy to be a Servant of the Plan of God. Every time I talk about it, I feel like I have won the lottery!

Grave Concerns

02-19-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Many people have expressed to me their grave concerns and outright fears about the new administration in Washington, DC. At this point, such fears and concerns are still in the realm of the hypothetical since, as of now, no one’s liberties have been taken away or restricted. I will admit that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would be reacting the same way, if not more so. Let me explain what my grave concerns and fears were prior to the election. I will use one example to illustrate my point.

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Being a Servant of the Plan of God

02-19-2017The Sisters Corner

A young women’s discernment process starts as she begins to perceive “the call” from God as well as getting to know our order in a more personal manner.

The process proceeds when she expresses verbally the yearning; to know more about our vocation and mission. During this time, we invite and assist her with going into a deeper spiritual prayer life, self- knowledge, spending more time getting to know the community and our mission. This is our way of support, thus giving her the necessary tools that she will need for the discernment.

After a period of personal time and witnessing certain signs that are going towards the direction of the consecrated life, the next step is getting to know the community, living with us for a period of time, which helps to confirm her original sense of “the call” . This is called the “Communitarian Experience.”

We receive three years of formation. Part of the formation includes an apostolic experience, which happens towards the end of formation. The sisters are assigned to one of our apostolic communities to live out our mission of living among the people before returning to the formation house.

We then enter the permanent formation. Continuing our college courses and our studies in pastoral and theology formation. During this very important period, we continue our personal growth as part of the community. We engage through different ministerial opportunities as we move forward toward our temporal profession until our perpetual profession.

Our Mission...

02-12-2017The Sisters Corner

HEALTH
Serving our brothers and sisters who are ill, in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, hospices, and similar services.

FORMATION IN THE FAITH
Evangelizing through the care, management and the proclamation of the Word, in retreat houses and formation centers teaching the faith of the Church and leading spiritual exercises.

EDUCATION
As Christians educating and offering formation to the needy and the poor, announcing the Good News of the Lord Jesus, and communicating with fidelity the faith of the Church.

ASSISTANCE AND HUMAN PROMOTION
Living in loving solidarity with the needy. Working and assisting towards the promotion of the human condition, within the spirit of the Gospel and utilizing the social teaching of the Church. Keeping in mind that out of service to our brother the evangelizing dynamism is born and with the perspective that both proclaiming the Gospel and service are intimately linked.

"Free Will"

02-12-2017Stewardship Reflection

All the readings on this Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time seem to address from one perspective or another the idea of “free will” as it goes hand in hand with “God’s wisdom.” St. Paul speaks to this ongoing philosophy and discussion of “free will” more than anyone else in Holy Scripture. However, as he points out in our Second Reading from his First Letter to the Corinthians, “We speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory.”

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An Iraqi Speaks

02-12-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This interview with Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop, gives an inside perspective on the recent Executive Order issued by President Trump:

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Servants Around the World

02-05-2017The Sisters Corner

We have received many blessings over the years and with the grace of God many doors have opened in different countries around the world.

Our headquarters are in Lima-Peru and for this reason we have several Apostolic Communities serving in the various missions we have. We are also in two provinces in Peru: Ayacucho and Ayaviri.

Our presence in Latin America is extended to other countries as Colombia, Chile and Ecuador, evangelizing people of all ages, with different needs in their lives. Serving the Church directly in Rome has also been a blessing. We have sisters serving the needs of the Church there in many different ways.

Going to other continents continues to be a challenge. However, we believe that God wants us in the Philippines and Angola because of their status’ as mission territories, with many needs. Through the years of serving the Church in Angola and the Philippines, we have experienced an existing deep hunger for God. It is believed that this hunger is partly satisfied as they continue to encounter the testimonies of people trying to fulfill that hunger and need.

And now with God we face our new challenge in coming to United States. We are open to His grace during this beautiful time. We are so grateful to God with our first community in Arizona!

We are the Light of the World

02-05-2017Stewardship Reflection

Stewardship is putting our faith in action through the use of the gifts given to us by God. It is becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ. The Lord did not want us to be passive in our approach to living. He wants more from us than just being quietly holy.

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71 Years of Excellence

02-05-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We just completed our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week. We are blessed to have a school that has been in continuous operation for over 71 years. The pastor who first started the school in 1945, Fr. Bernard Gordon, intended for the school to educate the children of the parishioners who sought a Catholic education for their children. He did not want the school to be an elite institution, or an “Academy” as we would say, so the school was, and still is, a ministry of the overall Parish of Mt. Carmel which is a way of reminding all of us that the education of our children is the responsibility of everyone.

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