The Gift of Sharing our Faith

09-29-2019The Sisters Corner

For those of us who form part of the RCIA team or have the blessing to serve as a sponsor, it is a beautiful experience witnessing how God has a very special way of calling His sons and daughters to grow closer to Him. It is always special to see how the Lord knocks on their door in so many different ways, and how they willingly answer to Him.

A couple of weeks ago we kicked off this year’s RCIA program with a retreat where we reflected on the gift of Faith. A gift that God gives to us that requires an answer to Him. And we can truly see how this is happening in their lives now. This Sunday during the 9am Mass we celebrated the Rite of Welcoming and Acceptance for catechumens and candidates who have signed up in the RCIA program with the desire to learn more about the Catholic faith and grow closer to Jesus. This rite is important for us, as a community, to welcome them as they officially start this journey to prepare themselves to, with the grace of God, join the Catholic faith during the Easter Vigil.

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The Dying Culture of Death

09-29-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We have just begun another 40 Days for Life Campaign, September 25 -November 3 at the Tempe Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic, 1837 E Baseline Rd Tempe. For details of times and parking information go to: https://www.40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/tempe/. Additionally, during the Campaign, the Aid to Women Center Chapel, which is next door to PP, will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturdays from 7am-Noon. For those who cannot physically participate in the Campaign please consider praying a Rosary each day for the end to abortion.

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Grateful to be helping the favorites of the Lord

09-22-2019The Sisters Corner

Our charism and mission as Servants of the Plan of God is to serve and announce God to everybody, especially to those who are most in need. This week we celebrated our 15th anniversary in the country of Ecuador. One of the main missions of the Sisters there is to serve in the Jacinta and Francisco Center which gives integral education from the Catholic faith for women with intellectual disabilities. We provide training to enhance their skills and abilities and we also seek to help to achieve adequate social and work integration. We offer therapy services, counseling, integral formation, art workshops, Christian and moral training and various job-training workshops. Celebrating 15 years of service at this mission that brought us to Ecuador has been very special for us as the sisters who live there have been sharing videos and photos of the celebrations they have been having. Please pray for our Sisters in Ecuador and Peru who serve in this two very beautiful missions so that they continue to give themselves joyfully in the service of these children and women who are among the favorites of our Lord Jesus.

You say you want a Revolution...

09-22-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow “Revolution” by The Beatles

In a recent tweet (now deleted) the NY Times posted: Mao Zedong died on this day in 1976. The Times said he began as “an obscure peasant” and “died one of history’s great revolutionary figures”.

The tweet had a link to the Times 1976 Obituary of Mao, which you could say was overly kind and overlooked his penchant for murder, torture and mass starvation techniques. If you grew up reading the Times you know that over the years the NY Times has painted communism, whether the Soviet or the Chinese version in the best light possible mostly as a way to excoriate capitalism.

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Funny or not so Funny?

09-15-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

A sure sign that our society is not in a good way is the lack of a sense of humor. The ability to laugh at ourselves with all our idiosyncrasies helps us not take ourselves so seriously and reminds us there is another way of looking at things. Today a comic like Don Rickles would be chased off the planet for the way he poked fun at every ethnic and racial group under the sun. Such is the poisonous nature of identity politics.

It started in earnest during the last Administration. A few times I wrote somethings, tongue in cheek about former President Obama and afterwards received some stinging emails: no, no, no, don't poke fun at the Messiah. Then it kicked into high gear with the inauguration of President Trump. One parish told me that after praying at Mass for the new President upon his inauguration an irate parishioner called the Parish Office very upset and told them, “how dare you pray for that man, you never prayed for Obama”. Actually, they did pray for Obama on his two inaugurations as well as Bush, Clinton, etc. In fact, Catholic parishes in the US have been praying for the new president ever since Archbishop Carroll gave the Invocation at the Inauguration of President George Washington. A lack of charity and a dearth of humor makes me wonder if she was baptized in pickle juice?

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Encountering Christ in the Needy

09-15-2019The Sisters Corner

We are all well aware of the migration situation we have in the USA, we would have to be blind and deaf not to know it is a big problem. It is a topic that appears again and again in the news, one that usually turns political. But, our experience as Sisters is that when we talk with people about it, we are surprised to see that many are not aware of the humanitarian crisis that has been taking place so near to our homes.

The situation is shifting all the time, in the last year we have had a huge influx of Asylum Seekers in Arizona that needed to be fed, clothed and cared for. Now they are being retained for months in shelters across the border that don’t have enough resources to feed them. These are people in need who are around us, or very near to us, who really need our help and as Christians we don’t want to ignore them.

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PP on the Ropes

09-08-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Maybe we are finally hitting critical mass in the push back against abortion. Planned Parenthood is finding itself on the losing side for a change. In a Court in Maricopa County a jury awarded a $3million judgment against PP in a wrongful termination suit. The woman, Mayra Rodriguez, a clinical manager for abortion clinics in NE Phoenix and Glendale for 15yrs was fired by Planned Parenthood for reporting what was really going on in the clinics. Ironically, the woman went to work for PP because she wanted to ensure women had access to medically decent abortion clinics. Except what she saw was medically deficient care. The trial revealed what we’ve come to expect from ‘the high quality’ healthcare from Murder, Inc.:

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Helping others carry their Cross

09-08-2019The Sisters Corner

This Sunday’s Gospel invites us to carry our cross and to renounce to all of that we possess in order to be Jesus’s disciples. It also talks about hating our own father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters. Does that mean that he doesn’t want us to have possessions? Does this Gospel teach that we have to love suffering or even to hate our life and our family? Of course not!

If we don’t understand this Gospel from the message of love that Christ teaches us, we might get everything upside down. God loves us and wants us to love each other. He wants our happiness and our wellbeing, and there is nothing wrong in having possessions to fulfill whatever material needs that we might have. But, He does not want us to place our value and happiness on the possessions of material beings, He would rather have us give them away if they stop us from loving Him.

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The next Pastor will have a few less headaches

09-01-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We are more than half-way through our “Make Mt. Carmel Great Again Campaign”, so to speak, well at least make our aging buildings and infrastructure up-to-date. The rest of us are doing just fine! So, at this point what has been accomplished?

Our shock and awe mission started with a new HVAC System for the Church. This included new air-handlers as the older system (the original from 1968) was unable to handle the new refrigerants that replaced Freon and hence new compressors. So far, they are working correctly and the new thermostats have a button that says, “Freeze all Parishioners!”. I only press it when I really want you to pay attention. Just kidding. We have also made repairs to the leaks on the Church roof and subsequently repaired the water damage on several spots on the interior ceiling. Our final surge takes place next summer with replacement of the skylights over the altar as they are well past their lifespan. In addition, new flooring in the sanctuary and a new ambo/pulpit.

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Our community is growing!

09-01-2019The Sisters Corner

As we have shared with you before, Anna Carochi who is originally from Denver, and who was living with us in Arizona for the past year went to Peru in July to start her formation in order to become a sister in our community. What you might not know is that she is the first girl from the United States to join our community. It brings us a lot of joy to see how our charism, which started in Peru in 1998 and has been growing for a number of years in South America, is now also represented by someone from this beautiful country where we enjoy serving so much.

There are seven girls starting their formation this year and for us it is very exciting to see us grow not only in number but in a very particular way. Besides having the first girl from the USA, we also have the first vocation from Mexico and the first one from Panama. They are joined by another girl from Ecuador and three Peruvian girls.

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Meet Dulce

08-25-2019The Sisters Corner

Hi there! My name is Dulce. I am originally from Mexico, born and raised there up until 2014 when I moved to Chicago (IL), alongside my family. I am very excited that now I got to move to Tempe in order to live with the community as preparation for my formation as a Servant of the Plan of God.

Back in 2016, I began wondering about my vocation in life, and so I asked the Lord for an answer. When I first met the Sisters, in that same year, I knew deep in my heart that they were what I was longing for. Although I felt called to discern with them, it was not until 2018 that I became a candidate. Last June I traveled to Peru for the communitarian experience. There, the Lord confirmed to me that He has called me to serve Him as a Servant. I am very grateful to Him for His invitation to follow Him for the rest of my life. Thank you all! Be sure that I keep you in my prayers.

Obviously not so obvious

08-25-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

At times I suffer from a repeated failure to see the obvious. Case in point: the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray launched a “She Built NYC” program and invited the public to nominate women and some 320 names were put forward. After the vote on the names of women for the city to recognize with a statue, Mother Cabrini received more votes than any other woman. But the panel making the selection rejected the public’s choice. And here is where I totally missed the obvious because the obvious choices which the Panel chose were an abortion advocate and two transvestites who founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). I mean anybody with eyes to see would have known that an abortion activist and drag queens have had a greater impact on building New York City society and culture than a poor Italian immigrant.

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Opening a new community in the mountain area of Peru

08-18-2019The Sisters Corner

As we shared with you last week, this past August 15th, Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, we celebrated our 21st anniversary of foundation. And the joy of our celebration was augmented with the news of the new community God has recently shown us that He wants us to open in a small rural town in Ancash, Peru. We feel very grateful to receive this calling from God to expand the mission in the Andes region of South America.

Last week four of the five sisters who will start this new community have gone for a mission trip there to get to know the area and start preparing everything for this new missionary community which will open up in the beginning of next year. This will be the third community we have in Peru in a rural area and it makes us very happy to be able to extend our apostolate among the neediest in Peru.

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Fruit, anyone?

08-18-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

“You will know them by their fruits”. Matthew 7:16

Words and appearances are one thing but “what have you done for me lately” is another entirely. So, it is good to step back once in a while and see what evidence there is that we as a Parish are bearing fruit, good fruit.

This past weekend was one of those times. We celebrated the Perpetual Profession of Sr. Sydney Moss with the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco. She is a young woman who grew up in our Parish, graduated our Elementary School and along with many other young people today are bearing much fruit. Her companions in our Youth Group back in the day were Sr. Maria Kim, now a Sister with the Daughters of St. Paul, Fr. Scott Sperry, now a priest of our Diocese as well as a few other priests who serve with Religious Orders. Then there are many others, more than I can count who are living a Christian married life and bearing much fruit, especially children and all are actively involved in a variety of Apostolates in the Parish or in the wider Church. Just come to the 9am Sunday Mass and you’ll meet lots of them.

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The Servants of the Plan of God Celebrate 21 years

08-11-2019The Sisters Corner

During this week we want to ask for special prayers for the Servants of the Plan of God around the world. August 15th, Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, it is going to be 21 years since our community began in Lima, Peru when 9 young women moved in together to start the formation process to discern if God was calling them to give their lives to Him through this new community which was starting.

Two decades later, we now have more than 160 sisters in 14 communities around the world and we are preparing to open the 15th community in a rural area of the mountains of Peru. For those of us who have been around for a while it is truly amazing to look back and see how God has lead us and taken us places we had never dreamed.

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The Father Knows Best

08-11-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Most young people in their late teens and early twenties are looking forward to and planning their future. Whether its finishing up college, moving into a career, saving up for a new car or planning to be married, it’s an exciting time in life. But not for all. Why do some young people lose the hope and the excitement of a future? Why is the suicide rate among young people skyrocketing and why do some young men decide to blow up their future and the future of dozens and dozens of others? It’s easy to point the finger of blame at this or that but as we have found out, it’s much harder to find effective solutions that could stop the metamorphosis of a bright young teenager into a cold-blooded killer.

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World Day Of Peace Message

08-04-2019The Sisters Corner

God invites us to announce Him and spread His Gospel to everyone. One of the missions we are grateful about is to serve in our Parish’s School. It is such a blessing and a great mission to be able to help the children encounter Christ, allow them to know and live their faith. For us, there is such a great joy knowing that through this service, we equip the children with not only information but with wisdom that allows them to live a life rooted on our faith’s teachings and values.

We want to share words from Benedict XVI about Educating:

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Asylum Insanity

08-04-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This past Tuesday was World Day against the Trafficking of Persons. A most pertinent topic, unfortunately. With the flow of migrants through Mexico human traffickers are making a bundle. The whole system of human trafficking is pretty much under the control of the Mexican Drug Cartels. While their drug trafficking profits have been cut a bit by the legalization of marijuana in the many US states, they have more than compensated for the loss with human smuggling, including selling women and children into the sex trade.

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