April 2011 Month of the Eucharist

+JMJ This year the Easter Vigil will be celebrated on April 23rd, in which 9 children and 4 adults of our parish will receive Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. We have 3 other adults who will complete their Sacraments of Initiation of Confirmation and Eucharist on Mercy Sunday of the Octave of Easter. What a glorious way to reflect on the pure gift of Jesus, our Holy Eucharist, as these people receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.

Also on the Vigil of Mercy Sunday, April 30th, our Regional Bishop Thomas Curry will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for 79 adults and youth of our parish. The installation of the downstairs the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom vanity cabinets remain incomplete as the doors need to be ordered and then installed. The problem of water seepage on the outside back stairwell remains unresolved, though the tile suppliers have refunded the contractor of the tiles. Another covering will need to be decided upon after work in the inside has been completely decided. With progress so slow, we do not have a move-in date. Your continued prayers will be appreciated.

Let us continue on our journey of Lent, preparing ourselves through the renewal of our hearts, minds and souls so as to be drawn closer to our Lord this coming Easter.

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March 2011 Month of St. Joseph

+JMJ Lent has begun with the Feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph this month … this month is dedicated to St. Joseph and construction on our convent is moving along… During last month, what was suppose to only be one week of work turned out to be three weeks with rainstorms interrupting the men laying concrete work. Yet all the exterior concrete work was completed thanks to Ralph, JP and gang! May the Lord bless these men who generously gave themselves reconstructing our block wall, laying cement for the patio, sidewalks and driveway and installing new fences on three sides of our convent-home! Just one more fence to be replaced in the backyard, but it will have to be done sometime in the future.

Installation of the downstairs flooring and the kitchen cabinets has to begun and work on the bathroom vanity cabinets is to being done next.

We have had problems of water seepage from the rains and rust leeching from the tiles on the outside back stairwell, which our contractor is trying to resolve. The tile work on the stairwell may need to be redone! Please pray that the tile suppliers will guarantee replacement of the faulty tiles.

We must thank the Lord and thank Chris Higgins, a good friend and parishioner, an artist and skilled woodwork craftsman, who has completed some of our chapel furnishings… He and his brother have installed the Tabernacle, the base of the Altar and the Crucifix. The Altar candle stands, Lectern, Sanctuary lamp holder and the Presider’s chair are the furnishings Christ will be working on this month. A beautiful stone top of the Altar, queried and delivered, was installed on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19th! This is the progress that gives us hope that our Convent-home will be completed

Perhaps in these six weeks, the 40 days of Lent will bring completion of the construction and we will be able to celebrate the Easter in our convent-home, God Willing! While we wait, we are united in praying with our Lay Associates the 40 Days of Reflection in the booklet, Way of Life, Be a Saint, as a renewal of our Consecration and Commitment as Handmaids to live the Family Life of the Blessed Trinity as reflected in the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We invite anyone interested to join us during this Lent in these reflections… just email us or contact us by phone so that we can share more with you personally. May our Lenten journey be one of conversion that we may “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel, as we “remember” that we are dust and to dust we shall return!

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February 2011 Month of the Sacred Passion

+JMJ How appropriate that this month is dedicated to the Sacred Passion. Most think of Valentine’s Day when they think of February, the special day of saying “I love you.” Yet the history of the day is that of St. Valentine, martyr for the love of Christ during the early persecution of the Catholic Church. Yes, a time to reflect on love to the point of sharing in the Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ, who suffered for the love of each of us!

Suffering in our daily life pales in comparison to that of Jesus and of St. Valentine, yet how often we let our interior sufferings distract our appreciation of God’s love for us! Much to reflect upon in this month of the Sacred Passion…

February 2nd also is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, described in the Gospel of Luke 2:22-35. This day is celebrated in the Catholic Church as the World Day for Consecrated Life, instituted by in 1997 by Pope John Paul II in which all are asked to pray for Religious priests, brothers and sisters around the world. Click here for the prayer card:2011-wdcl-prayer-card

One year ago on February 2nd the 2nd story construction of our convent-home was begun… we are still awaiting its completion! What more can we say except, pray, pray, pray… as St. Paul says in Colossians 4:2 “Pray perseveringly, be attentive to prayer, and pray in a spirit of thanksgiving.” We give thanks to Almighty God for calling us to share in this time of interior sufferings as was await the completion of the construction of our convent-home. Some progress has been made as the photos will show. We also give thanks to the generous friends who have given us and continue to give us housing this past year! May the Lord bless them abundantly for their hospitality and kindness! We pray for our contractor and all the workmen on our convent-home, that the Lord may bless them in all their efforts in this difficult time of our world’s economy! We entrust all to the Lord’s Will and timing… may God be praised!

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January 2011 – Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

+JMJ “Praise be Jesus Christ!”… an old traditional greeting amongst Catholics still used by our Carmelite Sister-friends. The response is, “Now and forever.” Truly Jesus Christ is to be praised as we enter this New Year. We have our annual retreat of 9 days (a novena of prayer) from December 26th to January 4th. We are in silence and the Holy Spirit is our retreat Master-Director. This year was unusual in that we were not in our convent, still under construction, but the Lord provided our temporarily housing was in solitude since the friends with whom we have been staying were also out of town during our retreat. The fruit of our retreat is always a closer walk with Jesus, to prepare us for whatever may come during this year…

Is a retreat in your yearly calendar? We highly recommend a retreat each year for everyone. There are a variety of retreats available throughout the year at various retreat facilities or even at local parishes. Check your Diocesan directory or ask at your local parish for retreats that may be going on in your area. The type of retreat also varies: a silent retreat with spiritual conferences (talks) given by a retreat director, witness talks given by presenters followed by small group reflections, or an individual guided retreat in which you remain in complete silence to reflect on Sacred Scripture except to share reflections with the retreat spiritual director. The length of a retreat may also vary: one day, a weekend, 8 days or a month long. What do you do on retreat? Listen, pray, read Sacred Scripture or other spiritual writings, reflect, be still and make resolutions in your commitment to the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The essential element of any retreat is Mass and an opportunity to go to confession because it is through the Sacraments that we are truly encountered by Jesus Himself. Yes, the purpose and goal of all retreats is a closer walk with Jesus so that following the retreat you will have a more intimate relationship with Him for the rest of the year…

We are not able to share a retreat with you, but we are available to journey with anyone desiring to grow in living Jesus’ Way of Life, so just email us or give us a call!

News of the construction of our convent simply is that continues to move slowly… no new photos to share… perhaps next month.

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December 2010 Advent and Nativity of our Lord…

+JMJ Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and forever! We rejoice in this Advent season as we prepare for the birth of our Lord anew within our hearts and lives! Mother Church in her wisdom calls us to renew our relationship with our Lord each year beginning with the anticipation of His birthday, through the Sundays of Advent and the special solemnity of the Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception. We also have the special Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12th, in which we recall her message to St. Juan Diego of being our most merciful Mother to intercede for us.

This is a time to be still and to listen to our Lord speak of His tremendous love for each and every person… We will be posting, emailing and mailing our annual Adent-Christmas card-letter to share with you all that the Lord has done, is doing and will continue to do in our lives as we entrust ourselves to His love and mercy.

May this season be very special for each one, a time of peace, joy and hope as we look to the coming of our Lord anew each day and in the new year! United in prayer and in Trinitarian love life…

Click here to read our Advent-Christmas card-letter 2010.

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