- Created on Saturday, 21 November 2015 02:39
As we look forward to Thanksgiving and our American "Black Friday," let us keep in our prayers all those who were touched by France's "Black Friday," as Paris' Cardinal Vingt-Trois referred to the recent terrorist attack in the City of Light.
CLICK HERE to read the Cardinal's homily at a memorial Mass held at Notre Dame Cathedral on November 18.
- Created on Thursday, 19 November 2015 15:38
We recently welcomed three new postulants to our home in Baltimore, where they will spend their first few months of initiation to the life of a Little Sister of the Poor before heading to the novitiate next spring.
Andrea Hassink (left) first met the Little Sisters when she was studying in Philadelphia, where she would bring a group of young adults to volunteer among the residents.
Courtney Moore (middle) first came to know the Little Sisters in St. Paul, MN, where she worked as a CNA with the Residents for the past four years.
Angela Conti (right) is a familiar face at St. Martin’s, as she worked as the Social Service designee before discerning that the Lord was calling her to make this first step as a Little Sister of the Poor.
The postulants are pictured with Mother Provincial Loraine Marie Clare (left), Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Sister Maria Grace, who is responsible for their formation.
The Little Sisters thank God for this promise of new life among us, and we look forward to sharing the joy of being a daughter of St. Jeanne Jugan, in the service of God and his eldest children!
Pope Francis Showed Me the Culture of Encounter
- Created on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 01:18
Pope Francis often speaks of what he calls a “culture of encounter.” During his visit to the United States, he hugged children and the elderly and warmly shook hands with everyone he met. The Holy Father was showing us what this culture of encounter looks like.
Amazingly, we Little Sisters of the Poor received a very unforgettable lesson in encounter when the Pope unexpectedly visited our home in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 23. At nearly the end of a long, eventful day, Pope Francis walked through the back door of our chapel. There he was, this international superstar, and we had him all to ourselves for the next 15 minutes!
Before we knew it, he started greeting each of the 40 Sisters with a smile and a firm handshake. Some of the Sisters kissed his ring (a traditional sign of respect and faith in the Pope as the successor of Peter), while others assured him of their prayers or spoke of their aspirations. Each one felt that she had been the object of our Holy Father’s undivided attention.
When it was my turn, I thanked Pope Francis for speaking about the elderly and promoting their dignity and valuable role in society. He listened attentively and then looked straight at me, replying that yes, it is very important to speak about older persons. It was an unforgettable inspiring affirmation of our mission.
For me, however, the most touching moment of the Holy Father’s visit happened a few minutes later. The Pope came to one of our elderly Little Sisters who suffers from dementia. Sister is no longer able to speak and, as I knelt a few feet away ready to snap a photo, I didn’t think that she even made eye contact with him. But that didn’t matter! Our Holy Father leaned over her, took her hand in his and listened as our superior told him Sister’s name and a few details about her life. His gaze went from her hands to her face and back again, and then he traced the sign of the cross on her forehead before moving on.
What struck me so deeply was that even though Sister was not able to communicate with him in any discernible way, Pope Francis gave her just as much attention as he gave the rest of us.
That moment helped me to understand the culture of encounter as an acknowledgment of human dignity. God is mysteriously present in each and every person, and each of us manifests God’s love in a way no one else can. To encounter another person as our Holy Father does is to realize their inherent dignity and their unrepeatable uniqueness in God’s eyes; it is to believe that they have something unique to offer.
Several weeks have passed and I still find myself pondering Pope Francis’ interaction with our elderly Little Sister. Just as his words to me affirmed the importance of our mission to the elderly, his attention to her underlined God’s unique and faithful love for each of us, regardless of our status in life.
Pope Francis taught me that to encounter another person means to let God use me to communicate his love to him or her, to say, “You are important to me, I am counting on you.” Jesus says this to each one of us, no matter our vocation, and he wants to use us to communicate it to others. This is the culture of encounter!
Little Sisters attend Symposium on Consecrated Life
- Created on Thursday, 19 November 2015 15:31
Last weekend a group of about 15 Little Sisters from around the country participated in the CMSWR Symposium on Consecrated Life in St. Louis, MO.
Sisters of CMSWR explore prophetic character of religious life at St. Louis symposium
On the evening of Friday, Nov. 13, bumper-to-bumper traffic had downtown St. Louis at a near-standstill. As frustrated drivers tried to jam their cars into already-clogged intersections, other drivers honked or — at times — rolled down their windows to forcefully suggest those cars get out of the way.
But inside the Drury Hotel, just a stone's throw west from St. Louis' Gateway Arch, the mood was quite different.
More than 500 women religious from across the United States and Canada gathered at the hotel for the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious' symposium on religious life, an event inspired by the Year of Consecrated Life and Pope Francis' 2014 call for men and women religious to "wake up the world." On the first night, before the lectures began, the sisters poured into the hotel lobby for a hot dog dinner, and the room burst with the sound of old friends reconnecting for the first time in a while.
Yet by the time Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had reached the podium for the opening keynote address — a theological exploration of the prophetic character of religious life — the sisters fell to a reverent silence, most scribbling notes and some crouching on the floor to snap quick photos of Di Noia. KEEP READING.
CLICK HERE to read an article on the Symposium by Kathryn Jean Lopez.
Every Life Is Worth Living
- Created on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 01:07
It may be almost the end of Respect Life Month, but I just found this beautiful prayer for life which is worth praying year-round:
Heavenly Father, thank you
for the precious gift of life.
Help us to cherish and protect this gift,
even in the midst of fear, pain and suffering.
Give us love for all people,
especially the most vulnerable,
and help us to bear witness to the truth
that every life is worth living.
Grant us the humility to accept help
when we are in need,
and teach us to be merciful to all.
Through our words and actions,
may others encounter the outstretched hands
of Your mercy.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
(United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
For a pdf version of this prayer CLICK HERE.