Sunday, December 31, 2023

Feast of the Holy Family


Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.  This Feast is celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas.  The Feast of the Holy Family is a rather tender remembrance.  Mary, Joseph, and Jesus did not have an easy life.  In many ways they were refugees trying to make ends meet.  They embraced significant difficulties and had more than their share of life’s struggles. Like them, we too, have family struggles.

Pope Francis wrote, “God has saved us by living among us. He lived in a family, an everyday life. He did not avoid difficulties, but rather chose a family “experienced in suffering,” as if to tell our families: “You are not alone!” 

Our loving, compassionate, God promises to always be present to us.  As we go through life there are times when this is very real and other times when it seems impossible.  God’s presence is not seen it is felt with one’s heart.  We are called to believe with he eyes of faith.  Much like Simeon, we are called to testify to Christ alive among us.  On this last day of 2023 let us take time to look back and reflect on the past years through the eyes of faith.  I am sure God’s presence will be full of many surprises.  May 2024 be filled with many blessings and much happiness, peace, and love for all.

Sunday, December 24, 2023


“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

 On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear the familiar story of the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel.  This message comes from an angel, and its words are not only for Mary, but for each of us to whom the angel speaks today through the Gospel.  St. Gabriel’s message tells us about a plan:  a plan God has for Mary’s life, and a plan that God has for the life of each one of us.  The purpose of this gospel passage is to show us how to accept in our lives this plan that God has for us.  The way that the gospel shows us to accept this plan is to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We need to say “yes” to God’s plan for us.  Advent is that season when we anticipate the coming of Christ.  We cannot come to savor the joy of Christmas without living out the humility of Advent.  Advent is a season of humble expectation.

This year Advent is particularly short and ends on the 4th Sunday.  Christmas Eve begins with the Vigil Liturgy at 4pm.  I have many fond memories of Christmas Eve dinner at my aunt’s house.  She made the traditional Italian seven fishes but always had something for those of us who did not eat fish.  I remember the endless antipasto platters that were on the table and the linguini without clam sauce that was part of the tradition.  The meal always concluded with pastries and a Yule Log.

May these days be filled with anticipation, love and the profound “yes” of Mary.  May we follow her example and proclaim, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Gaudete Sunday


Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!

I have always loved the third Sunday of Advent – Gaudete Sunday.  It is the Sunday when we light the pink candle.  We hear the story of John the Baptist, a witness to Christ.  He knew Jesus and revealed what he knew of him.  We are invited this day to continue the journey of getting to know Jesus.  It is the day when we are invited to let joy fill our hearts as we prepare once again for the coming of Christ into our hearts.

On Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the Christmas show of a friend’s school.  This school is for students with special learning issues.  It was a truly profound experience of joy for me.  Each student performed with their whole heart, mind and entire being.  My heart was filled with joy watching these young people sing, dance, and perform the Nativity of the Lord.  The entire room was filled with excitement as the show began. Each level presented two songs, were involved in the choir, and the older students presented the story of that night long, long ago when Jesus was born in a stable.  There were shepherds, kings, angels, joining Mary, Joseph, and the baby (a doll) on the stage. The students performed with reverence, respect, and were filled with joy.

Friday night truly began a sense of Christmas spirit for me.  Watching these young people filled me with a tremendous sense of joy and anticipation.  I felt that the show touched my heart in a very special way. Perhaps it was the fact that I was in the front row in a reserved seat or that I was asked to take pictures of the performance that enabled me to feel totally absorbed in the show.  I took about 150 pictures trying to capture the experience for the principal.  May shows like this and other Christmas classics carry us through this season with hope, faith, and joy!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Second Sunday of Advent

Today we continue the journey as we mark the Second Sunday of Advent. Every year on the second Sunday of Advent, the Church has us ponder the words and deeds of Saint John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the coming of the Lord.  The Advent season is an invitation to refocus your mind away from the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off of the crazy hustle of the season and the sadness that could accompany the different ways some of us may be choosing to observe the holiday season this year. Even when things feel chaotic we can find peace in Jesus. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.  As we begin this second week of Advent let us take on the attitude of Advent as we pray:

"Loving God, prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth joyfully! We thank you for faithfully doing what you promised long ago when you sent your Son to earth so that we might have the chance to become part of your family. Let the promise of your second coming inspire us to live with hope and purpose. 

As we wait for your plan to unfold, give us the patience we need. Remind us of the peace we can access when we take time to still ourselves before you and remember that you are God. We thank you that you are both sovereign and gracious.

Help us to find rest in the midst of what feels like chaos in our world'. Amen.

During this season of hope and promise let us be patient with ourselves, our God, one another.  

Sunday, December 3, 2023

First Sunday of Advent


Just as I was about to write the blog for the first Sunday of Advent, Sr. Jeannie sent me this acrostic.  What a wonderful gift as we begin this Advent Season.

A time to stop

Dreaming of what will be in the future

Very much now to be in the now

Emergence of something new

Nodding acceptance of reality

To allow God to be present in us

In our readings from this first Sunday, we focus on our ultimate goal of entering the Kingdom of God.  The image of God as a potter forming us, shaping us into who we are called to be.  I love the image of God molding us into the people we are. God is called to be tender and love us into life if we are willing to listen. In Mark’s Gospel, he speaks of disasters that can happen.  While Jesus’ message is stay alert and be ready.  Be who we are called to be. Jesus calls us to be active, to be excited, not passive.

This is really what Advent is all about, to be ready and full of hope. Time is moving by so quickly; we need to be sure to take time to allow God to be present to us.  Advent is very short this year, just twenty-two days.  There is much to do and much to reflect on.  So many resources are available this year to help guide us through the Advent season.

Community Works, Inc is one of many resources available to help guide you through the Advent journey. May these days of Advent be filled with much hope, peace, joy, and love for our world.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Celebrating Our Roots


Yesterday, Ursuline Sisters, Associates, colleagues, and friends are celebrated St. Angela Merici’s foundation of the Company of St. Ursula in 1535. On November 25, 1535, Angela Merici with 28 of her followers attended Mass and then signed their name (or made their mark) in the Book of the Company of St. Ursula.  This simple ceremony was the beginning of a legacy that has lasted 488 years. As we celebrate this 488th anniversary, we recommit ourselves to bringing the spirit of St. Angela to our church and our world and to living her words to us: “Act, move, believe, strive, hope, cry out to God with all your heart, for without doubt you will see marvelous things if you direct everything to the praise and glory of God and the good of others.”

On Tuesday, November 28th we commemorate the foundation of the Roman Union.  In 1900, Pope Leo XIII expressed the wish to see all the Ursulines united under the authority of one Superior General living in Rome. A consultation was sent to all the Ursulines and to all the bishops concerned. The questions, correspondence, support and even the objections led to the convocation of a General Assembly in Rome on November 15, 1900. The 71 superiors and delegates discussed and voted the plan for a General Government. Sixth-two of the monasteries joined the Union. The verbal approval of the Holy Father on November 28, 1900 was followed by the opening of the first General Chapter of the Roman Union, and the election of Mother Marie de Saint Julien Aubry as Prioress General, as well as the election of four Councilors : German, American (USA), French and Italian.

Then the work of organization of the Roman Union began – the name was chosen to assert its international character from the very beginning, compared to other national unions. In 1900, this Union included 62 monasteries from diverse continents.  The Roman Union continues to live out the charism of St. Angela.

Sunday, November 19, 2023



On Thursday of this week, we will celebrate the great tradition of Thanksgiving. Families will gather with loved ones and eat a bountiful feast.  As we enjoy being with family and friends let us take a moment to pause and thank our loving God for the many blessings bestowed on us.  May we always have grateful hearts and think of others at this time. So many people are struggling at this time.  As I prayed about Thanksgiving and what it means to me, I found this prayer from Xavier University which summarized the true meaning of gratitude for me.

Show My Gratitude

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on my life. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. You have surrounded me with people who always look out for me. You have given me family and friends who bless me every day with kind words and actions. They lift me up in ways that keep my eyes focused on you and make my spirit soar.

Also, thank you, Lord, for keeping me safe. You protect me from those things that seem to haunt others. You help me make better choices and provide me with advisors to help me with life's difficult decisions. You speak to me in so many ways so that I always know you are here.

And Lord, I am so grateful for keeping those around me safe and loved. I hope that you provide me with the ability and sense to show them every day how much they matter. I hope that you give me the ability to give to them the same kindness they have provided to me.

I am extremely grateful for all of your blessings in my life, Lord. I pray that you remind of just how blessed I am and that you never allow me to forget to show my gratitude in prayer and returned acts of kindness.

By Kelli Mahoney


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Watching, Waiting, Living


In our Gospel today we hear the Story of the Ten Virgins.  Five were foolish and five were wise.  The five who were wise were prepared and brought extra oil for their lamps to keep them lit.  Five were unprepared and did not bring extra oil to keep their lamps lit. They needed lamp oil when the bridegroom came.  The bridegroom came and those who were ready were welcomed into the wedding feast.  The others had to go to buy oil for their lamps and when they returned, they were not permitted to enter the feast.

This story reminds us that we are in the home stretch of the Liturgical Year.  In one month, we will celebrate the first Sunday of Advent and begin the new Liturgical Year.  We are called today to look at our faith.  In many ways the oil in this story represents our faith.  Each day we are called to keep working on our faith and live it.  When we don’t live our faith, we see that in many ways we are unprepared.

Yesterday I was at the burial of a family member.  As we were leaving his wife asked me, “He is in Heaven, isn’t he?”  In the midst of her grief, she wanted the assurance that her beloved husband was in Heaven with God.  My heart ached for her, and my response was an emphatic “yes!”  I believe in my innermost being that he is with God and at peace.  He suffered terribly with cancer and fought valiantly. When there was no more hope for a cure, he placed his trust in God and journey toward his final day.

Watching, waiting, living our faith is part of who we are.  We must be ready today and everyday to give life and witness to the faith that God has given to us.  May we always be alert and prepared.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

National Vocation Awareness Week

National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life through prayer, invitation, and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations. This year it is celebrated November 5 - 11.  Let us pray for all who are considering their vocation at this time.  May God's call become clear for them.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Letter to the People of God



Letter of the
XVI Ordinary General Assembly
of the Synod of Bishops
to the People of God


Dear sisters, dear brothers,

As the proceedings of the first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops draw to a close, we want to thank God with all of you for the beautiful and enriching experience we have lived. We lived this blessed time in profound communion with all of you. We were supported by your prayers, bearing with you your expectations, your questions, as well as your fears. As Pope Francis requested two years ago, a long process of listening and discernment was initiated, open to all the People of God, no one being excluded, to “journey together” under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, missionary disciples engaged in the following of Jesus Christ.

The session in which we have been gathered in Rome since 30 September is an important phase of this process. In many ways it has been an unprecedented experience. For the first time, at Pope Francis’ invitation, men and women have been invited, in virtue of their baptism, to sit at the same table to take part, not only in the discussions, but also in the voting process of this Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Together, in the complementarity of our vocations, our charisms and our ministries, we have listened intensely to the Word of God and the experience of others. Using the conversation in the Spirit method, we have humbly shared the wealth and poverty of our communities from every continent, seeking to discern what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church today. We have thus also experienced the importance of fostering mutual exchanges between the Latin tradition and the traditions of Eastern Christianity. The participation of fraternal delegates from other Churches and Ecclesial Communities deeply enriched our discussions.

Our assembly took place in the context of a world in crisis, whose wounds and scandalous inequalities resonated painfully in our hearts, infusing our work with a particular gravity, especially since some of us come from countries where war rages. We prayed for the victims of deadly violence, without forgetting all those who have been forced by misery and corruption to take the dangerous road of migration. We assured our solidarity and commitment alongside the women and men all over the world who are working to build justice and peace.

At the invitation of the Holy Father, we made significant room for silence to foster mutual listening and a desire for communion in the Spirit among us. During the opening ecumenical vigil, we experienced how the thirst for unity increases in the silent contemplation of the crucified Christ. In fact, the cross is the only cathedra of the One who, having given himself for the salvation of the world, entrusted His disciples to His Father, so that “they may all be one” (John 17:21). Firmly united in the hope brought by His Resurrection, we entrusted to Him our common home where the cries of the earth and the poor are becoming increasingly urgent: “Laudate Deum!” (“Praise God!”), as Pope Francis reminded us at the beginning of our work.

Day by day, we felt the pressing call to pastoral and missionary conversion. For the Church’s vocation is to proclaim the Gospel not by focusing on itself, but by placing itself at the service of the infinite love with which God loved the world (cf. John 3:16). When homeless people near St. Peter’s Square were asked about their expectations regarding the Church on the occasion of this synod, they replied: “Love!”. This love must always remain the ardent heart of the Church, a Trinitarian and Eucharistic love, as the Pope recalled on October 15, midway through our assembly, invoking the message of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. It is “trust” that gives us the audacity and inner freedom that we experienced, not hesitating to freely and humbly express our convergences, differences, desires and questions.

And now? We hope that the months leading to the second session in October 2024 will allow everyone to concretely participate in the dynamism of missionary communion indicated by the word “synod”. This is not about ideology, but about an experience rooted in the apostolic tradition. As the Pope reminded us at the beginning of this process, “communion and mission can risk remaining somewhat abstract, unless we cultivate an ecclesial praxis that expresses the concreteness of synodality (...) encouraging real involvement on the part of each and all” (October 9, 2021). There are multiple challenges and numerous questions: the synthesis report of the first session will specify the points of agreement we have reached, highlight the open questions, and indicate how our work will proceed.

To progress in its discernment, the Church absolutely needs to listen to everyone, starting with the poorest. This requires a path of conversion on its part, which is also a path of praise: I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children” (Luke 10:21)! It means listening to those who have been denied the right to speak in society or who feel excluded, even by the Church; listening to people who are victims of racism in all its forms – in particular in some regions to indigenous peoples whose cultures have been scorned. Above all, the Church of our time has the duty to listen, in a spirit of conversion, to those who have been victims of abuse committed by members of the ecclesial body, and to commit herself concretely and structurally to ensuring that this does not happen again.

The Church also needs to listen to the laity, women and men, all called to holiness by virtue of their baptismal vocation: to the testimony of catechists, who in many situations are the first proclaimers of the Gospel; to the simplicity and vivacity of children, the enthusiasm of youth, to their questions, and their pleas; to the dreams, the wisdom and the memory of elderly people. The Church needs to listen to families, to their educational concerns, to the Christian witness they offer in today's world. She needs to welcome the voice of those who want to be involved in lay ministries and to participate in discernment and decision-making structures.

To progress further in synodal discernment, the Church particularly needs to gather even more the words and experience of the ordained ministers: priests, the primary collaborators of the bishops, whose sacramental ministry is indispensable for the life of the whole body; deacons, who, through their ministry, signify the care of the entire Church for the most vulnerable. She also needs to let herself be questioned by the prophetic voice of consecrated life, the watchful sentinel of the Spirit’s call. She also needs to be attentive to all those who do not share her faith but are seeking the truth, and in whom the Spirit, who “offers everyone the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery” (Gaudium et Spes 22, 5), is also present and operative.

The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission. It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium” (Pope Francis, October 17, 2015). We do not need to be afraid to respond to this call. Mary, the first on the journey, accompanies our pilgrimage. In joy and in sorrow, she shows us her Son and invites us to trust. And He, Jesus, is our only hope!

Vatican City, October 25, 2023

Sunday, October 22, 2023

St. Ursula

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of St. Ursula.  But who is Saint Ursula? Saint Ursula is a legendary Romano-British Christian saint who died on 21 October 383. Her feast day in the pre-1970 General Roman Calendar is 21 October. There is little information about her and the anonymous group of virgin saints who accompanied her and who, on an uncertain date, were killed with her in Cologne.

From Angela Merici’s Journey of the Heart by Mary-Cabrini Durkin*

“…Ursula and her companions model a new truth, forge a new way, within the Church. Ursula was a natural leader, who evoked faith and encouraged her companions to greatness. She stood among them, not above them. Her authority flowed from her holiness and zeal. Ursula had shared her spirit with her companions. Following her example, they too had committed themselves to Christ…There was once a group of brave Christian women. There was once a woman whom we call Ursula. May she forever be the heavenly friend and model of all who will bear the name Ursuline: companions on life’s journey, following Christ together, and leading others to him; faithful, courageous, and loving!”

Loving God, you gave St. Ursula and her companions the courage to witness to the Gospel of Jesus even to the point of giving their lives for it. We ask you to let our lives be centered in you. May we, too, be strong in faith and courageous in leadership. By being faithful to your love, may we live in you, receive life from you, and always be true to your inspiration and call. Amen.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Peace, Peace, Peace


For the last several days we have been inundated with images from the media of the start of yet another war in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas.  The images have been violent, gruesome, and unfathomable.  Innocent victims have been kidnapped, slaughtered and the world is truly on edge.  There have been warnings of even greater attacks and atrocities.  I have felt once again a profound sadness as these events unfold.  Like many, I have had to turn off the news because of the gory images being shown.  As I listened to the news last night, they interviewed a psychiatrist who spoke to the images that are overwhelming people.  I admit that I will most likely never fully understand the reasons for the violence, but I know that I am called to pray for peace in our hearts, our homes, and our universe.  There are so many places in our world that are experiencing war, terrorism, and fear.

I have found myself tunring to two prayers these days -- 1) the World Peace Prayer and 2)the Prayer of St. Francis.

1) Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.

2) Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Perhaps it is a good time for all of us to select our favorite prayer for peace and storm heaven with prayers for peace in our hearts, our homes, and our universe.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Goodbye to Summer


“Goodbye to Summer”

Impermanence, transformation, seasonal change, goodbyes. Call it by whatever name, it’s bound to leave a crusty mark on my reluctant spirit.

The time has come to end my light-filled summertime when I floated on emerald wings.   Now I stand here at the patio door looking out at naked trees. 

Overnight, determined rain pressed nearly every leaf to the ground;   nly a landscape of emptiness remains where once lived contented fullness.

I take a deep breath, give a sigh of resignation, gather my precious remembrance of those succulent months while my memory takes one last, grateful look at summer’s dewy dawns.

Now is the time to yield, to enter the next turning, accept the stark contrast of barrenness in place of fullness.

As I turn away from the emptied trees I take my generous basket of summer with me, trusting it has stored enough to see me through until the time of melting snow.

 ~ Joyce Rupp (My Soul Feels Lean)

The above poem came to my mailbox this week.  It spoke deeply to me as I wanted to hang on to summer and not embrace the change of seasons.  I wasn't ready to put away my summer wear in exchange for fall sweaters and warm clothing.  The change of seasons has certainly come accuentated by deliuge rain and winds.  May the days ahead be filled with many blessings for all.



Sunday, October 1, 2023

Prayer for the Synod


The Synod on Synodality begins on October 4th and ends on October29th. Let us pray for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit during this very important time in our Church.

Prayer for the Synod

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;

Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternallife and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.

All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Laborers and the Vineyard


Today’s Gospel is a most familiar one. Many people have the reaction “that’s not fair” when listening to it.  But the story told is not the whole meaning.  This Gospel tells us of God’s goodness.  God accepts us as we are, for who we are, never asking us to be something we can’t.  We need to seek the Lord while He may be found, we need to call to him as we are.  God invites us, gives us opportunities, God gives us hope.  We are on the way; we need to show up and do God’s will and follow God’s way.

Whenever I hear the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah I recall the song Seek the Lord by Roc O’Connor

Seek the Lord whose mercy abounds; call aloud to God who is near. Today is the day and now the proper hour to forsake our sinful lives and turn to the Lord.

Seek the Lord whose mercy abounds; call aloud to God who is near.  As high as the sky is above the earth, so high above our ways, the ways of the Lord.

Seek the Lord whose mercy abounds; call aloud to God who is near. Open your heart to hear the voice of God, whose words, whose ways lead us to life.
Seek the Lord whose mercy abounds; call aloud to God who is near. Some day we'll live in the house of God; hearts full of praise for God's gracious love.

May we always seek the Lord whose mercy abounds and call to our God who is always near.


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Forgiveness and Repentance

 As we continue celebrating the Season of Creation let us follow our gospel's theme of forgiveness this day as we pray...

Litany of repentance

God of light, life and love, God of land, and sea, and sky, Who called creation into existence and wove it into a rich tapestry, a fine mat, a web of life

Your Spirit hovered over the face of the primordial waters, and was breathed into humankind after You made us equally in Your image. Your Word was made flesh and embodied Your divine love as it took root and bore fruit in us, restoring our relationship with You.

Yet we have not honored this relationship with You and the rest of Your Creation. We have disrespected the web of life We have devalued the fine ecological mat that You wove with so much love. We have uprooted Your tree of life and sold it as logs. We have forgotten that we sweat and cry saltwater and have polluted Your oceans and rivers… oceans that cry for justice and rivers that call to righteousness.

Instead of everything that has breath praising You, all creation groans in pain as trees and phytoplankton choke on carbon belched from our desire for more, and our care for less. All around we see the consequences of our ecological sin as we extract and exploit, as we defile and pillage our sister and brother creation: Heatwaves and wildfires, bitter winters, droughts and floods, rising sea levels and rising ocean temperatures, more extreme cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes

Yet we are blind Creation roars in pain Yet we are deaf You call us in Christ, to speak truth to power and peace to this planet, our common home Yet we are silent.

God of hope and healing, May your Rivers of Righteousness Wash away our apathy, our greed and selfishness and reveal the deep relationships You created for us with all creation. Nourish us with the water of life that restores, turning deserts of despair into oases of hope.

May the waves of Your embrace Transform us back into guardians of Your creation. May the currents of Your justice Carry us to Your lagoon of peace Where all creation may enjoy Life in abundance

We pray in the name of the one who came so that the whole cosmos may have everlasting life, Jesus the Christ, Amen.

(Rev. James Shri Bhagwan, General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches)

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Remember and Pray


Tomorrow marks the 22nd anniversary of that day that changed the world forever – the 911 attack.  It was an occasion of hatred, deep pain, suffering and tremendous loss. Most people who experienced that fateful day could tell you every minute of that day.  They can tell you where they were and what they were doing.  I remember walking down the hall when a friend told me she just heard it on the news – the first attack at which our school went into a lockdown.  No one was to leave or allowed to enter.  I remember the fear my students experienced.  All were desperately trying to connect with their loved ones.  Many parents came to pick up their child since there was so much uncertainty and fear.

Each year the lights shine in Manhattan – two single beams representing the Twin Towers that were lost that day.  We take time this day to pause, reflect and pray for those who died, who were there, who were first responders and now there is a call to service on this day.  The effects of that fateful September morning continue to impact our world.  There are many who have perished since that day with 911 related illnesses.  Those who spent months on the pile looking for remains, possessions, evidence.

Tomorrow, whatever you do, take some time to pause and pray for those who perished that day.  Let us remember and pray for an end to all violence.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Season of Creation

         From our USA JPIC Team 

September 1: Day of Prayer for Creation


October 4: Feast of Francis of Assisi


Prophet Amos cries out “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5: 24) and so we are called to join the river of justice and peace, to take up climate and ecological justice, and to speak out with and for communities most impacted by climate injustice and the loss of biodiversity.

Our prayers, sermons and liturgies must call for justice not only for humans but for all creation. Justice, allied with peace, calls us to repent of our ecological sins and to change our attitudes and actions.

Righteousness demands that we live in peace, not conflict with our human neighbors, and building right relationships with all of creation. ‘Peace’ (shalom) involves not only the absence of conflict but positive, live-giving relationships with God, ourselves, our human neighbors, and all creation.

 Those Indigenous communities that recognize the sacredness of natural elements and so live as an embodiment of an interconnected way of life, expressing a partnership between people and the life of the Earth, have much to teach the rest of the world.

We are invited to join the river of justice and peace on behalf of all Creation and to converge our individual identities, of name, family or faith community, in this greater movement for justice, just like tributaries come together to form a mighty river.  As the people of God, we must work together on behalf of all Creation, as part of that mighty river of peace and justice.


Creator of All, From your communion of love life sprung forth like a mighty river and the whole cosmos came into being. On this Earth of overflowing love, the Word was made flesh and went forth with the life-giving waters proclaiming peace and justice for all creation.

You called human beings to till and keep your garden. You placed us into right relationship with each creature, but we failed to listen to the cries of the Earth and the cries of the most vulnerable. We broke with the flowing communion of love and sinned against you by not safeguarding the conditions for life. 

We lament the loss of our fellow species and their habitats, we grieve the loss of human cultures, along with the lives and livelihoods that have been displaced or perished, and we ache at the sight of an economy of death, war and violence that we have inflicted on ourselves and on the Earth.

Open our ears to your creative, reconciling and sustaining Word that calls to us through the book of Scripture and the book of creation. Bless us once again with your life-giving waters so that the Creator Spirit may let justice and peace flow in our hearts and overflow into all creation.

Open our hearts to receive the living waters of God’s justice and peace, and to share it with our suffering brothers and sisters, all creatures around us, and all creation.

Bless us to walk together with all people of good will so that the many streams of the living waters of God’s justice and peace may become a mighty river all over the Earth. In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

80 Years of Faithful Service


Yesterday, Sr. Stephanie Nolan, celebrated her 80th anniversary of religious profession.  It is hard to fathom a commitment that has spanned two centuries, several wars, the Civil Rights movement, and the early exploration of space.  Her lifetime has been one of constant change and new realities.  Stephanie is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and wise women I have ever met.  Her love of God exudes her being and she is an inspiration for so many.  Whenever I visit her, I leave feeling the impact of a spiritual encounter.  She always listens and then gives a pearl of wisdom for you to reflect on.  We are grateful for this faithful daughter of St. Angela.  May she continue to be a blessing for all!

Sunday, July 30, 2023

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons


On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30), human trafficking organizations raise awareness of the impact of and root causes of human trafficking.

We also call on governments, law enforcement, and society to strengthen prevention efforts and to support victim-survivors of human trafficking. We invite allies and individuals, organizations of faith and non-profits and all people of good will to work towards ending human trafficking.

Specifically, U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd are currently collaborating on how to break the link between human trafficking and forced migration. (Ursuline Sisters JPIC Team)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see the movie Sound of Freedom. Sound of Freedom, based on an incredible true story, shines a light on even the darkest of places. After rescuing a young boy from ruthless child traffickers, a federal agent learns the boy’s sister is still captive and decides to embark on a dangerous mission to save her. With time running out, he quits his job and journeys deep into the Colombian jungle, putting his life on the line to free her from a fate worse than death. Sound of Freedom takes you on an emotional and eye-opening journey that leaves an indelible mark on your heart and mind. This powerful and thought-provoking film, released in 2023 (after a 6 year wait), is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the unwavering determination to bring justice to the voiceless.  If you have the opportunity to see it do so.

On this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons let us pray for all victims and those who seek to help them.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Gospel today continues Matthew’s use of parables to teach us. In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers three parables to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. He also explains why he speaks to the crowds in parables and interprets the parable of the sower for the disciples.

All three parables use commonplace experiences to describe aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven. The first parable is longer and more detailed than the next two, and it alerts us to the two-fold reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. The beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven can be found in this world.

The second and third parables call to our attention the abundance that will result from the small beginnings of the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as a mustard seed—the smallest of all seeds—will become a large bush, so too God will bring his Kingdom to full bloom. As a small amount of yeast will leaven the entire batch of bread, so too God will bring about the expansion of his Kingdom. In each case the image is of the superabundance that God brings out of even the smallest of signs of the Kingdom.

These three parables encourage us to look for our loving God in the small things not only in grand experiences.  We are invited to look for God in all things even the smallest ones.  Our God can work wonders in all things.  Let us live with the eyes of faith that with God’s help we will see great wonders.