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.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

The Miracle Club

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to see The Miracle Club with some friends.  This new movie was more than I had expected.

Set in 1967, The Miracle Club is a heartwarming film that follows the story of three generations of close friends, Lily (Maggie Smith), Eileen (Kathy Bates), and Dolly (Agnes O'Casey) of Ballygar, a hard-knocks community in Dublin, who have one tantalizing dream: to win a pilgrimage to the sacred French town of Lourdes, that place of miracles that draws millions of visitors each year. When the chance to win presents itself, the women seize it. However, just before their trip, their old friend Chrissie (Laura Linney) arrives in Ballygar for her mother's funeral, dampening their good mood and well-laid plans. The women secure tickets and set out on the journey that they hope will change their lives, with Chrissie, a skeptical traveler, joining in place of her mother. The glamor and sophistication of Chrissie, who has just returned from a nearly 40-year exile in the United States, are not her only distancing traits: old wounds are reopened along the way, forcing the women to confront their pasts even as they travel in search of a miracle. Their shared traumas can only be healed by the curative power of love and friendship. (

As the depth of the relationships unfolded, I found myself captivated by the relationships between the four women. Each one had their own unique perspective, and it was clear from the start that there were wounds that needed healing – each needed her own miracle.  This movie is one built on broken relationships, hidden secrets, and deep healing in unexpected ways.

Watching this movie, I was reminded of my own experience of visiting Lourdes.  It was truly a moving experience.  I arrived in a snow squall and literally soaked in the experience.   It was most moving and even though it was a snowy January day there were so many pilgrims visiting the Basilica.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit Lourdes, take it.  It is truly an experience that will remain with you forever.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Importance of Relationships

 Angela Merici believed in the importance of sisterly relationships.  She gathered a circle of women who centered their lives on God and promised to support one another in their good works.   

This past week, I gathered with 8 other women who graduated from the College of New Rochelle with me 30 years ago.  We traveled to Bailey Island, Maine and spent time together talking, laughing, enjoying delicious lobster, looking out at the beautiful ocean, listening to the crashing waves against the water and simply being together.  It was such a grace-filled experience.  

We shared about our lives-the good and the bad. Every one of us has had challenges but we have gotten thru them and are now looking at how we will live our lives going forward. What is emerging in each of us?  We cannot live stagnant lives and stay stuck in our pain-we have to find the joyful moments and treasure them.  

Many of us have been talking on Zoom each Saturday morning at 8am since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.  It was great not to be on a screen but in person.  Our talks with one another are always filled with complete openness and non-judgmental while still being truthful even when it is not pretty.  

Some of the women are artists and shared their art projects with us so I came home with some beautiful dishes, candle holders and figurines.    We also received funny gifts from some of our members as we are in midlife now and experiencing the changes that go with that.

Angela knew the importance of gathering and having women be together to share life!  I hope she knows that gathering is still going on with those touched by her spirit.  All of us learned of her spirit thru the Ursuline Sisters at the College of New Rochelle.  We will continue to gather and live out her legacy.    Our friendship of 34 years has taught us that we need others in our life to be with us in joy and pain.  We have to help each other to grow and be the best person one can be!

As the famous line goes from Winnie the Pooh-We didn't know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!

Fun is what we had in college and what we had together this past week-This fun provides memories of the heart for our life-giving relationships!!