We are about to face big changes in our novitiate. Tyas is soon to make vows (July 7th) and Mei, Rowena and Theresia will be starting their novitiate on Sunday, June 9th. Currently they are all on retreat…Enjoying some quality time with God! Please keep them and all of us in your prayer at this important time. You can be sure that we are keeping you in our prayers!
In the face of such a terrible tragedy to hit the people of Oklahoma and such loss of life…We are praying. May God be with all those affected by this disaster – and all those who are now offering help and comfort…We are with you in heart and in prayer and we will continue to pray for you…
From Thursday May 9th to Monday May 13th Tyas and I made a pilgrimage to a number of places where there are shrines of Mary. This pilgrimage is our thanksgiving for Tyas’ novitiate which comes to an end in early July. We were able to get to several of the most famous shrines in this area – in fact we made “a novena of visits” – nine shrines in all. It was lovely to spend time in praying in those sacred places made holy by love, prayer and devotion to Our Lady. Thank you Lord – for Tyas – our soon to be professed FCJ. Thank you Mary for being our guide and inspiration. “Our Good Mother, beg of your Divine Son to give us His blessing and please give us yours also…”
It was the turn of our Basic Ecclesial Community to form the choir for evening Mass today – Sunday 5th May. Barbara, Tyas and I joined the choir. We were well prepared having had four choir practices during the course of the last month. I really enjoyed the practices which were a lot of fun and which always ended with tea and refreshments! It was a great experience to sing at Mass this evening – it was lovely being part of a group with such a common purpose. The young woman who was conducting drew the music out of us with sensitivity and enthusiasm and she skillfully pulled us through a few tricky points! The service flowed beautifully. We had the extra gift of being inspired by a visiting priest who told us about his life as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. What a blessed evening! Thank God for Church, for the Eucharist, for music and singing!
To mark the Year of Faith one of our local parish churches is hosting a series of twelve meetings on Vatican II. Tyas and I are attending them. It is good formation for Tyas as part of her novitiate and a great “mini renewal” for me! So far there have been three meetings: 1. An Introduction to Vatican II 2. Liturgy and 3. The Church. The input has been really good – a refreshing reminder of the depth and beauty of our Church! It is so good to spend this time with a hundred or so others all of whom are keen to know more about the Church. Already I am looking forward to next week’s input!
I am copying a piece from Pope Francis’ homily during Mass for Vatican City government staff. He is encouraging us all to reject gossip in developing a “new life” based on the Gospel. I have copied this extract from “Cath News” a great news resource for the Catholic Church based in Australia. Read on…Let’s see if we can face this challenge (and it IS a challenge!) together!!!
“Pope Francis said: “The first Christian community is a timeless model for the Christian community of today, because they were of one heart and one soul, through the Holy Spirit who had brought them into a “new life”.
Through the Holy Spirit, the Pope said, “we are born into the new life which we have received in Baptism.”
“We have to do all we can to ensure that our life develops into new life”, which may be “a laborious journey” but one that “depends chiefly on the Holy Spirit” as well as our ability to be “open to his breath”.
However, there are struggles along the way, the Pope warned.
“When we prefer to gossip, gossip about others, criticize others- these are everyday things that happen to everyone, including me – these are the temptations of the evil one who does not want the Spirit to come to us and bring about peace and meekness in the Christian community”.
“These struggles always exist” in the parish, in the family, in the neighborhood, among friends”. Instead through the Spirit we are born into a new life, he makes us “meek, charitable.”
He then outlined the correct behavior for a Christian. First, “do not judge anyone” because “the only Judge is the Lord.” Then “keep quiet” and if you have something to say, say it to the interested parties, to those “who can remedy the situation,” but “not to the entire neighborhood.”
“If, by the grace of the Holy Spirit – concluded Pope Francis – we succeed in never gossiping, it will be a great step forward” and “will do us all good”.” Cath News, Wednesday 10th April, 2013.
Isn’t it great the way we are all suddenly really interested in what is going on in the Vatican? In our house we can’t stop talking about Francis I and what he’s doing for the Church, the world and all of us…What joy that we
are so keen on what is going on in the Church! Francis has energised us all! FCJs like Jesuits are ready to be missioned anywhere by the Pope for the sake of God’s mission. While Francis may not directly mission us if we are opening to what he is saying and doing we can take our inspiration from his example and words…and go and do likewise…
As we move into these very sacred days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday let us hold our world and all its needs in our hearts and prayer…We walk the way of the cross with Jesus and stay with him all the way to his resurrection and celebrate the gift of transforming love given to us all…Uniting with all who are praying at this time…
As day follows day in the aftermath of the recent conclave and the election of Pope Francis I what a delight it is to get to know our new pope! Francis I is a man full of surprises, we could say something of a prophet – he is most certainly setting us all an example to follow. I now find myself constantly questioning myself about the way I am living as a Catholic and about how true my life is to Gospel values. I have a long way to go, we all have a long way to go. In the light of Francis’ election I am sure we will continue to move forward in service of God and God’s people…