Archive | July, 2011

Toward Eternal Jubilee

18 Jul

On July 17 the Sisters of the Holy Cross celebrated jubilees in the Chapel of Our Lady of Loretto at their motherhouse in South Bend. Two jubilarians of 75 years, twenty of 60 years, twelve of 50 years and one at 25 years make for 1, 975 years of service. When the two “diamonds” stood as their names were called, there was an extended flow of applause and tears. All the sister-celebrants spoke in unison, “Today we give thanks to God for the blessings of our years in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. We renew our vows of chastity, obedience and poverty in God’s name and in the presence of those assembled here. We reaffirm our desire to follow Jesus Christ in his dying and rising, to model our lives after Mary, who is full of compassion for the world, and to remain faithful ministers. We hope through God’s grace to come to an eternal jubilee in the reign of God.” Among the “goldens” was my friend, Sister Adria Connors.

Nourished by Same Sap

17 Jul

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross has three news sisters, with the profession of perpetual vows by Sisters Jacinta, Lillian and Veronica. Hear their family names: Katusabe, Nyakaisiki and Fajardo. Their home countries and cultures are Ugandan, Ugandan and Nicaraguan. The Sisters of the Holy Cross has always had an international face in its missions and ministries. In the new sisters one sees the changing complexion of that face.

Father Moreau, the founder of the order, is oft quoted, “Holy Cross will grow like a mighty tree and constantly shoot forth new limbs and new branches which will be nourished by the same sap and endowed with the same life.” On July 16, standing in the presence of older sisters in wheelchairs and among jubilarians celebrating their 25, 50, 60 and 75 years in religious life the next day, Sisters Jacinta, Lillian and Vero, speaking with accents not farmed near the motherhouse in Indiana, spoke, “I ask to consecrate myself more deeply to God through a vowed life of chastity, evangelical poverty and obedience in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross all the days of my life.” They are the new limbs and branches, nourished by the same sap and endowed with the same life.

Safe with the Lady

16 Jul

The grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the campus of Notre Dame University is one of those places that has been made holy by the prayers of those who have prayed there over the years. Visitors and alumni seem obliged to go to “the grotto” whenever they are in South Bend. When students are lighting a candle, kneeling at the rail or sitting on a bench with heads between their cupped hands, what is their prayer? Is it about grades or a relationship? Have they made a wrong choice or a bad decision? Is there a big decision or choice that must be made? Or are they at the grotto as Bernadette was, simply because the Lady called them to the place, and they are with their mother and feel safe?

Two Loves on Main Street

15 Jul

If you pass by St. Andrew, you see from the street the two things that are most important to me.

At the top of the front steps of our church is a beautiful set of mahogany doors. My hope and my heart are deeply rooted and firmly set here in Milford.

Over the front porch of my home (to the left) there are three flags: Palestinian, American and Israeli. My heart is often in the Holy Land and my hope is for peace with justice.

The little town of Milford and the little town of Bethlehem – worlds apart, but one on my mind and one in my heart!

Digital Continent Immigrant

14 Jul

On the digital continent I am a late-arriving immigrant, just trying to learn the language and understand the culture. I speak with an accent. But maybe the natives will at least appreciate that I have come to meet them in the world in which the live.

Hear what Pope Benedict XVI has said, “The new digital technologies are, indeed, bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships. These changes are particularly evident among those young people who have grown up with the new technologies and are at home in a digital world that often seems quite foreign to those of us who, as adults, have had to learn to understand and appreciate the opportunities it has to offer for communications. In this year’s message, I am conscious of those who constitute the so-called digital generation and I would like to share with them, in particular, some ideas concerning the extraordinary potential of the new technologies, if they are used to promote human understanding and solidarity.”

Hear what Father James Martin, S.J., has said, “No media should be beneath us to spread the Gospel. If Jesus could talk about the birds of the air, then we can tweet.”

Removing Sandals Is Optional

13 Jul

God said to Moses, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” At Mass we do all we can so that no particle of the sacred Body, no drop of the precious Blood and no syllable of the proclaimed Word will fall to the floor without being consumed and taken to heart. With awe and reverence we receive the Body, the Blood and the Word of God. There is a lovely tune, “This is holy ground. We’re standing on holy ground. For the Lord is present, and where he is, is holy.” With that melody of awareness playing in our minds and hearts, we also stand humbly before every person we meet. The Lord is present in that person. Thus, we are standing on holy ground. Removing sandals is optional, but showing reverence is not. Have a reverent day!

Lively, Engaging and Informative

12 Jul

This video on the new Missal is from “Life Teen.” Father is speaking to youth ministers. I am not a youth minister. Certainly I am no youth. But I find the video lively, engaging and informative. (It loads very slowly. Hit the play button, then the pause button. Pray a couple Our Fathers and a couple Hail Marys. Then hit play. It is worth the wait. The praying won’t hurt either.)

May the Peace of Christ Be With You

11 Jul

This is a beautiful Japanese folk melody, arranged by Lori True for worship services dedicated in memory of those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan: “May the peace of Christ be with you. May the love of Christ dwell deep in your heart. May the Spirit enlighten your way. May you walk in the comfort of God’s care.”

For two reasons it is here. First, at evening prayer on Sunday, June 26, the people of St. Andrew and I sang this blessing over Bishop Joseph Binzer seventeen days after his ordination, using the verse, “Holy one of God, humble shepherd and guide, may you find contentment in Christ.” We did it. Second, I wanted to learn how to imbed a YouTube video in my blog. I did it!

“new” Missal in “old” Milford

11 Jul

The implementation of the new English translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal – that is precise, but it sounds so heavy. Yes, in the coming months we will be making some adjustments in the words we pray at Mass. Together we will learn our way and pray our way through the “new” Missal right here in “old” Milford. Look out YouTube, Facebook and Twitter! Here we come. 

God Works “Smart”

10 Jul

The latest Sunday Mass at St. Andrew is archived here: July 10, 2011The homily is at minute 20:40 … Is your attention drawn to the harvest, the soil, the seed or the sower? What seed of beauty or truth, what seed of consolation or challenge is the Lord planting in your life? God will continue to hoe and rain down whatever is needed. God keeps at it. God will not quit. God knows when and God knows how. God works smart!