Grateful To All For Such Blessings

greatful-to-all-for-such-blessings-1It’s been nearly a year since I returned to East Timor, yet when I pause to reflect on all of the experiences, gifts and blessings that I’m grateful for—they’re innumerable. It’s impossible to count or remember them all. Each of you, receiving this bulletin, is also one of those blessings. I’m not merely grateful for the support you’ve given me as a missioner, and to my students. This giving and sharing is part of a greater context, an infinite whole—in which we experience the unfolding GOODNESS of life itself.

At the risk of becoming philosophical, let me just say I’m grateful for your kindness, for allowing the graces of human virtue to flow through you. This is what touches me the most. As Mary Josephine Rogers, our founder said, “How much goodness there is in all, how much beauty that bears the likeness of the Creator!” She counseled us to look at others this way, and to give thanks for the ways God’s love touches us.

Standing with three of my students who are now testing to become Dominican Friars. What a joy to witness their vocations bloom!
Standing with three of my students who are now testing to become Dominican Friars. What a joy to witness their vocations bloom!

Now at the risk of sounding sentimental, let me just say I’m grateful for your help! Together, we have done a lot to support the education of many students, who are now in a better position to improve their own lives.

Receiving a visit from Pinto Pereira, one of my first students from the class of 2008. He is the one who inspired me to teach at the public school and opened my eyes to the real hardships that some youth face. His dedication to his own education, despite his poverty, hunger and lack of support, compelled me to help him pay for college. His story moved me so much—and over the years we’ve grown closer.

Bonifacio, the scholar on the left, just joined the seminary.
Bonifacio, the scholar on the left, just joined the seminary.

In 2014, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and recently gave me a gift in gratitude for the support. I wish each of you could have been the recipient and felt what it’s like to be on this side of your donations!

 

Miracles Needed for God’s littlest angels…

Miracles Needed for God’s littlest angels…

Please meet Sister Genie


Sister Genie Natividad, originally from the Philippines and serving in Tanzania, recently wrote asking for our help for the children in her care. Little Aisha and Mwajuma, shown sitting in her lap (see above), were severely abused by the person who should have loved them most: their mother. Aisha was badly beaten by her mother. Mwajuma was starved and neglected by her mother. When Mwajuma was found, she was skin and bones! Her mother was put in jail for a while. After she was released, she never came to see her daughter.

“When I started working with Aisha and Mwajuma, they had not started walking or talking,” says Sister Genie. “Now, every time they see me, they come running to meet me, hug my feet and just want to be hugged and cuddled on my lap! These two precious angels give me so much joy as I see them transform from victims of abuse to joyful, sweet, loving children!”

Sister Genie says many other children suffer similar abuse. Some of these precious children were burned, beaten, raped and victims of other atrocities too horrible to mention.

“Once a week I go and minister to abused children – about 30 or more – teaching simple wellness body exercises and practices that help these victims through their trauma and the process of healing and wellness.”

“It is so sad to see children suffer such tremendous pain from their own families. What these children need is a safe, loving and caring environment in which to feel safe and thrive. Thanks to our donors, we are able to provide the love and tender care they need.”

As we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, I am reminded that our Savior was born into a world of poverty, oppression and injustice. It is my hope that you will open your heart to the children who suffer in our own world by giving a Christmas miracle today. Please help support our critical ministries with children and others in need in Tanzania and around the world by sending your gift today.

Natividad,-Genie-in-Tanzania-w-friends-cropped
Some-of-the-children-I-tutor
Natividad,Genie
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Mission Sending Ceremony for Sister Mara Rutten Slated for November 22

Rutten, Mara 2014 smlMaryknoll, NY  —  Newest Maryknoll Sister Mara Rutten, a graduate of Arizona State University, Tempe, who received her call to religious life while a parishioner at Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson, will be formally sent to work in Cambodia at a special sending ceremony to be held at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, November 22, 2015, at Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.

A growing passion and involvement in social justice issues, coupled with a vibrant faith and desire to help the poor, led 43-year-old Sister to make the choice for religious life, one that is becoming increasingly rare.

A 2000 graduate of Arizona State University, Tempe, with a doctorate in philosophy, Ms. Rutten, who also holds a master’s degree from South Illinois Univeristy, Carbondale (1996), and a bachelor’s degree from University of Minnesota, Morris (1994), recently completed her candidacy as a Maryknoll Sister in Chicago, IL, where she attended Catholic Theological Union and completed other preparatory programs required by the congregation.

Mara first sensed a tug toward a life of service while an active member of Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson, AZ.  There she participated in “Just Faith,” a program which builds awareness of social justice issues in its participants and gives Catholics opportunities to meet the needs of struggling people in their local areas and beyond.  These experiences sparked Mara’s enthusiasm for mission work, leading her to contact the Maryknoll Sisters.

Partnering as a lay woman with Maryknoll Sisters, Mara worked with them among the poor and underprivileged in Cambodia. This association led her to seek membership in the congregation.  In her request to be considered, Mara wrote, “I have admired the Maryknoll Sisters since I was a little girl and first heard about them through the atrocities in El Salvador.  From that time forward, that is what I thought of when I thought about love: to go where you were needed but not always wanted, to refuse to abandon those whom you had come to love despite physical danger, and to serve God all the while. Through the Maryknoll family, I believe I have found the best avenue to give and receive love.”

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number nearly 430 members from both the US and overseas.

Maryknoll Sisters to Mark 35th Anniversary of El Salvador Martyrs’ Deaths

35th Anniversary- Martyrdom in El Salvador (2)

Maryknoll, NY  —  Thirty-five years ago, four Churchwomen, two of them Maryknoll Sisters, joined the ranks of some 70,000 people in El Salvador slaughtered by their own militia during that nation’s civil war.  Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, along with Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missioner Jean Donovan, were killed on a roadside, then buried in a shallow grave, on December 2, 1980.

These women, along with the more than 70,000 others who perished during that war, will be remembered and honored at a Mass to be broadcast via livestream from the Main Chapel at Maryknoll Sisters Center, 10 Pinesbridge Road, Ossining, NY, on Sunday, November 29, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.  The broadcast can be viewed at www.maryknollsisters.org/livestream.

Members of the public interested in honoring the women are invited to attend a special vespers service, also being held at the Center’s Main Chapel, on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at 7 p.m. in the evening.

The two celebrations are part of a five-week-long celebration of the lives of these four courageous women, which includes five weeks of social media on the congregation’s Facebook page and Twitter newsfeeds throughout the month of November.

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number nearly 430 members from both the US and overseas.

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Source of Peace and Light of the World

God of Compassion,
hear the cries of the people of France and around the world that suffer from terrorists’ attacks. Bring healing to those suffering from the violence. Bring comfort to those mourning the dead, and strengthen the people of France with courage and hope. Convert the hearts of those who have become terrorists,
and protect those committed to peace, and give us all hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.We ask this blessing through Jesus the Christ,
Source of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns forever and ever.
Amen.

From the Writings of Martin Luther King
Like an unchecked cancer,
hate corrodes the personality
and eats away its vital unity.
Hate is rooted in fear,
and the only cure for fear is love.
Hatred and bitterness can never cure
the disease of fear;
only love can do that.
Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life;
love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
Hate begets hate;
violence begets violence;
toughness begets a greater toughness.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Only love can generate
creative fulfillment.
Love is somehow the key
that unlocks the door which leads
to ultimate communion!

Sr. Theresa Baldini

Terror in the City of Light

 Looking back now on the horrible events of these past two days in Paris, I wondered how to react. How does one accept the inhumanity shown by a group of jihadists against innocent people going about their own lives, enjoying an exciting soccer game in the stadium, sharing a meal with friends, listening to a rock concert, or just walking along the peaceful streets in this lovely city? One cannot lose hope even under these drastic circumstances. It brings to my mind the words of the letter of Peter3:15 where he says:
“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands of you an accounting for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.”
 
Sr. Helen Phillips

World Kindness Day

Someone mentioned to me this morning that today is World Kindness Day and I thought, Now isn’t that a nice thing to promote? Then when I gave it a little more thought it occurred to me, Isn’t  it strange that we have to designate a special day in the year to make sure that we do something kind for someone?!?

When I was a child there was a little comic strip called “Good Deed Dotty”. Everyday little Dotty would do something good for somebody she saw in need and jot down in her little notebook, “That’s that for today”.

As Christian’s – or just as members of the Human Family – aren’t we called to be aware of our brothers and sisters in need,  every day  and do something kind for them?