Earlier this month, Sister Mary Rose Obholz delivered blankets made my sisters in Fond du Lac to Sister Eileen Mahony who works at Casa Alitas, a respite center for asylum-seekers in Tuscon.
Eileen was thrilled with this donation, just as she was with the donation received in June when the Sisters from Fond du Lac sent numerous supplies to the border courtesy of Mary Rose, who made the long journey from Arizona to Wisconsin by car, so she could bring back a full load!
On September 12, 2019, the sisters living at Nazareth Court and Center took the time to bless the newly remodeled spaces in their households.
The renovations began in January of 2019 and were primarily focused on providing each resident with her own private bathroom space. This meant that sisters were moved from one room into another while their space was remodeled. Sometimes the moves were just across a hall and sometimes they entailed moves from one floor to another, but through it all they remained patient and excited about the upcoming changes. The sisters speak highly of project manager Dave Gitter who kept the project moving as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Each household kitchen/common room was adjusted to allow for the extra space needed for the new bathrooms, so they too were blessed. The blessing ceremony began in the chapel and moved through each household (A-F) in the Center, finally concluding in the library.
Blessings for the Remodeled Areas
(Developed using various internet resources)
We have gathered here today to bless and cleanse the remodeled households in the Court building and to ensure peace be with these houses and all who live and visit here.
Let us now pray that the Holy Spirit who lives in and around all of us, will enter this home and bless it. May the Spirit always be present among us; may the Spirit nurture our love for each other, share in our joys, and comfort us in our sorrows. Let us seek above all else to create a home that worships the Lord that is filled with love, peace, happiness and joy. This we ask in Jesus's name.
All respond: Amen
*Start here for each Household.*
Household Member At the Entrance Door: Dear God, protect our going out and coming in; Let us share the hospitality of this home with all who visit us, that those who enter here may know your love and peace.
All respond: Amen
Household Member In the Living Room : 0 God, give your blessings to all who come and share fellowship in this room, that we may weave a strong cloth together, binding the strings of friendship and companionship forever.
All respond: Amen
Household Member In the Kitchen: Dear God of Light, you fill the hungry with good things. Send your blessings on us, as we work in this kitchen, and make us ever thankful for our daily bread.
All respond: Amen
Household Member In the Dining Room: Blessed are you, God of heaven and earth, for you give us food and drink to sustain our lives and make our hearts glad. Help us to be grateful for all your mercies, and mindful of the needs of others.
All respond: Amen
*Sprinkle living area with holy water.*
Household Member In the Bed Room: Protect us O God, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, we may rest in his peace.
All respond: Amen
*Sprinkle each bedroom with holy water.*
Move to next Household and repeat the above Household prayers.
**After all the Households have been blessed**
God, thank you for walking with us through the seasons of our lives;
For the winter, when we are held safe in your arms through the darkness,
For the hope of spring, as we are filled with new promise and life,
For summer time, full of warmth and color,
And for autumn days as leaves fall to seed new growth. You are always with us.
God help us to always look to the many things for which we can be grateful- even in the midst of times of loss. Let us enjoy the peace that comes with having a grateful heart. There is always something to thank you for, God. Teach us to make the choice to think on those things, so that we may always have a thankful heart.
All respond: Amen
During 4:30 p.m. mass on Wednesday, September 4, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes will take time to remember immigrant children who have been detained at the border.
This remembrance is in solidarity with Newark Catholic Action who will be gathering that morning in Newark, NJ to protest the mistreatment of immigrant children and families.
How will you engage in defending the human dignity of those at the border?
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
- Matthew 25: 35&36
Here are some options to consider:
Take time on September 4 to call your Senators (202-224-3121) and call or message the White House (202-456-1111). Tell these elected officials to—Stop the Inhumanity—NOW.
I am a [Catholic sister] [person of faith] and I am calling to demand that [Senator ____ ] [President Trump] immediately end the unjust and immoral practice of detaining children and families. Family is sacred. It is the cornerstone of our church and our communities and it must be protected. Guided by our Catholic faith and our national values, we affirm the dignity of all people and our call to love our neighbors. We can and must remain a country that provides refuge for children and families fleeing violence and persecution. Thank You!
Amplify the message on social media:
#Catholics have a sacred duty to defend the rights and dignity of all immigrants. On 9/4 Catholic leaders from all over the country are demanding an end to child and family detention. #CatholicDayofAction.
We’re joining #CatholicDayofAction in Newark to urge #Trump and #Congress to end child and family detention. We must end the injustice. #Catholics4Migrants.
Prayers + statements are not enough when immigrant children + families are in cages and the powerful refuse to act. Catholics will risk arrest 9/4 in a demonstration of sacred resistance @Newark. Stop the Inhumanity #EndChildDetention.
On August 23, 2019, Sister Florence Magnan was inducted into the St. Mary's Springs Academy Hall of Fame. Nominated by former students, Sister Florence was recognized for pioneering girls' athletics at St. Mary's Springs Academy (SMSA), advocating for their equality, pursuing and getting the girls' pinnies transformed into real uniforms with a Ledger "S" on the front, and paving the way for female athletes to be awarded varsity letters.
Sister Florence served at SMSA from 1965 to 1984. During that time she held three roles simultaneously: Girls Athletic Director, Athletic Coach, and Physical Education Teacher. Title IX, the federal policy which prohibits gender disparity in sports in schools, was enacted in 1972 and had a strong cheerleader in Sister Florence.
As noted in a letter from Terri Sheridan, one of her former students, "Sister Florence was an advocate for Girls and Women Sports long before it was "cool" to be one!"
Congratulations Sister Florence!
The text and vigils below are adapted from:
Sunday, September 1 is World Day of Prayer for Creation. The day is inspired by Pope Francis' landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on "every person living on this planet" to care for our shared Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
This World Day of Prayer also falls at the beginning of Creation Season, which runs until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.
Shortly after Creation Season this year, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place, focusing on the Amazon region and integral ecology. This will be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the people of the Amazon and respond with them to the devastation facing them and their environment.
There are many ways to respond to Pope Francis’ call to care for the gift of God’s creation – why not take some time out of your day on 1 September to walk in your local park or take a few moments to thank God for the flowers growing in your garden?
“Pope Francis is calling us to an ecological conversion,” says Susy Brouard, who works in the Theology team here at CAFOD. “His encyclical reminds us that we have a responsibility to our Earth, each other and to generations yet to come. The World Day of Prayer is another opportunity for us to connect with our creator God and allow the Lord to redefine our relationship with the environment: from one of consumption and control to one of care and protection."
The Leo House, a Catholic guesthouse for travelers located in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, provides affordable, temporary accommodations with old-world charm—a place where travelers have “found a haven embodying spiritual solace.
In the hallway of the second floor of the five-story annex building is a large stained-glass window featuring St. Raphael, the patron saint of travelers. On the same floor is a quaint chapel that seats about 25. The rooms and suites are modest, with white bed blankets and a crucifix that hangs on the wall. (From Catholic New York) Read more.
The conclusion or last day of the 9-day Remembrance following the death of Sister Colette Hartman, CSA, was celebrated on August 20, 2019, with Mass at Cantera Center where her Mass of Christian Burial took place on August 10. Bishop Paul Schmitz presided at the Mass. A luncheon followed Mass for those guests who joined the Sisters and Cantera staff for the occasion.
In Spanish novena or novenario refers to the nine days of prayer and gathering following a person’s passing.
In print since 1908, The Tablet is the award-winning weekly newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens. This week, they highlighted The Leo House which was originally established in 1889 by papal certification from Pope Leo XIII. The staff includes four Sisters of St. Agnes as well as lay personnel.
Learn more about The Leo House.