Congratulations, Brother Jean!

Brother Jean won the statue of Our Lady of Fatima! He has been a Franciscan Brother since 1983. His undergraduate degree is from Villanova University in Church history. “For many years I have served as a job coach among the poor and marginalized, working most of those years in the Boston area. I have been making rosaries for over forty years. Making our Lady better known and her Son better loved has been my life’s work.”

Chapel Painting Complete!

The painting of the Motherhouse Chapel is complete! It took so much time and talent to prepare for the actual painting, then the walls and ceiling were painted… and finally, the decorative beautification took place. We are so pleased with the outcome of the beautification of our chapel and we very much look forward to worshiping God in this sacred place again. 

Sunday Reflection

Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 10, 2020
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC

My Dear Good People,

A number of times during this Easter Season we have heard readings from Jesus’ conversation with His apostles during the Last Supper. Today’s Gospel includes a beautiful sentence that gives me great comfort during this pandemic, and I pray it touches a chord in you as well.

Jesus tells us not to be afraid. In His Father’s house, He says us, there are many mansions. Then He says something that we might have missed: “I go to prepare a place for you….And I will come back again and take you to Myself so that where I am you also may be.” His apostles must have found this confusing, unsure as they were of what was about to happen to Jesus. But today, these words should be seared into our minds as thousands have taken their last breath in nursing homes or hospitals with no family members there with them. Listen again to what Jesus says: “I will come back and take you to Myself.” That means that no one dies alone. NO one! Jesus doesn’t send an angel or a deceased relative to escort the dying person to eternity. Rather, He Himself comes back and walks your loved one, your friend, home. Can you see that image in your mind’s eye? Jesus bends over the bed and gently takes your aunt, you neighbor, a special teacher, a beloved friend, home to Heaven.

You have, I’m sure, grieved over the pain of people who could not say goodbye. Perhaps, sadly, it has happened in your family. But in today’s Gospel we hear this blessed promise of our loving Savior: at the most important moment of our lives He will be with us, lift us up, and take us to be with Him in His Father’s house.

In these days when so many people are anxious and fearful, when we mourn the loss of loved ones, trust that Jesus was there. And He will be for us, too, whenever our time comes, late or soon. Do not be afraid. He doesn’t just know the way. He IS the Way.

God bless you.

The Painting Has Begun!

An amazing scaffolding structure has been built to reach our 25 foot ceiling in the Motherhouse Chapel! The first group of carpenters and painters began their work on April 3. They completed their portion of the project on April 17. There was much to be done in preparation for actually painting the chapel. Enjoy the creativity of the scaffolding and what a beautiful difference the first group of artist have already accomplished. Thank you for all of your support in this endeavor! 

Scaffolding & Preparation

 

Painting Phase One

     

 

Prayer for Protection

O Gracious Virgin Mary, we fly to your motherly embrace for protection.

Help us in our needs

and shield us from danger.

Guide our steps, O holy Mother of God, for you alone are glorious and most blessed among all God’s children.

Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son and Our Savior. Amen.

Chapel Renovations Underway Soon!

Beloved Friends and Family,

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.   Psalm 27:4

So often in the psalms we speak of the beauty of the Lord, of beholding the face of God and of dwelling with Him in His holy temple. This is what we are called to every day – to live in the presence of God. Christ did not leave us in the Resurrection. He abides in every heart that has sanctifying grace and He is in our tabernacles waiting for us. Your generosity will help to build up His dwelling among us. Thank you.

On June 4, 2020 our Sisters will be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of our founding as an American Congregation. We hope to refurbish our Holy Family Chapel as part of and for the celebrations. Your generous gift in honor of our Jubilee will help make this possible. By the time you receive this note, the work will have begun. We will send you photos in our Spring Newsletter.

We know that you have your own needs during these difficult economic times, yet you choose to stand with us. Your generosity, as always, deeply touches the hearts of all our Sisters. We continue to remember you in our daily prayers. God bless you for your faithful goodness and kindness to us!

Click Here to Make a Donation 

Congratulations, Sisters!

On August 8th, after their annual eight-day silent retreat, our Novitiate Sisters took their next step in formation! Sister Veronica Rose and Sister Philomena received the black veil and scapular and became Apostolic Novices and Sister Philip Reynette received the SCMC habit and became a Canonical Novice. The Apostolic Novices will be continuing their formation while preparing for their Apostolate and the Canonical Novice will be focusing on her interior prayer life. May the Good Lord continue to inspire these young Sisters and guide them towards a life of grace and joy in the hopes that one day, they may vow themselves to their Bridegroom for all Eternity!

 

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

(Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23:56)
 
My Dear Good People,
 
We begin today’s Liturgy with the procession with the palms, calling out “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
 
Within the hour we are calling out (though reluctantly), “Crucify him.”
How could such a thing happen, that people who praised Jesus on Sunday called for His death on Friday? How quickly the human heart turns from compliment to criticism, from love to hatred. What makes us do that, for indeed, had we been there two thousand years ago, we might have been among those fickle crowds….
 
It’s the human condition, we say. Human nature. Go with the flow. Follow the crowd, jump on the band wagon, do what comes naturally. And so we do. Most of us have found ourselves at one time or another contradicting what we thought we believed in, or questioning what we once saw as the truth, or turning away from the good toward what is less than good. Yes, we all have the seeds of contention deep within us, and how watchful we must be to avoid letting them rear their ugly heads.
 
This Holy Week we are called by God to reconsider just what it is we do believe in. We are invited to rekindle our faith so that the fire that sometimes burns within us becomes the constant flame of love. This week we decide, consciously, who we are and Whose we are. As we come to the end of Lent and stand at the empty tomb on Easter Sunday, we turn once again in conversion and renew the promises we have made over and over to be faithful men and women of the Gospel. It sounds easy, but it never is, really. It comes with a heavy price tag: it cost Jesus His Life to proclaim the truth. It will cost us daily as well, as we seek to see ourselves through the prism of the death of Jesus. But oh, what a reward. From Hosanna to Crucify to Alleluia. We journey together, and we pray for one another.
Have a meaningful and beautiful Holy Week.
Mother Marie Julie, SCMC

Fifth Sunday of Lent

(Is 43: 16-21; Phil. 3: 8-14; John 8: 1-11(36))
 
My Dear Good People,
 
We find ourselves only one week away from Holy Week. This Sunday is called Passion Sunday because we are so close to the precious days of the passion and dying of Jesus. In many churches the crosses and images of Mary and the saints are covered in purple, reminding us of the darkness that will envelop Jesus as He pays the price for our sins. He will be ‘taken from us’ for a moment before He rises to new life, and that moment will burn itself into our hearts with a cry for mercy—for Him and for ourselves.
 
The Gospel for the fifth week of Lent tells the story of the woman caught in adultery. “Caught in the act!” How dreadfully embarrassing for her. And then to be brought to the Rabbi Jesus for condemnation must have been even more humiliating. But there she was, standing before Him, waiting for the verdict and the sentence. What must have been going through her mind?
 
We can’t know, exactly, but we’ve all been ‘caught in the act’ of being less than we have been called to be. Through our reflection and prayer during these weeks of Lent perhaps we have found in ourselves something that embarrasses and humbles us. Has the Holy Spirit cast a light that reveals places within us that need conversion? How blessed, how privileged we are to be able to stand before Jesus at any moment and receive from Him not the condemnation that we might feel we deserve, but the words that lifted this woman from her sin to freedom: “Neither do I condemn you.” What gift for her, and what gift for us.
 
And if Jesus would not condemn her, and will not condemn us, it should remind us that we can’t be too quick to condemn others. Even when we are sure we see what we think we see in another, there are always extenuating circumstances, always more to the story. St. Julie Billiart, a gentle woman who lived during the French Revolution and suffered much at the hands of detractors, once said, “Don’t judge others. But if you must judge, then judge with the heart.”
 
Good words to recall as we begin this Passiontide.
 
God bless you with His Mercy.
Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
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