When the Lord calls, He also provides the necessary strength and grace to answer His call.

During these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things are uncertain. But one thing is certain: God still calls souls to union with Him. This  invitation looks different for each soul, but for some, it comes in the form of a call to the consecrated life. This journey, like much of life, is often circuitous; but when a soul responds with a humble Fiat as Mary did, ‘Let it be done according to Your word,’ the path reaches its goal in what is called Perpetual Profession. In a public celebration of the Rite of Religious Profession, the one called offers a total gift of self to the One who gives Himself in unconditional, uncompromising Love.

On August 18, the chapel at Holy Family Motherhouse in Baltic was the place of this wondrous moment for two young women invited by Jesus to live a life of religious consecration as Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church. Celebrants of the Mass of Profession were Reverend Michael Bovino, priest of the Diocese of Norwich and Reverend Jacinto Mary, Friar of the Immaculate from the Franciscan Friary in Griswold.

During the celebration of Mass Sister Marie Alexandria, a native of Roscoe, Illinois, professed Perpetual Vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience and promised to practice the works of Charity (a fourth vow) in a spirit of heartfelt simplicity. For the past six years Sister has been in the formation program of the Sisters of Charity, studying the history of the Community, learning the meaning of the vows as lived in this world at this moment in time, while opening her soul to profound prayer in order to grow grace for grace in union with her Divine Bridegroom. She has also been studying for the degree that will enable her to serve in the Community’s ministries. Sister first met the Sisters in Janesville, Wisconsin when she worked in St. Elizabeth Home, an apostolate of healthcare of the congregation.

Sister Veronica Rose, a native of Tolland, Connecticut, was a student at the  University of Connecticut when she discerned the Voice of God inviting her to a life of total self-giving for the People of God. She entered the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church in 2017. By her profession of Temporary Vows on August 18, a requisite step toward Perpetual Profession, Sister continues her formation in religious life and awaits the day of her complete and irrevocable commitment to God in love. 

The two-fold gift of these two Sisters to God and to the Church was accompanied by the celebration of two other young  women, Sister Mary Philip Reynette Tamani and Sister Mary Sophia Cawley, who entered the novitiate in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and who progressed to the next steps toward their perpetual consecration to God. The Sisters of Charity rejoice in the faithful response of these four Sisters, and we humbly ask the prayers of the People of God of the Diocese of Norwich for their perseverance in grace. 

Imago Dei Statement of Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church

The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church rejoices in the truth that every human person, from the moment of conception, is created by God in His own Image (Gen 2:26-28), and for that reason is to be revered.  Each person, regardless of age, health, race, color, creed, economic status, political persuasion, cognitive ability, or physical limitations of any description, is worthy of respect and honor and has the right to life without judgment or fear of harm.

          The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church cherish the privilege of ministering to others with respect, compassion, understanding, care, education and housing using the means at our disposal in each situation. We grieve discrimination whether in subtle or visible forms, on any grounds, for the pain and diminishment it causes in another human being.

          Every form of intolerance must be eradicated. Retalilation, on the other hand, only serves to prolifierate the violence that destroys the human person—both the victim and the perpetrator—from  within and causes the destruction of the society which is meant to prosper its members in the pursuit of liberty and the fulfillment of their God-given purpose.

          The eradication of intolerance, prejudice and violence will not happen as long as diversity is seen as a threat. When one seeks to destroy by any means that which is not a reflection of oneself, the only result can be injustice, causing a wound to the heart of the family of humanity that cannot heal without the love of God. Both as a Congregation of women religious and as individuals we proactively seek ways to put an end to the fear and the ignorance that engender prejudice and the violence that ensues. Jesus’ message of peace and of love for one another must be heard, and if it is to be heard, it must be preached (see Romans 10:14).  No matter how beautifully this message may be preached from the pulpits of our churches, however, it will always lack the transformative power of conviction unless it is seen in action in the marketplace, lived in the hearts of each Catholic family (the domestic church) including ours, and revealed to all peoples by the holiness of the lives of every disciple of Jesus.

          The privilege of evangelization is a sacred task entrusted to our Congregation to be carried out in the day to day encounters we experience among ourselves in our local convents and among all those whose lives touch ours through the ministries we undertake in the name of the Lord Jesus.  At this moment in the history of our nation when so many innocent people have been wounded by those who have failed to reverence the Image of God within them, we, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pause to acknowledge our own failures and humbly ask forgiveness for having turned a blind eye, often because of ignorance or complacency, to any structures of discrimination. We recommit our resources, our educational and social institutions, and our very lives to protect the victims of intolerance, injustice or misunderstanding and to stand with those who seek to transform our society into a culture of life rather than death.

          Finally, may the tragic images of hatred, anger, murder, injustice and retaliation burned into our minds these dark days be replaced in every corner of our country with the Image of God written clearly on the soul of every sister and brother given to us by Divine Providence in the family of peoples.

          We call upon the Holy Spirit to set our hearts on fire with the fullness of conviction that peace and loving reverence must become a reality in our own day. May Jesus Who gave His life for every person, even His enemies, so that sin and its ghastly consequences may be overcome, give us wings in the pursuit of personal holiness that we may be icons of mercy for every human being, created in the Image of God.  And may Mary, Mother of the Church, our model of peace and reverence, hold us in the crossing of her arms as we seek to be a blessing to our world.

 

May we hear in the stillness of our hearts the words of Jesus,

“Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12),

and shout them from the housetops

by the influence of our lives.

 

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!

 

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