Season Of Creation Prayer Service: September 26, 2021

Season of Creation
September 26, 2021


Introductory Comments

Today is the Fourth Sunday of the 2021 Season of Creation. Today’s readings continue to warn us that our sinfulness is destroying our communities, the human family, and Earth, the supportive and nurturing home of us all. They challenge us to be active and prophetic in working for the New Creation in these times. And they guide us in prayer to ask for greater awareness of our “unknown faults” and of their grave seriousness, to ask for freedom from their destructive power no matter the cost.

A reading from Numbers 11:25-29

Reflection: May God bestow the Spirit on everyone, raising people up around the planet as prophets to speak out now as the destruction and dangers to Earth are escalating so rapidly. How might I/we be prophetic?

Responsorial Psalm  19:8-14

Response: Alleluia

A reading from James 5:1-6

Reflection: This reading from James is a direct condemnation of the rich. It reflects the judgment widespread through the early centuries of Christianity that those who have more than they need are in effect stealing from those who don’t have the basics they need. What can I/we do to end this injustice?

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Reflection: Will we adopt the necessary measures to stop the devastation of the environment or will we continue denying the evidence? What tangible action can I/we do to stop this devastation?

Music selections: optional

Entrance: All Are Welcome – Marty Haugen, c.1994 GIA Publications, Inc.

Offertory: Here I am, Lord – Daniel L. Schutte, c.1981 OCP

Communion: At the Table of the World – Brian Wren, c.1989 Hope Publishing Co.

Dismissal: Stewards of Earth – Omar Westendorf, c.1984 World Library Publications

Click here to download and print this prayer service.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Letters to the Editor for National Migration Week

National Migration Week Talking Points

• Catholics are called to stand with immigrants and refugees as our brothers and sisters. This is who the Catholic Church is. This is what we as Catholics do.
• Pope Francis invites us to be part of a culture of encounter as we welcome, protect, integrate, and promote
immigrants and refugees in our midst.
• Immigration is about real people who are trying to find a better life and a new beginning. It’s about more than
statistics, it’s about families. As Pope Francis stated, “Each migrant has a name, a face and a story.”
• Welcoming immigrants is part of Catholic Social Teaching and reflects the Biblical tradition to welcome the stranger.
• The Catholic Church has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States since the nation’s founding and has been integral to helping them integrate into American culture.
• In addition to welcoming and caring for those in need, the Church continues to uphold the centrality of family
reunification as a critical component of our immigration and refugee systems.
• Forced displacement of people is at the highest level since World War II, with more than 65 million people displaced around the world and over 22 million refugees.
• Refugees are the most rigorously screened population coming into America. This screening happens before they ever set foot in our country. The United States has the most thorough background checks of immigrants of any nation in the world.

Letters to the Editor Tips

Writing a letter to the editor (LTE) is the perfect way to add another perspective, offer a rebuttal, or express your appreciation for an already-published article or commentary piece. Please let us know if your letter to the editor is published!

We’ll deliver it to elected officials and promote it on our social media. Completing this final step in the letter
to the editor process helps ensure that your letter’s impact is even greater. Email us at with a link to your published LTE.

Letter to the Editor Writing Tips
• Keep it short (150-250 words) – If you don’t edit your LTE, the news outlet might edit it for you. Since they could cut out your main point, it’s best to write something both punchy and brief.
• Speak in your own voice. Tell why the article matters to you. Talk about your faith, professional experience or
knowledge of climate change. Be personal and authentic.
• Get local. Editors are generally more interested in letters that highlight local impacts. Can you relate the issues raised in a national piece on migration and immigration to issues impacting your own community?
• Get personal. Migrants are people on the move, but they are first and foremost human beings with families.
Show that human side. Personalize your perspective with a story about people you know affected by migration – a family member or someone you know from your church.
• Follow these best practices:

1) Reference a recent article (if possible). Your letter is most likely to be published if it responds directly to the
newspaper’s recent coverage of a specific migration issue. Mention the article you’re responding to by its
headline and date.
2) Send your LTE in the body of your email, not as an attachment.
3) Include contact information: Include your full name, contact information, location, and profession or
expertise (if relevant) in the email as well. (The paper will not print your contact information.)

• Be timely – Try to get your LTE in within one to three days the relevant article is published.

Get Engaged!

National Migration Week
Sample Letters to The Editor

Dear Editor:
Your recent article, [name of article], discussing the issue of immigration/refugees was alarming [or reaffirming
(depends on tone of article)]. [name of State or community] has a proud history of welcoming newcomers, including immigrants, refugees, and newly naturalized citizens.
It is imperative that our local communities continue to provide a warm and welcoming presence to newcomers, so that they can feel a part of the community and contribute to its ongoing well-being and prosperity. In fact, more than 40% of America’s largest companies were founded either by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Newcomers, such as immigrants and refugees are indeed a part of our future community well-being.

(in an article that has a religious angle or mentions a bishop, Church leader, or the Catholic Church)
Dear Editor,
Your recent article, [name of article], discussing the issue of immigration/refugees was alarming [or reaffirming
(depends on tone of article)]. As a Catholic, I have long held pro-immigration/pro-refugee beliefs and support for migrant communities as a central feature of my life of faith. We affirm that all people – immigrants and native-born alike – are made in the image and likeness of God whose human dignity is deserving of respect. The Church celebrates National Migration Week this week, which is a week-long opportunity to raise awareness on Catholic teachings related to migration. It is encouraging to see religious leaders stand in solidarity of migrants and encourage positive reforms that will help to fix our broken immigration system during this special time for the Church.
Estimado Editor:
En su reciente artículo [nombre del artículo], donde discute el asunto de la inmigración/los refugiados ha sido
alarmante [o reafirmante (dependiendo del tono del artículo)]. [Nombre del Estado o de la comunidad] conserva una orgullosa historia de acoger a los recién llegados, incluyendo a los inmigrantes, los refugiados y a los nuevos ciudadanos naturalizados.
Es imperativo que nuestras comunidades locales continúen ofreciendo una presencia cálida y acogedora a los recién llegados para que ellos sientan que son parte de la comunidad y contribuyan a su continuo florecimiento. De hecho, más del 40% de las grandes compañías en los Estados Unidos fueron establecidas por inmigrantes o por hijos de inmigrantes. Los recién llegados, los inmigrantes y los refugiados, forman realmente parte de la futura prosperidad de nuestras comunidades.


(en un artículo que tenga un ángulo religioso o que mencione a un obispo, líder de la Iglesia o a la Iglesia Católica)
Estimado Editor
Su reciente artículo, [nombre del artículo], donde discutía el asunto de la inmigración ha sido alarmante [o reafirmante (dependiendo del tono del artículo)]. Como católico, por mucho tiempo he mantenido a la inmigración y al apoyo por las comunidades inmigrantes como una característica central de mi fe. Nosotros afirmamos que todos los individuos— inmigrantes y nativos por igual—han sido hechos a imagen y semejanza de Dios y se merecen nuestro respeto y apoyo.
Mientras que esta semana la Iglesia celebra la Semana Nacional de la Migración, lo cual brinda una oportunidad para concientizar sobre sus enseñanzas relacionadas a la migración, es muy alentador ver a los líderes religiosos en solidaridad con los migrantes y apoyando unas reformas positivas que servirán para arreglar nuestro quebrado sistema migratorio.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Show Me The Way!

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

Laughter echoed in the front hallways of the Akron Motherhouse as five women came from across the country gathered in person for our Come & See retreat this past weekend.  (A sixth woman attended the retreat in person at our St. Catharine, Kentucky Motherhouse.)  What joy to see their faces!  (Albeit masked faces.) This, our first in person retreat in two years took extra effort on the part of retreatants, Ministry of Welcome – Vocations team and the Sisters & staff in our Motherhouses, but it was certainly worth it to be together “in real life.”  With strict COVID protocols in place, including testing, masking, and maintaining appropriate physical distance from each other – we were able to have a blessed retreat.

The four pillars of Dominican Spirituality formed the framework for the presentations, which were conducted, in person and via Zoom.  Sr. Linda Lee Jackson shared about the Pillar of Prayer and how the Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic can be practiced today from a more wholistic, incarnational approach to spirituality.  Sisters Maura Bartel and Ana Gonzalez explored the Pillar of Study in their lives as Dominican Sisters of Peace.  Sister Joanne Caniglia shared her deep love of the wide Dominican mission of service and of how God has called her to use her gifts as a teacher and professor for almost 40 years.  Rounding out the pillars, Sisters Annie Killian and Mary Vuong shared about their experience of Community.  They highlighted how they discerned and chose to establish a new local community in South Bend, Indiana as a response to one Sister’s new ministry in the area.  All in all, there was a deep sense of connection, love, support, and encouragement.  Questions flowed during the sessions and in between times at meals and informal sharing.

This retreat was truly a hybrid retreat in that we had five women in person at the Akron, Ohio Motherhouse and one woman retreating with the community at the St. Catherine, Kentucky Motherhouse.  In both places, the retreatants were able to enjoy the beauty of the motherhouse grounds, open areas, farm animals, chapels, community rooms and heritage exhibits.  Woven within it all was time for both communal and personal prayer.  Capping off the evening on Saturday was a social with our sisters in formation who zoomed in from Indiana, Illinois, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Ohio to share with the discerning women.

From the opening prayer on Friday evening as we sang the Salve until we closed the retreat with a rousing rendition of the Dominican Blessing by James Marchionda, OP, we felt the prayers and support of all of our Sisters.  It indeed takes an entire Congregation to conduct a Come & See retreat.  We are grateful to all who made it possible in Akron, St. Catharine’s, and beyond.  Our locations might have been more than 300 miles apart, but the distance was made much shorter by the Spirit of God uniting us in a common quest – to discover God’s plan and path for our lives.

We closed with the words to the Dominican Blessing:

May God Creator Bless us,
May God Redeemer Heal us,
May God the Holy Spirit fill us with light. 

Posted in News, Vocations Blog

Peace and Justice Updates 9.15.2021


EARTHDAY‍.ORG invites you to join the next installment of our Earth Day Live series: Teaching the Teachers on Thursday, September 16th from 3:30-4:15 pm ET. Please join us for a critical discussion on how global youth are leading the way in climate education by teaching educators. Join us for the live event.

Panelists include:

  • Aishwarya Puttur, Project Coordinator at Teach the Teacher
  • Josh Tregale, Campaign Coordinator for MockCOP 26 and International Campaign Coordinator at Teach the Future

This panel will be moderated by Nick Nuttall, EARTHDAY‍.ORG’s International Strategic Communications Director.

Climate Week NYC is taking place September 20-26. The event will focus on fulfilling and increasing commitments made by businesses, governments, and organizations.

Interfaith Power and Light will showcase two zero carbon congregations during this virtual event. Click here to RSVP for virtual tours of two inspiring congregations, on Sept 22, noon Eastern time.


Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Ida Recovery from the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center

Of the 11 staff members of the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center, none of us had electricity or internet for some time during IDA.  Some evacuated. They are returning to NO gradually to assess damage and begin repairs. The ASC had no electricity or internet until Friday. Our office is opening on Monday – not all staff are able to return because they are in recovery mode.

Here are some stories from the hearts of spiritual directors.

  • One religious woman sits with a dying member of her community who was in leadership ministry with Jeanne, Dot and Sue
  • One directee looks at the home of her parents – a religious article hanging on an inside door frame is all that is left of the home
  • Watching the water over roads in Grand Isle, other parts of the Houma Diocese is heart rending for those of us who ministered in those small bayou dwellings
  • Listening to the story of a priest who ministers in one of the River Parishes is OH so very sad.
  • A Jesuit from New Orleans drives to Baton Rouge until students can return to Loyola – they have been bussed to Springhill College and other colleges
  • An elderly directee evacuated to stay with her children In Baton Rouge, her husband has dementia and kept asking when are we going home and when they returned home he was still asking when we are going home; her house was intact inside but her beautiful prayer garden was destroyed. At the same time, she received news that her son was at MD Anderson and his cancer was not improving and his home in Laplace took in water. She continues to pray and stay strong through it all.
  • A younger married directee now has to relocate from her Metairie apartment because it took in water and is growing mold which, she is severely allergic to, a ministry she has grown attached to and has been an instructor for has now gone totally virtual and she will no longer be needed. She is putting their things in storage and are thinking where to live and start over. Yet her faith is strong.
  • Reconciliation, an evacuation to her brother’s house in Texas allowed for healing of their fractured relationship while staying with him.
  • A few days prior to the storm my directee had a major surgery, while recovering from home she had to evacuate to Lafayette to her sister’s home, thankfully she returned to Kenner yesterday, her home is intact and she has power. She is the most resilient 72-year-old.
  • A widow directee broke down on the phone with me when she was trying to file a claim and her computer would not work, she never had to handle these things, she feels alone. A tree fell on her property and learns because it is in her yard she must handle it, water came in one bedroom, together we prayed and cried. Then her generator went out, for a while and she needed help from neighbors to get it going. She is alone in her home. She took valium just to calm herself this week from all the stress. She is missing her routine of morning prayer, mass and adoration.
  • A religious sister went without power for almost 2 weeks but yet when we talked on the phone she was very optimistic, she stayed strong through support of the sister’s living with her and the rosary. Thankfully, power has been restored and the cleanup continues of many trees down on the property.
  • A Pastor’s own residence was damaged but he continued to be there for his parishioners, and the community. But he has limits too.
  • The gift of being a Director during this time is the gift of listening to others, it takes us out of our own worries, and expands our vision of things. It makes prayer fruitful because we can pray for them, and even when it is dry it becomes purposeful.
  • Another directee has damage to her home and rental properties, but shares I am grateful on one hand and my heart broken on the other, trying to find the peace, I have my moments both ways.
  • As a Director myself, lots of thanksgiving for how much has been accomplished in two weeks, and accepting going home eventually to a town that looks like a bomb went off, sadness for the many neighbors and friends that are hurting. I pray we can come back from this, many are leaving the area permanently. It was always our plan to do so, but for many it was not, Laplace was their home. I pray for the businesses who will be affected for a long time, our church community which has taken a heavy hit, our archdiocese of New Orleans too. I pray I can find a little light in each day, so I can provide a glimmer of hope to my directees who are suffering from this storm in their lives.
  • Many directees shared stories of the statues of Mary standing tall through the storm when everything around her was damaged.
  • Listening to a Directee talk about how bad he felt for those who experienced so much storm damage, while he did not.  He knew what they were experiencing because he lost everything in Hurricane Katrina.  He knew what they are going through, so he could relate to their feelings.  However, this time he only lost power for a few days; but even then, had a generator, so, as he put it, he and his family were only “slightly inconvenienced”.  As we talked, he began to realize, that because of the “survivors’ guilt” he was experiencing, he forgot to be thankful for his experience this time of being only slightly inconvenienced.
  • I have heard from directees and I hear it inside myself, “Somewhere inside me, Katrina and IDA live together and clamor for attention.”
  • An intern in spiritual direction training said that after she and her son weathered the storm together in one of their halls knowing the roof would be lifted off their house, spent the day after the storm clearing their yard and the yards of two neighbors. When they could no longer take the humid heat, they went to a motel only to find that their VISA card had been compromised and their cards were now frozen.
  • From a directee,“I do not know if I can go through this another time.”
  • Being with our Assisted Living Sisters during the two days when the generator didn’t work, was the most painful moment for me. Such a blessed time in our lives yet how delicate and fragile we become.  As the second day without power, water, etc. was coming to and end and not expecting the propane delivery until the next day, God’s promise, “..that God always hears the cry of the poor…” was fulfilled.  The propane arrived and you could hear our joyful thanksgiving through the entire property. Sr. Gloria Murillo, STJ  (staff member)
Posted in News