News

For further information on any of the news items listed here, please contact Alice Black, PhD, OPA, Director of Communications & Mission Advancement, at 614-416-1020.


 

We’re in this Together

Blog by Associate Mary Ellen George, OPA

The phrase, We’re in this Together, is certainly ripe with meaning not only during this pandemic but also as an understanding of how we perceive our responsibility to each other in community and as the Body of Christ.

By now, we’ve seen many commercials and hashtags, such as #AloneTogether, that communicate and remind us that despite our social isolation, our physical distancing from one another, we are not alone and that we are dependent on each other for our survival. We were never meant to be alone. We were meant to travel this human journey with other pilgrims, with other companions.

Early on in our faith formation, we hear the biblical story of Adam and Eve, of how God desired for human beings to have a companion, a partner, a friend to share the ups and downs of life. God did not want us to be alone. “It is not good for Adam to be alone; I’ll make him a helper,  a companion.”  (Genesis 2:18)

Can we let this message of needing each other sink in and allow ourselves to be transformed by our interdependency that knows no geographical boundaries. Indeed, we, as a global society, are one human community with the same yearnings for love, acceptance, and to feel connected with others. This is evident more than ever during this time of pandemic.

This yearning to be connected with others and to not live in social or spiritual isolation from others is a lesson that we can take away from this time of physical separation. It is within community that our greatest growth occurs.  As Henri Nouwen notes in his book, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, “without community, communion with God is impossible.  We are called to God’s table together, not by ourselves.  Spiritual formation, therefore, always includes formation to life in community.  We all have to find our way home to God in solitude and in community with others.”

Community, of course, requires energy and a willingness to be vulnerable and to let others into the messiness of our lives. Our communal experiences as religious, as associates, as neighbors, as friends, as siblings all have the ability to both challenge us and empower us. Together, we discover who we are, where we need to grow, and what we have in common with each other. Sometimes we have to peel back the layers of our discomfort with others to see that our growth and ability to be in relationship depends on overcoming obstacles and being open to new ways of being with ourselves and with others.

Yes, we are in this journey together and with faith in ourselves, in each other, and in communion with God in prayer, we can become Christ to each other wherever we are and however we are.

“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Are you ready to explore community living and religious life as a Sister? Then, why not contact one of our vocation ministers to begin a conversation.

Posted in God Calling?, News

Rosary Manor Update

By Sr. Blaise Flynn

On the feast of St. Catherine, Fr. Joseph Nguyen, pastor of St. Mark’s Church in Dorchester, arrived with several of his parishioners to move the Rosary Manor chapel to its new home in the basement of St. Mark’s church. There is a very large and long-standing Vietnamese community connected to the church as well as a newly arrived Irish community, many of whom still speak Gaelic. They have four masses every Sunday, and often as many as 60 people stand throughout the services.

Gifting this chapel is not only badly needed by this church community, but a very meaningful connection for us as well, given our long-standing ties with our Vietnamese sisters and associates.

Fr. Nguyen, who will be ordained 20 years on Pentecost, has many wonderful memories

Father Joseph Nguyen and members of his congregation were grateful for the gift of our Chapel.

of coming to Rosary for TET celebrations as a young priest, and of course, what better way to come full circle in the Boston area than to welcome the increasing number of Irish immigrants who have historically been such a rich part of our church and our congregation?

As the contingent, garbed in masks and gloves, entered the chapel, their eyes lit up with obvious delight. Phont, one of the older members, went straight to the organ and began to play. We asked him where he had learned to play so beautifully, and he explained that when he first came here from Vietnam he was sad and lonely. One day he found a discarded organ. He figured out how to fix it up and then taught himself to play. Phont is the music minister at St. Marks and Fr. Nguyen proudly boasts that there is nothing he cannot do, including plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry. Phont was a dentist in Vietnam and his father was also a dentist with the U.S. Army, but when he came to this country, his life’s work was no longer an option for him.

Phont playing our grand piano.

Later in the day, there was beautiful music coming from the dining room. Phont was in his glory, playing the grand piano while several of us sat mesmerized at his ability to play this piano that has been mostly silent for years. Over the course of the next few days they dismantled the organ and the piano, carefully moved them to St. Marks, and reassembled them. Sr. Mary John must be thrilled.

These days were bittersweet, but as we brought our chapel to a close, we were blessed to see the excitement, joy, and gratitude of those preparing to give birth to it in a new space.

As we anticipate our upcoming move we have been throwing out, sorting out, and giving away. At one point we decided to have a flea market for the members of our mission group, filling a wing with all sorts of treasures too good to throw away. It was to be our way of saying goodbye. Alas, COVID-19 intervened and it was not to be.

In one room we had collected all the crucifixes from the rooms in the house. When the men entered the room, they were quite taken with the collection of crucifixes. Fr. Nguyen explained to us that many of his parishioners had no crucifixes for their homes and that he would make sure that they were given to families who would treasure them. It was very touching to see how reverently the men packed these sacred items away. Statues, conference room tables, and chairs, tools, air conditioners, ladders were also packed on the truck. It was a pleasure to watch them, as they worked hard and with an obvious sense of joy. The pastor worked as hard as any of them. It was obvious he liked his parishioners and that they liked him.

It was a symphony of sorts, and when all was said and done we found ourselves feeling as grateful and happy as they did. God’s grace is a wonderful thing.

As they were preparing to leave, a young man shyly approached Sr. Kathleen and asked if there might be a statue of the Blessed Mother that he could have for his wife. The only statue left at this point was one Kathleen had on the dresser in her room which she of course promptly retrieved it and gave it to him.

On Saturday we ordered take-out Chinese food and set up a table in the now-empty chapel. We broke bread, we reminisced, and somehow the impending move began to feel less daunting and more a part of an ordained plan.

 

 

 

 

Posted in News

News From Rosary Manor

By Sr. Blaise Flynn

On the feast of St. Catherine, Fr. Joseph Linh T. Nguyen, pastor of St. Mark’s Church in Dorchester, arrived with several of his parishioners to move the Rosary Manor chapel to its new home in the basement of St. Mark’s church. There is a very large and long-standing Vietnamese community connected to the church as well as a newly arrived Irish community, many of whom still speak Gaelic. They have four masses every Sunday, and often as many as 60 people stand throughout the services.

Gifting this chapel is not only badly needed by this church community, but a very meaningful connection for us as well, given our long-standing ties with our Vietnamese sisters and associates.

Fr. Nguyen, who will be ordained 20 years on Pentecost, has many wonderful memories of coming to Rosary for TET celebrations as a young priest, and of course, what better way to come full circle in the Boston area than to welcome the increasing number of Irish immigrants who have historically been such a rich part of our church and our congregation?

As the contingent, garbed in masks and gloves, entered the chapel, their eyes lit up with obvious delight. Phont, one of the older members, went straight to the organ and began to play. We asked him where he had learned to play so beautifully, and he explained that when he first came here from Vietnam he was sad and lonely. One day he found a discarded organ. He figured out how to fix it up and then taught himself to play. Phont is the music minister at St. Marks and Fr. Nguyen proudly boasts that there is nothing he cannot do, including plumbing, electrical work and carpentry. Phont was a dentist in Vietnam and his father was also a dentist with the U.S. Army, but when he came to this country, his life’s work was no longer an option for him.

Later in the day there was beautiful music coming from the dining room. Phont was in his glory, playing the grand piano while several of us sat mesmerized at his ability to play this piano that has been mostly silent for years. Over the course of the next few days they dismantled the organ and the piano, carefully moved them to St. Marks and reassembled them. Sr. Mary John must be thrilled.

These days were bittersweet, but as we brought our chapel to a close, we were blessed to see the excitement, joy, and gratitude of those preparing to give birth to it in a new space.

As we anticipate our upcoming move we have been throwing out, sorting out, and giving away. At one point we decided to have a flea market for the members of our mission group, filling a wing with all sorts of treasures too good to throw away. It was to be our way of saying goodbye. Alas, COVID-19 intervened and it was not to be.

In one room we had collected all the crucifixes from the rooms in the house. When the men entered the room, they were quite taken with the collection of crucifixes. Fr. Nguyen explained to us that many of his parishioners had no crucifixes for their homes and that he would make sure that they were given to families who would treasure them. It was very touching to see how reverently the men packed these sacred items away. Statues, conference room tables and chairs, tools, air conditioners, ladders were also packed on the truck. It was a pleasure to watch them, as they worked hard and with an obvious sense of joy. The pastor worked as hard as any of them. It was obvious he liked his parishioners and that they liked him.

It was a symphony of sorts, and when all was said and done we found ourselves feeling as grateful and happy as they did. God’s grace is a wonderful thing.

As they were preparing to leave, a young man shyly approached Sr. Kathleen and asked if there might be a statue of the Blessed Mother that he could have for his wife. The only statue left at this point was one Kathleen had on the dresser in her room which she of course promptly retrieved it and gave it to him.

On Saturday we ordered take-out Chinese food and set up a table in the now-empty chapel. We broke bread, we reminisced, and somehow the impending move began to feel less daunting and more a part of an ordained plan.

Posted in News

“The Ten Suggestions”

Blog by Sister Judy Morris, OP

Break out the “Be Peace” t-shirts!

Are you shocked and saddened by the violent rhetoric and actions filling the streets of our country during the greatest crisis we have faced in decades, or am I alone?  Recently, a mob of over 1,000 appeared with assault weapons, confederate flags and other pro-slavery relics in the state capitol of Kentucky.  Racism was on display, as was a display of power that could kill everyone present.  They wanted to end all of the safety measures now and go back to work immediately.  The symbols went much deeper than a desire to go back to work… legitimate authority was not to be respected.  One way this was shown was by an outright refusal to wear masks.

In Michigan, Illinois, Texas, California, and other states, irresponsibility abounds with mobs appearing with assault weapons, nooses, and more confederate flags. Governors’ lives have been threatened.  Just as disturbing, the racist symbols are obvious.  The anti-life messages also cannot be missed.  By refusing to wear masks, ignoring orders to avoid crowds, or even consider the health risks to vulnerable citizens, these people are willing to destroy lives to send a message.  Some politicians have not even been embarrassed to say (with no subtlety) if you are over 70 years old, you should be willing to sacrifice your life so our economy can recover.  The common good is nowhere to be found.

What has happened to “love your neighbor as yourself,” “my brother’s/sister’s keeper” or that commandment that reads, “Thou shalt not kill?”  I have come to believe we watered down the Ten Commandments to the ten suggestions.

The signs of a new era of violence are everywhere—from nooses and assault weapons to selecting who should live and who should die, to health care for the fortunate rather than for all, to language demeaning immigrants and putting children in cages, and now, anti-Asian acts of violence.  We have lost the “rally around our neighbor” attitude that was so powerful after 9/11.

Whether we are concerned about the appearance of assault weapons, rise in racist behavior or overall disrespect for life, our commitment to “be peace, build peace and preach peace” is needed now more than ever.  The best modeling is not responding in kind, but instead, as Michelle Obama put it so eloquently, “When they go low, we go high” – to respond to violence with calm and to hate with peace and prayer.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Peace and Justice Updates 5.06.2020

COVID-19 Response Exposes Racial Inequities
Join Faith in Action Thursday, May 7 at 8 p.m. EST, for our Second Town Hall on Race and COVID-19. The Town Hall will feature special guest Congressman Joaquin Castro, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. We will discuss racial inequity in the CARES Act, the impact of COVID-19 on immigrant families, conditions in Puerto Rico, and our demands for any new stimulus legislation in Congress.

The public health and humanitarian crisis that is the coronavirus pandemic calls for bold and moral leadership from Congress to remedy the deep and systemic racial inequities in our country during the pandemic and beyond.

Register and join us on Thursday, May 7 at 8:00 p.m. EST for this important town hall as #WeDemandEquity and hear from impacted clergy and leaders. The Town Hall will be conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation in Spanish.

Sign the BRADY Petition to Ban Assault Weapons
It’s been seven years since Sandy Hook, four years since Pulse, two years since Parkland, two years since Vegas, one year since Tree of Life and nine months since El Paso, But there has been no action from our government,

And yet it took Canada just over ONE WEEK after a horrific massacre to ban assault weapons. This is common-sense leadership to save lives.

We’re telling the White House: Ban assault weapons NOW! Click here to sign the petition. 

Support the Regulation of Ghost Guns
The House Judiciary Committee has sent a bold and urgent letter to the Trump administration’s ATF urging federal oversight to monitor and regulate the MASSIVE surge in sales of UNTRACEABLE ghost guns during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ghost guns are specifically designed to avoid all gun laws, oversight, and regulations — thereby posing grave public safety risks. Ghost gun kits are readily available online and open to purchase by anyone without a background check. This, paired with the absence of a serial number, is exactly what motivates prohibited buyers to seek out ghost gun parts and kits.

You can click here to send a “thank you” to the House Judiciary Committee to thank them for this important action!

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Weekly Updates