Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas & Blessed New Year!

We had a GREAT Christmas! We prayed for all of you -- we had a novena of Masses for all of our friends, benefactors, and relatives before Christmas.
The top picture above is a meditation on the Humility of Christ. He was humble enough to become a vulnerable baby, to be vulnerable on the cross, and now is vulnerable in the Eucharist. HE LOVES US THAT MUCH! We too are called to imitate Him in humility. May He give us this grace!
All the Sisters were home for Christmas -- the middle picture is of Sr. Mary Jude renewing her vows for 2 years! Congratulations!
The bottom picture is from Christmas Eve -- we processed with the baby Jesus to the chapel before Christmas Eve Mass.
God bless you all! United in prayer...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Come and See Discernment Retreat!

We had a GREAT weekend of retreating, learning about discernment, and learning more about Religious Life. God is good!

Pray for all those who are discerning the Religious Life and the Priesthood!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

School Sisters FUN Raiser & Advent Gala

Our 2nd Annual FUN Raiser and Advent Gala was a huge success! It was so great to see how many friends we have -- so many of them volunteering, helping, preparing, and giving of themselves. We'll try to get more pictures posted to our website soon.
God bless you all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blessed Advent to You!

Blessed Advent to you! This is a beautiful season to contemplate "waiting" . . . waiting on the Lord! Notice in the top picture -- on the bottom is an empty crib. We're waiting on the Lord, longing for eternal union with Him!
From "Daybreaks, Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas" by Fr. Ron Rolheiser:
"St. John of the Cross, in The Living Flame of Love, compares our pre-Advent selves to green logs that have been thrown into a fire, the fire of love. Green logs, as we know, do not immediately burst into flame. Rather, being young and full of moisture, they sizzle for a long time before they reach kindling temperature and take into themselves the fire that is around them. So, too, the rhythm of love: only the really mature can burst into flame within community. The rest of us are still too green, too selfish, too damp."

"What helps change this is precisely the tension in our lives. In carrying properly our unfulfilled desires, we sizzle and slowly let go of the dampness of selfishness. In carrying tension we come to kindling temperature and are made ready for love."
Again, blessed Advent to you all!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November Happenings

Sorry it's been so long since we posted on this blog! We've been busy getting ready for the FUN Raiser, getting out newsletters, etc.
The above pictures (top): is from today! We had a great Thanksgiving meal together and invited some residents from St. Ann's. It's become a tradition now for us to have friends over from there.
The middle picture is of Sr. Mary Felice making an afghan for the FUN Raiser Craft Store.
The bottom picture is of the list of all the Sisters that have died here in this Region since it began in 1954. Many Sisters have lived their lives of service and love for the people here in the Texas Panhandle. May they rest in peace!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Youth Groups - One of our Favorite thing to do!

This is a picture from one of our recent travels -- this is actually a 5th Grade Class in a Catholic School!!! We also love to visit (or be on the team) for Youth Groups. We've gotten to visit a few lately -- always looking for ways to spread the reality of God's Love to His People.

God is passionately in love with us! He likes us too! He delights in us! Take some time to receive that love!

Friday, November 6, 2009

College Debt and Vocations

This video clip is about many Catholics that are helping those with college debt to enter the priesthood or religious life! This is so awesome!

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Saints Day -- All Souls Day

We hope you can see this -- saints all over the table, celebrating All Saints Day(s) with the saints from all over the house!!!
We also went to the cemetery today for All Souls' Day. We have a custom on this day to visit each Sisters' grave, to put holy water on it, and to tell stories or memories about that Sister. Then we say a prayer for each one. It was awesome.
God bless you all!

Friday, October 30, 2009

God Continues to Bless Us!

The Genius of Woman retreat went very well! One has to plant seeds everywhere they go, and then God waters it. Only He knows what fruits will come from our "Texas Tour" from last week.

We were able to meet a bunch of neat people, talk to youth groups, students at colleges, and much more!

Thank you all for your prayers! Keep praying -- we have a 3rd Order Franciscan Group here this weekend for a retreat.

God bless you all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Genius of Womanhood

We are about to give a retreat on one of the most interesting topics: The Genius of Woman.

John Paul II called it this.

Wow. Contemplating the different aspects of each woman . . . way too much to mention here. I will mention one. Receptivity.

The woman receives love from her spouse. This is an imagery used in how the Church is the Bride and Jesus is the Bridegroom. God the Father gives us love and grace, we simply receive it. It's not a passive receiving, it's an active receiving. So, stamped in our very bodies, we have a symbol of how God works in our lives. All of us are to be "brides" of Christ (even men). We can all actively receive God's grace and love.

Pray for our retreat on Saturday! Thank you and God bless you all with his infinite and awesome love!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love is a Choice

Dear Friends,

Love is definitely a choice.

So many people today seem to be struggling in their lives, either in their marriage or loving other people in their lives. We must remember that Love is a Choice! Yes, there are some fuzzy warm feelings sometimes with love, but this cannot be the end-all and be-all of our relationship. After the new wears off, we choose to love those around us. Love is unconditional. It is self-sacrificial. It is willing to be crucified (Jesus gave us the example). It's amazing how God's grace kicks in and helps us to love.

Help us pray for marriages! A good example of this is Greg and Julie Alexander. They couldn't stand each other at one point. They say that they were only in it for themselves. When the new wore off, they were ready to hit the road. Then they began learning about the scriptures and what it says about marriage. Greg says that he began being the head of the family and leading the family in prayer. They eventually turned their whole lives around . . . and now you'd think they were newlyweds. They love each other so much!

Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing. Whatever you may be struggling with in your life -- hand it over to God. Ask for His Grace. Watch the miracle. That doesn't mean that pain will not be involved. We can embrace the cross and anticipate the resurrection!

Greg and Julie are now marriage coaches:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our Lady of the Rosary Feast Today!

Today is the Feast of the Holy Rosary! (we didn't post on the Feast of St. Francis -- too busy celebrating) Happy Belated Feast of St. Francis to you!

Yesterday's Gospel was awesome: Luke 10:38-42, where Jesus is visiting at Martha and Mary's house. You know the story. Martha is running around preparing the meal or something. Mary is sitting at Jesus' feet listening to Him. Martha goes to Jesus asking Him to tell Mary to help her. Then Jesus said, " are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it."

Wow! God is constantly calling us to "waste time" with Him! After the normal prayers that we say every day . . . He wants more! We want more too, we just don't always know it. We so many times try to fill that desire for love by working more, looking for entertainment, etc. As St. Augustine said, "Our hearts our restless until they rest in You, O Lord."

Let's take time in our lives to "waste time" with the One Who loves us unconditionally -- Who is waiting for us to come to Him for love, graces, peace, and joy! God bless you all!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friends and Relatives

It's amazing how the relatives of the Sisters become relatives of ALL the Sisters. My mom told me one time, "When you entered the convent, I didn't lose my daughter, I gained 20 more daughters!"
The above pictures are from recent relative visits. The top one is Sr. Mary Michael's niece in Baltimore. She took us to the airport after our visit there a few weeks ago.
The bottom picture is Sr. Josita's sister from Canada who came to visit recently.
Our prayers and love is with all of you! God bless you all!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Discernment - Jesus Has a Beard!

Last weekend I (Sr. M.M.) went to a Discernment Weekend sponsored by a diocese. Wow. It is SO amazing to see how God's grace is working in today's world. Young people left and right are feeling that God may be calling them to the priesthood or the Religious Life. It is so awesome!

One of my favorite stories to tell about my own discernment was when I was in college dreaming of my future husband. I imagined that he would have a beard and big muscles. After several steps in which God opened my heart more and more to the possibility to becoming a Sister and after falling in love with God, I was looking at a picture of Jesus one day. All of a sudden I realized that Jesus has a beard! Jesus was the husband that I was dreaming of, I just didn't know it yet.

That's exactly how God works sometimes. He plants desires in our hearts to love and to be loved. We have dreams of future happiness. Then as we get closer to Him, we sometimes find out that our dreams have been realized in a whole different way than we had imagined! In fact, God's way has made us happier than we could have imagined. It's such a paradox. The very thing we were afraid of (following God's will for our life) is what makes us happy!

God is so good. He loves each and every one of us. Have you thanked Him lately for His Love and His goodness to you?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Washington, DC - Eucharistic Congress

We just returned from the Eucharistic Congress in Washington, DC! We also saw the Holocaust Museum, the Natural History Museum (see above), and many of the memorials.
The top picture is from the Euch. Congress. St. Gianna's daughter spoke about her mother, her saintly and somewhat ordinary life as a doctor that served the poor. It was awesome!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New "updated" video!

We finally revised and updated our video with more recent pictures! Hope you enjoy it!

(watch for more videos in the future -- esp. on our website)

Eucharistic Congress in Washington, DC

We're off to the Eucharistic Congress in Washington, DC! 4 of us will venture over, see some sights on the way, and . . . well, you'll have to wait until we get back to get the scoop!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

God is passionately in love with you!

I just read an article about St. John of the Cross. Wow.

He knew that God is passionately in love with each one of us! This is a quote from the Word Among Us for Sept. '09 (page 5):

"...the great message of the life and writings of St. John of the Cross is that each and every life is an ongoing love story -- the story of God inviting us to a deeper transfroming relatioshiop with him."

..."God loves you passionately and without reserve. He is like a lover, a bridegroom who comes looking for spce in your heart. Our challenge, hten, is to let go of anything that stands in the way, and open ourselves to this passionate love."


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Theology of the Body -- Awesome!

I (Sr. Mary Michael) just got back from a class called "Theology of Sexuality Healing and Redemption". Wow. I was not prepared for the awesome week of beauty and awesomeness!
The bottom picture is my "family" (small group for the week)....
The middle picture is Sr. Marie Bernadette, one of my new TOB Sisters in Christ.
The top picture is me with Christopher West and his mom and dad. They were all in the class (Christopher only taught 2 lectures. The rest were by Dr. Bob from Florida).
God bless you all! Remember that God loves you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

He chooses the weak...

As I look around at my dear Sisters in community, I see one limping along in a "boot" after a foot fracture, one recovering from surgery, one sneezing and bleary-eyed from the assault of a new allergy season, one breathless from mowing the Rosary Garden, one sleepy after a night of watching over our Sisters in the infirmary, one melancholic after a particularly difficult day at school, one sore from a vigorous chiropractic treatment, and one with her feet up because fallen arches are part of carrying her daily cross, I am reminded that God does indeed use human instruments for His daily work in the vineyard. His workers and lovers are valiant souls in fragile human bodies, and they can be found in every convent, rectory, seminary, and home in the world. He is truly our strength - no doubt about it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Eucharist Without the Priesthood

Dear Friends,

You can almost smell the cool, crisp days of fall just ahead...or maybe it's because I am simply looking forward to September right around the corner! For me, new life has always been personified by autumn. It could be the teacher in me that looks to the beginning of a new school year right about now, and that always signifies a fresh start. A fresh start is a blank page with no mistakes, to paraphrase Anne of Avonlea.

In turn, that reminds me of my personal resolutions and those of all the School Sisters as we celebrate this Year of the Priest. St. Augustine, whose feastday is August 28, said "O wonderful the dignity of priests; in whose hands the Son of God is made flesh as in the womb of the Virgin." Our precious priests need our prayers and support. They are constantly under the assault of the enemy. We owe them so much in return for the gift of their lives to the Church; let's remember to pray for them, to listen to them, to defend them against criticism.

Another reminder to share - don't miss Pope Benedict's third encyclical, Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate). This wonderful writing draws on the Holy Father's first two encyclicals and their themes of love and hope to examine the social issues of the day. It includes reflection on the writings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI concerning social teaching. As always, the dignity of the human person is first and foremost the primary focus of all three pontiffs. We continue to battle the culture of death to promote a culture of life and genuine peace.

And may peace be with each of you as we look to the end of summer and the start of a new season!

Sister Mary Ana

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Gospels

The Gospels are always outstanding, of course, but we'd like to reflect on the last 2 days' Gospels.

Yesterday (Aug. 20) was about the king that had the big banquet and invited everyone to come. At the end, he found a person without the correct wedding garment on. And then the king said, after throwing the person out, "Many are called, few are chosen."

Could it be that many are called to Religious Life (or another holy vocation), and they do not make themselves available to be chosen?

Today's Gospel was about the 2 Greatest Commandments -- to love the Lord our God with our whole hearts and souls (paraphrasing) and our neighbor as ourselves! This is so awesome! It's the center of everything! It's the guiding star of our every day lives!

God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rainbows, lots of rain, visitors, and back to school!

We have had 9 inches of rain in the last 8 days!!! This is very unusual for the Texas Panhandle!
One day there was a beautiful double rainbow -- very hard to take pictures of and actually capture!
We've also had some great visitors that are discerning Religious Life -- pray for all of the neat people that visit us!
Finally, it's that time again -- back to school! May God bless all the teachers, students, parents, and faculty members!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

60th Jubilee & Visitors!

We've had several visitors lately. It's been awesome!
Sr. M. Josita (see top picture) celebrated her 60th Jubilee of Vows! Congratulations Sister!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Red River 2009

We just finished our Community vacation in Red River, NM! It was AWESOME!!! We prayed for all of you there.
Also, please pray for our beloved Msgr. Kevin Hand who died today. Even though he did not feel well, he would always say Mass for us when we needed one. He was very good to us. May He rest in peace!

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Website

Dear Family and Friends,

Our new website is obviously not done by the end of July as projected. It was more involved than the webmaster predicted, plus she has MANY other things calling for her attention. . .

The new website should be up no later than August 15.

Yesterday was the feast of the Portiuncula (Our Lady of the Angels Chapel in Assisi -- "The Little Portion". Some of us are in Red River right now on vacation. We celebrated by FISHING!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Family, Friends, and Fun in the Summer

One of our Sisters' nephews came to have a "wienie roast" with us. He brought his wife and 6 children!!! Top above picture -- They're throwing grass on Sr. Mary Ana.
The middle picture is a "Nun Run" Group visiting us. Here they are at the Cross in Groom sitting down with the apostles at the last supper.
There's more pictures to come!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can't believe how time is flying!

Dear Friends,
I can't believe we haven't updated this in so long. Where has the time gone???
The picture above is from the "Family Camp" that our Sisters helped with in the Diocese of Baker, Oregan. They had a wonderful experience with the families there!
3 of us just came back last weekend from a Vocation Awareness Weekend sponsored by the Serra Club. Wow. It was a great experience seeing the grace that young people are receiving today -- so many people considering the Religious Life and the priesthood (men and women particpants) and willing to learn more about it. It really was refreshing.
Vacation Bible School in Borger!!! Yea! That was fun too!
Now we have several groups coming to stay with us for different reasons -- college leadership retreat, Nun Run, etc. We'll tell more about this in the next post.
God bless you all! We are united in prayer, especially through the Holy Trinity in the Eucharist!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So Much is Going On!

Dear Friends,
So much is going on -- where to start?
  • We have 2 Sisters visiting the Motherhouse right now.
  • 2 Sisters just came back from Oregan for a Family Camp (it was awesome!) -- no pictures yet. They have to be developed first!
  • Many Sisters have been going on their home visits. Very important!
  • 2 Sisters went to the Diocese of San Angelo (where they are from) for a Vocation Bar BQ. That was good too!
  • The webmaster has been working hard preparing the new website (will hopefully be ready by the end of the month of July.....
  • Cleaning out garages, mowing, landscaping, looking at beautiful flowers.....
  • praying (see picture above)
  • Vacation Bible School next week in Borger, TX
  • and the list goes on -- that's all I can think of right now.
God bless you all!!! United in prayer!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pictures Speak, cont. (be sure to see the last post as well!)

We also had some friends come visit to see what convent is like -- it was like a "Nun Run" to our house! We had a great time together. God bless you!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chapel Renovation Video!!!

We finally got the video finished with pictures from the Chapel Renovation! We waited to put some pictures in from the Rededication. Every time we see this, tears come to our eyes. God is so good to us!!! Hope you enjoy it (by the way, this video is stretched a bit and makes some things or people look larger than reality).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More pictures of the chapel

Awesome and Breathtaking!

We'll post more pictures here and on our website later -- just a quick note about how awesome this week has been! The new murals were installed last week. The bishop had a big, beautiful rededication Mass yesterday, and today we had a nice Open House.

This worship space in our house is more beautiful than ever!

God bless you all!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Renewal of Vows and Summer Camp

Sr. Mary Magdalene renewed her vows for one year today!!! Congratulations!

Today was also the Feast of the Holy Trinity! God loves us SO much that He made us in His own image (see Genesis Ch. 1). He is calling us to live in this Eternal Exchange of Love!

(the first picture above is from Sr. Mary Jude playing volleyball at the Glorietta Summer Camp for our diocese! It was AWESOME!!!)

The mural for our chapel will be installed TOMORROW! We are more than excited.

God bless you all!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Vocations Camp 2009

You have got to see this video that they made for the Diocese of Victoria where we'll do a Summer Vocations Camp!

Besides this, we're wrapping up another School Year in our Catholic Schools, we're gearing up for helping with Vacation Bible School, and . . . getting ready for the Diocese of Amarillo Summer Camp in Glorietta next week. . . . just to name a few.

We're also getting everything ready for our big Open House and Rededication of our Chapel!!! Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mary, Our Mother

Mary, Our Mother! She hears the cries of our hearts! She cares about all that we care about. Just ask her to pray for you and your intentions, and she will take your prayers to her Son.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

This is the statue that will soon be in our chapel!

Happy Mother's Day to all physical and spiritual mothers out there!

(hopefully soon we'll post more beautiful pictures of Mary, crowned for May!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Everything Comes From Love"

Some of us were at the Catherine of Siena Parish in the Dallas area. This statue of her is outside. The message is the crux of our lives:

"Everything comes from love.
All is ordained for the salvation of man.
God does nothing without this good in mind."

If you read the lives of the saints, this is the common thread that you find in all of their lives -- Total Trust in God, no matter how bad it looks, no matter how it looks like the opposite of good. Total Trust in God, that nothing happens to us that does not first go through God's Hands, because He will use everything for a better good (if we let Him).
Jesus, I Trust in You!

Right now we have many petitions to pray for -- loved ones with diseases, the swine flu, the political happenings in the world, war, etc. People are hurting in one way or another all around us. This is nothing new, actually. And it is nothing new that GOD is in CONTROL!
Jesus, I Trust in You!