Everyday Stewardship

02-25-2018Stewardship Reflection

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) posts notes regarding all the Books of the Bible. In its introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Romans (our Second Reading), the USCCB says, “Of all the letters of Paul, that to the Christians at Rome has long held pride of place. It is the longest and most systematic unfolding of the apostle’s thought, expounding the gospel of God’s righteousness that saves all who believe; it reflects a universal outlook.”

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Jesus Be More in Our Hearts

02-25-2018The Sisters Corner

Lent is a special time of conversion and an opportunity to be open to God’s love and to His grace so that He can transform our lives more towards Him.

In all our communities around the world, our community prays the Rosary of Via Crucis as a special way for us to accompany Jesus during this time of Lent and to learn the path of love that he has drawn for us.

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Young Killers

02-25-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

After yet another mass murder, we find ourselves grappling to find answers to why this happens and how to prevent it. So far, we have employed a strategy that insulates us from the effects of a would be terrorist, assassin or mass murderer. After 9/11 we came up with the TSA to screen out the less than one percent of travelers bent on using a plane as a weapon. In our schools we have trained staff and students in disaster drills and now how to respond to an active shooter situation. We have also mandated seat belts and airbags in vehicles to protect against among other dangers, drunk drivers. But none of these strategies, while they may reduce harm, get to the heart of the problem.

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Everyday Stewardship

02-18-2018Stewardship Reflection

It seems fitting that our readings on this First Sunday of Lent begin with the Old Testament Book of Genesis. The book was first called “Genesis” — ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ — in the Greek Septuagint translation, as it presents both the origin of the world and mankind, and in particular, the Hebrew people. The book in Hebrew was known by its opening expression, “In the beginning.”

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The Lord, the Source of Our Vocation

02-18-2018The Sisters Corner

As a community, almost every year we have our spiritual exercises where we recharge our strength in the Lord and in His love. Sometimes we do it on our own but the majority of the time we participate as a group.

This year, 70 sisters, in all, from different countries had the opportunity for this beautiful encounter with the Lord. This was a very enriching experience for both Sr. Veronica and Sr. Stephanie, who had the opportunity to attend.

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Colluding with Dictators?

02-18-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Our beleaguered leader is really taking it on the chin these days. His election was a surprise to many, and many long for the days of his predecessor. The bureaucracy actively works against him and seems to dog him at every step. He is accused of colluding with the worst kind of dictator and even compromising with a foreign power. In fact, he has been accused of being a dictator himself. Grant it, some of the things he says leave people scratching their heads and his administration running to explain what he said. Every major news outlet from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal has recently editorialized against him and questioned his decisions. Does he deserve to be judged so harshly? I think not, which puts me in the minority position.

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Unshocked

02-11-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The great question to us is whether we are still capable of being truly shocked or whether it is to remain so that we see thousands of things and know that they should not be, and must not be, and that we get hardened to them. How many things have we become used to in the course of the years, of the weeks and months, so that we stand unshocked, unstirred, inwardly unmoved.

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Everyday Stewardship

02-11-2018Stewardship Reflection

Often one of our human weaknesses has to do with us believing or thinking we know better than God in relation to what we do and what we do in relation to others. Of course, part of that has to do with our failure to pray and consult the Lord, or even more to make no effort to understand what God may be telling us.

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Pope Francis in Peru

02-11-2018The Sisters Corner

When Pope Francis, traveled to Peru in early January, I, Sr. Maria Cristina, had the opportunity to go for two weeks to a conference for priests and religious sisters in my hometown.

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Everyday Stewardship

02-04-2018Stewardship Reflection

The fact that today’s Gospel from Mark makes reference to Jesus curing Peter’s mother-in-law would seem to point to the fact that Peter was married. However, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that the wife may have died before Peter was called by Jesus as an Apostle. In fact, there are many misconceptions about St. Peter. For one, although often portrayed as much older, he was probably younger than Jesus. In fact, all 12 Apostles were most likely younger than Jesus.

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Look at This!

02-04-2018The Sisters Corner

As many of you already know, Sr. Maria Gracia and Sr. Alejandra returned to Lima-Peru in order to complete their formation time. They returned with many good experiences and are so thankful for the warm reception and hospitality they received while they were here with us...Thank you all so much for that!! 

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Texting Too Much?

02-04-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

You are probably familiar with the infamous text messages of the two FBI employees that were found, lost, and found again. Reportedly, there were 50,000 messages between November and June. Wow, that’s a lot of texting even for two people having an intramural extra-marital affair. That works out to about 25,000 texts sent and 25,000 responses. That would be, without counting sleep hours, one text and response about every eight or nine minutes, every day for five months.

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Revelations

01-28-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Well, lo and behold, you do learn something new under the sun. The President, apparently, now and then talks like a real estate developer on a construction site in Queens or Brooklyn. Who would have ever guessed? According to some, though he denies saying it, the President referred to some countries as feces pits. Unfortunate choice of words. Lots of outrage ensued. But if you flip it around and it is not the case that some countries are in bad shape, then it should be no problem to have people return to those countries who are here on a temporary visa status. Right? After all, we would be sending them back to economically vibrant, flourishing democracies, or would we?

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"Come after me..."

01-21-2018Stewardship Reflection

"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." With these words, Jesus invites Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew to follow Him and be His disciples. We often speak of the subtleties of translation. In the original Greek in which St. Mark wrote his Gospel, a better translation would be, "Come after me, and I will make you become fishers of men." It is the beginning of a process.

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Catechism at 25

01-21-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This past October was the 25th Anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, commissioned by Pope St. John Paul II and the Bishops at the 1985 Synod. At the time, few people thought they would live to see its completion, but on October 11, 1992, it was officially promulgated by Pope John Paul II.

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It's Been a Blessing

01-21-2018The Sisters Corner

Sister Alejandra and I are so grateful to God and to all of you for the time we have spent here in Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

This has been our home for the last couple of months, and I feel blessed for being able to meet each and every one of you. You have taught me so much through your kind smiles, your generosity and your loving efforts and commitment to the Lord at this parish. I thank Him for putting you in my life, and I will always carry you in my heart and cherish every experience together.

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Thank You for Everything!

01-14-2018The Sisters Corner

Sister Maria Gracia and I are leaving very early on the 19th. It’s true that the time goes fast! It seems like only yesterday we had our  first look of the parish.

Seeing how much people need God has given me new strength to cooperate with God in everything. He wants to teach me during the last months of my formation time, (which I will be going through now that I am going back to Peru). The time here has been amazing. I am amazed at how good people are here, really I’m like: Oh, all you parishioners are so kind, generous, joyful and you have taught me so much with your edifying example. 

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Everyday Stewardship

01-14-2018Stewardship Reflection

Speak, for your servant is listening.” With those few words, Samuel humbles himself and declares his loyalty and obedience to God. There are perhaps for many of us challenges in those words. Initially, Samuel responds “Here I am,” but thinks it was Eli who called him. The idea of being a servant and the willingness to serve are what may be trials for us in terms of how we live.

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We Shall Not Rest

01-14-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

One of the arguments that’s made in favor of abolishing the use of capital punishment in the US is that we as a country are not in sync with international norms. The larger international consensus has rejected the use of execution which means the US is in company with those countries that still use it: China, Iran, Singapore, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and a few other despotic regimes.

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Everyday Stewardship

01-07-2018Stewardship Reflection
p>Today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. For centuries we as Catholics celebrated this Feast on Jan. 6, but the decision was made a number of years ago (at least in the United States) to celebrate the Epiphany on the Sunday which falls between Jan 2 and Jan 8.

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Art, a Way to Express God's Beauty

01-07-2018The Sisters Corner

Our community likes music and we also love to act and to create small plays... Especially during our formation time. Our sisters perform different plays so that we can express the important experiences that we are going through. This year the sisters put on a play of the shepherd's experience when Jesus was born. The happiness and hope that they experienced that day. This play was a musical interpreted by several sisters from the formation house, some of them in charge of acting, others backstage working on the costumes and the set up of the scenery, while others were performing with different instruments. 

Art is a way of expressing God's Beauty. He gives us different gifts and talents that are meant to be shared with others. We encourage you to think today: What is my talent? What gift has God given me?

School Choice?

01-07-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

It looks like we really are living just this side of the gates of hell: “Army and Homeland Security prepping teachers for the gunman at the door”, so reads a recent headline. Apparently, the US Army and the Department of Homeland Security have created a computer based simulator that trains teachers on how to best react in an active-shooter situation. Many will respond: good we need to do all we can to keep our children and our schools safe. Pretty much the same as when airport security and the TSA were implemented. It’s just a way of life now. But does it have to be this way?

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