A Week Filled With Blessings

11-26-2017The Sisters Corner

Last week we had a visit from our General Superior, Sr. Carmen. It was a very special opportunity for us because it was the first time that she was able to visit us since we opened the community here in Tempe. Our time with her was very special. We were able to share our mission here and our individual experiences with her. It was such a blessing to have her here with us last week. 

She came here to the U.S. last year to visit OLMC and confirm our mission here in Tempe. Now that she came back this year she was really happy and grateful to God to be able to see how He has been working, in a very generous way, with this foundation. 

Sr. Carmen was in the original group of sisters that joined the Servants of the Plan of God. Sr. Carmen was born in Peru and has returned to live in Peru, where our Mother house is located.

We ask you to pray for her and for her mission within our community,  the Servants of the Plan of God.

Grant Me Grace to Accept My Blessings

11-26-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Sometimes I think we should rename Thanksgiving Day to “Lord grant me grace to accept my blessings” Day. Too often we fail to realize all that we do have or we assume we had something to do with it and we cut grace out of the picture. Sometimes we look with suspicion on the opportunities presented to us and rather than seeing the wrong turn we made as a chance for something new, we just see it as a way to get lost.

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Everyday Stewardship

11-19-2017Stewardship Reflection

We may long to hear the Lord say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” as He does with the first two servants mentioned in the Parable of the Talents in today’s Gospel from Matthew. However, although the third servant did not squander or waste the gifts (talents) he had received, the Master’s reaction was not the same.

As we have often stated, stewardship is an active way of life. There is nothing passive about it. The Lord expects us to do things, to take the gifts we receive and to share them and multiply them, as was the case in the first two servants cited in the parable.

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Powerless Prayer?

11-19-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Does prayer change anything? That seems to be a question that some are asking in light of the awful massacre at the First Baptist Church in Texas. After such a diabolical mass shooting, many people said things such as, “We send our thoughts and prayers to the families.” Almost immediately, others declared that prayer is useless; after all, they reasoned, if prayer worked, the tragedy would never have occurred, especially in a place where people were praying. Fair enough. I realize that some people were using the tragedy for political purposes to push for more gun control; others seem to have been drinking vinegar for breakfast or had a bad case of hemorrhoids, but others were sincere in their questioning of the efficacy of prayer.

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Meet Sister Maria Gracia

11-12-2017The Sisters Corner

Greetings to all of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parishioners! My name is Sister Maria Gracia. Sister Alejandra and I arrived on Friday, the 27th of October in Phoenix.  It is a blessing for us to finally be here with all of you. Thank you for your warm welcome, generosity, and hospitality; we feel like we’re home already!

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Another Supremes Top Ten

11-12-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

It’s been a year since Trump trumped. And what a year it has been! The way I see it, it has really been the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Everything is coming to light, and the contrast that has been revealed is very stark. Compromise seems to be off the table. One side wins and one side loses seems to be the wave of the future. But we are trying. By we, I mean the religious community. Our culture has changed drastically and is no longer in sync with the Judeo-Christian values of our past. Because of the efforts of mostly unelected judges, even our laws now often reflect an anti-religious bias. When I was a boy growing up in Quaker Pennsylvania, we had the Blue Laws. All non-essential businesses had to close on Sunday.  It was the Lord’s Day and since the majority of people worshiped on Sunday, not having to be open for business made sense for most employers. That all changed as some people fought hard for the right to work seven days a week without a day off.

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Everyday Stewardship

11-12-2017Stewardship Reflection

“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Christ cautions us often concerning our sense of conversion and timing. It has a lot to do with procrastination — that is, putting something off or delaying something which needs to be accomplished.

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Formation Time- Apostolic Experience

11-05-2017The Sisters Corner

As you may already be aware we have two more sisters here with us! Sister Maria Gracia and Sister Alejandra. Both of them are novices and are in their 3rd year of formation. In our community, as we begin to live our consecrated life we live in the formation house, located in Lima, Peru. We live in a communitarian environment of prayer and study for three years.

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PP Can Run But Not Hide

11-05-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Even though another Respect Life Month has come and gone, our 40 Days for Life is still going strong. Thank you for your support. The relocation of the Planned Parenthood Clinic to Baseline and McClintock presents some challenges, and the design of the plaza obstructs our visibility to those entering the clinic and from offering sidewalk counseling to those who want options. In order to increase visibility, the Aid to Women Center is opening an additional site right next door to the Planned Parenthood Clinic! In the short time the new Aid to Women Center (it will continue to operate at the Apache Road location) was opened next door to the former PP Clinic on Apache Road, it provided many, many women options which they never knew existed. It made a dent in the abortion business at that clinic. As the saying goes, PP can run, but it cannot hide.

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Everyday Stewardship

11-05-2017Stewardship Reflection

There is no question that Jesus had a way with words. The Word of the Lord is filled with what we are very familiar with in our society — sound bites if you will, which convey so much meaning. The last verses of today’s Gospel from St. Matthew contain one of those short statements which carry so much more meaning. Jesus says, “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

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