Here We Go Again!

12-31-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Well, despite the media hype over the Trump-acalypse and since we are not all speaking Russian, the world in 2017 didn't end. So it looks like we are going to have to do it all over again! All 525,600 minutes, each of the 8,760 hours, all 52 weeks of all 12 months of 2018. So better to know what we are getting ourselves into:

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Happy Solemnity of The Mother of God!

12-31-2017The Sisters Corner

Happy Solemnity of The Mother of God and Happy New Year!

Many things to remember!! As we finish this year, we can see the love of God in everything that we have lived... He's been a Good Father to us! 

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Everyday Stewardship

12-31-2017Stewardship Reflection

The primary purpose of The Feast of the Holy Family is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families.

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More Christmas traditions to share with you!

12-24-2017The Sisters Corner

More Christmas traditions to share with you! Jesus has come as a little child for us!!!

What a day to be joyful! With the lights in our home, the Christmas tree, the decorations inside the house, the supper with all our family, everything makes sense when we recognize that He is the light of the World that has come for us as  THE Life, in the image of a little child, the Love himself. 

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Merry Christmas

12-24-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Love, joy, and peace are words often associated with the infant in the manger in Bethlehem. But truth be told - the best way to describe him: subversive.  His birth undercuts all worldly power and assumptions. Even at the moment of birth, there was “no room in the Inn,” and as C.S. Lewis often quipped, “God had to sneak clandestinely behind enemy lines.” This world would not receive this newborn King and has found ways to reject him ever since. The swaddled child was an immediate threat to the political order and an object of panic to the religious community. Herod wanted him dead; the Temple officials wouldn’t tolerate this version of a Messiah. From this point onward, Jesus turned the worldly powers on their heads, he subverted the old religions, and those who dared to follow him were hunted down as revolutionaries, disloyal citizens who threatened the status quo.

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Everyday Stewardship

12-24-2017Stewardship Reflection

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” With those words, our Blessed Mother Mary places her total trust in God. We are called to do the same, and this final Sunday of Lent is the time for us to do that, if we have not previously. Mary’s response to God is the same response we need to offer the Lord. It is most appropriate that we hear this message at this time and on this day.

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With Joyful Hearts!

12-17-2017The Sisters Corner

In some of our countries in South America we have a beautiful tradition known as "novenas" (nine days before Christmas). The novenas are 9 days where we have special prayers for each of the 9 days before Christmas. You can recite the prayers with your family and/or you can invite friends and/or neighbors to your home. You share with each of them special moments of prayer seeking the intercessions of the Holy Family; St. Mary, St. Joseph and Baby Jesus.

During the novenas we also accompany the different prayers with joyful songs using instruments that represent the joy that we have in our hearts because of the coming of Jesus. We also share some candies and different sweets to express the sweetness and tenderness that Jesus, with his love, brings to us.

Happy Third Week of Advent! Let us have our hearts full of hope and joy because of the great love of God for us, and as Mary, let us prepare our hearts for his coming

Rockin' Around Christmas Divorce

12-17-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Each year at this time I reprint this letter. While this may not be pertinent to all, I’m sure you know many divorced couples and if you know them well enough you can pass this along.

Each year thousands of American children are informed that their parents are divorcing and that there will be new living arrangements with the children alternating time between parents. Adults who experienced divorce as children frequently report that the holidays were especially stressful for them during their own childhood. This means that divorced or separated parents have to take time to figure out and discuss what the holidays should look like for their children and not what suits the parents or the custody arrangements. After all, we say, “Christmas is all about the children” but do we really set it up to be so?

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Everyday Stewardship

12-17-2017Stewardship Reflection

A key facet of stewardship has always been personal witness. Today’s readings deal in large part with the witness of John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist, according to historians, was a few months older than Jesus. It is also generally accepted that he began preaching about six months before Jesus came to him to be baptized and to begin His ministry.

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Everyday Stewardship

12-10-2017Stewardship Reflection

Our readings from Holy Scripture on this Second Sunday of Advent remind us of what we are supposed to be doing during Advent, in fact throughout our lives. The reading from Isaiah anticipates the coming of Christ and John the Baptist as it proclaims “… prepare the way of the Lord.” This is a time of preparation for us.

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The Love of God for Us!

12-10-2017The Sisters Corner

This week we light the second candle of our Advent wreath. We are waiting for the Lord Jesus who is coming as a little child for us. The joy that we have grows stronger week by week!

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Watching from Afar

12-10-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Sometime during that long, painful Lent of 2002, as the Church’s abuse scandal unfolded, I said that one day, by God’s grace, the Church would be in a position of leadership on this issue. That day has now come. Now is the time to use our experience to help others. Watching someone else’s scandal unfold is painful and haunting. Someone asked if I was glad to see the media, Hollywood and public officials get their comeuppance, especially after how viciously so many of them went after the Church. Not at all. It is a joyless moment. That’s because another scandal means that people have been harmed and as the moral panic spreads a wide net is cast which means that innocent people will get caught up in the fallout as due process is shunted aside, and mob justice replaces it. Slowing down the moral panic that these revelations cause is often like trying to stop a speeding freight train. Sadly, a lot of bystanders get run over.

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Everyday Stewardship

12-03-2017Stewardship Reflection

This First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. All the readings during this period of waiting and anticipation concentrate on making us aware that it is time for us to awaken our lives as Christians. Jesus opens our Gospel Reading from St. Mark by saying “Be watchful! Be alert!” and closes it with an intense “Watch!”

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Come Jesus!

12-03-2017The Sisters Corner

Today we want to share with you a tradition that we have in our countries when we celebrate Advent.

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Consequences

12-03-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Sometimes what appears as an act of kindness is really a form of enabling bad behavior. I think that is the case when President Trump interceded with Chinese authorities to have the three UCLA basketball players released from their shoplifting charges. Experiencing the consequences of our behaviors is necessary to becoming mature, honest, and upright people. So for these three young men, who already have swollen egos because they are up and coming basketball stars, the next thought, after being saved by Trump, was “what else can we get away with?”.  Rather than saving their future star status, they are now set up to make some really poor decisions that will most likely negatively impact their lives. After all, if they could get away with causing an international incident, what boundaries can they possibly place on their behavior?

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