Taking Our Lady to the Homebound

08-27-2017The Sisters Corner

As you all know, we are in the 100th Anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. Fr. John procured a statue of Our Lady and She has been visiting the families of our Parish bringing so much joy and peace into their homes.

We, the Ministers of Care, wanted to do the same for the homebound of our Parish. So the ministry acquired a smaller statue of Our Lady of Fatima and, since May, Our Lady has been reaching out to our homebound! We are grateful for the generosity of the Ministers of Care Ministry.

Our homebound have been very happy for the visit of Our Lady’s statue to their homes. Some of the patients have enjoyed praying the rosary, or a decade of the rosary. Some also have had the opportunity to have Her in their homes for a few days thus gaining the plenary indulgence. Our dear homebound have definitely felt very special, grateful and blessed.

Please keep praying for this beautiful ministry!

Sr. Maria Alejandra

The Path of Totality

08-27-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I found it a bit amusing how Americans can figure out ways to make a profit off a Solar Eclipse! Hotels, restaurants, and businesses along the path of totality all saw their business ledgers turn as black as the eclipsed light of the sun. Still, it was good for us to look up for a change and not down at our phone screens and to consider a subject that we give so little thought to in our times: cosmology. With each new change in understanding of the world at large, from the Copernican revolution to Newtonian physics to Einstein’s theory of Relativity, comes a change in the way we understand ourselves as well. When it comes to faith and science, way too many people remember the Galileo affair, but few know that Einstein’s theory of Relativity was given its biggest boost by a Catholic priest: Fr. Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian priest and mathematician. (what follows is from a wonderful blog that I encourage you to read: These Stone Walls: http://thesestonewalls.com/gordonmacrae/science-faith-big-bang-theory-creation/ . READ MORE

One God and Father of Us All

08-20-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Having grown up at the height of the Civil Rights era, I look around today and am horrified with what I see. It seems our society is regressing from Dr. King’s vision of a society where the standard of judgment is the content of one’s character to one that sees only the color of one’s skin or gender or lack thereof gender. When identity politics is pushed hard enough, the logical outcome is more identity politics. When a person or group is ascribed political power, economic empowerment, legal protection solely on the basis of their race, ethnicity or gender/transgender, then sooner or later the individuals or groups that feel disempowered or unnoticed will start to assert themselves. This leads to “us-them” mentality where one group is pitted against the other until finally, they reach extremes; the result is the putrid excrement that descended on Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Religious Education with Sr. Cristina

08-13-2017The Sisters Corner

My name is Sr. Cristina, the mission that God has given to me here at Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Religious Education program.

I’m extremely happy to serve God through the children. As the director, I am blessed to be able to see how all of the children are open to receive God’s love. I believe God has a Plan for everybody. The children and their families alike. Participating in the Vacation Bible School program was for me a big example of that.

I believe that the Religious Education here at Mt. Carmel is not only a ministry for the children but for the whole family. We want to build a community who, together can strengthen our faith and together live with joy the Good News of the Gospel.

9x3 and 9x3 = 54

08-13-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

As we continue our prayerful walk through the Jubilee Year of the Centenary of the Apparitions at Fatima, we have a few more opportunities to ask Our Lady’s assistance. First, our Bishop has asked all of us to join him in a 54 Day Rosary Novena. But “Father,” you say, “a novena is nine days.” Correct. But this is actually 6 Novenas: three in petition and three in thanksgiving. Anyone who has ever done this will tell you it is very powerful prayer tool. The 54 Day Rosary Novena begins on August 21 (the Vigil of the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and concludes on October 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The three intentions the Bishop requests are: The Sanctity of all Human Life, especially an end to violence against all innocent and vulnerable human lives; the strengthening of the vocation of Marriage; and Vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life. Those three novenas are then followed by three novenas of thanksgiving, believing what we ask prayerfully that we shall receive as God sees fit.

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What's Going On

08-06-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This is a Save the Date Letter. Lots of upcoming events here at the Parish. First please plan to join us on August 15 the Feast Day of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also the anniversary of the founding of the Servants of the Plan of God, so it is a big day for our five Sisters. Bishop Olmsted will be here to celebrate Mass at 7pm on Tuesday the 15th. We should all take this time to express our gratitude to the Sisters and the Servants for sending them to us!

In September, we will host the 5th Encuentro for Hispanic/Latino Ministry. This is part of a national effort by the US Bishops to help bring 18-26yr olds back to the Church, particularly those of Hispanic background but not limited to them. So, we are partnering with the ASU Newman Center and St. Tim's to invite single and married young people between the ages of 18 and 26 yrs old so that we can listen to their concerns and experiences about the Church. This is a listening time only, not a hard sell to young people. This will help us form a pastoral plan at the Parish and Diocesan level to engage the youth of today. So, if you know any young people, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc. please invite them. More info will be coming shortly with a Flyer to give out.

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ABC&ADF

07-30-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

A recent ABC News headline claimed: “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks.” Wow, who was this ‘hate group’? The KKK, the Neo-Nazi Party? No, it was Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from right here in Scottsdale, Arizona. ADF is a civil liberties organization that consistently defends issues of Religious Liberty, the Rights of Conscience, the Sanctity of Human Life and Marriage and the Family. There are over 1900 trained attorneys that work with Alliance Defending Freedom defending pro bono the civil and religious rights of all Americans. One of its greatest accomplishments is that ADF has counter balanced the ACLU’s erosion of religious rights. They have won 5 cases at the Supreme Court in the last seven years. Not exactly a fringe group.

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Whose Baby is it?

07-23-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Often when someone dies prematurely, their loved ones will say things such as “we did all we could.” In other words, they left no stone unturned in trying to find a treatment that would keep their loved one from dying. I realize it is a small comfort but a comfort nonetheless. The parents of baby Charlie Gard in the UK are being denied the comfort of saying, “we did all we could.”

Baby Charlie, born with a severe genetic disease, received treatment at a London hospital. When the parents requested that they wanted to take their child to the U.S. for experimental treatments (using money they had privately raised), the hospital said no. The parents appealed to the British courts and their request was denied; likewise, the request was denied when they appealed to the European Court for Human Rights. The hospital said that Charlie must “die with dignity” - whatever that means. One thing it does mean is that the hospital, and not Charlie’s parents, gets to decide when and where this child will die. All the while, the hospital and physicians talk out of both sides of their mouth: on one hand, they say Charlie has no brain activity, can’t move, eat, hear, or see; hence, treatment is futile. Then at the same time, they state that to move Charlie to the U.S. and give him experimental treatment would be torturous for the child. The hospital is making nothing more than a value judgment that low probability chances are not worth taking and that some lives are of a quality not worth trying to save. Ethicists call this Futile Care Policy, and it is the hospital or its anonymous Ethics Board, and not the patient or parent, that gets to decide when treatment is futile. This is already making its way into U.S. hospitals. Baby Charlie’s condition is not futile since there is a life-sustaining treatment available that could possibly help him survive. The hospital and the courts are refusing to acknowledge that. (This is similar to a case here at St. Joe’s Hospital, where hospital personnel performed a direct abortion and refused to admit that there were other medical options available that could have helped.)

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Beautiful Flower of Mt. Carmel

07-16-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Since today, July 16, is the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, a little history may be helpful. (Most of this comes from the Carmelite Order itself.) Mount Carmel is a mountain in the Holy Land celebrated for its sheer beauty. Stretching out into the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea, Mount Carmel in the springtime of the year is aglow with the vivacious coloring of flowering shrubs and plants - a symbol for the beauty of Mary. On that mountain, the first Carmelites, a unique group, came together. Most of them were laymen living as hermits in community. They took as their model one who appealed to many monks in the West, the Prophet Elijah. And with the passage of time, they took Mary as the companion on their journey to the Lord. Carmel stands for prayer and union with God on the holy mount. Every Carmelite house, even the smallest in the back street of some huge city, still manages to recapture something of that unique and beautiful spirit of Mount Carmel.

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I was in prison...

07-16-2017The Sisters Corner

“I was in prison and you came to see me” (Mt 25:35)

A few years ago, God invited us to visit Him through the women that were in prison. In our weekly visits, we sought to take them the mercy and closeness of God, who always looks at us as His children and believes in us. We gave them spiritual company and catechesis. We ask you for special prayers so they can always feel the company of Christ in their lives.

For more information visit www.siervasdelplandedios.org or visit www.facebook.com/siervasdelplandedios/ .

A Spiritual Vision of Existence

07-09-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Now and then, help comes from unexpected sources. In this case, it came in the form of a “Message of the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on the occasion of the International Day against Abuse and Illicit Trafficking of Drugs, 26.06.2017.” (Cardinal Turkson is the Prefect and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, a new department formed during the reform of the Roman Curia by Pope Francis that combined the work of four Pontifical Councils: Justice and Peace, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, and Cor Unum. You can read the full text at: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/06/26/170626d.html#

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Jesus, Our Strength

07-09-2017The Sisters Corner

Continuing with what we shared last week about our chapel, we would like to share some thoughts about a few of the symbolisms that our chapel has. In almost all our chapels we usually use 2 materials: rock and wood. With those 2 materials, we want to show how our life and apostolate is to be.

As you look at the picture(in the bulletin), you can see the Lord is in the center of a stone wall. Our Lord is our rock and the foundation of our lives. Sometimes there are moments of joy and difficulties but the Lord is there, supporting us with His grace; the strength that we need for our own lives and in the service of others. Each stone in this wall is different and unique, in our community it is the same, each sister is unique and the Lord unites us as one heart.

We strive to remember that as the Lord is the Rock that has sustained our lives, His heart is always opened to us and giving of His love. The wood of our chapel seeks to remind us of this truth: His love is both strong and soft at the same time. We seek to serve others with these same two characteristics.

Please pray for us that we can always be opened to this special grace that Jesus gives us in the Blessed Sacrament, so we can always have Him in the center of our hearts and as the source of our apostolate.

Our Apostolate …Our Chapel

07-02-2017The Sisters Corner

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)

Today we want to share with you some good news! A month ago we inaugurated our chapel in our house. Jesus in the Eucharist is the daily source of our life and consecration, that’s why we have everyday moments of prayer (alone or in community) in which we want to seek and strengthen our friendship with the Lord as we pray for all the intentions that people ask us to pray.

If you have any intention that you want us to pray for, please let us know don’t hesitate to tell us directly or by email.

Liberty and Justice for All

07-02-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Since 2012, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked us to observe a “Fortnight for Freedom” each year from June 21 to July 4 in order to highlight the importance of Religious Freedom. This all began after the unprecedented assault on religious liberty by the Obama Administration via the “contraception mandate.” Each year the Fortnight for Freedom aims to remind Catholics of the preciousness of their inheritance of freedom as Americans and Catholics and the necessity of standing up to threats to it.

So how have we been doing? First, let’s take a look at the local level. Through the efforts of the Arizona Catholic Conference, several key pieces of legislation were signed into law this year.

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