An Unethically Sourced Virus?

02-23-2020Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We often associate Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with Halloween or scary films. But it is also a cautionary tale about the limits of science and the intersection of research and ethics. As Frankenstein demonstrated, in the name of medical research you can unleash something for which you can not predict the consequences. Recently evidence is coming to light that the particular strain of the coronavirus was bioengineered in China as part of research for immunotherapy or vaccines but it was inadvertently released from a Lab in Wuhan. Much like the Africanized honey bees, aka “killer bees” that were released by a lab in Brazil and have made their way up to North American and are such a pest in Arizona, this version of the coronavirus may have been released through sloppy lab protocols.

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Spiritual Exercises

02-23-2020The Sisters Corner

As Sisters, one of the things we do every year are the spiritual exercises.

For one week, Sisters who live in different parts of the world, gathered together in Peru at a retreat house to meditate and pray so as to encounter in a deeper way our Lord Jesus, to whom we have given up our lives.

This month, all the Marian consecrated Sisters (which is the third step before making the temporary profession) will be having their spiritual exercises.

We ask all of you to please pray for all of them, including Sister Cristina who also traveled to Peru, as they start their retreat this week, so that our Lord, who called us to follow Him closer and giving Him our lives, continue to !ll our hearts with His grace.

Who is Our Neighbor?

02-16-2020The Sisters Corner

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, '“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

God calls us to love Him with all our being and in loving Him to love our neighbor; but who is our neighbor?

Last month we had the opportunity to go down to Nogales, Mexico and visit our brothers and sisters who are searching for asylum here in the US. We spent two days with them, heard their stories, prayed together and most importantly did as much as it was in our power to bring Christ’s unending love to them.

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Rats, Choice and Credits

02-16-2020Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This seems to fit right in with the Year of the Rat theme. The AZ Department of Education released the names and personal information of 7,000 AZ families who use Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA). The Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is an account administered by The Arizona Department of Education that is funded by state tax dollars to provide educational options for qualified Arizona students. This also allows parents to choose from a variety of alternative educational services including private schools and home-schooling to fit the special educational needs of their child.

The information that was released included the account balances, the names and email addresses and the grade in which the student is enrolled and special needs students had their disabilities listed. To make matters worse the information was released to an organization called Save Our Schools, that opposes the scholarships and school choice in general. That’s not all. The AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman has publicly stated her opposition to ESA’s, making the release of the information to an anti-school choice group all the more disturbing. The Education Department, claimed, “oops, sorry” an honest mistake. But I can’t help smelling a rat.

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Meet Sr. Cecibel

02-09-2020The Sisters CornerSr. Cecibel

Hi to all our friends in OLMC!

I’m Sr. Cecibel, I am from Ecuador. I joined the Servants of the Plan of God 14 years ago. Before that, I worked as an engineer and had many life and career plans, but I had an uncertainty. I discovered that I wanted to do more to help in this world, but I didn't know what or how. Then I discovered that God was calling me to serve those who suffer and those in need.

During this time as a Sister God has given me a lot of blessings, just for saying Yes to His calling. I have been able to contemplate true miracles, serving to women in prison, to the sick at a Children’s Hospital and at our school for disabled children in Lima, abandoned elderly at the highlands in Southern Peru, and in my country where I served the victims of a devastating earthquake in 2016.

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The Pornification of the Super Bowl

02-09-2020Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I remember watching Super Bowl IV with my father when the Kansas City Chiefs won their first Championship. I would bet that my father would have been very uncomfortable watching Super Bowl LXIV Half-time Porn Show with one of his young grandsons or granddaughters. While it was a super game, the half-time show was super-slutty. This year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment codifying Women’s Suffrage, with a stress on empowering girls and yet what are girls being told to emulate? Pole dancing, crotch grabbing dancers in skimpy clothing with half-naked men pawing at them. Our girls continue to get mixed messages and our boys are taught to objectify women. Have we really “come a long way baby?”

I realize the NFL has become an arm of the progressive left’s social engineering plan but they could have at least given a Parental Warning or let the viewers know that sexual and graphic content was to follow. Apparently, the NFL owners are happy to make money on whatever sells no matter how raunchy. And Porn does sell. The website, Pornhub, which traffics in HUGE amounts of Pornography reported that as soon as Super Bowl Half-time commenced searches on their site for “Shakira” and “Jennifer Lopez” skyrocketed, increasing 1,401 percent and 381 percent, respectively.

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A Misunderstood Rat

02-02-2020Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

As Jesus began his Public Ministry, the first sign of the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom was healing of the sick. Since that time, the Church has always had a primary concern for the sick. That motivation spurred the development of hospitals and clinics to care for the sick and until very recently most hospitals were run by religious organizations. Part of my seminary training included internships at a variety of institutions, including hospitals. The hospital internship required spending time in each department: Administration, Finance, Pre-Op, Post-Op, the Operating Room, Labor and Delivery etc. What I found was that the most important department in a hospital was Infection Control. No matter how successful an operation was, or how it was paid for, or how beautiful the facility was, if you got an infection your health could be seriously threatened and you could end up sicker than when you first were admitted.

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World Day for Consecrated Life

02-02-2020The Sisters Corner

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord also known as Candlemas day. In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted on this Feast Day the World Day for Consecrated Life and it became a day of prayer for men and women in consecrated life.

In the Apostolic Exhortation, Vita Consecrata, Pope John Paul II spoke about the consecrated as men and women who, obedient to the Father’s call and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, have chosen a special way of following Christ in order to devote themselves to Him with an undivided heart. They are called like the apostles to leave everything behind in order to follow Christ and serve Him and their brothers and sisters.

For us, our vocation is truly an undeserved gift given by God. It is a deep joy to follow Him closer and to serve Him in the mission He entrusts us. We are also grateful for the Lord’s invitation to serve Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community.

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