Friday, March 23, 2012

News from the Dourdan Community

Looking forward to Spring? Join us !! Greetings from the Dourdan Community!

The winter has been surprisingly and pleasantly mild but in spite of it the sisters welcome Spring with enthusiasm! We spend time in our parish community and in promotion of vocations.

We belong to the parish of Saint Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church. It is a vibrant faith community of 1500 families with a large group of young adults.

At Saint Nichlolas, one of our sisters is involved in Faith Formation as a catechist to the very young members of our parish family, children ages 4 to 7 years.

Sr. Sabitha Anthoniamma offers catechism class to the little ones every Wednesday afternoon at the parish’s Pastoral Life Center.

Throughout the year, Saint Nicholas parish holds a number of community activities one of which is the Arts & Crafts Festival day. This year it was held on February 2nd. The sisters showed up to be with the crowd and they “went on a shopping spree”!

Hundreds of various arts and crafts are on display to delight the eyes
of parishioners and visitors and entice them to buy.

 Sr. Marina Mejia buys “something good to eat” for her sisters! And a box of the greeting cards on display.

Our parish’s Supper Club holds monthly family supper. In March they went
Irish green and hosted a Corned Beef & Cabbage supper to celebrate the
feast of St. Patrick.

   Sr. Elin Tirkey with the Supper Club staff. 

Dourdan community is involved in promotion of vocations. Our sisters participated in the 2012 Vocation Fair sponsored by the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island. It was held on January 14th at the Saints Peter & Paul Cathedral in Providence.


Sister Glorina Jugo and Sister Ana Maria Corona welcomes one of the young women visitors to the sisters’ display table at the Vocation Fair.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lay Associates delve deeply into 'women in Scripture'

For the past two meetings, we have participated in a shcolarly, in depth look at the women in the Bible. Following the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew's Gospel, these ancestors of Jesus were brought to life.

The Old Testament revelaed to us stories of many: Esther, Deborah, Judith, Rith, Rahab and more. All were shown to be courgeous and strong, in spite of the hardships they faced.

One example is the faith filled story of Hannah. Without any children, Hannah prayed so hard with such fervor and anguish in the temple, that Eli thought she was intoxicated. When rebuked by Eli, she told him of her plight and was reassured that her prayer for a son would be answered. She believed and brought Samuel into the world exalting God with what is called the Magnificat of the Old Testament. She had vowed to dedicate her first born to God and when only a very little boy, she brought her beloved son to Eli the priest --- “And Israel was given a judge and an unparalleled prophet because of her great trust”.

The New Testament also has its share of holy women. Though Mary the Mother of God is the most important, our focus was on the lesser figures of the time.

Our well-versed presenter Patricia Taylor, by studying the four Gospels, reveled to us that Mary of Magdala lived in a region four hundred miles from Bethany, for the past fifty years, as well as Vatican II, the Church presents Mary of Magdala, to whom Jesus first appeared as one of his more special disciples.

Our presenter has a special concern too for Martha the sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany. It was Martha who first welcomed Jesus into her home and it was a grieving Martha who ran out to meet Jesus upon the death of her brother Lazarus. It was Martha who said to Jesus that her brother would not have died if Jesus had been there. It was Martha who professed her belief in Jesus and in the resurrection of the dead. Because of her belief, her beloved brother was miraculously restored to her. And the Glory of God overwhelmed the eyewitnesses.

Many special women supported Jesus in his ministry. Some like Veronica may not be historically accurate since no mention is made of her in the Bible, but traditions are often based on fact and it is possible a woman whose name changed because language difficulties, may indeed have performed this loving action.

Of the apostles only John remained by the cross. The women were there right through the end. (In all fairness though, the women were probably not in danger of being arrested by the romans.) They were, however, not concerned with their own welfare, but stayed with Jesus at the foot of the cross. What a glorious, mysterious joyful event awaited them three days later.

We look forward to our next meeting in April.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

News from Washington Community

We welcomed a few new residents this year. It is beautiful to see and experience the Internationality with our similarities and differences. In fact, we are seven Nationalities in the house this year (USA, Albania, Brazil, China, Colombia, Philippines and Thailand). We continue our various ministries with much love.

Sr. Lorna Riordan continues her ministry of Evangelization at Newman Bookstore where she comes in contact with many students from the Universities in Washington DC and other areas of the country. 

If you need any help to choose the right book for a specific topic, just ask her. She will be ready with the perfect book for you.

Sr. Elsa Myrian collaborates with the de la Salle Brothers in the teaching ministry at San Miguel School. Sr. Martha Escobar enjoys her ministry at the Sacred Heart Home as you will read below, besides her administrative work in the house.  

Outreaching the Dying

Last year I had the occasion to follow a year formation about “Companioning the Dying” .This is an Interfaith program offering both formation and ongoing support for those who feel called to deepen their own spiritual grounding as they companion the dying, especially those who would otherwise have no one to accompany them.
Once I finished the year of formation I continued my commitment at the Sacred Heart Home and I keep involved with the program as a mentor.
Being involved with the dying has changed my way of reaching people at the last stage of life. It is also a great way to face our own mortality. I had beautiful experiences meeting people in that part of them that sometimes cannot communicate in an easy way with the external world.
This   kind of work sometimes does not show how useful it may be, especially when you just sit down with nothing to say, only as a contemplative presence, but sometimes it gives great joy when you get  a gaze with something that looks like a smile or when someone just before expiring holds your hand, kisses it and goes peacefully  to the Father’s house.
Being a mentor, especially if it is to someone from another religion, opens us to a wider vision of God’s love for all and keeps us humble facing our poverty,  realizing that often, we live on the surface, in fear, attachment, anxiety and loneliness, motivated only by survival and control.
Moving from nursing, from doing, from being in control, to being “a presence” often with no words has not been easy. With the dying I have discovered how little I have to give and how much I have to receive from them. They give me the gift of opening fully to living.
Sr. Martha Ines Escobar

Associating with the De la Salle Brothers
News from Washington, DC 

This Elementary and Middle School Winter Association gathering was a wonderful occasion to bring together principals, school administrators, teachers, volunteers, and staff who serve poor students in Providence, RI; Washington, DC; Freeport, NY; and Philadelphia, PA.

The theme of our gathering, "Creating Communities of Hope" led us to take the necessary steps to associate ourselves for the educational service to the poor.

I was touched in many ways:

First, it seems to me that it was the same experience lived by Marie Poussepin. She went to Sainville and answered the call assisting the devastated families. She assured education of the poor children, victims of war and poverty. Our presence at San Miguel School is the way to show our Congregational commitment with these victims. 

Second, the experience of gathering in association is a guarantee for the future of our mission as Religious life. We shared educational experiences, fears and hopes. We strengthened practices and friendships, and also formations resources.

Third, I am personally convinced that the theme of the Shared Mission which inspired our “Lay Associate Program… “To share in the mission, charism and spiritual traditions of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation”, is the key to making progress in our mission to “promote opportunities for discernment and support actions in favor of justice and peace.” starting with the poor.

This was an exciting and pioneering meeting for everyone associated with the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de la Salle.

Sr. Elsa Myrian LondoƱo