Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Tribute to Patricia (Pat) Taylor by Mary Lou Collard

Pat, you knew me for many years.  First as a member of a spiritual growth group.
You became enlivened by the words of the Bible and were inspired to become more and more a bit of a Bible scholar.

We entered prayer and discussion with the book Seasons of  the Heart by Macrina Weidecker among other books guided by our beloved Sister Carole.

And you grew more in your love of Jesus.   The Father, Son and Holy Spirit became your source of strength and reliance as your health deteriorated and disappointments deepened.  

I could see you clinging to the Hands of your Creator and mine; believing and trusting even though it must have seemed futile at times. 

So how should we know you?    A lover of music, natural and man made?
 A person justly proud of your pretty, welcoming little house in the Dighton woods?

A lady who was never heard to criticize or find fault with others.
Someone who had traveled the world as a guide bringing tourists and yourself to a global awareness. 

A person who could not bring yourself to hurt anyone else by deed or words, even when that person may have unwittingly hurt you.
An environmentalist concerned about all things living.
A person who suffered so deeply in areas you seldom mentioned: mind and heart.

How many even know of the beloved little daughter you lost. 
A mother losing her child-----

You had given these over to Jesus many times.  Perhaps you were able to offer your sufferings for the rest of us.
Please offer them for us now.  And please forgive those who may have injured you, including me.

I would have been by your side at the hospital, but was not aware you were so close  until it was too late.
If I may be so bold, I also offer your suffering to Jesus for our souls and pray that you be brought speedily into the loving arms for Whose embrace you have longed.

I remember dear friend,( yes I am your friend, though a poor example of one), your trying in vain to teach me the basics of chess.  And then there was always that warm tea we would share in your home.
Your lovely 3 season room in the spring and summer was more welcoming than anything a fancy mansion could offer.  

I recall you at my wedding laughing and  enjoying yourself in the company of Sisters Joanna, Paulina, Lucia and Carole.  My family thought you were all having the most fun of all.  (Except for me and George I hope)
It did not go unnoticed that you had given a gift from your want like the poor widow in the gospels.  Those glasses and cassarole were cherished all the more for it.

Your devotion to your aunt is inspiring  and how wonderful the surprise you had from her when you told her you could no longer drive to Newport to visit because your very old Oldsmobile was on its last wheel.   You need a car she said.  Auntie took care of that.  Soon a new Camry was yours!!!!    Yup    He provided again.

And then there was the time when you "rescued" me from the German shepherd that wouldn't let me walk by his house on Elm Street.   That was only one of the many retreats at the convent.

Your health deteriorated in the past few years.  But you never let that stop you from deepening your spiritual life.
You were always ready to help others when you were able.  Now all we can do is pray for you:

So I ask You dear Lord, to have mercy on Pat's soul, give her joy beyond all understanding.  Forgive all her sins completely, Help her let go of anything still keeping her soul at a distance (if that be so).  Let the smiles of the saints and her own proud guardian angel welcome her into the place we call Heaven. 

Almighty Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have mercy on Pat and on the community she leaves to carry on Your message of love to the whole world.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Outing to the Mohawk Trail

We are happy to share with you about our outing on the Mohawk Trail on Monday, October 14th, the Feast of Our Mother Foundress.  

We celebrated with a trip to see the foliage in western Massachusetts along the route known as the Mohawk Trail. 

We were sisters from all four communities in the area: from Dighton – Sr. Ana Maria, from Dourdan – Sr. Sabitha, Sr. Ana, and Sr. Norbeta, from St. Anne’s – Sr. Maria Teresa, Sr. Carole, Sr. Karen and Sr. Glorina and from Providence – Sr. Marina. 

We left early in the morning and took our time driving and enjoying all the sights.  We had brought our picnic lunch and since it was a beautiful day, we ate outside at one of the parks in North Adams. 

We also enjoyed visiting a park with a natural bridge and waterfall.  It was a great time had by all.  These are some of the photos that we took.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Autumn Reflection

 Something in the air tells us a new season is at our door. 
            It sounds like:  
    "Knock Knock"     Who's there?    Orange
    "Knock Knock"      Who's there?    Orange
    "Knock Knock"     Who's there?    Orange                                                             and Gold.  
              Red and her friend Yellow                                                              

Go ahead and open the door wide.  Fling it wide and step outside.
         Step outside your busyness, take slow deep breaths and allow yourself to see
         with the eyes of your soul.

Autumn is the season of letting go.  Some see the dying.  Try to see the dormition.
         The leaves are not afraid.     We needn't be either.    Allow the Spirit to come. 
         Trust that in the end all shall be well

        Let's conclude with part of the Autumn Equinox Fire Prayer in Fr. Hay's Planetary Pilgrim:

                                     Autumn fire, orange and yellow sacrament of the sun,
                                         light up the darkness with your dancing.
                                     Your power is seeded in the ripeness
                                         of the fruit and grain of this harvest season.
                                      Great is God, whose heart is the shrine
                                           wherein lives the whole universe;
                                           great is your heart, my Beloved,
                                           greater still is your unceasing love for me. 
                                    May my love for You enflame my every word of thanksgiving
                                           to reflect the golden beauty of autumn
                                            that the earth dons once again.     Amen.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

News from Sr. Anne Marie Legendre

Hello to everyone! Here I am in Washington D.C. trying to get myself oriented to this city.

So far I am volunteering at Catholic Charities on Monday where there is a program to match patients with specialists. A referral comes from the Catholic Spanish Center over the computer to our building requesting an appointment with a specialist – Cardiologist, Neurologist, etc. It is our job to look at the list of volunteering specialists and obtain an appointment for that patient with the needed specialist. In this way the patient only needs to pay a small sum if any at all.

On Tuesday I volunteer at St. Anthony food pantry. I help to bag the fresh produce that is brought from the food bank so as to have it ready for Wednesday.

Then on Wednesday I help to sign the people into the food pantry or help to give out the food to the people. It reminds me of Marie's Place except that I am giving out food instead of clothes.
During the week I attend Mass at a small chapel at St. Anthony's parish. At first, there was only one man who was the lector every day. Then one day, the pastor of the parish asked for volunteers to help him. Now I share in being lector every other day so that he is not alone.

Well, this is what I am doing at present. I don't know what the future will bring.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happenings at Saint Anne's Community

We would like to share with you some events of the past several months in our community.  Sr. Maria Teresa, Sr. Carole and Sr. Karen are very busy with their ministries at Saint Anne’s Hospital.  Sr. Karen returned from the CEMP in May and was happy to be able to share her experience with everyone.  We are also happy to be back together once again.

 During these hot summer months we have enjoyed the visits of several of our sisters.

We welcomed Sr. Ruth Yelitza and Sr. Ana Eriselda Antonio and spent the day with them visiting Plymouth Plantation.  We began with a short film on the colonists coming from England on the Ship the Mayflower and landing in Plymouth in 1620.  We saw the Plymouth Rock and visited the Plantation which is a working replica of the village of Pilgrims during the early 1600’s. We visited the houses and spoke with the Pilgrims and saw them working on their pottery, their leather making and other crafts.  We also met with the Native Americans and they shared with us about themselves. The visit finished with a picnic lunch on the shady grounds of the Plantation. We returned to our community and enjoyed a barbecue together.  It was a beautiful day.

We also invited Sr. Anne Marie to our community to say good-bye before she left for her new community in Washington, DC.  We all enjoyed the lasagna and were happy to be together.  We assure her of our prayers as she begins this new time in her journey in a new community.

 Sr. Margarita de Santa Maria visited us on a Sunday in July.  We enjoyed her company and after Sunday dinner spent an enjoyable afternoon in Newport.

We were also very happy to welcome Sr. Rosario Amelia Garces, General Councilor and Sr. Leopoldina Mendoza, Secretary General to our community for Vespers and Supper.  There was much sharing and we then took a ride to Newport where we walked along the ocean on the Cliff Walk.

Fanny Tzhorz, the former Manager of Interpreter Services at Saint Anne’s Hospital, came to our community to present to Sr. Maria Teresa Gomez and Sr. Marina Carrascal the Lifetime Achievement Certificate from the International Medical Interpreters Association.  They received this award in recognition of their contribution as Medical Interpreters at Saint Anne’s Hospital.  We celebrated with a festive meal with Sr. Vimala and Sr. Maria Paulina also present.  Congratulations to both sisters for their dedicated gift of self in this ministry.

Sr. Carole relaxes by working in the garden and nurturing the tomatoes and both Sr. Maria Teresa and Sr. Carole enjoy relaxing by playing a card game of rummy with each other.

That’s about all for now and we keep all of you in our daily prayers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Trip to Guaimaca, Honduras

Hola! Here I am in Honduras! It is unbelievable how two short plane trips can bring you into a different world. On our way to Guaimaca from the airport in Tegucigalpa, we stopped at the cathedral which was very impressive.

 As we continued on our way, Sr. Sabitha was very excited to see many mango trees. We also stopped to pick up Sr. Gloribel and Sr. Marina at a retreat center which had little cabins for each of the retreatants.

 There were many things for me to learn about nature in Guaimaca. I saw what a coconut tree looked like and what a discovery it was to learn  that you had to break the outer shell to get to the real coconut inside.

The coconut water and soft coconut pulp were delicious. Other discoveries included the mango tree, lemon tree, papaya and banana trees. Now I know them all.

At the farm, I saw how broccoli, sugar cane, guayabana, and mustard grew as well as all the other usual crops. The farm was huge with different areas for different crops.

Sr. Gloribel’s Final Profession took place at the parish Church of St. Rose of Lima. The ceremony was beautiful. There were many people from the town who came for the ceremony and all were very enthusiastic and participated in the singing at the Mass. There were some lay Dominicans from El Salvador that came for Sr. Gloribel’s final vows and Sr. Lilia Alcira, the provincial of Mexico, and three other Sisters who came. All together, we were 13 Sisters at the ceremony. The priest who was the celebrant was a Dominican known by Sr.Gloribel since she had been present at his ordination.

The girls at the Marie Poussepin Center were very friendly and helpful. They all seemed so happy to be there. There was one small one that looked as if she was 7 years old but she is actually 12 years old. On July 8th, the girls at the school put on a program of folkloric dances to celebrate Sr. Gloribel’s final profession. They were dressed very colorfully with long skirts and danced very well. You could tell that they put all their heart into it.
At the clinic, Dr. Robitaille, the dentist was there as well as Dr. Cheney, a Gastroenterologist. They were seeing many patients every day.

The last day in Guaimaca, Sr. Sabitha, Sr. Maria, Sr. Gloribel, and myself visited a small bordering town called Campamento. There we visited a Franciscan Church with a beautiful wooden cross in the sanctuary. It seemed to be approximately 6-7 feet tall. We also visited the town square and Sr. Gloribel treated us to some ice cream. Mine was raspberry flavor.

The time passed quickly and it was already time to come back home.  However the day before we had a treat at a small local restaurant. We could have fish or shrimp according to the menu. The meal was delicious.
The next day we left for the airport after breakfast. Our stay in Guaimaca had been wonderful.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Meet Mary Reilly, our new Lay associate

I believe exercise helps my body to perform better and improves my health. My soul also needs to be nourished in the same way. For me, that way is through the belief in a higher power that I chose to call God and daily contact with Him through prayer and meditation.

I was raised in and still practice the Catholic faith but at times I have found myself feeling separated from God because of not always devoting the time I should to spiritual endeavors. I found myself spiritually floundering was in the year 1994. My quadriplegic brother had died of sepsis and my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had hospice care at home until it became impossible for my family to work and still give her the care she deserved. My parish priest suggested that Marion Manor in Taunton, MA might be a good solution for her terminal illness.

It was there that I had my first introduction to the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation. Sister Paulina and her fellow sisters were just wonderful to her during her stay and went out of their way to make her as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, she died three weeks after entering the nursing home in 1997.

The sisters had asked several times to come and see their facilities in Dighton when I got a chance because it was so beautiful there. I just never seemed to find the time because life always seemed to get in the way. I periodically returned to visit other friends and relatives residing at Marion Manor and would see the sisters and have an enjoyabel chat.

Several years passed and once again I felt that my life had become unmanageable and that my spiritual life was suffering because of it. I searched for different ways that I could build a stronger relationship with God. That search led me to consider consider the Lay Associate Program of with the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation. I truly feel it was part of God's plan for my life that with the sisters I could achieve the peace and serenity I sought. 

At the beginning, I had no idea if I would have the courage to complete the formation requirements. When they told me it would be at least a two year process, I was frankly a little intimidated. Slowly, with the help and generosity of the sisters, I learned a lot about the order and what would be expected of me as a lay associate. Sister Carole Mello was extremely supportive during my formation process and I can never thank her enough for being my guide.

It has been such a rewarding journey to become a part of the life of the sisters. On July 9th of 2013, I became a member of the Lay Associate group and made a one-year commitment to contribute to the mission of the sisters. I look forward to and hope to grow more and more into the person God wants me to be. I encourage anyone who might be thinking of enhancing their own spiritual life to consider becoming a Lay Associate. I can’t say enough about the positive things that I have enjoyed through my interactions with the sisters and the group.I think it was one of God's little miracles that I was inspired to take a journey on the road towards self-improvement and spirituality. I will forever be grateful to all the sisters for helping me to be the best I can be.   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

News from St. Anne's Community, Fall River

My Experience at Marie Poussepin Center, France

With a grateful heart I come to share with you what the CEMP has meant for me. On August 16, 2012 at Logan Airport I sat on a full American Airline airplane for a direct flight to France. After we boarded and the plane was roaring it seemed as if it was an unusual long wait for takeoff. Suddenly we heard the voice of the co-pilot who announced: “Folks, we can’t leave until we get a very important part of the plane, (after a moment’s hesitation) the pilot. Our pilot is stuck in traffic on a Boston highway because of some live wires across the road. Until the wires are removed the traffic will continue to remain at a standstill. When the pilot gets here we shall be ready for takeoff.” An hour later we were told to prepare for takeoff. From then on the flight, the tours and pilgrimages in France and Rome were beyond my expectations and anything I could have imagined.

Tears of joy came to my eyes on many occasions as I learned about and experienced the sources of our Congregation and our Church. Tears of joy came when I first arrived at the chapel of Sainville; then at the tomb of Blessed Marie Poussepin at La Breteche; at the cemetery in Tours at the tomb of  Sr. Ines Mercedes where we prayed together; when we had a tour of the chapel of La Breteche; when we recreated with the contemplative Dominican Nuns in Prouille in the Convent that St. Dominic actually founded; as we walked the journey of St. Dominic in Fanjeau when he was confronted by the heretics who asked him how he would like to be killed and he responded: “ Tear me apart limb by limb so I can suffer as Jesus did (This answer was so unexpected that the heretics let St. Dominic pass and continue his journey to the village where he preached and celebrated Mass.); and at the grotto of Lourdes.

Again my tears came when we arrived in Rome with such a wonderful greeting by our Sisters in Rome and then when we spent time in St. Peter’s. The only time that I felt tears of fear and that my life may be in danger was when the 24 of us Sisters from many different parts of the world daily boarded the buses in Rome which were packed with standing room only. But our Sisters who live there protected us and got us off the correct stop.
I met several people from the U.S. in Rome because the day we arrived our Holy Father canonized seven persons two of whom were North Americans. One was St. Kateri, our first U.S. Native American to be canonized and the other one was St. Sr. Marianne Cope who had emigrated to the U.S. before she became a consecrated religious. I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes which were translated into English by Sr. Paulina Hurtado and all the many surprises that the CEMP staff had for us and well as having some extra time to pray and just “be.” In fact now that I am back I am a little embarrassed when people ask me if I missed them because I didn’t even think of home as I was enjoying my three months so much. And so I am so grateful to God and to all those who made it possible for me to live the CEMP experience.
Sr. Carole Mello

News about Marie’s Place

Marie’s Place, sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, continues to grow and expand.  The charism of our Foundress, Blessed Marie Poussepin, is palpable in the presence and witness of all our sisters and volunteers who minister there.  The number of persons and families continues to grow and we are trying to meet the needs of our customers by providing clothing, food and household items to them.  We are trying to help people with the basic needs of food and clothing and we also refer people to social service agencies as needed.
I am excited to share that since October we have had the presence of a Parish Nurse and a financial counselor on Wednesdays to respond to some of the needs of our customers.  We set up an area at Marie’s Place with a small table and two chairs for the parish nurse to take blood pressures and provide health education to our customers.  The financial counselor, who is provided by Saint Anne’s Hospital, has assisted in signing up those people without health insurance or access to health insurance for health care.  It is working out well and hopefully we will also have a parish nurse on the other days we are open.
This Christmas we experienced tremendous generosity from many area Credit Unions, Schools, Parishes, private companies, city organizations, private organizations, physician offices, St.Vincent de Paul Societies, and many individuals who wanted to help in some way.  We were able to provide to toys to the parents of over 400 children in the area.  We were also able to help with providing toys to children of the Fernandes Center for Children and Families and some of our families at Saint Anne’s Hospital.
The commitment and dedication of our Volunteers, including our Dominican Sisters, at Marie’s Place is extraordinary.  It is because of them that we are able to carry out this ministry.  They organized and worked to collect, set up and distribute the gifts at Christmas.  Many times, the families of the volunteers also help in some way.
 May we continue to live the charism of Blessed Marie Poussepin by our service to those most in need.