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Monday, November 30, 2020

Advent Week I - Light a Candle of Hope

All The Earth In Silence Waits!

O come, Desire of nations,
Bind in one the hearts of humankind;
Bid ev’ry sad division cease
And be Yourself our Prince of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! 
Emmanuel shall come to you,
O Israel.

Ignite  The  Light  of  Hope
Prepare  The  Way
Advent is a time to prepare the way for the Birth of Christ and the Light of Christ to permeate the nations of the world, our neighborhoods, places of work, families and personal lives.  Darkness has increased in the world and in our lives at this time of the year.  During each week of Advent we light candles until the fullness of light appears at Christmas and is Manifested to all nations during the celebration of Epiphany.

How will we Prepare and Celebrate?   Opportunities abound all around us.  

Here are a few ideas:
Read the Word of God especially the Gospel Passages of the Birth of Christ.
Foster relationships with time for each other.
Add more light, joy and love to your homes, families, and friends.
Practice patience and waiting.
Find ways to be a joyful giver.
Welcome the strangers you meet each day.
Set up your Advent Wreathe, Lights in your windows and a Christmas Tree with an intentional prayer to add the light of Christ to our world. 
Recite many times a day the mantra, Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Come,  Lord  Jesus,  Come 
Fill Us and Our World with Hope


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Greetings

 Thanksgiving  Greetings

Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed and Joyous Thanksgiving!  We are particularly grateful to the many ways you have creatively stayed in touch with your ‘Cluny Family’ throughout this challenging and difficult 2020 Year of the Global Pandemic.

We join you in giving our Creator God thanks and praise
We have been kept safe and free from all harm and disease.

We are grateful for Sister Joan who has been with us these last few years and has now received an obedience to our Mother House Community in Paris.  She has been named our Congregation’s General Secretary.

We are grateful for our Mary Star of the Sea Community in San Pedro, CA who during this year moved from the Parish Convent to the Little Sisters of the Poor in San Pedro, CA.  In our hour of need, Little Sisters of the Poor,  welcomed us.  Sister Loretto is in the Assisted Living at the Jeanne Jugan Residence and Sisters Ena, Mary and Mary Patrice are in the Retreat House on the same grounds.  
Their new address is:

Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny
Retreat Center
2100 S. Western Avenue
San Pedro, CA  90732-4331

Sister Genevieve has been named our new Provincial and began her mandate on November 11th.  She will be leaving California to take up residence at the Provincial House in Middletown, RI on December 12, 2020. We are grateful for her generous ‘Yes’ to this call to serve as Provincial.

We are grateful to Sister Luke for her 8 years serving as Provincial.  She is staying at the Provincial House until the end of the year to assist with the Leadership Transition and has been assigned to our St. Teresa of Avila Community in Norwich, CT.  She will arrive there in early January 2021.

We are grateful to our Affiliates, Associates and Donors for the generous support of our Province Communities and our Ministries throughout this very difficult year.

The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you 
and give you peace. 

- Numbers 6:24-26

Sunday, November 22, 2020

We Pray for the Nation

 God  Bless  Our Nation

Faith Leaders Unite
A Call to Prayer for the President-Elect,
and Vice President-Elect,
and for Unity in the Nation

At the end of a long and divisive election cycle, taking place amid a devastating pandemic, we join together as people of faith from across the political, religious and ideological spectrum to express our desire for our country to come together in a spirit of peace and unity. It is time to move beyond a season of partisanship and now focus on our shared future as a nation.

We pray for President-Elect Joe Biden, current President Donald Trump, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and current Vice President Mike Pence; for cooperation during the transition period; and for a peaceful transfer of power. We pray that our leaders will listen and speak to all Americans, including those who feel that they have been left out or unheard. We pray that they will help Americans come together, heal and serve the common good.

We pray for our elected officials in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and at all levels of government, that they will be committed to our governing institutions and lead in a way that truly reflects the aspirations of those they serve. We are thankful for election officials and their staffs, who have worked around the clock to count our ballots and determine the results of each electoral contest.

We pray for the American people: that they respect the results of our free and fair election and join us in wishing for the success of all our elected and appointed leaders, including President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, no matter whom they voted for. We pray for continued peaceful assembly as Americans express their voices in the public square.

We pray for a peaceful transition of power, an essential element of what President George H.W. Bush called “the majesty of the democratic system.” May the Trump Administration and Biden Transition Team successfully collaborate to ensure the continuity of essential government functions that best serves the American people at this crucial moment.

Throughout our history, we have risen together to meet daunting challenges. Since the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, we have made substantial progress toward a future that realizes the promise that all human beings are created equal. Since the drafting of the Constitution, we have taken up the continuous cause of building a “more perfect union.”

In this time of division and partisan conflict, we turn to the memorable words of President Abraham Lincoln in his second Inaugural Address:

“With malice toward none; with charity for all;
with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,
let us strive on to finish the work we are in; 
to bind up the nation’s wounds … to do all which may
achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among
ourselves, and with all nations.”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Universal Children’s Day, November 20th

    Prayer  For  Children
Universal Children’s Day
November 20th

We pray for the children at play,

Playing in a spacious schoolyard in Connecticut,

Playing in a park littered with debris in Baltimore,

Playing in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon,

Playing in a forest in the Congo,

Playing in a dump in El Salvador,

Playing as children will play.


We pray for the children who cannot play,

Children at work making bricks in India,

Children picking onions in Texas,

Children weak from hunger in the Sudan,

Children injured in bombings in Barcelona,

Children on the move, fleeing from Myanmar,

Children sick from unclean water in Uganda,

Children who suffer abuse and violence anywhere.


We pray for children at play

And we pray for children who cannot play,

We pray for children at school and 

For children who cannot attend school,

We pray for children who are healthy,

And for children who are ill and injured,

Abused and forgotten.


        All children are beloved by God

        And all children created in God’s image.

        May we recognize this and

        Care for them as our own. AMEN.

   - Jane Deren, PhD

Monday, November 16, 2020

Pray With & For The Poor

Stretch Out Your Hands

‘Let us love one another, as God loves us’

‘Stretch forth your hand to the poor’ 
(Book of Sirach 7:32)

On Sunday, November 15th, Pope Francis celebrated the 4th World Day of Prayer for the Poor.  His Message was, ‘Stretch Forth Your Hand to the Poor’. We read in his message:

Prayer to God and solidarity with the poor and suffering are inseparable. In order to perform an act of worship acceptable to the Lord, we have to recognize that each person, even the poorest and most contemptible, is made in the image of God. From this awareness comes the gift of God’s blessing, drawn by the generosity we show to the poor. Time devoted to prayer can never become an alibi for neglecting our neighbor in need. In fact, the very opposite is true: the Lord’s blessing descends upon us and prayer attains its goal when accompanied by service to the poor.

Encountering the poor and those in need constantly challenges us and forces us to think. How can we help to eliminate or at least alleviate their marginalization and suffering? How can we help them in their spiritual need? The Christian community is called to be involved in this kind of sharing and to recognize that it cannot be delegated to others. In order to help the poor, we ourselves need to live the experience of evangelical poverty. We cannot feel “alright” when any member of the human family is left behind and in the shadows. The silent cry of so many poor men, women and children should find the people of God at the forefront, always and everywhere, in efforts to give them a voice, to protect and support them in the face of hypocrisy and so many unfulfilled promises, and to invite them to share in the life of the community.

This pandemic arrived suddenly and caught us unprepared, sparking a powerful sense of bewilderment and helplessness. Yet hands never stopped reaching out to the poor. This has made us all the more aware of the presence of the poor in our midst and their need for help. Structures of charity, works of mercy, cannot be improvised. Constant organization and training is needed, based on the realization of our own need for an outstretched hand.

The ability to stretch forth our hand shows that we possess an innate capacity to act in ways that give meaning to life. How many outstretched hands do we see every day! A hand held out is a sign; a sign that immediately speaks of closeness, solidarity and love. 

In these months, when the whole world was prey to a virus that brought pain and death, despair and bewilderment, how many outstretched hands have we seen! The outstretched hands of physicians who cared about each patient and tried to find the right cure. The outstretched hands of nurses who worked overtime, for hours on end, to look after the sick. The outstretched hands of administrators who procured the means to save as many lives as possible. 

The outstretched hands of pharmacists who at personal risk responded to people’s pressing needs. The outstretched hands of priests whose hearts broke as they offered a blessing. The outstretched hands of volunteers who helped people living on the streets and those with a home yet nothing to eat. The outstretched hands of men and women who worked to provide essential services and security. We could continue to speak of so many other outstretched hands, all of which make up a great litany of good works. Those hands defied contagion and fear in order to offer support and consolation.

"In everything you do, remember your end” (Sir 7:36). These are the final words of this chapter of the book of Sirach. They can be understood in two ways. First, our lives will sooner or later come to an end. Remembering our common destiny can help lead to a life of concern for those poorer than ourselves or lacking the opportunities that were ours. But second, there is also an end or goal towards which each of us is tending. And this means that our lives are a project and a process. The “end” of all our actions can only be love.

Read Pope Francis’ Complete Message here:

World Day of the Poor: solidarity and closeness to those in need

Let Us Pray
Litany on the Millennium Development Goals

Leader: Let us pray for those who are poor, hungry, and neglected all over the world, that their cries for daily bread may inspire works of compassion and mercy among those to whom much has                            been given. 
Loving God, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Let us pray for schools and centers of learning throughout the world, for those who lack access to basic education, and for the light of knowledge to blossom and shine in the lives of all God’s people. 
Loving God, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Let us pray for an end to the divisions and inequalities that scar God’s creation, particularly the barriers to freedom faced by God’s children throughout the world because of gender; that all                    who have been formed in God’s image might have equality in pursuit of the blessings of creation. 
Loving God, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Let us pray for the health of women, children and families around the world, especially for an end to maternal and child mortality, that in building healthy families, all God’s people may be empowered to strengthen their communities and repair the breaches which divide nations and peoples. 
Loving God, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Let us pray for an end to pandemic disease throughout the world, particularly the scourges of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; that plagues of death may no longer fuel poverty, destabilize nations, and inhibit reconciliation and restoration throughout the world. 
Loving God, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Let us pray for an end to the waste and desecration of God’s creation, for access to the fruits of creation to be shared equally among all people, and for communities and nations to find sustenance in the fruits of the earth and the water God has                            given us. 
Loving God, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Let us pray for all nations and people who already enjoy the abundance of creation and the blessings of prosperity, that their hearts may be lifted up to the needs of the poor and afflicted, and partnerships between rich and poor for the reconciliation of the world may flourish and grow. 
Lord, in your mercy, All: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: God of the impossible, we pray for justice, peace and reconciliation. And when the challenges seem too many, remind us of your resurrection power and the miracles of your love that happen whenever injustice is dismantled and rebuilt with peace. Help us to hope that the impossible can happen and live as if it might do so today. 
All: Amen 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Nov. 11th Province Leadership Transition

Province Leadership Transition
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny
Province of the United States & Canada

As we celebrate with our Cluny Sisters throughout the world on the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, a Congregation feast, we rejoice and give thanks for the appointment of Sister Genevieve as our new Provincial. 
Welcome, Sister Genevieve!

Sister Genevieve, who has been the Local Leader in our Mary Star of the Sea Community in San Pedro, CA, will begin her mandate as Provincial in California and arrive in the Provincial House in Middletown, RI in December.

Sister Luke has served as Provincial November 11, 2012 - 2020.  She will remain in the Provincial House assisting with the transition until January 2021. 
Thank You, Sister Luke!


Thursday, November 5, 2020

November Stop Trafficking Newsletter


Read the November Issue of Stop Trafficking

  • The Double Pandemics: Human Trafficking and COVID-19
  • Increased Children's Risk to Trafficking
  • Increase in Cybercrime
  • Impact on Victims
  • Challenges to Survivors
  • Human Trafficking for Forced Labor
  • COVID-19 in the Coffee Sector
  • Anti-Trafficking Work in India
  • Domestic Workers 



Monday, November 2, 2020

On the Pulse of the Morning


VOTE  2020  

Election Reflection

As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the United States we invite you to join us in our 2020 Election Reflection Process, Towards a More Perfect Union.  Each week until Election Day, November 3rd, we will highlight a reflection and dialogue theme.  This week’s Election Reflection is entitled, On the Pulse of the Morning.  Please pray, reflect and dialogue along with us.

Towards a More Perfect Union

On the Pulse of the Morning

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1: 9)
Thank you for journeying with us through this election season. We hope these reflections and this time of contemplative dialogue have nourished our souls, stretched our minds, and opened our hearts. As we close our weeks- long exploration of the values that shape our democracy and the faith that guides our actions, we invite you to one more act of hope. On this election day 2020 let us pray for the soul of our nation and for the strength and courage to recommit our hearts and hands to building a more perfect union.

As we greet this new day, we invite you to listen to Maya Angelou read her poem, On the Pulse of Morning. You can find the text of the poem here.
Gabriel’s Oboe (Ennio Morricone)
Closing Prayer
Let us pray . . .

For the world and its leaders, may all those in authority have the courage to walk the path of peace.

For our nation in this time of election and transition, may we be gifted with a spirit of reverence for what is right, charity for those with whom we disagree and concern for the common good.

For all who serve in our national and local governments, may they commit themselves to building a more perfect union.

For reconciliation among families and friends, may we learn to love each other not despite but because of our differences and may we focus fully on the work that continues beyond this election--the work of building God’s beloved community.

For those most affected by the choices we make, those who are made poor, those seeking safety in our land, those who are ill or without homes, those without food or meaningful work, and for all whose lives are undervalued, may they find welcome in our hearts and in our country.