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Saturday, February 27, 2021

 Encountering  The  Christ

Imagine This!

Use the power of your imagination 
to pray with this scene of Jesus’ Transfiguration. 
Go with Peter, James and John up the mountain with Jesus.  
It is good to be there.  Savor the experience of being with Jesus and return to the scene often, relishing his Presence and Call.

Gospel Scene              Mark 9: 2-10

This is My beloved Son
Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
He was transfigured before them.
Elijah and Moses appear and converse with Jesus.
A cloud casts a shadow over them.
A voice is heard.
They saw no one but Jesus.
They came down the mountain with questions.
What does rising from the dead mean?

Encountering Jesus   
What do you See?  Hear?  Touch?  Smell?  
Taste?  Think?  Feel?

Pray the Mantra  

‘This is God’s Beloved One, Listen’


Having encountered the Christ, the Beloved Son of God, having listened and seen, we too are sent like Peter, James and John, down the Mountain to be ‘Missionary Disciples’ in our world today.  Through our Lenten practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, we bring hope and compassion to our wounded and suffering world. Let us speak, act, relate, serve, and suffer too as we listen and hear deeply our own human story and those of our companions on this Lenten journey.

Listen and Pray

Transfigure Us O Lord

Transfigure us, O Lord, 
Transfigure us, O Lord.
Break the chains that bind us; 
speak your healing word,
and where you lead we’ll follow.
Transfigure us, O Lord.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Nation Mourns

 500,000 Extraordinary Americans 
We Grieve and Hope

President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden,
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff,
bow their heads during a ceremony to honor the 500,000 Americans that died from COVID-19

Flags around the Nation were lowered to half-mast, cathedral bells rang out  throughout the United States to remember and honor the 500,000 Americans who have died in one year of the Corona Virus. Lite candles graced the staircase and balcony of the White House as President Biden made remarks at sunset followed by a moment of silence.

The President addressed the “grim, heartbreaking milestone” directly and publicly delivering an emotion-filled eulogy for 500,071 Americans. “We often hear people described as ordinary Americans. There’s no such thing,” he said Monday evening. “There’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary.
We Lament and Look Forward with Hope
† Hear our cry, Almighty God. Listen to our prayer.

Heavenly Father, from the depths of our pain and confusion, we cry out to You. From fear-filled hearts and anxious minds, we plead with You. Rescue us, Father of compassion and grace. We lift up our eyes to You, Lord God, the One who sits enthroned in heaven.
On all who have contracted the virus
Lord have mercy

On all who have lost loved ones to this sickness and are in mourning and anguish                              Lord have mercy

On all who are unable to earn an income because their jobs have been suspended                         Lord have mercy

We cry out
We cry out for healing and needed resources
We cry out for comfort and peace

On all medical professionals and caretakers attending to those infected with the virus                   Christ have mercy

On all scientists and technologists striving to find a vaccine and to make it available                   Christ have mercy

On all leaders of institutions and governments as they make decisions to try and contain the virus   Christ have mercy

We pray for strength in the long and exhausting hours of labor 
We pray for wisdom in the research and difficult decisions

On all who have not yet contracted the virus
Lord have mercy

On the most vulnerable of our society who are unable to buy extra food or get proper medical attention 
Lord have mercy

On all disciples of Jesus Christ discerning how to reflect His love to others within this crisis            Lord have mercy
We plead for protection of health
We plead for all to remain calm and kind

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the expanse of the universe. And yet this earth is no longer as You created it to be. 

Life is sacred and precious in your sight. 
You are the God Who sees us and sustains us.

Nothing can separate us from the Father’s unfailing love and kindness, not even sickness or the fear of tomorrow. You are our Light as we walk in this darkness. We will remember to celebrate the beautiful gifts You have given us in this present moment.

Almighty God, You are our Rock, our Refuge from the enemy, our hiding place. You calm our frantic thoughts and fill our despairing hearts with joy and strength. In Your Presence there is faith, hope and love in the darkness.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Stop Trafficking Newsletter


Click here to download the February 2021 newsletter

Human Trafficking and Women's Prisons

The number of women in state prisons has risen by 834% over the past 40 years. Traffickers are targeting these women, trapping many of them in an endless cycle of criminalization and exploitation.

Traffickers access data posted by government websites and local newspapers about anyone charged with a criminal offense. They then use this data to target potential victims. Pimps and sex traffickers routinely use fraudulent bail bondsmen to access potential victims in prison. These predators bail a woman out, pick her up as she leaves prison, and they now "own" her.

Inside prisons, commissary accounts are used to entrap victims. Women are financially supported through their incarceration by men on the outside, who then demand repayment when they are released.

Traffickers also pay recruiters in prison to scout out potential victims. Some women recruit other women with whom they are incarcerated on behalf of pimps on the outside. "Oh, you don't have a place to go when you get out? I have this friend..." The pimps specify how many women they must recruit and how much they will be paid for their services.

Tena Dellaca-Hendrick is a trafficker survivor...
...and a victim advocate at a sexual assault treatment center in Indiana. She reports that during exchanges between a pimp and his new recruit who is in prison, the women will feel indebted to their prospective new boss prior to release from prison.The trafficker will start putting money into the woman's commissary account as a loan [thus building a relationship]. "What they don't realize is that $10 comes at extremely high interest rate, so when you get out of prison you might have borrowed $100..., that $100 is now $10,000...due to the interest rate piped on the borrowing..."

The traffickers often compound the indebtedness with romance. Through this psychological manipulation, and because the woman comes to believe they are in love, a pimp can make his new prey more accepting of his brutality or the strict rules he imposes. The prevalence of abuse and instability in the personal histories of many inmates makes them particularly vulnerable to human traffickers who say they will give them what they want and need.
The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: the Girls Story

This report, published by The National Institute of Corrections, describes how girls, especially girls of color, who have been sexually and physically abused are criminalized. Girls who are victims of sex trafficking, girls that run away from abusive situations are imprisoned. Meanwhile, laws that criminalize the act of sex with minors are rarely enforced in the context of child sex trafficking. In many cases, child-sex buyers escape with little or no accountability, despite the traumatic effect of their acts on the victims.

The report includes potential solutions to help end the cycle of victimization to prison for girls.

The Role of Corrections Officers in Efforts to End Human Trafficking
Prisons are an untapped resource in efforts to eradicate human trafficking. Correctional officers are in daily contact with both perpetrators and victims of trafficking. Officers need to first educate themselves about human trafficking. In many cases, a victim of trafficking may initially present as a suspect in some type of crime. For example, a suspect arrested for prostitution may be a victim, forced into committing the crime; or an individual arrested on what appears to be an immigration violation may be a victim of labor trafficking.

The Trap
This 32-minute documentary investigates how prisons across the United States have become recruiting grounds for human traffickers, who are targeting incarcerated women and trafficking them out of correctional facilities and into pimp-controlled prostitution. 
Click here to watch

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Lent Week I

 Driven Into The Desert
“lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”

In the Gospel Passage for the First Sunday of Lent, we hear how the Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert. He is driven and passionate about the Mission of God entrusted to Him. In the desert, He is tempted by the evil one to give up and abandon this mission.  There is desert dryness, hunger and thirst.  Jesus is called into a place of wilderness and danger; a place also of beauty, silence and peace.

We too are called by the same Spirit.  In our own deserts we recognize our thirst and hunger to know and love our God more deeply, more completely. It is in solitude and struggle that Jesus becomes for us ‘Living Water’ and the ‘Bread for’ life.

Prayer Mantra
Lord, Jesus, Christ,
Son of the Living God,
Have mercy on me,
A sinner.


Renew your Baptismal Commitment this week and use water and oil to be washed clean and anointed as disciple of Christ.

Renewal of Baptismal Promises
Do you renounce sin, so as to live in the freedom of the children of God?
I do.

Do you renounce the lure of evil, so that sin may have no mastery over you?
I do.

Do you renounce Satan, the author and prince of sin?
I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father?
I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
I do.

And may almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and bestowed on us forgiveness of our sins, keep us by his grace, in Christ Jesus our Lord, for eternal life.

Sing and Pray with Bob Hurd

Now Is the Acceptable Time

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Return, Come Back To Me

 Return  To  Your  God
With Your Whole Heart

Even now the Lord says,

Return to me with all your heart,

with fasting,

with weeping,

with mourning;

Rend your heart, not your garment.

Return your God, gracious and



Signed with the cross using ashes from the burnt palms of last year’s Palm Sunday, we are reminded at the beginning of this Lent of the three traditional Lenten practices.

Fasting                             Our thirst and hunger for God    

Prayer                           A contemplative gaze on Jesus’ Way  

Alms-Giving     Sharing our abundance with others


Prayer Together

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
            in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
            and of my sin cleanse me.
For I acknowledge my offense,
            and my sin is before me always:
“Against you only have I sinned,
            and done what is evil in your sight.”
A clean heart create for me, O God,
            and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
            and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
            and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
            and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Psalm 51


I will take your heart of stone and place a heart within you,
A heart of compassion and love

Throughout Lent, collect stones of all sizes, color and shape.
Build a sacred pile of stones symbolizing the promise of God being fulfilled in your heart and life.
Let them remind you to let go of our ‘Stoney Hearts’ and build Strong Relationships in our family, parish, country, world and all of Creation.

Sing and Pray With John Michael Talbot
Hosea:  Come Back To Me


Friday, February 12, 2021

1908 AMJ Declared Venerable

 Year of Prayer for the Canonization
of Anne Marie Javouhey

Pray with the Daily Thoughts of Anne Marie Javouhey

In 1807 the Papal Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny was founded.  Anne Marie was born at Chamblanc, Diocese of Dijon, France on November 11, 1779 and died 15 July, 1851.

In 1819 the scope of the new congregation, which had been founded for the alleviation of the miseries consequent on the Revolution, was extended to embrace foreign mission work, and in 1822 Mother Javouhey herself established a house of the sisters at Goree, in West Africa. After two years in Senegal and vicinity, she passed to the British colony of St. Mary's, Gambia, devoting herself without stint to the victims of a pestilence then raging. On her return to Senegal she received the co-operation of the French Government in her first project for evangelizing Negroes, by which a certain number were to be educated in Europe and sent back as missionaries to their people. The meagre results, due chiefly to the number of deaths caused by the difficulty of acclimatization, showed the plan to be impracticable, and it was abandoned. French Guiana, however, was to be the scene of Mother Javouhey's most important missionary work. 

The French Government, after unsuccessful attempts at colonizing the rich interior of this country, appealed to the foundress of the Sisters of the St. Joseph, who were already established there. Having submitted her plans for approval and received full authority, Mother Javouhey set out for Guiana in 1828, with 36 sisters and 50 emigrants, and soon had organized a self-supporting colony, in which all the useful arts were practiced. In 1835, two years after her return to France, again at the request of the Government, she once more went to Guiana to take charge of 520 African Blacks, formerly in government service at Cayenne, whom the authorities wished reclaimed for civilization and Christianity before being granted their freedom. 

Harassed as she was by opposition, and even calumny, her success with the colony, due largely to her personal influence with the colonists, was so great that when emancipation was granted there were no such scenes of disorder as marked similar occasions in other colonies. The majority of the blacks had become Christians and had learned the ways of society of the time and the value of manual labor.

Long before this Mother Javouhey had established a leper colony on the banks of the Accarouary. Even the Indians came within the sphere of her influence; whole tribes were instructed in the Faith and asked for baptism. 

On her return to France, in 1843, Mother Javouhey found fresh trials awaiting her, including ecclesiastical opposition. Nevertheless she continued to direct the establishment of new mission houses of her order in all parts of the world, in addition to over thirty foundations in the various dioceses of France. When the news of the death of "the mother of the blacks" reached French Guiana, there was general grief, and most of the inhabitants of her colonies went into mourning as for a personal bereavement. The cause of Mother Javouhey's beatification was introduced 11 February, 1908.

On February 13, 1908, the Church declared her Venerable and in 1950, she was Beatified.  Today we continue to pray for her canonization.  During this Year of Prayer for her Canonization we invite you to join the 2,500 Cluny Sisters in 56 countries around the world and their Affiliates, Associates and Collaborators in mission to learn more about this great Missionary Women and the works of her Cluny Sisters around the world.

Join Us In Prayer

L ord our God,
You enabled Blessed Anne Marie to
consecrate herself to the carrying out
of Your Holy Will in all things and to
be ever attentive to Your calls as
manifested through the poorest of her
brothers and sisters.

Grant that we, in the Church of our
day, may zealously continue the work
you confided to her.

Through her intercession hear the
prayers we address to You ...

        (Intentions mentioned here)

In Your goodness grant us the favor of
her canonization for Your glory and to
promote Your Reign of love, justice
and peace.                                 

Learn More About Anne Marie Javouhey 
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny
Province of the U.S.A. and Canada

Sunday, February 7, 2021

February 8th Feast Day of St. Josephine Bakhita

World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action
Against Human Trafficking

With encouragement from Pope Francis, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General designated February 8th as an annual day of prayer, reflection, and action against human trafficking. On this day, we remember and pray for survivors and victims of modern-day slavery. We pray that we may work together to remove the causes of this disgraceful scourge that is present in all our cities and neighborhoods. This day is also one of awareness and action: our prayers are strengthened three-fold when we accompany them with a willingness to become aware of the problem and become involved in erasing this evil.

February 8th is also the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita. Born in the Darfur region of Sudan in 1869, St. Bakhita was kidnapped and enslaved as a child. Eventually she was sold to an Italian diplomat and taken to Italy, where she valiantly asserted her freedom with the help of the Cannossian Sisters of Venice. 

Through her faith, St. Bakhita realized the promise of liberty inherent in the human spirit. She lived out the rest of her life as a Cannossian sister, sharing her empowering testimony of human freedom and dignity. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Josephine Bakhita, noting that in this saint, “we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation.”

Human Trafficking Awareness

As Catholics, we believe in the dignity of every human life and vehemently oppose human trafficking and modern-day slavery as it contravenes basic human dignity.

As Pope Francis has stated: “Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ.”

There are an estimated 40.3 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, including the United States.

Human trafficking is connected to other issues of systemic oppression such as racism, endemic poverty, sexism, xenophobia, exploitative economic systems, and environmental degradation.

Migrants and refugees are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Thousands of individuals are trafficked across U.S. borders and forced into slavery each year.

Although sex trafficking remains a serious problem, foreign victims are more often found in situations of labor trafficking. In fact, two of the largest trafficking cases in the United States involved labor trafficking in Guam and New York.

In addition to working to eradicate human trafficking, our nation should ensure that victims have the services and support they need to heal, find affordable housing, earn a living wage, and obtain self-sufficiency.

February 8th       We pray for the young adult recruited for a job that requires 
                            her/him to move far away.

How can you be more aware and act to bring this
Modern Day Slavery to an end?

Friday, February 5, 2021

2021 Black History Month

 The Black Family
Representation, Identity, and Diversity

February marks the start of Black History Month, a federally recognized celebration of the contributions African Americans have made to this country and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice and the many Black Americans and contribution of Black Americans to the nation and the world.  Black History Month has become one of the most celebrated cultural heritage months on the national calendar.
Hear about the origin of this Black History Month

This year’s Black History Month Theme calls attention to a tapestry of other ethnic-heritage black identities—Afro-Hispanic families and also black family identities formed from immigrants who came to the United States from every part of Africa and its diaspora during the twentieth century and particularly after the mid-1960s.  The most notable examples are the Forty-fourth President of the United States, Barack Obama of Kenyan and white ancestry, and the current Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris of Jamaican and Indian ancestry. We are all the Black Family.

Carter G. Woodson
American historian
Carter G. Woodson was born in 1875 – 10 years after the 13th Amendment was passed by the United States Congress. However, despite the ratification of the 13th Amendment, the struggle for civil rights would persist during the turbulent years of the Reconstruction era and beyond. Woodson – along with countless other Black individuals – came of age during those uneasy years.

Woodson’s family lived on a farm in Virginia. His parents were formerly enslaved and were denied the opportunity to learn how to read and write. Growing up, intensive field work and various jobs prevented Woodson from attending school most days. Still, he was driven by an unrelenting desire to learn. Woodson graduated high school in two years at the age of 22 and started working toward his undergraduate degree at Berea College right here in Kentucky.

While attending college, Woodson served as his high school alma mater’s principal, and it became abundantly clear that he was passionate about the power and importance of education. After graduation, Woodson spent three years as a school supervisor in the Philippines before returning in 1908 to earn a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Four years later, he earned a PhD in history from Harvard University, becoming the second Black man to do so after W.E.B. Du Bois.

His experience as a student fueled his life’s work when he noticed a missing history. Woodson would become one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora and African American history. He wrote, “What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.”

In 1915, Woodson and several friends established the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Later, in 1926, he designated the second week of February the “Negro History Week” to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. This week was an opportunity to teach Americans about Black history and celebrate the invaluable contributions of Black Americans – contributions that are integral parts of American history.

Eventually, by the late 1960s, the week had expanded and evolved into Black History Month on college campuses across the nation, leading President Gerald Ford to officially recognize it as a holiday in 1976. Since then, the ASALH has identified a theme for Black History Month each year, and this year’s theme especially resonates with Carter G. Woodson’s passions and pursuits.

This February, we celebrate Black families. And in doing so, we celebrate the rich tapestry of our collective history.

Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished 
lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.

The mere imparting of information is not education.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

25th World Day of Consecrated Life, Rejoice In The Lord!

Celebrating  Consecrated  Life

"Wake up the world" icon by Vivian Imbruglia

The Catholic Church holds its annual celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on February 2nd and in parishes over this weekend of February 6-7. This event is a special time for individual parishes and the greater Church to celebrate the gift of consecrated life and pray for men and women discerning a consecrated vocation.

Instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world.  So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.

Credible Witnesses, Rejoice In The Lord

The first witness we give of God’s kingdom is living authentically
 our consecrated life and the call to be credible witnesses of the Gospel
 and a joyful presence in our world today.  
By our vowed and communal life we reveal 
a prophetic and counter-cultural way of acting and living
 that shows respect for all peoples and our common home.  
The richness of our unity and diversity makes us signs of a universal solidarity
 in a society marked by brokenness, violence and divisions.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny
Missionary Priorities

In the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis invites all Consecrated Persons to act together, to bring about a rebirth in everyone “a universal aspiration to fraternity” (n. 8), to dream together (n. 9) so that “in the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity and social friendship…” (n. 6).

Consecrated men and women in religious, monastic and contemplative institutes, in secular institutes and new institutes, members of the ordo virginum, hermits, members of societies of apostolic life, we ask all of you to place this Encyclical at the center of your life, formation and mission. 

We cannot disregard this truth any more: we are all brothers and sisters, as, in fact, we pray, not necessarily consciously of it, in the Our Father.  This Encyclical, written in a historical moment that Pope Francis himself has called “the hour of truth,” is a precious gift for every form of consecrated life that, without denying the many wounds to fraternity, can find in it the roots of prophecy.

We are faced with a new call from the Holy Spirit. In light of the doctrine on the Church-communion, just as St. John Paul II urged consecrated persons to “be true experts of communion and to practice the spirituality of communion” (Vita consecrata, n. 46), Pope Francis, drawing inspiration from St. Francis, founder and inspirer of so many institutes of consecrated life, broadens the perspective and invites us to be architects of universal brotherhood, custodians of the common home: of the earth and of every creature (cf. Encyclical Laudato si’). Brothers and sisters towards all, regardless of faith, culture and traditions, because the future is not “monochrome” (n. 100) and the world is like a polyhedron that lets its beauty shine through its different facets.

“Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” (FT n. 8). Therefore, in light of this dream that is entrusted to our hands, to our passion, and to our perseverance, this celebrating of Consecrated Life and the Presentation of the Lord, will once again be a beautiful feast to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of our vocation and mission!

Learn more about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, visit our website and watch the testimonial of Sister Lorraine, S.J.C.