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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Sacred Triduum Days Holy Thursday

The Last Supper

Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.  He took a towel and tied it around his waist.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.  Her came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”

Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”  Jesus answered him, “unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”

So when he has washed their fee and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?  You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master’, and rightly so, for indeed I am.  If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.  I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”                                            John13 1-15


The First Eucharist

'This is My Body, My Blood, Given For You'


When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;  for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant in My blood. But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” And they began to debate among themselves which one of them it was who was going to do this. Luke 22: 14-23


O God, who have called us to participate
In this Most Sacred Meal,
in which your only begotten son, Jesus Christ,
when he was about to hand himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity,
The Banquet of his Love,

Grant we pray,
that we may draw from so great a mystery,
strength and courage of Jesus’ Sacrifice and 
the fullness of Loving Service in our lives.


Reflect with …

Music:  Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup

Music: What Wondrous Love Is This

Tridium With Dan Schutte

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Passiontide Begins

 Palm Sunday 
Begins The Lord’s Passion

Hosanna to the Son of David.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord...
Hosanna in the highest.

Imagine This!

Use the power of your imagination to pray with this scene of Jesus’ Entry Into Jerusalem.  Walk along beside of Jesus.  

Gaze at the crowd surrounding you and welcoming Jesus.  

Savor the experience of being with Jesus at this moment on his journey to Jerusalem.

Return often to the scene throughout the      beginning of Holy Week.

                          
       Scene
           Gospel of Mark 11: 1-10                    
     So they brought the colt to Jesus
      and put their cloaks over it.  
                     And he sat on it.  
   Many people spread their cloaks on the road, 
and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.  
Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: 
 
“Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  
Hosanna in the highest!”
 
      Encountering   Jesus

   What do you See?  Hear?  Touch?
Where are you / Who are you in the crowd?
 
Manta  Prayer

      Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ,
    Hosanna in the highest!

       Song Hosanna
          Marty Haugen




Thursday, March 25, 2021

Annunciation, Mary’s Yes!

Be It Done To Me According To Your Will
 


Reading of the Annunciation Luke: 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, and coming to Mary, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 
 
How did God greet you when you first awoke to his message?

Mary was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 
Were you afraid and did you ponder what was in your heart?

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived* a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” 
How did you respond to the call of God and the mission being entrusted to you?

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Annunciation Song
Marty Haugen

Hail Mary Prayer
 
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed art you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, March 22, 2021

March Stop Trafficking Newsletter

 

Click here to download the March 2021 newsletter

Forced Marriage is Human Trafficking

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) definition of human trafficking, all types of human trafficking involve force, fraud, and coercion. Under the TVPA, forced marriage is considered involuntary servitude. By the TVPA definition of involuntary servitude, forced marriage is human trafficking since forced marriage occurs due to threats, pressure, or coercion, where one or both participants do not or can not consent.

Children in forced marriages are coerced into these unions. They are forced to engage in acts akin to victims of sex and labor trafficking. Moreover, some child marriages have slave-like characteristics similar to those of child trafficking.
Child Marriage
 
Child marriages occurs globally, most often in developing nations. UNICEF estimates that 11% of women worldwide were married before reaching the age of 15. 

Child marriages are almost universally banned, yet they happen 33,000 times a day, every day, all around the world-cutting across countries, cultures, religions, and ethnicities.

Poverty is a root cause of child marriage and it is also an ongoing consequence. It occurs most often in communities where women and girls are seen as less of a value than boys; financial burdens to their families, not as wage earners.

Trafficking Into China for Forced Marriage

China's former one-child policy and the preference for male children have created a gender imbalance that drives the demand for forced marriage between Chinese men and young girls and women from Southeast Asia, Africa, and other countries throughout the world. Chinese men often go into debt to pay marriage brokers and to pay off the debt "husbands" will force their "wives" into prostitution or domestic servitude. Some men will also transfer them to a new husband in exchange for money. So many of these girls and women are trafficked twice, first by the marriage broker into a forced marriage and then by the husband.

The traffickers act with impunity. If a girl or young woman can escape and attempts to report their abuse and trafficking to law enforcement, they receive no assistance nor protective services. Even worse, some law enforcement will arrest the victims and force them to return to their traffickers, sometimes in exchange for money from the man's family.

      Undermining Equality
 
A June 2020 report from the United Nation Population Fund, State of the World Population: Defying the Practices that Harm Women and Girls and Undermine Equality, stresses that it is not only the child brides who suffer from the effects of early marriage. As the girls are prevented from attaining an education it is economically detrimental to the country as a whole as these girls cannot contribute to the nation's workforce. A 2017 World Bank study found that if child marriage were eradicated, developing economies could save trillions of dollars by 2030.



Saturday, March 20, 2021

Lent Week V

 





As we take a stroll through the fields of life during this fifth week of lent, may we take stock of our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and good works.  God molds the grains of our prayers and  actions to produce a rich harvest and bring salvation to the world.  Listen to the words of Jesus:

“Whoever serves me must follow me, 
and where I am, there also will my servant be.  
John 12



Practice:  Like the grain of wheat, I let go of myself to reveal                        God’s Presence, mercy, love and peace in the world.
Prayer: Psalm 51       Create a clean heart in me, O God

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.

Thoroughly wash away my guilt;
and from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my transgressions;
my sin is always before me. 

Against you, you alone have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your eyes
So that you are just in your word,
and without reproach in your judgment. 

Behold, I was born in guilt,
in sin my mother conceived me. 
Behold, you desire true sincerity;
and secretly you teach me wisdom.

Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 
You will let me hear gladness and joy;
the bones you have crushed will rejoice.

Turn away your face from my sins;
blot out all my iniquities.
A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit. 
Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit. 

Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;
uphold me with a willing spirit.
I will teach the wicked your ways,
that sinners may return to you.

Rescue me from violent bloodshed, God, my saving God,
and my tongue will sing joyfully of your justice. 

Lord, you will open my lips;
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it;
a burnt offering you would not accept. 

My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.

Treat Zion kindly according to your good will;
build up the walls of Jerusalem. 
Then you will desire the sacrifices of the just,
burnt offering and whole offerings;
then they will offer up young bulls on your altar.

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love;
in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.  AMEN.

Action:  Read Psalm 51 each day.  Hold an image, thought word or              phrase in quiet reflection and prayer.


Listen to the Song
Unless A Grain of Wheat



Friday, March 19, 2021

 Protector and Patron of The Universal Church

Congratulations and Happy Feast Day
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny

As Pope Francis wrote in his Apostolic Letter, ‘Patris Corde’, St. Joseph is described as having a ‘Father’s Heart’. 

“Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, 
a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”

On this feast of St. Joseph, Protector and Patron of the Universal Church and Patron of our Missionary Congregation, we pray that we too may ‘go to Joseph’ in our need and that like him we may live the qualities of this man …

St. Joseph, pray for us

May we be like you…
Attentive
Accepting
Creative
Courageous 
Protector
Compassionate
Dreamer
Obedient
Faithful
Worker
Just
Hidden
At God’s Service
Beloved Father
Tender and Loving

Blessing

May the blessings of Joseph be among us attuning us to God’s will each day
attuning us with humility to those around us
attuning us to God’s transformative dream for us.

May the blessings of Joseph be among us
living as obedient daughters
living love for one another in communities
living God’s Will and hospitality even in diļ¬ƒcult circumstances.

May the blessings of Joseph be among us
still opening us to the future
still cooperating in discerning ministries for mission
still keeping us alive with love from daybreak to daybreak

May the blessings of Joseph steep our souls and give us great joy! 
Amen.

Enjoy this Contemplative Reflection

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Lent Week IV - A Joyful Pause During A Somber SeasonLaetare, Rejoice Sunday

 A  Joyful  Pause  
During a  Somber  Season



Rejoice in the Lord always!
I am with you always!
You are my people, I am your God!
God Loves Me!  WOW!  I Rejoice!

A Joyful Sunday!  The Fourth Sunday of Lent is named Laetare Sunday.  Laetare is a Latin word which means “rejoice” or “rejoicing.”  This elated or jubilant mood is a striking departure from the somber, sorrowful, penitential tone of the other days of Lent. From somber purple to Joyful rose color candles and vestments!  Today the Church proclaims: 

“Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her.
Be joyful, all who were mourning”.
(Isaiah 66:10)

Joyful Anticipation!  There are multiple reasons why the Fourth Sunday of Lent is cause for joy, the most important of which is the proximity of Easter.  On Ash Wednesday Easter was a long way off, six and a half weeks, but on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Easter is only three weeks away, and as the greatest of all Christian feast draws ever nearer, joy increases.  Joy is also on the upswing because the amount of time left with the rigors of the Lenten discipline, penitential practices like fasting, abstinence, and self-denial, is more than half over. AND as we move forward as a nation towards overcoming the Covid-19 virus, vaccinations, Relief and Rescue Bill, a strengthening of the economy we are more joyful in hope.

Joyful Conversion!  It is with great joy that the catechumens who are preparing to receive the Easter sacraments celebrate the Second Scrutiny on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.  Also, it was an ancient custom on this Sunday to ceremoniously present the Apostles Creed to each of the catechumens to highlight the tenets of the faith in which they were about to be baptized.  The thought of the upcoming Easter Vigil and the reception of the catechumens into the Church is cause for great joy for the catechumens themselves and the entire community.  For we recognize ourselves and our baptismal call in them.

Reflection Questions:      How has God begun to refashion me this Lent? 
                                           How has this Lenten journey of the abundant,
                                           Prodigal Love of the Father been mercy,
                                           forgiveness and conversion for me?



The Prodigal Son
A Story of the Father's Abundant Love

Lk. 15:11-32

In Luke’s account of the Prodigal Son we find our own story of being called home where we experience mercy and forgiveness.  We are also called to embrace the other and bathe them in mercy, forgiveness - to be ambassadors in Jesus’ Name of reconciliation.

Take some time this weekend to Rejoice in God’s Love for you and pray for this gift of MERCY and FORGIVENESS in our world and in our lives. We rejoice as we recognize with what great love, the Father has loved us.

“For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

Oh God,
We cry justice for
our bruised and battered planet.
We cry justice for
our poor and marginalized communities of color
here and around the world.
We cry justice for
our detained immigrant and refugee
brothers and sisters in search of a home.

We cry justice for
all harmed by an unjust global economy.
We cry justice for
our criminal and legal system
that is selective in who is held accountable.
We cry justice for
our cities where violence is born
of injustice and inhumane conditions.
We cry justice ... We cry peace.

MERCY! AMEN!


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Let’s Celebrate


Here is an account of the celebrations written by Sister Genevieve, Provincial, who shared these days of gathering and celebration, 
with our two Jubilarians.

Greetings  from the West Coast,

      We began the 70th Anniversary Celebrations on Sunday, March 7th  with a simple, but meaningful Vespers that Sister Mary Patrice had prepared.  Sister Loretto came from the Jeanne Jugan Assisted Living to the join the community in the Retreat House.  There we prayed together in one of the small sitting rooms.
    
  On the morning of March 8th we had Mass in the Chapel of the Jeanne Jugan Residence.  Along with the five of us Cluny Sisters, there were seven Little Sisters of the Poor,  a Lover of the Holy Cross and a Dominican Sister, who are from Vietnam, live in Jeanne Jugan and are studying in Loyola Marymount University.  Father. Patrick, a Norbertine priest, who has known us for at least 15 years officiated.  
      
      The Liturgy was for the 3rd Monday of Lent, and Father Patrick made a meaningful  connection with the story of the slave girl and Naaman, the leper, with the works of Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey to liberate slaves and with the leper colony in Acarouny .  He then recounted with biographical  details how Sisters Loretto and Ena had lived the charism and served the People of God during these the last 70 years.

    The prayers of petition included prayers for the Jubilarians.  At the conclusion of the Prayers of Petition, Sisters Ena and Loretto, stood before the altar and individually renewed their vows in a clear and strong voice.  Father Patrick thanked them for their fidelity in the name of the Church and I thanked them in the name of the Congregation for their example in living the charism of Blessed Anne-Marie. 
      
    Since, we could not have any singing, Sister Agnes, LSP, had chosen hymns from a CD, which were beautiful and so very appropriate to the occasion.
    
      After the Mass we moved to our community home for a festive meal, which our dear friend and companion, Maribelle had prepared.
Our dinner was relaxed and filled with memories of the past.  At each of Sister Ena’s and Loretto’s places, was a book with  the compiled reflections which I had received from the Sisters of the Province, many cards and good wishes.  The floral leis had been made by Sr. Linn, one of the Vietnamese Sisters.

      On Tuesday, Sister Loretto was once again with us as we had arranged a Zoom Call with her family in Ireland—about 16 members of her family all came on to offer their Congratulations.  Loretto was both touched and happy about the connection—literally and figuratively-- with the family, but most of all, as she said, “it was the best trip to Ireland that I have  ever taken”.  After the ‘second’ Jubilee dinne,r both Sister Ena andSister  Loretto were deeply appreciative, but also very tired. 

    For all of us, these have been days of grace and we are deeply grateful to God for allowing us to share our journey of faith with our Jubilarians, Sister Ena Maguire and Sister Loretto Moynihan.



Saturday, March 6, 2021

Third Sunday of Lent - First Scrutiny

Thirsting   for  Living  Water

"For anyone who drinks it, the water that I shall give
will become in you a spring welling up to eternal life."
John 4:13-14


Encountering Jesus, we thirst for that which Jesus has inspired within us… faith, hope and love; fasting prayer and almsgiving.  Along our Lenten journey we encounter Jesus, as the woman in today’s Gospel met Jesus at the well,  in some of the most unlikely places and people.  Such encounters challenged us to cleanse our hearts and minds so that we can see contemplatively the presence of our God and follow.  

Our Lenten purification washes away our prejudices, biases, fears and anxieties. We are freed so that we may “Go to all peoples” and “Announce the Good News”.  

During this third week of Lent, we join the catechumens preparing for their full initiation at Easter, into the ‘Way of Jesus’ and discipleship. With all the church we ask: may the waters of Baptism flow like a mighty river and our discipleship be real.  

During this week let us enter into the Jesus Story finding ourselves standing beside this ‘woman at the well’.  Our life, like hers, full of hope and desires. Searching, thirsting and longing are hallmarks of this journey of lent.  

Listen… to the dialogue between Jesus and this woman
Reflect… on your own hopes and desires  
Action… recognize the hopes of others and bring
                compassion and mercy to them                                                                                                        
Prayer

May your unfailing compassion, O Lord, cleanse and protect your Church,
and, since without you she cannot stand secure, may she be always governed by your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Gospel Reading Woman At The Well
       John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” 

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.

“I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when he comes, he will tell us everything.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him. When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of
his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Reflection
 
What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
What in this passage comforted you? What in this passage challenged you?
 
Give me a drink.  
For what do I thirst? 
How do Iexperience the need for God? 
In what ways can I help to share God’s love with those who thirst for his presence?
 
Those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.
In what ways does the public worship of the Church (especially the Mass) strengthen my faith in and love for God? 
How does this worship call me to transform my life to follow the truth of Christ?
 
We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world. 
What people, practices, readings, etc. help to strengthen my faith? 
What can I do this week to share my faith with others?

Come To The River
Bob Hurd




Monday, March 1, 2021

March, the Month of St. Joseph

 Honoring  St. Joseph

 With a Father's Heart

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny celebrate and honor St. Joseph during this month of March, the month designated as the month honoring St. Joseph, the Universal Patron of the Church.  Pope Francis in his December 8, 2020, Apostolic Letter, ‘Patris Corde’ (with a Father’s Heart), on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church declared a ‘Year of St. Joseph’ from December 8, 2020 - December 8, 2021.

The Holy Father wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”

Welcoming the Will of God
Motto of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny

St. Joseph’s spiritual path “is not one that explains, but accepts” — which does not mean that he is “resigned.” Instead, he is “courageously and firmly proactive,” because with “Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude,” and full of hope, he is able “to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.” In practice, through St. Joseph, it is as if God were to repeat to us: “Do not be afraid!” because “faith gives meaning to every event, however happy or sad,” and makes us aware that “God can make flowers spring up from stony ground.” Joseph “did not look for shortcuts but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it.” For this reason, “he encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak” (Patris Corde, 4).

Join Us In Praying
Memorare Prayer of St. Joseph

Remember, O most pure Spouse of the Virgin Mary, my kind
and powerful Protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to Your protection or implored your aid, without obtaining relief.  Confiding therefore in your goodness, I come to you, and humbly implore you.  Despise mot my petitions, O Foster-Father of the Redeemer, but graciously hear and grant them.  Amen.
 
St. Joseph, our Protector, Pray For Us