News & Views
Check in each week to read interesting articles from Catholic writers, discover what Catholics are talking about in the wider world, find out what's happening in the lives of Catholic leaders, and keep up with the latest news from the Sisters of Bon Secours!

STATEMENT ON GUN VIOLENCE

Sisters of Bon Secours, February 28, 2018

As women of healing the Sisters of Bon Secours grieve the loss of life, the pain of trauma, and the agonizing violence inflicted on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community in Parkland, Florida by a very disturbed young man who had access to an assault rifle.

While we hold the 17 victims of this horrific tragedy in our thoughts and prayers we also hold ourselves accountable to do what we can to advocate for an end to gun violence.

Through our participation in Faiths United Against Gun Violence and other organizations advocating for gun safety, we call on our elected officials to immediately take up legislation that:

  • requires universal background checks and mandatory waiting periods for all gun purchases;
  • bans civilian ownership of high-capacity weapons and magazines; and
  • makes gun trafficking a federal crime.

Through our membership in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility we challenge gun manufacturers to:

  • issue a report on the companies’ activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with their gun products
  • monitor violent events associated with products produced by their companies
  • research and produce safer guns and gun products.

We stand in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who reminds us that in the wake of this national tragedy “mourning is not enough, action is needed”. We support the inspiring young people of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are speaking truth to power in such eloquent and heartfelt ways in support of gun safety.  And we hold fast to the hope that our collective voice for an end to violence in all forms will bring forth a culture of peace on this planet God so loves.

To view the full LCWR Statement on gun violence please go to the provided link.

 

 

 

 

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OPEN YOUR HEART FOR LENT

Cindy Wooden, February 14, 2018 | Catholic News Service

Lent is a time for Christians to get their hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said.

“Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfill the prophecy made to our fathers: ‘A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,'” the pope said Feb. 14, celebrating Mass and distributing ashes at the beginning of Lent. (more…)

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STAYING CONNECTED TO GOD

Melissa Musick Nussbaum, February 7, 2018| National Catholic Reporter

What I’m thinking about in these days before Ash Wednesday is how most of what I have learned about a right relationship with God has come from taking care of small children. These days the smallest child in my care is 13 months old. We have had a standing date each Tuesday since last August as her mother goes off to teach. (more…)

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ON A PILGRIMAGE HOME

Cindy Wooden, February 7, 2018 | Catholic News Service

Vatican City — “I am on a pilgrimage toward Home,” retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote, capitalizing the Italian word “casa” or “home.”

Almost exactly five years after announcing his intention to be the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign, Pope Benedict wrote the letter to a journalist from the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

“I am touched to know how many of the readers of your newspaper want to know how I am experiencing this last period of my life,” the 90-year-old retired pope wrote. “In that regard, I can only say that, with the slow diminishing of my physical strength, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home.”

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THE FUTURE AWAITS THEM!

Dan Stockman, February 5,2018 |Global Sisters Report

Young women religious who have been making themselves heard through Giving Voice, a peer-led group for sisters under the age of 50, have now put their words into a book reflecting on the hopes, challenges and realities of religious life in current times.

In Our Own Words, published Jan. 25 by Liturgical Press, contains chapters written by 13 younger sisters, including a reflection from Sr. Virginia Herbers of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on diversity and unity in religious life and Incarnate Word Sr. Teresa Maya’s thoughts on younger sisters in leadership roles. (more…)

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BLENDED VOICES OF HOPE

Tracy Kemme,January 19, 2018| Global Sisters Report

“O Lord, we pray that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen.”

With my daily devotional propped on the airplane tray, I read the collect for the day’s liturgy. In a few hours, I would land in Phoenix and assemble with 32 other sisters in their 20s and 30s for our annual Giving Voice retreat. This collect seemed to stretch off the page toward me, beckoning my attention. I sensed it was God’s special urging to us young sisters (more…)

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YOUNG ADULTS TO GO TO ROME

Catholic News Service, January 25, 2018

A religious brother, a campus ministry director and a youth minister who is a wife and new mother have been named to represent the United States as young adult delegates at a pre-synod gathering in Rome in March.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Jan. 25 that the delegates are: LaSallian Christian Brother Javier Hansen, a religion teacher at Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas; Nick Lopez, director of campus ministry for the University of Dallas; and Katie Prejean-McGrady, a wife, new mother, youth minister, and a popular speaker from the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana. (more…)

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REACHING OUT

Cindy Wooden, January 14, 2018 | Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Being afraid and concerned about the impact of migration is not a sin, Pope Francis said, but it is a sin to let those fears lead to a refusal to help people in need.

“The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection,” the pope said Jan. 14, celebrating Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. While fear is a natural human reaction, he said, “the sin is to refuse to encounter the other, the different, the neighbor, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.” (more…)

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The Reality of Mercy

Vatican Radio – March 15, 2017

Pope: ‘a culture of mercy renews hearts and opens up to a new reality’

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement and thanks to members of the International Association for Charity (AIC) as it celebrates the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the first Confraternity of Charity by Saint Vincent de Paul in Châtillon, France.

This very first group has grown into today’s AIC, an international network for fighting against poverty, which now has over 150,000 volunteers in 53 countries.

In his message the Pope notes that true promotion of human dignity cannot take place without the proclamation of the Gospel.

“It is with joy, he writes, that I am spiritually united to you to celebrate this anniversary and I hope that your beautiful work continues its mission of bringing an authentic testimony of God’s mercy to the poorest”.

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Pope Francis Ash Wednesday Homily

Vatican Radio – March 1, 2017

“Return to me with all your heart… return to the Lord” (Jl 2:12, 13).  The prophet Joel makes this plea to the people in the Lord’s name.  No one should feel excluded: “Assemble the aged, gather the children, even infants at the breast, the bridegroom… and the bride” (v. 16).  All the faithful people are summoned to come and worship their God, “for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 13).

We too want to take up this appeal; we want to return to the merciful heart of the Father.  In this season of grace that begins today, we once again turn our eyes to his mercy.  Lent is a path: it leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God’s children.  Lent is the road leading from slavery to freedom, from suffering to joy, from death to life.  The mark of the ashes with which we set out reminds us of our origin: we were taken from the earth, we are made of dust.  True, yet we are dust in the loving hands of God, who has breathed his spirit of life upon each one of us, and still wants to do so.  He wants to keep giving us that breath of life that saves us from every other type of breath: the stifling asphyxia brought on by our selfishness, the stifling asphyxia generated by petty ambition and silent indifference – an asphyxia that smothers the spirit, narrows our horizons and slows the beating of our hearts.  The breath of God’s life saves us from this asphyxia that dampens our faith, cools our charity and strangles every hope. To experience Lent is to yearn for this breath of life that our Father unceasingly offers us amid the mire of our history.

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