Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pope Francis says humility is not speaking poorly about others

Poor Clare Beginnnings.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 29

Establishing contemplative communities in the US: The early history

Poor Clare Sisters Maddelena (1834-1905) and Constance (1836-1902) Bentivoglio's 1875 arrival in New York City was unannounced and unexpected, but they were not worried. Their plan to establish a contemplative foundation in Belle Prairie, Minnesota, proved unsuccessful, but the two Italian immigrants — who were also biological sisters — were confident that Archbishop (later Cardinal) John McCloskey (1864-1885) would allow them to remain in the city. After all, they reasoned, Pius IX had clearly instructed them to bring the Poor Clares to the United States. Since the nation’s largest city boasted a great number of Catholics, it seemed a logical place for them to begin their ministry. According to Marianus Fiege, OFM, Cap., the pope is reported to have said, “You, my dear daughters, must be to the people of your new home an example by your detachment from all earthly things. This will be to them a silent preaching, which together with your prayers and your communion with God, will obtain for many souls the grace to understand that true happiness is not found in material temporal things.” 1
Much to the nuns’ surprise, McCloskey’s answer was a firm, “No.” Fiege notes that Sister Maddelena explained that the cardinal informed the nuns “that he could not admit us into his diocese, as he did not consider our Institute to be in keeping with the spirit of the age, and still less in accordance with the trend of the mind of the American people.” McCloskey simply had no interest in contemplative congregations of women religious residing in the Archdiocese of New York. If the sisters were to open a school, then they could stay. “[T]he time has not yet come,” he said, “for God to give to the Heads of the Church, the light to be able to understand the great value of the Contemplative Orders.”
McCloskey’s refusal to allow the contemplative Poor Clares to establish a foundation in “his” archdiocese might surprise many U.S. Catholics, who have seen church leaders criticize and investigate communities of women religious engaged in active apostolates for a number of reasons, including a perceived disagreement with church teaching. Although the recent apostolic investigation of sisters focused on active congregations, American bishops have not always been happy to have the non-controversial contemplative congregations located within their dioceses. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, church leaders found themselves in need of religious communities dedicated to active apostolates and willing to establish schools and hospitals in order to meet the material and spiritual needs of the many Catholics who were poor and uneducated. In addition, they worried that contemplative nuns would be forced to depend on contributions from willing Catholics to support themselves, money that could better be spent in other places.
In retrospect, McCloskey’s decision was not all that surprising. Even John Carroll, the first bishop in the United States, was less than happy to see contemplative nuns arrive in Maryland, especially since he believed in the importance of American children receiving a Catholic education. When the American Revolution ended, Ann Teresa Matthews (Mother Bernardina), who had left Maryland to enter a contemplative Carmelite monastery in Hoogstraeten, Belgium, along with her two nieces, Sister Mary Eleanora of St. Francis Xavier and Sister Mary Aloysia of the Blessed Trinity, were urged by some to return to the United States and open a convent. Along with Mother Clare Joseph Dickenson, a native of London, the women arrived in Port Tobacco, Maryland, on July 10, 1790, and dedicated their convent on October 15 of that year. They hold the distinction of being the first women religious to reside in the former British colonies.
The nuns’ lifestyle reflected the rule designed by Teresa of Avila, but adapted to the American Catholic situation. European monasteries were surrounded by high walls to prevent cloistered nuns from interacting with the world, for instance, but it was difficult to build such a structure in late 18th-century Maryland. The Port Tobacco monastery originally consisted of eight one-story buildings, including a priest’s house, chapel, infirmary and kitchen. In keeping with their vow of poverty, the only fire was in the kitchen. The women filled a small iron pot with coals in order to keep their cells warm in the winter. Living conditions were less than ideal; their cells were not protected from the weather, and the nuns sometimes had to shake snow off their beds on winter mornings.
Carroll graciously welcomed the Carmelites, but like New York’s McCloskey almost a century later, really wanted to attract women religious willing to serve as teachers and nurses. John Thorpe, a friend of Carroll’s, actually suggested that the bishop try and discourage the nuns from establishing a foundation in the United States. If they did insist on returning to the new nation, however, Carroll should not attempt to turn them into teachers. “If the Carmelites become teachers,” Thorpe explained, in a letter published in The John Carroll Papers, “[a]fter some time you will have neither good Teresians nor good school mistresses.”
Carroll, however, rejected Thorpe’s advice, and asked Vatican leaders to consider modifying the community’s rule so that the women would be able to teach. It was clear, he wrote, that the nuns’ “. . . example, a novelty in this country, has aroused many to serious thoughts on divine things, [but] they would be far more useful if . . . they undertook the education of girls.” Cardinal Leonardo Antonelli responded that “While [the nuns] are not to be urged to undertake the care of young girls against their rule, they should be exhorted not to refuse this work which will be pleasing to God and which is badly needed.” Antonelli’s comments were reported to Mother Bernardina Matthews, but the Carmelites chose not to transform themselves into a congregation devoted to teaching. Their ministry, they believed, was to pray for the Catholic church and its mission in the United States. Ten years later, Carroll still hoped the women would change their minds. “They have multiplied themselves considerably, and given much edification by their retirement and total seclusion from the world,” he wrote in 1800, “and I do not doubt the efficacy of their prayer in drawing down blessings on us all; but they will not concern themselves in the business of female education, tho the late Pope, soon after their arrival recommended it earnestly to them.”
The Carmelites in Port Tobacco continued to remain faithful to their rule of strict enclosure until 1830, when Archbishop James Whitefield (1828-1834), recognizing that they were unable to support themselves, suggested that they solve their financial problems by teaching in either Baltimore or Washington, D.C. The nuns agreed (did they have any choice?), but this ministry was short-lived. They simply found it was too difficult to teach and remain faithful to their rule. Even though classrooms were located outside of the cloister, for instance, only students and teachers were allowed to enter them. In addition, in order to ensure that the nuns’ primary focus remained a ministry of prayer, they were forbidden to speak about either school or their students with each other, even during periods of recreation. Despite these difficulties, the school attracted the daughters and nieces of wealthy southerners — Catholic and non-Catholic — for 20 years. The Carmelites returned to a ministry of prayer when a new archbishop, Francis Patrick Kenrick (1851-1863) decided they should resume their contemplative lifestyle.
The Carmelite foundation in Port Tobacco marked the beginning of contemplative women religious in the United States. Although the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Carmel of Port Tobacco are still present in Maryland, other early attempts to establish cloistered foundations were not as successful. In 1793 — 82 years before Sisters Maddelena and Constance arrived on McCloskey’s doorstep — three Poor Clares trying to escape France’s Reign of Terror disembarked from a ship in Charleston, South Carolina. Unable to communicate effectively with the residents of that city — the nuns did not speak English — they relocated several times, eventually opening the Georgetown Academy for Young Ladies in Washington, D.C. (The school, now known as Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, has been administered by the Visitation Sisters since 1799.)
The Poor Clares were of no more help to John Carroll than the Carmelites. Hindered by their inability to speak English, according to Gabriel Naughton, OFM, they struggled to support themselves and the school, at one time even resorting to selling “Excellent Waters for the cure of almost all kinds of Sore Eyes . . . [and] Salves for the cure of different sorts of sores, hurts, wounds, etc.”When the superior, Mother Marie de la Marche, died in 1804, the two remaining Poor Clares returned to France. The congregation would not return to the United States until the Bishop of Cincinnati, Edward Fenwick, OP, invited two Poor Clares from Belgium to open a boarding school in 1826. The nuns agreed, but later moved the school to Pittsburgh where they hoped more young women would be attracted to the community. It would be almost 50 years before Sisters Maddalena and Constance Bentivoglio arrived to enhance the growing presence of contemplative life — particularly the Poor Clares — in the United States.
Issues related to the role of contemplative congregations within the American church continued into the 20th century. After establishing a successful monastery in Philadelphia, the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters — known as the Pink Sisters — were eager to found a daughter-house in another city. When a wealthy St. Louis widow, Theresa Kulage, approached Archbishop John Glennon (1903-1946), he was reluctant to approve the nuns’ request. Kulage persisted, however, and the archbishop finally consented. In a history of the congregation written by Karl Müller, SVD, Glennon is quoted as stating that he had “doubted whether a congregation with strict enclosure and without a significant source of income could maintain a house in this city.”
Although contemplative and active religious communities are involved in very different ministries, parts of their stories as American sisters and nuns are similar. Like their sisters serving schools in the 19th-century West or establishing hospitals for immigrants in New York City during the early 20th century, they often lived and ministered under very difficult circumstances. The focus of contemplative congregations is prayer and adoration, but they also maintain a strenuous work schedule in order to support themselves. And although it is a ministry of prayer, rather than one of education, healing, or social justice advocacy, contemplative nuns also serve the church and the world.
[Margaret M. McGuinness is Professor of Religion at La Salle University, Philadelphia, and author of several books about the history of Catholic sisters in the United States.]      
Citations
1 - Father Marianus Fiege, OFM, Cap. The Princess of Poverty: Saint Clare of Assisi and the Order of Poor Ladies, 2nd ed. (Evansville, IN: Poor Clare Monastery of St. Clare, 1901), 243, 269-270.
2 - Gabriel Naughton, OFM, "The Poor Clares in Georgetown: Second Convent of Women in the United States," Franciscan Studies 24 (1943): 69.

November 29 Feast of all the Saints of the Franciscan Order

yes-11-6-8


"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:6-9 RSV).
Jakarta, 29 November 2016
A Christian Pilgrim 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent

PERSEVERING IN THE WORD OF JESUS

by achristianpilgrim
PERSEVERING IN THE WORD OF JESUS
(A biblical refection on the FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT [Year A] – 27 November 2016)
 1-0-jesus-christ-returns
Gospel Reading: Matthew 24:37-44 
First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalms: Psalm 122:1-2,4-9; Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14 
The Scripture Text
As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is  left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:37-44 RSV)
Today, the first Sunday of Advent, marks the beginning of a period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Savior, at Christmas. All the readings in the Mass advise us most urgently to make ourselves ready, to be on the alert, to turn aside from our sinful ways, and give more time to God in our lives. “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord”, Isaiah says in the first reading. Let us not live lives of darkness and of sin, Saint Paul admonishes his listeners; but let us put on the armor of God’s grace, and appear in the light, meaning that our consciences should have nothing to hide at any time, but rather be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit directing them. “Be vigilant, stay awake”, the Gospel warns, at any moment you may be called upon to make an eternal choice, and that as unexpectedly as the people who were swallowed up by the Flood, in the time of Noah.
Outwardly, people may appear the same, like the men working in the fields or the women grinding at the millstone, but inwardly they have responded differently to the graces of God has given them. Thus they are in varying states of preparedness for what is to come, with the result that while some will be taken into God’s Kingdom, others will be left or rejected. This is true of every single individual, for as we pass through life we are all being faced with a choice between two ways, either that of slavery to evil tendencies in our lives, which we call sin, or, on the other hand, that of grace, which is allowing Jesus Christ be our guide and exemplar in all that we do.
It is only when we sincerely try to model our lives on that of Christ that our spirits will experience real freedom. Jesus Himself said to the Jews, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Persevering in the word of Jesus demands that we listen to it, as it comes to us from out the scriptures and from within our consciences; also that we think about it and study its requirements, and that we put into action what we have learned.
The true disciple of Christ asks the question, “What am I setting before myself as the main purpose of my life?” My career, the acquisition of material possessions, the pursuit of pleasure, or the service of God and my neighbor? The truth of Jesus will teach us what things are really important and what are not. Furthermore, discipleship of Christ brings its own rewards. It brings freedom from fear, fear about oneself, fear about one’s ability to cope with life, fear about contradiction and opposition from others, fear about death and the uncertainty of life thereafter. Saint John wrote, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).
If we end up having no love or reverence towards God, no respect or consideration or pity towards others, then we will have reached the stage of choosing to be lost, as Jesus, in His prayer at the Last Supper, said of Judas. “Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one. While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name, which Thou hast given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:11-12). This is what should really frighten us, that the choice of our own destiny for all eternity rests entirely with ourselves.
If the Son of Man comes unexpectedly and finds us wanting, then we, who were part of the divine plans and designs from the moment of creation, we who were born to love, to be united with our Creator for ever in heaven, we will depart this world, and find ourselves unloving, frustrated by our rejection of love, utterly incapable of any response to the love of God who will still love us. To prevent such a tragedy, it is necessary for us from time to time to take a critical look at ourselves, at the kind of lives we are leading, the response we are making to God’s grace. We should take note of our patterns of behavior, but far more importantly our sets of values, what we regard as important in life.
Advent is a time when we ought to do precisely this. “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,” the first reading tells us, “to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways, and that we may walk in His paths” (Isaiah 2:3). The second reading (Romans 13:11-14) is of special significance in that it finally brought about the conversion of Saint Augustine after he has opened the New Testament at random at that very passage, and please God it will help us to look into our own lives and, if needs be, change them too.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to devote Advent to preparing for Your coming into the world. Help me to immerse myself in Your love through the sacraments, prayer, Scripture, and repentance. Let the darkness of my sins give way to Your irresistible light. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Jakarta, 25 November 2016  
A Christian Pilgrim 

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Congo pilgrims visit Rome with handmade clothes for the Jubilee closing

Congo pilgrims visit Rome with handmade clothes for the Jubilee closing

Thanksgiving Thoughts Tuesday November 22,

The first Thanksgiving in America was a Catholic Mass

By pakosloski@me.com on Nov 22, 2016 05:28 am
screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-34-12-am
I bet you didn’t learn this at school! Check out the full article at Aleteia:
Did you know that the first “thanksgiving” meal in the United States was notcelebrated by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, but by Spanish settlers, in what became Florida? And that first “Thanksgiving” was Eucharistic!
Historian Dr. Michael Gannon narrates the events that took place on September 8, 1565.
“When the first Spanish settlers landed in what is now St. Augustine on September 8, 1565, to build a settlement, their first act was to hold a religious service to thank God for the safe arrival of the Spanish fleet… After the Mass, Father Francisco Lopez, the Chaplin of the Spanish ships and the first pastor of St. Augustine, stipulated that the natives from the Timucua tribe be fed along with the Spanish settlers, including Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the leader of the expedition. It was the very first Thanksgiving and the first Thanksgiving meal in the United States.”


Read in browser »
share on Twitter Like The first Thanksgiving in America was a Catholic Mass on Facebook

Thanksgiving Thoughts Tuesday November 22,

The first Thanksgiving in America was a Catholic Mass

By pakosloski@me.com on Nov 22, 2016 05:28 am
screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-34-12-am
I bet you didn’t learn this at school! Check out the full article at Aleteia:
Did you know that the first “thanksgiving” meal in the United States was notcelebrated by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, but by Spanish settlers, in what became Florida? And that first “Thanksgiving” was Eucharistic!
Historian Dr. Michael Gannon narrates the events that took place on September 8, 1565.
“When the first Spanish settlers landed in what is now St. Augustine on September 8, 1565, to build a settlement, their first act was to hold a religious service to thank God for the safe arrival of the Spanish fleet… After the Mass, Father Francisco Lopez, the Chaplin of the Spanish ships and the first pastor of St. Augustine, stipulated that the natives from the Timucua tribe be fed along with the Spanish settlers, including Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, the leader of the expedition. It was the very first Thanksgiving and the first Thanksgiving meal in the United States.”


Read in browser »
share on Twitter Like The first Thanksgiving in America was a Catholic Mass on Facebook

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Join us in Prayer for all of Creation With the Prayer on our Blog





Join us in praying for all of Creation and all People.
May each of us develop caring relationships with all of God's
creation and with all people who are part of our daily lives.
Thank You!
The Poor Clares of Chesterfield
poorclaresnewjersey.com

Prayer for Creation
Lord , make me a steward of Creation.
Where there is violence, let me bring peace.
Where there are scars, let me bring beauty
Where there is destruction, let me plant Seeds;
Where there is waste, let me reuse;
Where there is domination, let me nurture;
Where there is want, let me give away;
Where there is pollution, let me be a healer;
Where there is exploitation, let me be reverent'
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to control as to let go and let God;
To be powerful as to protect;
to be rich as to be poor in spirit;
To be indifferent as to love deeply.
For it is in giving away that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is dying to self that we are reborn to eternal life.

(Inspired by Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Christ the King

hari-raya-kristus-raja-tahun-c

Feast of Christ the King



Sunday November 20th we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King.
He is the one who is in charge of our world and has a great love
of all His children, all are welcome into His love and care.
May we pledge our loyalty and our love and life to Him in
this time of our life.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary November 17

Image result for picture of elizabeth of hungary

Today at the Liturgy of Office of Readings the Second alternative reading was from 1st letter of Saint Peter Chapter 3
1 to 18. We will just quote some of it from the translation by Eugene Peterson from the Bible called
The Message,  which we love.

Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.  What matters is not your outer appearance -the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes-but your inner disposition.

verse 3 the same goes for your husbands:Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them delight in them. -  In the new life of grace, your are equals.  Treat your wives,then , as equals.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Brother sun & sister moon

Monday November 14

Altar of Saint Nicholas Tavelic | Croatia
Image: Altar of Saint Nicholas Tavelić in Šibenik Croatia | Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

Saint Nicholas Tavelic and Companions

Saint of the Day for November 6

(1340 – November 14, 1391)

Audio Player

Saint Nicholas Tavelic and Companions’ Story

Nicholas and his three companions are among the 158 Franciscans who have been martyred in the Holy Land since the friars became custodians of the shrines in 1335.
Nicholas was born in 1340 to a wealthy and noble family in Croatia. He joined the Franciscans and was sent with Deodat of Rodez to preach in Bosnia. In 1384, they volunteered for the Holy Land missions and were sent there. They looked after the holy places, cared for the Christian pilgrims, and studied Arabic.
In 1391, Nicholas, Deodat, Peter of Narbonne and Stephen of Cuneo decided to take a direct approach to converting the Muslims. On November 11, 1391, they went to the huge Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem and asked to see the Qadi (Muslim official). Reading from a prepared statement, they said that all people must accept the Gospel of Jesus. When they were ordered to retract their statement, they refused. After beatings and imprisonment, they were beheaded before a large crowd.
Nicholas and his companions were canonized in 1970. They are the only Franciscans martyred in the Holy Land to be canonized.

Reflection

Francis presented two missionary approaches for his friars. Nicholas and his companions followed the first approach (live quietly and give witness to Christ) for several years. Then they felt called to take the second approach of preaching openly. Their Franciscan confreres in the Holy Land are still working by example to make Jesus better known.

The Liturgical Feast of  Saint Nicholas Tavelic and Companions is November 14.

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11 Veterans Day

Today we honor in loving memory our men and women of the armed forces who gave their lives for our freedom.
Before our altar, we have the book only of those who have died in Viet Nam .  The book is as large as a telephone Book of a major city.
We pray for them.
Our prayers are also for all veterans that are still living.
We thank you for your service and pray for you.
Poor Clares of Chesterfield, NJ

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday November 9, 2016

DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA – FEAST: 9 NOVEMBER

by achristianpilgrim
1-0-kveit1240s
The feast commemorates the dedication of the basilica  built by the Emperor Constantine the Great [+337] on the Lateran Hill which, by a tradition dating from the twelfth century, is said to have taken place on the day. At first the feast was kept only in the City of Rome but then, in honor of the basilica which is called the Mother and Head of all Churches of the City and the World, it was extended to the whole of the Roman Rite as a sign of unity and respect towards the Holy See, which, as St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote, presides over the whole assembly of Charity.
Prayer: Almighty God, as we recall the dedication of this house of Yours on each recurring anniversary; listen to Your people's prayer, and grant that our worship here may be a sincere and holy service, honoring Your name and bringing us the fullness of redemption. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 9 November 2016
A Christian Pilgrim
achristianpilgrim | November 9, 2016 at 6:57 am | Tags: EMPEROR CONSTANTINE THE GREATLATERAN BASILICA | Categories: MISCELLANY | URL: http://wp.me/p1055h-3yC

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunday November 6, 2016 Gospe; in pictures

hari-minggu-biasa-xxxii-tahun-c

Saturday November 5, 2016 Feast of the Dead of our Franciscan Family



Today we visited our cemetery in  Bordentown, our old Monastery and also our cemetery here in Chesterfield, NJ.
We prayed for all the deceased of our Franciscan Family especially for our Poor Clare Sisters that are buried in both places.
May they now be in god's presence and intercede for all of us here on earth.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New post on A CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE

ALL SOULS DAY – SOLEMNITY: 2 NOVEMBER

by achristianpilgrim
graveyard_candle_0
Prayer: Grant, Lord, we pray, that as our faith is built on the Risen Christ, so too our hope may be steadfast as we await the resurrection of all the faithful departed. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 2 November 2016
A Christian Pilgrim 
achristianpilgrim | November 2, 2016 at 12:32 am | Tags: ALL SOULS DAY | Categories:OTHER WRITINGS | URL: http://wp.me/p1055h-3xX

Sunday , May 28 Seventh of Easter

WHO IS JESUS AND WHAT HAS HE ACCOMPLISHED? by achristianpilgrim WHO IS JESUS AND WHAT HAS HE ACCOMPLISHED? A biblical reflection o...