Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Corpus Christi Sunday
June 10, 2012
Ex 24:3-8 Heb 9:11-15 Mk 14:12-16,22-26
The gift of Eucharist has its roots in Passover, a spiritual adventure that brought freedom, protection, correction, sustenance, and intentional relationship to a people thirsting for justice. An adventure that asked for trust, depended on trust, and developed through deeper and deeper expressions of trust.
This adventure was transformed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus...Passover was no longer just the celebration of God’s action for a people but now the celebration of God’s action in each and every human life. Our capacity to be a part of this adventure is connected with our ability to trust.
Trust in the presence and activity of God within is what enabled Jesus to move through the final Passover he would celebrate with his friends. Trust in Jesus’ knowing that which could not be known is what enabled the disciples to follow the cryptic instructions to obtain a room for the Passover gathering. Trust in his continued presence and his ability to move more deeply into the lives of his followers enabled Jesus to offer his body and blood to them. And trust between Jesus and those with whom he gathered birthed the intimacy of Eucharist and connected it forever to living lives of loving service.
The celebration of Eucharist and eucharist provides us with unending opportunity for the grace of growth in trust and expanding our capacity to be a part of a spiritual adventure that offers freedom , protection, correction, sustenance, intimacy, and an ever increasing desire for the justice that God yearns to see in our world.
During this celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Blood and Body of Christ let us take time to understand the presence and absence of trust in our spiritual adventure with a God who loves and sustains us through the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist. Let us use this moment to ask God for the gift of trust so that we are more open-hearted as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ and more deliberate about being the body of Christ in the world.
Didi Madden, OP
Friday, June 1, 2012
Since July of 2008 our Congregation has been blessed by the gifts, talents and generosity of Jennifer Schaaf. It may be said that Jenn put us into cyberspace; established electronic networking among our sisters and associates and has, through the website, blog, Facebook and Twitter advanced the Life and Mission. Jenn has also assisted in many activities of the Congregation such as preaching days, retreats, Festivals, Jubilees and Galas. She has represented us nationally at different meetings and conferences.
Jenn, as many of you know, is a candidate in our Congregation. We are happy to share with you that she will take the next step towards membership and enter the novitiate in August. She will move to Saint Louis where the Dominican Collaborative Novitiate is located. The novitiate year is one of discernment, prayer, study and common life with other Dominican women.
In order to prepare for this move, Jenn will be leaving the Communications office this week. She will spend time in ministry with our sisters in the Bronx, make retreat and take some well-deserved vacation.
While we will miss her in Communications Office, we believe we are blessed by her desire to be one with us in Dominican Life.
We are sincerely grateful to you Jenn!
The Leadership Team
|Jenn and Sr. Noreen slicing the ice cream cake.|
|Sr. Anne Daniel, who when not in her role of Leadership, fills in as a stand-up comedian.|
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The Holy Spirit was alive with gifts on Pentecost weekend at the beautiful Villa Saint Joseph in Saugerties, New York. On May 25-27, 2012, almost 40 Associates and Sisters gathered for the 4th annual Northeast Dominican Retreat. We enjoyed good weather in a spectacular setting at Falling Waters on the beautiful Hudson River. The five Communities who joined together to share their faith experiences were: Amityville,
Blauvelt, Caldwell, Hope and Sparkill, our gracious hosts for the weekend. The goal of the retreat was “to carve some time out of our busy lives to enrich our souls and celebrate the uniqueness of our faith journeys.”
Sr. Tecie Lardner OP from Blauvelt was our inspirational keynote speaker. She presented the theme, “The Call to Holiness: The Dominican Way.” Tecie encouraged us to share our Dominican Charism, "To Praise, to Bless, to Preach." She stressed the importance of prayer and using the gifts we were given by the Holy Spirit. She
encouraged us to seek our truth and when we find it, to stand up for what we believe in, for “The Truth will set you free." We were urged to balance contemplation and action, to be inclusive of others and to respect the dignity of each person that God puts into our lives.
Each community shared their gifts by preparing the different spiritual and social events which made the weekend worthwhile. The companionship was enjoyed by all, as old acquaintances were renewed and new ones made. All who participated left feeling closely bonded to one another with a spirit of renewed enthusiasm to continue on our Dominican spiritual journey. In this time of uncertainty, it was good to be together filled with hope for a shared future!
Patricia Higgins Michel
Dominican Associate, Blauvelt
Thursday, May 24, 2012
May 27, 2012
Acts 2:1-11 Psalm 104 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7,12-13 John 20:19-23
“Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.” Psalm 104
Today is the day when all Christians are invited -in fact urged- to join in a joyous celebration of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity: the Holy Spirit. Undeniably, God the Holy Spirit, is the Holy Energy of our faith; the one who is life-giving, energizing, hopeful, and is always “alive and well” in our midst!! Indeed, the two readings and the Gospel for this Sunday, proclaim together the Spirit’s call to unity, peace, appreciation of many diverse gifts and reconciliation.
In the first reading taken from Acts of the Apostles, we come upon the twelve apostles, along with Mary and a group of women; all are in a room joined together in prayer - suddenly there is a strong, driving wind – this is their sign of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring of grace and love. Accompanying the wind, there appears tongues of fire and each comes to rest on those present. At that moment, the Christian Church was born; the followers of Jesus were blessed by the fruits of their prayer together and were empowered to begin to evangelize and preach “the good news.” The Jews, who had gathered from every nation, heard the preachers speaking in their own language and asked in wonder, “…how does each of us hear them in his own native language?” Obviously, their differences could not block the Spirit’s power to communicate the truth: Jesus had risen from the dead!! The mission of the Christian church was set afire and all who embraced the Spirit’s gifts joined together in joy, support and common purpose. This Pentecostal event occurred over two-thousand years ago and there was every reason to celebrate; however, human tensions and divisions didn’t end within the new church, or among nations, communities, families and individuals. Still …this act of God did provide the soil and planted the seed for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to grow in receptive human hearts throughout the ages.
Paul then, in the second reading to the Corinthians, speaks boldly about the happenings of his times: he reminds the community of Corinth, that different gifts of the Holy Spirit have been bestowed on every believer, but… rather than appreciating the differences, the baptized are vying with one another and are holding back God’s call to form a bond together, and work in unity for the blessing and establishment of the newly founded church. Being the fine illustrative teacher he was, Paul then compares the hoped for collaboration of the Body of Christ members, with the unified functioning of any healthy human body. Any natural body is created with many different parts; hands, feet, ears, eyes, etc; so…to function in balance and harmony all these parts must work together and even compensate when necessary. In comparison, Paul exhorts Christianity to follow this example: clearly, all members of the Corinth community have gifts: some will perform one service easily, while others will be inclined to adapt in another way and serve in a different task – but - the energizing source is the same Holy Spirit who enables each one to contribute to the whole.
Obviously, today, in the 21st century, our Christian Church reflects similar struggles: members in the church encounter strong dissensions just as the Corinthians did. However, all members of the Body of Christ still yearn for holiness, harmony, peace and justice. In the gospel passage, John condenses Pentecost into a single phrase: “He breathed on them and said…Receive the Holy Spirit.” This power of the Spirit is as “alive and well” in the 21st century as it has been over a span of more than two-thousand years! We need to remember that different gifts are ours and the challenge is to continue together on the journey in fervent prayer, deep listening, understanding and reconciliation. What is required is to believe and trust in the Holy Spirit and to continually remind each other that the Spirit’s energy is being released every moment of every day. God’s way will prevail!!
Shirley Jeffcott, OP
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
"May 18th was declared Fun Day and a great team of students organized and facilitated the day from the opening assembly to the grounds by the dormitory where races and games under the hot African Sun gave all a break from the classroom. The girls did a terrific job of getting something funny to wear in a boarding school where wardrobe space is extremely limited. The competition sent noises to the sky that could be heard in the far off hills. A day well named!" Sr. Dorothy
Friday, May 18, 2012
SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
Acts:1:15-17,20a,20c-26; 1John 4:11-16; John 17:11b-19
" Consecrate them in the truth".[John 17:17]
The Apostles are still gathered in the Upper Room, this time without Jesus.There is an immediate action they must take-replacing Judas.The previous chapter in Acts tells us that of the one hundred and twenty persons in the Upper Room both women and men were included with a prominent place given to Mary, the mother of Jesus.[Acts1:14].Peter takes the initiative to begin the process of choosing a successor for Judas Iscariot. The group chooses two of the men who had been with them from the beginning, Judas called Barsabbas, also known as Justus, and Mattias.The Apostles ask God in prayer to guide them in selecting the man God would want to fulfill Judas' place.They gave lots to the two and the lot fell upon Mattias who then joined the eleven to continue the work of Jesus.
The whole theme of 1John is his complete focus on Love.This is the bond that keeps the Apostles together, their love of Jesus and their mutual love of one another.This love led them to lay down their lives as Jesus laid down his life for us.Though we have not seen God John tells us,"Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and God's love is brought to perfection in us".[1John 4:12]. When we acknowledge God by our lives we are empowered by God's Spirit to witness the truth in love.
In the Gospel we read that during the Last Supper, on the night of his arrest, Jesus prays for us! He prays that we may all be as one. But this oneness can only come about if there is Love.As John tells us in his first letter "...if God so loved us, we also must love one another." [1John 4:11]. Jesus expresses true love and concern for his Apostles, and us, even as he prepares to sacrifice his life for us.He asks that we remain in the world but asks his Father "...to keep them from the evil one."[John 17:15]. Jesus sent his disciples,and us, into the world and, just as he consecrated himself for all,his last prayer is that we too will live our lives consecrated to the truth and live in love.