Friday, April 27, 2012

Liturgy for Deceased Sisters and Associates

Last Sunday, friends and family of our deceased Sisters and Associates gathered to remember their loved ones during this Easter Season of Resurrection.  Despite the weather, several hundred attended the liturgy and many placed roses on the graves of their relatives, then joined together for a light supper.  

April 29, 2012 Scripture Reflection

Fourth Sunday of Easter / Good Shepherd Sunday
April 29, 2012
Acts 4:8-12, 1 John 3:1-2, John 10:11-18
"…I will lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:15)

In these days between Easter and Pentecost, the Church offers us John's writings of sacred scripture that we may hear and come to "see what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God." (1John 3:1)

Today is called "Good Shepherd Sunday." John's gospel is constantly teaching us about the relationship between Jesus and the Father, Abba, God. Today our lesson is about the right use of power and authority.

Many times I have read this passage about the good shepherd and automatically think that it speaks to only those heads of Church or state who have the responsibility of leading flocks of people. Today, thanks to the reflection by Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB, in Living with Christ, I saw and heard a more personal call to service and relationship to those I would serve. He wrote that whatever title we bear and over whomever we are called to exercise authority we need to imitate Jesus. For Jesus, being shepherd - that is having power or authority over one little lamb or a whole flock - is the means to ensure the ends intended by the Divine Plan of God: the well-being and harmony of all creation.

Today's gospel teaches us to pay attention to our motives and attitudes as we stand beside and before another and call their name. Do we stand as a 'hired hand' whose only concern is to receive pay for his/her efforts or labor? Or, do we stand as a good shepherd willing to model the love and concern of Jesus for the least or the greatest among us? Is the well-being of the other my focus?
We are still stinging from recalling the violent results of the abuse of power and misuse of authority we read about in our Holy Week Services recounting the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, death and burial. The readings during the Easter season hold Jesus before us as the model for us to choose a better way to live, to act, to be with one another than the choices made by the Pharisees in the days of Jesus, the Christ. Today's readings invite us to listen for the voice of Jesus, to know his voice, and to come through his gate and follow him.

"For there is no other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." (Acts 4:12)
Now is the time for us to walk the walk. We have Jesus who goes before us to show us the way. John is very careful to remind us that Jesus has "other sheep not of this fold (16)" lest our egos get in the way of God's vision to ensure the well-being of all God's people.
Am I ready and willing to lay down my will, my life, my agenda for this cause?
When I can align my free will to God's desire for me; and when I can seek only to choose what God hopes for me, then the joys of the Resurrection will be mine. Then, perhaps, I shall come to understand how and why the "Good Shepherd" was able and free to lay down his life for his sheep. "Good and gracious God, teach me the ways and the heart of the Good Shepherd. Amen."

Maureen Murphy, OP 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012 Scripture Reflection

Third Sunday of Easter

April 22, 2012

Acts 3:13-15,17-19 1 John 2:1-5a Luke 24:35-48


This reading comes at the end of Luke's gospel, but it is not the end of Jesus' story, rather it is the beginning. Throughout the gospels there is doubt about Jesus and His mission. The government has put the leader of a movement to death so that the movement will die out itself. Even the disciples must begin to think this way. But the appearance of Jesus instills a new heart and life into them. Now that doubt gives way to worship of the Risen Jesus as His disciples are poised on the brink of their mission of witnessing.

Despite the angel's testimony to the women at the tomb and despite the witnesses who had already seen the risen Jesus, the disciples still had difficulty in accepting the miracle of the Resurrection. They are in a Jerusalem hideout when He suddenly appears and gives them signs. As he had just done with the disciples he had met on the road to Emmaus, he opens their minds to understand all that He had taught them in light of the Resurrection.

Aren't we like the disciples - not believing unless we can see with our own eyes? Jesus goes to great lengths to assure his disciples that He is no mere ghost or illusion. His cross is the way to heaven and the way to glory is through that cross. How can death lead to life and the cross to victory? Jesus shows us the way and gives us the power to overcome sin, despair, and death. Just as the first disciples were commissioned to bring the good news of salvation to all the nations, so, we, too, are called to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus to all. How often do we witness to the joy of the gospel to those around us?

We need to open our minds to understand the scriptures that we may fully comprehend the truth. Jesus has fulfilled the prophecy, now we as Christians must preach it with our lives. Patricia Ann Hannon, Associate

Patricia Ann Hannon, Associate

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day - April 22, 2012

Sr. Ceil Lavan, our Promoter of Peace and Justice, gives us the following suggestions from WikiHow on how to Celebrate Earth Day:

"Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you've never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rainforests. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven't done so already, join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area.

Reduce, reuse and recycle all day long. Buy as little as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. Support local growers and producers of food and products - these don't have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don't use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags.

Engage others in conversations about your environmental concerns. Don't be bossy or pushy, just tell people some facts and then explain your feelings about them. Encourage them to respond and if they have no opinions or they seem to not know much, help them learn some more by imparting your environmental knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hearts Afire Gala 2012

Yesterday, we held our annual Hearts Afire Gala.  Mr. Hector A. May (Nanuet) and Mrs. Kathleen Gregg (Pearl River) were honored for their service to the community.  We are grateful for the many individuals and businesses who supported this event in so many different ways!

Mr. May, Sr. Catherine Howard (President) and Mrs. Gregg
Keith Taylor, a past honoree, carries the cross during the procession at Mass.

Alan Kalter of the Late Show greets the Mara family.

Sr. Michaela is MC of the event.

The NYFD Emerald Society plays the pipes and drums.

Guests bid on the many items in the silent auction.

Priscilla Ford, Development Director, shaking hands with Bob Lunney, a past honoree.

Kate Gregg greets Sr. Thecla and Sr. Roseann, who have been friends with her for many years.

Hector May brought his wife to the podium to share the  honor of receiving  the award.

Rev. John Dwyer, a past honoree, poses with Lynn and Frank Mara (of the NY Giants), whose family was honored at our first Gala.

Sr. Joan Smith, a friend, Sr. Pat Ginty, Sr. Thobile, Sr. Nokwanda and Sr. Anne Daniel Young pose with the Super Bowl trophy.

Jim Hurley, a past honoree, holds the Super Bowl trophy for his grandson, who is wearing an Eli Manning jersey.

The Leadership Team poses with the NY Giants 2012 Super Bowl Trophy

Members of the Gala Committee.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 15, 2012 Scripture Reflection

Second Sunday of Easter 
April 15, 2012
Acts 4:32-35; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31

"We have seen the Lord!" 
"We have seen the Lord!"

Thomas missed all the action in the initial section of our gospel text. His immediate response upon hearing of Jesus' appearance through locked doors was, "Impossible! Incredible! Jesus is dead. I'll never see him again."
Don't we often feel left out and skeptical like Thomas? Don't we often find ourselves walking with doubt? These post Resurrection appearances are difficult to believe. Jesus is present with the apostles in a very different way. Thomas wanted to believe but he was blind to the evidence right before him. It was his companions that led him to belief.

The apostles gradually became transformed from scared, locked in, skeptical followers to brave, bold, faith-filled preachers of the Word. Their fear was replaced by the gifts of conviction and peace.
Often it is our companions that bring us to the Lord. We can see Christ in our positive encounters with others who struggle each day. Perhaps we meet Christ in the love of another who manifests God's love for us. Daily we see and touch the Lord as we walk with our brothers and sisters.

Thomas was transformed into a powerful witness. May we be transformed as well.

For reflection:
" When have I had the most doubts about the presence of Christ?
" How are my companions bringing me to the Lord?

Mary Ann Collins, O.P.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 8, 2012 Scripture Reflection

Easter Sunday
April 8, 2012
Acts 10:34a,37-43 Colossians 3:1-4 John 20:1-9

The resurrection is the expression of God's faithfulness not only to Jesus but to all of creation. It is the profound revelation that nothing belonging to God will ever live or die in vain; we have been purchased at an infinite price simply because we have been created in the image and likeness of God and we share an inheritance with the One to whom we pledge everything. This is God's promise, for the entire paschal mystery, the passion, death and resurrection sees all of life as sacred; the mystery itself is deeply rooted in our souls since the day of baptism when we became children of God and heirs to the kingdom. The darkness of the tomb was shattered by all that the paschal mystery made sacred, a mystery embedded in the depths of our memory, within every encounter in which we see the Lord Jesus made manifest on the canvas of our lives. We see Him in a thousand faces, in the goodness of human hearts and also in the countless and unspeakable travesties committed against humanity.

We are invited this Easter week to remember Mary Magdalene for whom no sacrifice was too great; no gift too precious; no task too difficult; it is she who was given the dauntless courage to be an apostle to the apostles, leading them out of darkened fear into the brilliance of resurrected life. Mary Magdalene projects forgiveness, illuminates reconciliation, strengthens weak and frightened hearts. She exemplifies the reality that our troubles are entwined with the struggles of others on this road called life and her love challenges us to respond with compassion. It is she who comes to realize that suffering and loss are made meaningful only when wedded to the cross of Christ. Hearing her whispered name she comes to understand that the powerful reality of Easter joy is that death does not have the last word. The resurrection of Christ makes this so! Only when we internalize the comforting words so frequently spoken by Jesus, "Do not be afraid," can we walk every morning of Easter Resurrection to the tomb of our own heart's longing. We are encouraged to simply look for Jesus; look for Him where we are the most vulnerable, the most fragile, the most insecure and incomplete. Then there will emerge a new creation, a new earth, a new Jesus who will stand before us in stunning splendor and call us by name. The power of that Easter event continues to transform the past, flood the present, and create the future. Easter and every "alleluia" day is a sacred encounter with the risen Christ who continues to heal as the ever-gentle savior. Jesus gave us a promise that was rooted in His paschal mystery. He offered it to those who would be faithful, who would, despite their faults and failings, seek to see the world with His Eyes and to respond to it with His Heart. "This is the will of the One who sent me; that I should lose nothing of all that has been given but raise it up on the last day."

Mary, what level of spiritual and emotional intimacy caused you to pour forth your precious ointment on His sacred feet? What level of faith remained with you at the foot of the cross and, in your inner longing, what did you hope to find at the sacred space of His entombment? What blurred your early vision from recognizing the One whom your heart loved, and what stirred your broken spirit to hear your whispered name; called, chosen and commissioned for the authenticity of truth? What intuitive understanding led you to see with different eyes, to not cling with the yearnings of your human heart? And what great miracle of grace poured out in overflowing measure gave you the dauntless courage to be that apostle to the apostles, leading them out of darkened fear into the brilliance of resurrected life. This encounter with the risen Christ is perhaps the greatest recognition scene in human history, for recognition is made on behalf of all who call Him master, rabboni, teacher, savior and friend. This really gets to the heart of what Mary Magdalene's life can teach us. She represents the entire journey; conversion of heart, freedom from sin, pure and loving relationship, entering and accepting the Passion, rejoicing in the glory of the Resurrection, and the awesome wonder of leading a Christ centered life. Mary did not recognize Christ by His resurrection body, but her soul had known such a deep and spiritually intimate friendship with His that she could not help but recognize Him by the way He called her name.

How beautiful that the supreme affirmation of devotion should be given, not by the chosen twelve or one of the favored few, but by a humble, grateful woman whose love simply would not be denied. By love she was able to find the Christ when He remained hidden from the others. She remained faithful to the end; she was the first to identify the risen Lord and to place her faith in Him; love made of her a courageous ambassador, a true contemplative, a woman called to sow the seeds of hope.

Sister Anne Daniel Young