Prayers and Reflections

International Solidarity Days – August 2019

August 6 and 9—World Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki At 8:16 AM, over Hiroshima on August 6 and at 10:58 AM on August 9 over Nagasaki, in 1945, the course of human history changed forever with the dropping of 2 nuclear bombs during World War II. This violent ushering in of the nuclear age stunned humanity with is overwhelming destructive power. In a single horrible blast, whole cities could be wiped off the face of the earth, and subsequent radiation exposure continued to claim victims even 20-30 years later. Since then, nuclear armed countries have developed even more powerful and [...]

International Solidarity Days – August 20192019-07-12T17:10:55+00:00

International Solidarity Days – July 2019

July 11—World Population Day July 11th, World Population Day, seeks to raise awareness of issues around world population.  The world’s population has grown from 3 billion in 1960, to 5 billion in 1987, to about 7 billion now.  Despite having the Earth capacity to produce enough food for everyone, the increasing environmental degradation, armed conflicts, and population displacements cause by both of these, makes food growth and distribution difficult.  With food and water crises comes additional human rights abuses and further losses of biological diversity needed to maintain a healthy environment.  Increasing population also brings growing demands for energy.  Even [...]

International Solidarity Days – July 20192019-06-27T17:22:59+00:00

International Solidarity Days – June 2019

June 5—World Environment Day Celebrated in 100 countries, the UN’s World Environment Day calls all citizens of the world to raise awareness about the care of Earth.  Further, it is a day to foster action to protect the environment.  Earth is our mother.  She sustains and protects us and all life on our planet.  This year, China will host the World Environment Celebrations on June 5th—the theme is air pollution.  The main events will be held in Hangzhou, in the province of Zhejiang.  China was chosen to host the events because of the great strides they have made over the [...]

International Solidarity Days – June 20192019-06-11T02:22:23+00:00

International Solidarity Days – May 2019

May 1—International Workers’ Day Also known as May Day, International Workers’ Day honors laborers and workers around the world whose daily work builds and maintains society, economic systems and supports families.  Often toiling in obscurity, these workers feed, house and cloth their families, keeping the fabric of the family intact, nurturing the present generation and educating future generations.  Workers have often worked in dangerous conditions, risking their health, injury on the job and sometimes even death inorder to earn their daily bread.  Since the late 1800’s workers in many countries have managed to organize themselves, making it possible for them [...]

International Solidarity Days – May 20192019-05-01T15:19:30+00:00

Living the Way of Love: Easter – Lenten Reflection: Living Joy

Living Joy Easter 2019 By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.” Luke 24:5-6 Triddum and Easter are my favorite time in the Church.  Celebrating liturgies during Holy Week have served as an alarm clock for me. A couple of years ago on Palm Sunday, I came down with one of those viruses that knocks one flat. I missed every Holy Week liturgy through Easter Sunday. Being a creature of habit, in a culture of scarcity, I felt lost and rather [...]

Living the Way of Love: Easter – Lenten Reflection: Living Joy2019-04-18T21:45:31+00:00

Living the Way of Love: Holy Thursday/Good Friday – Lenten Reflection: Living Prayer

Living Prayer Holy Thursday/Good Friday - Lent 2019 By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." John 13:15 Two images capture my imagination as I reflect on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The first is the image of Jesus wrapping the towel around his waist and washing the feet of his disciples. A true model of servanthood and leadership. The second image is of Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus carry the cross. In the case of Simon of Cyrene, I [...]

Living the Way of Love: Holy Thursday/Good Friday – Lenten Reflection: Living Prayer2019-04-16T21:44:26+00:00

Living the Way of Love: Holy Week – Lenten Reflection: Be Faithful!

Be Faithful! Holy Week - Lent 2019 By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission Pack Nothing. Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free. Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind — fear, silence, submission. Only surrender to the need of the time — to love justice and walk humbly with your God. As we begin this Holy Week, it seems appropriate to double check our baggage, as well as the state of our heart. Alla Renée Bozarth’s beautiful poem Passover Remembered ¨offers gentle guidance for the journey. Most importantly, she reminds us [...]

Living the Way of Love: Holy Week – Lenten Reflection: Be Faithful!2019-04-16T21:37:14+00:00

Living the Way of Love: Week 5 – Lenten Reflection: An Invitation to Be Light

An Invitation to Be Light Fifth Week of Lent 2019 By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18-19) Fr. Thomas M. Santa, CSsR, writes, “Most people-centered stories of Jesus in the gospel are about relationship, intimacy, forgiveness, and mercy. They’re about becoming whole, integrated, and filled with life. None of Jesus’ stories are about righteousness, judgment, sin, and punishment. We might hear the stories recast that way, but that [...]

Living the Way of Love: Week 5 – Lenten Reflection: An Invitation to Be Light2019-04-10T15:29:16+00:00

Living the Way of Love: Week 4 – Lenten Reflection: What is in our Heart?

What is in our Heart? Fourth Week of Lent 2019 By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. Luke 15:31 “Righteousness is not about rules written on paper, but the love of God written on our hearts. Righteousness has nothing to do with self and everything to do with loving others … because of our love for Jesus.”  Ann Weems, Stars for Righteousness, Putting the Amazing Back into Grace (1999) Do you ever wonder who you would have been if you were gathered around Jesus and hearing [...]

Living the Way of Love: Week 4 – Lenten Reflection: What is in our Heart?2019-04-03T15:58:21+00:00

Living the Way of Love: Week 3 – Lenten Reflection: Cultivating Our Souls

Cultivating Our Souls Third Week of Lent 2019 By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission “I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it that it may bear fruit in the future.” Luke 13:8-9 One of my favorite books to read during Lent is Judy Cannato’s Quantum Grace. I return to it year after year. I am particularly drawn to her reminder that “Love demands seeing that we are connected” (p.80). The tricky piece for me is that it is easy to forget the connectedness in a culture of divide and conquer, scarcity and greed, and fear and [...]

Living the Way of Love: Week 3 – Lenten Reflection: Cultivating Our Souls2019-03-28T21:00:54+00:00