Annual Visitation Mission Christmas Party

December 20, 2010 by  
Filed under 2010 Latest News

…..With just a week left to go before Christmas, we gathered with many of the women and children we have come to know and love through our Visitation Mission for the annual Christmas party.  It was a spirited and lively celebration of the birth of Christ and also a time to rejoice in God’s gift of new life!  As the little ones donned angel, lamb, shepherd and Holy Family costumes, parents and grandparents crowded around the stage delighting to see their children acting out the story of the first Christmas.
…..Just before the play began, one school-age girl discovered the coloring table scattered with crayons and Christmas coloring books.  She picked up a coloring book and began to read the story printed inside.  When she had finished reading she excitedly found a Sister and was so proud to recount the story of the first Christmas which she had just read for the first time.  The delight with which she recounted the events surrounding Our Lord’s incarnation, echoed the delight each of us feels when we encounter Christ and come to know that, “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.”  (Spe Salvi, #3)

Annual Christmas Party at Our Holy Respite

December 14, 2010 by  
Filed under 2010 Latest News

Each year, the women and children who once called Sacred Heart of Jesus convent home return to celebrate the Lord’s birth with “their” Sisters. Many of our former guests stay in contact with us regularly, but the Christmas party is a time guests reunite with old friends as well: stories are retold, updates shared, Jesus’ birthday celebrated and gifts given to the mothers and their children. Now a much anticipated Christmas tradition, it is far more than a social nicety. Observing a young boy quietly slipping into the chapel during the party, one of the Sisters realized that this little party is a return to their roots for the children born here, a return to the place where the Eucharistic Jesus welcomed them into the world and where their mothers were welcomed back into hope.

Fiesta Guadalupe

December 14, 2010 by  
Filed under 2010 Latest News

“Listen, and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son; do not be troubled or weighted down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
~ Our Lady of Guadalupe’s words to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico

…..On December 12, we were delighted to welcome many of our friends and volunteers to Villa Maria Guadalupe to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The day began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent celebrated by Fr. Michael, CFR followed by the singing of the traditional posadas hymn, which calls to mind Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem on that first Christmas night.  Sr. Mary Karen helped all delve more deeply into the wonder of that night by offering a brief reflection.  Later in the day, Margarita Ucero spoke on the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
…..But the food at this fiesta wasn’t only spiritual.  An authentic Mexican meal was waiting for our guests when they left the chapel and the children were delighted to learn that farm animals had arrived while they had been in the chapel praying!  Donning their costumes as shepherds and Our Lady the children ventured out to the stable to see the animals.  By mid afternoon, the rainclouds that had been hovering in the morning cleared away enough to string up the pinata.  On the fourth hit, the pinata burst open, the candy flowed freely and the children were filled with glee!
…..Truly the day was a beautiful opportunity to gather together with friends and family there under the shadow and protection of Our Lady and to feel ourselves close in the folds of her mantle, the crossing of her arms.