Sr. Faustina Maria Pia and Sr. Jeanne Marie joined thousands of Catholics at Lake Placid’s INSPIRE: Called to Love Conference on Sept. 25.
In the same arena where the ‘Miracle on Ice’ occurred – 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team beat the top ranked Russians – our sisters joined the participants who gathered to dive deep into the timeless miracle of Baptism and learn how to live out the universal call to holiness.
During the conference, which included Mass, a keynote address by Bishop Robert Barron and several breakout sessions, our sisters joined other religious communities in meeting with the young Catholics from upstate New York and southern Canada.
Sr. Grace Dominic, Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, and Sr. Magnificat Rose drove out west to Franciscan University of Steubenville and Notre Dame, Oct. 6-9th. The FOCUS missionaries at Steubenville hosted a Women’s Night attended by nearly 50 young women.
The following day we continued west to Notre Dame to participate in “A Day with Sisters” – an event sponsored by campus ministry, giving women on campus an opportunity to spend time with religious sisters from several different communities. The day included prayer, fellowship, meetings with students, talks and Ultimate Frisbee!
Sr. Grace Dominic, Sr. Marija Joseph and Sr. Elizabeth Grace spent a week in Auckland, New Zealand, Sept. 21-29, for the Voice of the Family Conference and LifeFEST sponsored by the Family Life International New Zealand. They were welcomed by the youths of the Mother of Divine Mercy Refuge in Auckland with a cultural program with dances and songs from the Pacific Islands and spent the following days giving talks on charism of life, the Hope and Healing mission, and prayer.
As the school year began, Sr. Faustina Maria Pia and Sr. Magnificat Rose headed down to the Southern Hills of Blacksburg, VA to be with the students at Virginia Tech and a brief visit to University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Our sisters spoke at Virginia Tech’s weekly ‘Sunday Supper’ drawing about 150 people students for a home-cooked meal alongside a talk on the faith, also attended a Bible study, spoke at their Theology of Women series, and met with many students.
On September 10th, the Sisters of Life family grew! With great joy, we welcomed fifteen new postulants, along with their families. They hail from every corner of the country, and Canada: New Jersey, California, Louisiana, New York, Washington, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Ontario. May God bless Brooke, Jen, Martha, Madeleine, Colleen, Julie, Lauren, Rachel, Stephanie, Desirae, Natalie, Karalyn, Alyssa, Emma, and Alida as they continue to respond generously to the Lord’s call.
On the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, August 22nd, 2016, seven of our sisters professed first vows! Consecrated to the Lord of Life, they professed vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and to protect and enhance a sense of the sacredness of human life. Each Sister received her first apostolic mission at the end of the Mass of Profession, celebrated by Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese St. Paul and Minneapolis. The mass was held at Sacred Heart Parish in Suffern, NY, followed by a small celebration with the community and families of the newly professed sisters at our motherhouse. Congratulations, Sr. Maria Cristina, Sr. Pia Jude, Sr. Cara Marie, Sr. Gabriela Maria Mega, Sr. Elizabeth Grace, Sr. Magnificat Rose, and Sr. Jordan Rose!
On August 6, 2016, six of our Sisters professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and to protect and enhance the sacredness of all human life. His Excellency, Bishop John O’Hara, auxiliary bishop of New York, presided over the Mass at the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, CT for the occasion. Joined by hundreds of family and friends for the celebration, Mother Agnes Mary joyfully received the vows of Sr. Maria Emmanuel, Sr. Brigid Ancilla Marie, Sr. Grace Dominic, Sr. María Laetitia, Sr. Ann Catherine, and Sr. Maeve Nativitas. May God be praised!
On August 4th, the Sisters of Life welcomed nine new novices! These, are youngest sisters, joyfully received the holy habit — a sign of the consecrated life that they aspire to live with God’s grace — and their new religious names. May they be blessed as they step into this new chapter of their vocational journey!
From left to right: (top row) Sr. Fidelity Grace, Sr. Lily Marie, Sr. Mary Grace, (middle row) Sr. Gaudia Maria Magdalena, Sr. Catherine Joy Marie, (bottom row) Sr. Ann Immaculé, Sr. Zelié Maria Louis, Sr. Mary Casey O’Connor
We had the tremendous privilege of working with the Knights of Columbus to host Mercy Centre, the largest English Speaking Site at World Youth Day, in Krakow from July 26-31 at the Tauron Arena. Each day we hosted over 15,000 young pilgrims with an array of speakers, concerts, opportunities for prayer, confession, adoration and time to connect with other young people from around the world. In hosting the pilgrims, our Sisters prayed that their consecrated witness of joy in knowing and loving Jesus would overflow and bear abundant fruit in the hearts and lives of the youth that we encountered.
Those of us who were there will never forget the evening program on Wednesday: Matt Maher and Audrey Assad providing the music for a Holy Hour in which 20,000 young people were on their knees singing their hearts out and in silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Barron gave an amazing homily on the power of the Cross.
To see highlights from the daily catechesis, photos and videos, visit the Knights of Columbus WYD Archive, Salt + Light Media World Youth Day Central, and the Mercy Centre website. Full video coverage of the Mercy Centre is available from the Knights of Columbus:
- Mercy Centre Day 1: Australian & Canadian Gathering, City of Saints Panel
- Mercy Centre Day 2: American Gathering, Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V., Cardinal O’Malley, Night of Mercy with Bp. Barron
- Mercy Centre Day 3: Solidarity, Cardinal Tagle
- Mercy Centre Day 4: The Cross, Cardinal Dolan
- Pope Francis visits the Mercy Centre
In preparation to welcome thousands of pilgrims from around the globe to World Youth Day, many Sisters of Life embarked on pilgrimage through the homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II. Joined by the College Knights of Columbus from the United States and Poland, we traveled to many holy places around Kraków, carrying with us the many intentions of all of the pilgrims flocking to the historic city. We walked in the footsteps of Pope Saint John Paul II, visiting Jasna Gora and the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, hiking in the mountains of Zakopane, visiting Our Lady of Ludźmierz, praying in Wadowice, the hometown of John Paul II, and celebrating mass in the chapel of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, where St. Faustina received the image of Divine Mercy. A visit to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau provided opportunity to remember the many lives lost on that hallowed ground, and the many saints raised to glory through the darkness of suffering, including St. Maxmillian Kolbe and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). Many thanks to the Albertine Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy who graciously hosted us during these days with beautiful Polish hospitality!