Come, Holy Spirit...and come He did! More than 12,000 college students from across the nation came streaming in with their university flags held high to the home of the Alamo – San Antonio, TX, for the SEEK 2017 Conference, Jan. 3-7, hosted by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Our Sisters were blessed to be present for the week as grace unfolded upon the event and on the souls present. Sr. Bethany Madonna gave a keynote address prior to an evening of adoration during which an estimated 4,000 confessions were heard by 350 priests. Sister also gave a breakout session earlier in the week, and our sisters met with hundreds of students and shared the Charism of life throughout the week.
Dressed in their Christmas best, dozens of moms and children – former and current guests of Sacred Heart of Jesus convent – gathered together to sing “Happy Birthday” to the Baby Jesus – just one of the many traditions at our annual Sacred of Heart of Jesus Christmas party.
Even good ole’ St. Nick (as always) made an appearance at this beautiful homecoming.
During a recent visit to the City of Brotherly Love, the birthplace of our founder, John Cardinal O’Connor, our Sisters joined the Catholic Center for Young Adults (CCYA) for their weekly gathering of Mass followed by fellowship with discussion. They spent a day at Temple University’s Newman Center, meeting with students and challenging them to a mini Foosball tournament…. and they were merciful.
They went on to visit Regina Coeli Academy, a grade school, where they stopped in classrooms and gave talks to eager students. The road trip ended with a Sweaters, Swing and Sisters Christmas Party with Campus Ministry at Seton Hall University – students wore their best Christmas sweaters. By ‘best,’ we mean, ‘worst.’ Apparently, it isn’t officially the Advent Season without a good gaudy sweater party.
After hosting a Young Women’s Retreat at our convent in Denver for about 30 college-aged women, our Sisters were invited to attend a Denver Nuggets game for Catholic Families Night at the Pepsi Center. They joined Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, priests of the archdiocese and many other religious.
(Denver Nuggets beat Utah Jazz 105-91)
Photo courtesy Denver Catholic
Joining priests, seminarians and other religious, Sr. Magnificat Rose and Gemma Grace Marie attended the Called By Name Conference in the Diocese of Joliet, November 15-18 and welcomed hundreds of 7th and 8th grade students, who were eager to witness the joy of following God’s will for one’s life. The conference included praise and worship, Eucharistic Adoration, talks, basketball games, trivia, a vocations fair. The sisters shared the Charism of Life, vocation stories and spent time with the joyful youths of the diocese.
Their trip to the Midwest included a brief weekend visit to Milwaukee, WI, where they hosted several young adult events.
Oct. 24-27, our Sisters flew south to Baton Rouge at the invitation of Louisiana State University, where they met with students and gave a talk on the Charism of Life, shared stories from the mission and vocation stories. They also visited classrooms at St. Michael’s High School and St. George Elementary School.
And yes, they did have authentic Louisiana gumbo.
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. 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. 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.