Our sisters joined tens of thousands of people, who gathered from across the nation and braved the blustery cold and impending blizzard, for the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 22.
A few of our sisters traveled to the D.C. area several days prior to the March for various events including a talk at the University of Mary Washington and a Holy Hour for Life at Immaculate Conception Parish in Washington, D.C.
Along with dozens of religious and priests we joined more than 3,500 college students and FOCUS missionaries from across the nation in Dallas, TX, for an anointed week of prayer, daily Mass, confession, adoration, training on evangelization and dynamic talks, including a keynote address by Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V.
During the week-long event, with the theme – Spread the Gospel like Wildfire, we spoke with myriads of young people eager to bring the charism of life and the Gospel to their campuses. Come, Holy Spirit!
This December, Sisters of Life went Down Under, sharing the charism of Life. Our Sisters received a warm welcome from our Aussie friends, traveling to Adelaide with hundreds of youth for the annual Catholic Youth Festival. Then they opened the Year of Mercy with a women’s retreat at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney. Finally, they made their mark with Catholic young adults and college students, being present at the iWitness Conference, Theology on Tap, and more! Read more about the Sisters’ visit in the Sydney Archdiocesan newspaper The Catholic Weekly: From New York with Love: A Charism of Life
On Dec 19th, the Visitation New York Mission, with the help of our Co-Workers of Life, held our annual Christmas Party for the families we serve in our mission. Several hundred moms and children arrived for a joy-filled afternoon with delicious food, crafts, games and a very special Nativity Play performed by the kids. What a beautiful way to celebrate our Lord’s birth with so many of our dear friends!
On Sunday, December 6th, we gathered at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in midtown Manhattan for our annual Advent Afternoon to express our gratitude to of our friends, benefactors and co-workers support our missions. The joy-filled afternoon began with choral preludes and Mass followed by a reception including an Advent reflection and Christmas carols.
On December 13, many of our friends and volunteers gathered together at Villa Maria Guadalupe to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of Life and of the Americas. The day began with a beautiful Mass in honor of Our Lady, then we had a small procession — our take on the traditional “Posada”, where Mary and Joseph seek lodging in Bethlehem. The Novices sang an original song to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and all joined in a delicious Mexican feast prepared by our generous friends. Finally, the children delighted in the appearance of a pinata showering a plethora of sweet treats.
The Visitation Mission New York held its annual Initial Formation Day for the Co-Workers of Life on November 7th. 54 new Co-Workers o of Life received training on topics including “Understanding the Heart of a Vulnerable Pregnant Woman”, the “Language of Adoption”, and “Communication Skills” and testimonies from an active Co-Workers on ways they have served in Visitation Mission. It was a blessed day and we can’t wait for our new Co-Workers to get involved in our mission to serve pregnant women!
All of the Sisters were delighted to welcome Pope Francis to America – and New York – when he visited this September. The Novices and our Sisters in Maryland were delighted to attend the Canonization Mass of St. Junipero Serra, while many of our Sisters saw the Holy Father during his visit to New York City. The Sisters at our Visitation Mission eagerly awaited him outside of our convent, while he drove past 6 times! They even made a large banner to ensure that he would know how much he is loved. Finally, many of our Sisters enjoyed serving the Church at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, culminating in a beautiful Papal Mass.
We traveled down to Jacksonville, Florida in November for FIAT Fest, an event sponsored by the Diocese of St. Augustine in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life. Various religious communities spoke and witnessed to hundreds of high school students and young adults on the beauty of religious life. The event included vocation stories, an opportunity for confession, music, sports and great fun!
During our time down south we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, where missionaries celebrated the first Mass on U.S. soil. As the shrine is dedicated to the Blessed Mother nursing the Baby Jesus, we entrusted her with all the women and children we serve in our missions.
This fall we were invited by the Newman Center and FOCUS missionaries at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln to visit with students, give talks on the charism of life and the Feminine Genius and lead music for a holy hour. What a gift to be with the faith-filled community, join them for meals, bible studies, play a serious game of Ultimate Frisbee at the center of campus and pray with students in their stunning new campus chapel. Go Huskers!