“Joy, true joy, is contagious…” These words of Pope Francis certainly captured the atmosphere at our convents in New York, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., on Sunday, February 8, as we, along with Religious all over the country, welcomed hundreds of guests for the first ever National Open House Day with Religious. At Annunciation Motherhouse, visitors were waved in the driveway by rosy-cheeked novices, bundled against the cold and waving balloons & signs announcing, “Open House Today!” and “Free Hot Cocoa & Cookies!” As the driveway overflowed with cars, one amused visitor suggested, “Sisters, maybe it’s time to put away the signs…” Or, as we thought, maybe it’s time to find more parking next-door and start running a shuttle van! There’s always room for more (and we always have enough cookies)! At Visitation Convent in Manhattan, we squeezed into the chapel–triple normal capacity–to pray Evening Prayer together to close the afternoon. Visitors to all our houses participated in tours of the convent, a brief presentation on the Charism of Life and the particular mission of the Sisters at that local community, a vocation story, and Evening Prayer.
We are grateful to all who joined us to celebrate this Year for Concecrated Life. Stay tuned for future events for the Year for Consecrated Life, including holy hours, a day of service with Religious this summer (date TBD), and a Day of Prayer with Religious on September 13, 2015
The pictures below are from the open house at Annunciation Motherhouse, in Suffern, NY.
We were again blessed to visit sunny California for the West Coast Walk for Life and surrounding events this January 24th. In addition to participating in the Walk for Life, our Sisters hosted a Mass and Prayer Vigil for Life at St. Dominic Church in San Francisco, with Mass celebrated by Bishop Daly of San Jose, CA. We also visited UC Berkeley and were present at the Students for Life of America West Coast Conference.
More photos coming soon!
See an interview with Sr. Mariae Agnus Dei and Sr. Bethany Madonna at the Walk for Life (at 10:44 in EWTN’s full coverage footage below):
Why do we go to the March for Life? To join hundreds of thousands as we pray and witness to the sacredness of every human life, that every life is a gift from God: “We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along the way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person–of every human person.” (Fr. John Richard Neuhaus)
Our Sisters were present at a multitude of other events in the D.C. area surrounding the March for Life:
Thursday, January 22
– Youth Rally & Mass for Life – Verizon Center & DC Armory
– Life is Very Good Prayer Vigil, Morning Rally & Mass, Fairfax, VA
– Jesuit Mass and Rally for Life
– Adult & Family Rally and Mass for Life
– March for Life 2015
Friday, January 23
– 2015 East Coast Students for Life of America Conference
– Latinos Por La Vida Pro-Life Conference
Saturday, January 24
– Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life at Georgetown University
More Photos Coming Soon!
Some of our Sisters rang in 2015 with about 700 university students in Calgary Alberta, singing, “O God beyond all praising, we worship you today…”
Rise Up is a conference for young adults (aged 18-35) hosted by Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a Canadian university student movement – but Rise Up is more than a conference. It exists to motivate and inspire leaders for the renewal of the world.
This year’s theme: “Revive This Generation”
10,000 College Students + Jesus + FOCUS & 20 Sisters of Life + 5 grace-filled days in Nashville = SEEK2015!
Presented by FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students), SEEK2015 brought together thousands of college students & young adults, many families and dozens of priests and religious brothers & sisters, for 5 days of dynamic speakers, the daily celebration of Mass, Adoration and Confession, and plenty of music and laughter to top it all off–but ultimately to seek the face of Jesus and the purpose and JOY that comes in knowing and loving Him!
The Sisters of Life were excited to participate in SEEK in myriad ways, especially through presenting the You&Me Exhibit (a multi-media exhibit of life-changing stories of courage and grace), the launching of The Life App (jointly developed by FOCUS and the Sisters of Life), as speakers in the women’s session (watch Sr. Mary Gabriel’s talk below) and impact sessions, and in our countless beautiful conversations and encounters.
Fearless Hearts: Seek What Moves You Towards Freedom – Women’s Session Keynote by Sr. Mary Gabriel, S.V.
On December 20, chatter and laughter rang through the air all afternoon in a church hall in Manhattan, as we hosted our annual Christmas party for the mothers and children served through the Visitation Mission this year. Co-workers, volunteers, and Knights of Columbus helped set the scene with thousands of red and green balloons and a delicious catered dinner. But the afternoon’s highlight for the Sisters and the moms was watching all the kids perform a Nativity play, complete with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the Star leading the way.
December 16, 2014 – Mother Agnes Mary, S.V., Superior General of the Sisters of Life and Chair of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) contributed in the Press Release Conference on Wednesday, December 16, 2014, along with Mother M. Clare Millea, A.S.C.J., Superior General of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Director of the Apostolic Visitation, and Sr. Sharon Holland, Vice President of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). We are grateful for the solicitude of the Holy See towards Religious and for the completion of the Apostolic Visitation. Together with all of our sisters across the country, we pray for the flourishing of Religious Life into the future.
A Response to the Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation by Mother Agnes M. Donovan, S.V., Chair of the CMSWR
Press Conference for the presentation of the Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation
Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States
From the National Catholic Register:
Vatican Thanks Sisters and Calls Them to Unity and Self-Evaluation
Vatican Releases Final Report on Visitation of U.S. Women Religious
Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV, responds to the Final Report of the Visitation of Women Religious:
Watch the Vatican Press Conference presenting the Final Report of the Apostolic Visitation to the Institutes of Consecrated Life of women religious in the United States of America:
On December 13th, we were blessed to have about 45 moms and their children come to celebrate Christmas! After lunch and games children, mothers, volunteers, Sisters and seminarians gathered around the manger as Fr. Peter Marr spoke to us and blessed us. A Christmas story called, “Always Room for a Little One” was read by Sr. Maria Regina.
Special thanks to Fr. Marr and the St. Augustine’s seminarians for joining us, “All 4 Him” for providing music and our stellar Co-Workers who ran the kitchen and provided rides for the women.
Saturday, November 30, 2014
Approximately 250 coworkers and friends of the Sisters of Life joined us for our yearly Advent Afternoon, this year held at St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto. We enjoyed a beautiful celebration of the Holy Mass, celebrated by Bishop Vincent Nguyen for the First Sunday of Advent and gathered afterward for food and fellowship in the hall below. Sr. John Mary shared a beautiful reflection on Advent and consecrated life. Our evening concluded with candles and songs of the season.
The Toronto Sisters of Life hosted a day of recollection on Saturday, November 8th focused on prayer and the discernment of spirits. The day included a Eucharistic Holy Hour with meditative music played by the Sisters and small group discussions.