— 1 —WI News
Receptions are one of those Franciscan Sister delights. Now, we are not talking about just having food (although there are very few Franciscan parties without it! Remember the story of St. Francis eating with her brother friar that was hungry! We continue to follow this rule!) July 22, 2014 Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity had ‘Reception’ for our new Novice Sister Maria Thérèse or as it is officially called the ‘Rite of Initiation into Religious Life’. We’d like to share our first announcement of this joyful event. Click here. Our Community Director Sister Natalie also quotes some of Sister Maria Thérèse’s own words in her reflection actually given at the ceremony. Read that here. This is really good news!
— 2 —5 States in 5 Days
Franciscans do have a tender heart for the poor, the suffering, the homeless, children, etc.. One of our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Mary Ann Spanjers, friend of Brother Shamus J. McGrenra, TOR for 14 years, is almost finished aiding him on his third charity bike ride 5 states in 5 days July 22-25, 2014. Dorothy Day Center (a place for those in need that provides food, and new or gently used clothing, furniture, and appliances) is the recipient this year. Read more about this trip that begins in Philadelphia and concludes in Pocomoke City, VA.
— 3 —Co Cathedral, Houston, TX
As promised, we continue our stories about our recent Houston vocation journey. Of course, a visit to this city is not complete without celebrating Eucharist at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Just as on the day of rededication of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral which occurred on March 25, 1990 Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza was the presiding celebrant. We were blessed to greet Bishop Fiorenza after Mass, along with chatting with the Rector of the Cathedral Father Lawrence Jozwiak and (there for his first day of pastoral service as new parochial vicar) Father Martial Oya.
Why is this called the Co-Cathedral? The Co-Cathedral’s historical background answers this question concisely: “Due to the phenomenal growth in the city of Houston and the consequent increase in the number of Catholics and Catholic institutions, Pope John XXIII designated the city of Houston to be an episcopal city, effective on December 24, 1959. Thus the Diocese of Galveston was henceforth to be known as the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. This did not change the status of the city of Galveston as an episcopal city established in 1847, the first such city in the state of Texas. With the elevation of Sacred Heart Parish to a Co-Cathedral, it became co-equal in rank with St. Mary Cathedral in Galveston.”
This was our chosen sacred space to also meet friends Sabrina and Matthew Blackwell who are our specially-remembered Texas tour guides.
— 4 —Jesus is always looking out for us
There is one remarkable, optical fact about this Co Cathedral that everyone should see for themselves. The entrance stained glass window of Jesus is always looking out no matter if viewed from inside or outside.
— 5 —St. Anthony
We can’t help it! In every church we are blessed to stop and pray in, Franciscan Sisters do a quick take of statues. The St. Anthony statue in this Houston House of God is a unique Eucharistic Adoration moment.
After Eucharist we were invited to have Sunday brunch with young adults at a nearby downtown restaurant. We enjoyed walking and table conversations. Among the group were quite a few of choir members who were taking the time to say thank you to the director who is moving on to serve in yet another church music ministry site.
— 7 — Inspiring Closing Message
Indeed, we will continue our TX sojourn another time, but right now we would like to close with a homily given on the day when our Sisters in Temporary Profession Sister Monica and Sister Regina Rose renewed their vows. Read the entire text of Assumption of the BVM Franciscan Friar Father Placid Stroik’s meaningful reflection on the importance of the virtue of courage in living a life of commitment.
“The consecrated life of vowed religious is a courageous experience that can produce fruit abundantly for the kingdom in our midst. The word of God in vowed religious takes root and achieves its goal for which it came. Those in vows are united with many others living different vocations, but sharing in one common human destiny: being “living words” in our world today and the promise of living divine life forever.”
We invite you to discern Franciscan Consecrated Life. Click here to find many possible invitations from vocation discernment retreats to casual conversations on our way of life at a place near you.
Peace and all good!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!