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Uganda nursery kid2

 

Sr. Paulynne writes:

“Can you believe it we are beginning Holy Week?  My goodness, where did the Lenten season go?  Thank you so much for your prayers for all of us.  Please continue to pray for rain for this area for our rainy season is turning out to be a dry season.  We only have had two good downpours and the weather in between the rains has been very hot, dry and even humid (quite unusual for this part of Uganda).  Currently, there are 4 Engineers Without Borders here from Kentucky working on water projects near and around our local community.  They fixed the well down at Akasalaba and established a well at Kirybicooli (Nick’s school which was established a couple of years ago.)  They hope to investigate the water problem we continue to have at Teacher Housing which erodes and corrodes all of the plumbing fixtures.  They will be leaving here for the States on Monday.  Also, Stephen, who is a former student of Sr. Bernarde, is here from Germany for this week and is studying the farming and agricultural techniques of this area. He himself is a manager of two farms in his home town.  He has learned a lot during the week he has been here and also has passed on valuable insights to our farmer manager, Jonan. I am enclosing a few more recent photos of our nursery school.  Hope you and the Sisters enjoy the pictures. Wishing you a wonderful Holy Week!  You are in my prayerful thoughts!”

 

From the Sisters of Notre Dame to you and your family

 

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This post is part of our Lenten Reflection Series: Be A Fountain of Mercy
Authored by Sister Mary Rebekah Kennedy, SND

LISTEN: Jerusalem My Destiny  – Rory Cooney

I have fixed my eyes on your hills,
Jerusalem, my Destiny!

In our Lenten journey we have arrived in Jerusalem with Jesus. I do not know if Jesus knew for sure what was going to happen to him once he arrived in the Holy City. But I do know that throughout the Gospels, Jesus was faithful to the journey itself which would lead to Jerusalem. Jesus’ journey was one of doing the will of his merciful Father.

Whether Jesus spent time in prayer with his Father, used his healing touch to make others whole again, or spoke words of comfort or admonition to his followers, he was doing God’s will. Jesus is the model for us all of a Son who lived in total awareness of his Father.

I have fixed my eyes on your hills,
Jerusalem, my Destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me,
I cannot turn away.

We, too, are called to live in that total awareness of being a daughter or a son of God. As we continue our journey through the Jubilee Year of Mercy, may we, too, be inspired to spend time in prayer with our Father. May our contacts with others reflect the comforting words and touches of Jesus. May we awaken each day petitioning God to lead us in doing His will.

I have fixed my eyes on your hills,
Jerusalem, my Destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me,
I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way;
this journey is our destiny.

And, finally, may we be reassured that we do not travel alone to Jerusalem. We are a part of the Body of Christ.

I have fixed my eyes on your hills,
Jerusalem, my Destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me,
I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way;
this journey is our destiny.
Let no one walk alone.
The journey makes us one.

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In honor of National Catholic Sisters Week (March 8-14) we are celebrating the positive impact that Catholic Sisters (and especially Sisters of Notre Dame!) have had on our lives. Has a sister influenced your faith or inspired you in some way? Share your story with us in the comments!

A Prayer for National Catholic Sisters Week

Loving and Gracious God, You express your love by putting special people in our lives – and today we thank you for a very special group, the Catholic sisters you have given to the church. They fulfill a unique role, devoting their lives to building the Kingdom of God here on Earth. We ask you to bless all women religious. Guide them, strengthen them, sustain them. Shower them with your grace. And we ask that you may open our eyes to the beauty of their work, so that we too may draw close to you in prayer and reach out, in turn, to help neighbors in need. Give us the courage to answer the unique call you have for each of our lives. It is the path to great joy. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever. Amen.

This post is part of our Lenten Reflection Series: Be A Fountain of Mercy
Authored by Sister Mary Regina Robbins, SND

“Quick, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again.” Lk. 15

Even though the Gospel for this Sunday is familiar to all of us, we never tire of it. It shows in bas relief how in Christ old things can pass away and new things can come. It is possible to let go of the old if it bogs us down, and believe in new life. So we hear again the parable of the Prodigal Son returning to his father who receives him with open arms and abundant blessings of love and gratitude. With a little imagination we can picture Jesus, the storyteller, holding his listeners spellbound as they wonder how the story will end. Surprise, shock! Jesus has come up with a terrifically radical, unforgettable story to get across the mercy of God, the loving Creator-God. He reveals his Abba as one who waits for us, refusing to take away our free will and who even lets us wander and fall until we find how miserable we can be apart from him.

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Especially parents can identify with this story as they feel an aching longing for their departed children. Many parents are tortured by what may have gone wrong or what could have been different in their relationships with their children. They hope and pray for their children to realize that they have a home and are painfully missed.

But the story is not just about others returning. It is also about us. In many ways we wander, straying from goodness and close dependence upon God. During Lent we are invited to spend time looking at where we are and where we have wandered. We allow ourselves in quiet prayer to recognize our plight. By facing our inner truth we come to an awakening, “I must return.”  The Church, especially during the Holy Year of Mercy, opens its doors, providing the sacrament of reconciliation and doctrinal promises of forgiveness and acceptance.

As Saint Paul says in the second reading, God our Father is reconciling us through Christ. As we prepare for the Easter renewal of our baptismal vows we believe: “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.”

What are these old things for you and what might the new things be? For the Prodigal Son it was very clear. Is it clear for you?

This post is part of our Lenten Reflection Series: Be A Fountain of Mercy
Authored by Sister Mary Antonine Manning, SND

The burning bush that was not consumed and the barren fig tree that was spared destruction can lead us to a consideration of the duty of care for our common home—the Earth.

In his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si’) Pope Francis proposes certain practices that may seem trivial but as he says, “directly and significantly affect the world around us.” Among these are choosing to use less heating and wearing warmer clothes instead, avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating trash and recyclables, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living things, using public transport or carpooling, planting trees, and turning off unnecessary lights (L.S. 211).

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“Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity,” (L.S. 211). The Pope decries what he terms a throwaway culture. “[W]e know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded and ‘whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor,’” (L.S. 50).

Lent provides us with the impetus to examine our lifestyle and to evaluate our stewardship of the Earth.

Questions for reflection:

Am I striving to be aware of how my actions affect others—my brothers and sisters throughout the world?

What type of ecological situations are we forcing future generations to face by ignoring ecological problems now?

Watch the recent reception of Sister Mayra Marie and Sister Nicole Marie into the Novitiate: