Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sister Marie Paul Grech’

This post is part of our Advent Reflection Series- a collection of original blog posts written by the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Ah, Night! Bursting with new-born-stars
Strewing pathways of fire as they soar
In silent pilgrimage through endless space,
And I stand smallened by their hugeness.
And yet within me, deeply rooted, is a light
Already safe at home and never to be dimmed.
– (Rainer Maria Rilke translated by William J. O’Malley)

The stars are lighting up the skies even when we cannot see them clearly. Our God is present in our midst even when we are unconscious of the very real presence of the divine. The divine spark is within each of us even when we focus only on our failures and limitations.

advent2015
When I was a postulant, the bulletin board outside our dining room had the following Advent reminder:

“Many saw the star, but only a few had the courage and wisdom to follow the star that led to love!”

Advent is a time for renewing ourselves in seeking and finding and celebrating the light that is Jesus. It is a time to get back in touch with the star that calls us to believe, to follow, to discover the gift that is Jesus living within me. Do I have the courage?

It is a time for pulling away (for a few moments each day, for perhaps an hour or maybe for even a day) to put aside the hustle and bustle of the pre-Christmas season to concentrate on the star that is beckoning.

Advent is a time to reach into my own soul and find the God who dwells within; the Child who yearns to be born anew in me; the Child who has perhaps been forgotten in the busyness of everyday life; the Child who needs to be tended to, loved, cherished in my heart; the Child who is the Prince of Peace.

Advent is a time of preparation. It is a difficult time if we use it properly. It is not limited to buying gifts, but is discovering anew the gifts within ourselves. It is not limited to decorating trees, but is challenging us anew to prepare (yes, even decorate) our hearts for the rebirth of Jesus in our lives. It is not limited to cleaning our homes for guests, but is calling us to “clean up” and get rid of the clutter in our lives that is preventing us from being a truly Christ-welcoming home. Do I have the courage to follow the star of Advent, the star that leads to love?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Inspiring Catholic school educators with the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame is one of Sister Marie Paul Grech’s top priorities. Put simply, that charism (or what the sisters believe) is that God is good and provides for us. They strive to look at the world with hope; and what could be more important in a classroom than a positive attitude?

Sister Marie Paul loves this part of her ministry. Her love for teachers and her respect for the role they play in the lives of their students shows in her dedication to faculty and staff retreats.

“These men and women who give of themselves so generously to touch the hearts of the young are always an inspiration to me. It’s a real joy to continue spreading our Notre Dame charism and spirit,” Sister said.

She taught secondary school for more than 30 years in Ventura and LA counties, as well as in the sisters’ mission in Uganda, Africa. Armed with her faith and a lifetime of experience as a sister, Sister Marie Paul shows others how to infuse their classrooms with joy and compassion.

“Teachers continue our mission in our sponsored and affiliate schools where we are no longer physically present. God’s call to teachers in every Catholic school is vibrant and it is my joy to be part of their ongoing response to that call,” she said.

Sister recently led a retreat for 20 teachers from Saint Jude the Apostle School in Westlake, Calif. The retreat began with a morning Mass and breakfast, followed by small group discussions and a video presentation.DSC_0455

“Your job” Sister Marie Paul told the group “is to help children connect the dots- between science and religion, between what they learn on the playground and in the classroom. Your job is to teach them how to learn.”

Deana Herrera (pictured at right in the photo below) has taught at Saint Jude the Apostle School for seven years. She was motivated to apply Sister Marie Paul’s lessons in her fourth-grade classroom.

“Her positive spirit reminds us to see the good in our everyday lives,” Herrera said. “Sometimes when things don’t go as planned, one of my students will say something really funny. Those moments are God saying ‘Lighten up!’”DSC_0470

Sister Marie Paul is the coordinator of Kindred Hearts Ministries (KHM). KHM offers prayer programs, spiritual events, retreats and many other services for local parishioners provided by the Sisters of Notre Dame. To learn more about KHM, visit www.sndca.org/khm or email Sister Marie Paul at mgrech@sndca.org. Click here for the KHM calendar of events.

DSC_0444    

Read Full Post »

During this Thanksgiving season, we celebrate the gifts God gives us each day and pray for those who are in any need.  May we discover in each day the signs of God’s love in each person we meet, in each challenge we endure, and in every blessing that graces our lives. The Sisters of Notre Dame wish you and your families a holy and happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving2014

Thank you, good and provident God,
for everything that reveals your love.

We thank you for the heavens above us,
for the earth beneath our feet,
for the sun in the day and the stars of the night,
for the snow and the rain, the rivers mountains and lakes.

We thank you, our God,
for the people who have touched our lives,
for all those who demonstrate your love and compassion.

We thank you for all men and women who have listened to your Word
and live it in their lives.

We thank you for mothers and fathers, for grandparents, and teachers.

We thank you for the children whose innocence brightens our day,
and for young people who are seekers of truth and beauty.

We thank you for artists and musicians and writers,
for farmers and health professionals.

We thank you for those who serve others,
for those whose sacrifices are often hidden.

We thank you for the example of courage we see in the sick and the suffering.

We thank you, God, for choosing us to be your people,
and for allowing us to share in your great work of creation
as we try to communicate the mystery of your love to all those around us.

Click to give a gift to the Sisters of Notre Dame

Read Full Post »

Sister Mary LaReina and Sister Marie Paul are giving Notre Dame heritage tours this month to seventh graders at La Reina High School. What do you remember about Saint Julie and the founding sisters?

DSC_0766 DSC_0679 DSC_0680 DSC_0695 DSC_0710

Read Full Post »

 

Jubilee is celebrated each year by sisters who have reached a milestone in their lifetime of service to God. This year, we celebrate Sister Mary LaReina’s 50th year, Sister Margaret Mary’s 40th, Sister Julie Marie’s 40th, and Sister Mary Leanne’s 25th. To leave a congratulatory note for a sister or to make a gift in her honor, please contact Anne Interrante at ainterrante@sndca.org. As we celebrate this year, we hold in memory Sister Mary Anita and Sister Mary Lynn, Jubilarians who passed away recently.

As we approach the time of Jubilee, the image of tree rings comes to my mind very forcibly. The tree grows from a slight sapling, never knowing its future, never contemplating how many rings will speak for its life and growth. Each of us in our lifetime is like this. As children we dream of what we will be when we grow up, but when do we qualify as a grown-up?  As we grow in years and hopefully in maturity, our dreams may change, morph, or become bigger or smaller, but if we’re lucky we still look forward to some dream!

1506824_e86fed2d

 

The tree rings tell a story. What is our story? Can we see the impact of the “weather” that has affected our life? Do we understand how one “ring” inevitably leads to another? Are we able to pinpoint the ups and downs of our life journey and can we be grateful for both experiences?

 

Next weekend we will celebrate the Jubilees of four of our sisters: one golden, two rubies, one silver and two who sneaked into heaven within the past few months. I am sure the celebration for Sister Mary Anita and Sister Mary Lynn will be splendiferous! And I bet both are telling their stories, proclaiming God’s goodness to them over the years and telling by their lives how our gracious and provident God has taken care of them over the years. For me, Jubilee time is truly a time for telling stories, telling of the marvelous works God has done one ring at a time!

-Sister Marie Paul Grech, SND

 

Read Full Post »

Do you know the date of your Baptism?  Some do and some don’t!  For those of us who are cradle Catholics, the details of our baptism are probably not uppermost in our minds.  For those who have experienced adult baptism, it is likely that the details are very much remembered. But in the mind and heart of God, I like to think each and every one of our baptisms is a cause for celebration because it was then that we truly became a son or daughter of God.

Baptism

We have recently celebrated the glory of the Easter Vigil and perhaps were able to witness the baptisms of adults and children at that ceremony.  We also renewed our own baptismal promises and during the Easter Season we may have been refreshed by the sprinkling rite, calling to mind those promises.  Do you celebrate your baptism?  At our Provincial Center, we do.  It may seem silly to some, but if we don’t have birthdays to celebrate in a given month, we have a Baptism Night instead.  It is very simple, but it does remind us that we have cause to celebrate the day we became children in God’s special family!

-By Sister Marie Paul Grech, SND

Read Full Post »

In the month of May, our thoughts turn to Mary for many reasons: May processions and crownings, Mother’s Day, feasts of Our Lady of Fatima and the Queenship of Mary. In fact, there is a feast day of Mary celebrated somewhere in the world on every single day of the month of May according to the Roman Calendar of Marian feasts.

pieta-michelangelo

Michelangelo’s “Pieta”

 

What can we learn from Mary?  Just think about her words:  “I am the handmaid of the Lord” (Annunciation), “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” (Visitation), “Do whatever he tells you”; (wedding at Cana); and what she doesn’t say because she “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2:20).  At the Cross, Jesus gave us the precious gift of his mother, and we know that she continues to embrace us lovingly as she points the way to her Son.  She has special “bragging rights” and we can imagine that if she walked with us today, she would be tweeting and texting in praise of her Son.  She wants us to love him as she does.  She wants us to follow him and listen to his words (in a way, if we read the Gospels regularly, isn’t this similar to reading a personal blog from Jesus?)

What might Jesus be saying to us today?  Do we hear his voice assuring us, “Do not be afraid”?  Can we hear the gentleness in his voice as he reminds us, “Love one another as I have loved you!”  And as the early Church gathered in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus, the Acts of the Apostles recount that “All joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus.”  Mary teaches us to be PRESENT in the community!  Perhaps during this month of May, we can try to be more present, more attentive to the words of Jesus, more loving , more faithful and more faith-filled as we strive to follow Mary’s example in embracing her Son and her Son’s beloved people.

Read Full Post »