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Posts Tagged ‘vocations’

“We are always climbing the mountain, but Jubilee is a time to pause and enjoy the view,” said Sister Rose Marie Tulacz, who celebrated 40 years, as a Sister of Notre Dame on July 11, surrounded by her loved ones. On Jubilee day, Sister Rose Marie renewed her vows in the company of three other Sisters of Notre Dame. “The faith and courage the Jubilarians witness to in their call to religious life inspires me. Courage and faithful commitment is an undervalued trait in today’s society,”

At the age of 18 after high school graduation, Sister Rose Marie entered the convent in 1972. She gratefully recalls her former novice directress, Sister Mary Damien, who mentored and encouraged a life of prayer, service and fortitude. After pronouncing first vows in 1975 as a Sister of Notre Dame, Sister Rose Marie taught for 16 years at the primary, elementary, and junior high level.

Since 1993, Sister is a photographer specializing in spiritual and humanitarian outreach. The Notre Dame Creations ministry has taken her around the globe where she has passionately deepened her engagement with the mission of the Church, scripture, and the family of God. Sister combines her gifts of liturgical and fine art photography, as well as writing, speaking, retreats, spiritual direction, and parish missions. In 2004, Sister Rose Marie produced a fine art book of photography and inspirational writing entitled In the Between. Proceeds from the book enabled the Sisters of Notre Dame in Tanzania and Kenya to build the Zinduka Women’s Center, Notre Dame School for elementary and high school students, Aloysia Orphanage, and Notre Dame Primary School.

In April of this year, Sister Rose Marie traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas for an immersion experience at the border of Mexico. She joined several Sisters of Notre Dame, all from different American Provinces, to minister at the border. She described her experience there, “witnessing the desperation of migrants facing deportation” as life changing. “I am grateful for the grace to respond to the call to come to the border and be unsettled by truth. I am grateful that despite the often-painful topics and emotional encounters, I see Jesus in the volunteers, the sisters and the immigrants,” she said.

Sister recently completed graduate studies in Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Boston College. She will be exhibiting Notre Dame Creations at the Papal World Family Meeting in the Philadelphia Convention Center. September 21-25, 2015.

Left, Themi Slums, Njiro, Anisha, Tanzania, East Africa Sr. Roshmi on left, Sr. Rose Marie holding child

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Since she became a postulant with the Sisters of Notre Dame nearly two years ago, Mayra Martinez feels she has grown into a more confident, peaceful person. Now, she is about to embark on the second step of her vocational journey. In August, Mayra, age 37, will move from Providence House in Long Beach, C.A. and travel to Covington, K.Y.  for two years of novitiate, which is a time of intense prayer, study of the Congregation and theological reflection.

“I’m choosing to move forward in the process of becoming a Sister of Notre Dame,” she said. “I’m  moving closer to making my first profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.”

Despite the challenges before her and the uncertainty of the next several years, Mayra feels unafraid.

“I’m amazed by the amount of grace and trust in God that I feel. It’s starting to become very real now. I know I won’t see my friends, family or the sisters in California for a while, so I feel a little sad, but I trust that He will take care of me.”

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Mayra Martinez (left) with Nicole Varnerin, both women are postulants with the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Mayra was recently accepted to Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, K.Y. where she will continue her education. When a woman completes the novitiate, she then professes vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for the first time and begins the ministry for which she has been prepared.

According to Mayra, the highlight of her experience in the community is living with and learning from the sisters. She has learned to live in a close-knit community, ask for help when she needs it and trust in God’s goodness and provident care.

“I’ve had many beautiful moments with my sisters. They’ve taught me that everything we do is rooted in prayer, the importance of the Eucharist, to think logically, and to stand up for myself. I love them all and I’m very excited for the next step in my journey.”

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SeekingGodDreamForMe2015

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The Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord to Mary recalls the angel, Gabriel, coming to the young woman, Mary, to ask her if she would be the mother of God’s Son, Jesus. The Catholic Church celebrates this feast on March 25 each year, nine months before the birth of Jesus.

The feast is important to all of us as an example. Mary, a young person, so in tune with God in her life, responds with an important “Yes” to God’s request to be the mother of his Son. Mary said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” As a young woman preparing for her marriage to Joseph, Mary did not know how this would happen, what this child would be like, what Jesus’ future would be, or what all this would mean for her and Joseph’s life together. And yet she could say “yes” to God. She modeled for us great faith and trust.

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It is a very important day for all Sisters of Notre Dame. Notre Dame means Our Lady so the sisters are, in a unique way, Sisters of Our Lady.  They chose the Annunciation their congregational feast because they want to model their lives after Mary’s by being open and ready to say “yes” to whatever God asks of them.

Today, let us pray for all the Sisters of Notre Dame that they continue to listen to God and say “yes” to whatever God asks of them. Let us pray for ourselves, our family members and our friends, that we may be open and ready to say “yes” when God asks something of us, even if we don’t understand.

Let us think about these words of the angel, Gabriel, as we say:

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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Ever wonder what it’s like to live like a Sister of Notre Dame? Now you can find out! Join us on Saturday, January 10, 2015 for a day of prayer, reflection and sharing at Notre Dame Center. See our event flyer for more information. Email Sister Val Roxburgh at sistervalsnd@gmail.com with questions.
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National Vocation Awareness Week

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 2-8. This observance, sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.

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Pope Francis, in his November 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, underlined the continued need to build a culture of vocations.  “The fraternal life and fervor of the community can awaken in the young a desire to consecrate themselves completely to God and to preaching of the Gospel. This is particularly true if such a living community prays insistently for vocations and courageously proposes to its young people the path of special consecration,” Pope Francis wrote.

“A culture of vocations is one that provides the necessary support for others to hear and respond to God’s call in their lives,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “With God’s grace, we help build that culture through fervent prayer, the witness of our lives and the encouragement we extend to those discerning a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life.”

A 2012 study, “Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S. Catholics,” conducted by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), highlighted the role community encouragement plays in the discernment process. (Full study: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/survey-of-youth-and-young-adults-on-vocations.cfm)

“The number three seems to be critical in making a difference in the life of someone contemplating a vocation,” said Father Shawn McKnight, USCCB’s executive director of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “When three or more people encourage someone to consider a religious vocation, he or she is far more likely to take serious steps toward answering that call.”

Father John Guthrie, associate director of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, adds that National Vocation Awareness Week should also focus on communities that are underrepresented among religious vocations today, especially Hispanics.

“While numbers of U.S. Hispanics pursuing religious vocations are picking up, they still lag behind the overall demographic trends,” said Father Guthrie. “Fifty-four percent of U.S. Catholics under the age of 25 are Hispanic, yet only 15 percent of students in major seminaries are Hispanic, and many of these were born in other countries. To reach this untapped potential, the Church must do far more to engage and support young people in these communities.”

Observance of Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for the celebration.  It was later moved to Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January.  Last year, after extensive consultation, the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations moved the observance of National Vocation Awareness Week to November to engage Catholic schools and colleges more effectively in this effort.  This will be the first year it will be held in November.

More information and resources for National Vocations Awareness Week, including a prayer card, suggested prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes are available online at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/national-vocation-awareness-week.cfm

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Looking for one last hurrah this summer?? “Hearing God’s Voice in a Noisy World” is a special retreat in August sponsored by the Archdiocese of LA and co-organized by our sisters!
Check it out:

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