Homily May 5, 2013 Sixth Sunday of Easter C

Posted in christian, Christianity, ecclesiology, ethics, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on April 30, 2013

What is interesting during this Easter time is that the first reading each week is from the Acts of the Apostles. What could be a little confusing about this is that the readings from Acts deal with a time in the early church when Christ had already ascended to his Father and had sent his Spirit to continue His church and invigorate His work.

With the Gospels, we have seen all the pronouncements of Christ’s love and peace and of course his new command to “Love one another as I have loved you”. Yet in today’s first reading, we see that Judean Jews and Antiochian Gentiles have their own ideas of what is required of to be Christians.. Dissension, debate, dispute arose in the community and only the Apostles could resolve it. So we see the appeal to Jerusalem. But in the end if we think about it, they have taken the simple and created the complex much as we do today as we seek to see everything spelled out.. Christ’s command and teachings were simple and clear really, but people of the world have their own ideas and interpretations of what is and what is said. Knowledge and science and just the natural evolving of the world has changed the whole outlook of what the world is. The role of men and women in the world is certainly different from it was in Christ’s time. It is certainly not for us to judge the goodness of the wrongness of how things have evolved but to adjust to how it has. Laws and dictates must naturally evolve and change to keep in the reality of what Christ has commanded. Loving one another as Christ loved hasn’t changed. Living in his spirit is possible when we are open to it and live by it not trying to limit the spirit or put it into some predefined box. Love and forgiveness have no limits. With these come Christ’s peace. Judgments are put aside and left for God. We can not forget that our understanding is so limited that we can really err in judging others.

Jesus says today, whoever loves me will keep my word, He promised to send His Spirit, his Advocate who teaches us what we need to know. That is why the elders, the Bishops of the Church, come together and in conjunction with the Spirit and the Church at large decide the course and action of the Church. This is the ultimate gift of peace and understanding given to us to remove the need for dissension and dispute. From this we will truly receive the peace of Christ bestow and given by the Father and Spirit. Through all this we can become one in Christ and with each other.

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 30, 2013

portrait-of-christ-1440.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

John 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that a good tree bears good fruit. Peace, love, joy, self-control, and faith are each among the fruits of the Holy Spirit which Paul lists in Galatians. The presence of these characteristics described in today’s gospel are signs to us that the Holy Spirit abides in our lives. Jesus left us so that the Spirit of God, which moves where the Spirit wills, could come and abide with us to continue the Master’s work among us.

Saint of the day: Blessed Marie of the Incarnation, O.S.U., was an Ursuline nun who was the leader of the group of nuns sent to establish the Ursuline Order in New France, which founded the oldest educational institution for females in North America. She was beatified in 1980.

She was born Marie Guyart in Tours, France, the fourth of the eight children of Florent Guyart, a master baker, and his wife, Jeanne Michelet, a member of the minor aristocracy. At her father’s direction, she married Claude Martin, a silk merchant, with whom she had a son, also named Claude, before her husband died, leaving her a widow at the age of 19. Martin left behind a struggling business that Marie was able to make profitable before selling it, and returning to her family home. Free to pursue her religious inclinations, she then took a vow of celibacy, while living with her parents and supporting herself and her son with embroidery. She experienced a mystical vision in March 1620, that set her on a new path of devotional intensity.

After a year with her parents, Guyart acceded to a request by her sister and brother-in-law, Paul Buisson, in the running of a major transport company for the colony. This work had her nursing the marieguyardemployees who were sick and injured, as well as running the large stables and warehouse.

In 1631, after working with a spiritual director for many years, Guyart decided to enter the Ursuline Convent in Tours to try her religious vocation, at which time she received the religious name by which she is now known. She left her son in the care of the Buisson family, but the emotional pain of the separation would remain with them both. Later, when her son had became a Benedictine monk, they corresponded candidly about their spiritual and emotional trials.

Not long after her admission to the convent, during Christmastide of 1634, Marie was guided by visions to go to New France in order to help to establish the Catholic faith in the New World, in which vision she saw herself accompanied by a woman unknown to her. In February 1639 she was introduced to Marie-Madeline de Chauvigny de la Peltrie. She was a widow who was also drawn to serve in the new colony and had heard of Marie’s interest in this, being financially able to support such an endeavor. Marie immediately recognized her as the woman from the vision she had experience five years earlier. Marie, along with another Ursuline, Sister Marie-de-Saint-Joseph, aged 22, received permission to undertake this mission. Then they accompanied de la Peltrie to Paris, where they had to sign a contract with the Company of One Hundred Associates who were responsible for the running of the colony, and with the Jesuit Fathers, responsible for its spiritual life. Despite the strong opposition of her family, de la Peltrie signed over the bulk of her estate to the Ursuline Order for the maintenance of the mission in New France. They then traveled to Dieppe, the port of departure for New France, where a member of the local Ursuline community, Sister Cécile de Sainte-Croix, volunteered to join their mission.

The group set sail in May 1639 and landed in Quebec City the following August. The group managed to found the first school in what would become Canada, as well as the Ursuline Monastery of Quebec. Both the French colonists and the local Native people sought the education of their daughters by the nuns, and a monastery was soon opened, with a boarding school. In 1645, Mother Marie developed liver disease which was to trouble her the rest of her life. Nevertheless, she led the school, taught the students, guided the other nuns and worked to find the funds needed to keep the community functioning. Additionally, she soon mastered the local languages and composed dictionaries in Algonquin and Iroquois, a sacred history in Algonquin, and a catechism in Iroquois. Marie died at the monastery she had built on April 30, 1672.

Spiritual reading: “The times are bad! The times are troublesome!” This is what humans say. But we are our times. Let us live well and our times will be good. Such as we are, such are our times. (Augustine of Hippo)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 29, 2013

9f2693d1a7d8ac6abf7ea66f9dca8654_w600Gospel reading of the day:

John 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

13d83acaa158e93637181100d56b7db8_w600Reflection on the gospel reading: Pentecost this year falls on May 13, 2013, and we begin now our preparations for the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father sends to us in Jesus’ name. The Holy Spirit still moves among us to reveal truths to us that we are not prepared to hear: if the Holy Spirit has something to say to us, it’s safe to say that whether or not we’re prepared to hear it, the truth the Holy Spirit wants to tell is the only truth worth hearing. This is the same Spirit who led Jesus into the desert to be tempted, the same Spirit that deprived the Son of Man of a place to lay his head for three years, the same Spirit which spoke of suffering and death to Jesus in the Garden, and the same Spirit which led Jesus to the cross.

In an age that has technology that looks into the inner workings of the human brain, in an age that has technology that peers out to the origins of the universe in deepest space, in an age that has uncovered and understood evidence about the migrations of early humans out of Africa into the rest of the world, are we, knowing the truth is frequently unsettling and painful, prepared to understand what the Holy Spirit is teaching us about the mysteries of our humanity and God’s loving creative continuing presence?

Saint of the day: Elisabeth was born on May 25, 1851, in a humble dwelling situated on the Main Rural Road of La Presentation, a town not far from St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. She was the fourth of eleven children born to Théophile Bergeron and Basiliste Petit. Her parents were poor and could not allow her to go to school very long. However, she was not lacking initiative. Thus, at the age of eight, she decided she would ‘walk to catechism classes’ and ‘make her first communion’ like her brother Octave who was eleven years old. She ran away from home, pleaded with the parish priest and, finally, succeeded in convincing her father. Elisabeth got what she wanted : she received communion for the first time on the same day as her brother.

2 ElisabethBergeronfondatricedesSoeursdeSaint-Joseph_fWhen she was fourteen, she wanted to enter the community of the Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe but the Superior General said she was too young. Consequently, she stayed with her parents. When they became expatriates and settled in the United States because of the economic crisis, she moved with them. First in Brunswick, New Hampshire and then in Salem, Massachusetts, Elisabeth discovered her talents as a catechist. In the evenings, after a long day of work in the cotton mill, she found both the time and the enthusiasm to teach her immigrant compatriots the essential elements of the Catholic faith. In March 1870, the Bergerons were able to return to their own country with some savings that gave them a bit of security. Clarisse, Elisabeth’s younger sister, was by that time an excellent housekeeper. Elisabeth returned to her former dreams.

Confidently, Elisabeth went first of all to the Sisters of Mercy, then to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, and finally to the Adorers of the Precious Blood; but she failed at every one of her attempts to enter the convent. She was not discouraged and decided instead to put all of this into God’s hands, and God called her to undertake a project way beyond her imagination. For some time, the bishop of St. Hyacinthe was saddened by the plight of the rural schools: the teachers were too few and inadequately educated. He already knew Elisabeth Bergeron and invited her to come and see him. He told her about his wish that she found a congregation of teaching sisters for the poor children living out in the country. Elisabeth immediately exclaimed: ‘But, I’m not educated!’ This did not trouble the bishop. He thought of the ignorance of the apostles who, nevertheless, founded the Church. Elisabeth accepted in faith and surrendered to the will of God.

elisab10On September 12, 1877, Elisabeth Bergeron founded, with three companions more educated than herself, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Saint Hyacinthe. They moved into the abandoned schoolhouse in the town of La Providence (now a part of St. Hyacinthe). Their poverty was extreme, but their joy was great. On September 17, the new school welcomed eighty pupils, boys and girls, who were divided into two groups since there were only two teaching sisters. Elisabeth encouraged the children to learn and talked to them about God. She also saw to the numerous material tasks in order to relieve the teachers.

At the outset named Superior of the new Congregation, she held this responsibility for only two years. On the second anniversary of the founding, Bishop Moreau designated a sister who was more educated to replace her. This, Elisabeth accepted wholeheartedly. From then on, she served either as the Assistant Superior or General Councillor until 1925. By her life totally given for the service of others, Elisabeth was an example for her sisters. Neither retirement, illness, nor death prevented her from radiating God’s peace, joy, and tenderness. She died on April 29, 1936 and was declared venerable in 1996.

Spiritual reading: The sense of futility is one of the greatest evils of the day . . . People say, “What can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?” They cannot see that we can only lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time; we can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. (Dorothy Day)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 28, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 13:31-33a, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will head-of-christ-1650.jpg!Blogknow that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: St. John of the Cross once wrote that in the evening of our lives, we will be judged on love alone. I think most of us when we think about perfection are tempted to a little pharisaic hair-splitting–if we can only fulfill the letter of the law perfectly, we shall be perfect. But this isn’t what Jesus asks us to do. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, when he tells us to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect, he quite plainly explains what he means by perfection. We are to love wantonly. We are to love profligately. We are to love dangerously. We are to love with complete abandon. There are no litmus tests. There are no means tests. There are no standards of worthiness we are to use. If you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? In Christian life, what makes us perfect is not that we adhere well to a set of rules; it is that we love well and consistently. St. John of the Cross also counseled that where there is no love, put love, and you will find love. It isn’t worthiness that earns the right to be loved; it loving which makes both the giver and the receiver of love worthy–even perfect.

Spiritual reading: The meaning of life is found in the giving and receiving of love. (John Paul II)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 27, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples: “If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The gospel of John commences with the proclamation that Jesus is the Word of the Father. In this passage, which comes from Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper, Jesus tells Philip and the rest of his disciples that he and the Father are one. As the Father’s Word to us, Jesus is God communicating God’s self to us. When Jesus speaks, the Father speaks. In our Christian faith, we acknowledge Jesus as the Way to the Father. Jesus leads us to that very end which is the fullness of life itself, life lived in the presence of God.

Saint of the day: Saint Zita was born in 1212 in Tuscany in the village of Monsagrati, not far from Lucca where, at the age of 12, she became a servant in the Faintinelli household. For a long time, she was unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten by her employers and fellow servants for her hard work and obvious goodness. The incessant ill-usage, however, was powerless to deprive her of her inward peace, her love of those who wronged her, and her respect for her employers. By this meek and humble self-restraint, Zita at last succeeded in overcoming the malice of her fellow-servants and her employers, so much so that she was placed in charge of all the affairs of the house. Her faith had enabled her to persevere against their abuse, and her constant piety gradually moved the family to a religious awakening.

Zita often said to others that devotion is false if slothful. She considered her work as an employment assigned her by God, and as part of her penance, and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep. She took care to hear mass every morning with great devotion before she was called upon by the duties of her station, in which she employed the whole day with such diligence and fidelity that she seemed to be carried to them on wings, and studied when possible to anticipate them.

One anecdote relates a story of Zita giving her own food or that of her master to the poor. On one morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need. Some of the other servants ensured the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened; when they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, baking the bread for her.

Zita died peacefully in the Fatinelli house on April 27, 1272. It is said that a star appeared above the attic where she slept at the moment of her death. She was 60 years old, and had served and edified the family for 48 years. By her death, she was practically venerated by the family. After one hundred and fifty miracles wrought in the behalf of such as had recourse to her intercession were juridically proven, she was canonized in 1696.

Spiritual reading: God who is infinite, all powerful, has become human, the least of human beings. My way is always to seek the lowest place, to be as little as my Master, to walk with him step by step as a faithful disciple. My way is to live with my God who lived this way all his life and who has given me such an example from his very birth. (Charles de Foucauld)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 26, 2013

christ-in-silence.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

John 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: In today’s gospel reading, Jesus asks us not to let our hearts be troubled. This theme, that we not be afraid, arises over and over throughout the pages of scripture. It is an interesting theme given now what we know about the neurological origins of fear and their very useful functions in our lives. Fear serves a very useful function in our lives: it keeps us out of trouble by giving us a proper sense of caution in the face of things that can injure us. It sometimes, however, is inappropriate, since it can impede our full development as human beings. We are not willing to take risks when a given risk might allow us to grow and become better human beings. Moreover, as children of God, we may fail to trust that the Christ already has accomplished the total victory and that all the particularities we encounter are, in fact, simply how God is working out that victory in our lives. So let us not let our hearts be troubled, because all the adversities we face and all the adversities we fear really are not so bad in light of what Jesus already has done to assure the final place of our peace.

Saint of the day: Giovanni Battista Piamarta was born into a poor family in Brescia, Italy on November 26, 1841 and was given a sound Christian upbringing. He entered the seminary in 1860 and was ordained a priest in 1865. Fr. Piamarta focused on young people, work and families, He first worked enthusiastically with youth in rural parishes and later in Brescia. He was distinguished for his zeal and dedication to children, to the sick, and to spiritual direction. The surrounding social scene spurred him to create an institution for workers’ children. Aided by Mons. Pietro Capretti, he founded the Istituto Artigianelli. Its aim was to give boys, especially the destitute, a Christian and professional training with which to face the new industrial society. In spite of many great difficulties, he organized workshops for the different skills and built housing for 100 children. He was like a father to his boys and gave them a deeply religious upbringing. To alleviate the extreme poverty of the peasants who were emigrating to distant America, he founded, with Fr. Bonsignori, an agricultural colony in Remedello to teach and experiment with new farming techniques, which notably increased the productivity of the soil and attracted farmers from Italy and abroad. To ensure the continuity of this work, he founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1902. With his mother, he also paved the way for the foundation of a female congregation, the Humble Servants of the Lord. Fr. Piamarta relied on continuous prayer and total trust in divine Providence and always gave priority to the spiritual and material well-being of others. He died in Fr. Bonsignori’s arms in Remedello on April 25, 1913, surrounded by his brothers. He can be considered a father for the young, an example for priests and religious, a model for teachers, an interceder for families and the defender of workers. Along with Kateri Tekakwitha, Marianne Cope, and several others, Fr. Piamarta will be canonized in October 2012.

Spiritual reading: Unless we believe and see Jesus in the appearance of bread on the altar, we will not be able to see him in the distressing disguise of the poor. (Mother Teresa)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 25, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it 6e19ab4b265bb67ac611d392af643f38_w600will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Today the Church celebrates the memory of Mark the Evangelist with a resurrection account from Mark’s gospel. The passage is Jesus’ commissioning of his disciples at the time of his ascension. It is a promise of Jesus’ fidelity to his church which, at the moment of his translation to the right of the Father, receives the mission which Jesus had carried out during his life. Like Jesus did, the Church tells the good news, inspires faith, draws people in, heals the sick, soothes the tormented, and carries the wonder of life in God.

Saint of the day: Mark the Evangelist is the traditional author of the Gospel of Mark. He is one of the Seventy Disciples, and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, one of the original four main episcopal sees of Christianity. An unbroken tradition identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, and John Mark as the cousin of Barnabas. An exception is found in Hippolytus of Rome, who in his work On the Seventy Apostles, distinguishes Mark the Evangelist (2 Tim 4:11), John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:37), and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10; saint-mark-the-evangelist-14_0Phlm 24). According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the “Seventy Disciples” who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel (Luke 10:1ff.). However, when Jesus explained that his flesh was “real food” and his blood was “real drink”, many disciples left him (John 6:44-6:66), presumably including Mark. He was later restored to faith by the apostle Peter; he then became Peter’s interpreter, wrote the Gospel of Mark, founded the church of Africa, and became the bishop of Alexandria.

According to Eusebius of Caesarea (Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1-4), Herod Agrippa I in his first year of reign over the whole Judea (AD 41) killed James, son of Zebedee and arrested Peter, planning to kill him after the Passover. Peter was saved miraculously by angels, and escaped out of the realm of Herod (Acts 12:1-19). Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor (visiting the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, as mentioned in 1 Pet 1:1), and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (AD 42; Eusebius, Eccl, Hist. 2.14.6). Somewhere on the way, Peter picked up Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter. Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark (Eccl. Hist. 15-16), before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius (43).

In AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark traveled to Alexandria [cf. Acts 15:36-41] and founded the Church of Alexandria, which today is part of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself. He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa.

CAP_8652~The-Way-Home-PostersAccording to Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. 2.24.1), Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in the eighth year of Nero (62/63), probably, but not definitely, due to his coming death. Later Coptic tradition says that he was martyred in 68. It is believed that on the night when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane Mark had followed him there and the Temple guards saw him, he ran away and dropped his loincloth. His symbol is the Winged lion

Spiritual reading: There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation. (Madeleine L’Engle)

Homily April 28, 2013 Fifth Sunday of Easter C

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on April 24, 2013

The gospel today is from John’s account of the Last Supper. Jesus knows it is at the end of His time with them and to prepare them for what was to be their future He gives them a new commandment. Everything is contained in this commandment. He commanded: “love one another”. He explained that as he loved them so they should love one another. This he said was to be the way others would know his disciples, that they have love for one another.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The centuries since have shown how hard it really is. So many things stand in the way of fully carrying out that command. While it sounds easy, it somehow seems like climbing some insurmountable mountain. We can see and acknowledge it but find it hard to practice. Recently, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Emil Kapaun, a priest chaplain in the Army during the Korean war. His award was for his bravery and conduct as a soldier, but his soldiering was different. He had no gun and during world war 2 and Korea he served thousands of soldiers. In 1950, he was sent into the war and as chaplain went straight to the front where his men were, ministering to the wounded, dead and dying. Ultimately, he was captured and even then he continued on ministering, giving his food and all he had to his men until he reached the point that he had physically given all that was possible except his life, when he was taken away and put aside in a hut called a hospital to die. However, in the months that led up to his death, he left a lasting impression on his men as a real man for others and a true chaplain and soldier. Beyond that he is seen as a candidate for sainthood.

I think we can see that this man was one who took and followed Jesus’ command. His years as a priest were spent mostly in the military, yet he never lost sight of loving care of his men. Even in terms of military honor he stood out further as a Christian marked by the love he had for others. We today see this as extraordinary, but really it is so because so often we put roadblocks in our own way that somehow we fail to love in this same way. This I think is our thought for today, love one another, give and forget the “I” or “me”.

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 24, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: In John’s gospel, Jesus works seven unmistakable signs to demonstrate his mission comes from the Father. This passage in the gospel concludes the seven signs. In the passage, Jesus tells us that his Father’s commands will lead us to eternal life. God does not desire any of us to perish. God’s whole will is that we live. God is working for the salvation of each and every one of us without exception.

Saint of the day: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis of Sigmaringen would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint’s life.

Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed “the poor man’s lawyer,” Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor.

As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers.

He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions.

He was accused of opposing the peasants’ national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God’s hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed.

He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.

Spiritual reading: If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark. (John of the Cross)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 23, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The Feast of the Dedication is Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. It is the celebration of the re-dedication of the second Temple after the revolt of the Maccabees, which at the time of the gospel passage recounted today was the most recent liberation of the Jewish people from foreign oppression. The gospel tells us that it was winter. Winter, of course, is a time of barrenness, when little grows, and life is hard, and we await the renewal of life in the distant spring.

It was into the world’s winter that Jesus came, but his presence in the world, analogous in a sense to the celebration of the Festival of Lights, was the liberation of his people–not just Israel in the strictest sense but all of us, the whole Church. It his presence in the winter of our lives which lights up our worlds and liberates us from the consequences of sin and death. The gospel tells us we can trust in this, because God is faithful.

blessed-teresa-maria-of-the-cross-01Saint of the day: Teresa Maria de la Cruz was born March 2, 1846, in Florence, Italy, and baptized with the name Teresa Adelaida Cesina Manetti. Her father died when she was a child. The loss stayed with her all her life and led her to devote her life to helping the poor and disadvantaged, especially orphans, whom she called her greatest treasure. In 1872, she and some girlfriends formed a small circle to educate young people in the Christian doctrine. On July 16, 1876, at the age of 30, she was admitted to the third order of the Carmelites and changed her name to Teresa Maria of the Cross. On July 12, 1888, she was among the first 27 nuns to take the habit of the Discalced Carmelites. The order was approved by on February 27, 1904, with the name Carmelite Tertiaries of Santa Teresa. Teresa Maria was always in poor health, physically and spiritually. She met with much resistance to her work with the poor, much slander about her personal life, and a long period of spiritual dryness, but all who met her commented on the air of joy and peace she brought to her work, and she often prayed to God to make her suffer more, to squeeze her to the last drop. Meanwhile, her caring knew no bounds: she would give anything to anyone, never thinking of herself. Teresa Maria died in Florence on April 3, 1910, while repeating: “Oh, my Jesus, if you want, make me suffer more. . . .” Then she cried ecstatically: “It’s open . . . I’m going!”

Spiritual reading: I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding. (John O’Donohue)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 22, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 10:1-10

Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Not too long ago, I attended a Sunday service in a Presbyterian church. The people were welcoming. The music sparkled. The prayers and the sermon inspired me. There was no question in my mind that Jesus was present in the gathering. At a fellowship meal afterwards, I had the pleasure to sit next to a Presbyterian minister, and he asked me how I liked the service. I told him, “It never ceases to amaze me how attractive Jesus is no matter in which tradition I encounter him.” This minister is a respected theologian in his denomination. He shared with me that he had attended an interdenominational theological event a few years earlier and had taken part in a mass in an intimate setting which one of the Catholic theologians at the meeting celebrated, and he had had the same experience: how attractive Jesus is wherever he met him. This is the meaning of Jesus as the good shepherd in the parable which we read today: for those of us who love the Lord, we always recognize him wherever we encounter him.

Saint of the day: Tomas Munk was born in Budapest on January 29, 1924 as the first son of a Jewish couple. He and his family were not observant Jews and didn’t believe in God. In the 1930s, Tomas Munk became interested in Catholicism, and after his conversion in 1939, he was received in the Catholic Church. Tomas studied in Bratislava and partly in Ruzomberok. He decided to become tomas_munkpriest in the Society of Jesus where he entered on July 30, 1943. In the autumn of 1944, Nazi soldiers came in Ruzomberok. After several months the whole family was arrested and the Nazis eventually came to the novitiate and took him away as a Jewish convert. According to a fellow novice, now a respected Jesuit, Tomas confided to him having prayed all night in the novitiate chapel: “I have sacrificed my life for my nation, for its conversion, and for the Church.” Tomas and his father, who was also Catholic, was shot on the way to the concentration camp on either April 21 or 22, 1945, just over a week before Adolf Hitler committed suicide in the bunker. The investigation into Tomas’s and his father’s heroic virtues, as a first step in the process toward beatification, commenced in the Diocese of Bratislava in 2011.

Spiritual reading: To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. (C.S. Lewis)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 21, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 10:27-30

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to shepherd-with-a-flock-of-sheep-1884.jpg!Blogme, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus was a man of his time and his place, who taught the people who were around him using images and metaphors which were accessible to them. In his time, so dependent on activities like subsistence farming and maintaining herds and flocks, images which were accessible and meaningful to his listeners included the metaphor of shepherds who watch over their flocks and sheep who hear, recognize, and follow the shepherd’s voice and by means of that voice, remain safe. Jesus, of course, is the shepherd, and as the shepherd, he is our way, truth, and life. The course he sets for us may not always be evident, but if we listen for his voice and follow it, we will be safe.

Spiritual reading: Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because those who forgive you out of love take upon themselves the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice. The price you must pay for your own liberation through another’s sacrifice is that you in turn must be willing to liberate in the same way, irrespective of the consequences to yourself. (Dag Hammarskjold)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 20, 2013

walk-to-emmaus-1938.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

John 6:60-69

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: When we’re young, full of hope, and especially excited to be here, life holds something of an illusion of limitless possibilities. There is a certain truth to that experience of infinite openness, because when we’re first starting out, we can choose almost anything–at least, almost anything within the context of who we are and where we are. But whatever truth there is in the limitless possibilities we perceive when we’re young, there is also a falsehood. We make choices at every given moment, and every choice we make–even if it is to do nothing–turns us into something. Choosing nothing day after day is an act of self-determination.

Every day we breathe poses to us certain questions: Do I believe? Do I really believe? Who is God? Who am I? Who am I in relationship to God? And if I am this or that in relation to God, what does it mean in the concrete messiness of my day-to-day life?

In today’s gospel, all the disciples make a choice. Some choose to return to their old and comfortable pursuits; some choose to walk the road which Jesus walks. Robert Frost once famously wrote that he had taken the path less traveled, and it had made all the difference. The choices we make today make all the difference. It is possible, I think, to live a comfortable life outside the light of the gospel, but we only walk this way once. Simon Peter asked the right question, “To whom shall we go?”

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Juan Paco Baeza was born on June 29, 1890, in Murcia, Spain. His parents were humble laborers. He was baptized the day after his birth in the Cathedral of Murcia was Juan Pedro Pablo Mariano de Gracia. From childhood, he helped his father work the land and picked up trash along the streets of the city. As a young man regularly expressed his wish to be a priest. At age 16, he was prepared by a priest friend of the family and entered the College of St. Joseph Vocations, Diocesan Seminary today. He was ordained a priest Juan Paco Baezain the Cathedral of Murcia in May 1918.

Fr. Juan had various pastoral appointment until 1939. At that point, he became the pastor of El Salvador in Jumilla and stayed in that position until 1968. Then he served as chaplain of a monastery and later, the chaplain of an asylum where he served until his death. Fr. Juan made his life into a virtue and a gift. The people who knew him understood that whatever their need, Fr. Juan would be available to try and do something to alleviate it. He created two homes for poor and abandoned children. During the Spanish Civil War, he labored to prevent detention and sentences of hard labor for people in Jumilla. He died on April 20, 1978. His diocese has concluded its investigation into whether Fr. Juan lived a life of heroic virtue.

Spiritual reading: For Jesus there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved. (Fr. Henri Nouwen)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 19, 2013

christ-ii.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

John 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Reflection on the gospel reading: The Father invites us into the very life and being of Jesus. Just as Jesus humbled himself to enter into all the messiness of the human condition, the Father seeks to divinize us by living lives modeled on Jesus’ complete gift of self. Here the Lord continues to join and renew his presence among in the world through all the ways in which we who as church are at once his body and his bride, and it is in this that he extends us his commitment never to leave us orphans.

Saint of the day: Barbara Micarelli was born Dec. 3, 1845 in Sulmona Italy, the 6th of 7 children. Not much is known about her early life. Her parents were from Aquila and when Barbara was about 13 her family returned to Aquila, where they lived a simple life.

At around the age of 20 Barbara was stricken by a serious illness. Doctors told her family there was nothing they could do and advised them to prepare for her death. Her parents trustingly turned to St. Joseph and begged him to wrench a miracle from the Lord. Suddenly young Barbara woke up as from a deep sleep which had lasted for days and asked for something to eat, proclaiming to everyone the incredible good news that St. Joseph had cured her.

barbara-micarelliThis divine intervention was pivotal to Barbara’s vocation and constituted a turning point in her life’s journey. For her, the gift of new life came through the charity of God (which she often spoke of). Charity gave Barbara her life back, and charity in turn became her life: charity towards others–the poor, the orphans and the abandoned. The notion of founding a religious community began to occupy her mind.

In 1870 Barbara left her home with her sister Carmela, to take an apartment. They were soon followed by Catherine Vicentini, the first spiritual sister. They began to teach catechism and provide instruction to the children of the neighborhood, home economics to the girls who had come to live with them, and home assistance to the sick. On Christmas Day 1879, Barbara professed the vows of
obedience and chastity and was invested in the Franciscan habit, taking the name Sr. Mary Joseph of the Infant Jesus (Her final profession of the 4 vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and charity 88352_barbaramicarelli2_ralfwas Jan. 18, 1882 at the Church of Aracoeli, Rome). In 1888, Mother Mary Joseph’s dream of opening a house at St. Mary of the Angels, near the Portiuncula, a short distance from Assisi.

She was sent to Sardinia to open a house but while she was there her already precarious health worsened. After a few months she had to return to Rome (1898) where she remained for a few years, separated from the Institute which she founded. These were years of great suffering due to her serious illness but also due to misunderstandings on the part of her superiors. Weak and exhausted, her only desire was to live her last days among her daughters in St. Mary of the Angels. She returned to St. Mary of the Angels, and knocked at the door of the convent, but she was denied entrance. She was taken to Assisi, where she was welcomed by the Franciscan Sisters of Assisi, with whom she remained until she died on April 19, 1909. Her final words were of pardon and blessing for the daughters. Her cause for canonization was opened in 1959 and the investigation of her virtues has made some progress in recent years.

Spiritual reading: There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. (Mahatma Gandhi)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 18, 2013

0ff22a866ae54f3b05900767c7f72d7e_w600Gospel reading of the day:

John 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus is our sustenance. By allowing his life to permeate our lives, we come alive. There have been many wonderful and wise people throughout the ages, Confucius, the Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Mohammed, and their wisdom can instruct and enlighten, but Jesus alone is food for the journey. Jesus alone is the life that gives life, not just wisdom for a moment in time, but a person whose existence flows through us and is closer to us than we are to ourselves.

Saint of the day: Cornelia Connelly, born Cornelia Peacock, was the founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, a religious congregation of women. She was born in Philadelphia in 1809, began her conversion to Catholicism in the southern part of the United States, and in 1846 founded the first of many Holy Child schools, in England.

Cornelia_ConnellyAfter both her parents’ deaths, she came to live with her older sister and her sister’s husband. Despite her families protests, she married Pierce Connelly, an Episcopal priest, in December 1831, and the two moved to Natchez, Mississippi, where Pierce had accepted the rectorship of the Holy Trinity Episcopal church. During this time their family grew, and experienced tragedy. In early 1840, still grieving the death of a baby daughter while living in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, Cornelia made her first retreat of three days. God touched her deeply, and her interior life was profoundly changed. In February, her two-year old son John Henry was playing with his dog when the dog accidentally pushed him into a vat of boiling sugar. He died of severe burns in Cornelia’s arms after 43 hours. From this anguish Cornelia’s lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of Sorrows was born.

When Cornelia was pregnant with their fifth child in October of the same year, Pierce told her he felt called to the Catholic priesthood. Despite their youth, Cornelia agreed to move to Rome. Soon afterward Rev. Connelly elected to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood, where in July 1845 Pierce was ordained. After considerable prayer and soul-searching, Cornelia too found a calling to serve God. She went with just two of her children to Rome hoping to join the Society of the Sacred Heart. With a higher ordained priest’s help she applied to create a new teaching religious institute.

In 1846, the new Foundress, with her two youngest children and three companions, arrived in Derby. The Society of the Holy Child Jesus had begun. Its beginning was small and there were many deprivations, but a spirit of joy and peace prevailed; Cornelia was able to inspire in her sisters something of her own serenity in adversity. Soon they were running schools for the poor and needy, and holding day, night, and Sunday classes to accommodate the young factory workers. The institute, whose constitution is based on that of the Jesuits, remains devoted to teaching young women, and operates schools primarily in the United States.

venerable-cornelia-connelly-01As her Society grew and her work in education flourished, great personal anguish returned when Pierce renounced his priesthood and his Catholic faith and came to England to regain custody of their children. He removed them from the schools they were attending and denied Cornelia all contact with them, hoping thus to force her to return to him as his wife. He even pressed a lawsuit against her that gained notoriety in England, but the courts rejected his claim after a retrial.

Cornelia Connelly died on April 18, 1879, at St. Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, where she had established a school. Today, the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus are active in 14 countries, striving to live the apostolic life as Cornelia did, seeking to meet the wants of the age through works of spiritual mercy. They are engaged in education and related spiritual and pastoral ministries. In 1992, the Catholic Church proclaimed Cornelia as Venerable.

Spiritual reading: All we can do at Eucharist is kneel in gratitude and then stand in confidence. Actually, St Augustine said that the proper Christian posture for prayer was standing, because we no longer had to grovel before such a God or fear any God that is like Jesus. (Richard Rohr)

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 17, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: When we love someone, we wrap our arms around that person. Jesus comes to gather all of us into his arms. He has received a mission from the Father to save us for the Father and himself. God, who can do all things, does not undertake lightly the mission of working out our road to Godself because God’s arms exist to wrap themselves around us.

Saint of the day: The Venerable , (January 6, 1880-April 17, 1940) was an American Catholic Religious Sister who founded the Sisters of Saint Casimir.[1]

Mother Maria Kaupas, S.S.C. was born Casimira Kaupas in Ramygala, Lithuania in 1880, then part of the Russian Empire. At the age of 17 she emigrated to the United States, where she settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to work as a housekeeper for her brother, the Rev. Anthony Kaupas, who was pastor of St. Joseph Parish there. While there she had her first contact with Religious Sisters and was attracted by their way of life. She also became aware of the struggle her countrymen had in the United States due to the language barrier, especially in their spiritual life.

KASIMIRA KAUPASOvercome by homesickness, Kaupas returned to Lithuania in 1901, but she kept seeking to determine where her call in life was. She soon resolved to become a teaching Sister, especially committed to the care of the Lithuanian immigrants in America.

Kaupas’ brother soon informed her that the Lithuanian clergy in the United States were seeking to establish a new community of Religious Sisters dedicated to teaching the youth of their community in a religious setting, and to preserve their native language and customs. She was asked to lead this new venture and she began her studies toward this end with the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross in Switzerland in October 1902. Although the Priests Council disbanded in 1904, Kaupas determined nonetheless to pursue the idea of a new religious congregation.

In 1905 Jeremiah F. Shanahan, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, agreed to sponsor this new congregation. Mother M. Cyril, I.H.M., accepted Kaupas and two companions into the novitiate of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, based in Scranton, for their preparation for consecrated life. At that time she received the religious name of Sister Maria. On August 29, 1907, Kaupas made her profession (religious) of religious vows, and the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Casimir was founded.

The Sisters immediately began to work in the parochial schools of the region. In 1911, they established their motherhouse in Chicago, where there was a large Lithuanian population. They began to staff schools in Lithuanian parishes of the city. Over time, Sisters were sent to teach in many parishes across the United States, both Lithuanian and non-Lithuanian. Their service also came to include home missions in New Mexico. In 1928, the Sisters of St. Casimir began their health care ministry with the opening of Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago.

Kaupas died in Chicago, Illinois, on April 17, 1940. In 2010, she was declared Venerable.

Spiritual reading: Let the church gather crying tears that fill a million oceans. For we are people of the resurrection. And we confess, despite all evidence to the contrary, that death will not win. (Margaret Aymer)