CACINA

Daily Mass from Saint Jude the Apostle Mission

Sunday Mass with Fr Victor Ray from St Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Community

A reflection from the Saint Charles of Brazil Parish

If you would like to have a reflection considered for publication, please send your writing to Bp. Tony Green at revtonygreen@gmail.com

Reflection written by Alice Jo Weaver – St. Charles of Brazil Parish

The Gift of Abundance

As this pandemic extends into yet another month, it is easy to slip into boredom, despair, depression, even for the most optimistic among us.  Embracing the gift of God’s abundance becomes an intentional exercise in living in an awareness of the present moment.  God’s Kingdom is a place of abundance where every generous act overflows its original bounds and becomes part of the unbounded grace of God at work in the World. (Henri JM Nouwen)

In my purpose driven life, it is important for me to look beyond my frustrations and focus instead on the inventive sharing of the gift of my abundance with the greater community.  Early on I found purpose and a new “routine” by making masks and offering them to family, friends, and ultimately in weekly donations to a local hospital.  Materials for the masks are in great demand and difficult to find.  As a quilter I tapped into my abundance of scrap fabric and elastic to produce masks to help keep those in the greater community safe.

Recently, encouraged by an e-mail invitation from Bishop Tony to a Zoom gathering for “praying and sharing”, I tuned in to the session facilitated by Mother Monica Kennedy.  She focused our attention on abundance during these unprecedented times.  In the days following this Zoom event my thoughts kept returning to the word “abundance”.  Prayer and reflection opened my eyes to other resourceful gifts of abundance.   For example, the Abundance of thoughtfulness as reflected through the Parish Life Ministry at St. Charles of Brazil.  Since the pandemic keeps us physically separated from our faith community, this Ministry actively seeks ways to reach out in ways that serve practical, basic needs; spiritual enrichment; and lighthearted, socially-distanced events.  Through a phone tree, we learned of the need for short-term assistance from several of our parishioners.  We worked together to assist and empower them towards satisfactory resolutions to these challenges.  In addition, St. Charles offers an abundance of outreach via virtual fellowship offered after live-streaming Sunday Mass which enables our parish family to continue to know and stay connected to one another in a different way.

In an abundance of creativity, the Parish Life Ministry offered a Zoom Coronavirus Bingo (complete with white elephant prizes).  We also delivered Summer Solstice gift bags to every family, each containing a Blessing Jar.  Families were encouraged to fill these jars with written acknowledgements of the abundance of God’s blessings.

An abundance of faithfulness is evident as we continue the Lectio Divina series on the first three  Mondays of each month.  These evenings encourage us to Read (Lectio) Reflect (Meditatio) Respond (Oratio) and Rest (Contemplatio) using the Sunday Gospel.  We pray and reflect on the impact of God’s Words in these Scripture passages and the personal messages each participant hears in his/her heart.

 

The activities cited go a long way in strengthening our sense of a loving and supportive family community despite pandemic restrictions.  These unprecedented times may have turned our lives upside down for right now but the gift of God’s abundance challenges and empowers us to carry on in  our mission of service to others and to spread God’s love whenever and wherever we can.  God has no hands but ours.

 

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  1Cor. 9:6-7

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A reflection from CACINA Seminarian Mike Ellis

If you would like to have a reflection considered for publication, please send your writing to Bp. Tony Green at revtonygreen@gmail.com

 

Reflection written by Mike Ellis – CACINA Seminarian

“Love is patient, love is kind. . .  Love never fails.”  1 Corinthians 13: 4, 8 (NIV)

When I first entered Helen and Tom’s lives some time ago, it was during a time of crisis. As a chaplain for a local hospice organization, I had received a referral to make a call on them. In keeping with accepted practice, I had familiarized myself with their situation, or “case”, by reading the notes of various medical, social work, and related professionals involved in Helen’s care.  I knew, for instance, that Helen had been ill for some time with multiple debilitating diagnoses, and that even with the various services she was receiving, she was still largely dependent for all her daily needs on the constant care and attention of her husband Tom, who was determined to keep her at home.  And I knew that Tom was no spring chicken.

And so, as I prepared myself to meet them, driving up to their house, parking in their steep driveway, making sure the emergency brake was on before I got out, and slowly making my way up the steps to their front door, I said a prayer, asking God to help me help this couple who, according to everything I had read, was surely in crisis.

But the notes did not, and could not, prepare me for what I encountered when I entered their home.  For within fifteen minutes of meeting them, I realized that what I had actually entered was a love story.

I saw it all around me:  in the comfortable, cozy, welcoming informality of their home;  in the simple furnishings that reflected a shared lifetime together;  and, yes, in the many beautiful and thoughtfully crafted handmade quilts displayed with care on their walls. 

But most especially, and unmistakably, in their interactions with each other.  For although by the time I met her Helen was largely immobile and nonverbal, she was not relegated to a bedroom, a “sickroom”, in the back of the house.  Oh no. Instead, she was established in her recliner in the living room, where she and Tom could share each other’s company. And the really interesting thing about it was, in all the many hours I would subsequently spend with them over the next few months, I don’t think she ever took her eyes off of him.  And he, for his part, still clearly delighted in her company.

And sometimes Tom, in telling me about their past exploits on quilting trips, motorcycle rides, and snowmobile adventures, would look at  Helen, make a lovingly funny comment about the two of them, and then turn to me and say, “Look, she’s laughing.”

I confess I never quite saw what Tom did.  And that’s the whole point.

You see, those were private moments between two people who, despite the intrusiveness of illness and well-intentioned strangers, could still recognize, claim, and celebrate space they reserved for themselves alone.  Space only they could see and enter. Intimate space. Holy space.

Where do people learn to love like that?  Where did they?

To no one’s surprise, in time, Helen died. Which means I don’t make as many trips as I once did to that house with the steep driveway, taking care that the parking brake is on before I amble up those stairs to the front door.

But that’s ok.

They’re not in crisis anymore.

They never were.

“And now these three remain:  faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthinas 13:3 (NIV)

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Daily Reflection from the Pastor of Saint John of God Mission

Daily Mass with the CACINA Presiding Bishop

Reflection on the Body and Blood of Christ as important today as it always is

A reflection overlooked and missed for submitting, but more prevalent in our times today. Sorry, Fr. Michael. 

“The Eucharistic calls us to be in relationship is a challenge over and over again for us as believers and perhaps more importantly to us as a Church. At this time when we find ourselves so distant on this Bread of Life Sunday, how do we think about what it means to participate? To love those who seem unlovable. To go beyond the boundaries of our own understanding of who fits and who doesn’t.

I want to leave you with one final story.  Years ago I spent Easter Sunday in Kingston, Jamaica at a place where children who had essentially been abandoned to die in a dump were able to live out their lives with dignity. In the middle of the mass, a developmentally disabled child who had been making noises throughout the majority of the mass stood up at the very moment of epiclesis. As the priest raised the host above his head, the child stood up pointed and shouted “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Then he pointed to himself and said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” And finally he pointed at the entire crowd and said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” In that moment I knew that I had been fed far more than I could have ever imagined. So friends, as Christ reminds us that he’s the living bread come down from heaven, how can we participate in that reality here and now?”

 Catholic Women Preach

SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

SUSAN HAARMAN

Sunday Mass from St Charles of Brazil with Mother Monica Kennedy

Daily Mass

Sunday Mass from St Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Community with Fr Victor Ray

Sunday Mass from Our Lady UnDoer of Knots

Sunday Mass from Holy Innocents Church

Sunday Mass from the Parish of Saints Francis and Clare with Fr Joe Spina OSF

Sunday Mass from Saint Anne Mission

Sunday Mass from Saint Andrew the Apostle Church

Sunday Mass Homily from Saint Jude the Apostle Mission