“God calls each one of us personally to a closer following of Christ.” (Const. 1:1)
Chi Dinh, Truyen Nguyen, Rosemary Freda, Emilie Duchaney, Carol Flaherty, Mary Petrosky, Claudette Simard, Aline Giroux, Alma Dufault, & Lois Houlihan. Thank you each one for saying “yes” and striving to live as faithful Gospel women, wherever you have been sent. Perhaps you have traveled in unchartered territories, bringing you to places, you may never have dreamed of, or imagined. You had companions on your journey, you were never alone.
It is amazing to know that as we celebrate this Eucharist, together, we know that you our sisters have let your light shine forth. Perhaps in some small way, a bonfire has been lit allowing the fire of God’s love to continue to spread throughout the world. You have touched the hearts of so many people. From north to south, from east to west and here at home in the US. In your own way, you have like “Esther advocated for her people, you have become the voice of the voiceless and brought each one in prayer, to God” (Esther 7:3)
There are times in our lives when words seem inadequate to express our deepest feelings. Yet in so many ways by your lives, you have shown us,
“It is when you give of yourself, that you truly give. There are those who give with joy and that joy is their reward. Through the hands of such as these God speaks and from behind their eyes, God smiles upon the earth” (Kahili Gibran)
When we pause to look at the journey you have taken, we say Thank you Godfor the sisters you have given us, for truly “Community is at the heart of change.” (VisionStatement). When we look beyond to what has been, to what is, and to what can be, with you we say, Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.
I am sure the words spoken at the Beatification of Mary of the Passion on October 20, 2002, continues to speak to each of us today. Each of you have witnessed by your lives the spirit of a true Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
“Mary of the Pasion let herself be seized by God who was able
to satisfy the thirst for truth that motivated her. At the heart of
the missionary commitment, she placed prayer and the Eucharist,
because for her, adoration and mission blended to become the
same work. Nourished by Scripture and the Fathers of the Church,
mystical and active, passionate and fearless she gives herself with
an intuitive and audacious disponibility to the universal mission
of the Church.”
As we celebrate the jubilee of our sisters, may we always remember: the words of: Helen Keller: “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is waiting in our life or in the life of another.”
“Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” Teilhard de Chardin
“It is the Lord of history who sustains us and invites us to faithfulness and fruitfulness. He cares for his remnant, looks with mercy and benevolence on his work, and continues to send his Holy Spirit.” Pope Francis 11/07/2022
So, we come back to where we began, thanking God, for each of you our sisters, for being Gospel women. By your presence, by your prayer, by the gift you are, we have experienced the wonder of God’s presence in our midst.
Noreen Murray, fmm 11/17/2022