Our New Archbishop, Part Two

Venerable Mother Luisita

Please excuse my excitement, but if an Archbishop had quoted your mother in front of over 3,000 people, you would be a bit ecstatic, too!

Two of our sisters had the immense joy of being at the Mass welcoming Archbishop Jose Gomez on May 26, 2010. I have never seen any of my sisters as excited as they were when they came home. They said, “You’ll never guess what happened at the Cathedral today!” So of course we all tried to guess.

Everything we came up with, they just kept saying, “No, it’s even better…Even better.” I can now testify that levitation is possible, because their feet were not on the floor by the time they were finally able to tell us: “The new Archbishop quoted Mother Luisita in his comments!!!”

Here is the section of text where he spoke of our foundress:

“Recently, a friend told me about one of the local unknown saints here, Maria Luisa de la Peña, a refugee from Mexico who founded the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Venerable Mother Luisita would tell everyone: “For greater things you were born!” That’s it, my friends! That’s the good news we are called to proclaim to our city, to our country, throughout this continent and world. Para grandes cosas hemos nacido!! Each of us has been made for love and for great and beautiful things. There is no soul that God does not long to touch with this message of his love! And he wants to touch those souls through us.  So let us make our lives something beautiful that we can we can offer to God. Let us do everything, even the littlest duties of our days, out of love for him and for the love of our brothers and sisters.”

Mother Luisita and Archbishop Orozco y Jimenez, 1930's

Mother Luisita is dear to me because I am her spiritual daughter. She died four decades before I was born, but I have read every one of her recorded words. I was given her name as my religious name. I have played her in stage productions. In fact, while I type she is smiling at me from a little framed picture on my desk.  I belong to her congregation, I belong to her.  (more…)

Published in: on May 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Our New Archbishop, Part One

While I would love to be able to write a lengthy post about the celebration yesterday to welcome our new Archbishop, Jose Gomez, God has other plans for me this morning. So I will limit myself just a quick thought, for now.

During the homily of the Mass celebrated in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Cardinal Roger Mahony said something that I think encapsulates why this transition is so joyful. It is not about one man leaving and another coming, it is about the Man Who promised to be with us until the end of time. Cardinal Mahony said, “Mahony goes; Gomez comes. Christ alone endures.” (more…)

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

At the Beach with the Holy Spirit

Forty Carmelites and as many young women descended upon Royal Palms Beach last Sunday for prayer, a meal, and music. The rocky shore line provided an exquisite backdrop to the delightful evening. It was cold, very cold, but beautiful. It was the feast of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit made His presence felt by sending a driving wind. While it was a bit of a trick to balance a paper plate and hold down your veil at the same time, a scoop of pasta salad and a few safety pins (respectively) made it possible.

This has become an annual tradition for us. Every month beginning in September, we have a group of young women who gather for a potluck dinner, a speaker, and time for adoration. (We call the group “Handmaidens.”) In May we meet at the beach. It also serves as a sort of prequel to our “Come & See” retreat which began Monday afternoon. Many women came in early for the retreat so they could join us on our outing. What a blessed evening! (more…)

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm  Comments (1)  

Happy Birthday!

Did you remember your Mother’s birthday today?

Today, the Solemnity of Pentecost, marks the birth of the Church. Conceived in the pierced Heart of Christ when Blood and Water poured forth on Calvary, on this feast she has come to term and is born, Our Holy Mother the Church.

So back to my original question, did you remember her birthday? Do you have a gift for her? No? Well, allow me to make a suggestion. Our Lord says there is no greater love than to lay down your life. The Church has always had those who oppose her (even on Pentecost the Apostles were accused of being drunk.) Now in our day, perhaps more than ever, loyal members of the Church are needed. (more…)

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 8:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Light in the Darkness

As I write, 40 married couples are settling in for their retreat. The weekends are truly a special time for us at our Motherhouse, which is also Sacred Heart Retreat House. We have the tremendous joy of seeing our guests arrive tired and heavily burdened, and sending them off a few days later with a renewed glow in their eyes, reflective of the Light that has illumined their lives.

A few weeks ago I had a moving experience of this. I was in the Chapel late on Saturday night, with only a few retreatants. All the others had retired for the night, but one woman went to the front to light a candle. Simple enough, countless candles have been lit in our Chapel over the years. But the next morning when I gathered with the other Sisters for our early morning prayers, that candle caught my eye. Or rather, the Holy Spirit caught my eye. I saw those little flickering lights in a totally new way. Each one stood for the faith of someone asking God to bring light into some dark situation. And there they were, burning before 25 Carmelites dedicated to prayer. (more…)

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm  Comments (1)  

Welcome to our new blog home!

Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment