World Youth Day Reflections – 8/17/2011

Many of the sisters volunteered with the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus at the Palacio de Deportes.  This is the main English Speaking site at WYD Madrid.  Catechesis sessions and confessions encompassed most of the morning.  El Parque del Buen Retiro hosted a Vocation fair attended by religious communities from around the world. Thousands of Pilgrims participated. A seemingly endless row of confessionals were set up along the center of the park. Thousands of pilgrims availed themselves of this opportunity to encounter God’s mercy in the sacrament.

Click here for a slideshow of pictures taken at World Youth Day

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

World Youth Day – 8/16/2011

The Sisters drove into the city of Madrid in the morning of August 16th. Some assisted at the Love and Life Center for English speaking Youth. Australian youth were ushered in by the Sisters who welcome them to the day’s events. Sisters from the various communities took the opportunity for prayer in the ancient churches of Madrid. Confessions were offered in the Parque de Retiro. Hundreds of pilgrims participated. (more…)

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

World Youth Day – 8/15/2011

On August 15th, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sisters enjoyed a day of rest, celebration and exploration. A number of Sisters took part in the annual procession of La Virgen de la Espina – the Patroness of Los Molinos, Spain. Townspeople dressed in local garb gathered in front of the façade of the convent where they sang hymns to our Lady before processing to her grotto located on the side of the mountain.

Afterwards some of the Sisters rode into the city of Madrid to scout the area and plan the travel routes for the Sisters to participate in the World Youth events. During their day they met young pilgrims from around the world. Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB – the CEO of Salt and Light Productions from Canada met with our Sisters at the Love and Life Center for the English speaking pilgrims. (more…)

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

WYD – 8/14/2011

Young Sisters representing communities of the CMSWR from across the  United States arrived safely in Madrid for the 2011 World Youth Day events. The three ports of departure – Chicago, Miami and New York were a sight to behold as young people from across the country converged for their departure for the event. The Sisters were greeted by numerous young Catholics enthusiastically anticipating the event.


Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Draw Me and We Will Run

Today was a fundraiser for Hayden Childcare Center, a 5 K Run, Family Walk and Roll. Perhaps you were there. I was not. But I really wanted to put something on our blog about it. So the question is, how do you write about an event you did not attend? (more…)

Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm  Comments (2)  

A Bishop’s Final Benediction

We arrived at Our Lady of the Angels’ Cathedral about thirty minutes before the funeral began. Already the nave was beginning to fill with people coming to pay their last respects to, pray for the soul of, and receive a final benediction from Bishop John Ward.

I was standing in line to bid farewell to this holy shepherd and reading his memorial card when I felt a presence approach, a very tall presence. Looking up I saw his Eminence Cardinal Mahoney step into line and then move to the casket containing the remains of a brother bishop. Emotion welled up within me as I watched him pray silently, just a few feet from me. From behind, I could not tell when he concluded his prayer if he was blessing the deceased or blessing himself. That is when the phrase came to me: a final benediction. (more…)

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm  Comments (1)  

“So, what did you do today?”

This week magical things are happening at Sacred Heart Retreat House which is also our Motherhouse. Saturday is our annual “Family Festival and Boutique” and these last days of preparation are full, to say the least.

So if you were to take a sampling of sisters and ask them how they have been helping, you would get quite an overview of the event: (more…)

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 8:22 pm  Comments (2)  

Prosper the Work of Our Hands, O Lord

As Carmelites, we receive prayer requests all the time. And that is what we are here for. We are called to be love in the heart of the Church, and that love is the perfect answer to every prayer.

But today we’d like to send out a prayer request of our own. In about 9 hours, we will begin our gala dinner in celebration of Santa Teresita’s 80th Jubilee. We have been working hard for over a year preparing, and in the past couple of weeks, there have been many late nights and early mornings trying to get everything done. (more…)

Published in: on September 25, 2010 at 7:48 am  Comments (1)  

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

On Tuesday, September 21, 2010, we served as the choir for the Los Angels Catholic Prayer Breakfast Mass. Here is a discription, a bit lengthy, but what part could I leave out?!?!

5:09 a.m. I am just finishing getting ready to leave my cell when I hear the unmistakable sound of a diesel engine. “The bus is here,” I think to myself as I adjust my veil and open the door. I have just enough time to grab a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. “Can’t sing on an empty stomach,” I think to myself.

5:23 a.m. The parking lot is lit only by the few flood lights but in the sketchy lighting I can see other sisters heading in the same direction. We are still in Grand Silence, so we refrain from exuberant greetings. One by one, in silence, we climb into the waiting bus. Hardly our normal morning routine, yet even without a word, the air is full of electric energy. (more…)

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm  Comments (6)  

Feastday Celebration

Usually when you tell a story, you start at the beginning. Well, let me turn the tables a bit and begin with the end…

As the last rays of the sunset were fading in the sky, a harmonious group of voices rose gently from the softly lit garden. Over a hundred Carmelites were spread through the curving pathways behind the convent and all had their attention fixed on a small statue of Our Lady, illumined by a garden light. What were they doing, gathered in the growing dusk? What was the cause for the peaceful smiles that played on their faces as they sang? What drew them together on this summer night?

Was it the riotous game of baseball that had shortly preceded the singing? The sport had been full of adventures, including several home runs, a stolen base by a sister well past seventy, and a trip onto the roof to retrieve a stray ball. Yes, this spirit of communion expressed in joyful play was certainly a part of the evening. (more…)

Published in: on August 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm  Comments (1)