Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rediscovering Our Baptism through the Lenten Journey

"God Created Men and Women for Resurrection and Life"
With Ash Wednesday less than two weeks away, our Holy Father has released his annual Lenten message. His central theme this year will be on Baptism, not as "a rite from the past, but the encounter with Christ, which informs the entire existence of the baptized, imparting divine life and calling for sincere conversion..." Pope Benedict XVI traces this theme through many scripture passages, including the writings of Saint Paul.

The Holy Father reminds us that, during Lent, the Church provides "God's Word with particular abundance." He goes on to instruct that "by attentively listening to God, who continues to speak to our hearts, we nourish the itinerary of faith" which began on the day of our Baptism and continues through this Lent. He reminds us to become aware "of our own fragility in order to accept the Grace that frees from sin and infuses new strength in Christ" [Source: Zenit, Feb 22, 2011].

In keeping with his continuing teaching focus on the Scriptures, Pope Benedict XVI's weekly Lenten messages will discuss the role of Baptism in our lives in the light of the Gospel readings for this year's Lenten Sundays: (1) Jesus' temptations in the desert; (2) the Transfiguration; (3) the Samaritan woman; (4) the Man born blind; and (5) the resurrection of Lazarus.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mid-Atlantic Pauline Cooperator Meeting

As Pauline Cooperators from four of the Mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania), over a dozen of us were blessed to participate in a Regional Cooperator gathering yesterday at the Staten Island convent of the Daughters of Saint Paul. While Virginia and Washington, D.C., were not represented, we look forward to further growth in our numbers and to the future welcoming new members from all parts of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Those of us who were able to take the time out of our busy lives to attend this meeting, experienced the privilege of spending an afternoon with a group of such dedicated Paulines!

The meeting was held on Sunday, February 20th, the birthday of Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo. The afternoon began with a lovely luncheon hosted by the sisters, and it was wonderful to catch up with all the sisters at the convent! Sr. Margaret Obrovac, Sr. Mary Peter, and Sr. Mary Thecla joined us later in our prayer and deliberations. Sr. Margaret kindly facilitated our meeting. She read a letter sent to us from Sr. Karen Anderson, who was unable to attend, but who is standing in with the Cooperators for Sr. Margaret Charles during her sabbatical. Sr. Karen requested that all Cooperators send her input for a Log of Pauline Cooperator Activities which she is preparing. Her prayers and words of support gave great encouagement to the attendees.

The meeting continued and built on the discussions from the 2010 Cape May meeting -- on how the Association of Pauline Cooperators can respond more fully to God's call to grow in faith and works. Specific and practical ideas were presented to develop greater communications, mutual support, and mutual spritual enrichment of the region's Pauline Cooperators. More details will follow soon. After the meeting, the gathering ended with an hour of Eucharistic prayer (Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours) and song, with the beautiful accompaniment of Sr. Fay on her guitar. Among many other intentions, we prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the entire Pauline family as we approach the upcoming international Pauline milestone celebration -- the Centennial of the Pauline Family.

It was a joyful day! We all loook forward to seeing the fruits of this productive gathering actualized in the form of enhanced mutual collaboration and communication in our Pauline tasks for the coming year.