YOUR RETREAT IS WAITING...
EMBRACING THE MISSION OF THE DAUGHTERS OF DIVINE CHARITY TO MAKE GOD’S LOVE VISIBLE IN THE WORLD,THE ST. JOSEPH RETREAT CENTER FOSTERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE TOUCHED BY THAT LOVE. THE CENTER AND ITS SURROUNDINGS CREATE A WELCOMING SACRED SPACE WHERE GOD CAN BE ENCOUNTERED. IN A SPIRIT OF PEACE AND HOSPITALITY, WE PROVIDE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES THAT ENCOURAGE RETREATANTS TO MAKE THE LOVE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD VISIBLE TO THE WORLD.
Join us on a Lenten Journey lead by to Anne-Louise DePalo.
++ FIFTH SUNDAY ++
REFLECTION FOR MARCH 26, 2023
THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Do You Believe?
“I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” John 11:22
Martha is one of the most memorable women of the New Testament. Her name is derived from the Hebrew word meaning “strong” and is translated to mean “Lady Boss.” I identify with her and admire her strength and ability to manage the household that she shares with Lazarus and Mary. What struck me as I read the familiar story of Lazarus being raised from the dead was Martha’s faith. She knew Jesus was the Christ, and whatever He asked of the Father He would do.
Martha had come a long way. If you recall in Luke’s gospel account of Martha and Mary, Luke 11:38-41, Jesus reminded Martha that she was too troubled about many things that were not as important as being with Him. Martha was very concerned about hosting Jesus and having everything done perfectly. She was upset with her sister Mary because she was sitting at the feet of Jesus rather than helping her. Martha had come to learn that Jesus is what matters. Martha finally “got it.” She declared Jesus’ true identity as the Christ, and that He could perform any miracle, as well as her belief in the resurrection. Her faith had grown. This is because of her relationship with Christ. A relationship that was developed one on one over time. This close relationship is what leads her to proclaim, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
I ask myself, do I have such faith? Do I believe in miracles, and that Jesus answers my prayers even if they are not the answers I expect. Are my spiritual disciplines and practices during Lent helping me grow in faith?
“The more we understand what we believe, the more our faith will be light and strength for us,” Father Jacques Phillipp. Such faith can move mountains, give us direction and enlightenment, and help us in our daily lives. Knowledge of Christ comes through prayer, study, and being in a relationship with Him. Jesus asked Martha, “Whoever believes in me shall never die; do you believe this? Martha answered with an emphatic, “Yes! This was said even in the face of her brother’s death. What would your answer be?
Join us on a Lenten Journey lead by to Anne-Louise DePalo.
++ FOURTH SUNDAY ++
REFLECTION FOR MARCH 19, 2023
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
I SAW THE LIGHT
“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” Samuel 16:6-7
John 9:7, “He came back able to see.”
“Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:8-9.
As we journey through Lent, we are moving from Winter to Spring. We are currently in Daylight Savings Time and Spring is officially tomorrow. During a recent walk, I saw a blue jay, a woodpecker pecking on the bark of a tree, and a sparrow with a twig in its beak, flying to its nest. The sun rises earlier and sets later. The world is filled with more daylight. There is new growth and rebirth.
How is your Lent going? The question we need to ask is, “Is there light and growth in us?” The spiritual disciplines of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are to bring us closer to Christ and to become more like Him. Christ is the Light.
That is what Saint Paul implores of us in the second reading in Ephesians. We are children of light. Light is defined as a noun, as a natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible; illumination, brightness, and shining. Light can also be an expression in someone’s eyes. This concept is perfectly captured in one of my favorite songs is, “I Saw the Light in Your Eyes” by Todd Rundgren.
As a verb, light means to provide light or illuminations, to ignite, and as an adjective, it is described as brightness. Last Sunday, water was the common denominator in the three readings. This week it is light and sight.
In the first reading, God chooses David because he “sees” into the heart and we are reminded God does not see as we do. David had a heart of light filled with goodness and righteousness – an open heart that allowed the light of the Lord in. Saint Paul explains light allows truth to be revealed. If one is in darkness, one cannot see the truth. “By His infinite light, He can show us His truth openly,” explains theologian, Jacque-Benigne Bossuet.
Saint John’s Gospel of the blind man from the pool of Siloam, (which means sent), lived a life in darkness since birth, unable to see, until Jesus healed him. Jesus healed him of his physical blindness as well as his spiritual blindness. Being able to see, he was on fire and shared the light with others.
Light reveals what is hidden. It allows us to truly see ourselves and see whom we encounter. It makes what is invisible, and visible. We are called to illuminate and ignite love in others. We are to be the light of the world.
We, however; cannot give what we do not have. As Christ is the light we must spend time with Him and be in a personal relationship with Him in order to become light and then emanate light to others. The spiritual master, Father Jacque Phillippe says, “If we stay by the fire long enough, we cannot help but become warm.” As we get closer to Easter, we are moving from Calvary to the Resurrection and the light of new life. Will your light shine?
Daughters of Divine Charity Holy Family Province
Wishing Everyone a Blessed and Happy Feast of St. Joseph
“All Sisters have an unending trust in our holy Father Joseph. Besides the Mother of our Lord he was confident and is also our greatest advocate and protector. May this love and this trust never be diminished in the Sisters of the Congregation.”
(Chronicle, I., November 1, 1876)
Memorare to St. Joseph
Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession was left unaided. Full of confidence in your power I come to you and beg your protection. Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my petitions, but in your goodness, hear and answer me.
May St. Joseph guard and protect our families as he did the Holy Family.
St. Joseph, Intercede for us!
Remembering you in our daily prayers!
God Bless and keep you in His loving embrace,
Sister Mary and Sisters
Theological Virtues: A Three Part Series
Fee: $35 per person/per session
Pre-paid Advance Bundle- $90 all three sessions
Time: 1:30-3:00 PM
Thursday, April 20th: PART 1 – Faith Facilitated by Grace Conte
Our Catholic faith makes possible a belief in the care of a loving God so strong and deep that we can lay claim to this belonging as precious children of God. Our faithful prayers are cries of this recognition and this special love. Come celebrate and experience what our faith has to offer us.
Thursday, April 27th: PART 2 – Hope Facilitated by Sister Gerrie Contento, M.P.F
Hope is not a Pollyanna-ish, nor pie in the sky spiritual practice. Hope expands our joy during the good times of life, and it carries us peacefully during the challenges of life.
Join us for this presentation on Hope which will include time for reflection, prayer, and discussion. Sister
Gerrie will incorporate the thoughts of Pope Francis from his Apostolic letter, “Rejoice and be Glad” and
meditations and practices from Joyce Rupp’s book Constant Hope.
Thursday, May 4th: PART 3 – Theological Virtues Facilitated by: Pat Stephens
Love is not just a word, nor an idea, but a life — a lifestyle of living for others, wanting and doing good for
others as St. Paul says, “Love does not seek its own interests.”
Theological Virtues: PART 1 – Faith
Thursday, April 20th: PART 1 - Faith Facilitated by Grace Conte Time: 1:30-3:00 PM Fee: $35 per person/per session Or pay in advance for all three sessions for $90 Faith: …
Wisdom – The Gift of Years
Saturday, April 22nd: Wisdom – The Gift of Years Facilitated by Sister Barbara Gondek Time: 9:30-11:00 AM Fee: $35 per person The Roman philosopher, Cicero, once stated: …
Theological Virtues: PART 2 – Hope
Thursday, April 27th: PART 2 – Hope Facilitated by Sister Gerrie Contento, M.P.F Time: 1:30-3:00 PM Fee: $35 per person/per session Hope is not a Pollyanna-ish, nor pie in the…
Theological Virtues: PART 3 – Love
Thursday, May 4th: PART 3 – Theological Virtues Facilitated by: Pat Stephens Time: 1:30-3:00 PM Fee: $35 per person/per session Love is not just a word, nor an idea, but…
Holy Listening (#1)
Saturday, May 20th: Holy Listening (#1) Facilitated by Fran Tassone Time: 9:30-11:00 AM Fee: $35 per person/per session Or pay in advance for all three sessions for $90 What is…
Holy Listening (#2)
Saturday, June 17th: Holy Listening (#2) Facilitated by Fran Tassone Time: 9:30-11:00 AM Fee: $35 per person/per session What is Holy Listening? Holy listening is a place where “we are…
Holy Listening (#3)
Saturday, July 15th: Holy Listening (#3) Facilitated by Fran Tassone Time: 9:30-11:00 AM Fee: $35 per person/per session What is Holy Listening? Holy listening is a place where “we are…