Friday, August 24, 2012

An Encounter of the Best KindFrom Sr. Mary Kay McDonald's blog Trinitarian Times

After a long hiatus I have decided to resume this blog.  There have been just too many interesting things not to share them.

The first thing I'd like to share is that this summer I had the privilege of a lifetime experience, a thirty day retreat at a beautiful Jesuit retreat house overlooking the Atlantic in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  As one friend said to me, "you couldn't have found a better to place to hang out with God"! This is definitely true.

The timing was perfect.  This has been a year of "running":  from Columbia to Costa Rica, to Mexico (several times!) as well as various parts of the U.S.  The good news is that we have young women from Latin America who are interested in joining us.  So my co-worker, Sister Olivia and I have been looking for a house in Mexico where they can live with us and discern their vocation. I am grateful to have had this retreat opportunity before beginning the next "phase".

Back to the retreat.  It was the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a tried and true method for encounter with God that has been in existence over 400 years. One thing St. Ignatius wants people to understand is God's unconditional love for us, so gazing over the Atlantic certainly reinforced the knowledge of God's unfathomable love. 

Besides basking in God's love, we pondered the life of Christ in the Gospels during 5 different daily prayer periods.  I came to understand why this retreat is called the "Exercises".  It truly was an exercise in spiritual growth.  This was such an impressionable experience that I'm sure I'll be sharing more as time goes on.  In the meantime to see some photos of this beautiful place, click the following link:

Please know you were all in my prayers during the retreat.  God's love is reflected to us in all those people who love us and share their lives with us.  Thank you for that.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Evangelization and the MCF

We are part of a family in the Church, the Missionary Cenacle family. There are four branches, the Missionary Cenacle Apostalate, the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute and we the Sisters the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity.

Our gift to the Church has always been that of preservation of the faith so the call to the New Evangelization is a perfect fit for us. As a family we are planning together to prepare for the Synod on the New Evangelization. This is being done through prayer, reflection, dialogue and action. Our Plan is detailed below:
Plan for the Missionary Cenacle Family to prepare for the Synod on the New Evangelization - October 2012.
1. Prayer: Each member of the Missionary Cenacle Family will make a renewed effort to live out our devotion to the Holy Spirit.
To pray the traditional Novena and Litany of the Holy Spirit, or any of the other Novena Prayers personally and with others.
To renew our efforts to make the Holy Spirit part of our daily lives.
2. Reflection: In all of the various ways that Cenacle people gather; Missionary Cenacle meetings, Local Councils, Family Area Councils, etc - to make every effort that each gathering take time to reflect on the Holy Spirit and our evangelizing efforts, using the writings from Scripture, the Church and Father Judge. The following documents on Evangelization are proposed as resources.
Nuntiandi) written by Pope Paul VI in 1975.
ON THE MISSION OF THE REDEEMER (Redemptoris Missio) written by Pope John Paul II in 1990.
GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES - a national plan for Catholic Evangelization in
the US put out by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1992.
(Although 20 years old it contains material that is useful for reflection).
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH - Lineamenta for the Synod of Bishops meeting October 7-28, 2012
Documents from the V Celam meeting in Aparecida, Brazil - available on line in English and Spanish.
Also, many other documents and articles are available online in both English and Spanish. "Google" New Evangelization and you will be surprised at the number of resources there are.

Upcoming Reflections on "how" evangelization takes place:
a. Witness of life (EN 41; RM 42)
b. Preaching (EN 42-43; RM 20)
c. Catechesis (EN 55; RM 73)
d. Mass Media (EN 45)
e. Sacraments (EN 47)
f. Popular Piety (EN 48)
g. Solidarity with the Poor (EN 31; RM 60)
h. Comunidades eclesiales de base (RM51)
Each month a reflection on one of the above will be sent out to keep us focused on the New Evangelization throughout the coming year.
3. Dialogue:
To share with your group how evangelization has a place in the providence of YOUR everyday life. To set and share PERSONAL goals regarding evangelization.
To set and share goals regarding evangelization with the Cenacle group with
which you take council.
To share the Gospel values inherent in your living out of your Catholic faith. To share those values which are inherent in humanity and could provide a foundation for Gospel values.
To set out to learn how others incorporate different customs into their expression of faith.
4. Action
Prepare a response from your group based on the dialogues you have held and return these to the Committee members for creating a final report to the Missionary Cenacle Family. These may be returned at any time, but prior to September 2012.
Create an action plan for implementing some aspect of the "New Evangelization" in your Cenacle group or in your place of ministry and share this with the Committee as per the above. These may be returned at any time, but prior to September 2012.