Blessed Mother Page2018-03-27T10:11:01-04:00
Loading...

My hope is that these reflections about Mary the Mother of Jesus

are ways to open a door to a deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary.

611, 2021

November 5, 2021 Elections – Unity

By |November 6th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on November 5, 2021 Elections – Unity

The feast of All Saints and All Souls, unite us in remembering our dead, praying for them, mourning our loss, remembering the traditions and lessons they taught us, and recalling the funny family stories handed from one generation to the next. On the other hand, many of the discussions of the recent elections continue to focus on divisions. Political strategists analyze failures and successes for the next campaign, pundits speculate what [...]

2910, 2021

Right Relationships and Spending Reconciliation

By |October 29th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Right Relationships and Spending Reconciliation

Many recent news reports have focused on relationships – familial, national and international. As Congress works out the details of the physical and social structures that connect and support us, President Biden is meeting with world leaders to consider climate change, the world economy and the health of our planet and of all who inhabit it. Meeting first with Pope Francis and then participating in the meeting of world leaders at [...]

2210, 2021

Arbery Jury Pool Self Reflection

By |October 22nd, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Arbery Jury Pool Self Reflection

Through her words and her life our Blessed Mother reminds us that God’s judgement is very different from ours. As Mary acknowledged in her Magnificat, God chose her, a poor, lowly woman, to be the mother of the Christ. In Mary’s humble, faith-filled response and in the incarnation, we see that God’s love and power does not require prestige or wealth. And yet, we often categorize people by race, caste, class. [...]

1810, 2021

Columbus Indiginuous Peoples’ Italian Heritage

By |October 18th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Columbus Indiginuous Peoples’ Italian Heritage

The three titles attached to last Monday’s holiday call us to an examination of consciousness. We need to reflect on our national history, personal identity and faith tradition. Columbus’ multi-purposed trip proved his perseverance and determination that eventually led to nation building and the simultaneous dehumanizing of the native people and suppression of their nations and cultures. Renaming the day Indigenous Peoples Day reminds us of past transgressions and calls us [...]

810, 2021

Vatican Statement Biden Lease of Public Land

By |October 8th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Vatican Statement Biden Lease of Public Land

As the New Eve and Mother of the Living, Mary calls us to attend to our common and increasingly fragile home. The nightly news with accounts of extreme weather, floods and flash floods, wildfire smoke that clouded the nation’s skies remind us that no one is exempt from the dangers of climate change or the obligation to care for all that God has given us. Despite citing climate change as a [...]

3009, 2021

George Floyd Policing Reform

By |September 30th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on George Floyd Policing Reform

Despite mass protests throughout the United States following the May 25th, 2020, murder of George Floyd during an arrest and months of work by a bipartisan group of legislators, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 failed. The bill called for comprehensive reforms, including banning racial, religious, and other discriminatory profiling, banning chokeholds and carotid holds at the federal level and no-knock warrants for federal drug cases and conditioning [...]

2409, 2021

Haitians Title 42

By |September 24th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Haitians Title 42

Patron of Haiti, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, shows both hope and concern as comforts her son and looks out toward all of us; the icon is comforting and complicated. The 12,000 migrants camped in Del Rio, Texas, many of whom are Haitians, know too well the complicated mix of hope and worry. The Biden administration is invoking Title 42 which allows refugees to be summarily turned away because of health [...]

1709, 2021

Political Divisiveness Anti-conspiracy theories

By |September 17th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Political Divisiveness Anti-conspiracy theories

Long before September 11th commemorations, September has evoked a host of memories. Fall foliage marks the passage of time and the omnipresent ads for pencils and lunchboxes remind us of our best and worst experiences of our early learning. A “do-over” opportunity for students and teachers. the new school year provides a model for continuing conversion. Remember how an early science class changed everything you knew about the sun and moon. [...]

409, 2021

9/11 Olph Afghanistan

By |September 4th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on 9/11 Olph Afghanistan

After finding Jesus in the temple, Mary is said to have pondered all things in her heart. How much we have to ponder in our hearts as we anticipate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11: the memories of the persons who died that day and of those who over the years have died of the wide-range of what have been called 9/11-related diseases as well as those who died in the armed [...]

2908, 2021

Afghanistan Exit

By |August 29th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Afghanistan Exit

How often during the war in Afghanistan as in previous wars part of our stated goal was to win minds and hearts of the people; therefore, we invested in humanitarian and development projects. US and allied forces also won trust and friendship of civilians who risked their personal safety to support our efforts. Now, as we pull out of Afghanistan, hearts are being broken and minds filled with memories of 9/11, [...]

2008, 2021

Afghanistan and Haiti Pieta

By |August 20th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Afghanistan and Haiti Pieta

One of the most poignant portrayals of our Blessed Mother is that of the Pieta, the sorrowful mother holding the body of Christ.  Mary continues to hold us, who are the body of Christ, in her arms. On the feast of the Assumption of Mary, we looked to Mary as a reminder of Christ’s words of hope to all of us.  However, the weekend’s news flashed one after the other of [...]

1708, 2021

Introducing FranciscanTV

By |August 17th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Introducing FranciscanTV

Introducing FranciscanTV.US Friars Launch FranciscanTV.US – A New Franciscan Media Channel The Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province are excited to announce the launch of FranciscanTV.US. This new Franciscan media channel aims to share the friars’ love of community, creation and Church through a series of heart-warming and spiritual videos. FranciscanTV is free to watch and enjoy, and the friars invite you to make FranciscanTV.US [...]

608, 2021

Delta Variant Hope and Unity

By |August 6th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Delta Variant Hope and Unity

In times of trouble, we often appeal to Mary as Mother of Perpetual Help. She is our steady hope, joining us in our prayers, when hope is hard to come by. As we move through a summer that we had hoped would mark our country’s “return to normal,” after our long pandemic isolation, we are greeted with statistics of how COVID variants, particularly the Delta variant, is causing cases to rise, [...]

3007, 2021

Wildfires Environmental Justice

By |July 30th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Wildfires Environmental Justice

Mary’s titles, Mother of the Living and the New Eve remind us of Christ's mission to make all things new. Last week's news brought us graphic images of how much our earth needs renewal, beginning with the massive destruction of floods in Germany and in China. Closer to home, Sunday's news told of nearly 300 wildfires blazing in British Columbia. CNN reported that a force of about 22,000 firefighters and support [...]

2407, 2021

One More DACA Crisis

By |July 24th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on One More DACA Crisis

Last week Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the DACA. Created in 2012, DACA granted some undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States temporary protection from deportation and legal permission to seek employment and higher education. As noted previously in this blog, a large percentage of our essential workers in health care, education and food services were DACA recipients. DACA was created by executive order by President Barak Obama [...]

907, 2021

Frederick Douglass and July 4th

By |July 9th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Frederick Douglass and July 4th

Through Mary, we have been birthed into the freedom that is Christ’s gift. Last week as we celebrated Independence Day, we experienced national concerns similar to those identified by Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist and escaped slave when on July 5, 1852, he spoke to the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, N.Y of what July 4th means to the slave. Identifying national freedom as “the first great fact,” Douglass acknowledged the [...]

406, 2021

Revised Confluence of Memory

By |June 4th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Revised Confluence of Memory

Like Mary, we are called to consider our personal, national and even global experiences in light of God's call to loving service. The first anniversary of George Floyd's death, Memorial Day, and the centenary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, give us ample cause for prayer and reflection A number of states have instituted changes in police funding, training, and policies regarding use of force, but federally mandated provisions in the George [...]

2805, 2021

January 6th Panel

By |May 28th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on January 6th Panel

Nearly five months after the January 6th breach of the Capitol, the scene remains vivid in our minds. On the day Vice President Pence was to oversee the certification of the November 2020 election, Capitol police rushed him and members of Congress out of the meeting room and into more secure locations as the crowd rushed in, chanting, “Hang Pence” and calling speaker Nancy Pelosi’s name. The House voted to create [...]

2105, 2021

Colonial Pipeline Reform

By |May 21st, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Colonial Pipeline Reform

Last week’s ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, the largest United States fuel pipeline, demonstrated the need to restore public trust, to strengthen public/private joint endeavors and to evaluate and strengthen cybersecurity.   Lasting about five days, the shutdown caused severe gas shortages along the Eastern coast.  President Biden lifted regulations in order to allow trucks to deliver fuel and formed contingency plans to release some fuel from the national reserve, if [...]

105, 2021

Multifaceted Criminal Justice Reform

By |May 1st, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Multifaceted Criminal Justice Reform

Seat of Wisdom and Mother of Mercy-- titles of the Blessed Mother-- remind us that reason and mercy are complimentary qualities that should inform the decisions we make as individuals and as a society. Wisdom, reason, and compassion must play a role in our efforts to reform the many parts of the justice system as two of last week’s judicial actions demonstrated. Last week, the conviction of the former police officer [...]

1604, 2021

Caring Infrastructure

By |April 16th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Caring Infrastructure

As we move through Easter season. we can't help but think of the amazement and overwhelming joy Mary must have felt on Easter. As Simeon had prophesied, Mary experienced some extraordinary sorrows as Mother of the Redeemer, but she must also have experienced the day to day concerns we all experience in our care for family, friends and neighbors. COVID has isolated and connected us. As more of the nation’s population [...]

1903, 2021

One In Christ

By |March 19th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on One In Christ

Michelangelo’s Pieta, one of the artist’s most familiar and moving works, depicts Mary holding the broken body of Christ. Although we are still pilgriming through Lent, that image is particularly apt as we remember the anniversary of the pandemic declaration and the loss we have endured. As Mother of the Church, Mary continues to hold close the body of Christ. In other words, she continues to hold us close, to gather [...]

1203, 2021

Stimulus Bill and Binary Thinking

By |March 12th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Stimulus Bill and Binary Thinking

After a lengthy, argumentative process, the stimulus bill was passed by the Senate, then sent to the House for final approval and signed by President Biden. The pandemic aid plan is necessarily broad and multifaceted, aiming to restore economic, social, and physical health to individuals, businesses, communities, and the nation.  The passage of the bill and the subsequent implementation of protections and programs will begin the path to rebuilding our nation [...]

503, 2021

For the People Voting Rights Reform Act

By |March 5th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on For the People Voting Rights Reform Act

“We the people,” the often-repeated words that begin our nation’s constitution, remain both foundational and aspirational The Bill of Rights, those fundamental initial amendments define and protect rights and suggest that as circumstances and human experience and insight changes, our laws and policies also develop. Our very existence as a nation demands that we the people continually labor to become a people, firm in diversity and unity. The past election cycle [...]

2602, 2021

Biden First 30 Days, Paris Climate Accord

By |February 26th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Biden First 30 Days, Paris Climate Accord

We are a third of the way through the first hundred days of the Biden administration. On assuming office, President Biden recommitted the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement on assuming office. Our renewed partnership in this worldwide effort took effect on February 19th. Over a hundred member countries have committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Achieving this goal will require immediate action, policy changes, an evaluation of energy [...]

1902, 2021

Post Impeachment

By |February 19th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Post Impeachment

This year the first Sunday of Lent is also the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, the day we remember the exercise of authority and servant leadership to which Pete and all our popes have been called. Witnessing the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, we have reflected on the role of leaders, the power of their words and deeds, their moral and legal responsibility. Ultimately the Senate [...]

1202, 2021

Tech Safety Act

By |February 12th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Tech Safety Act

As we move into Lent, we reflect on who we are and who the Gospel calls us to be. This renewal demands an examination of attitudes and actions. Events of the past year have engaged our nation in a similar examination of consciousness, and, of course, there is a connection between our individual and collective reflections in this pandemic year in which the internet has become for many of us less [...]

402, 2021

World Day of Sick

By |February 4th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on World Day of Sick

Having just passed the first anniversary of identifying COVID, we know how much healing our nation needs. As new, more contagious strains of the virus appear, the human toll increases. Statistics give an account of the number of people who have fallen ill and of those who have died of the virus, but true to its name, the pandemic has touched the world. Many mourn the loss of family or friends, [...]

2901, 2021

Paris Accord Rejoining Presentation

By |January 29th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Paris Accord Rejoining Presentation

In his inaugural address, President Biden reiterated his commitment to address the coronavirus pandemic, restore the economy, eliminate racial injustice, and confront climate change. In the hours and days since the inauguration, the president has undertaken a number of executive actions regarding these areas of concern. Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Biden delivered a letter to the United Nations, beginning the 30-day process of rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. Uniting with [...]

1801, 2021

Words Matter-House Impeachment

By |January 18th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Words Matter-House Impeachment

Words matter.  The Incarnate Word, Jesus speaks unceasingly to us of God’s love.  We make vows; public officials begin their service with an oath to their office, convinced that people are as good as their word.  For almost two weeks, our nation has been immersed in a consideration of words and their consequences.  On January 13th, the House of Representatives discussed President Trump’s January 6th speech and the role it might [...]

801, 2021

Words Matter

By |January 8th, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Words Matter

Words matter.  The Incarnate Word, Jesus speaks unceasingly to us of God’s love.  We make vows; public officials begin their service with an oath to their office, convinced that people are as good as their word.  For almost two weeks, our nation has been immersed in a consideration of words and their consequences.  On January 13th, the House of Representatives discussed President Trump’s January 6th speech and the role it might [...]

101, 2021

Final Epiphany

By |January 1st, 2021|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Final Epiphany

How well we know the Epiphany story:  A distant star, eager pilgrims, a leader determined to preserve his power, and a newborn child--God’s tiny, infinite and intimate gift.   And there were presents: gold for kingship, frankincense for divinity, and myrrh, an aromatic used to prepare the dead.  Finally, there was the dream warning the magi to travel home by a different route and not reveal the child’s whereabouts to Herod. Epiphany [...]

1811, 2020

Christ The King

By |November 18th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Christ The King

What would it be like to see Christ the King through Mary’s eyes? I imagine she sees her beloved Son as one who asks only that we accept and share God’s mercy. This is Christ’s gift to us and the gift he asks of us. In this time of protests, civic divisions, pandemic spread with its long illness, isolation, and death, Mary must remember how her son, our Lord, once experienced [...]

611, 2020

Police Reform

By |November 6th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Police Reform

How well our blessed mother understands the pain of parents mourning the death of their child! On Monday October 27th, we witnessed yet another black family who mourned the death of their son at the hands of Philadelphia police. Walter Wallace's mother had called for an ambulance to assist her emotionally disturbed son; however, the police arrived first and shot Wallace fourteen times after he failed to drop what police believed [...]

3010, 2020

Temporary Protected Status

By |October 30th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Temporary Protected Status

In her Magnificat, Mary rejoices in God's mercy that reaches "from generation to generation." Pandemic related isolation has caused us to miss that wide human contact with family and friends. Scientific explanations and social and technological support help, but we remain lonely and stressed. If as adults we find the long and ongoing but temporary separation difficult, consider the devastating impact of policies that cause family separation. We learned last week [...]

2808, 2020

Alaska Refuge

By |August 28th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Alaska Refuge

Last week's feast of the Queenship of Mary reminded us of our mission to follow Christ in working for justice and peace.  Plans to allow oil and gas leasing programs to operate in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to wolves, caribou, and other wildlife.  The drilling also threatens the culture and livelihood of the indigenous Gwich’in tribe, who consider the land sacred and subsist on hunting the caribou. In 2006 [...]

1408, 2020

Assumption of Mary

By |August 14th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Assumption of Mary

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary holds both joy and promise for us. We rejoice in the honor given Mary and we see in her the promise of our own future. Because of the ongoing pandemic, much of our immediate future can seem beyond our control, but our individual actions matter.   In this, too, we have the example of the Blessed Mother. Saying yes to becoming the mother of Jesus also [...]

608, 2020

Public Charge Policy Injunction

By |August 6th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Public Charge Policy Injunction

The Corona virus has left no segment of our society untouched, but the immigrant community has faced particular challenges, some of which were caused by government regulations. Prospective immigrants have long been required to prove, generally through sponsorship by employers or relatives, that they would not become “public charges.” However, as noted in previous blogs, recent regulations of the Trump administration discouraged those residents seeking green cards or naturalization from requesting [...]

3107, 2020

Anne Joachim Gods Presence in Ordinary

By |July 31st, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Anne Joachim Gods Presence in Ordinary

Tired of long shutdowns, we no longer use the word novel to describe COVID-19, but as cases surge throughout much of the nation we are still discovering new information about the virus. In a divisive political climate, evolving advice can be interpreted and discredited as evidence of fake news. Widespread protests demanding reform in our justice and socioeconomic systems call us to reconsider what has been the status quo. In the [...]

307, 2020

Olph

By |July 3rd, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Olph

The icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help shows Mary looking at us as she holds and comforts the infant Christ, who has been frightened by the sight of the instruments of the Passion which angels hold. The much-revered icon reminds us of Mary's ongoing maternal care for us and our ongoing need to be like Mary, accepting and responding to God’s love. Monuments and other works of public art have [...]

506, 2020

George Floyd

By |June 5th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on George Floyd

It's all about relationships, this Christian life of ours. At baptism we were welcomed into intimate relationship with the Trinity-- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. From the cross, Jesus gave us his mother. How, then, can we be so divided that one police officer could keep his knee on George Floyd’s neck while three other officers watched Floyd die? How many times can we watch a person of [...]

3105, 2020

Start Treaty

By |May 31st, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Start Treaty

As parts of the United States are beginning to ease the long isolation of the pandemic, there is much discussion of lessons learned. Meant to encourage sheltering in place and social distancing, the slogan “Alone Together” can also be said of the world, each country struggling with life and death. We have witnessed the enormous consequences of nations’ failure to collaborate and share information and resources. Will the new normal favor [...]

2305, 2020

Laudato Si

By |May 23rd, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Laudato Si

As May flowers remind us of Mary’s title as the new Eve, Mother of the Living. we mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si Pope Francis’ encyclical on care of the earth. Challenging us to consider what sort of world we wanted to leave our children, Pope Francis called for reflection and action to preserve “our common home,” arguing that the “cry of the poor and the cry of the earth [...]

2404, 2020

World Health Organization

By |April 24th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on World Health Organization

As COVID-19 spread rapidly and was declared a pandemic, the world united in tracking both the disease’s course and international, national, and regional efforts to control the spread and mitigate its effects. The number of fatalities was and continues to be overwhelming. The individual stories of people dying, the numbers of people dying after caring for the ill or serving as “necessary personnel” reminded us of both human fragility and dedication. [...]

1704, 2020

Mercy Sunday

By |April 17th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Mercy Sunday

Easter calls us to celebrate the risen Christ; a week later, Divine Mercy Sunday calls us to accept the gift and challenge Christ’s resurrection brings to us. Thomas is with the other apostles, all still frightened, all still sheltering in place. Once again Jesus greets his friends, “Peace. Do not be afraid.” He then addresses Thomas, inviting him to touch his wounds and believe. Thomas, of course, responds not to Christ’s [...]

1004, 2020

How do we celebrate Easter and sing our alleluias while sheltering in place?

By |April 10th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on How do we celebrate Easter and sing our alleluias while sheltering in place?

How do we celebrate Easter and sing our alleluias while sheltering in place? As death and illness surround us, how do we celebrate resurrection and new life? We have missed the terrible beauty: the love and pain, the poignancy and reassurances of Holy Week services. How different this Lent, this Holy Week! And yet, this years’ experience may not be so different from that of the first disciples. We read in [...]

2703, 2020

Remain United

By |March 27th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Remain United

We are told several times in Luke’s Gospel that Mary “pondered in her heart” God’s mysterious ways. These days we too have much to ponder as COVID-19 has changes our lives and the lives of so many around the world. Of course, the Lenten challenge is to allow God to change our hearts. On Sunday, President Trump announced that undocumented immigrants could get tested for coronavirus without fear of arrest or [...]

2003, 2020

Feast of the Annunciation

By |March 20th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Feast of the Annunciation

This Wednesday we will mark the feast of the Annunciation. Scheduled nine months before Christmas, this memory of God’s promise of the Incarnation and Mary’s assent provides sharp contrast to our Lenten anticipation of the passion and death of Christ. And yet, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this feast reminds us that Christ remains our intimate companion and hope in our sorrows and our joys. How hard it [...]

603, 2020

Treaty

By |March 6th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Treaty

As we move through Lent, we are reminded that the fragility and vulnerability of Jesus demonstrates his power. Christ's openness and uncompromising self-sacrifice models for us as individuals and as nations a way to dialogue into peace and reconciliation.On February 29, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signed a peace deal designed to end the United States^ war with Afghanistan, our nation's [...]

2802, 2020

Elections

By |February 28th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Elections

On the first Sunday of Lent we celebrate the Rite of Election in which we express our affirmation of and prayerful support for those who have been preparing to enter the Catholic Church. Dating back to at least the fifth century, this election seems far removed from our divisive national electoral process, but as Christians we must live the connections. . During their baptism at the Easter vigil, our elect will [...]

1701, 2020

Word and Words

By |January 17th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Word and Words

The title of Christ, Word of God made flesh, reminds us that by God's loving word we were created and then in Christ we each became a new creation. Our words are also significant, shaping attitudes and actions, so we might reflect on our private and public discourse, holding our leaders and ourselves accountable for speaking truth with life-serving reverence and respect. Recent disagreements over policy and military, social and political [...]

1001, 2020

Baghdad

By |January 10th, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Baghdad

Last week in anticipation of the feast of the Epiphany, we added the three magi to our nativity sets. However, Thursday's news aired no message of peace and joy; instead, we learned a targeted airstrike in Baghdad had killed General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s military who, according to intelligence reports had been actively planning attacks against US troops, personnel and interests. As of this writing, Iran has promised retaliation; [...]

201, 2020

Immigration Reform

By |January 2nd, 2020|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Immigration Reform

In these days just after the new year, we are aware of the power and fragility of human will. We make our resolutions, determined with God's grace to be better and to do better, For many people living within our borders who lack permanent legal status or a path to citizenship , planning seems an impossible dream. Those brought to this country as children and those people who had been given [...]

2012, 2019

Wisdom Midst All

By |December 20th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Wisdom Midst All

As political divisions seem to deepen and the news reports national and international outbreaks of violence and unrest, we pray the O Antiphons during the liturgy. Prayed on the 17th, the first antiphon celebrates Christ as Wisdom and challenges us to exercise wisdom by living in right relationship with our families and friends, with the various larger communities to which we belong and with a world that is suffering from the [...]

2211, 2019

Criminal Justice System Reform

By |November 22nd, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Criminal Justice System Reform

Last Friday Rodney Reed was issued an indefinite stay of execution by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, following the recommendation of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Board stated that new evidence had been found that might exonerate Rodney Reed and implicate a previous suspect, the victim’s fiancée, who had been the original suspect. The court of appeals has ordered that Reed’s case be reopened. Reed’s case received considerable attention [...]

1511, 2019

Berlin Wall 30th anniversay

By |November 15th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Berlin Wall 30th anniversay

Last Saturday marked the thirtieth anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall that had separated communist rules East Germany from West Germany. The crowd remembered the joy of freedom and the suffering and death of the many victims who had suffered violence over the decades when the Soviet-backed Stasi controlled East Germany. During the commemoration German Chancellor Angela Merkel who had grown up in East Germany stated: “The Berlin Wall [...]

811, 2019

Kurds And Syria Call For Peace

By |November 8th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Kurds And Syria Call For Peace

Last week following the withdrawal of United States troops from northern Syria, images of war and those fleeing from war flashed before us on small and large screens, calling us to stand in solidarity with those who mourn and suffer. While no one would argue against President Trump's stated goal of not engaging in "endless wars," many expressed concern at the suddenness of the withdrawal of support for the Kurds who [...]

111, 2019

Confronting Terrorism

By |November 1st, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Confronting Terrorism

This month calls us to remember the communion we share with all the living and the deceased to mourn the dead and reflect on the meaning of life. Last Sunday two events converged, reminding us of the fragility of life, the threat of terrorism and the need to be peacemakers. The first anniversary of the mass shooting at the congregation of Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue called the congregation and [...]

2510, 2019

Elijah Cummings

By |October 25th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Elijah Cummings

Mary is a model of strength and humility. While the mission and grace given Our Lady are extraordinary, we all have a mission to carry out in response to the life and gifts given us by God. Following his death last week, Representative Elijah Cummings was remembered the son of a sharecropper who made a difference in the world, whether it was his early work in the Civil Rights Movement, his [...]

1909, 2019

Violence Against Women

By |September 19th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Violence Against Women

Model disciple and Mother of God, Mary is, indeed, "blessed among women” and a blessing for women. Unfortunately, women are often targets of social and domestic violence. September 13th marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which has been credited for reducing domestic violence through a series of measures ranging from education to prevent abuse to shelters and legal interventions for domestic abuse and other forms of abuse.. [...]

1209, 2019

Farmworkers’ Children’s Education

By |September 12th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Farmworkers’ Children’s Education

Summer's end signals the beginning of a new school year and the harvest of autumnal crops.  Unfortunately, for some children, farm work proves a considerable and often insurmountable obstacle to achieving academic and career goals.  Labor laws allow children as young as 12 to work on farms with their parents or with parental permission outside of school hours.   Prolonged exposure to sun, heat and pesticides and hard manual labor [...]

2607, 2019

Racial Divide

By |July 26th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Racial Divide

Last week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing which gave us new insights into the solar system and a new perspective on our fragile earth. The fragility of our nation and challenge of our times became apparent when in a July 14th tweet, President Trump suggested that four freshman Congresswomen with whom he has political disagreements should go back to where they came from. Leveled against [...]

1106, 2019

Unaccompanied Minors

By |June 11th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Unaccompanied Minors

Last week's feast of Pentecost reminds us of the history of our church and of our current obligations to care for those in need.  A walk through most neighborhoods or a glimpse of the evening news will reveal many needy people, but perhaps among the most compelling stories have been those of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum at our borders. In an effort to control costs, the Trump administration has ordered [...]

406, 2019

Mexican Tarrifs

By |June 4th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Mexican Tarrifs

Last Friday on the Feast of the Visitation, we remembered how after the annunciation Mary hastened to help her older cousin Elizabeth through her pregnancy. In contrast to Mary's outreach, Friday's news announced President Trump's intention to put new tariffs on Mexico unless Mexico stems immigrant migration. Likely to face legal challenges and delays, the threatened tariffs would have a number of direct and indirect consequences. The continued emphasis on excluding [...]

1205, 2019

Freedom Day

By |May 12th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Freedom Day

Established by the UN General Assembly in 1993, the May 3rd observance of World Press Freedom Day reminded us of threats to reporters, including the targeted killing of five Capital Gazette employees in Annapolis, Maryland, last June and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia this past October. According to recent news reports, the Department of Homeland Security has created dossiers on journalists, activists and attorneys who [...]

2204, 2019

Devine Mercy

By |April 22nd, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Devine Mercy

Last week as we celebrated Easter's promise of new life, we heard news of death in Sri Lanka, where four hotels and three Catholic churches were bombed. Early reports counted over 200 fatalities and over 500 wounded. Sorely in need of God’s healing mercy, we will conclude the octave of Easter with the Feast of Divine Mercy. The gospel account of Jesus appearing to Thomas, inviting him to touch his wounds [...]

1904, 2019

Good Friday

By |April 19th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Good Friday

Last week civil and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan participated in a 2-day religious and ecumenical retreat at the Vatican in an effort to end the country's civil war.  Organized by the Vatican Secretariat of State and the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the retreat ended with Pope Francis speaking and then kneeling to kiss the shoes of each participant. The gesture reminds us that Jesus’ example of [...]

2203, 2019

The Mighty One

By |March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on The Mighty One

On Monday we celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation. As we continue our Lenten practices and end Women's History Month, the feast’s Gospel reminds us how Mary's humble and unwavering Yes to God's will facilitated the Incarnation and so changed history. Mary must have wondered how God's will would play out in her life, but she recognized and trusted God's power, telling her cousin Elizabeth, “The Mighty One has done great [...]

1503, 2019

International day elimination of racism and prejudice

By |March 15th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on International day elimination of racism and prejudice

Several times in the gospel, we read that Mary pondered God’s work in the events of her life and the life of her son Jesus. The season of Lent also calls us to consider God’s work in our lives, identifying and transforming those attitudes and actions that distance us from God and from others. In their November pastoral, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged us to “open wide our hearts” [...]

103, 2019

Pope Francis Sex Abuse Summit

By |March 1st, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Pope Francis Sex Abuse Summit

As we once again enter into the holy season of Lent, we will be signed with ashes and reminded to repent and believe in the good news of the Gospel. Last week in Rome, Pope Francis and church leaders ended the summit on sex abuse with a penitential Mass, acknowledging the evil of abuse, the too frequent cover-ups, failure to act on allegations of abuse and failure to believe and assist [...]

3101, 2019

State of the Union

By |January 31st, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on State of the Union

As of this posting, the State of the Union address has yet to be delivered; however, there is much to be addressed concerning the union's state. Political speech has been reduced to soundbites and tweets and the rhetorical distinctions between news reports and commentaries are vanishing. Even before last Thursday 's vote on the two bills drafted to temporarily finance the government, newscasters announced the anticipated failure of both. When on [...]

2501, 2019

Hope

By |January 25th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Hope

This week has called us to hope and action. On Monday we were reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of unity. And today we end the octave of prayer for Christian unity, joining our prayer to Christ's, “That all may be one.” Both Dr. King and Jesus spoke their hopes while expecting to meet violent death before their dreams could be fulfilled. Last week Jason Spindler was among the [...]

1801, 2019

Baptism of Jesus Resisting Temptation of Isolationism

By |January 18th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Baptism of Jesus Resisting Temptation of Isolationism

Last Sunday we celebrated the baptism of Jesus. Immediately after Jesus's baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the desert where after forty days Satan tempted him. At our baptism, we were called to share in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet and king. Given the lengthy government shutdown and divisive political discourse, we may be tempted to let our sense of powerlessness lead us into self-centeredness and isolationism, but as Christians we [...]

1001, 2019

Nancy Pelosi Dreams

By |January 10th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Nancy Pelosi Dreams

Many readings of the Christmas season feature dreams. In dreams, Joseph was advised to take Mary as his wife, the Magi were warned not to return to Herod and, finally, Joseph was instructed to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt. When Jesus began his preaching, He shared God's dream for us, a dream of justice and peace, a dream that the Father's will would be done on earth as it is [...]

401, 2019

migrant crisis Government Shutdown

By |January 4th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on migrant crisis Government Shutdown

What a contrast of images and experiences this Christmas season has delivered to us! Nativity scenes have moved us through time and space to Bethlehem and memories and movies have moved us back to childhood moments of opening presents and to more grown-up memories of opening our very selves to new graces and experiences through New Year's resolutions. In sharp contrast, the news reports that two Guatemalan migrant children died while [...]

512, 2018

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

By |December 5th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on The Immaculate Conception of Mary

On Saturday, December 8th, we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. We recall God’s care for us from the first moment of creation and God’s call to participate in spreading justice and peace. Last week the Senate voted to open argument on continuing aid to the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen. If successful, the United States would cease support for military not targeting al—Qaeda or associated forces. In August, [...]

1611, 2018

Rhetoric of Peace 100th Anniversary WW1

By |November 16th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Rhetoric of Peace 100th Anniversary WW1

Last week world leaders and local communities commemorated the end of World War I at 11 AM on November 11th, 1918. In US ceremonies, we celebrated Veterans’ Day, honoring all who have served in the military; heroic and tragic stories reminded us that peace has not yet triumphed over conflict. Though not an armed conflict, the November 6th mid-term elections revealed sharp divisions within our nation. Election coverage focused on “political [...]

2210, 2018

Violence and the Mid-Term Elections

By |October 22nd, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Violence and the Mid-Term Elections

Last week's news was filled with violence and threats of violence. On Wednesday, a white man shot and killed two African Americans, one in a Louisville, Kentucky, grocery store, the other in the parking lot . Addressing a white bystander, the gunman noted that he would not shoot or be shot by the man because “White people don’t shoot white people.” Throughout the week, pipe bombs were delivered to a number [...]

1210, 2018

Temporary Status Injunction

By |October 12th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Temporary Status Injunction

                          Last week U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction delaying the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a number of groups. As stated in the October 4th on-line posting by the Center for Public Integrity, “Chen’s order affects the following groups: About 1,050 Sudanese, who were scheduled to [...]

410, 2018

Pope Francis & China

By |October 4th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Pope Francis & China

Yesterday we celebrated the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi whose mission began with a command from Christ to repair the church. Our Holy Father has assumed the name and the task of Saint Francis. As has been widely reported, Pope Francis has been addressing sex abuse within the church, acknowledging the history of neglect and initiating steps to prevent future abuse. The urgency of this task cannot be overestimated, but [...]

2008, 2018

Mother of Sorrows

By |August 20th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Mother of Sorrows

This past week we were shaken by yet another report of sexual abuse within the church, this time coming from the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. Detailing decades of abuse and cover-ups in six Pennsylvania dioceses, the report is shocking in reporting the details of abuse, the large number of victims, the number of perpetrators and the failure of many bishops to disclose the allegations to civil authorities and to take appropriate [...]

908, 2018

Death Penalty Catechism

By |August 9th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Death Penalty Catechism

As announced last week, the revised text of the Catholic catechism states: “The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person.” As noted in the October 11th, 2017, online America posting, Pope Francis called for the revisions because the death penalty’,”... is, of itself, contrary to the Gospel, because it is freely decided to suppress a human life that is always [...]

2007, 2018

Mary, Untier of Knots (Thailand Cave Rescue)

By |July 20th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Mary, Untier of Knots (Thailand Cave Rescue)

For several weeks the world watched the rescue of twelve members of a soccer team and their coach who had been trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. None of the possible rescue scenarios was without danger, as the death of Thailand's former Navy Seal .Saman Kunan demonstrated when after delivering oxygen tanks to the cave, his own oxygen supply ran out. By the time this blog is posted, it is [...]

907, 2018

“Seat of Wisdom Supreme Court?”

By |July 9th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on “Seat of Wisdom Supreme Court?”

      Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to retire from the Supreme Court has caused great speculation and concern about future nominees and has aroused many memories of Kennedy’s position on the court as a Republican appointed by a Republican president who often was the swing vote, siding sometimes with the liberal judges, sometimes with the conservatives. In speeches and in writing formal opinions, Kennedy often expressed the need to begin [...]

507, 2018

Seeking and Witnessing Truth

By |July 5th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Seeking and Witnessing Truth

July 4th called us to remember once again the ideals affirmed in our country's founding documents. On Thursday, June 29th, five staff members of the Capital Gazette, a local newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, were murdered, apparently targeted by a gunman who in 2012 had made an unsuccessful attempt to sue the newspaper group for defamation. In a time when journalists are increasingly under verbal and sometimes physical attack, the tributes to [...]

2806, 2018

US out of Human Rights Council

By |June 28th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on US out of Human Rights Council

Last week while our attention focused on the heart-wrenching stories and images of crying children, the United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained that human rights violations in countries that hold membership in the council led to the decision. Throughout the years, reports by the media and by independent human rights organizations have confirmed Haley's allegations. Haley also noted [...]

1206, 2018

Olph Model of Comfort

By |June 12th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Olph Model of Comfort

Last week’s news told of the deaths of Guatemalan townspeople, victims of a volcanic eruption. Later in the week we learned of the deaths of two celebrities, fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, both of whom died by suicide. Such news can leave us feeling overwhelmed and isolated, but Jesus has promised us that we are never alone. The familiar icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help offers [...]

2205, 2018

World Peace

By |May 22nd, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on World Peace

Peace! How often Christ used that single word as gift and greeting to his followers and yet peace seems to elude us. Last week we witnessed yet another school shooting, and the highly anticipated June 12th summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was canceled, although, as of this writing, there is renewed hope that the meeting will take place. When hope of peace wavers, we can [...]

3004, 2018

Peace

By |April 30th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Peace

  Ark of the New Covenant-- this title of Mary reminds us that she harbored and enfleshed Jesus, God's Promised One. How different Mary's life must have been after the Annunciation! How different our lives are because,in his great love, God sent his Son to be with us so that we might be one with each other and with God. Recently Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, met with President [...]

2404, 2018

Mothers

By |April 24th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Mothers

    Of the many titles of Mary, mother is the most beloved and the most privileged. It is in the mother's womb that God begins to work out the divine design for each of us. As the psalmist prays, “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” (PS. 139: [...]

1604, 2018

In the Darkest Night

By |April 16th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on In the Darkest Night

        Mary's title as Morning Star comes in part from the Song of Songs in which the speaker marvels, “Who is this that comes forth like the dawn,... .(6:10). In the darkest night, Mary joins her prayer to ours, reminding us that her Son has promised to share our burdens. We recently watched in horror as video clips showed infants shaking uncontrollably, men and women lying in the [...]

904, 2018

“I’ve been to the mountaintop”

By |April 9th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on “I’ve been to the mountaintop”

    During last week’s services commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, we heard his strong words of vision, hope and possibility “I've been to the mountaintop.” Like Moses looking over the promised land from Mount Nebo, Dr. King looked to a blessed future time when all people would be respected and so would live in peace. This Easter season, all Christians have been to our [...]

304, 2018

Devine Mercy

By |April 3rd, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Devine Mercy

    Shaped by the word of God that became incarnate within her, Mary came to know in the most personal way the power, compassion and suffering of Our Lord. This is also our call, for Christ shows to us, as He did to Thomas, the still visible marks of his wounds. In our suffering world, reconciliation and healing can happen when former opponents come together to acknowledge the harm that [...]

2603, 2018

Easter Sunday

By |March 26th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Easter Sunday

    After that heart-wrenching moment on Calvary when Jesus commended Mary to John's care and named Mary to be mother to John and to all the church, the Gospel makes no mention of Our Lady. Surely her mother's heart was pierced by sorrow as Simeon had prophesied when she brought her infant son to the temple. In those first confusing hours after the death of Jesus, we can imagine that [...]

2003, 2018

Good Friday

By |March 20th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Good Friday

    Good Friday As we approach Holy Week, scripture invites us to stand with Mary at the foot of the cross. How impossibly long that Calvary morning must have seemed to Mary, Mother of Sorrows and model of strength! Two thousand years later, the world still cries out in lamentation. Erected as a safety measure in Miami, Florida, a still unopened pedestrian bridge, collapsed onto a highway, killing some and [...]

203, 2018

Our Lady of Sorrows

By |March 2nd, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Our Lady of Sorrows

How hard those last months of Jesus’  life must have been for Mary, knowing that as her son's popularity increased so did the jealousy of people in authority.  With his dying breath,  Jesus commended Mary to John’s care and named her mother of us all.   Mary’s children -- our brothers and sisters -- continue to suffer.  On February 23rd, Russia’s objections delayed voting on a long-argued United Nations proposal that would have [...]

1502, 2018

Mary’s Yes – BlessedMother.org

By |February 15th, 2018|Categories: Fr. Richard|Comments Off on Mary’s Yes – BlessedMother.org

    Mary's Yes: So little is really known about Mary, yet there are countless poems, hymns, songs, prayers and plays about her. When a person seems larger than life we seems to resort to imagination and symbol. One thing is for certain, however, and that is Mary’s simple “Yes.” Mary chose to say yes to God’s invitation. That “yes” was perhaps the most important choice in human history. Sometimes I [...]

1201, 2018

The Presentation of Christ

By |January 12th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on The Presentation of Christ

    The Presentation of Christ When Mary and Joseph, presented Jesus at the temple as prescribed by the law, Simeon gave thanks to God for Jesus, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel” and then predicted Mary’s sorrows. Some of the sorrows came early: the flight to Egypt to escape Herod’s lethal jealousy and then the anxious search Mary and Joseph made when at [...]

1201, 2018

Arrival of The Magi

By |January 12th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Arrival of The Magi

    The Arrival of The Magi: Mary must have been both pleased and startled at the arrival of the magi. Strangers from a distant land, these astrologers had read in the stars God's good news that a king had been born, and they did not hesitate to undertake the long arduous journey to give homage to this new leader. The contrasts between Mary and her wealthy, learned visitors could not [...]

1201, 2018

Hail Mary

By |January 12th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Hail Mary

    Hail Mary: We always have people in our lives who we need to pray for. No doubt you have a list the same as I do. Sometimes it helps me if I think of three specific intentions which become a ritual for me. That way it becomes a discipline. Here is a tradition that I remember from my days as a pastor: We asked everyone to wait until the [...]

1201, 2018

Mary Mother of God

By |January 12th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|Comments Off on Mary Mother of God

    Mary Mother of God: For many non-Catholics the title that we use for Mary “Mother of God” seems impossible. We do not believe that Mary is divine. She is a human being like you and I who needs the grace from God to do everything. The church from its early beginnings has used this title for Mary and reserved for her this special honor. Since Jesus, the Son of [...]

2308, 2016

Our Lady of The Rosary

By |August 23rd, 2016|Categories: Sister Fran|1 Comment

    Our Lady of The Rosary: I am not sure if I am alone in this dilemma but when I try to say the Rosary at night I most often fall asleep. Now when I say the rosary I approach it differently. Now I use each “Hail Mary” for someone in my family or a friar that I lived within the past or perhaps a list of students who were [...]

Send Us Your Intentions
Go to Top