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

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.

1909, 2019

Violence Against Women

By |September 19th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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


By |January 25th, 2019|Categories: Sister Fran|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

                          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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

      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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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


By |April 30th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|0 Comments

  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


By |April 24th, 2018|Categories: Sister Fran|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

        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|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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 –

By |February 15th, 2018|Categories: Fr. Richard|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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|0 Comments

    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 [...]

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