Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fostering Vocations

"The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few..." Luke 10:2
In the spirit of the vocations crusade which Father Couture called for in the Asian District (with Rosaries offered up for this intention between the months of May to November) and following the example of our holy founder who dispersed his brethren in the face of general disagreement saying that: "Seed rots when it is hoarded, bears fruit when it is sown." (Bologna, 26) Mother Micaela and Father Laisney agreed on an invitation from America to send three sisters to the United States to promote religious life in general and in particular to make our congregation known to another English speaking district.

The Sisters were met with great enthusiasm and warmth as they made their way across the states visiting parishes and giving formal presentations and/or meeting informally with young ladies from New York, the Auriesville pilgrimage, Philadelphia, Syracuse, Chicago, St Louis, Kansas City, St Mary's and Denver from where they flew to Los Angeles and then back to New Zealand.

The Sisters were impressed with the great number of Catholics who remain faithful to tradition and the generosity of the youth with whom they met. One of our most frequent questions to answer was how we differ from the teaching Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux who have two schools in the States. The answer given is that we belong to the same family but have different roots and therefore a slightly different spirit. Our life reflects the contemplative origins of our Congregation in that we (unlike the Fanjeaux Sisters) are bound to the full Divine Office in choir. The other main difference is that we are an English speaking congregation, with a novitiate in New Zealand whereas the Fanjeaux Sisters receive their formation in French.

"Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send labourers into His harvest"
The Sisters feel fortunate that they had the opportunity to plant some seeds and pray that God will bring their work to fruition, in possible vocations to Religious life. The Sisters wish to thank all of the Priests, Families and Benefactors who opened their hearts, homes and purses for this worthy cause. A Mass will be said for their intentions on July 7.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

For the love of Truth

Pope Pius XII said of real Christian education that it: "...must be a continuous, permanent and progressive work; it must permeate all teaching, even profane, penetrating right to the depths of the soul. It, therefore, consists in addition to the methodical exposition of doctrine, in seeing and making all things be seen in the light of the great and Divine Truth, just as in the contemplation of the material creation, things are not properly seen in their true colours, if not by the light, even if sometimes concealed by clouds, of the beautiful sun of God..."

As teachers we therefore aim to make them understand the connection that exists between all the subjects taught,in their subordination to the Faith, to allow them to better understand how to order and lead their life according to the right principles. By this means we help our children to grasp and understand what is right, in order to make them love and adhere to the Truth.

In doing so we pray in the words of Pope Pius XII: "...that they will accordingly exercise a healthy action on their generation - in fact, on future generations - so that they may pass through the world, leaving it better, sweeter and more beautiful than they found it"

Literature, poetry, painting, as well as music, are excellent tools for forming the mind to the disinterested values of beauty, truth and morality. True art speaks beyond words and leads us to grasp transcendent values, and eventually God Himself. Interhouse competitions gives students the chance to express their beliefs and display their talent. Below are entries from the Sacred Heart art competition:

The winning entries for the Catholic Womanhood poetry competition:

The Catholic Woman
Tell me Catholic Woman,
What should you be?
Take a simple glance at Our Lady
And tell me what you see.

I see a chaste and humble spouse
A tender and loving mother
Modest and simple in her beauty
A model like no other.

I see her holy tenderness
As she prays for us her children,
Her humility and prayerfulness
A perfect and loving maiden.

So now, Catholic Woman,
What should you be?
A model of Our Lady,
For all eternity.

~ Olivia McKenna (1st)

Catholic Womanhood
A Catholic woman once I did see;
How very kind she was to me,
So lost and forlorn was I abandoned by my fellow men;
She held out her helping hand.
Her eyes so gentle with no rebuke;
Her smile full of encouragement,
I, Juan Diego Mexican boy;
She, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Her voice deep and meaningful;
As she told me to gather roses,
As long as I remember,
I shall remember her,
As a true woman of great goodness and greatness,
A true Catholic woman.

~ Veronica McAuliffe (2nd)

Winners of the Sacred Heart art competition

Pope Pius XII addressed teachers with these grave words:
"...your mission as teachers cannot be reduced simply to a means of imparting knowledge which is more or less profound and broad; you should be, above all, educators of the spirit, and, in due proportion, moulders of the souls of your pupils... Finally, the satisfactory fulfillment of such important duties will require on your part: assiduous dedication to your work, shunning no sacrifice and putting aside all personal gain; exemplary conduct, so that your little ones, who wil watch you closely, will learn more from your deeds than from your fine words - especially from your upright living, your self-abnegation, your patience, and your sincere piety..."

We pray that God will strenghen us to live up to such a great calling!