A wish from Maryland

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sister Kathleen Weber talks with a client.
Sister Kathleen Weber ministers at the Holy Cross Medical Adult Day Center, which is sponsored by Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. She receives Ministry With the Poor funds for scholarships for families who need the daycare program but cannot afford the fees.

“The $76 daily fee allows someone to have a scheduled day-activity program that includes memory care, chronic disease management and socialization under the supervision of social workers, a registered nurse and trained staff,” Sister Kathleen explains. It also provides a welcome respite from caregiving for their families.

Please support this ministry and others with your donation. Just go to DONATE NOW or give us a call at (574) 284-5641. Thank you.

Learn more about our Ministry With the Poor.

Have a blessed Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Lord God of heaven and earth,
you revealed your only begotten Son
to every nation by the guidance of a star.

Fill us with the light of Christ
and enlighten those who dwell in darkness.

Jesus is born in us

Thursday, December 17, 2015

by Sister Margie Lavonis

It is through our acts of love that Jesus is revealed over and over again to our world, and the more we live in a loving manner, the more God is made manifest among us.

As we begin this year’s celebration of Christmas, the Incarnation of Jesus, it would be well to take some time to reflect on how we have or have not given birth to the God who is Love. Do we incarnate God in the way we live our daily lives? Do our lives reflect the one we claim to follow?

The Scripture readings for daily Masses during the season of Christmas are from the letters of St. John, who tells us that it is only when we abide in love do we abide in God. These words challenge us to live the Christmas spirit all year long. The spirit of loving, of giving of ourselves, of incarnating God should become a habit for all who call themselves Christian. It is not reserved for certain times of the year. As Christians, we strive to make the spirit of kindness and generosity ever more a part of who we are.

During this beautiful season let us reflect on how we will continue to give birth to the God of peace and love throughout the new year. The only New Year’s resolution a Christian needs to make is to be a more loving person. That is challenge enough.

A wish from California

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sister Francis Christine ministers at Holy Cross Center for Women in Fresno, California. The center is open to meet the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of underserved women and their children. It is a recipient of a Ministry With the Poor grant.
by Sister M. Rose Edward (Goodrow)

I’ve always loved the title of the song, “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” from Disney’s Cinderella. It seems especially meaningful today as I ask you to open your heart and join the Sisters of the Holy Cross in making wishes and dreams come true through our Ministry With the Poor.

As Christmas approaches I invite you to share in the joy our sisters experience when they minister with the poor around the world. Although every day they see the difficulties of men, women and children who are less fortunate, and realize firsthand their pain and challenges, they also witness the triumphs as these people strive for better lives.

The sisters have big wishes for these individuals. They are surprisingly modest — just the same hopes and dreams that we all have: food to eat, books to read, health, shelter and respite. These are the things that our Ministry With the Poor does so well.

With generous donations from individuals like you, Ministry With the Poor will continue to flourish. Your gift now to the Sisters of the Holy Cross will help us make these dreams come true. Whether your gift is $20, $50, $100 or $1,000 I promise you it will be appreciated, used wisely, and will make a true difference.

If you prefer, you also can choose to support our sisters’ retirement needs or make an unrestricted gift. Just go to DONATE NOW or give us a call at (574) 284-5641.

As the new year approaches, you and your family will be in our prayers for peace, love and hope. May all your dreams and wishes come true!

Learn more about our Ministry With the Poor.

Blessed are the peacemakers

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jesus is the Light that shines in our darkness. As we journey through the darkness of this season, we light our Advent candles, casting the light of Christ, the light of hope, on the epidemic of gun violence in the United States and throughout the world. We must continue to shine a light on this epidemic until all gun-related deaths are eliminated.

“Let the arms fall from your hands. One cannot love while holding offensive arms.” — Pope Pius VI

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Sunday, December 6, 2015

by Sister M. Rose Edward (Goodrow), CSC

On December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, we shall begin the celebration of a year known as Jubilee of Mercy. Pope Francis says, “I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God. From this moment, we entrust this holy year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey.”

In Catholic tradition, a year of jubilee is a time of joy and universal pardon. It is a time to celebrate the mercy of God and the forgiveness of sins. Pope Francis writes, “How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst.”

During the year, the Sunday readings for Ordinary Time will be taken from the Gospel of Luke, known as “the Evangelist of Mercy.” There are many well-known parables of mercy presented in the Gospel of Luke: the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, the Merciful Father — just to name a few.  “In the parables devoted to mercy, Jesus reveals the nature of God as that of a Father who never gives up until he has forgiven the wrong and overcome rejection with compassion and mercy,” writes Pope Francis.

May this year be an opportunity to renew our relationship with God and with our neighbors. It also is a wonderful time to deepen our faith and to live with a renewed commitment to Christian witness.

The year will conclude on the feast of Christ the King, November 20, 2016.

Let us hold each other in prayer as we walk this year together.

Grace-filled moments

Thursday, December 3, 2015

by Sister Scholastica Elizabeth Ampadu

Sister Scholastica Elizabeth Ampadu, CSC
I first contemplated the call to religious life when I was in seventh grade. Despite the fact that my school was a Catholic girls’ school and well known in Kumasi, a city in Ghana, West Africa, where I was born, there were no Catholic sisters at the school. The only glimpses I had of religious sisters was when I attended Mass on Sundays at Saint Peter’s Cathedral, my home parish, where the sisters from St. Louis Training College sometimes attended the children’s Mass.

I was born into a staunch Catholic family, the fifth child and third girl among 10 children. My family and teachers nurtured in me my love for God and the joy of being a Catholic. My father was strict with us about attending Sunday Mass and my parents never missed 5:30 a.m. Mass during the weekdays. Mother had a strong faith in Our Lady and wanted us to share in this faith. She always enticed us with stories about what Mary did for those who visited her shrine. Mother succeeded, and we all were eager to accompany her to the grotto to pray to Our Lady, especially during vacations and feast days. I learned to pray the rosary from these visits and also developed other devotions to Mary.

One morning at school, the bell summoned all pupils from grades 7 to 10 to the assembly grounds. A diocesan priest was waiting to talk to us about religious vocations. At the end of his talk, he invited those interested to see the cathedral administrator for application forms to Saint Hubert’s Seminary. This was the first time that I, now a seventh-grader, had heard how to become a religious. Call it love at first sight or curiosity, but his talk touched the core of my being and, there and then, I decided to be a sister — without fully understanding what it meant. Before the end of the academic school year, I was accepted into the seminary.

During the five years that I spent in the school, my interactions with the male students challenged me. Both boys and girls were treated equally even though only 5 percent of the student population was female. However, the boys’ attitude was to surpass the girls in every activity. This was contrary to what my parents taught me about boys not being better than girls, so I was determined to excel. With determination and hard work I rose to par with them. At the end of the five years, I decided that I still wanted to be a sister because I felt like doing something special for God.

After school I entered another congregation. I still look back fondly on those years in my former community and am grateful to God for all the gifts he gave me. My stay with them was a hallmark in my life, renewing the conviction that God needs me. I worked as a nurse midwife in Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions of Ghana where I got to know many of the Brothers of Holy Cross. I heard about the Holy Cross sisters from them. Later, when I left my former community, I thought about contacting these sisters.

I was in school doing my undergraduate coursework when I met Sister Jane Chantal Method, who welcomed me and told me a lot about the Sisters of the Holy Cross. I was attracted to the fact that the Holy Cross family has sisters, brothers and priests. From then on I started communicating with the sisters until my graduate courses were completed. I applied formally to the community and began the candidacy program in 2003. I made my initial profession in 2006 and my perpetual profession in 2012.

Being in the Holy Cross community has offered me the chance to interact with children and youth. I have been given the opportunity to teach children in the Holy Cross Family Centre and to minister to the sick. Currently, I teach at the Nursing & Midwifery Training College in Sekondi. These have been grace-filled moments for me. Holy Cross has given me the opportunity to deepen my prayer life, reassess my relationship with God, and be hope-filled.

I thank God for all he has given me, for the parents who gave me life and love, bringing me up in the Catholic faith and providing me with all the advantages that a Catholic education and life offer. For all the spiritual opportunities that the community has given me, I am deeply grateful, and I pray that all people may continue to support one another as we continue our journey to God.

A wish from Uganda

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sister Angelica Birungi, left, feeds an undernourished child.
“We treat people, especially the underprivileged, with compassion and understanding without discrimination,” says Sister Angelica Birungi. “And we try to have medicines available, in contrast to nearby government facilities.”

Sister Angelica is the director of the Kyembogo Holy Cross Health Centre in Kyarusozi, Uganda. Recognized by the government of Uganda, this multifaceted health center provides outpatient, maternity and postnatal care. In addition, it provides outreach services in the adjacent villages, including immunizations and AIDS counseling.

Please support this ministry and others with your donation. Just go to DONATE NOW or give us a call at (574) 284-5641. Thank you.

Learn more about our Ministry With the Poor.