|Pope arrives in Mexico, March 24, 2012.|
Can you think of three words that describe the Season of Lent and what it means to you?
Well, if you are struggling to find three words or ideas, the Sisters of St. Francis might be able to help you out. Seven sisters from the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania OH, filmed a short video about the season of Lent, sharing in three words what this holy season means to them.
This short yet powerful film describes all the attitudes and feelings we have as we journey through Lent toward Holy Week and Easter. Lent is considered a time of soul-searching and preparation, but it is also a time of gratitude for the great sacrifice Jesus made for us.
So in three words: Thank you, Lord.
Three years ago, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Arizona put their minds to raising funds to build a chapel and monastery in the Southwestern desert. They came up with a fun idea - have young and old alike run in an annual fundraiser named the Nun Run.
This year, their 3rd Annual Nun Run on March 10 attracted 1,135 participants at Kiwanis Park in Tempe, Ariz., to compete in a 10K run, 5K run/walk, or opt for a slower-paced 1-mile walk.
"I started off the day full of energy and left with more than I arrived with," said Jill Sciarappo a volunteer and photographer.
The runners wore shirts designed by Sister Fidelis based on the year's motto from Isaiah 40:31 "You shall run and not get weary".
Many people came out for this amazing event from grandparents to young children. The "Nun Run" is trying to raise funds to continue work on building Our Lady of Solitude Monastery. The previous runs all help to fund the chapel and chapel appointments. After the final cosmetic work is completed on the chapel, the main focus will be completion of the Monastery to make rooms for 28 sisters.
Our Lady of Solitude is rising like a vision of medieval beauty on land donated to the sisters in Tonopah, just west of Phoenix. The sisters arrived here in 2005 from Hanceville, Ala., to establish the first Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration monastery in the West and to become the first contemplative community of nuns in the Phoenix Diocese.
The Nun Runs are helping to bring the diocesan community together for this project. "The Lord has inspired a lot of good people to come out and help us," said Sister John-Mark Maria. "A lot of people come together for Our Lord, and I experience that through the Nun Run. I'm very humbled, and I marvel in the Lord's goodness."
So if you see a nun run, go join in and think of the Lord. A young woman was running and wearing a shirt that had a picture of a sister with the words: "Not all habits are bad."
Let's remember to pray for those who are discerning a religious vocation or any vocation and let's continue to pray for the men and women who are priests or sisters, as they continue to inspire and work towards bringing about the Kingdom of God.
Check out more photos of the Nun Run or to get involved.
With moves from soccer greats like Pelé or Ronaldo, sisters and priests from the Diocese of Biloxi and southern Mississippi participated in a benefit soccer game for St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School. In a girls vs. boys soccer showdown with a bit of religious flare, the sisters proved superior.
Dressed in habits, the sisters from the Community of Charity and Social Services (CCSS), along with help from parishioners and students in disguise, pulled a convincing 6-4 victory over the priests.
"We thought this would be a fun way to bring awareness of holy life," said Ginny Macken, who coordinated the game. "We had about 100 people out for a great afternoon, with proceeds benefiting the Long Beach St. Vincent de Paul Society. It was a fun competition with lots of laughs. Both the kids and adults had a great time."
Check out these great photos from St. Thomas Catholic Church, the parish that supports St. Vincent de Paul School. Including this one of Sr. Martha Troung, CCSS:
Well, it seems like forever since I last blogged about something going on in the news but I am happy to report that I am back from my week working with the Sisters of St. Joseph and their volunteer program.
I cannot go into too much detail about what I did (I am saving that for our magazine-so check it out in July), but it was a great week. I got involved in so many unique ministries that the sisters provide out in Rochester.
The overarching theme is Social Justice and Peace which stems from Catholic Social Teaching. All the ministries of the SSJ focus on these core components to provide the necessary resources people need in their daily lives. I was involved in education, health care, community and environmental ministries throughout the week and I had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people. It was truly an eye-opening experience to see how many lives we were able to touch just by being present and lending a helping hand.
Some words about Rochester, New York:
Rochester does have its areas of poverty and hardship like many cities but there was a feeling of welcome when I arrived. It was a great place to live and work for a week and I hope that others get inspired to participate in this amazing program and get a glimpse into the lives of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
sources: City of Rochester
Click here for more information about the Sisters of St. Joseph, Rochester, NY.
|The Talpiot ossuaries
(photo from Thomas Verenna's blog,
"There's no such thing as bad publicity," the saying goes, and usually the best way to draw attention to something bad is to tell people not to go anywhere near it—which a large number then go right ahead and do mostly because they heard about it from you first.
With that caution in mind, I pass along a Publishers Weekly item about a new book, The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find that Reveals the Birth of Christianity by James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici. PW summarizes: "It argues that evidence from ossuaries (bone boxes) newly excavated from a previously unopened tomb under a Jerusalem condominium—near what has been called 'the Jesus Family Tomb,' first excavated in 1980—revive the possibility they are related to the family of Jesus."
After the book's publication, PW says, "Archaeologists used the blog of the American Schools of Oriental Research to repudiate the new claim. A 2008 book, The Jesus Family Tomb: The Evidence Behind the Discovery No One Wanted to Find by Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino (HarperOne), got a similar reception from scholars. A film on the new discovery is set to air on the Discovery Channel this spring."
Oh, boy. Now first of all, in the interest of full disclosure, I have not read the book. Second, I do realize that scholars are not always right, and every now and then someone with an unconventional theory proves to be actually onto something. But religion is particularly vulnerable to sensational books that argue for wild, sweeping claims based on faulty interpretations of the evidence or discoveries of "new" evidence that "they"—the establishment—don't want you to know about. It's what I call the "aliens must have built the Egyptian pyramids" argument. For me, if the American Schools of Oriental Research, a mainstream professional organization, feels the need to offer itself as a forum to refute the book's claims, I'm going to put my money on them, not the authors. Follow the searches and links on the Talpiot tombs and you'll find lots of very knowledgeable people who have a bunch of issue with these books.
The double problem is that these kinds of books are put out by major publishers—like Simon & Schuster and HarperOne—and thereby have the big promotional budgets that the books and people who can give you really solid information on the subject rarely get. So these books and films and websites get out there, and most people don't have the critical tools to make up their own minds about whether they're being sold a bill of goods. If people took the time and money they would spend on reading something like The Jesus Discovery and used it instead on a good, accessible introduction to biblical archaeology—like the award-winning Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction by Eric H. Cline (Oxford University Press, 2009), also available on Kindle—they and the rest of us would be much better served.