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Postings by Caroline Hopkinson

Encouraging Vocations for Young Girls

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 30, April 2013 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life
As a young girl, I remember reading books like Babysitters Club or The Magic Tree House but nothing like a book encouraging me to seek or explore the call to religious life. Perfect timing, since Sunday (April 21) was the World Day of Prayer for vocations. 

When they could not find stories about vocations for children, Fr. Jeff and Peggy Wertz decided to start writing their own books. In 2010 they published, Becoming Fr. Bob,for boys, which quickly became a success. 

This January, during Catholic Schools Week, they released their latest book, aimed at elementary and middle-school girls: Becoming Sister Mary Grace.

“Principal Peggy Wertz and I worked alongside a great illustrator and saw Becoming Sister Mary Grace come alive,” said Father Kirby, vicar of vocations for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C. Wertz is principal of St. Mary Help of Christians School in Aiken, S.C., where illustrator Alice Judd is an art teacher.

 “We want this book to be attractive to young girls, as well as middle-school girls,” Wertz said, explaining how the cover pictures Claire, the focus of the story, with her little sister. The little sister is the cause of Claire’s excitement as the story opens. With their mother expecting a new baby, this is Claire’s chance to become a big sister.

“We felt all of the youngsters in the country would identify with becoming a big sister,” Wertz said. It was also a nice way to talk about perhaps becoming another kind of “sister” someday.

The book is dedicated to the girls who were part of the St. Cecilia Vocation Club at Mary Help of Christians School when the book was begun. Those girls are now juniors and seniors in high school.

Natalie Gorensek, a junior, was really excited at the launch of the book and stated that, “Everyone knows about marriage and priests, but not everyone knows about nuns. So it’s important we have vocation clubs to get the word out that being a sister is interesting and cool. … Knowing other options (of vocations) is really helpful in spiritual development." 

To read more about the book Becoming Sister Mary Grace, check out the artilce published in the National Catholic Register and let us continue to pray and encourage vocations throughout the world. 

Show us how you're doing with your Lenten resolve?

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Thursday 21, February 2013 Categories: 
Lenten Promises


We are one week into Lent and the VISION editors want to know how you are keeping up with your Lenten promises! 

Join our Lenten Check-in Photo Contest via our Facebook page and show us your Lenten practice in action. Or enter directly below.

We want pictures of those French Fries you aren't eating, or that church you’re making a visit to each morning! The more creative the better. 

Winner of this contest automatically becomes a contender for the “Best of VISION post" to be featured in the in the next addition of Vision Vocation Guide.

You have until March 23rd to submit your entry and will be notified on Holy Thursday if you are the lucky winner. 

Good luck and get posting! May the best photo win! 

Extreme Makeover: Website Edition

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 12, February 2013 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life
A Nun's LifeWe are excited to announce that our friends over at A Nun's Life Ministry have recently launched their newly refurbished website and it is incredible. 

A Nun's Life Ministry has been working hard to create a website that is accesible and functional for all its users. Today, the sisters will be hosting a LIVE website tour to show off their wonderful new site. The streaming audio and video tour will begin at 6 p.m. Central Time. The chat room will be open too, so you can interact with the sisters and with other folks during the tour.

Some of the new features include: 
  • New designs by Ann Betts
  • New Podcasts by the Sisters called "Random Nun Clips!"
  • New videos that highlight the sisters and all they do
  • Easier navigation features to help you find exactly what you are looking for

Make sure to check out the website and join the sisters tonight for their special podcast. Way to go sisters!! 

Look Who's Tweeting Now

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Monday 03, December 2012 Categories: 

Pope tweetingThe secret’s out. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI joined the Tweeting bandwagon and has created his own personal Twitter account @pontifex. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to tweet at the Pope now is your chance.  Reuters reports that Pope Benedict already has 1.2 billion "followers" but next week he will have another type when he enters what for any 85-year old is the brave new world of Twitter.

The Vatican said on Monday that the pope will start tweeting officially on December 12.

"The Pope’s twitter name is a good one. It means 'pope' and it also means 'bridge builder'," said Greg Burke, senior media advisor to the Vatican.

According to the Vatican, the pope’s tweets won’t be about which sports team he wants to see win or how his day is going, rather their focus is to be spiritual and offer his “followers” the opportunity to connect with Christ on a deeper level.

The first papal tweets will be answers to questions sent to #askpontifex and these tweets will be going out in Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French.

Primarily the tweets will come from the contents of his weekly general audience, Sunday blessings and homilies on major Church holidays. They will also include reaction to major world events. Benedict will be pushing the button on his first tweet on December 12 but in the future most will be written by aides and he will sign off on them.

Social Media used to help Catholic teachings come alive for youths

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 16, October 2012 Categories: 

youth ministry God must have a few tricks up his sleeve it seems these days. Last week we had some wonderful news about an increase in vocations and vocational awareness and now this week we have added young people into that mix. I came across another interesting and amazing article about using social media to reach out to teens and young people. Recently, the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia has launched “Video Catechism for Teens”—a free online resource for youths and young adults. The site ( became available Oct. 11 to coincide with the start of the Year of Faith, instituted by Pope Benedict XVI. The yearlong program of worship, catechesis and evangelization runs to Nov. 24, 2013.

While reading this article found on CNS, I was actually quite excited to see that the Church, in general, is trying to do more for young people. I know that often (myself included in this mix) can struggle with understanding some of the things the Church puts forth. I have that the more questions I ask and the more information I gather, I have come to the conclusion that I have the ability to determine the right choices for me and my faith.

Bob Perron, executive director of the diocese's Department of Youth Ministry stated that, "We wanted to do something where we could help our kids become better catechized, but we knew we had to do it in a different, new kind of format." That format offers young people a four-minute video each month on the site that provides a dramatization of teachings from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," presented in a way that is relevant to them and will help them understand how they may apply the teachings in their own lives. The dramatizations illustrate experiences and issues that young people face in their own lives and how they can find God in today's culture.

­­I know sometimes young people have felt pushed aside by the Church or felt that they Church doesn’t seem to relate well to what our generation is going through, and my hope is that this new resource will help us (teens and young adults) see how important we are in the Church.


Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 02, October 2012 Categories: 
I am not sure how many of you remember Pop-Up Videos on MTV or VH1 but here at VISION, we have created our own version of the so called “Pop-Up video.”

For those who visit our page, we now have formed a new “Featured Video” link on our website’s main banner. If you click on this new feature, it will take you to featured VISION Videos. 

We have a whole list of wonderful vocation videos produced by VISION or by participating religious communities who are current sponsors of the VISION Vocation Network. These videos are very informative and great resources if you are discerning a vocation. Our VISION-produced videos feature articles from VISION magazine and the blog “Questions Catholics Ask."

Make sure you check out our YouTube channel as well, and “subscribe” to our page to receive updates on new videos. 

Pope names women to Synod on Evangelization

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Monday 24, September 2012 Categories: 
St. Peter's Basilica This year Pope Benedict has named a record 29 women to the Synod on Evangelization that will be held October 7-28th in Vatican City. 

The Pope has chosen men and women from around the world from a variety of different professions to be a part of the Synod of Bishops. Europe accounts for the overwhelming majority of the appointees, followed by North America, with 10 people from the United States, two from Mexico and one from Canada. 

The experts include priests, nuns and laypeople, many of whom are professors, rectors or supervisors of catechetical or pastoral programs. They will serve as resources for the more than 200 synod members as they discuss the theme, "New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith."

To read more about those representing the North America, check out this articles in the National Catholic Reporter.

Remembering 9/11

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 11, September 2012 Categories: 

remembering 9/11
Today I am reminded of the horrific events that occurred eleven years ago. The date was September 11, 2001 and our country experienced the worst attack on American soil ever.  We lost many men and women that day and as time goes on we will never forget those who lost their lives to this tragedy. Families lost moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins, neighbors, children, friends and parents. We all lost something or someone that day.

As I continue to read articles, look at pictures, and even recall the events that unfolded, I am reminded of the bravery and courage of the fireman, police, medics, religious, and civilians that risked their lives to protect and save others. Out of this tragedy, our nation came together and a sense of patriotism and compassion developed in our hearts and minds. Regardless of race, sex, or religion, we came together and created a community of love and support for one another.

As we reflect on those events of eleven years ago, let us never forget that tragedy that ensued but let us be reminded of the sense of kindness and togetherness that was created.  Let us continue to show sympathy for one another, to be compassionate, and to continue to pray for peace in our world.

I want to thank the men and women that serve our country today and for all those men and women who risked their lives eleven years ago, and for all those who risk their lives today. Let us pray for them, their families, and for each other. 

Irish seminary welcomes 12 new student priests

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Wednesday 29, August 2012 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Clergy
NUI- MaynoothGreat news for vocations!  Yesterday at Saint Patrick's College Maynooth, the National Seminary for Ireland, 12 new student priests were welcomed into formation.

President of the College, Monsignor Hugh Connolly, said in his welcoming to the new candidates and their families, "As you begin your formation journey I wish you every blessing during this privileged time for discernment, for learning, for vocation, for praying, for listening and for being especially close to Our Lord in the word of Sacred Scripture, in the faith of the Church, in your participation in the Liturgy and in your service of others."

The Church of Ireland has had quite a memorable year hosting the Eucharistic Conference in June, and later this year will host a 50th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

As Monsignor Connolly concluded his welcoming he also expressed the great need this year is to be reminded of the importance of faith in each of our lives, to continue to deepen our relationship with God, and to be committed to sharing our faith with others. 

Let us continue to pray for those who are considering entering into religious life and for those women and men who already live a religious vocational life.  

*Source: Independent Catholic News

Olympic Swimmer and Mary's Intercession

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 21, August 2012 Categories: 

Belmonte's offeringWith the end of the Olympics, comes the end of the games that captivated audiences around the world for 17 days. But for one Olympian, these London games have taken on a whole new meaning. For Mireia Belmonte, her medals are more than just physical reminders of her success in London; they are also offerings to the Blessed Mother for her help throughout the games. 

According to the Catholic News Agency, Spanish swimmer Mireia Belmonte offered her two silver medals from the London Olympics to Our Lady of Monserrat in Barcelona. The 21 year-old swimmer, and the only Spanish swimmer to win two medals, said in a press conference that both medals were of “equal value” to her.  

A devout Catholic, Belmonte is one of many athletes who gave thanks and praise to her faith during the Olympics. To name a few others: Gabby Douglas, Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin, and Jordyn Wieber.

Belmonte trains almost nine hours a day and is beginning her training to prepare for the world championships next year. The swimmer was born in Badalona, Spain, in 1990 and began swimming at the age of four at the recommendation of doctors to help correct her sclerosis.

What a great way to give thanks to God for the gifts he has bestowed upon each of us. Let us all be reminded of the gifts we have each been given and use our talents as best we can each day. 

The Mission is simple: Those who give receive more

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 14, August 2012 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Clergy,Consecrated Life

billboardsBillboards are usually seen along expressways trying to grab our attention and get us to stop along the way. Often, we glance at these signs and continue driving to get to our destination. But what if a billboard was calling you towards religious life? Would you simply just read the sign and continue driving or would you answer the call?

Seeking to repopulate its thinning religious ranks, the Roman Catholic diocese of Austria's largest province launched a province-wide billboard campaign to recruit priests, nuns, and other laypeople. The requirements are simple: a sense of religious mission and a commitment to celibacy. Benefits: a possible inside track to Heaven. With over 80 large billboards and 300 small electric placards being placed around the provinces, the message is simple, “The Mission. Those who give all receive more.”

While unemployment is growing in Vienna, these billboards are a way to encourage men and women to consider entering into religious life. The billboard campaign has created some serious stir because mass advertisement for religious life is rare. Austria, which is overwhelmingly Catholic, is finding that is mostly in name rather than practice.

Like elsewhere in many parts of Europe, Masses are poorly populated in Vienna and other bigger cities and the number of declared Catholics is shrinking – in Austria by 13 percent since 1960 – as former believers fed up with church scandals and a perceived sense of the Vatican's disconnect with the world.

At the same time, however, the number of priests has declined rapidly – in Austria by 26 percent. In St. Poelten, Lower Austria's provincial capital, 244 priests are administering to the needs of 423 parishes. Country-wide, the overwhelming majority of priests are over 60, and young replacements are scarce.

The hope is that this billboard campaign will get people interested in religious life and service and to show people the importance of working with the Church. To read more about the billboard campaign check out the piece in the Huffington Post

Shooting for Gold

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 24, July 2012 Categories: 

Sgt. 1st Class Jason ParkerWith the opening ceremonies just days away, it got me thinking about what it would be like to be an Olympian. I thought about how awesome of an experience it would be to compete in front of millions of people, representing our country, playing for a medal, inspiring people to come together and for a moment have the world waiting and watching for what might happen next.

However, for most of us we probably will spend our lives being Olympic spectators but for Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker, he gets a shot to be on the world’s stage during the London Olympic Games.

Competing this year with his air rifle, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker told Catholic News Service in a phone interview from Fort Benning, Ga. “I'm a little bit more relaxed going into this. I know how to deal with some of the extra things the games bring now."

A Nebraska native, Parker grew up around sport shooting. His dad, Dale Parker, was a competitive shooter for much of his early life. At age 13, Jason Parker's parents bought him a competition air rifle, and he used it to climb the ranks in local and state competitions.

He said his real breakthrough came when he attended Jesuit-run Xavier University in Cincinnati. The university had "just a great atmosphere. It was exactly what I needed during my life," he said. Not only did Parker end up making his first international team in 1994 as a junior at Xavier, but he also met his wife, Andrea.

Parker is very skilled in the 10-meter air rifle competition and the 50-meter three-position competition which has led him to a successful career in the military.  Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker won the Men's Three-Position Rifle match, to secure his fourth trip to the Olympics and will be competing on the US Men’s Shooting Team.

Parker, a Methodist, said his faith helps him tremendously: on the range, with his family, and in Afghanistan. 

Let us pray this week for all the athletes participating in the Olympics and ask God to watch over them. Good luck to all the Olympians! 

Wise words from the Sisters

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Thursday 05, July 2012 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life
Last week I received an email from our friends over at a Nun's Life , in which they were answering a question from a blogger about what motiviates a person to become a nun. After reading the answer, I was amazed at how honest and important it was to really think about where we are each being called to by God in our own lives.   

The message was so powerful and so thoughtful that I would like to share it with you today: 

Hi Sister, what motivation did you have to become a nun? Why did you choose that type of career/life??

You asked what my motivation was for becoming a nun. Well, I didn’t really plan on becoming a nun. My motivation was to live my life the best way I could as a young, single, Catholic woman. I knew my options were single life, married life, and religious life. I figured that I was destined for married life. I always wanted to be married and to be a mom. But, I decided I’d check out the religious thing just to say “been there, done that” … so I wouldn’t have any doubts about that NOT being my call. Well, that didn’t happen.

It turns out it was my call. I think deep down, I recognized that I was most fully myself when I was in tune with God. It just so happened that for me, that meant living the lifestyle of a religious. For others, it may mean living a married life, being a parent, becoming ordained or choosing single life. Whatever lifestyle God calls us to is IT, the best one for us. I realized that to be true to myself meant that I had to let go of something and let God do the driving. I still am quite a back seat driver, but more and
more I am able to say “not my will, but yours be done.”

Being a nun is more of a way of life than it is a career. I think of a career as something that at the end of the day or week, I can come home and do my ordinary stuff. I’m “off duty” so to speak. Just like being married is not a career, being a nun is not really a career because being a nun is part of who I am. It’s like I’ve got this IHM “DNA” now that is as much a part of me as my family is. As with married life, our vows are for life — in good times and in bad.

In a way, I wasn’t the one who first chose this life of being a nun. It’s like it chose me. I know that sounds kinda weird, but it’s true. It’s not something I ever would have thought would “fit” me. Yet, by golly, it does. Once I realized that this is what God was calling me to, I had to take the time and space to choose it for myself, to make God’s call my own, to embrace it freely. After some major resisting, running, and denial, I was able to freely choose this life, knowing that it is the best way I can be me and serve God and the world.

Please pray for all those who are discerning a vocation and take some time today to really listen to where God is calling you.

100 Days of Peace to prepare for the 2012 Olympics

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Friday 08, June 2012 Categories: 
PeaceAre you prepared for the beginning of the 100 Days of Peace which begins tonight at 11 pm?

A follow up to an earlier blog I wrote, today throughout the world and particularly in London, marks the start of the 100 daylong celebration to promote peace. The 100 days of peace was started as a way to prayerfully prepare for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer.

The goal is to create a culture of respect and dignity among different cultures during the games and for the continued development of international art, culture, and music throughout the world.

In an effort to showcase global cooperation and respect, everyone throughout the world can participate in these 100 days of peace. The goal is to make sure that the 2012 London games will hosted in an atmosphere of peace to allow those participating and watching safety and security.

To join in the 100 days of peace you can offer intentions and prayers each and every day. You can pray for the athletes, spectators, and those representing each country, that they remain safe and unharmed throughout the entirety of the games. To read more about the 100 days of peace check out the website

Dublin's Pilgrim Walk

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Thursday 31, May 2012 Categories: 
Eucharist Congress LogoDublin know for Guinness beer, being home to Trinity College and the Irish Tenors will now be known for its “Camino” or pilgrim walk which has been launched in an effort to celebrate the upcoming International Eucharistic Congress.

Prayerful pilgrims have the opportunity to visit 7 of Dublin’s most historic churches both Catholic and Anglican. The “Camino” was inspired by the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Unlike its Spanish counterpart, the “Camino” can be completed in 4 hours and has no set route. Open from June 2-16, patrons will be given a “Pilgrim Passport” which can be stamped at each church between the hours of 8:00 am- 8:00 pm.

At 5:45 pm daily, mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral church and pilgrims will be given a certificate of completion. Fr. Damien O’Reilly administrator and organizer of this pilgrimage is very excited for the parishes involved. According to Fr. Damien, "There is great excitement in each of the parishes, where there will be volunteer pilgrimage ambassadors to greet the pilgrims and stamp their passport.  The volunteers see it as a way of showcasing both their churches and their parishes—there is a great pride of place.”

The Churches involved include: St. James; Our Lady of Mount Carmel; John's Lane; St. Ann's, Dawson Street; St. Mary of the Angels; St. Michan's, Halston Street; and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral --and each are notable in their own right.

For more information on the pilgrimage “Camino” or to read about each of historic churches check out the entire article at American Catholic

Euro Pop Band Releases Soundtrack for Vocations

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 29, May 2012 Categories: Vocation and Discernment


Ooberfuse, a European electro-pop band released a single in support of the English and Welsh Church’s new vocations drive, according to the U.K. Catholic Herald.

Worth Abbey Benedictine Fr. Christopher Jamison OSB, director of the National Office for Vocation, commissioned the band to write the soundtrack to help promote vocations. Their song, “Call my name,” can be heard here and comes from their forthcoming album Seventh Wave, to be released in August.

Fr Jamison described the single as a “wonderful gift given to the Church. The words are poetic and inspired, worthy of the psalms.”

Their previous single, Heart’s Cry, was the youth anthem for the Pope’s visit to Britain in September 2010.

Band member Hal St. John described the task as a challenge: “When God speaks to us he does so in a strange and other worldly language that it is sometimes hard if not altogether impossible to render into intelligible words. His gentle yet persistent call cuts through the clamour and roar of contemporary life treading as softly as dove’s footsteps. For some, pop music is part of the noise that drowns out the sound of divinity, desensitising us to the transcendent. On the face of it, it seems incongruous that pop music, especially dub-step, should be used to heighten our awareness of God’s call to each one of us.” 

Sr. Irene McCormack--Australia's next saint?

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Monday 21, May 2012 Categories: Consecrated Life

Sr. Irene McCormack
Today marks the 21st anniversary of the death ofJosephite Sr. Irene McCormack, RSJ, at the hands of Shining Path terrorists in Peru. Born in Western Australia in 1938, Irene grew up on a sheep farm and was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

In 1957, Irene entered into the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart and began teaching. At an early age Irene knew she wanted to serve God and educate young people. After 30 years of teaching, she was asked to do missionary work in Peru.

 She arrived in Peru in 1987 for missionary work. McCormack's first assignment was in El Pacifico, a low income suburb in San Juan de Miraflores.

On June 26 1989, McCormack left to serve in Huasahuasi. McCormack, with her companion, Sister Dorothy Stevenson, were asked to supervise the distribution of emergency goods by Caritas, a charitable food organization in Peru.

McCormack continued her ministry of providing library facilities to poor children, who had no chance of obtaining books to aide in their school homework. She wanted the village children to know how to read and write. She also focused on training the village people how to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, so they could serve other parishioners in outlying districts.

On December 17, 1989, the priests of Huasahuasi were warned that they were in danger from Sendero Luminoso, so they and the two sisters left the village for Lima. McCormack and Stevenson, however, felt that the church could not abandon the villagers at this time and returned on January 14, 1990. For 12 months Huasahuasi was without a resident priest. During this time McCormack and Stevenson served the people, led the communion services, and provided leadership.

On the evening of May 21, 1991, McCormack was captured by the terrorist group named Shining Path. Following a mock trial, she was found guilty of being an imperialist and working for the Peruvian government by distributing food for the poor. She was then killed by the terrorist group.

McCormack was buried in Peru on May 23. McCormack believed the Holy Spirit motivated her to work in Peru once stating: "This overwhelming experience of the unconditional gratuitous love of God became a reality in my life—not just a conviction.

Below is the morning offering of Sister Irene. As you reflect on this prayer, pray for Sr. Irene McCormack and all those who are involved in missionary work.  

God, my Father, you love and forgive me so TODAY I accept all as gift - and ask to find you Lord the Giver in the gift. I choose to face life without fear and to live wholeheartedly in each present moment. May my heart sing today a song of grateful thanks and praise. I am God's work of art! I am precious in His sight.

Read more about the life of Sr. Irene McCormack and other modern-day martyrs and saints here.

Hildegard Von Bingen Saintly Status

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Wednesday 16, May 2012 Categories: 
Hildegard Von BingenHildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century German nun, was the first woman to be officially recognized as a "prophetess" by the Roman Catholic Church. And now Pope Benedict XVI has ordered that Hildegard, who died in 1179, be inscribed "in the catalogue of saints," and thus extend her cult "to the universal church."

In 2010, when he delivered a series of talks on the great thinkers who have shaped the thought of the Church, Pope Benedict devoted two consecutive public audiences to the writings of St. Hildegard of Bingen, noting that her vision was unusually “rich in theological content.”

The Pope said that the German mystic’s keen interest in the sciences was a natural outgrowth of her spirituality, since in her eyes “all of creation was a symphony of the Holy Spirit, Who is in Himself joy and contentment.”

Here is one of St. Hildegard's many poems. Like St. Hildegard let us be inspired and let God work through us each day. St. Hildegard, please pray for us!

Father, great is our need and we beg, we beg with a word that was fullness within us: look again. It is fitting--let your word look again that we fail not, that your name be not darkened within us. Tell us your name again lest we forget. 

"The future will be different if we make the present different"

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Wednesday 09, May 2012 Categories: 

Catholic Worker
Peter Maurin and St. Therese of Lisieux were very strong influences on the work of Dorothy Day. Born on this day in 1877, Peter was a peasant farmer from southern France who immigrated to New York in 1909. For 10 years of Peter’s life he was not Catholic citing his reason for not living as a Catholic should. While tutoring in the mid 1920’s, Peter had a conversion and was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. He began tutoring for free and like St. Francis, viewed labor as a gift to the greater community.

Peter had a keen mind and he devised a Catholic social philosophy that brought together a multitude of different interest, like sociology, politics, and economics and placed them at the service of the Gospel message. He proposed a social and religious program that was designed to improve social order and to create a society that made it easier for people to be good.

Peter first met Dorothy Day in 1932, when she has just returned home from DC after covering the Hunger March for America and Commonweal. While in DC, Day had prayed to God for inspiration and when she arrived at her apartment in New York, Peter was waiting for her at the kitchen table. For four months Peter worked with Day and together they began a newspaper to inform people about Catholic social teaching. The Catholic Worker began on May 1st, 1933 by Day and Maurin. Along with the newspaper, they also established a hospitality house to welcome and feed the poor and initiated weekly meetings for people who were dedicated to social justice.

Their efforts developed into the Catholic Worker Movement as we know it today. After Maurin left Day he lived out the remainder of his life in Pennsylvania where he worked on the first Catholic Worker owned farming commune known as Mary Farm. Maurin died on May 15th, 1949 on the feast day of St. Dympha, patroness of mental illness.

As evidenced by Day in The Long Loneliness, Day said she would never have begun the Catholic Worker without him. "Peter was a revelation to me, I do know this--that when people came into contact with Peter...they changed, they awoke, they began to see, things became as new, they looked at life in the light of the Gospels. They admitted to the truth he possessed and lived by, and though they themselves may have failed to go the whole way, their faces were turned at least towards the light."

Blessed John Paul II

Posted by: Caroline Hopkinson   🕔 Tuesday 01, May 2012 Categories: 
Blessed John Paul II
On this day last year, Pope John Paul II was beatified. The ceremony occurred 5 years after his death because Pope Benedict XVI waived the normal five year waiting period before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, so they could investigate the life of John Paul II.

The late pontiff had been declared venerable on December 21, 2009. It was after that, that the Vatican began planning the pope’s beatification, after Pope Benedict XVI approved a miracle attributed to Blessed Pope John Paul II. May 1 was chosen for the ceremony, because, last year it was Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast that was very significant for John Paul II.

Blessed John Paul II needs to have one more miracle in order to be canonized a saint. Let us pray today for Blessed John Paul II and his work as pope. Let us remember all those lives he touched and helped throughout his time as pope. 

Here is a quick read from the National Catholic Register about Blessed John Paul II. Below is Prayer for the intercession of Blessed John Paul II.

O Blessed Trinity, We thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen



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