Quality of Presence: Our Charism in Mission
Mary Ellen O’Connell, CSJ
Quality of presence was the theme and focal point of associate meetings during the past year. Gatherings in Brighton, Framingham, and Milton provided opportunities for sisters and associates to share a variety of rich, prayer-filled experiences. Associates are especially grateful for the sisters who have journeyed with us throughout the years, and our final meeting this year offered a chance to celebrate together our charism in mission - the bond of presence that we share.
Joanne Fantini, CSJA. During the prayer, we offered a special blessing for Jean McKinney, CSJA, who has been an associate for two years. In January, Jean began her journey as a Candidate of the Sisters of St. Joseph. After presenting her with flowers, we prayed for Jean and for each other, looking forward in faith and hope as we celebrate our own life journeys.
Sisters and associates then gathered in small groups to share ideas pertaining to associate leadership, and to review and evaluate programs presented during the year. At the conclusion of the meeting, sisters from the Motherhouse joined us for a cookout coordinated by Denise Cohen, CSJA.
During June and July, many associates will participate in various prayer, social, and ministry opportunities including a Day of Prayer with CSSJ Associates from West Hartford and Springfield at Elms College in Chicopee, Volunteers in Mission, and the CSSJ Federation Event in Orlando. Let us continue to enrich the our quality of presence as we share our charism in mission.
Laudato Si' Week
One year ago, on June 18th 2015, Pope Francis released his historic encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. This has been one of the most widely read encyclicals in recent years. Pope Francis clearly proclaims that the poor are those most harmed by environmental destruction and climate change. During the week of June 12-19, we will commemorate this first anniversary of the encyclical. This is planned as a worldwide project. We are encouraged to "do something" to further the message of Pope Francis regarding our Common Home. Laudato Si’ Week will be a major international celebration to reflect on the Laudato Si’ message and take action to bring it to life. Consider how you can take action and be part of this worldwide initiative.
A Global Celebration of the Encyclical's 1st Anniversary June 12-19, 2016
Visit the Laudato Si’ Week Website at http://laudatosiweek.org/ Watch this six minute video about Laudato Si’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tYdOIqvpqg&feature=youtube
Possible Actions for Change/Conversion
- Collaborate with others to further Laudato Si’.
- Deepen love and appreciation that you are part of creation, not separate from it and that it is sacred. “Feel” your oneness.
- Read the gospels with a new appreciation of Jesus’ awareness of creation’s beauty and unity.
- Vote for candidates committed to reducing climate change.
- Lobby for agreements that will reduce climate change.
- Use plastic water bottles ONLY in emergencies. Reduce one-use purchases.
- Purchase organic, reusable, and recycled products.
- Increase use of public transportation to reduce emissions.
- Buy organic and local produce and fair trade organic coffee, tea and chocolate.
- Choose to walk to your destination whenever possible.
- Choose to use anything that contributes to renewable energy.
Special thanks to Teri MacKenzie, SHCJ and her staff
Prayers of the Faithful for Laudato Si’ week
Response: We pray to the Lord.
- We pray for every human person — born and unborn — who is impacted by environmental pollution.
- We pray that our elected officials be blessed with courage to protect God’s good gift of creation.
- We pray that business leaders be blessed with the wisdom to account for the ecological costs of economic choices.
- We pray that our parish community receives the grace to “cultivate and care for” creation as God calls us.
- We pray that our Church, inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, continue to live up to the moral aspects of humancaused environmental harm.
- We pray that our world will prudently respond to the Church’s teaching that climate change is a pressing moral issue.