Originally published on GlobalSistersReport.org. Shared with permission
A group of women religious from China may turn out to be innovators
of a very particular kind — and that has everything to do with China's
Six Chinese sisters from five different congregations recently
completed a 120-hour Geriatric Spiritual Care certificate program
through the Avila Institute of Gerontology, the educational arm of the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm.
The Avila Institute compressed a four-month program into four weeks,
said Fr. Timothy Kilkelly, the coordinator of the Maryknoll China
Education Project. "People can't come for four months, so compressing
the program was a great service to us." READ FULL ARTICLE
The following statement was taken from The Becket Fund Website:
"Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet its goals of providing the free services to women without involving the Little Sisters or using their plan. The Court also ordered the lower Courts to help the government choose an alternative method of providing the services that does not require the participation of the Little Sisters." FULL ARTICLE
The morning of March 23rd dawned warm and sunny. Unlike the Hudson valley, flowering trees were starting to blossom in Washington, D.C.. It was perfect weather for a rally, and one had been planned months in advance for the Little Sisters of the Poor Supreme Court case.
At the invitation of CMSWR, Sisters from California, Nebraska, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and other areas converged at the Little Sisters home on Tuesday, March 22 for an evening supper and briefing by the Becket Fund staff. They explained in detail the reasoning in the case. While the Federal Government granted an accommodation to religious organizations to have contraceptives and abortifacients paid for by the government and administered by the Sisters’ health plan under a separate section, this arrangement still remains ethically tied to the Little Sisters. Their refusal to sign the accommodation subjects them to fines of 70 million dollars per year. Curiously, large corporations such as Chevron, Exxon and Pepsi and grandfathered in and exempted. In addition, the US Military and some large cities do not have to abide by the contraception mandate. So, one in three employer plans are already exempt. The Becket Fund argues – why can’t religious organizations such as the Little Sisters be exempt as well. Contraceptives could be provided by government health insurance exchanges and leave religious groups to follow their consciences. That is an obvious win-win for all.
Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Cyril, Sr. Jean Davis and I attended the rally, representing the Carmelite Sisters in the spirit of Mother Angeline, who would want us to support her beloved Little Sisters. We had a lovely ride down on Amtrak, and were welcomed overnight at the Paulist Center. Buses brought us to the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, and we had placards and were in chant and song mode by 8:30 a.m. in front of the steps. (We were not allowed on them.) Planned Parenthood had a rally next to ours, but the two groups kept to themselves and were peaceful. There were representatives from other religions with us, some of whom were part of the court case, and many college students as well. Our own Stacey Jackson was also in attendance. About 10:30 we had a series of speakers talk briefly about the issues. One was the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, who spoke passionately and read a Scripture passage. At 11:30 the oral arguments were over, and Little Sisters leadership along with the Becket attorneys came out of the Court building and down the steps to be interviewed by the press. There was a surge of cheers and song greeting the Sisters, and they felt the love and support of all. We then proceeded to a lunch sponsored by the Becket Fund at which we shared the table with the Provost of East Texas Baptist University, who gave us a school pin and a blessing to send us on our way. We then moved quickly to Union Station for the ride home. Carrying one of the signs with us, we were given thumbs up by a number of people in the street and on the train.
Our Sisters felt very blessed to be part of this event and were given hope by the warmth and support of so many people – especially the youth, some of whom were at the Court by 6:30 a.m. Please pray that the Court finds in favor of the Little Sisters so they can continue their ministry in peace. That is their great hope.
Vatican City, 2 February 2016 (VIS) – The following are extensive
extracts of the Holy Father's extemporaneous address to the participants
in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, which took place yesterday in the
Paul VI Hall. This afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica he will celebrate
the Mass to conclude the Year of Consecrated Life.
The Year of Mercy was officially launched by Pope Francis on December 8, 2015 as the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Holy Father opened this year-long celebration by opening the "holy door" of St. Peter's Basilica. The event was reported by BBC News and you can read their news coverage HERE.
To honor this event, the Diocese of Albany, New York designated Saint Teresa's Motherhouse, home of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, to be a pilgrim shrine. The "Holy Door" was blessed by Fr. Gavin, OFM with the Carmelite Sisters present.
The following are different listings of the designated "Holy Door" according to State locations:
Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm. was recently in Clonoe, Ireland to promote the Cause of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory, Foundress of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. The event was covered and posted on The Irish Independent News by Sarah MacDonald. You can read the article here.
The Carmelite Sisters are proud to host a special presentation by Saint Luke Productions on "Therese: The Story of a Soul" on September 22, 2015 at 7:00 pm. This event will be held at St. Teresa's Motherhouse, 600 Woods Road, Germantown, New York.
The performance is complimentary for Religious. A free will offering from the public is appreciated.
For more information, see the poster provided below.
The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm can be so proud of their part in the Lifetime Channel show “The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns.” I am personally so very pleased that my religious community reached out courageously to participate, along with two other communities, in a reality show that could re-define future reality productions.
Courage was a key element when our Foundress, Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, stepped forward to found a new religious community devoted to the care of the aged and infirm.
In 1929, the Congregation was the first American community founded solely to care for the elderly. Now, eighty-five years later, our leadership has courageously stepped forward to accept the challenge of a reality show - something never before attempted by a religious community.
The hope that our Sisters could demonstrate the joy, peace, love and support to be found in religious life is enhanced by the words of Pope Francis who encouraged us to evangelize at every opportunity and by the courage of our Superior General, Mother Mark, who believes in moving beyond our personal “comfort zone”.
After discussion, reflection and prayer, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm committed to a TV production with unknown outcome. Members of our religious community supported the decision to proceed with the courage that has carried us since our foundation, knowing that the benefit of sharing our daily life with all its ups and downs, may be the needed resource during this Year of Consecrated Life that might awaken in the heart of a young woman the urge to ask “What does God want me to do with my life?”