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News in Faith

Vatican News is the official news outlet of the Holy See.

 

The Catholic News Service is a leading outlet for national and international religious news.

 

The National Catholic Register is an online newspaper covering world religious news.

 

Official news outlet of the Diocese of Fargo, comprising the Eastern half of North Dakota.

 

LCWR Resolution 2019-22

Sisters of Mary of the Presentation stand in support of The LCWR Assembly Resolution 2019-22:

“Reading the signs of the times from our desire to create communion, we, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, affirm the interrelatedness of the justice concerns addressed by the LCWR Call for 2015-2022. We are heartbroken by the myriad ways our one human family and Earth, our common home, suffer from disconnection, indifference, violence, and fear in the face of racism, migration, and climate crisis. Responding to God who loves all of creation into being, we recommit ourselves to create communion and examine root causes of injustice. We particularly focus on the intersection of racism, migration, and climate crisis. We recognize a sense of urgency and pledge prayer, education, and advocacy. We will use our collective voice, resources, and power in collaboration with others to establish justice which reflects God’s creating love.”

Annual Associate Gathering

October 12, 2019

Annual SMP Associate Reception and Gathering:

Will be held in the chapel at 4:00 pm, with meal to follow.

Associates and spouses are most welcome to join us in the festivities.

We are looking forward to seeing you.

 

Mother-Daughter Retreat

This retreat will provide mothers and daughters with mutual experiences of prayer and sharing along with personal prayer time. Brief conferences will enable retreatants to engage in helpful conversation.

Upcoming retreats:

     Oct. 16, 2019 | 6:00pm – 8:30pm
– Register by Oct. 9, 2019

Suggested donation: $85

Ignatian Retreats

The Ignatian Retreat is steeped in the Gospels and is based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This is a silent retreat where one is able to meet Jesus in the experiences of Jesus’ own life.

Conferences and individual direction are part of the retreat.

 

Upcoming retreats:

Sept. 13 – 15, 2019; Register by Sept. 6

Dec. 6 – 8, 2019; Register by Nov. 29

Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, 2020; Register by Jan. 24

May 1 – 3, 2020; Register by April 24

Suggested donation: $85 per day

Three Hour Retreats

Participate with others in these 3 hour retreats which are designed to assist a person who desires spiritual growth. The format for these retreats allows for small group gatherings which enable participants to converse on their prayer experiences and encounters with God.

 

Upcoming three-hour retreats:

“Embracing Change as a Time of Grace”

     Sept. 7, 2019 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm
     – Register by Aug. 31, 2019

     March 28, 2020 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm
     – Register by March 21, 2020

“Listening With the Ear of Your Heart”

     Dec. 14, 2019 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm
     – Register by Dec. 7, 2019

   May 23, 2020 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm
   – Register by May 15, 2020

Suggested donation: $18 per day

Women’s Retreat

The theme of this year’s Women’s Retreat is “Knowing Our God Through The Psalms.”

This retreat is designed to guide participants who wish to enter into a deeper prayer based on the psalms. The different kind of psalms express a variety of subjects, moods and attitudes experienced by all of us. These ancient prayers have formed the spiritual life of people for centuries. 

Retreat dates:

March 6 – 8, 2020; Register by Feb. 28

July 24 – 26, 2020; Register by July 17

Suggested donation: $85

Reflection for Easter Sunday

Reflection for Easter Sunday

from the Catholic Health Association of America

Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed;
let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 5:7b-8a

A young boy and his father were driving down a country road on a beautiful spring afternoon. Out of nowhere a bumblebee flew in the car window. The boy was deathly allergic to bees and so, began to panic. Knowing his allergy, the father quickly reaches out, grabs the bee, squeezes it in his hand and then releases it. Seeing the insect angrily buzzing around the car again, they boy became frantic again.

Seeing his son’s fear, the father reached out his hand saying, “Look here.” There, stuck in his palm was the stinger of the bee. “You see?” he asked. “You don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’ve taken the sting for you.”

I’ve taken the sting for you.

How often have we yearned to say these words to someone in pain? When tragedy strikes our community, we reach out a hand to help. When a friend or family member, loved one or beloved patient, a dear child is afraid, we say to them, I wish I could do something. I wish I could take your place. In the most extreme cases we pray, take me and not them.
It is the wonder of wonders that our God is the same way. Seeing our isolation from one another, seeing our brokenness and the fear of and power held over us by death, Jesus enters into the death, taking it on himself to remove the sting. The great sin of Eden was not so much about a fruit tree as it was about the rejection of our oneness with God, the forgetting that we are beloved of God and belong to one another.

Lent is the journey back to these two truths and they are what we celebrate this Easter. No matter what, we are beloved of God – not even death can separate us, and in spite of all that may point to the contrary, we belong to one another. Our call in Catholic health care is to witness daily to God’s promise of life over death and joy over suffering. Our role in Catholic health care is to heal in such a way that lives are transformed and communities are rebuilt. As the people of Catholic health care, we witness to these Easter truths every day.

Where we had been broken, Christ mends us. Where we had been scattered, Christ binds us together. Where we had fallen, Christ lifts us up again. Where we had been dead, Christ brings new life. And we proclaim with Saint Paul,
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
 Where, O death, is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:51, 53-55

Copyright 2019 Catholic Health Association of the United States.

Reflection for Holy Week

Reflection for Holy Week

from the Catholic Health Association of America

“Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.”
Philippians 2:8-9

A young child trips and falls one morning while playing on the jungle gym. She scrapes her knees on the pavement as she goes down, and, upon seeing the few drops of blood mixed with rocks and gravel, limps dramatically to where her mother watches closely.

“Mama!” the child exclaims, “Mama, I fell … it hurts! Can you kiss it? Make it better?”

“I saw, love,” the mother replies, “Come, I will kiss it for you.”

The child climbs onto the bench where the mother sits, and she leans over to kiss the child’s knees.

“You’ll be okay,” the mother soothes. She gently strokes the child’s hair and cheek,
“Look at how strong you are.”

After a few moments, content with the mother’s soothing, the child sighs, smiles and climbs down. She limps away across the playground—a little less dramatically this time.

Children know well the power of touch as a tool to both show care and to feel cared for. So too do nurses, CNAs, physical therapists and support staff who daily use touch in their healing. We know that touch alone doesn’t necessarily heal, but a hug, a kiss or a handshake all can help us to feel significantly less alone and better understood. Not only this, but while our culture tells us that pain and suffering are to be avoided, our faith reminds us that it is precisely in experiences of suffering that God rushes in to walk with us, to help us feel understood. Indeed, because of God’s desire to accompany us, moments of pain can, paradoxically, become especially graced. We feel God’s soothing touch. We sigh, smile and carry on with our lives—a little less dramatically this time.

During Holy Week, when we walk with Jesus in his Passion and ultimate death on the Cross, we are offered the chance to enter God’s suffering in the way that God enters ours. Indeed, on Good Friday, we literally kiss the cross as means not only of demonstrating our veneration, but of also indicating that we are with Jesus in his suffering. While we know that our show of care does not change Jesus’ ending, or make the suffering go away, we are reminded that—as ‘God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name’—we, too, are strong and will be okay.

How have you felt God’s accompaniment in your own struggles this Lenten season?

How have you borne witness to and accompanied the suffering of God in this season?

Copyright 2019 Catholic Health Association of the United States.

Reflection for the Fifth Week of Lent

Reflection for the Fifth Week of Lent

from the Catholic Health Association of America

“Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.”
Joel 2:12-13

In our ministry we have entire rooms dedicated to the experience of waiting: waiting to see a doctor, waiting for test results, waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery, waiting for birth. At any given moment, in a hospital waiting room, a grandparent waits with bated breath for the arrival of their grandchild while, a few seats down, an adult child awaits the outcome of surgery being performed on their aging parent. At any given moment, in a hospital waiting room, life and death hang in delicate balance.

This week’s gospel story tells of a woman “caught in the very act of committing adultery,” and offers a similar example of how life and death hang in delicate balance. She is brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees. While the law clearly requires she be stoned, they ask Jesus what to do with her. We know well his familiar response: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” However, have we thought to consider how excruciating it must have been for the woman – face down in the dirt – waiting to see if stones would be thrown?

The season of Lent offers similar juxtaposition amid a period of waiting: we wait for the winter cold to dwindle and anxiously look for the spring sun to lure us out of hibernation, while, liturgically, Jesus awaits his painful journey to the Cross only to be resurrected on Easter Sunday. Indeed, we are utterly immersed in the dichotomous experience of waiting. Not only this, any of us who have even waited for anything know also how torturously long those last few moments of waiting can feel. The moment you see a door open and a doctor begin to head your way with news of your loved one; the moment the first footsteps walked away from the woman; the moment you see the first tulip bulb begin to emerge from the defrosting ground; waiting to discover the tomb empty. Waiting can feel like an eternity.

In each of these distinctive examples, though, we know also that the last few torturous moments of waiting offer a turning point—a pivotal moment of pause that somehow points to a shift, a feeling of the beginning of something new being created within us. As we watch the doctor walk toward us with news, or as we approach the tomb of Jesus, it is the moment just before we release the breath we didn’t realize we have been holding in. Indeed, it is in this very moment, that, if we’re paying attention, we feel God calling most ardently …

How are you being called by God, even now to “return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.”

Copyright 2019 Catholic Health Association of the United States.

Reflection for the Fourth Week of Lent

Reflection for the Fourth Week of Lent

from the Catholic Health Association of America

“I will get up and go to my Father and shall say to him:
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.”
Luke 15:8

When asked, Mark Twain named Jesus Christ as the greatest storyteller of all time, and when pressed, Twain suggested that the Prodigal Son was his best work. The story is full of the elements of good fiction: family drama, bad decisions, suspense, reconciliation and ultimately, a happy ending. As in any good story, we can relate to each character and find bits of ourselves mirrored in them.

More often than we want to admit we have been the prodigal younger son. We’ve been wasteful and reckless with material goods – we spend too much and recycle too little. While money and possessions are one thing, the ways in which we are wasteful and reckless with the affections of others are more serious. Things can be replaced, but heartache and pain are not so easily overcome and must be honestly dealt with.

Lent is a time for each of us to consider what relationships we take for granted, assuming that they will remain, and also, the hurts we have inflicted on others that require forgiveness.

Just as often as we’ve been the younger brother, we have been the self-righteous older one. We’ve been diligent, sure to do what has been asked. We’ve been faithful to the letter of the law, even if we resented it. We’ve lined up our virtues and accolades and have taken credit for our own successes and salvation. We’ve judged others by our rules and values. We’ve resented second chances and mercy given to others, particularly when we aren’t able to give the same to ourselves.

Lent asks us to shed our close-mindedness as well as the structures of virtue that keep us from loving others and seeing them as children of God and true brothers and sisters.

Many believe, Pope Francis among them, that this story should be called the Parable of the Merciful Father. For it is the mercy of the father that provides all the plot twists, reconciliation and driving action of the story. He runs out to each of his children and is, in turn, consoling and welcoming and affirming and reassuring. The father meets their needs as a loving parent and forms the family around mercy and forgiveness. In our best moments, we emulate the love and mercy of the Father by seeing others beyond their failings or accomplishments.

Lent is long for a reason. The six weeks of Lent give us a sustained amount of time to consider our relationships with God and others.
How are you the elder son, fixated on accomplishments and justice?
How are you the younger son, squandering both material goods and the affections of others?
How are you the merciful father?

Copyright 2019 Catholic Health Association of the United States.