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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Joyful Sisters

Last weekend I had the privilege of going on retreat at the retreat house of the Sisters of Life near Stamford, Connecticut.  The house itself is beautiful, set on an expansive piece of property in a beautiful New England setting.  According to the sisters it was once owned by the writer Henry James and then by former ambassador Clare Booth Luce.  The Knights of Columbus who own the property, gave it over to the Sisters to run as a retreat house, unknowingly fulfilling a wish of Cardinal O'Connor.  It was the same Cardinal O'Connor, archbishop of New York, who founded the Sisters of Life as a community dedicated to upholding the sanctity of all human life.

Once we arrived at the house, which is called the Villa Maria Guadalupe, we learned that it was to be a silent retreat.  Some things are better left as a surprise.  And, honestly, it is a beautiful thing to have silence for extended periods of time, especially in this day and age of constant noise.  As the Old Testament relates, God comes to us in a still small voice.  But, as someone who is used to noise, it is a little unsettling at first to think of two days of silence.

While bereft of chatter, the weekend was full of warmth and encouragement.  The Sisters gave spiritual talks, wonderful priests came in to hear confessions, Holy Mass was offered, and the Blessed Sacrament was exposed throughout for Adoration.  Fifty women were blessed with two days of time alone with the Lord.  I am so grateful to the sisters for this gift.

God is good in calling these new orders into being to fulfill a need in time.  The joy, humor, devotion and loveliness of the Sisters of Life can only succeed in bringing light to a world that is slipping into darkness.  May the Lord continue to bless them with new vocations. 

                                 (photo:  National Post)

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
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