Sanctity and the Gift of Oneself Surrendered to the Will of God

The Pieta by Michelangelo

The Pieta by Michelangelo

As each of us strives to become a Saint, we pray everyday for the grace of conversion and the joy that comes from making a gift of oneself to “will as God does” (Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted).  Human fulfillment comes from a gift of self to the Source of Life and Love who gave Himself for the salvation of our souls (eternal life).  It is the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ that pours God’s Mercy upon us, healing us of our sins and giving us strength to live a just life.  For Consecrated Men and Women, their total orientation in life is to embrace this reality of living a life that reflects most clearly the Life of Christ, Who was poor, chaste and obedient.  In the sculpture of The Pieta by Michelangelo, we not only see this self-gift of Jesus, but also of the Blessed Mother.

There is a Communion of Saints that show us how to follow Christ by the sanctity of their lives.  Some of the remains of these Saints we are fortunate enough to be able to venerate and come close to physically as we grow spiritually. Saint Timothy’s Parish in Mesa teaches all of its visitors the presence of its Saints with a very special Reliquarium. The first class (and some second class relics) of the world’s most popular and beloved Saints are kept and venerated in cases called “reliquaries” for appropriate veneration in a structure, the size of a chapel, called a Reliquarium.  Here are some photographs so that you can appreciate this sacred place where I visited on Friday, February 13th with Maria Beteran, the Archivist of the Diocese of Phoenix:

As you walk in, there are many relics to venerate!

As you walk in, there are many relics to venerate!

All along the back wall are the 12 Apostles!

All along the back wall are the 12 Apostles!

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Praying for the intercession of St. Teresa of Avila.

Praying for the intercession of St. Teresa of Avila.

Look at the reflections!

Look at all the reflections!

Communion of Saints, pray for us!

       Communion of Saints, pray for us!

On Sunday, February 15, 2015, I visited the Consolata Missionaries, on the Anniversary of Death of their founder, Padre Giuseppe Allamano.  This Congregation of Missionary, Religious Sisters was founded in Turin, Italy in the year 1910 just 9 years after Padre Allamano founded the Consolata Fathers to serve the spiritual and corporal needs of those who are sick and suffering.  These missionaries serve in many countries all over the world.  The Consolata Sisters here in the Diocese of Phoenix have just established themselves this past July 2014 in the Diocese to serve the people of the Gila River Reservation in Sacaton, the capital of this nation.

The new Convent of the Consolata Missionaries.

The new Convent of the Consolata Missionaries.

As we entered, we admired this beautiful sign!

As we entered, we admired this beautiful sign!

The convent is so welcoming and nice.

The convent is welcoming and nice.

The chapel accommodates this little community.

    Very stylish Chapel!

A portrait of an extraordinary MC who served in Kenya.

A portrait of a saintly MC who served in Kenya.

Padre Giuseppe Allamano founded the Consolata Missionaries.

Bl. Padre Giuseppe Allamano, founder of the Consolata Missionaries (1851-1926).

St. Anthony's Church in Sacaton.

Sr. Jo Marie & St. Anthony’s Church in Sacaton. 

Behind the Altar at St. Anthony's.

Behind the Altar at St. Anthony’s.

A Painting by one of the Parishioners.

A Painting of St. Kateri by one of the Parishioners.

A donated Cross that is very unique.

A donated Cross that is very unique.

An abandoned Baptist Church made of adobe.

An abandoned Baptist Church made of adobe.

Sr. Maria Dina, Sr. Riccardina, Sr. Adelangela, Sr. Jo Marie (from left to right).

Sr. Maria Dina, Sr. Riccardina, Sr. Adelangela,    Sr. Jo Marie (from left to right).

The joy and hospitality of these Sisters touched and lifted our hearts!  They were so welcoming, including us into their celebration of the Anniversary of Death of their beloved founder, Bl. Padre Giuseppe Allamano.  In the picture above, you will see a framed icon of Our Lady of Consolata, their Patroness.  Their service to the poor and suffering souls on the Gila River Reservation brings much joy, hope and consolation to those in this special region.  We thank the Consolata Missionaries for coming out here to the Diocese of Phoenix with great courage and love for the will of God. Every day, as they surrender their lives giving of themselves to Christ and the Church, they serve those in great need. Let us pray for them and be encouraged by their brave example of giving their whole lives to the Lord with great trust in His Providence and Mercy.

Your Sister in Christ,

Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM

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