“Blessing has this double aspect: thanksgiving and transformative power.” – Pope Francis

The Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI in prayer.

The Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma in prayer.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My recent visits with Religious Men and Women have taught me about blessings.  Visitations with the Presentation Sisters, Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP at Mater Misericordia Mission, Phoenix and newly arrived priests, Fr. Remski and Fr. Passo give a clear message about blessings and responding to God’s gifts.

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New Window of the Presentation of Mary just installed in Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix

Pope Francis, at the Mass in Christ the Redeemer Square on July 9th, 2015, in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, teaches us about Jesus receiving blessings:

Blessings:  Jesus takes what is given him and blesses his heavenly Father. He knows that everything is God’s gift. So he does not treat things as “objects”, but as part of a life which is the fruit of God’s merciful love. He values them. He goes beyond mere appearances, and in this gesture of blessing and praise he asks the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Blessing has this double aspect: thanksgiving and transformative power. It is a recognition that life is always a gift which, when placed in the hands of God, starts to multiply. Our Father never abandons us; he makes everything multiply.

The Presentation Sisters feel so Blessed to Serve in Phoenix, and We Too Are Blessed with the Gift of These Religious Sisters Among Us!

Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Phoenix, AZ

The doorway of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Phoenix, AZ

PBVM Convent on 729 W. Wilsire Dr., Phoenix, AZ

PBVM Convent – 729 W. Wilsire Dr., Phoenix

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Sr. Evelyn and Sr. Rosario

Sr. Evelyn and Sr. Rosario, PBVM

Their beautiful, sweet Chapel

Their beautiful, sweet Chapel

The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary were founded in Ireland in 1775 by Nano Nagle. She felt she was called by God to bring the light of faith to the poor children of Cork.  The Penal Laws of the time forbade any form of Catholic instruction in Ireland but Nano Nagle was willing to risk imprisonment and disgrace for the sake of the Gospel. Visiting the sick and homebound by night along Cork’s cobbled streets, she became known as the “Lady with the Lantern”. In time she gathered other women to form a new society of women religious dedicated to the service of the poor. Nano Nagle’s small band of women, originally named the Society of Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, later became known as the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They first came to the U.S. to New York City in 1874.  These Sisters have been serving and residing in Arizona since 1956.

Nano Nagle, the Foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Nano Nagle, the Foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP

Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP - survived violent beating at Mater Misericordiae Mission on June 12, 2014.

Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP, a Priest of  Mater Misericordiae Mission

is deeply grateful and abundantly blessed by these past 6 years…

Just a year after the murder of Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP at this Mission House, on June 12, 2015, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I had the gift of visiting Fr. Joseph Terra, FSSP at Mater Misericordiae Mission House in downtown Phoenix. He is the priest that besides being famous for surviving the violent attack on June 11, 2014, he first established the foundation of his community here in Phoenix six years ago.  He shared the gratitude he has in his heart for this great blessing:

“These have been the best six years of my religious life, and that includes the bump in the road one year ago.  We are brought together in joy, but we are brought even closer together in hardship.  This parish welded together in union over the past year, and now it is a family.  I wouldn’t trade that bump for a million dollars, but I wouldn’t buy it for a nickel either.”

Here are some nice photos of Mater Misericordiae Mission House in Phoenix where the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter live and serve their community:

Fr. Joseph Terra with new priests, Fr. Michael Passo on his left and Fr. Howard Remski on his right.

Fr. Terra with new priests, Fr. Michael Passo on his left and Fr. Howard Remski on his right.

Mater Misericordiae Mission

Mater Misericordiae Mission

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Fr. Terra hand carved this shrine for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue!

Fr. Terra hand carved this shrine for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue!

Stained glass window dedicated to Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP

Window dedicated to Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP

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Another talent of his is making elaborate vestments!

Another talent of his is making elaborate vestments!

Gorgeous rose fabric from New York City.

Gorgeous rose fabric from New York

Wow!

Wow!

A priest would wear this for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

A priest would wear this for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

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Mater Misericordiae – Mother of Mercy, Pray for Us!

Let us count our blessings and see how every experience is a gift from God in order for each one of us to experience His great, Divine Mercy!

Your Sister in Christ,

Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM

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