Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! This Feast Day reminds us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not only divine but also human, with a human heart that is Sacred. It is the fount and source of our love for God and neighbor. In our humanity, we understand charity and participation in the divine life of the Holy Trinity by imitating Christ and His Sacred Heart. The heart is the center of a person, the place from which he/she makes the choices which will affect the world within them and around them. Devotion to the Heart of Jesus reminds us that it is in His Sacred Humanity that we find the pattern for becoming fully human ourselves. In His Incarnation, saving life, death and Resurrection, we receive both the pattern – and the means – to become more like Him. As we pray and draw closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we realize the great love and Mercy that God has for each and every one of us. Let us put our trust in this great love! Let us ask Him to help us love.
I have wonderful news to share with you about Religious Life in Phoenix. We will be welcoming three new communities to the Diocese of Phoenix this summer. These three communities are the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Moyo, Uganda in Africa, the Servants of the Plan of God (Siervas del Plan de Dios) from Lima, Peru and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, affectionately known as “The Nashville Dominicans.” Three Sisters of the Sacred Heart will come to serve at Catholic Charities, St. Louis the King School in Glendale and St. James the Greater Parish in Glendale. There will be five (5) Servants of the Plan of God assigned to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Tempe to serve in Faith Formation, Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry and Catechesis. The Young Adult Minister will also serve part-time at the ASU Newman Center in Tempe.
These are las Siervas del Plan de Dios or Servants of the Plan of God from Lima, Peru. We are so excited to welcome these vibrant and VERY talented group of Sisters. Here’s a video of their music band, Siervas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B2nWFe4scw
From Rome Reports: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUqRdknNNsA
And last but not least, The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia from Nashville, TN…
Three Dominicans will to plan the opening of the new high school in the West Valley, Saint John Paul II High School in Avondale on the grounds of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. One of these three Sisters will be teaching at St. John Vianney School in Goodyear. The first week of April, we had the blessing of the grounds and sign for the new school, and Sister Mary Jordan Hoover, OP came for the Blessing by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. The Mayor of Avondale and the Mayor of Goodyear were present along with MaryBeth Mueller, the Superintendent of Schools and Fr. Fred Adamson, the Vicar General. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we had many children from St. Thomas Aquinas and St.John Vianney Schools present …not to mention teachers, Priests and others who came to support this.
Here are some photos from the Blessing of the Grounds and Sign on April 5:
Bishop blessed the grounds where the new high school will be built.
Welcoming new religious communities means finding new convents for them to live. God reminded me that we, the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma are a new foundation here. On April 23rd, we moved into our new convent, St. Catherine of Siena Convent, just a block and half away from Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. We moved and then on April 29th, the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, Bishop Olmsted came to bless the convent.
Here are some photos of that great Feast Day and the Blessing:
More on Las Siervas Del Plan De Dios founded in Lima, Peru…
Las Siervas del Plan De Dios will be establishing their first foundation ever in the United States here in the Diocese of Phoenix at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe. Five Sisters will be assigned to serve the Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in positions such as Coordinator of Faith Formation, Catechesis, Youth Ministry and Young Adult Ministry. The Sister serving as the Young Adult Minister will also serve at the ASU Newman Center. Fr. John Bonavitacola, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the whole community are very excited to welcome these new Sisters to serve at their Parish. What a great blessing!
Mother Carmen Cardenas, SPD (right) is the Mother General, and Sr. Veronica Aguilar, SPD (left) came to visit us May 9-16 to meet the community. We had such a great time!
Srs. Carmen and Veronica presented gifts from Peru and Ecuador to Bishop Olmsted. Above, the book is from Peru,and the wooden sculpture of Our Lord is from Ecuador.
How I would love a portrait painting done of this picture of Bishop Olmsted!
The Feast of the Visitation, a special day for las Siervas, this home became their convent!
As you can imagine, for me this has been a great adventure with many surprises and opportunities to serve other Religious Communities and the needs of the Diocese. I ask you to join me in prayerful support for these new religious communities of Sisters who are moving here to establish new foundations in our Diocese by this August. Our hearts are filled with gratitude, and the love of Our Lord Jesus will become more visible in all parts. The diversity of these groups from different parts of the world will be a great gift for all!
The beauty of our universal Catholic Church is visible right here in sunny Phoenix, AZ! Enjoy the summer heat!
God bless you all!
Your Sister in Christ,
Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM