Celebrating the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple, Let Us Shine in the Darkness.

img_6462

Sr. Socorro of the Missionary Carmelites of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the Sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity and others.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the Temple and the World Day of Consecrated Life.  Last night, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale we celebrated this Feast with the Candlemas, a Vigil Mass with the Rite of Lights, a procession with blessed candles that are lit.  As we processed into a completely dark Church, our hearts were aflame with the love of God and the wonder of the Incarnation of our Lord, King and Savior.   Filled with love and joy, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Eduardo Nevares and various Religious Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese of Phoenix were gathered to pray together and celebrate the gift of a vocation as a Consecrated Religious Sister, Brother or Priest.   By the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters give their entire lives to God as an offering to praise Him, to serve Him and manifest His light.  That is what was visibly seen and contemplated at the Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Presentation last evening with Bishops Olmsted and Nevares.  Bishop Nevares gave an inspiring homily about how the Religious surrenders his/her entire life to God in Religious Life by the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

img_6449

The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia from Nashville, TN and the Sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity gather in front of the Church before Mass.

img_6451

A nice chat among Sr. Mary Brigid, OP, Sr. Mary Claire, SOLT with Fr. Paul Sullivan, the Vocations Director of our Diocese.

img_6452

Bishop Thomas Olmsted blesses the candles before the Mass, and he is assisted by Br. Athanasius, FHS and Fr. John Muir.

img_6455

Many are gathered for the Blessing of the Candles, waiting for theirs to be lit.

img_6456

As the sun set, Bishop Olmsted’s voice carried over as he blessed our candles.

img_6458

What a privilege it is for us to be a light shining in the darkness!  It is with a heart inflamed with love and charity that it shines for all we encounter.

img_6460

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, with the Missionary Carmelites of St. Therese of the Child Jesus from Puebla.

img_6471

After processing with lights in complete darkness, the lights of the Church were illumined.

img_6476

The Religious Communities of Phoenix that attended this Vigil Mass for the Feast are:

Apostles of Jesus

Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit

Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia

Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from the Sudan

Servants of the Plan of God

Servidoras del Senor y la Virgen de Matara

Missionaries of Charity

Missionary Carmelites of St. Therese of the Child Jesus from Puebla, Mexico

Sisters of Loreto (IBVM) 

Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI

Sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

nashville-dominicans-and-rsms-with-bishop-olmsted

Bp Olmsted with the Dominicans of St. Cecilia and the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma.

The Groundbreaking of  New School, St. John Paul II High School, in the West Valley

 

img_6378

New school colors:  white, black and turquoise!

Last week, on January 27th, there occurred an historic event for the Diocese of Phoenix: the Groundbreaking of St. John Paul II Catholic High School in Avondale, AZ.   Surprisingly, it is the only Catholic school being built in the United States this year.  Here is the link to the beautiful photographs taken by Billy Hardiman of this great event:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/catholicsun/sets/72157676162192404

Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, OP, the new principal of St. John Paul II High School.

img_6380

Sr. Mary Gertrude, OP & Christine Accurso

img_6381

Dr. Maria Chavira, Chancellor & Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM.

img_6384

Fr Fred Adamson, Vicar General addresses 600+ people.

img_6386

Superintendent Mary Beth Mueller inspired all of us! 

img_6391

Sr. Mary Jordan Hoover, OP gave an eloquent speech as the wind blew.

img_6393

Last, but not least, Bp Olmsted spoke about St JP II’s holy example.

img_6397

Bp Thomas Olmsted blessed us and the grounds with holy water.

img_6398

bishop-olmsted-with-a-hard-hat-and-shovel

Bp Olmsted led in the digging, and construction began that day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we conclude Christmastime with this Feast of the Presentation, here are some pictures from our joy-filled Advent Dinner for Religious on December 17, 2016 at the DPC:

 

 

With much love and prayers,

 

Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM

Director of the Office of Consecrated Life

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s