A Year Long Reflection on Amoris Laetitia and the Family. ~ Un año para reflexionar sobre Amoris Laetitia y la familia.

Pope Francis holding a precious baby.

Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,

Blessed New Year of 2021! God is continuing to bless us abundantly during this time of the pandemic.

In his Sunday Angelus Address on Sunday, December 27, the Feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis announced that beginning March 19, 2021 on the fifth anniversary of his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, the Catholic Church will dedicate a year of reflection on it, “to focus more closely on the contents of the document,” on the family and conjugal love. Pope Francis said, “I invite everyone to take part in the initiatives that will be promoted during the year and that will be coordinated by the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life,” he added. “Let us entrust this journey, with families all over the world, to the Holy Family of Nazareth, in particular to St. Joseph, the devoted spouse and father.” According to the dicastery’s website, the “Amoris Laetitia Family” year “aims to reach every family around the world through several spiritual, pastoral and cultural proposals that can be implemented within parishes, dioceses, universities, ecclesial movements and family associations.” This effort is needed urgently around the world.

Thank you, Pope Francis, for giving us this means of building up the Kingdom of God by supporting families. With great hope and love, we pray for and compassionate with all families struggling to be strong and healthy. For those that are broken, we pray for healing with confidence that the Divine Physician can heal all wounds.

St. Joseph: The perfect Advent companion
The Holy Family — Joseph, Mary and Jesus — are depicted in a painting titled “The Presentation in the Temple” by Canadian artist Michael D. O’Brien. (CNS photo/courtesy of Michael D. O’Brien)

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Recommended Reading: Amoris Laetitia, “On Love in the Family”

Pope Francis writes in Chapter 4 entitled “Love in Marriage” in Amoris Laetitia in Paragraphs 89-90:

All that has been said so far would be insufficient to express the Gospel of marriage and the family, were we not also to speak of love. For we cannot encourage a path of fidelity and mutual self-giving without encouraging the growth, strengthening and deepening of conjugal and family love. Indeed, the grace of the sacrament of marriage is intended before all else “to perfect the couple’s love.” Here too we can say that, “even if I have faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor 13:2-3). The word “love,” however is commonly used and often misused. Love is experienced and nurtured in the daily life of couples and their children. It is helpful to think more deeply about the meaning of this Pauline text and its relevance for the concrete situation of every family.” (AL, 89-90)

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Thy Child's Face: Childproof 11: Msgr. Higley's Shame, Part 3
Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH.

Please pray for Phoenix Seminarians at the Nazareth House, Major Seminaries and Franciscan Friars.

Pontifical College Josephinum (U.S.)

Since we are celebrating the Year of St. Joseph, I would like to ask of you all to please pray for the Pontifical College Josephinum, a major Seminary where some of our Seminarians are being formed in Columbus, Ohio. It is under the patronage of St. Joseph, and I have just begun to serve on the Board of Trustees. When the Board last met, the Rector, Fr. Steven Beseau, said the following about being under St. Joseph’s patronage:

“In our prayers and discussions, we seem to be coalescing behind an emphasis on Saint Joseph. It is great to be a Pontifical seminary. We should never stop emphasizing that gift. But even more significant than that is that we are a seminary placed under the protection of Saint Joseph. More than being pontifical, we are the House of Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph can be our intercessor, and he can be a model for forming future priests. Other major seminaries are named after Saint Joseph, but only one, ours, is generally referenced by the protector of the Church – the Josephinum.”

The Pontifical College Josephinum - Posts | Facebook
Statue of Saint Joseph at the Pontifical College Josephinum in OH

In Saint Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris Custos, we see how St. Joseph was chosen by God to be a foster father to Jesus Christ, to teach him and form him in His humanity:

“St. Joseph was called by God to serve the person and mission of Jesus directly through the exercise of his fatherhood. It is precisely in this way that, as the Church’s Liturgy teaches, he “cooperated in the fullness of time in the great mystery of salvation” and is truly a “minister of salvation.” His fatherhood is expressed concretely “in his having made his life a service, a sacrifice to the mystery of the Incarnation and to the redemptive mission connected with it; in having used the legal authority which was his over the Holy Family in order to make a total gift of self, of his life and work; in having turned his human vocation to domestic love into a superhuman oblation of self, an oblation of his heart and all his abilities into love placed at the service of the Messiah growing up in his house.” (RC, 8)

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Welcome New Sisters Who Have Recently Moved to the Diocese of Phoenix!

Sr. Mary of Holy Hope Cheng, SOLT

Sr. Mary of Holy Hope Cheng, SOLT is an accomplished harpist and organist.

My full name is Sr. Mary of Holy Hope, SOLT, but most people call me Sr. Holy Hope.  I am a Sister of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, SOLT, and I was assigned to our mission in Phoenix at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church this past summer.  I arrived in Phoenix on July 30, 2020 and it was hot here!

I am originally from Calgary, Canada, and I came to the United States in 2007 to enter our community as an Aspirant.  I made my first vows in 2011 and professed final vows in 2016.  After my first vows, I was sent to Kansas City, where I served in Our Lady’s Montessori School as a preschool classroom aide and the music teacher for nine years.  During the last three years, I had the privilege of also studying at the University of Kansas, and I graduated with my Masters in Church Music with organ emphasis.  Then, I was reassigned to the Diocese of Phoenix, and I am now serving at Most Holy Trinity School as the K-8 music teacher. 

I am really learning a lot while teaching elementary and middle school music!  I hope to share my love of music and liturgy with my students, as well as my passion for performance.  My primary instruments are organ and harp. I am also helping out as an organist at St. Mary’s Basilica. 

I live at Most Holy Trinity Convent with two other Sisters, Sr. Mary Joy of Our Father, and Sr. Maria de Jesucristo Crucificado.  Sr. Mary Joy serves as the middle school religion teacher at MHT and Sr. MariCristo is the DRE for the parish.  The SOLT community is comprised of all the vocations serving together on an ecclesial family team, so here in Phoenix, we have three priests, one Brother, three Sisters and 6 lay members in our local family.

Sr. Mary Joy of Our Father, Sr. Mary of Holy Hope and Sr. Jesucristo Crucificado, SOLT at Most Holy Trinity Convent in Phoenix.
Sr. Holy Hope teaching music class at Most Holy Trinity Elementary School in Phoenix.

SOLT Sisters and Priests with SOLT lay members building the Kingdom of God, the Church!

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Sr. Claudia Radzewicz, M.Ch.R. – Missionary Sister of Christ the King at Our Lady of Częstochowa Parish

My name is Sr. Claudia Jadwiga Radzewicz, and I was born on June 7, 1966 in Poland. I entered the Order of the Missionary Sisters of Christ the King in September 1985. After 3 years (July 10, 1988) I made my first religious vows, and on August 15, 1993 I made my perpetual vows.

From September 2020, I have been working in the Parish of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Phoenix. Currently, I work as a parish secretary and catechist. I also run the children’s parish choir, which I founded at the beginning of December.

In 1994, I was sent to work in Brazil, where I ministered in various forms for over 18 years.

In 2013, I came to work among the Polish community in the USA, I worked in a parish St. Albert the Great in Burbank (IL) for a year, then for 4 years in the Basilica of St. Hyacinth in Chicago.

In 2018, the Congregation sent me to work in Canada, I worked for 2 years at Par. Saint Eugene de Mazenod in Brampton, Ontario.

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Sr. Claudia Radzewicz, M.Ch.R. in the beautiful Sonoran Desert here in the Diocese of Phoenix.
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Sr. Claudia (right) and Sr. Ewa (left) hiking on a trail of one of the beautiful mountain parks of Phoenix.

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Sr. Ewa Filipiuk, M.Ch.R. – Missionary Sister of Christ the King at Our Lady of Częstochowa Parish, Phoenix.

My name is Sr. Ewa Filipiuk M.Ch.R., and I belong to the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Christ the King for the Polish Community.  I have been a Religious Sister since September 2001.  I made my Perpetual Vows in 2009.  Immediately after my Vows, I went to Brussels in Belgium, where I served in the Polish Catholic Mission of Our Lady of Częstochowa.  I was there for 4 years, and I worked as a sacristan and a teacher at the Polish School.  In 2013, I went to Canada and I was in the city of Brampton also in the Polish Parish of St.  Eugeniusz Demazenod.  I worked there as a kindergarten teacher.  Since 2015, I have been in the United States.  Before I came to Phoenix, I spent five years in the trilingual parish of St.  James in Chicago.  It was a Latin-English-Polish community.  I worked there as a sacristan and teacher at the Polish School.  From mid-August 2020, I have been serving in the Polish parish of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Phoenix.

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Sr. Ewa Filpiuk, M.Ch.R.

Thank you, Sisters, for your beautiful and inspiring biographies as you faithfully serve the Lord Jesus Christ! We welcome you to Phoenix, and we are so blessed by your Religious presence, vocation, charism and service. You are in our prayers as you adjust to your new mission in this Diocese.

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Saint Joseph, Guardian of Virgins, Pray for Us!

Wednesdays: Through the Holy Heart of St. Joseph: Guardian of Virgins, Pray  for Us! | Salve Sancta Mater Dei

“Blessed are the pure in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3).”  As we live according to our Vow of Chastity or Virginity, let us pray to St. Joseph, the Guardian of Virgins, for the virtue of purity. As we strive to conquer the temptations of the world, let us plead the assistance of the Holy Heart of St. Joseph:

Prayer to St. Joseph

O Blessed, St. Joseph, faithful guardian and protector of virgins, to whom God entrusted Jesus and Mary, I implore you by the love which you did bear them to preserve me from every defilement of soul and body, that I may always serve them in holiness and purity of love. Amen.

Your Sister in Christ,

Sr. Anthony Mary Diago, RSM, Director of the Office of Consecrated Life of the Diocese of Phoenix

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