Giving Thanks to God! Dando Gracias a Dios…

Table setting with pumpkin with "we give thanks to God" carved into it
Happy Thanksgiving to all! ¡Feliz día de acción de gracias!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy Thanksgiving! Blessed Advent! Prepare the way for the Lord with grateful hearts for His many mercies and blessings showered upon each one of us. I am so grateful to each and every one of you! This time of healing for me at my Motherhouse in Alma, has been filled with abundant gifts and graces. This reflection allows me to share with you the many blessings received by God in the past few months.

  1. First, I give thanks to God for Sr. Esther Pilar Torres, SCTJM of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who is graciously serving as the Coordinator of the Office of Consecrated Life during this time of my absence. She already hosted our Vocations Fair on Sunday, November 7, 2021.
Sr. Esther Pilar Torres, SCTJM, Coordinator of the Office of Consecrated Life. She is a great blessing to us!
  1. Last Saturday, November 20, 2021, Bishop Olmsted presided over the Final Profession and Consecration of Fr. Eugene Mary of the Trinity Florea, Diocesan Hermit at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. Enjoy these photos:

3. Let us give thanks for the Golden Jubilee, 50th Anniversary of Sr. Janet, MC’s Vows. On November 11, 2021, there was a special Mass and gathering to celebrate this special Anniversary and her vocation!

Sr. Janet, MS is adorned and standing to the right of Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares with her Religious Community, the Missionaries of Charity. Seven Diocesan Priests attended in support of Sr. Janet, MC.

4. Thank you to all who came to the Vocations Fair on Sunday, November 7 at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix. A joyful time was had by many children, families and Religious Sisters and Brothers.

Caroline Medrano and her family dressed up as great Saints!
Table of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara.
Brother Solanus of the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted gives his vocation testimony.
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Some the Saints of our day that inspire us.
The Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma who serve our Diocese.
Sr. Bethany Madonna, SV of the Sisters of Life that recently arrived to Phoenix at St. Agnes Convent.
Seminarians of the Diocese of Phoenix.
Missionaries of Charity, founded by Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary serving at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix.
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist serving at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish and School in Phoenix.
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Sr. Georgina Victor Abingkwaec, SHS

5. Welcoming Sr. Georgina Victor to St. Paul’s

Sr. Georgina Victor Abingkwaec a senior member of the Congregation
of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus-Juba, South Sudan has arrived
in Phoenix. Sr. Georgina Victor comes to St. Paul’s highly recommended
by her superior Sr. Dr. Alice Jurugo Drajea, Superior General, SHS. for
our position of Director of Liturgy and Sacramental Preparation.
Since her first profession in January 1979, Sr. Georgina has made great
progress as an individual academically and in her spiritual growth. She
has completed her master’s degree in the field of Education while
recently she served in the Catholic University of South Sudan in Juba
City in the field of education. Sr. Georgina has completed various
certification courses and is serving the faithful in many ways.

6. I give thanks to God for all the women discerning Consecrated Life as Religious Sisters or Diocesan Consecrated Virgins Living in the World.

8. Good news from Vocations to the Priesthood in Phoenix: We have 40 Seminarians, the most ever since the 2000s! Nazareth House Minor Seminary, which has a capacity for 10 is housing 13 plus Deacon Soto! We have one seminarian, David Vallier, doing a Pastoral Year in Honduras, learning Spanish and serving the poor with the Missioners of Christ. David is thriving there, finding this assignment very fulfilling!

9. I recommend two books that have been very helpful to me for which I am extremely grateful:

The Emotions God Gave You by Art and Laraine Bennett

Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe of the Community of the Beatitudes

“The thesis to be developed is a simple but very important one: we gain possession of our interior freedom in exact proportion to our growth in faith, hope and love. This book will look specifically at how the dynamism of what are classically called the “theological virtues” is the heart of the spiritual life. It will also underline the key role of the virtue of hope in our inner growth. Hope cannot really be exercised apart from poverty of heart, so that the whole of the book may be considered a commentary on the first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” At the beginning of the third millennium, it is hoped that this book will help those who wish to open themselves to the marvelous inner renewal that the Holy Spirit wants to bring about in people’s hearts, and in this way reach the glorious freedom of the children of God.” ~ From the Introduction by Fr. Jacques Philippe

10. Last, but not least, I give thanks to God for our faithful Bishops of the United States who recently gathered to meet in Baltimore, Maryland. They are great shepherds to us leading us to the gift of the Eucharist. They just released a great document: The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.

Illumination of the Eucharistic Miracle of Dijon, France by Jed Gibbons.

Thank you to each and every one of you for all that you do to serve and glorify God, Our Lord Jesus Christ. May His presence be strongly felt in your prayer life and apostolic life, and may your lives be centered on Christ in the Eucharist. He is with us, present with us in the Eucharist, He sustains us and strengthens us in the Eucharist. He unifies us and brings us to true communion in the Eucharist. Let us every be grateful for this precious and wonderful gift! May we treasure it and revere it always!

Your Sister in Christ,

Sister Anthony Mary, RSM

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