Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Blessed Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes! Thank you all for your prayers! The Blessed Mother is interceding. I greet you as I heal from my recent surgery, knowing how much I am loved by God and am inspired to trust in Him as His beloved daughter. On this 30th World Day of the Sick, I want to share that our Church is dedicated to praying for and caring for those who are sick as Jesus healed the sick, freeing them from physical and spiritual suffering. The Lord continues to heal as he accompanies the sick in their particular journey of healing. His healing love is merciful. Each of us experiences His mercy as we are healed from illness and suffering. The suffering that each of us endures is an opportunity to pray for the Church and the world that are in so much need of prayer and sanctification. God uses all of our sufferings for good. For those in need of healing, I exhort you to take courage. Do not be afraid. The Lord will heal you. Have faith! Trust in Him always. His plan for our sainthood is beyond anything we can ever imagine.
During this time of healing, I have experienced: “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121: 7-8)
Pope Francis’ theme for this year is “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36): Standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity.” From the Vatican News from February 9, we read,
“Recalling this day at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis said he wished “to remember our dear sick people, so that all may be assured of health care and spiritual accompaniment. Let us pray for these brothers and sisters of ours, for their families, for health care and pastoral care workers, and for all those who care for them.”
On February 1, we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix with almost 40 Religious of the Diocese. The Candlemas was a beautiful celebration to honor all who have dedicated their lives to God as Consecrated persons: Religious Sisters, Brothers, Priests and Consecrated Virgins. The celebrant of the Mass was Fr. Eugene Mary of the Trinity Florea, our Diocesan Hermit, who lives a life of prayer in solitude and service. All who attended gathered to pray together for all who are Consecrated to God and to renew their Vows. Here are beautiful photos of this Candlemas that depict the reality of shining the light of Christ to others.
Father Eugene Mary of the Trinity blesses the candles before the candle lit procession for Mass.
The Sisters of Life
I thank each and every one of you for your total dedication to Jesus Christ and your service to the Church. Your vocation is such a blessing and a gift to not only the Church but also to the entire world that is in such need of healing and truth. May you be a light shining in the world, bringing truth, mercy and charity to all you meet and serve. Please know that I am praying for all of you as you live for and glorify the Lord.
God bless you!
Your Sister in Christ,
Sr. Anthony Mary Diago, RSM
Director of the Office of Consecrated Life, Diocese of Phoenix