Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Blessed Feast of the Archangels! I have such deep gratitude to God for all the graces He has bestowed on me, for the great blessing of being able to return to Phoenix and serve in the Office of Consecrated Life. Everything is new! God has made me new. He has provided a new assistant for me, new co-workers in the vineyard, a new Convent, and newly installed Bishop John Dolan. As you can imagine, it has taken me a while to settle in and become adjusted to all these graced changes. Please know that I am available to assist you and your communities as I am strengthened by Our Lord. We also welcome many new Sisters who have arrived in the Diocese of Phoenix these past few months! Welcome! ¡Bienvenidas!
Las Comunicadoras Eucarísticas del Padre Celestial from Columbia now at St. Mary’s Parish, Chandler.
We welcome our Sisters who have newly arrived in the Diocese of Phoenix! They each greet us:
Founded in Cali, Columbia in 2004, Las Comunicadoras Eucarísticas del Padre Celestial have a specific charism to evangelize by means of the dynamic world and the media of communication as Comunicadoras, as a friendly presence to seek the Father and as Eucharistic souls in action, in order to proclaim from the rooftops what Jesus says to the ears (Mt 10,27), in the intimacy of prayer.
Fundadas en Cali, Columbia en 2004, las Comunicadoras Eucarísticas del Padre Celestial tenemos como carisma específico evangelizar en y a través del dinámico mundo de los medios de comunicación como Comunicadoras, presencia amiga para quien busca al Padre y como Almas Eucarísticas en acción, que proclaman desde los terrados lo que Jesús les dice al oído (Mt 10,27),en la intimidad de la oración.
Members of their Foundation in Arizona:
Hna. María Catalina de la Ternura de Dios Padre, tengo 13 años de vida religiosa, soy de Colombia 🇨🇴 y actualmente soy la encargada de la casa y apoyo en el servicio de sacristía en mi parroquia de Santa María. (I have been in Religious Life for 13 years; I am from Columbia, and actually I am the superior of the house, and I support in the service of the sacristy in my Parish, St. Mary’s Parish in Chandler, AZ.)
Hna. María Inés del Niño Jesús, tengo 8 años de vida religiosa, soy de pueda Guatemala 🇬🇹 y actualmente soy la ecónoma y apoyo en el servicio de sacristía en mi parroquia de Santa María. (I have been in Religious Life for 8 years; I am from Pueda, Guatemala, and actually I am the bursar. I support in the service of the sacristy at my Parish, St. Mary’s Parish in Chandler, AZ.)
Hna. María Nazareth del Amor Crucificado y de los Santos Angeles, tengo 13 años de vida religiosa, soy de Colombia 🇨🇴 y actualmente me estoy formado en el coro de la parroquia para el apostolado Eucarístico 2023 que apoyaremos desde nuestra espiritualidad; también apoyo en el servicio de sacristía en mi parroquia de Santa María. (I have been in Religious Life for 13 years. I am from Columbia, and actually I am being formed in the choir of the Parish for the Eucharistic apostolate in 2023 that we will support from our spirituality; also, I support in the service of the sacristy in my Parish of St. Mary’s.)
Queremos compartirles que nos sentimos muy felices, contentas, por la gran acogida en este país, la Diócesis y la comunidad parroquial de Santa María; realmente son una comunidad muy espiritual con mucha fe, con gran deseo de santidad y esto alegra el corazón y también enciende nuestro corazón para seguir entregándonos a esta obra que el Señor nos ha encomendado, esta misión de qué Jesús sea cada vez más amado, conocido y adorado; qué la honra de nuestro Padre Celestial sea nuevamente devuelta como Padre, como Creador que no sea temido sino, conocido como ese Padre amoroso que tiernamente nos ama. (We want to share with you that we feel very happy and delighted for the big welcome in this country, the Diocese and the Parish community of St. Mary’s; truly, they are a very spiritual community with much faith, with great desire for holiness, and this brings joy to the heart and also enlightens our heart to continue surrendering ourselves to this work that the Lord has entrusted to us, this mission that Jesus be every time more loved, known and adored; that the honor of our Heavenly Father be returned again as Father, as Creator that is not feared but known as that loving Father who tenderly loves us.)
Nos encomendamos a sus oraciones para esta bella misión y también esperamos la venida de más hermanitas para extender el reinado Eucarístico. Unidos en oración. (We entrust ourselves to your prayers for this beautiful mission, and we expect the arrival of more of our Sisters to extend the Eucharistic reign.)
Sr. Maria Crucis Garcia, RSM – Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma at Foundation of Senior Living (FSL)
Greetings in Christ!
My name is Sister Maria Crucis, RSM. I was born and raised a Mile High in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. It was in Denver that I met our community, the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, after a long discernment process. I was first attracted to our community through our Mercy Cross, which summarizes the charism of our community. The black represents the misery of mankind. The white represents the Mercy of God. We are called to be the convergence point of the two. You may notice that there is not a corpus on our cross. Each Sister is that corpus. I loved everything that I learned about our community and that love culminated in the visit to our Motherhouse. I had a deep knowledge that I was home. I professed first vows in 2016 and perpetual vows in 2021.
“Thus says the LORD: I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart” (Hosea 2:16).
I had the privilege of serving in the Diocesan Center several years ago. The Lord gave so many wonderful gifts and graces during that time. I have carried you in my prayers since I left. Now, I have the pleasure of returning and serving in a new mission. I will be working with the Foundation of Senior Living as a nurse. It has been an amazing privilege to serve as a nurse at the bedside and to see God’s healing work (which may be physical, mental, or most especially spiritual). Since I began practicing nursing, I have kept Miraculous Medals close by and available to whomever wishes to have one – patients and staff alike. It has been a great and humbling joy to see our Lord’s love encounter each person through Our Lady’s presence. No one is left unmoved. I greatly look forward to seeing and participating in the Lord’s healing work of Mercy in this new mission. “They are renewed each morning—great is [His] faithfulness!” (Lam. 3:23)
I promise my continued prayers in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
Sr. Stacy Stephan, CSST – Carmelite Sister of St. Teresa at St. Mary’s Parish in Chandler, AZ.
I am Sr Stacy Stephan, a Carmelite Sister of St Teresa (CSST) from Ernakulam, Kerala, India. It has been 8 years since I became religious. Upon receiving a warm welcome at St Mary’s, I am happy to render my service in the Religious education department. This is my first time outside India. Life here seems to be more challenging as I am exposed to a culture which is very new to me and I am sure that the good Lord who called me with a purpose will equip me with the grace to accomplish all that he has in store for me. I wish to give my very best to provide a solid foundation for the children at St Mary’s to grow in faith and reach out to the rest of the community through my loving service whenever and wherever needed.
Sr. Georgina Victor, SHS from South Sudan at St. Paul’s Parish in Phoenix, AZ.
Hello, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ! What a blessing to be here! I am Sr. Georgina Victor. A.D, a nun from Order (Congregation) of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. An African Nun originally from South Sudan, the Diocese of Malakal in Central Upper Nile State, the Parish of Our Lay of Mercy – Tonga. I arrived to the Diocese of Phoenix in August 23, 2021. My Assignment is in St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church as a Director for Liturgy and Worship. I have been a religious nun for 24 years. On January the first 2023, I will mark 25 Year of consecrated Life. Poorly lived but the grace of God was supporting.
Sr. Rose Santa Acan, SHS – Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from South Sudan at St. Paul’s Parish.
I am Sr. Rose Santa Acan of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Uganda, Africa. My Apostolate in Phoenix is at St. Paul’s Catholic Parish. I have been in Religious Life for 26 years.
Sr. Susan Marie, PVMI – Parish Visitor of Mary Immaculate at Our Lady of Joy Parish in Carefree, AZ.
I am from New York State. I was born in Buffalo and mainly raised in Rochester. I have an older sister, who is married, and has two girls who are now in their 20’s. Both of my parents passed away back in 2012. I have been in Religious Life for 20 years. I entered the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate in 2002, made First Vows in 2005, and made Final Vows in 2012. I was transferred to Phoenix on September 15, 2021. I am getting used to the heat. I have never lived on this side of the United States until last year when I was transferred here. I work at Our Lady of Joy parish in Carefree. I am the Coordinator of Evangelization. Some of the things I do for the parish are the following:
- I will shortly begin to visit homes of the parishioners
- With Family Ministry, I visit the classrooms of the students
- I will be starting an ALPHA within the next few months
- I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Sacristan
- I sing and play flute in the choir
Something that is interesting about myself is that in 1989, I converted to Catholicism with my parents and my sister. I am so glad that the Lord called us into the Church and then asked me to be His spouse.
Happy Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel!
As we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, we pray in gratitude to God for giving us these divine beings that assist us to see the light of Christ, the light of Truth, to follow a path to holiness guided by them. We remember that each of us is given a Guardian Angel when we are born to protect us from evil and danger, to accompany us in life, to guide us to have wisdom and understanding.
Who are they? St. Augustine says, “Angel is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is ‘spirit’; if you seek the name of their office, it is ‘angel’: from what they are, ‘spirit,’ from what they do, ‘angel.’” With their whole beings, angels are servants and messengers of God.
Because they “always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” they are the mighty ones who do his word, hearkening the voice of his word.” (CCC Par. 329). Do they have both intellect and will as humans do? Yes. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Par. 330, we read, “As purely spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.”
By Faith in Our Lord, Jesus Christ, we know Angels are real. We cannot see them with our physical eyes. We see with eyes of faith that these intellectual beings from heaven are among us, protecting us, guiding us to live virtuously always. Also, we know from the Christmas Story, the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus, that they adore Him and give Him, God, praise. By Faith and divine revelation in Sacred Scripture, we know that the Archangels are the highest-ranking Angels in Heaven. In Hebrew, Michael means “Who is like God.” Raphael means “God has healed.” Gabriel means, “God is my strength.” We know of the choir of Angels in heaven, and we are aware of having a Guardian Angel. This prayer helps me turn to mine:
“Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”
The Angels and Archangels are servants of God on earth. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we learn, “they have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham’s hand; healed Tobit; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the Prophets. Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor, John the Baptist and that of Jesus himself.” We know from the Rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Angels adore and worship Jesus; they serve Christ. The whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of the Angels. In her liturgy, the Church joins with the Angels to adore Our Lord. In the funeral Mass, the Church invokes the assistance of the Angels in the Paradisum deducant te angeli… “May the angels lead you into Paradise…” In the “Cherubic Hymn” of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain Angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and the Guardian Angels). In paragraph 336, we learn, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.” They lead us gently toward God and Heaven.
In this life, we engage in a spiritual battle in which we are vulnerable to evil and Satan’s power in both body and spirit. The Archangels defeated Satan and his angels, driving them out of Heaven. They know how to fight to win and to glorify God. Let us call upon them to help us in our spiritual battle. Let us receive help from God: graces He gives to us, strength from the Sacramental life, the virtuous moral life and His interventions for our formation. The Angels assist us not only to protect us from harm, but also to help us grow in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Fear of the Lord, Counsel, Piety, Fortitude, Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding. May we be aware of them always, appreciate them and turn to them in times of need and sorrow. They assist us to see things as they really are. They give us hope in times of trial, help us to pray and listen to the voice of God, to have the grace to be good, virtuous and obedient.
Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, pray for us!
Let us pray for our new Bishop John P. Dolan and in gratitude for Bishop Emeritus Thomas J. Olmsted. Please also pray for all seminarians and their Priest formators as they undergo the revision of the Program of Priestly Formation (newly published PPF 6), incorporating a propaedeutic year before seminary studies. As the Lord calls these men to the dignity of the Priesthood, we pray that they be strong in the Lord to fight the spiritual battle, to overcome evil and be made new, to bring the light of Christ into the darkness.
God bless you!
With gratitude and prayers,
Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM
Director of the Office of Consecrated Life