Our Lady of Guadalupe and S. Juan Diego, Guide Us! Virgen de Guadalupe y San Juan Diego, Guianos!

Statues of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Chandler, AZ.

Blessed Advent, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recently, I went along with my Sisters to Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Chandler to pray for the souls of our beloved deceased. There I discovered a powerful sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Saint Juan Diego humbly kneeling before her with roses. How inspiring it was for me to see the docile pose of Saint Juan Diego as an example for me to be before Our Blessed Mother! The day was sunny and beautiful with many graces as I prayed a Rosary for all the souls interred in this neatly kept cemetery. Seeing the tomb stones reminded me of how short our lives are, not to take the gift of life for granted, and that we belong to God. Mother Mary is a guiding star for us to follow: to know Jesus, to pray, live and serve God Our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium), en español, La Alegría del Evangelio says:

“As she did with Juan Diego, Mary offers them maternal comfort and love, and whispers in their ear, “Let your heart not be troubled…Am I not here, who am your Mother?”  We ask the Mother of the living Gospel to intercede that this invitation to a new phase of evangelization will be accepted by the entire ecclesial community.  Mary is the woman of faith, who lives and advances in faith, and “her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church.”  Mary let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit on a journey of faith toward a destiny of service and fruitfulness.  Today we look to her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn.  She is the woman of prayer and work in Nazareth, and she is also Our Lady of Help, who sets out from her town “with haste” (Luke 1:39) to be of service to others.  This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model for evangelization.”  (EG, 286-288)

HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE ALL SAINTS DAY? HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, SR. JOAN FITZGERALD, BVM!

Pumpkin carved by Sr. Maria Crucis Garcia, RSM with the face of St. Padre Pio and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Sr. Joan Fitzgerald, IBVM, President of the Xavier College Prep. in Phoenix.

On November 1, Xavier College Prep. and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrated Sr. Joan Fitzgerald’s 60th Annversary of Years of Service at this great Institution that has educated girls of the Diocese of Phoenix since 1943. Go gators! The celebration began with Mass followed by a School Assembly with performance of music and dancing. Governor Doug Ducy presented an award to Sr. Joan in appreciation for her dedicated service and spiritual motherhood of all the Xavier College Prep girls. We had an elegant lunch and gala reception in the evening with Bishop John Dolan and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares. The day was filled with blessings, joy and deep gratitude in the hearts of Sr. Joan and all who participated. Here are some photos:

“The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (outer circle) ~ Inside: “As the Lily Among the Thorns”
Sanctuary and Altar for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Stained glass window of Mother Mary Frances Clarke, IBVM, Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Dubuque, Iowa.
Stained glass window of St. Francis Xavier, SJ outside of their Chapel.
Bishop John P. Dolan presenting a gift to Sr. Joan Fitzgerald, an elegant pin. This reminded me of pins presented to Queen Elizabeth II of England.

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GETTING TO KNOW THE SISTERS OF LIFE IN PHOENIX

The Sisters of Life here in Phoenix are constantly witnessing to the gift and dignity of human life from conception to natural death. Not only do they run a crisis pregnancy center to help women with unexpected pregnancies, but they also do evangelization at ASU. We are so blessed to have the Sisters of Life serving at St. Agnes Parish Convent in Phoeniz, AZ and All Saints Newman Center. They each have a beautiful story to share as I introduce them to you here on this post as we get to know them a bit better.

Sr. Bethany Madonna

Sr. Bethany Madonna was born in southern California and grew up near the ocean in Melbourne, FL. She entered the Sisters of Life in 2007. While attending the University of Central Florida, she had a profound encounter with the Lord, which drew her heart toward the vulnerable unborn and their mothers. After her graduation in 2006, she worked for the Respect Life Office for the Diocese of Orlando before joining her religious community.  She made her final vows in 2015, and is currently serving as local superior for the Sisters’ newest foundation in Phoenix, where she serves women who are pregnant and in crisis, and participates in college outreach and evangelization, accompanying students on campus to know their dignity and live their faith joyfully. 

Sr. Fiat Marie

Sr. Fiat Marie, SV grew up in the middle of a woods in the small town of Onsted, Michigan.  Deeply moved by the beauty of God’s image within each human person, and experiencing a profound call to consecration, she entered the Sisters of Life in 2005 after graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a degree in Humanities and Catholic Culture and in Theology.  For 5 years, Sister accompanied and lived with expectant mothers and their babies at the Sisters of Life holy respite mission in Manhattan.  Before coming to Phoenix, she served for 6 years in Denver where she and her Sisters began a mission of evangelization on 7 different college campuses … bringing the good news of God’s plan for life and love to the students on campus.  Sister is grateful to be part of this new foundation here in Phoenix and feels privileged to serve pregnant mothers in need as well as the good students at ASU.   


Sr. Elizabeth Grace

Sister Elizabeth Grace is a native of Whitesville, Kentucky where she grew up on a tobacco farm as the 3rd of 9 kids. Sister graduated from Murray State University with a degree in Chemistry and Biology, with plans for Medical school underway when the Lord shook up her plans and called her to Himself in Religious Consecration. She entered the Sisters of Life in 2013 and has served in the Retreat mission at Villa Maria Guadalupe.. the Pregnancy Care mission in NY, and with the Hope and Healing Mission with women suffering after the experience of abortion, also in NY. Sister Elizabeth Grace currently assists with the Co-Workers of Life and loves receiving and connecting with those whom the Lord is raising up to join in the pregnancy mission here in Phoenix. 


Sr. Magnificat Rose

Sr. Magnificat Rose, a native Minnesotan, is the oldest of three children. She served with NET Ministries and studied Catholic Studies and Theology at the University of St. Thomas before entering the Sisters of Life in 2013. She professed her Final Vows in 2021 and has served in the community’s Vocations Mission as well as a mission to pregnant women in need in Philadelphia. Last year, she moved to Phoenix where the Sisters have begun a mission of service to pregnant women in need and a mission of college outreach at ASU. Spreading God’s love is the joy of her heart and you can occasionally find her riding a ripstik or playing a blue guitar! 

Sr. Claudia Marie

Sr Claudia Marie is from a small country town outside of Toronto, Canada. She entered the community of the Sisters of Life in 2012 and has served in various apostolates over the years. Sister Claudia spent three years in our Toronto Convent, where she served in the Pregnancy Care Mission, the works of Retreat Mission, as well as learning and establishing our Hope and Healing Mission in Toronto.  She has also served the community through the administrative works in our Generalate Offices. Most recently, Sister has been missioned to our newest foundation in Phoenix, Arizona where she is privileged to serve the most vulnerable in our Pregnancy Care Mission. When Sr Claudia isn’t studying Spanish, she enjoys a good cup of tea and a great book!

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Pottery handmade by the Native American Indian (Pima) people on the Gila River Reservation, AZ.

CONSOLATA MISSIONARIES SERVING AT FOUR MISSION CHURCHES ON THE GILA RIVER RESERVATION

The Consolata Missionaries having been serving at the Mission Churches of the Gila River Reservation in the Diocese of Phoenix since June of 2014. This Religius Institute of Missionary Sisters is originally from Turin, Italy founded by Bl. Giuseppe Allamano in 1901. This congregation has communities in 26 countries in Europe (Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland), Africa (South Africa, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania and Congo), Asia (South Korea), and the Americas (U.S., Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela).

Sr. Riccardina Silvestri, MC showing us the beauty of a Native American Indian Processional Cross.
Holy Family Mission Church on the Gila River Reservation.
Sideview of Holy Family Mission Church.
Interior of Holy Family Mission Church.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Victory Mission Church.
Interior of Our Lady of Victory Mission Church on the Reservation.
Pima Processional Cross at Our Lady of Victory Mission Church.
Kokopelli, the Native American Indian figure of a man playing a flute symbolizing fertility and life!
Replica of Padre Eusebio Kino’s tomb, Magdalena, MX
Interior of St. Anthony Mission Church Hall where Mass is celebrated currently.
Painting of St. Kateri Tekawitha at St. Anthony’s Mission Church.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium for young children on the Reservation.
A display of a model to educate about the Mass to the children.

Print of a Painting adorning the walls of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium at St. Anthony of Padua Mission Church.
Exterior of St. Anne’s Mission on the Gila River Reservation.
Interior of St. Anne’s Mission on the Gila River Reservation.

Altar at St. Anne’s Mission Church on the Reservation.
Presider’s Chair in which St. John Paul II sat when he visited Phoenix on September 14, 1987.
Replica of Padre Eusebio Kino’s tomb as it looks in Magdalena, MX.
Paint of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Anne’s Mission.
Sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe made of styrofoam!

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HAVE YOU BEEN TO SAINT BERNADETTE’S CHURCH IN SCOTTSDALE LATELY?

Saint Bernadette’s Catholic Parish in Scottsdale, AZ has undergone a major renovation that has changed this beautiful new Church into a glorious masterpiece of artwork that transcends minds and hearts to Heaven and the mysteries of our Merciful Triune God. By God’s providence, I had the opportunity to go to Mass there on a Saturday morning in November. Following the Mass, there was a CMA (Catholic Medical Association) meeting, the first since the outbreat of COVID-19 organized by one of my Sisters, Sister Dr. Edith Mary Hart, RSM of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI. Here are a few photos:

The ceiling right above the heads of the congregation in the front pews.

Stained glass window of St. Gabriel.
Painting of the Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Bernadette.

Two of my Religious Sisters in community, Sister Mary Juanita Gonsalves, RSM and Sister Maria Crucis, RSM, will be giving a Mission at St. Anne’s Catholic Parish in Gilbert, AZ on Wednesday, December 14. Please see the invitation below:

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BOOK OF THE MONTH: ON THE RELIGIOUS LIFE BY DOM PROSPER GUERANGER, OSB

“Since the imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the path that has to be taken by any human creature who wants to achieve salvation and come to glory, the sovereign wisdom of God has determined that this imitation, so exalted in its nature, should be realized in different degrees. Taking human weakness into consideration, and having decided to grant His harmony, our Lord shared with me His commandments and counsels. The commandments, which everyone has to follow, stand for the essential conditions, without which there is no salvation, the evangelical counsels, are for those who are called to rise still higher in their imitation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, gave concrete form to the content of these teachings in His own life, with a marvelous fullness and perfection.” (Chapter X, “On the Evangelical Counsels”, p. 73)

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May this time of Advent be one of joyful waiting for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace! May His love and peace fill your hearts as you follow His will and depend on His Providence day by day, moment by moment. God bless you all!

Your Sister in Christ,

Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM

Director of the Office of Consecrated Life of the Diocese of Phoenix

One thought on “Our Lady of Guadalupe and S. Juan Diego, Guide Us! Virgen de Guadalupe y San Juan Diego, Guianos!

  1. 🙏AMEN🙏. BLESSINGS ☦️.GOD IS THE UTMOST☦️ POWERFUL CONTROLLER OF ‘ALL CREATIONS . EVERYTHING- .VISIBLE / INVISIBLE 🙏 THE HIGHEST .BOSS . THE MOST , POWERFUL COSMIC FORCE . ) 🙏☦️🙏☦️🙏 ( THERE IS NO OTHER ) 🙏☦️🙏☦️🙏 ‘GOD ALL MIGHTY ‘ IS GREATEST MAJESTIC POWER. CONTROLLING THE ENTIRE COSMOS . ( FACTUAL – (TRUTH/ JUSTICE ) – REALITY ). 🙏AMEN ☦️🙏 🙏 GOD KNOWS US PRIOR TO OUR INCEPTION IN MOTHERS WOMB . HE KNOWS EVERY HAIR. THAT FALLS FROM OUR HEADS . ©️Ⓜ️©️ ONLY FOOLS FOOL ‘OF THEMSELVES ‘ FOOL ALL THEIR EQUALS. THE FOOLS . ©️Ⓜ️COPYRIGHTS Ⓜ️©️ SR MIRJANA THANK U GOD

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