Friday, March 1, 2024



It all began when Bl. Maria Celeste Crostarosa received a revelation while she was still a novice to, “Stamp on your spirit the features of his life and the resemblance of him that comes from imitation.   Be on earth living and inspired images of my beloved Son.  Carry him about as the life of your heart and as the goal of your existence and as the Master of your spirit.” Intent of the Father  This instruction was for her soul like a polished mirror into which, she remained gazing continually at the dazzling light of the sun (Son) and found herself at once drawn into the divine splendor of her Well-Beloved.” Autobiography    Celeste, and the Order which she was to found, was called from the beginning to be for the world a Mirror of God’s Love.

Likewise, we are called to fix our gaze on the Son and, as if gazing in a mirror, see not only the splendor of His Being but in our own being a living reflection of God’s eternal love.   “It is in this that the Redeemer is able today to accomplish His work of salvation in us and through us.”  Const. 5    For, “The more we strive to live the love of Christ, the more the thoughts and feelings of Christ will fill our spirit and our heart, the more we will become His faithful images.”  Const.6

Like a double exposure of a photograph, one superimposed on the other, we endeavor to be Christ the Redeemer to one another:  “To be a living copy and faithful portrait of Jesus so that he might find himself in you, and you recognize yourself in him, your God through faith.”  Florilegium 6.

Bl. Celeste had a creative spirit.  Just reading her works gives us insight into the richness

of her inner life by the way she uses imagery in her writings.  She was also pliable in the hand of God by opening her heart and allowing God to shape and mold her, transform her into the image of the Son.

Everyone is called to remain moist and be shaped by God.  And by that transformation, we follow the Redeemer and make his saving action alive in our own time and place. This became clear to Bl Celeste when she marveled, “I no longer saw myself, but I saw You in my very self and myself transformed into You, my Most Pure Love.”

Jesus invited Celeste, and us, with these words, "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross each day and follow me." (Luke 9:23)  Celeste’s response was, “Oh with what love I embraced the cross, loved it, desired it and took pleasure in it -- all for your love.”  She continues, “Likewise those who love bind themselves to the cross…savor the true and solid sweetness of God and the true peace found therein.”  Florilegium 118.

Celeste describes Jesus the Redeemer as the mirror of the Father.   She invites us to look into this mirror of the Son, saying, “Those who are pure of heart know the Father because they look upon the Redeemer fixedly with a gaze of love.” and adds: “They are children of the light because with the vision of right intention, they gaze into the mirror of the divine perfections of their God.”   The Mystic Who Remembered’ by Joseph Opptiz, CSsR      Let us be Mirrors of Love, of the Redeemer, of our God.

How am I a ‘Mirror of Love’ witnessing to the world God’s love?

Thursday, February 1, 2024



Blessed Celeste was a mystic and a prolific writer who was never 
at a loss for words.   And she shared regularly with her community
her experiences laying out 
all the pieces of God’s love. 

During Lent, we too strive to put together all the pieces of God’s extravagant love
which fills our days and our lives on our journey of salvation.  Here are some of Celeste’s pieces.

Bl. Celeste says: ‘As soon as you rise from sleep, thank the Creator for all the blessings of this day and offer to God all your words, actions and sufferings, abandoning yourself into God’s blessed hands.’

Jesus, in turn, said to Celeste as he held his divine heart in his hands, and says to us now: ‘Receive my heart to love me with my own love forever.  Embrace in my heart all my creatures and give to those souls all the love of my heart.’

During Lent we strive to have the heart of Jesus by loving as Jesus did.  Celeste says, ‘Make your life an echo of Jesus’ love.’  From the moment we wake up in the morning until we lay your head on the pillow at night we strive to echo Christ’s redemptive love.  In our busy schedules we are called to abandon ourselves into the hands of our Creator as we offer a sacrifice of love, praise and intercession that reaches out to embrace in our hearts all of God’s creatures and creation. Our mission as Redemptoristines is to be transformed into pure love.   Celeste often quoted Jesus in saying, ‘If someone asks you who I am, tell them I am Pure Love.’

Jesus said to Celeste and now says to us, ‘If you wish to give me pleasure, imitate that prayer which I offered in the Garden of Olives before my Passion, placing my whole spirit in my Father's hands!’   

Celeste says, ‘The just soul who loves takes delight in death at the hands of its Beloved.  Jesus lived dying and it is the living memory of Jesus’ dying that will be your life.’

How do we remember Jesus’ dying in our daily lives?  Remember what Jesus says at the Last Supper before he died, ‘Do this in memory of me.’   Every day at the holy sacrifice of the Mass we stretch out our hands as an offering to receive the Body of Christ.  This reminds me of a time when I was the Eucharistic minister; a woman, instead of saying ‘Amen’ to the ‘The Body of Christ,’ responded saying, ‘I am.’  What a profound statement.  To me, her reply was a confident, yet humble pledge of love.  We are then nourished by Christ, who lives and dies and rises in us for the life of the world.  In presenting our hands we give our whole self so that Jesus may live and work and pray in us. 

To unite earth with heaven, Jesus stretched out his hands on the cross to embrace everyone and everything with his redeeming love.  By our life of prayer. we stretch out our hands to embrace and support family, friends, benefactors and all of creation.

In regularly taking time to pray, we give ourselves the puzzle piece which binds the whole together, as the psalmist says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Ps 46:11      This pray of quiet pleases God, soothes the soul and enables us to share in the viva memoria as participants in the life of Jesus who lived dying so that the world may be redeemed and rise to new life.   

United with Jesus, we offer our hearts to God at the service of God’s divine plan of mercy and love.  Trusting that Jesus has completed the puzzle of love in our lives, we pray with grateful hearts with Celeste, ‘Thank you, Jesus, for my very beginning and my very end.’ 


Friday, December 1, 2023


 Had enough of same-old, same-old Hallmark Christmas stories which run 24/7/365?    You would think the true meaning of Christmas was to fall in love with someone you may or may not like when you first meet them.   Longing for some ‘meat’ or meaning?  Here are10 films in release order that might be a tad more inspirational or just plain fun, with a little romance on the side. 

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946  Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and the adorable Henry Travers.  And the originally ‘Bert and Ernie’ Ward Bond and Frank Faylen.  Who could forget, ‘Zuzu’s petals!’ Enough said.

THE BISHOP’S WIFE 1947 starring the lovely Loretta Young, Cary Grant and David Niven, about a debonair angel sent in answer to a prayer.  

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET 1947 starring 8-year-old Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn).  “I believe, I believe.”

CHRISTMAS CAROL 1951 starring Alistair Sim.  The master of the double take, whose hooded eyes that try to hide all those feelings until they cannot be suppressed on Christmas Morn. “It all happened!  Now I know I never knew anything!  I must stand on my head!”

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS Gain Carlo Menotti’s 54-minute opera was first broadcast in black and white on network TV in 1951 starring Chet Allen and Rosemary Kuhlmann.   There is a color version starring Teresa Stratas which is also good.  It is the story of a lying cripple boy and his poverty-stricken mother who host the Three Kings as they journey to find the newborn King. The music is enchanting and the voices soar opening your heart to the question, “Have you seen the Child…? 

SANTA & PETE 1999 starring James Earl Jones, Hume Cronyn and Flex Alexander tell the tale of Bishop Nicholas’ journey to the New World to bring cheer to the newly arrived settlers, people of color and the Natives.  It is a charming telling of how St. Nick became Santa Claus.  

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT   1945 Starring Barbara Stanwyck posing as a
type of Martha Stewart, except she is inept at any of those homey virtues.  Also starring Dennis Morgan as a war time hero and the wonderful character actor S Z Sakall. This tasty comedy is a delight from start to finish.  

NOEL  2004  Starring Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker and Alan Arkin.  A Christmas Eve drama revolving around the lives of five sad and lonely people whose stories interconnect and try re-create happy Christmas memories.

SILENT NIGHT 2004 This gripping Christmas drama stars Linda Hamilton as a German mother taking her 12-year-old son away from the horrors of WWII to her family’s cabin in the woods only to be invaded by 3 American GIs and 3 German soldiers on Christmas Eve.  She orders the men to leave their weapons outside. 
Will they obey?     


NOELLE  2007 written, produced, directed and starring David Wall with his wife and daughter, Kerry and Brennan Wall and Sean Patrick Brennan.  It is a human story of two priests in search of the true power of love, forgiveness and redemption in a remote quirky village.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

NOVEMBER ~ All Souls and High School Reunions

What do All Souls and high school reunions have to do with each other?

Well, having recently gone to my 50th at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School on Long Island, I found it a wonderful experience.  Being a Nun was an oddity among the 150 or so souls who attended the reunion.    While we were in school the Dominicans and Mercy teachers, many of whom have gone to heaven, commented among themselves that our class had the most spirit!  By the turn out, it appears to be still today.

I spoke with and embraced people I haven’t seen in 50 years, or had never had the occasion to speak to while in high school, so large was our class.

At the reunion Mass each classmate who had died was remembered by name, all 51 of them. Soul- friends in heaven.

We laughed and cried remembering our young lives.  My, how we’ve changed. My, how we stayed the same.  It was so heartening to meet and                                                        meet again so many good people.

Now about those Souls: 
Enraptured, our foundress Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa, once exclaimed: “How lovable and precious you are, my Jesus.   This view (of You) is so full of love it keeps me in a purgatory at once of love and of pain, because in the true light of faith the difference separating Your Most Pure Being from my being becomes clear.”   

Someone at the reunion remarked that in Freshman year both the boys and girls were scared of each other.  But after 4 years lifelong friendships had developed.  Oh, the loves and pains of growing up.

It is the same with Jesus.  At first, we are scared of a relationship with God, but during our lifetime we mature and grow in our relationship with the God of unconditional love and mercy and become who we really are meant to be:  images of God to one another.

Jesus spoke to the heart of Celeste: “Embrace in my heart all my creatures; and that through my kiss of love to you, you might give to those souls the kiss of love in my heart to them.”

It pleases the Lord when on All Souls Day we offer the Prayers of Petition for the souls of our dearly departed loved ones.  Celeste’s words console us: “Death is a dream of peace for just souls because they live in love and it is this love which brings them rest in their dying and they die of this love in a peaceful, sweet and gentle death.”    When we die, our union is not quite complete yet. Our loves and pains have still to be purified.   

First Corinthians reassures us about this purification: “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed: in an instant, in the blink of an eye…and we shall be changed.  For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality.”

                Then all our SOULS will have quite a REUNION in heaven!

Sunday, October 1, 2023


 A joyful noise was raised to the heavens when four women renewed the commitment as Redemptoristine Associates on September 10, 2023.   This happened at the celebration of the Eucharist presided over by Fr. Provincial John Collins, C.Ss.R.

The chapel in the Beacon Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation, where the ‘Red Nuns’ reside, was festooned with sunflowers. Prioress, Sr. Moira Quinn, gave a welcome before Mass started and said, “Just as sunflowers turn their faces to follow the sun throughout the day, so our Associates follow the Beloved Son. 

At this Mass Jeannie, Marguerite, Carole and Angela will renew their commitment to follow the Redeemer, faithfully and generously as they strive, like sunflowers, to follow Christ in their daily lives, who is the light of their faith, the strength of their charity and the source of their hope.  May God bless them and the other Associates who were unable to attend today’s Mass.  May God bless you all.”    And the assembly responded, “Amen.”

During the Mass, each Associate participated in either proclaiming a reading, singing the Responsorial Psalm or leading the Prayer of the Faithful.  After Fr. John’s right-on-point homily about forgiveness and talking through our concerns with one another, the Associates renewed their commitment for another year. 

After Mass, we went to the community room for refreshments and chatted with Fr. John and the ladies over coffee and cakes.   Before they left, each Associate received a sunflower as a remembrance of the day.

We thank our Associates for their faithfulness, friendship and the inspiration they are to us, their families, their local communities and the church.  May they always be like sunflowers following, adoringly, the Beloved Son.

Thursday, August 31, 2023


 A long journey for Sr. Louisa has come to a new beginning!  Hearing the Father’s call to be a clear and radiant witness of God’s plan of love for the salvation of the world, Sr. Louisa entered the Monastery of St. Alphonsus in Liguori, MO where made her formation.  As time evolved and the numbers in community lessened, Sr. Louisa Olmo made the bold decision to join the Redemptoristine community in Dublin, Ireland, accompanied by Sr. Ann Marie Gool, OSsR. 

On August 19, 2023, Sr. Maria Paz Suarez and Sr. Moira Quinn from the Redemptoristine community in Beacon, NY, were privileged to witness Sr. Louisa’s Solemn Profession along with her new community, family and friends.   To perfect in herself this union with Christ her Redeemer, begun in Baptism, she made her vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience for the redemption of humanity, trusting in the mercy
of God and the maternal help of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

The rejoicing continued after Mass with a delicious, festive, five-course meal (potatoes three ways – it’s Ireland!) with all the guests.  Sr. Louisa and Prioress,
were all smiles as they cut the cake. 


Afterwards, the Americans: Sister M. Paz, Moira, Deirdre (who began her formation also in Liguori and now resides in Dublin), and Ann Marie posed for a photo with the Sr. Louisa.

It was a joy to celebrate this new beginning with Sr. Louisa.  May she remain faithful to her covenant all the days of her life and may her light ever shine.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

 A reading of the Gospel according to Matthew 14:22-33  

After Jesus had fed the five thousand, he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  After doing so, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening, he was there alone.  

Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them, and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. The disciples were scared to death. They cried out in terror. “A ghost!”

At once Jesus spoke to them, “Courage, it is I. Do not be afraid.” 

Peter spoke up and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  

“Come!” Jesus said.  

Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he felt the strong the wind and looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink.  He cried out, “Lord, save me!” 

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to Peter,
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

The two of them, then, climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God."       The Gospel of the Lord.

You gotta love Peter; time and again he says the first thing that enters his mind without thinking of the consequences. He is so big-hearted, impulsive, brave and scared all at the same time, so human - like one of us.  

When Jesus first met Peter after the big catch of fish, Peter said, “Leave me, I am a sinner.” And Jesus replied, No, I caught you.  “Do not be afraid.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says the same thing to the disciples when they think he is a ghost.  I imagine Jesus sighing, “Oy vey,” exasperated that the disciples did not know him after all they had witness in following him, and shouting through
the wind, “It’s ME, do not be afraid.”

When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm us, how is our faith?  Can we be calm, trusting that Jesus will catch us?  Do we believe Jesus has already saved us? 

Peter’s sinking in the water can be thought of as a type of baptism.  Peter needed this dunking so he would stopped floundering around and be calm in the storm; to not be afraid. 
A dunking can be jolting, or refreshing; renewing the mind, body and soul. 
Every time I take a shower it’s like a mini-baptism as I sing to myself the refrain from the blessing of the Baptismal Water at the Easter Vigil, “Water of life, cleanse and refresh us. Raise us to life in Christ Jesus.”

In baptism, we were caught by Jesus.  Yet, we all still need a little dunking now and then to wash away our doubts, water our faith and help us learn to trust God saves us.  

God never promised that life would be like a day at the beach.  On the contrary, Jesus assured his followers a life full of hardship, but Jesus did promise to be with us always.

God lures us in when we remember God’s marvelous love.   In times of troubled waters, have faith.  Look – We are floating in Love and God will always throw us a line. 

Have you ever had the opportunity to save a drowning person? 
I did.  We were at the public pool.  I was about 11 when this toddler waddled over from the baby pool and just plopped in the deep end right in front of me.  I was sitting on the side and reached down and caught her.  When I brought her back to her mother, she thanked me effusively.  I didn’t think much about it.   It didn’t call for any great heroics on my part, it was a simple thing to do. 

I think God is like that:  God is simply there for us, saving us, loving us and will simply not let us go through life alone. 

God showed the depth of God’s love when Jesus humbly became a human like one of us.  We see Jesus’ heroics in the Gospels:  Jesus patiently endured temptation, hunger and thirst; rejection of his miraculous deeds and words of truth about God’s love; betrayal, abandonment by his disciples, torture… and when Jesus was sinking into death on the cross he experienced the feeling of abandonment by God.   Yet, God was holding Jesus, offering Jesus, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son…  God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”      God simply has no other way of being than to simply love us and hold us when we are sinking.

Maybe Peter had it right.  Maybe when we are brave and scared at the same time, we need to overcome our doubts when we are sinking in the troubled waters and have the faith and audacity to not be afraid to cry out, “Lord, save me!”    And Love will always catch us.