Sunday, January 29, 2012


This graceful picture of a woman carrying her jug put me in mind of the Samaritan woman after her conversation with Jesus at the well. (John 4:1-29, 39-40)   They had a long exchange which began with Jesus asking her for a drink of water and ending with her going out to ‘refresh’ her entire village. 

With the Redemptoristine election of new leadership for the next three years, and the Associates being invited to envision a new way of participation for themselves, we are all called to be open to what Jesus is saying to us and to honestly look at our lives.   Only then can we gracefully move forward with faith and courage to go out to spread the good news: to refresh those in our communities, our families, our workplace and the church.

May we all be Water Bearers, overflowing with the refreshing word of Christ our Lord to all we meet.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Beginnings, New Year

Wondrous Epiphany!   The Magi brought gifts to the infant Jesus: Incense is the symbol of Christ’s priesthood, gold is the symbol of his kingship on earth and myrrh the symbol of his death. 

We often come before Jesus hesitant, not knowing what gifts we can offer him.  The empty bowl pictured here is a symbol of that.  Yet the emptiness holds all kinds of potential.  This empty bowl beckons a new way of seeing, a new way of understanding, which will fill it to the brim with new possibilities.  Together, we can fill this bowl with the gifts and ideas of how we envision new beginnings for the Redemptoristine Associates moving into the New Year.  

The Associates were asked to reflect on their desire to continue as an Association of the Redemptoristine Nuns.  Envisioning the future is necessary because the Sisters will no longer be living in Esopus come the end of May, but in another monastery, where it would make travel to attend the monthly meetings difficult for all concerned. 

This is how they envision the future:  The Associates expressed their heartfelt desire to remain connected to the Redemptoristines, and stay together to be a support to one another as they grow in prayer as they strive to follow the way of Jesus: making the redeeming love of God present in their daily living.

The Associates realized that over the years the Sisters have provided so much spiritual enrichment. The time has now come to make more of an effort to take on some of the responsibility for their continuance.

Associates could take turns facilitating the meetings.
One or two Associates would work with a Sister to organize the monthly meeting.
          Skype could be used to participate at the meetings from different locations.
The Associates could deepen their understanding of prayer, or the spirituality of the Order, by a book study: reading chapters of agreed upon books and then sharing on them together.
          Suggested books:
              “Why Not be a Mystic” by Frank X. Tuoti
              “A Pool in a Deep Forest” by Sr. Mary Catherine Parks, OSsR
“Florilegium” ‘A Bouquet of Words’ excerpts of the writing of
                                                   Ven. Mother Maria Celeste Crostarosa
 Books by William Johnston, sj

 “A Pool in a Deep Forest” is readily available from the Sisters and may be a good book to begin with.

Basic questions for reflection and sharing:  What resonated with me in these readings?   What challenged me?  How can I apply this to my life today?

The first meeting would be April 15, the third Sunday in April (Easter is on the second Sunday of the month).

It is advantageous to hold the meeting in a centrally located place.  There are three options for meeting places:  St. Peter’s rectory in Kingston, St. Augustine’s in Highland, and Sacred Heart in Esopus.  

It was suggested to keep the outline of the meeting simple: open it with a prayer, facilitate the discussion and then close with Evening Prayer.  (A Sister said she could make an Evening Prayer booklet based on the Liturgy of the Hours which the Associates could always use.)  Whoever was responsible for that meeting could be as creative as they wished. Refreshments could follow.

It is desirous to meet at least twice a year at the new Redemptoristine monastery.  The Associates could car pool.   The Associate morning reflection and Commitment Mass on September 9, 2012, would be hosted at the new monastery.

This discussion of envisioning New Beginnings for a New Year will continue at the February 12 meeting.