THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK October 23-29, 2016



October 23-29, 2016

“The Lord hears the cry of the poor.” Psalm 34: 18-19We might ask, “Where is God?  We don’t see him answering the cry of the refugees or the poor.  Is he only hearing, not doing?”  We are the hands and feet of God.  If we don’t see the answers.  It means we are sitting on our hands.  We are to hear the cry and act.  It is up to us to reveal the presence of God through our charity, just acts and mercy.  Our hearts and creativity have to be open.  New endeavors and initiatives for justice and peace have to be delivered by us.  Are we too busy with mundane things and have no time to step out of our comfort zones?  The “cry” is overwhelming. Let us say with Samuel of the Old Testament, “Lord, here I am. Send me.” 1 Samuel 3:3-19

Hopefully, each evening, as we say a fond, “Good night,” to our loved ones, as well as, our merciful and just God, we can say with St. Paul, “I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4: 7 In our night prayer we can also recall the two men who went to pray in the temple – the Pharisee and the tax collector. Luke 18: 9-14 One praised himself; the other humbled himself.  May we bow our head and say, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

The nineteenth century produced the founder of the Claretians, St. Anthony Mary Claret, a Spanish priest and missionary.  For a time he was the Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba.  He was called back to Spain, where he acted as confessor for Queen Isabella II and continued to minister to the poor.

On Friday, October 28, Sts. Simon and Jude, apostles are honored. Very little is known about these apostles.  Stories say that they went as missionaries to Persia and were martyred there.  Jude is the one to whom intercessory requests are sent for desperate cases.  Some legends say it is because his name is associated with Judas Iscariot, the traitor.

Monday is United Nations Day.  Let us remember in prayer those member countries, who participate in this difficult task of communication and collaboration for the benefit of the world family.

As we conclude this month of the Holy Rosary, may we continue to ponder the mysteries of the Rosary and apply the lessons learned to our daily journey?

Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF


Are We Living as Christians or Hypocrites? — Acting Franciscan

Reflection for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Executive Director, Patrick Carolan This reflection was originally posted in our October 17th newsletter We live in very strange and disturbing times. According to Bread for the World, every day nearly 18,000 children die from hunger and hunger related disease. In the time it takes […]

via Are We Living as Christians or Hypocrites? — Acting Franciscan

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK October 16-22, 2016



October 16-22, 2016

“…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18: 8 This is a sobering thought. At times, it may seem that faith in God has gone by the wayside and Christians are paddling up stream to survive.

However, we need to take a look at modern Christian martyrs and those of other faiths who are remaining true. It is said that the blood of martyrs (and this includes the millions of innocent lives aborted) will revitalize the faith. Their sacrifices challenge us to take a look at ourselves and ask, “What are we willing to give up for our faith?”

In 2 Timothy 3:14; 4: 2 we are strongly encouraged to “…proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” The family and the school are excellent places in which to do this. The work place, as well as, the public arena are more difficult. Politicians and the news media have an excellent stage on which to proclaim the Word of God and build a just world, but many sorely miss the mark. However, “Who are we to judge?” as Pope Francis says. It begins with each one’s commitment to prayer and a merciful, good and just life.

St. Ignatius of Antioch was born in Syria and was taught by St. John, the Apostle. Ignatius was appointed as Bishop of Antioch by St. Peter and was martyred in the first century. He was steadfast in protecting and encouraging the young church in Syria. The Syrian Christians of the first century unto today are still being persecuted. What an example of commitment to the Christian faith!

St. Luke, Evangelist, was a Greek who was a writer, physician and an artist. He is purported to have painted an image of Mary, of which a copy is kept in Vatican City. His Gospel relates the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity stories. Surely, he knew Mary and must have talked with her. He was acquainted with some of the apostles and original disciples from whom he gained ample information about Jesus. He traveled with St. Paul and was his secretary in the writing of the Acts of the Apostles, the history of the early Church.

Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, French Jesuit Missionaries in Canada and Northeast United States around the Great Lakes, were martyred with their companions by the Mohawk in the seventeenth century.

Legend says that some of the natives ate Isaac Jogues’ heart, because they wanted his courage and strength.

St. Paul of the Cross, an Italian, founded the Passionists in the eighteenth century. They were to be penitential, live in poverty, serve the poor and teach others about the Passion of Christ.

St. John Paul II is celebrated on Saturday. What a privilege it was to witness the making of a saint in our lifetime. This Pope from Poland reigned almost twenty-seven years, one of the longest reigning popes. He loved others with an enduring care and concern. His holiness was so recognizable that he was canonized within five years of his death in 2011. His autobiography is a treat to read.

This is truly a week full of people of faith who can be remembered and honored.

May your journey of prayer and faith be a beacon of light for others.

Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF


Be Persistent in Prayer

vvvBe Persistent in Prayer

In the gospel for this Sunday, we see the persistence of prayer. I was inspired by the widow who continually for a “long time” begged for a judgment against her adversary. Giving up her persistence was not something she was going to relinquish no matter how uncomfortable and time consuming it was. She did not give in but finally the judge gave in reluctantly just to get rid of her who he considered a pest.  How many justice issues are we persistent about?

Two especially come to my mind – gun violence and the death penalty. They are taking a “long time” to overcome. Gun violence is almost an everyday occurrence in this country. Our greatest hope came when President Obama tried to pass measures to curtail the use of guns. It was rejected by Congress but he and many citizens are still persistent in ending such rampant gun violence even if it takes a “long time.” We will not give up. We persist by writing letters to our congress people, have concerts and sing peace songs, dedicate a weekend (Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath – Dec. 14 – 18) to pray for an end to gun violence and support our Representatives who staged a “sit in” on the house floor. These actions are persistent. And we have Faith!

In regard to the death penalty, organizations and citizens persistently petition and work with states to abolish the death penalty. Because of this persistence, 18 states have abolished the death penalty and the percentage of citizens who oppose it keeps rising. This can only happen when we hold steadfast in our persistence to the cause which has been and probably will continue to be over a “long time.” It may be a “long time” of persistence but we are told in Luke’s gospel that “God will see that justice is done…” And we have Faith!

Sister Marge Wissman, OSF
FAN Board Member
Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Director
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, IN

Suggested Action:
To be persistent in your support of the Social Justice Issue most important to you even if it takes a “long time”.

Suggested Petitions:
May we open our hearts to the response of the Lord in our lives, we pray…

For the people in the Caribbean and Haiti who are being affected by Hurricane Matthew, may they continue to persevere in prayer and faith, we pray…

Collect Prayer:

Almighty ever-living God,

Grant that we may always conform our will to yours

And serve your majesty in sincerity of heart.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God for ever and ever.


THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK October 2-8, 2016



October 2-8, 2016

“Go repair my house,” are the famous words spoken by Jesus in the 13th century from the San Damiano Cross in front of which St. Francis of Assisi was praying.  The impulsive Francis rushed out and started to repair the physical structure of the church.  It took him time to realize that he was to repair the spiritual edifice of the decadent church of his time. Pictures often show him holding up the edifice of the church on his shoulders.  Lateran Council was held because of Francis to call the Church to repentance and reform.

Francis did not start out as a saint; in fact, the opposite was true.  He was a vain and rowdy youth with little respect for others.  He gloried in riches and power.  He joined the military as a knight and rode off on the best horse and in the richest armor.  Such glory did not last long; he was captured and languished in prison for almost a year.  He came back sick in mind and body – battle fatigue.

His conversion commenced with an encounter with a leper, whom he kissed and embraced.  He rejected the riches of his father and embraced God, as his Father.  After the vision of the Cross, he embraced profound poverty and went about preaching the Gospel in terms that appealed to all people.  He believed that all were to live the Gospel and were to respect all of creation.  He is the Patron of Ecology.

In today’s reading from Habakkuk 2: 4, we have a wonderful description Francis. “…the just one, because of his faith, shall live.” In the 2 Timothy 1: 6-8, 13-14 we again see words that can apply to Francis. “…stir into fame the gift of God…God gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control…bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God…Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us”  These words are addressed to us, too.  We can run with these words and repair the Church.

Friday, October 7, is the beautiful Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  This special mantra (repetition of words and sound to calm the mind for meditation), brings the opportunity to reflect on the various mysteries of Jesus and Mary’s life.  We weave a garland of prayers that Mary loves to hear.  She hopes that we will draw closer to her son and serve those who are in need of our loving presence.

Let us pray for those who will celebrate Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year,) this Monday.

Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF


St. Padre Pio

Feastday: September 23

Patron of Civil defense volunteers, Adolescents, Pietrelcina, Stress relief, & January blues

Birth: 1887

Death: 1968

Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Within a month of his ordination, (September 7, 1910), as Padre Pio was praying in the Piana Romana, Jesus and Mary appeared to him and gave him the wounds of Christ, the Stigmata. For Padre Pio’s doctors, the wounds created much confusion. He asked Jesus to take away “the annoyance,” adding, ” I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering, but all in secret.” The wounds went away and the supernatural life of Padre Pio remained a secret…for a while.

On November 28, 1911, Padre Agostino, who was a contemporary, friend, and confidant, was advised that Padre Pio was ill. He rushed into Padre Pio’s room to care for him. Padre Agostino observed what he thought was a dying man and rushed to the chapel to pray. When he finished praying, he returned to Padre Pio’s room and found his friend alert and full of joy.