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Reflection on Fratelli Tutti Chapter 7

Opening Prayer by Jen Parker

Twenty four people joined with Sr. Rosemarie Abate, HMV in the spacious lower level meeting room at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on Saturday, April 30,2022, for the fourth group reflection on Fratelli Tutti, the encyclical issued by Pope Francis in 2020.  This reflection focused on Chapter 7 of Fratelli Tutti.

 

BEING ARTISTS AND ARCHITECTS OF PIECE:  “I ask God to prepare our hearts to encounter our brothers and sisters, so that we may overcome our differences rooted in political thinking, language, culture and religion.”  Pope Francis.  Chpt 7 # 254: 

Fratelli Tutti speaks to the modern world.  It helps us see the Spirit of Christ in our daily encounters calling us to loving relationships with all our brothers and sisters – all persons – on topics covering justice, mercy, politics and religion.  It sets forth Love as the path to building better, more just and peaceful societies worldwide.  Chapter 7 focuses on Peace, Justice and Mercy in the lives of both nation states and in the lives of individual children of God. 

Mr. Timothy Kane

Mr. Timothy Kane of FORC – Friends Of Returning Citizens – was the opening speaker.  FORC is a program of the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, founded by Craig Whilby and Jamil Allen-Bey. FORC advocates for criminal justice reform and works to provide assistance to persons in or returning from criminal justice proceedings.  Mr. Kane highlighted the innumerable needs and challenges encountered by these people.  FORC works to help them in a variety of ways.  FORC fundamentally believes in the upliftment of humanity with a wide-range social consciousness.  For more information or to volunteer or donate to FORC, email FriendsOfReturningCitizensFORC@gmail.com

Table discussions followed on component topics in Fratelli Tutti Chapter 7: attitudes on war, prisons, death penalty, life imprisonment, working for peace, nuclear armament, efforts to change laws and society.  Discussions were candid and enjoyable.  All agreed that the issues are extremely complicated.  There exists no single answer or silver bullet solution.  We are called to constancy; to prayer, to persistence and to insistence.  We are called to build a beloved community based on a culture of encounter –working to overcome inequality and for the integral human development of all our brothers and sisters.      

Closing prayer:  Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love.  Where there is injury, pardon.  Where there is doubt, faith.  Where there is despair, hope.  Where there is darkness, light.  Where there is sadness, joy.

 View Fratelli Tutti Chapter 6 Reflection here … 1-29-2022.

View Fratelli Tutti Chapter 3 Reflection here … 10-10-2021.

View Fratelli Tutti overview and resources …   CLICK HERE

Easter Prayer 2022

God of all life,

Help us to appreciate the great gift that is human life formed in your image, a reflection of your risen holiness.

Help up to recognize you in all whom you have created:

Children not yet born,
Families affected by poverty and war,
People of different abilities,
People from other lands, and
Victims of Hatred and Racism.

Help us to bear witness to the dignity of all whom you have created, regardless of stage of life, or wealth, or ability, or color, or creed.  For every person is fully equal in your loving eyes.

Share with us your holy knowledge that we are all your children, each bestowed with inherent dignity.

May your justice reign forever!   Amen

Reflection on Fratelli Tutti Chapter 6

More than twenty five people joined with Sr. Rosemarie Abate, HMV at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on January 29, 2022, for the second group reflection on Fratelli Tutti, the encyclical issued by Pope Francis in 2020.  This reflection focused on Chapter 6 of Fratelli Tutti.  The meeting room at the Cathedral is a great location for such meetings.  It provides excellent space and free parking in a central location.

Fratelli Tutti is both simple and profound.  It speaks to the modern world that we encounter every day, helping us to see the Spirit of Christ in our daily social encounters.  It calls us to loving relationships with all our brothers and sisters – all persons — on topics covering justice, mercy, politics and religion.  It sets forth love as the center path to building better, more just and peaceful societies worldwide.  Chapter 6 focuses on the importance of dialogue in pursuit of the Common Good.

“Pope Francis invites us to be people who, out of love, dialogue with all our brother and sisters.”

Sr. Mary Katherine, IHM, provided the opening keynote:  She highlighted that true dialogue is neither easy nor natural.  It needs a specific decision “to listen” to others.  It is more than just conversation.  Dialogue is active.  It takes practice, it takes energy, it takes skill.  When fully accomplished it achieves a beautiful “space” shared between individuals who speak to and “listen to” each other – their views, their perspectives, their worlds.

Table groups then discussed issues involved in the “art of encounter” … respecting others especially the poor and indigenous, how to distinguish between truth, opinion, perspective, how and when to give up our view for the common good.  Table discussions were candid and enjoyable.  All participants were fulfilled by a spirit of shared openness. 

Table reports were led by Jen Hunter.  Closing prayer was led by Sr. Rosemarie.

Please contact Sr. Rosemarie is you would like to join a future reflection on Fratelli Tutti.  Attendance is open to all persons of good will.

The next reflection on Chapter 7 of the encyclical is already scheduled for April 30, 2022, two Saturdays after Easter Sunday.

MLK Day 2022: A Confluence of Voices

Blessed Sacrament Cathedral

As institutions across the U.S. celebrated the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a variety of ways on January 17, 2022, sisters from Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary attended a beautiful mass for peace and justice honoring Rev. King at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit.

A confluence of voices came together on this special day.  They all call for the passage of pending Federal legislation protecting and enhancing the right to vote.  Let us all pray together for a change of heart for those who are resisting the changes necessary to get this important legislation passed.

The Adrian Dominican Sisters Leadership Council issued a statement calling on our Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.  Here is a link to the statement.  As Dr. King once said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”   We are in the same blessed boat and we believe that our differences are a gift from God that we are called to honor, respect and value.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops  in conjunction with Poverty Awareness Month in the U.S., posted a reminder that ACTION is the twin of prayer …

“Local individuals and groups can make a real difference. We are able to instill a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. . . . Social problems must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of individual good deeds” (Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home [Laudato Si’], nos. 179, 219).

People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens: “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel [Evangelii Gaudium], no. 220, quoting United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, Nov. 2007, no. 13).

How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. The church teaches that every person has a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

A daily calendar of Poverty in America Month topics can be seen at https://www.usccb.org/resources/PAM_January%20Month%20Calendar_2022.pdf

 

Christmas Message 2021

The words we speak with form the reality that will materialize tomorrow.  Let every word we speak be a word that promotes justice and peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Remember, God is in control. God is good. God is love.  God can transform human evil into good. We must continue to do what we can to change reality, and we must believe that God will change it in God’s own time.  Let every word we speak be a word that promotes justice and peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.  Our words create the worlds we and our children live in. Our words are words of war or of peace, of hatred or of love, of prejudice or of openness, and with the words we speak we form the reality that will materialize tomorrow.  -Cf.  Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ, Commonweal Magazine, October 2021

Home Visitors of Mary Greetings from Gwagwalada, Nigeria

 

Sr. Calista at Our Lady of the Rosary School

Our Lady of the Rosary School Children

In October 2021, Srs. Calista and Chioma, HVM, took positions at Our Lady of the Rosary Nursery and Primary School in Kpaduma, an impoverished area on the outskirts of Abudja, the capital of Nigeria,   Srs. Calista and Chioma want to help provide solid moral and academic foundations for the children of Kpaduma in keeping with HVM’s core value of universal love and service to those in need.  Impoverished Kpaduma abuts the rich and prosperous Asokoro district of Abudja.  

Catholic education in Nigeria is focused on forming compassionate and just leaders who will be prepared in the future to confront the complexities of the ever-changing Nigerian society.  Nigerian bishops write: “We admonish all Christians … to always seek out ways of doing something concrete to make society better.”  Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, August 2021.

Given the poverty of Kpaduma, your generous financial contribution to help pay student tuition would be a blessed event that echoes through the years as children born to slum parents grow into educated men and women, prepared to help better their communities.  Tuition is less than $50 US per yearCan you or your organization help?

Sr. Calista writes this letter to you:

On 4th October, 2021, l reported to school as the new Head teacher of Our Lady of the Rosary Nursery and Primary School, Kpaduma.  Kpaduma is a slum, an extension of Asokoro. It is overpopulated and abandoned by the government, and the occupants are truly suffering. It’s about 10 kilometres from our convent.

As someone who has a passion for indigent children, especially when it comes to denying them the right to be educated, l was moved with pity as a good number of the children were sent home, because they have not been able to pay their last academic session school fees. On arrival to Kpaduma, Sr. Chioma and I visited the families in their homes.  The stories that pierced my heart were those of parents as they narrated their family challenges, and their desire for their children to have the opportunity to be in school with others.

The parents of about half of the population of the school cannot afford to pay their school fees, and worse still, buying text books. It pierced my heart to hear that some pupils go to waste bins to pick disposed items so as to sell them to pay their fees or to buy text books. It is as bad as this!

Our Lady of the Rosary Nursery and Primary has 290 pupils and 14 teaching and non- teaching staff.  The  Nursery section  is for 3-5 year olds; the Primary section is grades 1-6.  Because of the poverty, the upper primary has children even up to 14 years of age who normally would be in secondary school but have not advanced. Even many 9 and 10 year olds are far behind. The need for sponsorships is the greatest for ages 4, 5, 9, 11,12.  The yearly fee is $43.87 US!

The local Rotary Club and other large-hearted people of God have intermittently supported the school by paying the school fees of some of the pupils and even erected two buildings for the school. But earnestly, we need more support which will afford some of the indigent pupils the great opportunity to be in school with their mates, and by so doing, we put smiles on their faces.

The sisters do not have any place to use as an office, but our joy is the small role we are playing in their lives, ensuring that morality is inculcated in them as well as sound and qualitative education.

Thank you so much for your efforts and sacrifices to ensure that indigent children are given a better future.  Education is the highest tool to a brighter future and greatness.

Many blessings!

Sr. Calista, HVM

Send your generous contributions marked for “Tuition Support” to Sisters, Home Visitors of  Mary, 121 E. Boston Blvd, Detroit, MI or to donate monthly via credit card click on the Donate button under “Donate Monthly” at the Donate/Contact Us tab on this website.  

Reflection on Fratelli Tutti

Fifteen people of diverse backgrounds joined with Sr. Rosemarie Abate HVM  at Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit on October 9, 2021,  to reflect on Fratelli Tutti, the encyclical issued by Pope Francis in 2020 on loving and openness to all brothers and sisters regardless of nation or circumstance. 

Fratelli Tutti is at once both simple and profound.  It speaks to the day-to-day realities of our modern world.   It calls to action people and their institutions on diverse topics covering immigration, politics, justice, mercy, religion and interpersonal dialogue.  It points to Fraternal love and Social Friendship as the way to build better, more just and peaceful societies worldwide. 

Abdual Salam Lahawl of Sienna Literacy Center was keynote speaker.  Fluent in 4 languages and father of 7 beautiful children, Abudual shared his world-spanning life journey that led him to his abiding acceptance of all other people … “See people before you judge them”.

Table groups discussed issues arising from Chapter Three of Fratelli Tutti in, candidly sharing their  cross-cultural and cross-racial experiences and opinions.  All felt moved by a spirit of openness and acceptance.  All hope to return again for similar reflections.  Please contact Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary at homevisitors@att.net if you would like to join a future Fratelli Tutti reflections.

It is by encounter that bridges are built.  Bishop Braxton.

We are a single family dwelling in a Common Home.  Pope Francis.

The meeting closed with a Prayer for Civility from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Other Reference materials:

Short Summary  of Fratelli Tutti >>> click here.

Full text of Fratelli Tutti >>> click here.

Reflections on Fratelli Tutti >>>> click here.

 

National Migration Week

“An Ever Wider WE”

National Migration Week 2021 takes place September 20-26 and will climax with the Vatican’s celebration of  the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday, September 26.  In his letter announcing this year’s theme Toward an ever wider “we”, Pope Francis emphasized that “this focus calls on us to ensure that after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those'”, but only ‘us” (Fratelli Tutti, 35).

Sr. Sylvia at St. Joseph and Mary School

HVM Sr. Sylvia Etim is now devoting her energy and talents to work at St. Joseph and Mary secondary school in Korinya, a city in Gboko Diocese in Benue state in southeastern Nigeria.   The school is primarily a boarding school with students living on campus.  Local people work mostly in farming.  The area is a calm and safe environment for growing crops in the fields and and for growing beautiful minds and souls in the  school. 

This is in the heart of  the area throughout Nigeria and Cameroon populated by Tiv people, an important African ethnic group, who trace their proud and peaceful culture back many hundreds of years into the past.   The Tiv language is spoken by about 15 million people.  HVM Sr. Lydia, who is also missioned with Sr. Sylvia at St. Joseph and Mary school, is Tiv and speaks the Tiv language.

Sr.  Sylvia works as Vice-Principal handling administrative duties and student affairs, especially for students who live on campus.  It’s often hard for parents to afford the expense of quality education, but their sacrifice and that of the HVM Sisters and others helps ensure a brighter future for students at St. Joseph and Mary school.    

 

New HVM Leadership Team

August 2021:  We welcome our new Home Visitors leadership team and ask blessings upon them as they begin their role of leadership in directing the HVM mission and caring for the religious congregation for the next four years.  Please say a prayer that the Holy Spirit may guide their discernments and they are open to the voice of the Lord and the needs of God’s people.

Sr. Clare, administrator

Sr. Winnifred, vicar (fills in if necessary for administrator)

Sr. Vivience

Sr. Sylvia

Sr. Barbara