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

Keep the Mission Rolling

Dear Friends of Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary,

As we reflect on the loving presence of the Spirit of Jesus and His/Her moving power to “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all”  (Mark 16:14), our Sisters in Nigeria are in dire need of assistance to “Go Out” to carry out these words of our Lord.    A trustworthy vehicle is needed for the Sisters in Gwagwalada, Nigeria, to attend Mass, teach religion classes and serve their other inspired missions .

Donations from people like you have funded the Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria for the past 20 years. Your generosity is even more important now as our normal fundraisers and parish mission appeals have been cancelled for two years due to the  Covid-19 pandemic.

May God bless you as you hear and respond to the cry of the poor.

Donations can be made on this web site at Donate or by check mailed to Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary at 121 E. Boston Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202.

Sincerely,

Sr. Rosemarie Abate, HVM

 

 

 

Pope Francis at Easter: No one is least, No one is excluded

Vatican photo of Pope Francis Easter Vigil Mass

Celebrating the 9th Easter of his pontificate, Pope Francis delivered a homily at the Easter Vigil Mass, reflecting on the Easter episode of the women at the tomb.  The Pope drew attention to what the angel told them.   “Wonder at hearing the words: ‘Do not be afraid!” the Pope said.  “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen’.  And a message:  ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him’.”

Galilee, an outpost farthest from the ritual purity of Jerusalem, was where Jesus began His mission.  There, He brought His message to “those struggling to live from day to day, the excluded, the vulnerable and the poor”.  It is in such peripheries that God tirelessly seeks out those who are discouraged or lost.  He goes to the “very peripheries of existence, since in His eyes no one is least, no one is excluded”.  Thus, the Risen Lord is asking His disciples to go to the settings of daily life, the streets we travel every day, the corners of our cities.  “There the Lord goes ahead of us and makes Himself present in the lives of those around us, those who share in our day, our home, our work, our difficulties, and hopes.”  The Pope said, “We will be amazed how the greatness of God is revealed in littleness, how His beauty shines forth in the poor and simple.”

In the hour of darkness when humanity is grappling with the pandemic and other ills, Christians need to take to heart the Easter message of the angel not to be afraid, assured that in Galilee where the Lord precedes them, their expectations will be fulfilled, their tears will be dried and their fears will be replaced by hope.

Read entire article here  –  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2021-04/pope-francis-easter-vigil-homily-galilee-begin-anew-2021.html