Happy Easter!

Alleluia! Alleluia ! Alleluia!

Each Sunday we are called to pause and celebrate the rising of the SON along with our own rising as sons and daughters.  In the Breaking of the Bread, we enter the Mystery of the dying and rising and we open ourselves to being bonded in love to our God and to each other. 

The many symbols of life that we especially touch at this Easter Season (e.g., new clothes, Easter eggs, spring flowers, the Easter candle, water from the baptismal font) bring us hope.  And with hope engendered by the Spirit of love, we can go forth seeing, touching all with love – a love that welcomes and creates peace and joy for all.

Happy Easter!

 

Feb 22 Immigration Reflection Meeting

Many Journeys, One Family

 Forty people attended the Friends of Immigrants meeting sponsored by HVM at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral on February 22, to reflect on Pope Francis’ call to WELCOME, PROTECT and INTEGRATE migrants and victims of human trafficking.

Here are the groups’ action suggestions.  How many of these suggestions can you implement?

Speak at our own parishes and form committees to respond to immigrants and immigration issues.

Utilize empty parish houses, rectories, schools, etc.  Reach out to AOD on this.

Speak to our pastors about homilies regarding social just awareness, Catholic Social Teachings.

Have food, clothing and support drive to assist families left behind without assistance because of deportation.

Contact Lourdes Fonseca to help families suffering because of deportations. Run parish drives for this.

Pray in our parishes daily and weekly specifically for refugees.

Stop living in fear.

Attend Clark Park weekly demonstration (Fri.3:45-4:45).

Reach out to undocumented/documented immigrant families and inform them with a sheet or card of important contact numbers for assistance for basic survival needs which include spiritual, food, shelter, clothing, legal needs and education, etc.  (Know the neighborhood).  Provide families with maps and mark location of agencies/support resources.

Assistance to immigrants: food, money for utilities, visit.

Are there simple ways to help pro-bono lawyers so they can help more families?

Invite “Stranger No Longer” to talk at parishes, groups, etc.  Contact Bill O’Brien for parish program.

Sacred Heart Major Seminary needs to include understanding of the Pope’s message and plea regarding immigration.

Pray for families.  Prayer. Lord, bless the work of our hands.

Translate for people.

Provide transportation as needed to doctors, court, etc.  Accompany people.

Help them find a church where they can attend, may be in their lst language.

Support English as Second Language programs for children and adults.  (MI underfunded area.)

Get real information about immigration.

Make sure we know our neighbors.

Welcome, Protect and Integrate Migrants

Aligning with Pope Frances’ support of those caught in the trauma of fleeing their homes seeking safe life for their families, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious denounced the Trump administration’s handling of our brothers and sisters from El Savador already in the US in temporary immigration status.  And the Sisters Home Visitors of Mary will be hosting a meeting at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral on Thursday, February 22, on how to better Welcome, Protect and Integrate Migrants and Victims of Human Trafficking.   See both below.

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LCWR Denounces the Administrations’ Decision to Rescind TPS for Salvadorans

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious strongly denounces the cruel decision by the Trump administration to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 200,000 Salvadorans. El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have been stripped of their right to protection by President Trump’s administration. Rescinding TPS from human beings under continuing threat of violence of all types is inconsistent with the values and traditions of this nation and with our belief in the dignity of all persons.

The TPS program is designed to protect people from being returned to harm. That is precisely what Salvadorans will face if they are deported. El Salvador is the most violent country in the Western Hemisphere and continues to suffer from endemic poverty, lack of access to quality education and healthcare.

TPS holders are our neighbors and friends. They have been have been contributing members of our communities for decades. Rescinding TPS protection for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan and threatening Hondurans with the same, places us all at risk. Ending their protection will tear families apart, fragment our communities, and disrupt local economies. 

Catholic sisters will continue to heed the scriptural command to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. We urge the Trump administration to reconsider its decisions and we call on Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to develop legislative solutions to protect vulnerable people.

January 9, 2018

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Many Journeys, One Family

 COME – Reflect on Pope Francis’ Call to

Welcome, Protect, Integrate Migrants  and

 Victims of human trafficking.

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018

  6:00-8:00 p.m.

  light supper available.

 Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Meeting Room

Use Cathedral Parking lot and enter at office door.

At this time of global displacement, we need listen to our Catholic calling, respect human dignity, and act justly.

On September 27, Pope Francis launched a 2 yr campaign to raise awareness of Church teaching on migration and support our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes seeking a safe life for their families.

Meeting Sponsored by: Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary.  Friends of Immigrants Committee

To register:  email homevisitors@att.net or phone 313 869-2160

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Migrants and Refugees: Pope’s January 1 Message

January 1 is World Day of Peace, a feast day established by Pope Paul VI in 1967.  It is held on Jan 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  In his  2018 World Day of Peace message Pope Francis pleads in down to earth language on behalf of the world’s often unwanted refugees and migrants.

“In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands.”

“… many of them are willing to risk their lives in a journey which is often long and dangerous, they are willing to face strain and suffering.”

“Please, let us not extinguish the hope in their hearts, let us not suffocate their hopes for peace!”

“Those who … forment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia.”

Read Pope Francis’ entire World Day of Peace message here > “Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace“.

Read related news coverage at the following links:

National Catholic Reporter

Reuters News

Refugees in Nigeria

 

 

2018 Beginnings

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary

121 E. Boston  Detroit, Mi 48202        313 869-2160                                                                                   homevisitors@att.net   www. sistershvm.org

Founded in 1949 to bring the Good News of Christ to the poor.

 December 27, 2017

Blessings as you move into a new year.  The time between Christmas and New Year often gives us a quiet moment to reflect and perhaps make resolutions.

AMERICA magazine, in its Dec. 11th issue has several articles relevant to destructive “isms” in the United States today.   Fr. Brian Massingale in his article, THE SICKNESS OF THE AMERICAN SOUL, ask us “How can we help heal our nation” of racism fueled by white supremacy thinking.

… we are living in a time of racial tension, polarization and division worse than this country has experienced in over two generations.”

The society we live in is the result of human choices and decisions. That means that human beings can change things. For what human beings break, divide and separate, we can—with God’s help—also heal, unite and restore. What is now does not have to be. Therein lies our hope and our challenge.

Last August, 25 at Sacred Heart Church in Detroit, the HVM sponsored a dialogue on racism and encouraged the 145 participants to keep a conversation about white supremacy and racism going in their circles.  So as you review 2017 and plan 2018, what have you done, or are planning to bring hope?

We’d love to hear from you – your dreams, ideas, accomplishments in talking about the reality of racism in the United States with your co-workers, parish family, friends.

Our prayer for you and yours is a  Year filled with Hope and  Love

Wonderful gifts of our God!

 We go forth with a song to follow the Lord Jesus as He lights our way.

 

Christmas Message from Sr. Barbara

The Spirit of Christmas around the World

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” “Dashing through the snow…”  Our HVM Sisters in Nigerian may sing these songs though they have never seen snow (except on TV).  There is no need for them to don winter coasts, gloves and boots. The Christmas season is the hottest season of the year in Abuja, Nigeria.  But the spirit of Christmas fills the air.

The Nigerian Sisters make the house sparkling clean, creatively decorate and make ready the Formation Center for a gathering of all the HVM Sisters.

The Sisters gather in Gwagwalada, our HVM Nigerian home, for singing, laughter, small gift sharing and a delicious festive meal together.  The Christmas spirit is also alive at the diocesan gathering of priests and Sisters of the diocese at a Mass with the Cardinal followed by meeting, greeting and eating and a specially wrapped gift.

The Christmas spirit comes to life as the Sisters participate with the parishioners at Midnight Mass in their respective parishes.  There is splendid décor of lights and draping cloth, the joyous singing led by the choir and ending with the visit to a simple crib.  At the crib everyone dabs powder on their face, a common custom when visiting the home of a newborn baby.

The coming of the Three Kings reminds us “all nations bow down in adoration.”  There is a feeling of oneness around the world and here at home in Detroit.   The wonder that the Word of God emptied himself and became part of the human family as a tiny baby, Jesus!

May the peace, joy and awe of the spirit of Christmas abide in you and your family at Christmas and through the New Year. 

Merry Christmas and all the blessings of the New Year!

                                                                         Sr. Barbara, HVM

 Sr. Barbara lived the past seventeen years in Nigeria and is now living most of the year in Detroit.

Sr. Monica and Sr. Barbara

Other HVM Happenings in 2017:

The chapel in Gwagwalada formation house is built!

Chapel window in HVM Formation House shows the Sprit in midst of Nigerian town.

Sr. Chioma took lst vows on Sept. 2nd and now teaches at Little Angels School in Ichama.  Photo of Happy First Communicants at Little Angels School.

 

Three women entered the religious congregation as candidates at the formation center in Gwagwalada.  They started theology studies, serve as catechists and began the journey into praying, serving and living as religious women in the spirit of the HVM community.  Photo of Patricia, Magdalen and Rita making commitment in newly blessed HVM chapel at Gwagwalada Formation House.

Sr. Nnedfreke opened vocational training center at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria parish for young men and women in the young population that often cannot find employment.  Photo from Vocational Training Center off and running under direction of Sr. Nndefreke.

 

Mary’s Little Flowers:  The Nigerian Home Visitors of Mary continue the HVM mission “anointed by the Spirit to bring good news to the poor.” Lk 4:18.  Five years ago they published a culturally sensitive religion text book.   This year Sr. Martha Mary, a full time student at the Catholic University in Abuja and director of faith formation at a parish, created, published and began distribution of the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary Bimonthly Catholic Children PublicationThe booklets are called: Mary’s Little Flowers.

 A colorful, attractive, hands-on presentation of our Sunday Scripture readings that not only form the children of Nigeria but enter the home and touch the entire family.  Your financial help will put these impressive booklets into many more hands.

Today people are still searching for Jesus and the star we have today that leads us to Jesus is the Bible.  We find the way to Jesus by reading the bible and doing what His word ask us to do.”  Words Taken from Mary’s Little Flowers

                          

Refugees Welcomed:  Sr. Barbara and other HVMs visit with internally displaced adults and children at a town near Gwagwalada that had welcomed  into their community refugees who had fled to “camps”.  Because of the violence experienced in Nigeria, for the last few years, people made there way to Abuja, seeking safety.  May we be ones with a Welcoming Spirit -especially as we welcome the Child born in a stable.

We give Thanks to all who support with their gifts of money and prayer the HVM Nigerian Mission. 

 

A Thanksgiving Letter

May the good things in Life

Be Yours in Abundance

 At Thanksgiving

  And throughout the New Year.

 

His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo is the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.    His Thankgiving Message is copied in full below …

“… ever-greater sense of alarm—and urgency to act—in the face of policies that seemed unthinkable only a short time ago.”

    “As we do every year, we will pause this coming Thursday to thank God for the many blessings we enjoy in the United States. My brother bishops and I, gathered last week in Baltimore, were attentive in a special way to those who are often excluded from this great abundance—the poor, the sick, the addicted, the unborn, the unemployed, and especially migrants and refugees.

My brothers expressed a shared and ever-greater sense of alarm—and urgency to act—in the face of policies that seemed unthinkable only a short time ago: the deportation of Dreamers, young hard-working people who should be the lowest priority for deportation; the anxiety and uncertainty of those with Temporary Protected Status from countries like Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras, which are still recovering from natural disasters and remain ill-equipped to humanely receive and integrate them; and an unprecedented reduction in the number of people we will welcome this year into our country who seek refuge from the ravages of war and religious persecution in their countries of origin.

One common feature of all these developments is their tendency to tear apart the family, the fundamental building block of our, or any, society. These threats to so many vulnerable immigrant and refugee families must end now. My brothers have urged me to speak out on their behalf to urge the immediate passage—and signature—of legislation that would alleviate these immediate threats to these families.

Another common feature of these policies is that they are symptoms of an immigration system that is profoundly broken and requires comprehensive reform. This is a longer-term goal, one that the bishops have advocated for decades to achieve, and one that must never be overlooked. Only by complete reform will we have the hope of achieving the common goals of welcoming the most vulnerable, ensuring due process and humane treatment, protecting national security, and respecting the rule of law. We are committed to such reforms and will continue to call for them.

So this year, I give thanks for the gift and contributions of immigrants and refugees to our great nation. I also pray that next year, families now under threat will not be broken and dispersed, but instead will be united in joy around their tables, giving thanks for all the blessings our nation has to offer.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving all!”