Author: Andreas

Fr Mary Alphonse

Sharing a vocation

During the month of May, we celebrated as a Sion community three events which remind us of the importance of the priesthood, not only for the church but also for the world. “Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God,… He is able to deal gently with those who are going astray since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 5, 1-3 On May 6 we commemorated the 135th anniversary of the death of Alfons Ratisbonne, one of our founders. Who, after the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary became a Christian and later a priest. He was from that moment the main collaborator in the new work of his brother Teodoro. Alphonse was a more resolute character. His was the inspiring and energetic vision for the foundation in Jerusalem. During this same celebration presided over by Leopoldo Girelli, brother CRISTÓVÃO OLIVEIRA …

Back to Galilee

We again had the opportunity to visit Galilee for a few days. This time we were accompanied not only by the rest of the Novitiate Community but also by the sisters of the Formation Team of the Congregation. It was simply wonderful to be able to share with all of them. Although within our itinerary were of course, places like Nazareth and Tabgha, which we had visited previously, it was so interesting to be able to view new archeological sites, which are significant from an historical, non-religious point of view. On the first day we visited the city of Akko or Acre, a historical place where the preservation of some archaeological sites is extraordinary; it has been awarded heritage status by UNESCO precisely because of the degree of conservation and maintenance both by the authorities and the town population. This status also includes the care of visitors because tourism is currently one of their main sources of income. It was exciting to go through the tunnels built by the crusaders and to listen to the …

The Pact of Turkenstein

During the French Revolution, the wave of anger against the Catholic Church rapidly took shape. The Legislative Assembly (1791), the Revolution’s second parliament, was even more extreme than the first. Thus divorce was also legalized. The clergy, which was not included in the constitutional contract, was declared to be unworthy of trust. In August 1792, a decree against them was announced by which they were exiled. All fraternities and welfare organizations were suppressed. The religious communities that worked in hospitals and that taught were suppressed. Thus, the poor were robbed of education for their children and of Christian love of neighbour, of care for the sick, of the Church’s mission for the sick and the handicapped. By the Pact of Turkenstein in 1797, its participants dedicated themselves to counteracting these limitations. On Friday, June 23, 1797, on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a pact was signed, a seed from which Sion grew. The three participants, Louise Humann, Theresia Breck and the later bishop of Mainz, Joseph Ludwig Colmar, dedicated themselves to the …

Piece of God

“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over, and it is gone. The flowers appear on the ground, the time has come for the birds to sing, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.” (Song of Songs 2: 11-12) The summer arrived in Ein Karem full of joy, with many colures in flowers, the clouds more timid, sometimes appear almost as transparent as a curtain opening a sky blue, navy, turquoise, all shades. In the balance of life, I always miss some sacred minutes looking at the changing colures of the sky. The day dawns yellow and goes to sleep with the red colour of the sunset. The other day I heard someone say that here is paradise, I do not know if it is. But I would say: Ein Karem is a piece of God in nature giving life to my life. The fruit trees are also giving the air of grace! Small clusters of grapefruit form like a fetus in the mothers’ womb. The pomegranates with …

Continuing the inward journey

“Search me, oh God, and know my heart!; test me and know my thoughts” Psalm 139 In the last week of April, we prepared the house to receive sister Maureen Cusick. She came to continuous sessions on formation with particular emphasis on Human, spiritual and biblical development which we began last November. The sessions started with the question from Genesis to Adam and Eve ‘where are you? Where are you in your self. Your identity; where are you with regard to your heart? Your emotions? With regard to your intellectual development. Your faith and your actions in life? We spent time reflecting on our inward journey. For me, this was a call to find myself; to recognize my gifts and the shadow areas of my life, and this for me is to know who I am. But, why is it important to ask this question not only once but constantly throughout our Lives. At different moments of our existence, we go through transitions, in which we find new beginnings that can help us redefine ourselves …

Letter from St. John in Montana, 04/2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers The month of April was filled with preparations for our Easter Celebrations. On Palm Sunday we walked with the Catholic Hebrew speaking community in the long procession from Bethpage to Jerusalem, in remembrance of Jesus to Jerusalem as the King riding on a donkey. From “Maundy” Thursday to Friday afternoon we stayed in Ecce Home where the sisters welcomed us and we were able to participate in the wonderfully well- prepared liturgies around our most solemn feast. Sr. Anne Catherine introduced us to the world of the Haggadah, the prayer book of Pesach with its meanings and traditions of lived Judaism in the world of today. From there we learned more about Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday and its meaning in our daily lives as Christians today with its many traditions and celebrations. Helen and Erika shared with us, what they had learned during this last month. They had prepared a Project on Community life, Ministry and Mission, our life of Prayer both personal and communal. During …

Holy Week 2019

Holy Week passed and many people celebrated the most important period of the Christian liturgical year. Nothing compares to experiencing Holy Week in Jerusalem. Celebrating the great events in the history of salvation and the life of Jesus in the same places where they have traditionally occurred is an exciting and unforgettable experience of faith for all believers. Holy Week officially began with the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the procession gathered thousands of Christians from all over the world who joyfully walked from a place called Bethphage, praying and singing in every language, to the western slope from the Mount of Olives, through the Cedron/Kidron Valley and into the Old City. On Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Last Supper was celebrated with the Sisters of Sion at the Ecce Homo – Basilica in Jerusalem and it was a beautiful ceremony. Then we had dinner in the community and went, together with the participants of the Biblical program, to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanto, traditionally believed to be …