"Young Religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus" - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for Rome

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Monsoon Season

It is definitely monsoon season in the desert.  We've had cloudy skies, rain, and cool temps (OK, 'cool' is a relative term.  It was under 100 degress - so that's cool).  Sr. John-Mark and I were taking the puppies out last night, and she made a bold statement: "Wow, the breeze is actually cool."  Again, cool is a relative term.  In any case, we are enjoying monsoon season! 

Rain in the desert brings much joy.  For us, it is a sign of graces pouring down upon the earth.  Monsoon season, then, is a time of grace!!!!  We experienced some of this grace this past week.  We had the great joy of having 2 of our CFR friends and brothers here for a visit: Br. Jeremiah and Br. Joshua.  We are so grateful for their friendship and support! 

On Thursday, July 22nd (Feast of St. Mary Magdalene), we headed out to Tonopah to show off the building site.  We were joined by two of our other friends and supports: Fr. Fred Adamson and Fr. Greg Menegay! 

This was one of our first visits to the land that was actually overcast.  The differing shades of the stone, dome slate, and roof tile all look so different without the sun shining down on them - equally as beautiful...but different! 

They began putting up the medieval-themed light fixtures while we were there.  They need to be lowered a bit, but look really awesome.  Check out the ceiling in the chapel - it looks wonderful.  While we were there they began unpacking some of the custom made floor tile scenes.  WOW.  Pics coming soon :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us

Outside of Sacred Scripture, some of the most consoling words ever spoken were those said by Our Lady to St. Juan Diego in her apparition in Guadalupe: 
“Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you.”
In the midst of difficult or anxious moments, these words always come to mind..."Am I not here, I who am your Mother?"
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas - she is also the patroness of the Diocese of Phoenix.  I am sure her loving mantle was around our new Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares as he was ordained a Bishop yesterday.  The Ordination Mass, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale, was unbelievably beautiful.  The procession which included 1 Cardinal, about 20 Bishops, countless priests and deacons, was something to behold!  The three hour long Mass was just extraordinary.  The music was awesome!  Bishop Olmsted was beaming with joy.  What a glorious day.  WELCOME TO  THE DIOCESE OF PHOENIX, BISHOP NEVARES!!  May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for him during this time of transition!

Speaking of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we wanted to share some new photos of her stained glass window that will have pride of place in our new Chapel.  This rose window was donated through the generosity of our dear friends Donna and Al Gillis.  Enjoy the photos!  For more pics, be sure to check out the dreams to reality blog!  There are several giving opportunities for other windows.  Be sure to check out the stained glass window page for more details.

Before closing this entry, I wanted to answer a very good question that a follower asked: 
I have a question that maybe someone can answer for me; are the sisters just moving things to the shrine or are they themselves moving and if so, where will they live?  thanks!
Yes, we will be moving to Tonopah!  Currently we are still living in Black Canyon City - but in the near future, we will relocate permanently to Tonopah - living in the future retreat house (a modular home that will be on site) until funds for the actual construction of the monastery can be raised.  Things still aren't finalized with our move date - but we will keep you posted!  We appreciate your prayers during this hectic time :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"We get by with a little help from our friends..."

Yesterday was our first 'official' packing extravaganza!  We've been doing stuff here and there - but yesterday we really got to business and did some major packing!  Sr. Marie Andre made a few calls and before we knew it about 8 friends said they'd be here to kick-off the packing and moving preps.  That is a great testament to friendship - when the temperature was about 110 degrees.  Their energy, enthusiasm and kindness made the day a great joy - not to mention very productive!  Fr. Mark Ivany is visiting from Washington, D.C. - and has been an immense help!  Our thanks go out to him and to Rob, Rita, Ryan, Jesse, Jim, Tara, and Erin!  Y'all are the best!  Mucho Gracias...

Tomorrow is the episcopal ordination of Bishop-elect Eduardo Nevares - the new auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.  Let us keep our new auxiliary Bishop in our prayers - as he begins this new chapter in his life and this new chapter in the life of the diocese.  His episcopal motto is: Serve the Lord in gladness!  We are so grateful for this appointment by Pope Benedict XVI.  We rejoice with our beloved Bishop Olmsted as the Diocese is blessed with this new successor of the apostles!

Have you seen the new page about the stained glass windows?  They are coming along beautifully! There are new giving opportunities for the following windows: Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul II.  Be sure to check it out.  Help us spread the word by forwarding the link to those you think would be interested in helping out!  Till next time, Sr. Mary Blogger

Monday, July 12, 2010

Visitors, Packing, Excitement

For some odd reason, we get a lot of visitors in the Summer.  We're so grateful - but we pity them having to bear with the Arizona heat!  We feel like we are natives now - even spending some time outside in the habit in 115 degree heat.  Honestly, dry heat really is much easier to bear than humidity!

Fr. John Caulfield, our ever faithful friend and new Pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in the diocese of Washington, D.C., took a week out of his busy schedule to come to AZ and help us begin packing for the great exodus to Tonopah.  He packed the entire library! Well, he did have a little help from his friends.  Mark Reyburn, Sr. Augustine's little brother, showed us his brawn by assisting Father in this great task.  Thanks Father and Mark for all your hard work! 

It seems like many days are spent in the car either enroute to Tonopah or coming back from Tonopah!  There's been lots of construction meetings and lots of trips to the land to 'show it off' to our friends.

Below are a few pics from some of the recent trips out there.  Fr. Paul Sullivan, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Phoenix, brought some of the seminarians out to see Our Lady of Solitude Chapel!  It's exciting to think that some years down the road, these young men will be ordained and will be offering Mass in this Chapel!  Also seen in the photos below are our good friends Howie and Joanne.  Howie was very familiar with construction and it was edifying to hear his praise of the chapel.  It is built to last.  As a church should be, Our Lady of Solitude offers a sense of permanence to those who step through the doors.

The dogs are getting a little worried - they can't quite figure out what all these boxes mean!  They don't want left behind.  Below you see Percy getting a step ahead of the game and packing himself in a box :)