"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, April 30, 2011

Public Mass Schedule

At long last, Our Lady of Solitude Chapel will be dedication on Saturday, May 7th, and thereafter will be open to the public.  The actual Dedication Mass, due to very limited room in the Chapel, is by invitation only!  But have no fear, EWTN is televising it LIVE - so set your TiVo and be sure to tune in.

There will be other opportunities to share in festivities! 

We are considering May 7, 2011 through May 7, 2012
as a YEAR OF THANKSGIVING for the WONDERS of the LORD which He has wrought at OUR LADY OF SOLITUDE

Share in our joy, by joining us for one of the special events
we are planning to celebrate:

Saturday, MAY 28, 2011 - Mass of Thanksgiving for LOCALS celebrated by
Fr. Billy Kosco, Pastor of St. Henry Catholic Church, Buckeye, AZ
at 10 o'clock in the morning
Saturday, JUNE 11, 2011 - Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by
Fr. Frederick Adamson, Vicar General of the Diocese of Phoenix
at 10 o'clock in the morning
Saturday, September 24, 2011 - Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by
The Most Reverend James S. Wall, Bishop of Gallup
at 10 o'clock in the morning
Please email us if you are interested in coming and we will email you directions to the site!

Also, Sunday, May 8th will begin - officially - Our Lady of Solitude Chapel being open to the public.  We've recently posted a schedule of Mass times for the next two weeks.  Be sure to check it out if you would like to join us.  

BLESSED John Paul II, We Love You

As we were packing up our things and preparing to begin this new foundation 6 years ago, the Lord called Pope John Paul II home.  It seems like only yesterday that we heard that our beloved JPII had taken a turn for the worst.  We all remember where we were when we heard that he died.  For many, they never knew another Pope - so long (and blessed) was his pontificate.  He embraced the whole world with his apostolic heart.  And at the hour of his death, it seemed as though the whole world embraced him through their vigils of prayer and watching.  But that was six years ago...

How quickly these years have gone by!  What a six years they have been!  For our merry little band of nuns - these six years have involved much planning, praying, preparing, and building!  Oddly enough (or I should say PROVIDENTIALLY), a big event in the history of our Community (Chapel Dedication, May 7th, click here for more details) is colliding with a historic event surrounding John Paul II.  Tomorrow, as we know, is his beatification! Since his death,  the world has been on a journey with him.  Deepening our understanding of who John Paul II was both in history and in his interior person...and the depth of his union with Our Lord. 

Incredibly enough, we now find ourselves witnessing - in our own life time - his beatification.

It is no coincidence, of course, that his beatification falls on Divine Mercy Sunday.  His love for St. Faustina and the message of mercy was like a flame that lit the world with love for this great Gift!  There is so much for which to be grateful.

I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy.  - Our Lord to St. Faustina

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Humanness of It All

Our THANKS to our dear friend, Fr. Fred Adamson, for celebrating Holy Week and Easter with us!!!
There is something in the human heart that rejoices in solemnity - the pomp and circumstance that properly marks certain liturgical feasts and life-moments.  Simultaneously, there is also something in the human heart that rejoices when such solemnity is visited by a subtle 'humanness' that makes it all the more approachable.  One without the other can be either too intimidating or, on the other hand, too mundane.

Our BLAZING Easter fire!
Here at Our Lady of Solitude the Lord seems to always strike a balance of the two.  Take our Easter Vigil Mass for instance, which we celebrated at our in-house Chapel (the main Church is not being used until it is dedicated on May 7th).  Midway through the awesome Liturgy of the Word that recounts so eloquently salvation history, the fire alarm started blaring like a fire alarm has never blared before!  To add to the drama, the dogs started howling like westies have never howled before!  When the fiasco finally quieted down, we all just smiled...and the glorious celebration of Mass continued.

Here is another example to illustrate my point: we are preparing for Mercy Sunday next week, right?  Praying the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy in preparation always brings me great consolation and peace.  So I was devoutly praying my Chaplet when I literally was dive-bombed by two flies  They even resorted to trying to fly up my nose and into my mouth when I took a breath.  (We live near a dairy farm and the fierce battle of the flies goes all summer)  Finally, to keep my sanity, I went into the sacristy and got a fly swatter.  Now I was armed with two weapons: chaplet in one hand and fly-swatter in the other.  I chuckled at the contradiction: praying "have mercy on us and on the whole world" as I mercilessly try to kill the fly that was making my life miserable.  Yes, the humanness of it all.

With Our Lord and Fr. Fred after Easter Morning Mass
Earlier this week Sr. Marie Andre gave her annual Holy Thursday exhortation to the community.  In it she spoke of the call to fidelity to God and His Will.  She also spoke of the call to give up our attachment to having things perfect.  There is no such thing this side of the kingdom.  Perhaps another way of saying this is: the call to embrace the 'humanness' of situations.  Easier said that done!

This morning I meditated on the passage from St. John's Gospel where Mary Magdalene weeps near the empty tomb.  Then Our Lord approaches and asks her why she is weeping.  So consumed with her grief, she fails to recognize Him!  "Mary."  It wasn't until she heard her name that she realized this was no gardener.  It was the the Master.   There is an awesome painting of this scene (my favorite by far) where Our Lord is depicted wearing a gardener's hat and holding a shovel.   Yes, the humanness of it all.

Further on St. John's Gospel recounts another very human scene where Peter says: "I'm going fishing."  He and six others fish all night and catch nothing.  Then, from a distance they see someone on the shore and hear a voice call to them: "Children, have you caught anything?"  He did not immediately recognize the Lord either.  Perhaps he was distracted by both the fruitless night of fishing and the intense trauma of the days before.  Do you think that, maybe, he was disgruntled by the spectator telling him how to fish?  Or did he begin to recognize the voice and the command, the figure that stood at a distance on shore?  Could it really be the Lord?  True to fashion, Peter follows the Lord's direction and casts the net over the right side of the boat.  And they pulled in a huge catch of fish.  Coming ashore, they found their fish breakfast already cooking on a charcoal fire.  Perhaps the Lord delights in the humanness of it all too.

Our God became man like us in all things but sin.  He experienced love, joy, hunger, sadness, disappointment, and the manifold imperfections of those He called to be His own.  And in the messiness of human existence, He taught us how to live and love and find Him in the heart of it all, in the humanness of it all.

Fr. Fred's STUPENDOUS homemade coconut cake! 
In these fifty days of Easter, we celebrate Jesus' Resurrection from the dead.  We celebrate the
triumph of life over death.  We celebrate the love strong enough to overcome sin and death and every power that be.  We celebrate the sacrifice that brought our freedom, the ransom that paid our price.  And in the midst of the solemnity of it all, we will meet - again and again - our charming Lord...Who ventures to meet us in the humanness of it all.  There in that very real place of vulnerability and hope, He calls us by name.  We hear Him say: "Children, have you caught anything?"  He is risen as He promised, Alleluia!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"This, that, and the other thing..."

This is going to be a 'this, that, and the other thing' newsy blog!

1.) On May 5th, EWTN's Life on the Rock, Doug Barry will unveil his basket for largest out of state fundraiser!  Yay. Sr. John-Mark will do a phone interview on the show.  Don't miss it!

3.)  I don't know if you've checked out the stained glass window page or not, but Padre Pio and John Paul II are both fully donated for and recently sent to production.  A great big THANK YOU to all those who made this happen.  We will be putting St. Anthony and St. Therese up soon - so that donations can begin for them. 

4.) The Chapel Dedication is quickly approaching on May 7th.  Because of our very limited amount of space in the Chapel, this is an 'invitation-only' event.  However, in order to have all of our friends and Our Lady of Solitude Family share in this joy, we have arranged for several days when a Mass of Thanksgiving will be offered - extending the celebration far beyond May 7th.  Here's what is on the agenda:
  • Local Mass of Thanksgiving (for Tonopah and Buckeye residents) - May 28th at 10 am - celebrated by Fr. Billy Kosco
  • Mass of Thanksgiving with Fr. Fred Adamson - June 11th at 10 am
  • Mass of Thanksgiving with Bishop James Wall - September 24th at 10 am
If you are interested in attending one of these events, please contact us and we will email directions and more information.

5.)   Everyone is asking: OK, after the Chapel is dedicated and open to the public, what is the Mass schedule and what time will the Chapel open and close, etc.  All of this is being discussed and discerned and will be posted as soon as possible!  Keep checking back here or on the main website for details as they are decided.

6.) Last but CERTAINLY not least is the fact that amidst all of this busyness and preparations for the Dedication, things will slow down dramatically for us as we enter into Holy Week.  This is a time of retreat for us - and for the whole Church.  It's a time to enter into the Passion and Death of Our Lord, awaiting with Our Lady the Resurrection of her Son.  The silence and solemnity of Holy Week brings us back to the one thing necessary: LOVE.  We see in Christ the Love that gave all, that held nothing back...not even a drop of His Blood.  He gave all for our salvation. 

In Pope Benedict XVI new book JESUS of NAZARETH, the following quote struck a cord within my own heart and it is my hope that it helps in your prayer this Holy Week:
"Jesus' agony, his struggle against death, continues until the end of the world, as Blaise Pascal said on the basis of similar considerations (cf. Pensées VII, 553). We could also put it the other way around: at this hour, Jesus took upon himself the betrayal of all ages, the pain caused by betrayal in every era, and he endured the anguish of history to the bitter end."