March 19, 2010

This year, the Solemnity of St. Joseph marked the 22nd anniversary of the foundation of our Institute, founded in San Rafael, Argentina in 1988. Around the world, our sisters celebrated this feast with a spirit of great thanksgiving.

East Coast: Washington and New York Celebrations
Nearly thirty-five sisters of the apostolic communities from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York came together to pray Evening Prayer on the vigil at the St. Edith Stein Monastery of our contemplative sisters in Brooklyn. The following day, Fr. Gustavo Nieto, Provincial Father, presided over the Mass at St. Gabriel’s in East New York, Brooklyn–the first mission parish of this Province.

Our celebration in Washington began on the vigil of the feast. After Adoration and sung Vespers, the sisters from the Juniorate House of Formation joined the Novitiate to pray the Office of Readings together.

Sisters, seminarians, Third Order members, families, and parishioners gathered on the 19th for Holy Mass at St. James Church, an IVE parish in Mount Rainier, MD. After the Mass, we continued to celebrate with dinner and fogon for about 200 people.

West Coast: Our Lady of Peace, Santa Clara, CA
We began our celebration in our convent’s chapel with First Vespers and the Office of Readings led by our chaplain Father Marcelo Navarro.

The 5:15 PM Mass at Our Lady of Peace was celebrated by the pastor, Father Walter Mallo, together with Father Marcelo Navarro concelebrating. We prepared the details of the liturgy with special care to express our true affection for Saint Joseph

In his beautiful homily, Father Walter quoted Pope John Paul II’s Redemptoris Custos.  Three main points were highlighted about St. Joseph’s identity. Initially, Saint Joseph was known as a carpenter, or in other words, by his trade.  In imitation of him, we can achieve sanctity by honest work and performing ordinary tasks with an extraordinary love of God.  Secondly, contrary to the norm, we know Saint Joseph by his silence.  This exemplifies his primacy of the interior life and love of contemplation.  Lastly, as Saint Joseph was the faithful guardian of Jesus and Mary, so he is the ever faithful guardian of the Church.

Following the homily, Sister Maria Mater Mystici Corporis Christi renewed her religious vows.  After Holy Mass concluded, Father Marcelo presided over Solemn Vespers which we shared with many of our Third Order members and faithful parishioners from Our Lady of Peace and Saint Leo the Great (in San Jose).

As we gathered in the Family Learning Center for a potluck dinner and fogon,  a great family spirit permeated the gym.  We enjoyed authentic Mexican dancing, songs, and skits performed during the fogon.  To share in our celebration, a number of the little girls dressed in tiny habits! In due time, may God call forth ever more vocations to the consecrated life.

We give thanks to God for our years of foundation and for Sister Christi’s renewal of vows.  Let us continually implore Saint Joseph for his protection and guidance as we seek to be faithful spouses of Christ and to help many souls to reach Heaven.