For us it has been almost six months, for her ‘Per Omnia Secula Seculorum’

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SSVM_Mater_Mundi_Salvatoris - Copia

I think all of us have had the experience at one time or another that as time passes and life moves forward day after day memories that we think will always be with us end up slipping farther and farther away and become harder to retrieve with clarity.  For this reason, sometimes moments of reflection are necessary and helpful to keep at least the important memories alive.

Mother Maria Mater Mundi Salvatoris
Mother Maria Mater Mundi Salvatoris

The sudden occurrence of Mother Mater Mundi’s illness and death is an example of one of these experiences for me.  I had the tremendous gift of accompanying her, my daughter and sister, for the entire ten days of her suffering, agony, and eventual death.  While living those moments, each day felt like an eternity and the hours stretched on and on as we waited, hoped, and prayed for a miracle.  We tried to fill the long silent hours in the waiting room with prayers elevated to God on behalf of Mother Mundi, and we found ourselves constantly with our Rosaries or Breviary in hand.  More often than not others who were in the waiting room and those who had come to accompany us would also join us in prayer.  While the miracle of her healing was not granted, we definitely experienced God’s grace and Providential care in so many ways during those ten long and difficult days.  The suffering and death of our Sister seemed to be a source of unity for our Religious Family and in our Province particularly; it showered innumerable graces known and unknown upon her own family and friends; and countless people were touched by God’s love through their daily visits to Mother Mundi’s bedside.

As we approach the six-month anniversary of Mother Mater Mundi’s entrance into eternal life (July 10), I am realizing that some of the clarity is fading of the memories of those days that I thought I would never forget.  Therefore, before more time passes I wanted to take this moment to share with my dear Religious Family one of the gifts that was granted to me during that first week of January 2017 and which I do not think I should keep only for myself.  I hope and pray that I will always be able to easily recall this memory no matter how much time passes.  As I mentioned above, many times people from the diocese or from the Parish, or other people who knew the sisters would come to spend time with us in the waiting room of the intensive care unit.  There were only three half-hour slots during the day that we were allowed to visit Mother Mundi so the rest of the time was spent in the public waiting room.  While people would stop by all throughout the day, many would make a special effort on their way home from work to come by the hospital to just sit, pray, and talk with us for the evening hours.  This was a very welcome respite for us because usually by that time of day, we were quite tired and new people always gave us new energy to make it through the rest of the night.

One of the faithful women who visited Mother Mundi and sat with us almost every evening was Michelle, the secretary of the Diocesan Cathedral.  Before Mother’s illness she did not know the sisters but once she heard about what happened she personally took on the responsibility to be a support to us in whatever way she could.  She was so kind and generous with her time and we were always very happy when we saw her walking down the hallway to be with us.  She got to know us very well during those days and she would often thank us for allowing her to accompany us during this time of suffering.  She expressed that she found an uncommon joy in the way we lived our consecrated lives.   About two days before Mother Mundi died, I had a conversation with her and this is the point that touched me deeply.  She told me in confidence that she had heard people in the diocese talking about us and Mother Mundi’s situation.  It seems that they were under the impression that we were extremely naïve and that we did not realize how serious Mother’s condition was.  They said that if we knew the reality of what was going on that there was no way we could still have a smile on our face.  Then with a hint of motherly pride in her voice she continued telling me that she defended us in their presence.  She told them that she had personally been accompanying us every day for long stretches of hours at a time; that she heard the doctor’s reports alongside of us; that she saw us suffering with our sister and she attested that we knew exactly what was going on; but, she also told them that she was a witness that none of this painful reality seemed to take the joy from our spirits and our lives.  For the conclusion of her defense to the people who were talking about us she said to them with authority and conviction: “it’s almost as if they have something in their formation that teaches them how to bear suffering with joy.”

As she spoke this final sentence I closed my eyes and nodded my head to her in agreement but at that moment I could not respond with any more words.  What she said entered my soul deeply. I remember, at that moment, being overcome with an immense gratitude in my heart. Gratitude to God for the gift a deep understanding of the redemptive meaning of suffering and the sustaining grace to live it out in such a concrete way. Gratitude to Fr. Buela who from the beginning has always taught us to “be experts in the wisdom of the cross, in the love of the cross, and in the joy of the cross” (Const. n. 42). Gratitude to my Religious Family and to the formation received therein which has rooted me in the reality of the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Gratitude for the courage and wisdom of Michelle who was able to put into words a truth about our Religious Family that so often we ourselves take for granted and for which we do not often enough express sufficient gratitude.

So, this is the anecdote I wanted to share with the Religious Family. I hope it can be a source of reflection for all of us, in order that together we may give thanks for the gift of the Cross in our lives and for our formation which truly has taught us how to bear whatever suffering may come to us with great joy for we know with confidence that suffering and pain have a limit, for they are in time; but, in eternity, the glory that is to come will be per omnia secula seculorum.                                   

Mother Mary of the Immaculate Conception

Provincial Superior of the “Immaculate Conception” Province

SSVM_Mater_Mundi_Salvatoris_2 - Copia (2)

International Youth Festival, in the Heart of Europe!

Youth_Festival_IVE_SSVM_Nortem_European

 “Humanity has the imperious necessity of the testimony of free and valiant youth that dare to walk against the current to proclaim with strength and enthusiasm the faith in God, our Lord and Savior.” St. John Paul II

By God’s grace, we were able to hold the 4th “Youth Festival” in Northern Europe, with the particularity of having youth from many different countries, outside of Europe. Besides youth from Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Lithuania, and France, we had the grace to have youth from New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Nigeria, and Colombia, among others! Many of them are university students in The Netherlands.

After a lot of organization and different kinds of jobs, we began on Friday the 2nd of June with the youth who arrived in Luxemburg little by little. Good spirit reigned from that moment on. Late that evening a bus arrived from The Hague with forty youth and completed the number of 80 participants for this year.

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We were blessed with the valuable presence of Fr. Franco Liporace and Fr. Nicholas Grace who came from Scotland, with Fr. Tobias Eibl from Germany and Fr. Mario Rojas from The Netherlands.

Saturday was a complete and full day of activities, which we took full advantage of. In the morning we had a plenary talk given by Fr. Nicholas about virtue, “Superiority on earth, Salvation in Heaven.”

After that we had a series of workshops that were repeated three times, so that everyone could take advantage to go to different workshops. The topics were the following:

A.  Culture of death verse culture of life (Mr. Greg Clovis)

B.  Grow in God’s friendship through Sacred Scripture (Fr. Tobias Eibl, IVE)

C.  Discovering the secrets of Fatima (Sister Holy Family, SSVM)

D. “I’m a good person, isn’t that enough?” The truth about real sanctity (Sister Rock of Constancy, SSVM)

E. “Am I listening to God? (M. Nadiya, SSVM)

F. Evolution, fact or fiction (Mr. Greg Clovis)

G. Virtue, superiority on earth, salvation in Heaven II (Fr. Nicholas Grace)

During sports in the sports center we played different games in teams and got rid of a lot of energy!  It was really funny to see everyone running all around and enjoying the moment.

The most beautiful moment of the day, besides the Holy Mass, was the rosary procession with the image of Our Lady of Fatima, and Adoration with confessions.

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This year, priests were present who could speak many languages, which gave the youth a greater opportunity to confess. This is something that we are infinity thankful to God for, knowing it is God who calls us to a life of grace. In particular, we would like to thank every priest who – during the day and especially that night – were available to hear confessions. We heard many positive comments from the youth about adoration and the possibility to go to confession in: Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, and French!

On Sunday, we had another plenary talk given by Nick Clovis, who participated in the Festival with his wife and 6 children – a great witness for the youth! The topic of the plenary talk was “Encountering God in marriage and family life.”

Directly after we had the Holy Mass of Pentecost presided by Fr. Franco Liporace. During the Mass the youth made their consecration to the Holy Spirit. We finished with lunch and a good -bye “fogón” where all the different groups presented a song from their country.

Something else very special to highlight was the continual adoration that the contemplative sisters did during the days of the Festival. This was a great testimony for the youth and we can certainly without a doubt contribute the fruits from their incessant prayer.

Another detail of God’s Providence….. Even though they had predicated rain during the whole weekend, the weather was marvelous and that surely contributed to the good spirit.

Sister Mirakel van Amsterdam from the Northern European Province, “Mary Gate of the Dawn”

SIRIKI Mission 2017

Servidoras_Guyana_Siriki

There was still snow on the ground in New York City Friday March 10, when I went to the airport to meet 4 FOCUS missionaries and 7 university students who had given up their spring break to volunteer with our religious family in Guyana.

Guyana_Mision_01The missionaries and students had been there since 2 pm for orientation. Our flight was at 1:25 am. They came from various universities across the country – some had traveled extensively, but for others it would be their first time ever leaving the country. They were all eager to hear about the mission in Guyana and what exactly they would be doing there. I shared what I knew about Guyana from my previous experience and explained to them the structure and purpose of a Popular Mission.

We arrived in Guyana around 7 am Saturday morning, went through customs fairly quickly and met up with two generous parishioners who would drive us to Parika (about 1 ½-2 hours away).  In Parika we met M.Alborada and M. Caridad and continued our journey to Siriki, a small community on the Pomeroon River. However, first we had to cross the Esquiboo River – a 2 hour ride by ferry, followed by another hour drive to Charity where the missionaries were relieved to find coffee and snacks awaiting them in the rectory of St. Francis Xavier parish. We had a short break in Charity before loading up the boats to go up the Pomeroon River to “Auntie Shirley’s” house where we would be having dinner together.

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The missionaries had been traveling for over 24 hours at this point. Fr. Humberto Villa, IVE led us in Evening Prayer.  After dinner, he gave us an introduction to the mission in Siriki and “ordered” us to go to bed by 9 pm.  Everyone was grateful for the opportunity to sleep so early!  Sr. Gloria Dei, Sr. Faithful Virgin and myself stayed with the girls at Auntie Shirley’s, the PLA (Parish Lay Assistant) for the Siriki Church while the boys went with Fr. Humberto to another parishioner’s house.

Siriki is one of five communities on the Pomeroon River which belong to St. Francis Xavier Parish in Charity. The church itself is only accessible by boat as are all of the houses we would be visiting.

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Fr. Humberto described this mission as an outreach mission. The main goal was to spend time with the parishioners in order to teach them to pray the rosary, read Sacred Scripture with them and give mini-catechesis on the Church and the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist.

Our short week in Siriki was full of many graces, but there is one in particular that I would like to share with you.  After the first morning of house visits, Fr. Humberto asked me to meet with “Uncle David” in the afternoon to begin instruction for receiving the Sacraments. He was supposed to meet me at 4 pm, but knowing the more laid-back culture of Guyana, I figured I had until at least 4:15 or 430 to prepare a lesson.  To my surprise, however, at 4pm on the dot, I saw a man walking up the dock towards the Church. I prayed to the Holy Spirit and began the lesson after a brief introduction. A little before 4:30, I saw a well-dressed elderly couple walking up the dock. They approached us and introduced themselves as David and Unis and explained they had come to receive instructions for the Sacraments.  I was a little confused that I suddenly had two “Uncle David’s” in my little class instead of one, but continued the lesson and trusted that with the Holy Spirit, the details would be worked “just now” as the Guyanese say.

The next day, the first Uncle David was unable to come to class because he had to take his wife to the hospital to get the results of her tests. His wife Olive had cancer.  However, the second Uncle David along with his wife Auntie Unis came again to class. We finished early, so I took the opportunity to chat with them and to get straight (at least in my mind) which Uncle David had met with Fr. Humberto. As it turns out, it was the first Uncle David who had been sent to me by Fr. Humebrto. However, this couple had been visited by one of the teams of missionaries – Alli Griffin, the team director of the FOCUS group had encouraged them to come to the Church. The man was Hindu and his wife, a baptized Catholic, had never received any other sacraments. They both wanted to be married in the Church and receive all the Sacraments. I was stunned. After one visit with the missionaries they were firm in their desire to enter the Church.

Servidoras_Guyana_Siriki

As the week continued, my little class began to grow, but Uncle David and Auntie Unis were my most faithful students. The last day of the mission, I saw them approaching from a distance, but something was different. Normally I would see them walk slowly together down the dock, but this time Uncle David was leading, a few steps ahead of Auntie Unis. When I approached to say, “Good afternoon,” he told me very firmly, that he had come to talk with Fr. Humberto. I introduced the happy couple to Father, and waited with joyful hope as they talked with him about their firm desire to enter the Church and to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. Uncle David insisted that he wanted to be baptized and become a full member of the Catholic Church. While Father was talking with them, another couple who had joined my class later in the week approached.  They also wanted to talk with Fr. Humberto about receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony as well as continuing instruction for the Sacraments of Holy Communion, Confession and Confirmation. In their manner also, I saw a firm resolve to enter fully into the life of the Church as they waited patiently for their turn to speak with Fr. Humberto.

As a result of this mission there will be more work for our religious family in Guyana. Twice a month one of the sisters will give adult catechesis at the church in Siriki.  I ask for your prayers, for the continued fruits of this mission and for the perseverance of those preparing for the Sacraments.

Viva la mission!

In Christ and Mary,

Sr. Maria Thalassa

Christ in the Streets of Harlem, New York

“The devout participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic procession on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is a grace from the Lord which yearly brings joy to those who take part in it.”[1]


These words from our spiritual father, Pope St. John Paul II, should serve to stimulate us to celebrate Corpus Christi wherever and whenever possible with a solemn procession in accord with that tradition which was firmly rooted even in the 12th century.[2] This practice has continued to be recommended by the Church in order that “the Christian people [might] give public witness of faith and devotion towards the sacrament.”[3]

To commemorate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the parish of St. Paul took to the streets and manifested to all of Harlem its great devotion to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar with a procession through the neighborhood. This year’s procession coincided with the reception of the First Communion of many children (109 in total) from the parish’s catechism program who also took part. Parading the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Harlem might cause concern for a lack of respect towards the Sacramental Species, but such fears were largely unfounded as many passersby spontaneously displayed their reverence for the Eucharist. Some even prostrated themselves as the Our Lord went by.

It is true that organizing and carrying out a procession such as this takes a considerable amount of time and effort of many different individuals. Acquiring permission from the city, preparing the monument, organizing the children, leading the prayers and songs, and the printing of booklets, all entail a great deal of sacrifice. But anything which is worth doing is worth suffering for. In this way, the parish confesses not just with its lips the primacy of the Eucharist but with its very deeds.

The primacy of the Eucharist in our faith cannot remain a mere abstract affirmation but must truly manifest itself at every opportunity available. To claim that Jesus is sacramentally present in the Eucharist, then to claim that the Church is missionary by her very nature,[4] and to claim that in the Church’s evangelization of the peoples Christ must be brought to them,[5] only to keep Our Eucharistic Lord stored away within the walls of our churches is simply contradictory. At times Christ must be taken out of the church building so as to lead the people back into the Church where they can adore Him.

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta expressed her belief in the apostolic value of Eucharistic adoration and its immense power to change entire societies when she said, “People ask me: ‘What will convert America and save the world?’  My answer is prayer.  What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in holy hours of prayer.”[6] In addressing the superior generals of men’s religious orders, St. John Paul reinforced the role of prayer and adoration in apostolic endeavors when he reminded them that “a pause for true adoration has greater value and spiritual fruit than the most intense activity, were it apostolic activity itself.”[7]

Not only do these manifestations of our faith in the Real Presence bring others to Him, but they also serve to build up the faith of those who participate in them. As St. John Paul II wrote, “Faith is strengthened when it is given to others.”[8] When the parish community gives this faith to the people outside the parish, the parish itself will grow in love for Emmanuel, God among us in the Blessed Sacrament.[9] “The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church.”[10]

Hence the Magisterium makes the stimulation of Eucharistic devotion an obligation of priests who have been charged with looking after souls: “It is the responsibility of the pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.”[11] This was stated earlier by Blessed Pope Paul VI who exhorted the priests and bishops to promote love for the Eucharist amongst the faithful above all other devotions: “We beseech you to foster devotion to the Eucharist, which should be the focal point and goal of all other forms of devotion.”[12] St. Alphonsus explains why priority must be given to the Eucharistic devotion when he writes, “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.”[13]

However, there could be some who complain that the devotion to the Eucharist doesn’t fit in their schedule. A holy hour takes a whole 60 minutes after all! Or perhaps they argue that the reverent celebration of the daily Mass is sufficient. Despite this human objection, The Congregation of the Clergy expects it to be made a priority of all priests in order to prevent their ministry from becoming sterile: “Spending time in intimate conversation with and adoration of the Good Shepherd, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a pastoral priority far superior to any other…Every priest should attend to this priority so as to ensure that he does not become spiritually barren nor transformed into a dry channel no longer capable of offering anything to anyone.”[14] This is nothing more than a practical application of Jesus’ words, “Without Me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

Although the fruits of this devotion will only be known to us fully in heaven, there are times, such as the Corpus Christi Procession at St. Paul’s, when Our Lord deigns to manifest some of the positive effects of a devotion to His Eucharistic Presence. Apart from the graces proper to a particular procession, St. John Paul referred to every Corpus Christi procession as a grace which “yearly brings joy to those who take part in it.”[15] Therefore, let us give thanks to God for the blessings received from this year’s procession asking that they might continue to bear fruit in all those who benefited from it.

May Our Lady obtain for us the grace to adore Our Lord present in the Sacramental Species as she did when she participated in the Mass of St. John the Evangelist.

___________________________________

[1] Pope St. John Paul II, Ecclesia Eucharistia, [Encyclical on the Eucharist and its Relationship to the Church], Vatican Website, April 17, 2003, sec. 10, accessed June 19th, 2017, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/special_features/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_20030417_ecclesia_eucharistia_en.html.
[2] Cf. P. Carlos Buela, Mi Parroquía, 360.
[3] Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Eucharistiae Sacramentum [Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass], EWTN Website, June 21, 1973, sec. 101, accessed June 19, 2017, http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWSACRA.htm.
[4] Cf. Second Vatican Council, Ad Gentes [On the Mission Activity of the Church], Vatican Website, December 7, 1965, sec. 2, accessed June 19, 2017, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19651207_ad-gentes_en.html.
[5] Cf. Francis, “General Audience,” Vatican Website, 23 October 2013, accessed June 20, 2017, https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20131023_udienza-generale.html: “the Church… has to bring Christ to everyone. A Church that does not bring Christ to the people, that is a dead Church.”
[6] Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Catholic News World, http://jceworld.blogspot.com/2016/02/catholic-quote-to-share-by-motherteresa_28.html.
[7] Pope St. John Paul II, “Address of His Holiness John Paul II to the Superior Generals of Men’s Religious Orders,” Vatican Website, November 24, 1978, sec. 4, accessed June 20, 2017, https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/speeches/1978/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19781124_superiori-generali.html; as cited in IVE Constitutions, 22.
[8] Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio [Encyclical on the Permanent Validity of the Church’s Missionary Mandate] Vatican Website, December 7, 1990, sec. 2, accessed June 20, 2017, http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_07121990_redemptoris-missio.html.
[9] Cf. Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Eucharistiae Sacramentum, sec. 2.
[10] Pope St. John Paul II, Ecclesia Eucharistia, 25.
[11] Ibid., with reference to Rituale Romanum: De sacra communione et de cultu mysterii eucharistici extra Missam, 38-39 (Nos. 86-90).
[12] Pope Bl. Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei  [Encyclical on the Holy Eucharist], Vatican Website, September 3, 1965, sec. 64, accessed June 20, 2017, http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_03091965_mysterium.html.
[13] St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
[14] Congregation for the Clergy, The Priest, Pastor And Leader Of The Parish Community, Vatican Website, August 4, 2002, sec. 11, accessed June 19, 2017, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_20020804_istruzione-presbitero_en.html.
[15] Pope St. John Paul II, Ecclesia Eucharistia, 10: “The devout participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic procession on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is a grace from the Lord which yearly brings joy to those who take part in it.”

Chronicle – Ordinations 2017

How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the Lord’s name
~Ps 116:12~

These words from the psalmist beautifully describe the interior sentiments of all five men who were ordained to the priesthood during the month of May for the Province of the Immaculate Conception. Hailing from five different countries, (Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hong Kong, and the USA) these new priests were made perpetual participants in the High Priest’s sacrificial office in three different locations on three different days. Fr. Ted Trinko was ordained in his home parish of Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara on May 8th, Our Lady of Lujan’s feast day. Present at that Mass was then Dcn. Michael Zhang who was soon thereafter ordained in his own hometown of Hong Kong on May 20th. Finally, Fr. Manuel Palma, Mariano Ruiz, and Willian Valle together with Dcn. Cecilio Hernandez were ordained together at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC on May 27th by the hands of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. In his homily, His Eminence highlighted the positive response to God’s call which was given by all the candidates and how their vocation ultimately called them to an intimate union with Christ. All three liturgies were accompanied by an overflowing spirit of joy and gratitude for the grace of the priesthood.

In the days following the ordination, the new priests celebrated their first Masses with large number of their personal and religious family members in attendance. Coming together from all over the world to form their hearts into one like Christ’s, they will now spread back out to the four corners of the globe in order to give back to God’s people by means of the Word of God what they have contemplated during these years of formation.[1]

However, as Bl. Columba Marmion taught, these men were ordained principally in order to give men the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.[2] It was to complete this function that the very sacrament of Holy Orders exists. These priests, who “are bound, to acquire [spiritual] perfection in special fashion”[3] will do so principally through the proper celebration of the Mass since this is the greatest act of priestly charity which can be realized.[4] Acknowledging this, the Venerable Fulton Sheen, himself very talented, taught that the priest’s apostolic effectiveness “has little or nothing to do with their natural endowments. A Eucharistic priest will be a better instrument of the Lord among souls that a learned one who loves him less… ‘I will give such priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.’”[5] On the other hand, the fall of the priest, teaches Sheen, is necessarily accompanied by the priest withdrawing to a distance from the Eucharistic Lord.[6]

But Christ does not come off with the chasuble.[7] And so the priest must perform other ministries as well which do not come about ex opera operantis. Rather, these other ministries which these new priests will perform depend on their very sanctity. This is the teaching of our spiritual father, St. John Paul II, who wrote that the “greater or lesser degree of the holiness of the minster has a real effect on the proclamation of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and the leadership of the community in charity”[8] It is explained by the Holy Vatican Council which stated: “God ordinarily prefers to show his wonders through those men who are more submissive to the impulse and guidance of the Holy Spirit.”[9] This holiness will attract penitents to his confessional,[10] promote the growth of the Church,[11] and inspire him to be heard even by unbelievers.[12] It is not a question of simply choosing to pursue holiness, for Canon Law actually requires it of priests: “In leading their lives, clerics are bound in a special way to pursue holiness since, having been consecrated to God by a new title in the reception of orders, they are dispensers of the mysteries of God in the service of His people.”[13]

But keeping in mind that the very desire for sanctity is a grace which comes from above, we, the new priests of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, humbly commend ourselves to your prayers. At the risk of sounding cliché, helps us with your prayers, that we might help you with our ministry. There are certain graces which God has deigned only to bestow upon us once we ask Him for them. Here we can see the power of prayer which St. Therese of the Child Jesus described so beautifully: “How great is the power of prayer! One could call it a Queen who has at each instant free access to the King and who is able to obtain whatever she asks.”[14] Therefore we ask you who read this to present yourselves before our heavenly Father, interceding on behalf of all priests, that we might receive docilely the graces needed for the faithful and efficacious fulfillment of our ministry.

May God Bless you all,

Fr. Ted Trinko, IVE


[1] Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, 188, 6: “Preaching should proceed from the fullness of contemplation.”

[2] Cf. Bl. Columba Marmion, Jesucristo: ideal del sacerdote, IIª parte – La obra de la santificación sacerdotal (continuación) B) In iis Quae sunt ad Deum, XI. Haced esto en memoria mía, p. 123.

[3] Vatican Council II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, 12)

[4] Bl. Columbas Marmion, Jesucristo: ideal del sacerdote, IIª parte – La obra de la santificación sacerdotal, 5. La Caridad en el ministerio de la palabra, p. 122: “The most excellent act of priestly charity is the Mass well said. When celebrated, the priest cannot thing exclusively of himself, because he carries in his heart the responsibilities of the souls that are entrusted to Him.”

[5] Fulton Sheen, The Priest Is Not His Own, 233.

[6] Ibid. 184.

[7] Cf. ibid., 56.

[8] Pope St. John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis, 25.

[9] Vatican Council II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, 12.

[10] Sheen, The Priest, 152.

[11] Ibid., 77.

[12] Ibid., 81.

[13] Code of Canon Law, 276 §1.

[14] St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul, Ch. 11.

Ordination to the Priesthood of Theodore Trinko

Dear All,

On May 8th, feast of the Virgin of Luján, at a Mass celebrated at 5 pm at Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara, CA, Bishop Thomas Daly ordained Dcn. Theodore Trinko to the priesthood.

In Christ, the Incarnate Word, and His Mother,

Fr. Alberto Barattero, IVE

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