The five-day workshop combined intensive chant and polyphony instruction and practice with excellent breakout sessions by Dr. William Marht. The Sisters were delighted to be immersed so deeply in the sacred music and liturgy of the Church for these days and are excited to share their increased knowledge with the whole community.
As a community steeped in the traditions of the Church, her sacred music is held especially dear by each of the Sisters. Our communal Office is lovingly chanted each day, and the sacred music of the Church is prayed at each liturgy celebrated in our Convent. Two of our Sisters were blessed to be able to attend Musica Sacra's Winter Sacred Music Workshop for Chant and Sacred Polyphony in New Orleans, LA this month.
In spite of the full conference schedule, the Sisters were able to re-connect with a dear community friend who is a Pastor of the Diocese. As the Sisters were walking one afternoon, a generous guide offered them a free bike tour, enabling them to see some unique parts of New Orleans and feel like real tourists.
O Clavis David... O Key of David, come and lead us out of darkness!
Our good Bishop presided over Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral of St. Eugene on December 20, the fourth day of the O Antiphons in preparation for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Chaplain, Father Keyes directed the Men's Scola in leading the congregation in chanting Vespers. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church, the very voice of the Bride speaking to the Bridegroom, and it was a honor to enter into this dialogue with such solemnity and beauty.
Bishop's Reflection on the O Antiphons
"And then we conclude, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, O Emmanuel, Come! Come be God in our midst. And then, the day after, we rejoice in the completion, a response by God on high, sending Him Whom we have called upon to come for the previous seven days. When we do that in this more formal, liturgical rite, we lend dignity, we lend a seriousness to the completion of our Advent preparation, and we lend ourselves to kindling in our hearts this eagerness for a response to our prayer "O come! Come! Come to Thy people, O come, Lord, come Emmanual!"
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your faithful, who rejoice under the patronage of the most holy Virgin Mary, may be freed from all evils on earth and merit the attainment of eternal joys in heaven...
December 9, 2017 marked a momentous day in the life of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. In honor of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and as a re-affirmation of the Marian dedication made in 1983, our good Bishop consecrated the Diocese of Santa Rosa to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during an hour of prayer at the Cathedral. The Sisters were privileged to attend and join in praying for our Lady's loving protection for our Diocese.
"My dear people...
Act of Consecration
O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners: We representing your Catholic people of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart. We consecrate to you our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee do we give our homes, our families, our Diocese and our country. We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to you and that we may share in the benefits of your motherly blessing. Holy Mary, bring help to the miserable, strength to those who mourn. Plead the cause of the clergy, intercede for devout women and men. May all who pay homage to your Holy Name experience your powerful help. We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and Blessed Virgin Mary. Amen.
Dear Friends in Christ,
Laudetur Jesus Christus! Praised be Jesus and Mary!
Welcome to this issue of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, a kind of “Magnificat” for us to share with you. This season’s newsletter is full of testimonies of God’s unique blessing upon the Marian Sisters this past year – a year dedicated to the message of Fatima so cherished within our ranks. Your prayers and support have borne fruit in new vocations, the clothing of three new novices, first profession of vows for three Sisters, and a beautiful Perpetual Vow Mass for Sr. Maria Faustina of our Mother of Mercy, wherein she dedicated her life to Christ forever.
The summer of 2017 was notable for both spiritual and apostolic activities including annual retreats, educational opportunities, youth ministry in our own diocese and beyond, and the reception of two new candidates – Katie from Baton Rouge, LA and Rose Janae from Albuquerque, NM. These beautiful young women have increased the joy and inspiration we share within the community and with those we serve.
As our numbers increase, opportunities abound for the Marian Sisters to serve God and others. Fortified by worship and contemplation, the works of the Sisters expand beyond the convent walls to teaching, liturgical ministry, diocesan school visits, faith formation of youth, praying with the elderly, serving in the chancery offices and much more. The firestorm that recently descended upon our diocese presented opportunities to serve in evacuation shelters and in our diocesan schools. These ministries claimed our hearts, inspiring the maternal love which flows from our
lives of consecration. In everything we say and do, we endeavor to be Mary’s image in the world – her loving heart, her face, her hands and voice – to all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Please pray for us as we pray for you.
Have a blessed Season of Advent and a grace-filled New Year!
Gratefully Yours in the Love of Christ,
Mother Teresa Christe, MSSR
Blessed Solanus Casey, pray for us!
O Mary, Comfortress of the afflicted, pray for us who cry out to thee!
Rose-tinted by the smoke, Our Lady watches over the convent
Sister thanking service men for delivering cots and supplies for the evacuees
In spite of the natural disaster happening in our own city and diocese, the heart of our life continues uninterrupted. The Sisters continue to gather for our regular periods of prayer throughout the day, and individually and communally have increased the fervor and amount of prayer and supplication offered to our good God on behalf of the people of our Diocese.
Please keep the people of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in your prayers! Pray for protection and for the courage and wisdom necessary to proceed with rebuilding and re-establishing our diocese, schools, and cities.
Our Lady still stands in front of burnt classrooms at Cardinal Newman High School (NCR Photo)
Regina Pacis, ora pro nobis!
Regina Pacis in the basilica of St. Mary Major
"In union with Mary, Mother of the Church, we strive to magnify Jesus Christ,
her Divine Son, by communicating the Beauty, Goodness, and Truth of the Catholic faith in
a spirit of joyful evangelization while living the fullness of the Church's liturgical life."
~ Charism Statement of the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa
"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place " ~ Letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the issuing of Summorum Pontificum and in thanksgiving for our precious charism, the special gift that God has given us for the life of the Church, our Superiors and Chaplain recently traveled to the Eternal City on pilgrimage. There they had to opportunity to join in many of the liturgies and conferences hosted by the Summorum Pontficum 2017 pilgrimage and to pray for the community and the Church at the major basilicas and other sacred places.
Prayer to St. Rose for the Diocese of Santa Rosa
Mother questions the candidates concerning their intention
The period of postulancy (derived from the Latin meaning "to ask") is a time for the postulant to become familiar with and to assimilate as her own the way of life and customs of our community. The young Sister is given the opportunity to learn the life and customs by sharing in the assignments and duties of the community. Under the guidance of those more experienced in the life, she is trained in the work of the sacristy and care of the chapel, the preparation and serving of community meals, the care and maintenance of the convent common spaces and grounds, and is lightly involved in the various external apostolates of the community, learning to do each for Jesus alone in the spirit of a Marian Sister.
She also joins in the studies common to the house of formation - courses in philosophy, theology, various aspects of religious life and consecration, the spiritual life, prayer, the charism of the community, and St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion, as well as courses in human formation. These studies combined with the living of the life allow the postulant to integrate the life practically as well as intellectually and to further discern God's will for her life.
We commend our postulant Sisters to the care of our Immaculate Mother, begging her to form in them a perfect image of her Divine Son and to obtain for them the grace of final perseverance in our way of life.
The Community renewing our Total Consecration
O Queen conceived without Original Sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
On Entrance Day, after bidding farewell to their families, the Candidates approach the convent and knock on the door, asking to be admitted as aspirants to our way of life. They have walked a long journey of discernment, first the hearkening in their soul to Christ's call and then the mutual discernment with the community which seeks to determine God's will. The community has seen in the Candidate signs of the communal charism - the gift from God given for the service of the Church to both the Community and to the individual members for His glory and the salvation of souls - and indications of the ability to live the life. The Candidate has in turn seen that the life of the consecrated bride of Christ is beautiful and that our charism and way of life may be the place in which He wishes to fulfill the desires that He has placed in her heart, desires of belonging more fully to Him and of giving her whole self in His service.
Now is the opportunity to see how the well the aspirant and the life match: does she have the physical stamina necessary to live a life fully given? The intellectual maturity to join our '"pursuit of Truth by learning"? The emotional maturity to flourish in community life?
We pray that each young woman who knocks on our door as an aspirant grows in her love of Christ Jesus and in her ability to perceive and receive His love in all the aspects of her life. We welcome each "little Sister" into our religious family with open hearts and loving prayers, recognizing that she may be our sister for life, according to God's Holy Will.