News and Information

News and Information for members of and people interested in the North American Conference of Associates and Religious.

Year of Faith logo (Cross in a Boat)When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Push out into the deep…" Pope Benedict XVI has issued a similar call to the world Church by proclaiming a Year of Faith. From October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, Catholics are urged to push to the depth within their personal baptismal call to holiness and to be blessed and surprised by what God—Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier—has to offer. In the year ahead let's rediscover what we truly believe and foster the New Evangelization.

In New Testament times the weary apostles walked many roads to bring the Good News. We read in Acts 27 and 28 how Paul was shipwrecked in his effort to proclaim what he believed. Today we have the information super-highway as a modern means to spread the Gospel. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other social media afford us the opportunity to share our faith without blistered feet, life jackets or microphones.

coffee cupsI arrived at the quaint coffee shop earlier than anticipated! (Pre-supposing I might get caught up in re-routed traffic because of on-going, New Orleans road work, Saenger Theater re-construction or even the filming of a movie, I left Holy Angels an hour prior to the planned meeting time.) Within a mere 20 minutes I was seated at a table breathing in the welcoming aroma of coffee and the mouth-watering allure of cranberry scones.

This was not to be an "eating meeting" but since I was ahead of time I made my way to the counter. Generally, I am not a coffee-house "goer" … but I became a part of a defined ritual of eating and drinking. Back at the table where I had left the agenda folder, I read the Scripture for the next day, Corpus Christi - June 2, 2013. Immediately I was struck by the references to food and drink—bread and wine—body and blood. The actions: take, bless, broken and shared came across loud and clear in 1 Corinthians 11. The Communion Antiphon was the consoling, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him …" as in John 6:57

Isaac! I'm not referring to Abraham's son, but the potential hurricane heading our way as I draft this reflection. Indeed the fact that he is scheduled to arrive—to the day—on the anniversary of that sassy Katrina, stirs up a tornado of memories within me—and most of the People of God who live on the Gulf Coast.

PietaThe pounding of a hammer brings me to the window in my office. I can see our neighbor putting ply board to protect the glass panes in his home. Radio and TV news and Accuweather reports are eye-catching with colorful radar pictures of projected direction, rain, wind gusts, etc. Possible mandatory evacuation orders will be given by city officials… and I sit here pondering and remembering, with sincere gratitude, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "Your own soul a sword shall pierce." Luke 2:33-35

So many blessings followed the destruction of our coastal cities: southern citizens pulled together in near-by, land-locked cities, people came from all parts of the U.S. and all walks of life to lend their hearts and hands to the recovery efforts. Locally individuals recognized personal strengths within themselves that may have been lying dormant. The Amazing Grace List goes on and on offering life-long lessons. In The Prophet, Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese Poet, wrote that the deeper sorrow hollows us out, the more joy we can contain.

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