Positive Changes

For the Love of Mulch
October 18, 2019
Advent Wisdom of the Silver Saints and Prophets
November 4, 2019

by Sister Ann Marie Emon

I love the changes in the seasons that happen each year.  As we turn our calendars to November, a myriad of feelings come to us. Cool crisp days lead to trees turning beautiful colors. There are changes in our church as well. Pope Francis  canonized five saints this past October. These were  people who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of  loving God and serving  God’s people.  They were  people who served the poor, the sick ,the disenfranchised and the marginalized.  The new saints were  from Brazil, England, India, Italy and Switzerland.

For the many Brazilians most of the canonization of  Maria Rita Lopes, popularly known as Sister Dulce was about her love for the poor. She founded the first Catholic workers organization in the state of Bahia.  She started a health clinic for poor workers,  created a hospital, an orphanage and care centers for the elderly and disabled. She became known as the “the mother of the poor.”  She died in 1992 at the age of 77.

In England the theologian, poet and cardinal, John  Henry Newman, lived from 1801 to 1890 and on October 13th, 2019 was canonized by Pope Francis.  Sally Axworthy, the British ambassador to the Holy See,  spoke highly of Cardinal John Henry Newman as an “ important figure and a giant of the 19th century.” Axworthy went on to say that the first half of Henry Newman’s life he was an Anglican. He defined Anglicanism as a middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism.  Henry Newman joined the Catholic Church and had a great impact on the development  of doctrine which opened the way to Vatican II. He was honored as a saint on the Anglican calendar on August 11th the day of his death. His feast day on the Catholic calendar is October 9th, the date he joined the Catholic Church at the age of 44.

Along with Blessed Newman and Blessed Dulce three others  were canonized on October 13th: Blessed Marguerite Bays a laywoman from Switzerland; Blessed Josephine Vannini  an Italian and Blessed Mariam Thresia  Mankidiyan an Indian. Their lives changed as they grew closer to God and His people.

Pope John Paul II beatified Marquerite Bays  in 1995 lauding her as an example for all lay Catholics.  The Pope went on to say that “She was a very simple woman with a very normal life.  She did not accomplish anything extraordinary yet her existence was a long and a silent progression on the path toward holiness.  She died in 1879 at the age of 63.

The Italian named Blessed Josephine Vannini  was the co-founder of the Congregation of  Daughters of St. Camillus.   It was a religious order dedicated  to living out the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and another  vow which was to serve the sick even if it meant  risking death.

The Indian founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family is Blessed Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan.  Her religious order dedicated their lives to helping couples and families, serving the poor, the sick and the dying.  She lived a life of austerity.  She received the stigmata  in 1909. She died in 1926.

Each saints’ lives brought with it a profound dedication to their ministry. These men and women were challenged to live a christian life in service of God’s people.  At times change was at the center of their lives.  How are you doing with the changes in your life?  Do you  live a life of change that is good for showing God’s people the life of love? Take this time of year to bring growth and praise to God so we can spread God’s love and compassion to all of God’s people.

Sister Ann Marie Emon

Sr. Ann Marie Emon

“Once a teacher, always a teacher,” says Sr. Ann Marie Emon who spent many years in the education ministry teaching Junior High and High School in Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota. Today Sr. Ann Marie finds the time she ministers as a computer lab assistant at the Thomas Wernert Center very rewarding. The Center provides recovery and support for people with a mental illness.

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Mary Thill

Thanks for the reminder about our new saints…such simple lives and such influence
they had on God’s favorite people…the poor, the sick and the elders.

Sister Mary Irenaeus

Sr. Ann Marie, thank you for bringing to light these wonderful servants of God, now Saints. Yes, they accepted change in their lives and mad a difference for the good of others and to heed Jesus’ admonition “love and serve one another”! We each experience “change” in our life and place our trust in God to help us find what it is He wants of us, doing it with a gracious heart and a willing spirit. We are all “saints” working toward “SAINTHOOD”. Thank you for your thoughts.

Maira Pacelli

Ann Marie, thanks for sharing your thoughts on change and the new saints. The only one I was aware of was John Henry Newman so it was good to hear of the other four. All inspire us to serve God in our own ways as do you.

Sister Brigid O'Shea Merriman

Your blog is a very refreshing one and certainly one that in season. I very much appreciate what you wrote about seasonal change and our five newly canonized saints. Thank you so much for the inspiration!