Week of December 29th – We are Family

The Feast of the Holy Family was celebrated Sunday, December 29th.  The Gospel reading for the day depicts the flight of Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt.  It appears the Holy Family was on the move from the very beginning.  Yet in all this transition, almost as exiles or refugees, they had each other and God’s promise.

Nativity, Chapel of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer

The gift of community is a significant aspect of Religious Life, and no less for the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer.  Community, like family,provides the relational support that is essential for human beings.  We need one another – to thrive, to grow in self-awareness, to grow in selflessness, to learn love and compassion . . .

This week the Sisters experience of family included

Gathering for New Year’s Eve to usher in the New Year with prayer and celebration.

Beginning the New Year with Mass and a meal, gathering around the “table” with others to be nourished in body and spirit.

Welcoming college students from Notre Dame and Niagara Universities for service experience during their winter breaks – offering a place of warmth and hospitality in the midst of the winter storms.

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Students serve at the Sisters’ Food Pantry in North Philadelphia

Enjoying the presence of a former Redeemer Ministry Corps (RMC) member as she returned from Europe for a visit.  Each RMC becomes a member of the “family” during their year of service and community and the Sisters are always so grateful for a visit.

It is the moments of celebration, the pauses for daily prayers, the welcoming of guests, and the day to day sharing that nourish the spirit of community and ultimately nourish the awareness of God in our midst.  As the song goes,

“We are Family                                                                                                                        I got all my sisters with me                                                                                            We are family                                                                                                                      Get up ev’rybody and sing”

As we continue into this new year may you take time to reflect on the gift of the relationships in your life.  Offer a prayer of gratitude for your friends and family who are with you and encourage you along the journey.