Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Call to Action

Dear Brother Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, Monks, Sisters and Lay Faithful:

As you know from the entries on my blog at www.stmaron.org, since January there has been a concerted Catholic effort to address the very troubling Health and Human Services (HHS) coercive mandate requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our nation’s history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching. And this will purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption.The US Conference of Catholic Bishops www.usccb.org responded to many urgent situations with the Administration, Congress and now the Judiciary. We now need the help and support of all Catholics to address a wide range of issues from our concerns over religious liberty to the Church’s teaching on sexuality and openness to new human life. Some of these efforts will be catechetical and others will encourage parishioners to take some needed action.
Our focus should be on “Religious Liberty, the Most Cherished of American Freedoms.” (See the following article which was a nationwide bulletin insert in April-May, 2012). Parishioners are encouraged to send messages to the President, Members of Congress and the HHS, during this limited comment period.
Lastly, I ask you to join me and all Catholics throughout the country in a fourteen-day prayer vigil from June 21, 2012, the Feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, until July 4, 2012. I ask every parishioner to offer a decade of rosary each of these fourteen days. Likewise, I ask every pastor to add a special intention during each liturgy of those fourteen days for religious liberty and the good of our country. Let freedom ring! And may the radiant beauty of Catholic teaching ring!
With prayerful best wishes, I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ
+Gregory John Mansour


Women’s Retreat day at the convent. On Friday June 8th we had a prayer day from 10:00AM to 4:00PM with 12 women from the local community. Pictured are the group of ladies enjoying the luncheon meal and fellowship with one another.

One Family in Christ the Light. Last weekend we had friends over at the convent for supper. Pictured in our dining room from left to right, Janet Charron, her husband Ray, Kathleen & Diane (friends visiting from New York), and Fr. Jack Morrison, pastor of Our Lady of Purgatory, New Bedford.    

Priest friends from New York visit our convent. Pictured from Left to right, Fr. Rudy Gonzalez , Sister Marla Marie, Sister Therese Maria, Fr. David DeSimone. Fr. David offered the Latin Catholic Liturgy in our chapel.


Rest in His Light - A Joyful Retreat

On Friday June 1 to Saturday June 2 we hosted a women’s retreat at our Mother of the Light Convent. We had seven energetic young women attend from St. Theresa’s Church, Brockton and Our Lady of the Cedar’s Church, Boston. The theme of the retreat “Rest In His Light” was planned to give the women a chance to come away from the hectic rush of daily life and rest their body and soul by nurturing their relationship with Jesus, and in joyful fellowship and communal prayer.
The program included presentations on the life of prayer, Sacred Scripture, personal reflection, guided adoration before the Holy Mysteries, Ramsho & Safro, recreation and even dabke on the beach!  We shared great laughs, beautiful times of quiet, healing and deep prayer, as we drew closer to one another in Christ’s radiant light.
This short time apart was grace-filled, as expressed in the words of some of the participants:
“The resting in his light retreat was so beautiful. There are honestly no words to describe the Holy Spirit’s presence, but you know when he is there. The first time we had adoration in the chapel I had a hard time hearing God, because I was doing most of the talking, and even when I tried to listen it felt as if there was a wall between us. It’s kind of like talking and I wanted him to hear me, but there was a wall; maybe I was asking him things that he did not want to answer at that moment.
Well, any way on the second day I went to confession. After confession I felt like the eyes of my heart were again open, and the wall was broken. It felt wonderful to receive with a pure heart. The second adoration when by so quickly, and I wish wished it could have lasted longer. When I quieted my mind and my thoughts, I could feel the Holy Spirit’s presence. The Sprit does do not really speak in words, but I know he is telling me something, I not really sure what, but it was beautiful. It was so nice to dedicate 24 hours to talking to and learning more about God. 
I learned that there is always room for our relationship with God to grow, even though sometimes it feels like we have reached our limit. God is infinite.” -- Emily
Another young woman writes,

“I had a wonderful time at the convent with Sister Marla and Sister Therese. The weekend was filled with many activities that engaged me to think deeply about being a Maronite and what we believe in. Due to our fast moving lifestyle, and being busy with several things such as school, work, and other activities, I sometimes feel that I do not devote enough time to prayer and to myself. While at the convent, I decided to power off my cell phone so that I wouldn’t be distracted with the “outside world”. I wanted to dedicate my full time to prayer and to the people that were around me. If I had any questions about the Maronite faith the sisters explained each question and gave reasoning to the answer. After spending a whole 24 hours with the sisters, I have learned many new things, met new people and had an overall great time. I would love to repeat this experience again.” -- Julie

"I just want to thank you again for hosting us at your home this past weekend. It was truly a nice (but short) time away to come relax, pray, reflect and get to know you better! I only look forward to more events such as these." -- Sandra