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Articles in this newsletter:
“Sister Said...”
Vocational Question: Vacillating Feelings
   About Vocation

Convent Trivia
Photo Slide Show (separate web page)
Calendar

Our Apostolate of Prayer
Send intentions for Sisters’ Novenas
St. Michael’s Academy Boarding Facilities

Join the Sisters’ mailing list:
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Sisters honor St. Joseph with special devotions on his feast

Alternate version: PDF Format

Summer 2011

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

April snows bring May rains... oh, no... that isn’t how it’s supposed to go, is it?!† But it certainly is how it has been here!† Our winter months decided to stretch themselves into late April, bringing snow into Easter Week, and cold wet days for early May!†But cool temperatures and dark skies can neither dull nor dampen the heart that sings a loving Alleluia with the Risen Christ and His Joyful Mother!†And so it has been spring in our hearts, regardless of the weather.†

Spring in a teaching convent means a flurry of activity as teachers and students scramble to complete the last lessons and prepare special events for the end of the school year.†Despite the activity, our Sisters strive to live these months in union with our Blessed Mother, to whom holy Mother Church dedicates this special month.

Anima Mariae
Soul of Mary, sanctify me.
Heart of Mary, inflame me.
Hands of Mary, support me.
Feet of Mary, direct me.
Immaculate eyes of Mary,
look upon me.
Lips of Mary, speak for me.
Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me.
O Mary, hear me.
In the wound of the Heart of Jesus, hide me.
Let me never be separated from thee.
From my enemy defend me.
At the hour of my death call me,
And bid me to come to thine Immaculate Heart;
That thus I may come to the Heart of Jesus,
And there with the saints praise thee
For all eternity. Amen.

—The Reign of Jesus through Mary    
Gabriel Denis, SMM    

  

And with this beautiful month of May, the “Fatima months” begin. The lyrical story of Mary’s monthly apparitions in 1917 to three shepherd children in the Portugese countyside is well known to most Catholics. The†motherly admonitions given to us by Our Lady during these six visits underline certain aspects of the Christian life which we would do well to remember. “Pray the Rosary every day... Do not offend the Lord our God any more... Sacrifice yourselves for sinners... My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that will lead you to God.” Less known, perhaps are the revelations made to the youngest seer, Jacinta, dealing with purity and modesty. With the advent of warmer weather, there is such a temptation to fall in with the immodest fashions that surround us in our neo-pagan society. Let us follow the example of Our Heavenly Mother, and always dress in a manner becoming a Christian, recalling those beautiful words from the prayer, the Anima Mariae: Immaculate eyes of Mary look upon me!

What other treasures can we find in this prayer to reflect upon at this time of year? For June, the month of the Sacred Heart, there is: In the wound of the Heart of Jesus, hide me!

“O love of God Incarnate within a human heart!” This Incarnate Love is Jesus, the Son of Mary! Who better than His Mother can teach us the secrets of the Heart of her Son? And as St. Louis de Montfort tells us, Mary does not keep for herself any of the honor that we give her, but faithfully passes it all on to Jesus. She it is who will teach us to return love for love. So as we honor the Heart of Jesus during this month of June, let us offer to Him each action of our day using the prayer taught by Our Lady to the children at Fatima: “O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of poor sinners.”

“Sister Said...”

A fourth grader was showing Sister a prayerbook her godfather had given her as a Confirmation gift. Sister flipped through the pages until she came to an Act of Spiritual Communion.

“Sister, I like to pray that prayer on the days that I donít go to Holy Communion.”

“Thatís wonderful! Did you know there are other times you can make a spiritual communion? For example, just before you go to bed make a deal with the Sacred Heart of Jesus; tell Him that every time your heart beats during the night, you want it to be an act of love for Him.”

“Well, in that case, Sister, Iím going to go on a jog before I go to bed so I can give Jesus lots more heartbeats!”

—St. Michaelís Academy, Mount St. Michael, 2011

Vocational Questions

 
A Sister prays at the altar of repose after Holy Thursday ceremonies

Our Apostolate of Prayer

Are you worried about a loved one? Is there a problem that is weighing heavily upon your heart? Send in your intentions, and the Sisters will commend them in their prayers and Masses, especially during our upcoming Novenas:

Our Mother of Perpetual Help
   (June 27)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
   (July 16)
Immaculate Heart of Mary
   (August 22)

Dear Sister,

Sometimes I feel God is calling me to the married state, and other times I’m sure He wants me to be a nun. What’s going on? Is this normal? Sincerely, Michelle

Dear Michelle,

Yes, it is “normal” to have feelings that alternate between religious life and the married state. One reason for this is that the decision about oneís vocation is not as clear-cut as deciding between right and wrong. That’s because vocation is not a matter of choosing good over evil. Religious life is a good thing, but so is marriage, and so is a single life out in the world. A young woman can become a saint by entering the convent, by getting married and raising children, or by living virtuously in the single state. Because all three choices are good, we get confused and don’t know where to turn.

One thing to remember is that the attraction to marriage comes naturally to most people, whereas considering the religious vocation requires more effort and an active faith — there is something supernatural about it. One thing is certain: it was Christ Himself Who told us that the religious life is the most perfect state: “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all thou hast and come follow Me.”

You must admit that it would be much easier to serve God wholeheartedly when one is unencumbered by the distractions and obligations of married life, by attachment to worldly goods and to one’s own will. Not that it’s easy to give up those things! But there are so many helps in the religious life — the Holy Rule, the prayer life, the availability of the sacraments, the spiritual exhortations and guidance, the good example of other religious, the strength afforded by the common life, and so much more.

But the thought of these things will have no appeal to one who lives on a too natural level. So be sure to try to live very close to Jesus and Mary. A religious vocation can be choked out in a soul that does not live a life of prayer and lively faith. Without a strong and active faith, how can one be spurred on to that generous love that looks for no reward but God Himself?

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Sister Mary

Convent Trivia

Did you know that the Sisters take turns crowning the statue of our Blessed Mother every day during the month of May? Each Sister may make her own crown, and she also chooses the hymn to be sung to Our Lady that day during the crowning.

Summer Catechism

The Sisters will be traveling to the following areas to teach catechism this summer:

July 7-13 Southern California
July 7-16 Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island
July 8-18 Ohio, Pennsylvania

Are you interested in having the Sisters teach catechism in your area next summer? Or would you like to help sponsor the Sisters’ travels for catechism? Please contact us!

St. Michael’s Academy Boarding Facilities

Catholic education is both a priceless investment and an absolute necessity if our youth are to carry on the Faith for future generations. But for some families there are economic obstacles that stand in the way. A number of parents throughout the country want to send their children here to St. Michael’s Academy but cannot afford to pay for tuition and boarding. Would you consider promoting the cause of Catholic education and our holy Faith by giving a donation towards this cause, or even by sponsoring a child?

St. Michael’s Academy was established to teacher and foster the traditional Catholic Faith in addition to a high standard of academics. A dynamic school that is about the ever-challenging and eternal business of knowing, loving and serving God, St. Michael’s is a place where parents, teachers and students are committed to Catholic education and the process of cultivating the virtues that form solid Christian character. Love of God and neighbor, high morals, proper decorum and self-respect are the goals we hold up for our students.

Please do consider supporting the Sisters’ work in the apostolate of Christian Education. If even a cup of cold water given in Our Lord’s Name will have its reward, certainly He will not fail to reward even more abundantly those who help nourish and feed the souls of His little ones with the love of God and their holy Faith.

If you would like to give a donation or sponsor a student, or would like to learn more about our boarding facilities, please contact us.

Calendar

June 13
18-26

27
29
30
  Sr. Mary Antoinette’s feastday
Sisters’ Novena in Preparation for the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Send your intentions in to be remembered during the Sisters’ annual retreat.
Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Sisters’ Vows and Silver Jubilee Ceremonies
Sr. Mary Petra’s feastday
Sr. Mary Paula’s feastday
July 1
5-12

6-15
12
16
  Sr. Corinne Marie’s feastday
Camp St. Philomena for Girls in western Washington; sponsored by the Marian Sisters. See details at www.CampStPhilomena.com
Sisters’ Novena in Preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Sr. Mary Veronica’s feastday
Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
August 9
13-21
15
22
  Sr. Marie Vianney’s feastday
Sisters’ Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Feast of the Assumption BVM
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
September 6
26
29
  School begins
Sr. Renee Marieís feastday
Feast of St. Michael: Titular feast of Mount St. Michael, St. Michaelís Convent, and St. Michaelís Academy; Sr. Michael Marieís feastday

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Anima Mariae is the free quarterly newsletter of the CMRI Sisters.
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St. Michael’s Convent
8502 N. St. Michael’s Rd.
Spokane, WA 99217
Phone: (509) 467-0986 ext. 123
Fax: (509) 467-1177
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