St. Monica’s Senior Living welcomes Sisters to their Memory Care Staff

Collaboration, a positive endeavor between two Augustinian communities resulted in St. Monica’s addition of two Sisters joining their staff. Sr. Gregoria, the former Mother General of the Holy Spirit Community, approached Sr. Rita-Maria, the Mother General of the Sisters of St. Rita, both are German-based communities with their Motherhouse in Germany. Sr. Gregoria, with St. Monica’s in mind, approached Sr. Rita-Maria with the idea of having two Sisters from India come and work at St. Monica’s Memory Wing. This request was met with enthusiasm. As a result, Sr. Vineeta and Sr. Karuna are now part of St. Monica’s Senior Living staff and make their home with the Sisters of St. Rita.

Both Sisters are from Kerala, India, an area in Southern India, where their families still reside. They both are trained nurses who previously worked in the rustic parts of India where there were no doctors or medical facilities. Sr. Vineeta and Sr. Karuna both speak English and many tribal dialects of India. They are part of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, an Augustinian Order. They were approached by the Holy Spirit Community to relocate to Racine. After prayer and contemplation, they agreed and made the long journey to the United States. Once they landed in Chicago, they were welcomed to Wisconsin by snow covered fields and trees. When asked how they liked the snow, their eyes filled with wonder and they commented, “it is very beautiful, but it is too cold.” Both Sisters are adjusting to US culture and looking forward to working as Certified Nursing Assistant’s in St. Monica’s Memory Care Wing.

Loretta Baxter, St. Monica’s Administrator had this to say, “Sr. Vineeta and Sr. Karuna have made their presence felt throughout our community, these Sisters are filled with joy and vitality; they are already part of our family.”

St. Monica’s welcomes Sr. Vineeta (left) and Sr. Karuna (right).

Dear Sisters of St. Rita’s

Dear Sisters of St. Rita’s,
I would like to share with you how blessed and honored I feel being part of yesterday ceremony!
The Archbishop read The Scripture from John 4:24

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

During the Consecration of the chapel this scripture was fulfill.
It started with the smiles and hugs of people coming to be part of this event, their faces were in awe when entering the new chapel, hands pointing to beautiful altar and details of the chapel.
Then started gradually building up with the procession of The Knights of Columbus followed by the Pole bearer, Novices, the Priests and The Archbishop. I never in my life was in such proximity to so many priests!
I was amazed by the flawlessness of this event –everything was flowing so smooth, solemn and synchronized. Archbishop, Priests, Novices, Nuns, Singer, Father Brian at the organ and parishioners were in such unison and harmony! Father Brian did wonderful job putting together the booklet for the ceremony!
I was in tears when Mother Superior, Sr. Rita Marie (who made the long journey from Germany!) and Loretta were walking towards the altar – in slow motion, humble and honored to be instruments of God Who gave vision and provision for our new Chapel and Memory Care for St. Monica’s community.
I was at the other side of the East door of the chapel when the Archbishop blessed it. He was coming towards the door telling me with his eyes that I need to step back and at the same time to stay close to receive my blessing. He anointed the pillar of the East Door and I was under that anointing!

Ezekil 10:18. Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.

19. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the East gate of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

This scripture was fulfilled in that moment!

Another miracle happened when The Archbishop lifted his hands in prayer for The Memory Care Wing. I was on the South side of building. Suddenly I felt the urge to look towards the West- The Rosary Walk. Through the window I saw many yellow leaves were swirling, dancing not falling down – waving and swaying in the air – how beautiful! After the Archbishop finished his prayer there were no leaves, no wind- just calm.

I truly believed that we experienced the visitation of God’s angels at this moment!

Dear Sisters of St. Rita, I don’t think that my English vocabulary have enough superlatives to express my gratitude for your prayers, hard work and just being Lord’s vessels to make this October 18, 2017 such a special joyful day for St. Monica’s Community, Sisters of St. Rita’s and Racine!

God Bless you!

Lent – what does it mean?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, “the word Lent is derived from the Old English Word “lencten”, which denoted both the season of spring and the ecclesiastical season of Lent. The ecclesiastical sense developed from the fact that Lent partially coincides with spring.”

As God gave us four seasons to enjoy, the Church Year gives us also different seasons to help us walk the journey of faith. Lent follows the Christmas season and a short time of Ordinary Time. Although we see some snow outside and it is still cold, we know that nature is anxiously waiting to burst forth the new life that has been there even though we were not aware of it.

During Lent we are invited by God to make a journey inward. We look and see what new life wants to burst forth if we just recognize it, asking God to help us.

Our life is a journey of constant transformation but we do need God’s grace.

During this penitential season where we prepare for Easter, Jesus’s Resurrection and new life, God invites us with the words of the Prophet Hosea: “Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart..Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.”

As Anita M. Constance, S.C. points out, “This is a journey we will make again and again. This is a time to set our faces toward the Light and to renew our commitment to God’s faithful love”.

Sometimes we l look at Lent in a somewhat negative way – we see the words “fasting, giving up, repenting”…. forgetting that it is a time of Grace and opportunity for tremendous spiritual growth.

Pope Francis presents to us a different way of fasting.

He says: “Do you want to fast this Lent?

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope
  • Fast from worries and trust in God
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.”
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

Let us remember that God’s invitation to come back to Him is not just for Lent, it stands forever. And let us place our hand into the hands of God, trusting in His guidance.

I wish us all a blessed and grace-filled Lenten journey.

Sr. Angelica