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#TheseSistersHaveNames

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These Sisters Have Names

Anselm, Reginette, Judith and Marguerite.

These are the names of the four women religious slain in Yemen last Friday March 4.

The lives of these four Missionaries of Charity came to a sudden end while they were preparing breakfast.  Four gunmen stormed the nursing home where the sisters worked and and killed 14 in total, according to church officials.

Would you join us in sharing the four names of these ‘martyrs of charity’? We pray for them and all the other countless women religious in the Church’s history who are martyrs for their faith.

In St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis prayed that Blessed Mother Teresa “accompany to paradise these daughters of hers, martyrs of charity, and that she would intercede for peace and a sacred respect for human life.”

Sister Anselm, 57, was the youngest of seven siblings in an Indian family of farmers. Fellow missionaries said she lived and died for the people. While not much is known about the three other sisters, including 44-year-old Sister Margherite and 32-year-old Sister Reginette, both of Rwanda, and 41-year-old Kenyan Sister Judith, they are not forgotten. They were daughters, sisters and spiritual mothers to many. Bishop Paul Hinder, the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, which includes Yemen, said they  “sacrificed their lives by following their own charism.”

Churches and communities across the world have rallied to support these four martyrs across the world. Photos show Yemenis gathering the next day to protest the attack. In Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, will celebrate the Holy Eucharist March 11 with other clergy, religious and lay faithful. In Rwanda, a requiem Mass honors the mission accomplished by the sisters, leting other Christians know of their sacrifice, Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege of the Diocese of Kabgayi told Rwanda’s The New Times.

Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India, said “this is an act of wanton killing; a pointless murder of nuns who had opted to lead a life of celibacy; to be of service to God, the poor and the needy. The dedicated sisters were brave women who had chosen to ignore the ongoing turmoil and violence in Yemen to be by the side of the elderly and the needy” to The Telegraph.

Sister Sally, the mother superior of the Yemeni community, survived the attack and safely escaped. Father Tom Uzhunnali, an Indian Salesian priest who was in the chapel at the time of the attack, remains missing, ANI reports.

The names of these four Missionaries of Charity were released on March 8, which is recognized as International Women’s Day as well as the first day of National Catholic Sisters Week, which runs through March 14.

“The dignity of women is their strength and faith in the God who created them,” said Father Leo Patalinghug, a well-known priest and host of Grace Before Meals said in a Facebook post. “If we want to know the power of women, look no further to the one who gave birth to us. And in a special way, look to these women – Missionaries of Charity – martyred in Yemen by terrorists. They stood strong to care for the poorest and weakest. They gave the ultimate sacrifice. Why do news outlets avoid talking about these wonderful and powerful women? May these Holy Women of God pray for us.”

Since January 2015, Yemen remains battered in an ongoing civil war. According to the United Nations, more than 2,400 have died in the conflict, including many children and civilians, both Muslim and Christian.

Sisters Anselm, Reginette, Judith and Marguerite, pray for us.

James Ramos is a storyteller and designer with the Texas Catholic Herald in Houston. Follow him on Twitter (www.twitter.com/plusjames) and Instagram (instagram.com/plusjames). He’s also great at high fives and group selfies.

Signs of the Sacred

(Editor’s Note: Very Rev. Paul Stein is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a guest blogger for Imagine Sisters)

Having been the parochial vicar of two parishes and the pastor of a third, each with a parish school, I have been struck by the great tragedy of the general absence of religious sisters in parish life.  It is not primarily because in the past they made Catholic education affordable or because they are great teachers of the faith – both being most certainly true – but because of the importance of who they are.  While religious profession as a sister is not a sacrament as ordination to Holy Orders is, it is nonetheless a sacramental.

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We’re Glad You’re Here!

Hello and welcome to the new Imagine Sisters Blog! My name’s Greg Iwinski, and I’m working as the new Editor of this part of the Imagine Sisters movement! Whether you’re a Mother Superior, a young woman discerning her vocation, a parent trying to learn more about religious life, or even someone who isn’t sure they believe in God… we’re glad you’re here! God is moving, brothers and sisters – and there is always something to talk about with our faith. So let’s talk about what this blog is:

The Imagine Sisters blog is a place you’ll want to check in on regularly – we’ve worked hard to build a team of writers from all different parts of the Church. Among our writers are, of course, sisters – along with priests, seminarians, novices, parents, and even a few young people actively discerning right now! Wherever you’re at in your faith and vocation journey, there’s someone going through the exact same thing!

Even the Pope loves our blog!

If you’re new to the Imagine Sisters Movement, make sure to check out our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages and the ‘Discover’ section, where we have a ton of great content that answers some initial questions you may have – Why do we have the religious life? What are sisters? What’s up with those awesome outfits?

If you’re already a fan of Imagine Sisters, this’ll be the place to keep coming back to for fresh content every week. Maybe we’ll be talking about a discernment novena; maybe we’ll be reflecting on how God made springtime to remind us that even in hopeless winter there is still life. (Can you tell we’re from the Midwest?) You’ll also find things like interviews and videos from the events we visit throughout the year.

So if you’re reading this… welcome! We’re glad you’re here. Look around, check out some blogs, and know that we are praying for you. More important than any blog we write or video we make is the fact that all fulfillment, all vocations, and all joy come from the heart of Christ. We are all seeking His voice, and we hope this blog helps you hear Him a little more clearly.

In Christ,

Greg Iwinski and the Imagine Sisters Blog Team

What is Authentic Femininity?

“The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at his moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women imbued with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.” (Bl. John Paul, II, Mulieris Dignitatem)

What does it mean to live as an authentically feminine woman? There are books and articles, essays and poems, paintings and hymns that all capture the ideal of femininity.

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St. Therese Novena starts Saturday!

St. Therese, the Little Flower, is known and loved by people all over the world . . . and she has been interceding for Imagine Sisters from the beginning! St. Therese’s feast is October 1st, and we are praying the St. Therese Novena starting Saturday, September 22!! Novenas are an ancient tradition in the Church of 9 days of prayer for a particular intention. St. Therese promised to send down from Heaven a shower of roses, responding to the prayers entrusted to her. We are asking St. Therese pray for the One Rose Invitation, to send down a shower of vocations to the religious life, so we can have countless new sisters to help bring the light and love of the Christ to the world! To help you remember to pray the novena prayers each day, you can sign up for daily emails from praymorenovenas.com The official intention for the Novena is the One Rose Invitation! Join us in asking our friend St. Therese for help–we are confident she won’t let us down!

For a biography of St. Therese: Biography from Catholic.org 

 
 
 

Hallucinate, (or Imagine) Sisters

Theresa Noble is a prenovice, aka nun in training, with the Daughters of St. Paul in the US. She left her job in California with eBay to follow God two years ago. She currently lives in a convent in Boston where she prays, evangelizes through the media, bakes bread and blogs at pursuedbytruth.blogspot.com

The beginning of my discernment was a moment of imagining sisters, literally. I actually hallucinated sisters.

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