Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Fatima Rosary Novena--and an Invitation

This week the community will kick off our 2017 mission campaign with a Rosary Novena that will conclude on the evening of October 13--the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady at Fatima (the day of the "Miracle of the Sun"). When we looked at Our Lady's exhortations from Fatima, and the headlines in our papers to this day, the mission campaign theme seems more sadly appropriate than we had planned: The Word Heals.

I was remembering what happened after Hurricane Katrina which largely spared the Pauline bookstore. (Our building sustained roof damage, and there was some wind-driven water damage in the chapel, but the flood waters never crossed the threshold.) As people moved back into the city and began stripping away the moldy drywall and putting soaked couches and cabinetry out for pickup, they started visiting our bookstore. People wanted to rebuild family libraries, starting from the most important books. There was a run on Bibles. One by one, the area's Adoration chapels reopened starting with a few hours each day. (It would be a year before perpetual adoration had fully resumed in New Orleans.)

With all the destruction that was before everyone's eyes, people knew it wasn't enough to rebuild homes. Hearts needed rebuilding, too. And the first place they looked was to the Word of God in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist.

Right now our country is desperate for healing in several places: Houston (remember that?) is still, yes, hauling moldy drywall and furniture out from millions of homes, while in Puerto Rico people are still without power, and in Las Vegas thousands are reeling from the shock of one man's murderous rage. And these are only the most obvious examples, from only one country in a world that is hurting all over.

The material needs are many, and they can be overwhelming. Invisible needs are even bigger, and
harder to identify.

You already know how far our mission can reach!
During our Rosary Novena, we will pray each day in a special way for people in need of a different kind of spiritual healing. You can send in your special intentions, too, and we will be praying three times a day for those needs. We'll also be sharing stories of how the Pauline mission has touched people in need of healing (sometimes in dramatic ways) and projects we are working on right now to reach still more people.

Often the projects that are meant to do the most good are precisely the ones we cannot expect will even cover the costs of producing them. So part of #thewordheals mission campaign will be inviting Catholics and other people of good will to help raise funds for the Pauline mission. We are using a really easy format that allows anyone to create a fundraising web page for sharing on social media. All they have to do is sign up and begin sharing daily updates, using the images that we have already created. Donations go straight to the Pauline mission; there is no hassle at all for collaborators.

Fundraising experts say that the number one reason people donate to a charity is because someone asked them. You may not be in a position to donate to #theWordHeals (you may be in Houston with a houseful of wet books, like my cousin) but you can be a part of bringing a healing word to others simply by creating one of those pages and sharing it with your social media circles or email contacts.  A Pauline lay cooperator who set up a page this morning has already inspired people to donate--and the campaign hasn't started yet! (It couldn't be easier; I just made a page myself in two clicks.)

So start this low-key fundraising with us, and then starting Thursday (Oct 5), go to #theWordHeals to pray with us three times a day: a short day-starter with Sr Mary Martha around 8 a.m. (Eastern Time); the noontime Angelus with me and the other sisters here in the Digital offices at the Pauline motherhouse; and an evening Rosary at 8 p.m. with sisters from the motherhouse. (You can also follow the prayers via Facebook at the Ask a Catholic Nun page.)

See you then!
And thanks.

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