Sr. Claire Marie, COMP – My first CTF-SOS DRS experience in Milwaukee – A Personal Reflection
My first CTF-SOS DRS experience in Milwaukee
As I walked into the door after 27 hours of traveling my body hit the sack and doused off under a wonderful old American style comforter!
Surely the Lord has no time to lose with those who come to this CTF/SOS DRS Headquarters!
As I tried to wake up in the morning I found myself included in a series of meetings in the morning and afternoon with the wonderful people that God put on Fr. Scott’s Committees: a holy, faithful, intelligent team of co-workers from Augusta, Houston, Boston, the Philippines, and Rome. We were as such a group of lay people and religious – including three Camillian priests.
I would say it is an excellent blend of one of the Church’s branches of the vine serving the poor and sick affected by man-made and natural disasters.
The overall spiritual field of these days of hard work and prayers together was one of amazement at how God and his servants would want to share their life, time, and efforts to work to help build the ‘Kingdom of Light’ in the midst of an evil generation…yes if Satan and his co workers are programming evil those ‘children of the light’ are helping build a new world of charity, hope and generosity.
In the midst of these reunions to which I had been invited by Fr. Scott, he asked me on the first day to give a talk to the all the members present about my view on the “signs of the times” and to give a series of talks on Our Lady of Medjugorje’s messages to the world.
And as such I gave on my first day a conference to the CTF-SOS DRS members about the “signs of the times”, a theme I thought would be very much in touch with the natural and man-made disasters that have been increasing in number through the last decades all over the world.
‘Dear children, read Sacred Scripture. Live it and pray to understand the signs of times.’ This is related to Consecration of the World by Pope John Paul II to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25th 1984 in St. Peter’s Square and the crisis of faith and of morality referred to in Cardinal Ratzinger’s Report of 1985.
After the meetings were over and most of the people in the house had left, I gave my second talk on Friday morning in the parish next door (Immaculate Conception). It was followed by a wonderful fellowship with the elderly little Polish, Italian and Irish women of the parish. We were all invited by the SOS DRS headquarters to have tea and coffee together. It was another lovely moment of grace for all of us to see the beauty of God’s faithful ones.
On Saturday the program was to travel with Fr. Scott, Fr. Paolo, and Fr. Aris to Appleton, WI (Diocese of Green Bay) where I would experience for the first time a CTF-SOS DRS fundraising appeal. To visit other parishes for missionary work has been for me just like a natural thing to go through since I was for 11 years in Europe the head of the organization of Popular Missions in Italian parishes for our Marian Community (Oasis of Peace).
As I was hosted by the SOS DRS HQ it gave me an opportunity to experience a community-based, Eucharistic-centered organization with common prayers every morning (the world mission rosary) and Holy Mass celebrated by the different priests. Meanwhile the experience continued in the sharing of the chores that needed to be done around the house so as to clean and cook and take care of the rooms where all the guests had stayed. As I was asked to work with Fr. Aris on different chores around the house it gave me great joy to work together with this wonderfully open-minded and service-oriented priest of the Philippines. I will continue to support him in my prayers after I travel back to Rome.
And of course we had the celebration of Our Lady’s birthday on September 8th , which was in many ways the high point of my visit to Milwaukee! We were at the Sacred Heart Croatian Church (49th and Wells in Milwaukee). There we where we experienced a very lively, strong and prayerful parish who remained for 3 1/2 hours and attentively listened to my third talk on Our Lady’s messages of ‘Prayer, the call to Holiness, and Peace. After this wonderful intense experience we were invited to a get together with the parish members in the hall and the celebration of Our Lady’s birthday was accompanied by a beautiful birthday cake for HER. We had a lovely time of sharing and answering questions which gave my heart a lot of joy and hope that America still has a lot of people who are serious about their faith and their love for Our Lady.
As I am preparing to go back to Rome I come away with such gratitude and hope for the fantastic work of Fr. Scott’s team at the CTF-SOS DRS in Milwaukee.
May the Lord continue to send humble workers to the Milwaukee HQ, and may Our Lady watch and guide your very steps. Thank you Fr. Scott for inviting me.
Sr. Claire Marie, CMOP
September 9, 2009