March for Life 2015: Hope and Foreboding

January in the Tropics; January in the Nation’s Capital

What a difference twelve months can make. Last year at this time I was serving in Benque Viejo, Belize, fully immersed in the joys and sorrows of our busy SOLT mission at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.  The sad anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, passed with hardly a ripple in that Caribbean/Central American country where the Culture of Death has only recently begun to make its inroads.

In April of 2014, however, I was reassigned back to the United States- to Kansas City, as it turns out. And so it was that when January 22nd rolled around this year I found myself participating in the 42nd annual March for Life protesting the Court’s heinous ruling. With about 200 fellow pilgrims from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, I marched to the steps of that same Court whose ruling has caused an estimated 50 million deaths through abortion. One speaker dubbed our peaceful protest (about 500,000 in all) “The largest civil rights march ever.”

Pro-Life: Sine qua Non for SOLT

If the opportunity to participate in the March for Life was a novelty for me, protesting Roe v. Wade in less dramatic ways was not.  To be a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity by definition is to be pro-life, as longtime member Nikki Sullivan informed me back in 1985 when I applied to the community. In an informal interview over the phone, she gently asked where I stood on the issue.  Upon hearing that I was pro-life, and had openly protested abortion, Nikki voiced her approval: this was one issue on which SOLT was unanimous, she informed me.  Since becoming a member, I have prayed from time to time in front of the abortion mill in Corpus Christi, TX, like SOLT laity, priests, brothers and sisters.

March for Life 2015: Joy, Hope, Energy

Never having participated in a March for Life before, I hadn’t anticipated the joy, hope and energy of our protest, especially on the part of the youth. Truthfully, I was unprepared for the exuberance and steady confidence with which they proclaimed “We are the pro-fife generation!” and “We will end abortion in our time!”  The kids I met made it easy to believe what one of our rally speakers proclaimed: that of all the age groups, young people are the most pro-life. Talking with teens like Paige and Naomi from Benedictine College (below), I was left with an unexpected gift of hope: Yes, I believe it. Yes, I think legalized abortion will end in our times – largely because of this rising generation!

Steps of the Supreme Court: March’s End, Intercession’s Beginning

Our three-hour long March for Life ended on the steps of the Supreme Court – the institution whose 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision resulted in the impeccably legal deaths of millions of babies in the womb. Once each group reached its destination it reversed direction, moving against the sea of packed humanity towards Union Station and home.

The Supreme Court in the background; pushing against the tide as I return to ordinary life. The more I think about it, the more fitting the symbolism appears – and not only, unfortunately, in terms of abortion.

On Friday, January 16, 2015 the Supreme Court announced its intention to rule on whether states can ban gay unions.* As I write, 36 of 50 states allow these pseudo-marriages.  If the Court rules that states cannot forbid these unnatural arrangements (despite the frequent disapproval of the electorate), how will this country, and the world, change?  What will it mean for our children and grandchildren to live in a world where marriage as instituted by God is seen as merely one possible living arrangement? Will gay couples be content to peacefully coexist with those who uphold the sanctity of marriage?  St. John the Baptist, pray for us. (Mk. 6:18); St. Thomas More, pray for us; Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, pray for us.

Submitted by Sr. Mary Katherine Malmros, SOLT

*Marriage by definition is the permanent union of a man and a woman.  Speaking of gay “marriage” creates a linguistic and hence cultural beachhead for its acceptance.  In the war between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death, language is the first casualty.

March for Life Collage

Benedictine College students Paige( r) and Naomi, latest in a long line of Raven Pro-Lifers.

Bp. Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph said Mass for the pilgrims from his diocese and joined them in the March.

Sr. Mary Katherine Malmros, SOLT, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Never too young to work for the Culture of Life.

Obituary for Mary Loehr, Consecrated Widow of SOLT

Mary M. Loehr, 98, of Wheat Ridge. Passed away at her home surrounded by her family on December 21. Wife of the late Cornelius “Connie” Loehr. Mother of Sister Margaret Mary, Jim Loehr and Tom (Tissa) Loehr. Sister of Flo VanCamp-Tofani. Also survived by five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Rosary Monday December 29, 7:00 PM., with Funeral Mass Tuesday December 30, 10:30 AM., both at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 3900 Pierce St,. Wheat Ridge. Interment, Mt. Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Saints Peter and Paul School Windows Fund or Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, PO Box 4116 Corpus Christi, TX 78469.

Lay renewals on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Today, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a number of SOLT lay members are renewing their commitment to the community. Miguel and Ada Segovia, Joe and Jackie Hernandez, and Julianne Herrera will renew their committed membership. They have continued their spiritual and theological formation with SOLT and serve on the Christ the King ecclesial family team in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Anthony and Tessa Perez will enter a corporate lay contract today, as well. Anthony and Tessa have made the 33-day St. Louis de Montfort Consecration and have received spiritual formation through the American regional lay council.

Congratulations to all of them and thank you for your dedication to the Church!

Congratulations Mark and Natasha!

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On Saturday, December 6, 2014, the Nuptial Mass of Natasha Josephine Hermann and Mark Christopher Baca was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Los Chavez, NM, (just north of Belen.).  Fr. Dan Estes was the main celebrant, Fr. James Flanagan delivered the homily, and Fr. John McHugh concelebrated.

The wedding was attended by many members of both families, as well as many members of SOLT.  One of the special moments came when both sets of parents prayed blessings over each of the newlyweds.

Natasha has been a long-standing member of SOLT since the time she served in Our Lady’s mission in Benque in 2001, and then again from 2005-2007.  For the last several years she has lived in Bosque, NM serving with Our Lady’s community there.

We are rejoiced for Mark and Natasha and their new life together.  And we ask the special blessing of the Most Holy Trinity and Our Lady upon them.

Pictured with Mark and Natasha are Natasha’s sister Katie, Fr. James Flanagan, SOLT Founder (seated) and Fr. John McHugh, SOLT Co-founder

Obituary for Fr. John Hickey

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Fr. John Mary Joseph Riley Hickey, 85, went to be with our Heavenly Father on Saturday, November 08, 2014. He was born on October 02, 1929 in Shawnee, Oklahoma to Maurice A. Hickey and Cecilia Riley Hickey. He proudly served our country in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict. He was ordained a priest in 1996 and will be deeply missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Joanne Sissons, Helen Dieter; and a brother, Maurice Hickey, Jr.

He is survived by his brothers and sisters, Mary Mica of Austin, Texas, Ethleen H. Mikolajczak of Deer Park, Texas, Kelvin L. (Esther) Hickey, Dennis M. (Mollie) Hickey both of Pasadena, Texas, and Donald J. (Irene) Hickey of Richmond, Texas. He will also be missed by his numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2pm on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas. Burial will take place in Amarillo, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity at Our Lady of Corpus Christi, 1200 Lantana St., Corpus Christi, Texas 78407.

Obituary for Fr. Vincent A. Nicosia, SOLT

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Fr. Vincent Nicosia, age 87, who was born on March 10, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY and a resident of Bosque, NM went to be with our Lord on Wednesday, November 05, 2014. He was the first-born son of Anthony and Vincenza (Anna Ingrassia) Nicosia. He attended P.S. 202 and Boys High School in Brooklyn but never graduated. He proudly served in the United States Navy for two years towards the end of WWII. After he was honorably discharged from the service he attended a Technical Institute receiving a diploma in electronics. For some years he was employed as a TV technician until he and his brother moved out to Santa Monica, CA where they were both employed by Douglas Aircraft Company as electronic technicians in the missile division. It was during this period that he met and married Goldie Inzer, a widow with three children. After some 16 years with the then MacDonald Douglas Corp. (presently Boeing) he took a lay off rather than make a move with the company to another state. He then ventured into becoming a General Contractor doing alterations and remodeling to homes. After some 15 years as a contractor and the passing of his wife after a long illness, he discontinued the business and returned to school. It wasn’t very long after the death of his wife that he felt the calling by the Lord to follow in His footsteps. He was accepted at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Connecticut with the goal of being ordained a Catholic priest. After having become a professed member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, he was ordained at his home parish of St. Louis de Montfort in Santa Monica, CA on October 24, 1992 at the age of 65. After ordination he was made pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in La Joya, NM. After 8 ½ years as pastor, he retired from the parish at the age of 75. Returning to the Formation Center in Bosque, NM, he continued to work as Director of Financial Development for the Society.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Goldie Inzer Nicosia; step-daughter, Sondra Shlanta and husband, Alexis; brothers, Charles and Albert Nicosia; and brother-in-law, Robert Baer.

Fr. Vincent is survived by his step-son, Eugene Inzer and wife, Anita; step-daughter, Brenda Miklos; granddaughter, Norelle Shlanta; sister, Grace Baer; brother, Joseph Nicosia and wife, Marcia; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

All services will be held at Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, beginning with a Viewing on Friday, November 14th at 6:00 p.m.with a Rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. A Final Viewing will be held on Saturday, November 15th at 10:00 a.m. with a Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be held at the Santa Maria Catholic Cemetery on Friday, November 21st.

Santa Maria del Mexicano’s 40th Anniversary

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On October 25, 2014 our SOLT ecclesial family team will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Santa Maria del Mexicano in Colon, Queretaro, Mexico. Father Clifford Anthony Norman from the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado founded the mission in 1974.

Father Norman was concerned about the education of poor Mexican children who were only able to study up to the 6th grade, if even that much. He started to educate the children of the less fortunate families that surrounded the area of Santa Maria. He opened a junior high school and with the help of volunteer teachers was able to start the work of educating those who, otherwise, would not be able to continue their basic education. As the work became known, more and more people came seeking help from Santa Maria.  Included in those who come seeking help in caring for their children are many single mothers and a variety of government programs designed to serve children who have been abandoned, neglected, and abused and those who have run away from home.

At present Santa Maria has four houses of children, ages four to twenty and a home for abandoned elderly and young adults with special needs.The program has a grade school, a junior high school and a digital high school. Currently we have the privilege of serving 250 young people and 30 elderly, who receive love, housing, food, clothing, education, healthcare and spiritual formation.

In 1984 SOLT sent two sisters to assist Fr. Norman with this wonderful work. We have had the presence of sisters for thirty years. Our first SOLT priest arrived ten years ago and five year later the mission was turned over to SOLT.   SOLT has carried on the good work begun by Fr. Norman and our charism has added another dimension to Santa Maria.

On May 3, 2013 God called Fr. Norman home after many serious health problems.  He will be honored at this celebration and a bronze statue of him is being made for the occasion. It will be placed in the main house and unveiled by Bishop Faustino along with governor of Queretaro.

Sr. Mary Teresa Pacheco, SOLT

First member of SOLT to arrive and who continues to serve the mission.

Sisters Celebrate 25 Years of Religious Life

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On September 29, 2014, the Feast of the Archangels, three of our sisters celebrated twenty five years of vowed Religious Life. Sr. Maria Asuncion Gonzales, serving in Robstown, Texas, Sr. Maria Reina Ramirez, serving in Colon, Mexico, and Sr. Maria Marta Umul, serving in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The sisters traveled to their home country of Guatemala to celebrate their silver jubilee with their families and the local SOLT Community.

Sr. Asuncion, Sr. Reina, and Sr. Marta first entered SOLT in Melchor de Mencos in the Peten region of Guatemala and began their formation with the legendary missionary, Fr. John McHugh, SOLT, and Sr. Mary John Simon, SOLT.  Over the years, they have been assigned in a number of our houses around the world and have followed faithfully in the missionary footsteps of Fr. John and Sr. John!

Each sister was honored in her home parish with family and friends, music, food, and fun. The celebrations were each a tremendous witness of fidelity to Our Lord and a sign of hope for the entire People of God. The love and fraternal camaraderie shared among these sisters was a visible witness as they traveled from village to village to be present at each other’s celebration.

May they continue to witness the great joy of being called and chosen to belong solely to God.

Congratulations to our three dear sisters!

Thank you for your witness of love and fidelity to Our Lord, the Eternal Bridegroom!

SOLT Sister Writes on Conversion, Healing and Freedom

sr-miriamCORPUS CHRISTI, TX –Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, spent her college years in the mid-nineties playing volleyball on a scholarship and majoring in communications while she pursued a typical college life of parties, sports and freedom.

She seemed to have it all. In reality, her life was empty and broken.

Through the friendship of a holy and caring priest, Sr. Miriam’s life began to change as she realized Jesus was real and that He was the great love her heart desired.

Although originally hoping to work for ESPN or another news organization when she graduated from college, Sr. Miriam’s life was transformed in a very slow but deep way.

In 1998, she entered the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, a missionary community that serves globally in areas of deepest apostolic need. Sr. Miriam has served at missions in Rome, North Dakota, Seattle and Texas.

Sr. Miriam James is an inspiring evangelizer and radio personality.  She has served as a director of the SOLT Apostolic Novitiate for eight years, worked with elementary school students, coached high school volleyball, co-hosted a Catholic radio program, and spoken at events throughout the United States and Canada. students, . She is pursuing a master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute and attends courses at the Theology of the Body Institute.

On November 3 of this year, her first book will be available to the public. Titled: Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus, the book contains a forward by Christopher West.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Urgency of Divine Love

In 1673, Jesus began appearing  to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a humble nun of the Visitation Order, in Paray Le Monial, France.  He revealed to her the tender wonders of His love for her, desiring through her to share these same wonders with the whole world.

In the course of His revelations to St. Margaret Mary, Jesus complained of our ingratitude.  But His complaint was weighted with the sorrow of a lover who knows not what else He can do to gain the attention of his beloved, a beloved who is totally distracted and uncomprehending.  In the great apparition which occurred sometime during the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1675, He said, in what must have been an imploring spirit, “Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love.”

We should ask ourselves: What is it we behold, what is it we see, when we look at the Heart of Christ? What is Jesus trying so hard to show us?

It is interesting that Jesus says: “Behold the heart,” and not:  “Behold My heart.”  Jesus, in His Incarnation, comes to reveal the Father to us. Scripture says Jesus “is the image of the invisible God.” (Col 1:15) He tells the Apostles:  “If you see Me, you see the Father.”  (Jn 14:9)

So is He not really saying: “Behold the Heart…which is the Heart of the Father.  If you only knew the depths of His love!” ?

One of the most compelling revelations of the Heart of God in Scripture is found in the father of the prodigal son. The younger son, returning home after losing everything, though genuinely repentant, is in survival mode. He approaches the father completely broken by his own sinful choices. He has utterly spurned his father’s love and squandered every gift that has been given to him.

Yet the love in the heart of the father who has been anxiously watching and praying for his son’s return sees only that his son is back.  And though the son has no real expectations, other than to be treated as a slave, the father’s response instead is an explosion of love! He orders the best robe, a ring for his finger, sandals for his feet, and the commencement of a feast!  His heart has no other response.  Not anger, not judgment, not punishment.  Only rejoicing, tearful embraces, and celebration!  Perhaps we are sometimes held back from approaching or returning to our Father, because we have the same poor expectations as the prodigal son did.  Our defective appreciation of God’s love only harms us!

The sufferings of our lives, especially those that come from our sinful choices, wound our hearts and often plunge us into our own little hells on earth.  But the Wound in the Heart of Christ, which we caused, is different.  It is a gateway into the Father’s love.  Entering that Wound takes us on our first steps into Heaven.

Witness the promises of Jesus to those who recognize His love, the Father’s love, and seek to live in the Heart that is the source of that love.  These promises were given to St. Margaret Mary as part of the revelations of Divine Love and are made to those who are devoted to Jesus’ Sacred Heart:

1.  I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2.  I will establish peace in their families.

3.  I will console them in all their troubles.

4.  They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.

5.  I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6.  Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.

7.  Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8.  Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

9.  I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.

10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.

12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

Does that not already sound like Heaven begun on earth?  Isn’t that what we’re seeking?

But there’s even more.  Poor as we really are, and we are all poor in the presence of God, just as stripped as the prodigal son, we have the possibility of being able to bring joy and consolation to the Heart of Jesus, to the Heart of the Father, by returning to Him, by remembering Him in the ways He asks above.  This helps repair, in some mysterious and superabundant way, the hurt Jesus feels, the hurt the Father feels, over the indifference and ingratitude of the vast majority of men.  When we behold the Heart that has loved us so, these are small requests.  But fulfilling them can transform our lives.  And at the end of our lives, these practices will safely lead us through the Wound of Divine Love into the glory of Eternity.

Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT
May 3, 2014