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Photo of the Week - Week 17

Thursday, May 5th 2022 7:21 am

Welcome to May!

In the culture here (and many other places too!) May is devoted to Mary. Here in Ascención, there is a large blue and yellow display with a beautiful statue depicting Mary.

I will be spending the next four days in Yaguarú, a special small town where the sisters minister Thursday - Sunday. I thought it fitting that I use the Mary I saw in the church there back when we went there for the end of Carnaval.

This is Mary, Undoer of Knots. I was excited to see it when I was there. The devotions to Mary, Undoer of Knots focus on asking for her intercession to help undo the knots in our lives. St. Irenaeus is quoted as saying that Mary undid the knot of original sin, and so a special devotion was born from that.

There is a novena connected to Mary, Undoer of Knots, but I tend to ask for help with things that have me tied up inside.

If you're interested, the start of the novena begins...
Dearest Holy Mother, Most Holy Mary, you undo the knots that suffocate your children, extend your merciful hands to me. I entrust to You today this knot and all the negative consequences that it provokes in my life.

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Photo of the Week - Week 18

Thursday, May 12th 2022 2:24 pm

The skies were clear and bright as I snapped this photo. Admittedly, it's not very attractive. I still find it fascinating though. This is a photo of the solar water heater in Yaguarú. There are some in Ascención too, but I couldn't get a good angle on them. I love that they are using the sun's energy to heat the water for their rooms. As a matter of fact, this specific one heated the water in my room's shower! What a practical and ingenious way to take advantage of the sunny weather that is present most days here.

May is the anniversary of Laudato Si, a letter written to all people of goodwill concerning the environment and the need for us to care for creation. As a Laudato Si Animator, this encyclical is especially close to me. You can read the full letter here: vatican.va.

If you are interested in ideas on how you can care for creation around you, you can check out the Laudato Si Action Platform and create an account here: laudatosiactionplatform.org.

Photo of the Week - Week 8

Thursday, March 3rd 2022 6:44 pm

When these beautiful women come to call at the end of Carnaval - it's time to dance!

The last day of Carnaval was Sunday and we all went to Yaguarú (pronounced ya-wa-roo) to enjoy the day with a big picnic at the small pueblo about an hour from here. After the picnic, Sister Yanira and I went for a long walk and came back to relax. It was really hot that day but a group of mujeres (women) from the village came to the convent accompanied by drums and flute music. It is a tradition, that when the women (called "originales" I think!) come, they are dancing to mark the end of Carnaval. The joy of these women was incredible and they invited the sisters to join them (which they did of course!) When they invited me, I considered saying no, but then I decided to do it anyway. Dancing is not my thing, but I decided it was an honor to be invited and join in the fun. It was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by joyful, strong, wise women and to join in their dance. It was the thrill of a lifetime. I didn't realize it, but someone was recording our dance. You can see it by clicking here. God bless these women. What a way to end a great day!

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