HMSS in the Media
Recently, some of our Sisters and our covent pup had the opportunity to participate in a few Shows, Articles, and Podcasts!
Take a look:
Mother Rosario, Regional Superior, and Kim Johnson, Executive Director of Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center, were featured on the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Catholic Life Show
Sr. Marie Refugio, HMSS joined The Dunces’ Corner Podcast for the first time to discuss the spiritual motherhood of Religious Sisters. Listen here.
Gia, our convent pup, in Baton Rouge continues to make headlines! Read and Watch about how she is helping us to minister to children in our schools!
Featured locally on WBRZ
Featured locally by Baton Rouge Proud
Featured locally by The Advocate
Featured locally by Local Today
Featured nationally by Catholic News Agency
Featured nationally by Aleteia
A Ground-breaking Moment
On January 26, 2023, we broke ground for our new Novitiate House!
This historic moment for our Region began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, presided by Bishop Michael G. Duca of Baton Rouge, followed by the Groundbreaking Ceremony and reception.
We pray in thanksgiving for all the generosity we have already received toward reaching our fundraising goal and humbly ask that the Most Holy Trinity continues to guide us on this exciting journey that will bless the future of our Community and the world.
Click here see more photos from the Groundbreaking.
Click here to read more about the Ceremony, featured in the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Catholic Commentator.
Because of our increase in vocations, we are building a two-story, 14,574 square-foot Novitiate House on our Baton Rouge property, Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center. There will be 18 bedrooms to accommodate 36 novices.
The projected completion date of the construction project is December 2023 with an estimated total cost to build the Novitiate House at $5.2 million. To date, $2.7 million has been raised toward the project.
In supplication, we pray for donors and benefactors to contribute toward the remaining $2.5 million debt. To make donations online, visit www.mercedariansisters.org/novitiate-house-building-fund/ or mail checks payable to The Sister Dulce Foundation, Inc., 17560 George O’Neal Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70817. For more information contact Kim Johnson at 225.752.8480.
Sunday Reflection – October 24, 2021
“As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.” – Mk. 10:46-52
The Gospel passage proclaimed this past Sunday is packed with significance, and is one that all of us can relate to. For me, this includes my vocation story. Bartimaeus is a blind beggar struggling to find his way. He was looked upon differently because of his blindness. In that time, illness could be seen as a punishment for sin or as a family curse. As he heard Jesus approaching, he was filled with a fervent desperation that Jesus would stop and see him. This would be his chance to have a new life.
People tried to keep him quiet. They may have felt that they were more deserving to be seen, and that he was a lost cause anyways. Bartimaeus knew he couldn’t stop, so again he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me,” and it was his day. Jesus called him.
Reflecting on this so far, how many times do we feel burdened or weighed down by our own sins, failures, or just the weight of not feeling we are enough? Jesus is calling each and every one of us back to him, just like he called Bartimaeus. He is asking each and every one of us to have the courage and to step out in faith. He wants us to come to him with all that we are carrying. Bartimeaus then threw his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Just like Bartimaeus, Jesus asks us to throw off our cloaks of sin, the false identities we have for ourselves, and anything else that is weighing us down. Jesus asks “what do you want me to do for you?” Here, I really encourage you to answer this question: what is it that you are seeking him to do for you? How can Jesus help you? Bartimaeus replies with, “Master, I want to see.”
Now, the reason why I love this passage so much is because when I received the call that changed my life, there was a song that was sung during a time of Eucharistic Adoration that has similar references. The song was O Come to the Altar. One of the verses in the song says, “Leave behind your regrets and mistakes, come today there’s no reason to wait, Jesus is calling. Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy, from the ashes a new life is born, Jesus is calling.” Just like Bartimeaus, I traded my old life of sin for a new life in Jesus.
Upon profession, it is a tradition in our community to design our prayer card and I was having difficulty with finding the right image to portray all that the Lord had done in my time of initial formation. I was at a youth event at a parish when I came across this painting of Bartimaeus reaching out his hand to Jesus. This then led me on the journey of reading this passage and doing Lectio Divina with it, only to see how it resembled my own life. How each and every one of us is blind like Bartimaeus whether it be from our sin or even by not knowing Jesus’ love for us.
Jesus, we ask you for the eyes of true faith and to not let our eyes be clouded by the distractions and troubles of this world that can blind us to you.
Jesus is calling. Will you answer?
Sr. Ashley Marie Refugio Santora, HMSS professed First Vows on August 15, 2021. She is currently studying to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Theology.