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sabyear 01Sr. Mary MaloneyLast Spring I requested the Congregation’s permission to take a sabbatical to prepare for heaven.  I am not sure what this meant for me  -- except I had lived a very active, busy life and was involved in ministry with our marginal sisters and brothers. I needed time to connect with God more deeply.

Milestones on a Sacred Journey

Last September I turned 80 years of age and left the ministry at Park Slope Christian Help (formerly called Christian Help in Park Slope) after 26 years. This is a ministry that I deeply loved -- and I received so much joy, blessings and graces from God and others.  I learned a great deal from our sisters and brothers poor, hungry, homeless and in crisis. They taught me so much!

Then after 25 years of wonderful service offered to those seeking prayer, direction and silence, the House of Contemplation was sold on April 30, 2013.  Sister Rose Margaret Delaney and I, desiring the same deeper communion with God, had also shared community there.  After a short illness, Sister Rose Margaret peacefully passed into eternal rest in heaven to be with the God she loved so much.  And it was time for me to move on.

I asked permission to be part of the House of Peace at Pinecroft for my sabbatical year and was welcomed by Sisters June Casterton, Marie Clement Edrich, Mary Jacinta Doyle, and Dorothy Bolser and began planning the sabbatical.

sabyear 02Emmaus HouseIn June, I participated in a two-week “Assessment of Life” program, guided by Sister Jeanette at the Emmaus Retreat House. Then I moved to St. Mary-by-the Sea Retreat Center for a Thirty -Day retreat.  Both of these retreat houses are on the Jersey Shore.  The six-week journey was very meaningful, spiritual, rich and filled with many graces, insights and discoveries.  . . .  a special gift from God.

The Annual Franciscan Federation Conference was held in July and was truly the best ever.  We had with us Sister Ilia Delio for three days who spoke to us on “The Emergent Christ.”  We had time for a panel to respond to her talks and an afternoon for her to answer as many questions as we had.

A Time of Joy and Peace Together

And what an honor to be a delegate to our General Chapter and to be present with our Sisters from six countries, all daughters of Mother Frances, and our associates.  The liturgies, prayers, recreation, reports and all the discussions, discernment and serious decisions were all part of our time together.  It was a place of joy and peace.

Then back to the House of Peace at Pinecroft for most of August and September.

sabyear 03Sunset at the Jersey Shore

Now I am ready to begin a new journey of “Surrender to God.” I am returning to Emmaus Retreat House with its many programs, retreats, and sabbatical time from October until June.  I was invited back last June, but had other commitments. I also thought at the time that the program was perhaps too difficult for me.  We received a list of things we could bring and a list of things not to bring, including:  no books, computers, cell phones, electronic equipment, car, etc.  But what influenced my decision to say yes was:

1) a call from God to turn my life over to Him
2) a very small book I have been re-reading slowly and reflectively during the last three months, written in 1751 by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ. –  Abandonment to Divine Providence.

I am sure Mother Frances read this book in her time because of her instruction and advice in these two small books:
“As We Think So We Live,”  compiled by Sister Pauline (1955) and “Living Simply:” compiled by Sisters Jeanne Glisky and Anna Theresia Beckers (1980).  

I want to surrender / abandon my life to God and so I said “yes” to enter the program.  Please pray for me during these months and be assured of my prayers.  I am thankful to the Congregation for this precious time and pray to be open to God’s love and Spirit. 

We do receive mail.

My address is  Emmaus House:
21 Main Avenue
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

Your sister,
Mary Maloney

Published: October 10, 2013