Saturday, August 18, 2012
The Parish Visitors
I'm in Monroe, NY these days, giving a retreat to the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate. This group of consecrated women was founded in 1920 in New York City by Mother Mary Teresa Tallon. They call themselves "contemplative-missionaries in the midst of parish life." They are dedicated to family ministry through prayer, the visitation of homes, and religious education and they serve in the U.S., Nigeria, and the Philippines. Here is something their foundress wrote about their charism in 1930. Her words and the goal of the Parish Visitors are as important today as they were then.
"The trend of the day is toward materialism, overindulgence, luxury, amusement. Many families, caught up in the whirl of the times, or through poverty, change of residence, or some unfortunate mistake, have let slip the precious heritage of the True Faith which once was theirs. Many, caught up in the mad seeking for pleasure or the blind battle for the almighty dollar, have forgotten their Creator or, entangled by spurious reading, have denied Him entirely. All these cases cry loudly for help--for some apostle of holy charity to alleviate, to rectify. This is where the Parish Visitor of Mary Immaculate comes in; one who can enter homes and seek for the Shepherd's lost sheep, who is consumed with a divine thirst for souls--'Souls! Souls! Lord, give me souls!' must be her cry.
On August 15 the Parish Visitors celebrated the 92nd anniversary of their founding with a special guest, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. I was able to concelebrate Mass with this friend of the Apostleship of Prayer whom I first met when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee. After Mass we went to visit the nearby grave of Mother Mary Teresa Tallon whose cause for beatification the Sisters hope will soon be opened.