Thursday, August 13, 2009


AOR Has a New Blog!

Please visit AOR's new blog at

Monday, June 29, 2009


Music is what feelings sound like.

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou

Want to change the world? Use the gifts God has given you! Celine Ferland after receiving her Ph.D in music, the flute, wrote to me and said what could I ever do for the children?

She has changed the world for the children at the missions of the Religious Teachers Filippini in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Thousands of children now know the joy of playing a musical instrument and have learned the peace that comes from the mellow sounds of the flute. This beautiful music is helping them realize that there is meaning to life after all!

Learn more --Goto
and read about Celine’s project. The photos were taken by Celine's niece, Safia.

So what talent has God given you? Share it with the orphans. They need you.
Find me we can plan a project together.

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. ~William P. Merrill

God bless you.

Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 15 million children under 18 have been orphaned as a result of AIDS. Around 11.6 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa!

The children need your talents!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008


God’s sign is the baby, a child. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. He teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches us respect for children. The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; towards children who are orphans or unloved. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us. Let us pray this night that the brightness of God’s love may enfold all these children. Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected. May they all experience the light of love, which mankind needs so much more than the material necessities of life. *

Thank you so very much for all you have done for the children at the missions of the Religious Teachers Filippini. Your countless hours working for the orphans, the hundreds of miles you have run, biked, climbed and even baked will not go unrewarded. Your generosity in helping to feed, clothe, house and educate these children has truly made a difference in their lives. May you and your families be blessed in a most special way throughout this coming New Year. Be assured of the daily prayers and sacrifices of the Sisters throughout the world. We look forward to doing even more for these children in 2009!

*adapted from the 2006 Christmas Homily of Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, December 01, 2008


Thanksgiving for all

“ Jesus is my Lord” is boldly displayed above the door post of this one
room shanty in Brazil. But look closer, below are the words ,”and there is nothing
that I want”!

On this Monday after Thanksgiving I pray you have the same sentiments. Most of us do have all we need!

But sorrow, sadness, and terror, abound in this world. We must be strong in our Faith or as Pope Benedict XVI says, “…without faith, there is no hope and without hope there is not future.” Make sure you pass this Faith on to your children and friends. They need your strength.
This International Day of AIDS awareness spread the word around about the orphans from this terrible disease. In New Jersey there are over 22,000 such orphans, not to mention the millions world over.

My Thanksgiving prayer was for the children and for all of you who work so hard to help them. God hears your prayers and sees your efforts to reach out to them. Continue to pray for them, only divine intervention can help resolve a problem of such dimesions.
God is listening! Watch the attached video clip, these Brazilian girls are happy and getting their lives back in order thanks to your goodness to them. Nothing better!

God bless you.
Sr. Mary Beth

Saturday, May 10, 2008


The Day Momma Died!

Happy Mother’s Day to all!
Most of us had great mothers and we can understand what this little girl is going through. There is no sadder time in your life than when your mother dies, or perhaps the saddest moment is days later when you realize she really is gone and life will never be the same.

For the million of children today that are the orphans from AIDS there will be no Mother’s Day for them. Every 14 seconds new orphans are formed from the death of their parents. The family is the basic unit of society, and if we do not help the Child Headed Households* stay together society as we know it will disintegrate!

So what can you do for them? Pray. As Christians we take Mary the Mother as Jesus as our mother and believe she hears our prayers. It is the month of May, offer at least one Rosary for the children. And pray for those kids in Myanmar too!

Something else you might do! The prices of wheat, corn and rice have increased 66% this year. The World Bank believes it is affecting more than 100,000,000 people from having enough to eat. Most of these are children. This week Congress will begin discussing the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill. Just send a quick email asking your representative or senator to support the part of this bill that will help feed the poor. This site is an easy way to access them by your zip code.

I know this feels like work. One quick click! Do it for these kids that have no mothers to feed them.

Thanks so much for working so hard to save the orphans.
Be assured of my daily prayers for your own intentions.

God bless you.

*Child Headed Households are children of one family, all under the age of 18, trying to live together as a family.

Friday, March 21, 2008


The number one way to make your kids happy!

Scientific proof: Money can buy happiness!

Money can buy happiness, but only if you spend it on someone else!

Spending as little as $5 a day on someone else could significantly boost happiness, was recently scientifically proven by a team at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School.

Their experiments on more than 630 Americans showed they were measurably happier when they spent money on others -- even if they thought spending the money on themselves would make them happier.

Volunteers were given $5 or $20 and half got clear instructions on how to spend it. Those who spent the money on someone or something else reported feeling happier about it. The study believes that as little as $5 -- may be enough to produce real gains in happiness on a given day!

So what they have proven is that age old adage…it is better to give than to receive!

Throughout the world our Sisters teach the children this concept through their mission appeals. Even in Sassi, Ethiopia one of the poorest regions that we service, there is a collection for the poor! We are trying to teach them that there are children worse off than themselves, they all must give something even a penny. The first picture above shows the children briinging their gifts for the poor, and the second one their joy after distributing the gifts.

On those days when the kids or grandkids are torturing you because they are bored with nothing to do, give them some money and say, “Go do good with this money!” They must give it away to the neediest person they come across and report to you their findings. I promise you they will come home very happy and with some great stories.

So, on this day when Jesus gave not a penny, not a dollar, or $5 but himself for us, let us take a minute and reflect on this most generous act portrayed so well in this poem by Lucado.

The diadem of pain
which slice your gentle face,
three spikes piercing flesh and wood
to hold you in your place.

The need for blood I understand.
Your sacrifice I embrace.
But the bitter sponge, the cutting spear,
the spit upon your fact?
Did it have to be a cross?

Did not a kinder death exist
than six hours hanging between life and death,
all spurred by a bertayer’s kiss?

“Oh, Father,” you pose,
heart-stilled at what could be,
“I’m sorry to ask, but I long to know,
did you do this for me?”

Thank you so very much for your prayers and support.
Have a beautiful Easter.

God bless you.

Friday, February 01, 2008


It’s almost Lent! What’s the best way to help the poor? Get Rich!

Lent begins on Wednesday, February 6. What can we do to deepen our spiritual lives and help the poor? There are always the regulars, i.e.give up candy, sweets, etc. But the Bible exhorts us to also go beyond ourselves and help the poor. What’s the best way?

I read in an old book yesterday that, “The poor do not need charity: they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two: but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery. If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich: prove it by getting rich yourself.” Wallace Delois Wattles. The Science of Getting Rich. 1910.

Now that’s a novel way to celebrate Lent, Get Rich!

But Rich has gotten a bad reputation. The author goes on to explain when one is truly rich spiritually and actually they have the opportunity to do great good for this world.

Kelly in a Testament of Devotion proposes that,“ The deepest need of men is not food and clothing and shelter, important as they are. It is God. We have mistaken the nature of poverty and thought it was economic poverty. No, it is poverty of soul, deprivation of God’s recreating loving peace.”

And so, is it the poor who are lacking God or is it the rich? And is it because the Rich are lacking God, we have the poor? What a dilemma!

The truth is we all need God and without Him there will be no peace for the rich or the poor. And we all need food and shelter!

So for Lent what should you do?

Two suggestions:

1. Make a resolution that you will try to pray always. Say small prayers all day long during Lent. Lift your mind and heart to God all through the day. You’ll need to make some reminders for yourself. St. Frances DeSales’ desk was outside a church that chimed its bells every 15 minutes. He got into the habit of making a spiritual communion every time he heard the chimes. Think of some way you can pray often. Should you fail, it’s ok, just start again. There is no rush you have 40 days!

2. Give one thing away from your closet every day for Lent. Wow! It will be empty by Easter and many poor people in your town will be walking around with some nice clothes and shoes! Who should you give it to? Put the article of clothing in your car. You’ll find some one needy. Put the intention in your mind and the right person will arrive!

At the Religious Teachers Filippini Women Promotion Center in Adigrat, Ethiopia (pictured above) we are trying to inspire young girls to one day be rich! In a good sense! Many of these girls are orphans or single mothers who are trying to avoid a life of prostitution. We train them in many marketable skills so they may become very successful, but also to have faith in themselves, realize God’s abundance abounds and gratitude toward the Good God who made them. Religion is rarely a problem for the poor people that I encounter. They love God and want honor Him and to do His Will.

This center is unique to Adigrat as it is the only Pizza Gelato Café in the city! The ovens were built by a man who came from Italy who wanted to do something for the poor using his talents! And good benefactors have provided the industrial gelato machine and a vehicle to transport the supplies needed. Recently we had our first graduation ceremony of 21 girls. Fifteen have found work and the remaining five are being helped to secure positions. These girls are going to make it in this world!

Because it is a training center many poor people iin the town are able for the very first time in their lives taste delicious pizza and have a cool gelato!
Perhaps from this information you too will be inspired to use your special talents to help those in need.

So have a good Lent, pray for the poor and make sacrifices for them!
Write and let me know how your Lent goes!

God bless you.
Sr.Mary Beth

If you would like to learn more about these girls and the orphans from AIDS go to
or listen to this interview

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