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Regional Headquarters: Holy Rosary Sisters, 741 Polo Road, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Regional Leader: Sister Florence Enechukwu, Telephone: 001 276 282 3487 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Development Office: Telephone: 00 1 610 520 1631 Email: email@example.com
Also: Holy Rosary Sisters, 205 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003 Telephone: 00 1 610 896 1786
Coordinator for African Catholic Apostolate: Sr. Florence Enechukwu
Address: Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, 222 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone Number: 267-282-3487
When the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary were founded by Bishop Joseph Shanahan CSSp in 1924, one of the founding members was Sister Philomena Fox from Philadelphia. But the first Holy Rosary foundation in the US was not until 1951, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Since then, US and Canadian born Holy Rosary Sisters have spent their lives on mission in Africa and Brazil, and through our fund-raising the extraordinary generosity of the American people has continued to support our mission.
The US is the home region for American and Canadian sisters, and it is where they come home to when it is time to retire. Here they continue their mission through prayer and participation in various ministries in the diocese and community.
“Life cannot be the same, for many, after this crisis of Coronavirus,” writes Sister Florence.. “When we were told to work from home, it seemed a good thing to do. However, as “the work-from-home” idea began to prolong beyond expectations, the reality also began to sink in – that ending of the COVID-19 is not seen on the horizon. It’s only the beginning of what is yet to follow .
“Without known efforts, a new way of living emerged to embrace the new circumstance that is our reality. With the restrictions, many parents are no longer working. Food is being rationed as days pass by. Children eat more when they’re at home 24/7. And when food is rationed in a family of five kids or more, I leave you to draw the conclusion.
“With Sr. Gertrude, Director for Office of Pastoral Care for Migrants & Refugees (PCMR), we started organizing packaged food donations and pick-ups for the PCMR Communities. From my home office in the basement of our community, I am able to organize and call different families, ten or twelve of them, to pick up their food packages on either Mondays or Fridays at a local parish.
For community outreach, I have set up a ZOOM Meeting Room, where some African Catholics gather to pray the Rosary on Wednesdays and Fridays. It is also a forum where we share what’s happening in our lives and in the lives of our families. Providing different information and updates is crucial at this time – making available the Internet links for different Live-Stream Masses.
The African Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
The African Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is active and proud of their Catholic Faith. They are also committed to instilling their Catholic belief and the African cultural values to their children.
There are families from about 21 African countries who live and worship within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The majority of these families believe in Catholic education; as a result, they send their children to Catholic schools up to a high school.
During these difficult times it is important for people to be able to share experiences and find support from their community. So it was important to us to bring people together for a Zoom Conference where they could reflect on their experiences. To help them they were asked to think about these questions:
Although we could not come together physically the old spirit of sharing was still there.
Having your say has always been part of our community. So has sharing and discussing in groups, and making friends and practising their baking skills for the young.
COVID-19, surely has touched the lives of many, if not all, in our global community, in so many good and challenging ways. It has led many to their knees, reaching out to God for help and many cry out in anguish, “Where’s God in all this suffering?” But for those who trust God, there is always the flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.”
Please join the African Catholic Community of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for a virtual Rosary prayer every Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 pm ET (New York Time). Pope Francis has called Christians and non-Christians to pray for an end to this COVID-19 pandemic. As Catholics, we pray the Rosary, asking our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede for us. Please join us in praying the Rosary.
A new book on Interculturality and the Religious life has just been written by Sr Chinyeaka C Ezeani, published by Pauline Publications Africa.
“Taking seriously the prayer of Jesus that all may be one (John 17:21), Sister Chinyeaka tries in this book to articulate clearly the challenges as well as the beauty of living as people from different cultures in religious life. The underlying assumption in her work is that it is possible and necessary to appreciate the beauty that each culture brings. This requires continuous to conversion to the heart of Christ, and prayerful attentiveness to biases and complexes that tend to support mischaracterization of other cultures. ” (From the Foreward)
“The United States is now and always has been a nation of immigrants.Whether one chooses to believe it or not, America was built on the courage, sweat and resourcefulness of men and women willing to leave their country of birth and start anew, and pass those attributes on to their descendants.
In the past most of that immigration came from Europe, and new arrivals were mentored by societies or church groups representing their ethnicity, which was mostly somewhere in Europe. Now that invigorating new blood is more likely coming from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia or Africa and the need for mentoring continues.
It is in this spirit that a free encounter program titled “Connecting African Youth and Young Adults with African Professionals” was held at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center on Saturday, June 8. The event was organized by Sister Florence Enechukwu, a Missionary Sister of the Holy Rosary, formerly from Nigeria in West Africa and now at the archdiocesan Office for the African Catholic Apostolate and the Office for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees.Her task is not easy because in Philadelphia there are immigrants from 20 different African nations served by the African Catholic Apostolate.
“This is bringing adults and young adults together; the idea is to connect the two groups,” she said. “The young adults can learn from the adults, how they succeeded and what are the challenges.” Among the mentoring presenters was Nigerian-born Dr. Chioma Ugochkwu, the provost and dean of academic affairs at Cabrini University. In her talk she stressed the importance of college education for youth, especially African youth, and outlined several key strategies for ensuring a quality educational experience.
Addressing parents in the group, she said, “If your child says to you, ‘Well, Beyoncé and Jay-Z didn’t go to college, and they’ve succeeded’ – that’s one percent of those who succeed. And many of those who succeed (through nontraditional paths to success) don’t know how to manage the money.” College education, she said, provides “greater chances for upward mobility” as well as “better health and a longer lifespan.” On choosing a school and a career, she advised, “let your child do what they are great at. Nothing will help them succeed more than following their passion.” In her wide-ranging discussion, Ugochkwu touched upon the importance of preparation, the value of prep classes for the standardized tests, campus visits, teacher recommendations and also the financial aspects of college. She urged avoiding student loans if possible, perhaps by attending a two-year college first or commuting rather than residing at the college, and taking advantage of the tuition assistance offered by many colleges.
David Simons, a first-generation Ghanaian-American and founder and CEO of Kingdom Social Media, spoke on the “Power of Networking.” “One of the biggest challenges,” he said, “is that youth coming over here don’t have guidance; they don’t have direction. So they’re left to figure things out for themselves. Their parents are just like, ‘Go get an education,’ but that’s not it. That’s not enough. You need people who have been there.” Culturally, he said, “there’s an adaption, they have to adjust. They don’t know the ways and the nuances of how things are done in America. You can’t do things the way you did them back home.”
John Kinuthian, a Catholic motivational speaker and member of St. John Chrysostom Parish, Wallingford, is originally from Kenya. “It is important to bring people together because they can talk to each other and help each other,” he said, “so you don’t go through the same problems. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. “When I came to America my biggest problem was, I did not have a network. You have to have a vision and those who will help you achieve it.”
Father Rene Againglo, who is chaplain for the Francophone (French-speaking) African community at St. Cyprian Parish in West Philadelphia, agreed it was important to bring the young people together with successful professionals who can help them as they plan their futures.
In all, there were well over 100 potential mentors and young people at the conference. Based on comments after the fact, it was a resounding success, according to Sister Florence. As a matter of fact nine of the adults and 16 of the young people have already signed up for future sessions, she said.
On March 19th 2016 Archbishop Charles Chaput, celebrated the 19th Cultural Heritage Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul. This Mass was for all immigrant Catholics within the Archdiocese. Thirty countries processed into the Cathedral carrying their banners and all wearing traditional attire from their home countries. We had 8 choirs, and Scripture Readings and Prayers of the Faithful were given in 16 languages.
“The Cathedral was filled with people, Native Americans, Africans, Asians, Europeans, and South Americans, blending all shades of color, a symbolic witness of unity in diversity. It just gets better and bigger every year!” Sister Florence Enechukwu, Co-ordinator for the African Catholic Apostolate in the Archdiocese, is seen above in the pictures with her many friends.
Dawn’s Place: Safe Support, new beginnings
Dawn’s Place was named in honour of a prostitute who was murdered in Camden, New Jersey.
The name was created from the hope of a new day “dawning” for women who have been victimized by commercial sexual exploitation.