Messages from our Leadership

IHM President’s Message

At a recent meeting, we were invited to read the poem,
The Guest House by Rumi:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The last two sections attracted my attention in a special way because I felt it was a wonderful description of Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Mexico. It says:
The dark thought, the same, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing
And invite them in.
Be grateful whatever comes,
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.

The people from Mexico met the dark thought, the same, the malice ….laughing. The music, the dress the joyful greeting of the Pope was astounding. The count has been estimated in the millions of people who greeted the Pope in each of the places he visited. And Mexico must have been grateful…because (he) has been sent as a guide from beyond. What a tremendous lesson for all of us, particularly as we read the daily papers and most of what we read has to do with the violence and the misdeeds of so many. Here too we are confronted with the dark thought, the same, the malice and as members of the Immaculate Heart Community we too can, meet them at the door laughing, with prayer, with a joy-filled spirit of community, with the charitable works of mercy.

~Rosalina Baldonado, IHM, President

IHM Vice President’s Message

In preparation for our Lenten Retreat this month, I have been reading Father Cyprian Consiglio’s latest book, Spirit, Soul, Body – Toward an Integral Christian Spirituality. I am particularly
inspired by the way he weaves the threads of light from the major spiritual traditions and mystics into a cohesive golden pattern. He points out that Teilhard de Chardin’s mystical theology sees God in all things. Cyprian says one of his friends loves to use the acronym SONG to describe his spiritual practice of right relationships with Self, Others, Nature, and God. This echoes Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ call for care of the common good. I am looking forward to listening to Consiglio’s sacred music and contemplative approach at this very special Lenten Retreat.

At the end of this month (February at this writing) I am going to Adelanto where I will visit refugees in that detention center. Our Immigration Workshop last month was a very real call to action. You will get my report in the April issue of News Notes.

As you may already know, Gary Rye, OSA, IHM has written a very fascinating book, A Quantum Paradigm – Archetypal Interactionism in Augustinian Spirituality. On page 70 he explores Ecumenical Theology:
It’s in the nature of my work that I usually interact
professionally mostly with Catholic people. I find among more
educated Catholics a strong conviction that, at their best,
theologies draw people together rather than apart. Quantum
Theology is not the same as a Catholic Theology, yet it is
not in opposition to it. I see it rather as providing a realitybased
cosmology and philosophy for all theologies open to an
ecumenical and inter-religious perspective. It’s rather like science
and religion: at their best these two are not in opposition, but
complement each other.

In my daily interactions with Members of our Beloved Community, I am always struck by how strong our connections are. Whether one is in Cuba, or having a heart procedure in Orange County, or in a Canadian Hospice, we all are intimately connected. This solid connection is made up of golden heartstrings and a caring IHM consciousness.

Speaking of heart, Nan Cano’s book, Take Heart about our history is available from In April we will have the books here at the Immaculate Heart office. I am grateful to her for having all the proceeds benefit the Community; this is truly a generous gift from her heart. Birthing a book is a long, tedious and sometimes painful process; years of research and re-writes are behind her now.
~Victoria Berry, IHM Vice President