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Showing posts from July, 2015

Forever

In less than a month our three “Probandinnen,” or Sisters who will make Final Vows, will pronounce “forever” to the Lord. Since June, Sister M. Antonia, Sister M. Eucharia, and Sister M. Karolyn have been in Alton preparing more intensely to take perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience on August 14th. During these three months they follow a special schedule of prayer, spiritual reading, classes, and work to help them focus on making this important step in Religious Life. Various Sisters have been aiding them by teaching classes on our Constitutions, and the Probandinnen pray a Holy Hour each day to deepen their relationship with our Divine Bridegroom. Our Provincial, Mother M. Maximilia is, in Sister M. Antonia’s words, “challenging [them] to live and love deeply.”
     These months are a graced time during which the Sister is challenged to deepen her Religious commitment and consecration to Christ. Sister M. Antonia describes her preparation for Final Vows as a “saying ‘ye…

Death in the Family: A Tribute to the Cardinal McCarrick High School Family

When a former student of Cardinal McCarrick High School and friend of our community told me about the closure, I felt a sense of death, was very saddened, and started grieving.  You see Cardinal McCarrick High School was like a family.  I grew up as a teacher there and was blessed to get to know both staff and students, people I will never forget.  The building has closed, but the family does not end.  130 years is a legacy and I was blessed to be part of the last decade and our congregation part of the last 30.  First I must say Thank you for the beautiful memories and lessons learned that I will cherish for a lifetime.             I remember when I visited my grandma the last time.  She was 95 and had lived a good life; traveled the world, enjoyed golfing, watching tennis, and every once in a while a good game of backgammon with her granddaughter.  She was not Catholic like me but she said she was the proud grandma of a nun.  It was not an easy visit, partly because she w…

GO WITH HIM

In his “Treatise on the Love of God,” St. Francis de Sales recounts a memorable story about a queen boarding a ship with a king. When asked where she was going, the queen replied, “I do not know. It is enough for me that I go with him.”  Twenty-four years ago, I said “yes” to the invitation to follow Jesus into religious life. It is good that I did not know where I was going, because I might have objected that it was beyond me. He never gave “stockpiles” of grace for months or years at a time, but always enough for each successive present moment. In this way I began to learn to trust Him more. This is a grateful reflection on my journey with Him.                 Growing up in an intensely Catholic and Polish family on Milwaukee’s south side, Jesus and Mary were a very real and important part of my life. Grandpa Francis had a truly contemplative spirit. We used to sit on the porch steps in the evening, gazing at the stars and speaking about eternity. These moments planted a deep sensi…

To Imagine Eternity

I love to read.  As a child, I spent many golden hours lost in the stacks of our neighborhood library.  The endless rows of books gave me the dizzying sense that the possibilities of this life were infinite.
While I was in high school, I would often sacrifice a night's sleep to read just one more page of the most thrilling story ever.  I vividly remember being spellbound by Betty Smith's, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - so much so that I couldn't bear to put it down even when I could barely make out the words through my tears.
In his book, The Message in the Bottle, Walker Percy reflects that man's search for meaning is bound up with mystery.  In other words, man's desire is to discover the deepest things this life has to offer.  This life bears the promise of a life that does not end.
The mission of a good book is to give flesh and blood to this promise through a story that inflames the imagination with beauty.  A good book does not moralize.  It points to something b…

Made for Communion

I was transferred to our Day Care Center two weeks ago and am now personally experiencing the deep wisdom of toddlers.  Within their Kool-Aid stained grins, freshly-sucked-on thumbs, and precious chubby cheeks lies an innate knowledge of the world around them that simply cannot be taught except by their Maker Himself.  Not only "out of the mouths" of babes come the most basic and true lessons about life, but simply out of their own actions and way of living can we adults learn a thing or two about why we're here.    Last week I was playing with several toddlers in the exciting world of large plastic structures, wide open spaces, and outside voices in the Day Care Center known as the gym.  Watching little ones enter the space is telling in itself as some of them are so overtaken with joy to be in such a wonderful place that their whole bodies shake with excitement, their arms flail and stiffen in enthusiasm, and their soft little shoe-laden feet scamper across the floor i…

It is in giving of ourselves that we receive.

Summer is a busy time in the convent. Between retreats, vacations, homevisit, feast day preparations, the Community is very active. As a student Sister I am available during the summertime to cover for Sisters who are on retreat etc. This is a great gift as I am able to get to know my Sisters and get to experience how my Sisters make the merciful love of Christ visible. By the time I head back to my convent in Ohio, I will have served in seven different convents!
My current location is in Lincoln, Nebraska. Here our Sisters serve at Bonacum House which is a home for retired priests. During my time here one of the priests celebrated his 70th anniversary of ordination. Wow! Seventy years is an impressive witness of fidelity. This is a record for the Diocese of Lincoln. While Father's memory is showing signs of his age (95), his love of God and his vocation continue to shine. When I asked him how he would describe his priesthood, he responded with one word – fulfillment. Later he adde…