Skip to main content

Living in the Truth

"The Universal Church" This is a saying that I have heard many times. While I have experienced the fullness of the Church many times, none of my experiences have touched me in the way my trip to Philadelphia to see the Pope did. I was asked the question by a woman while I was in Philadelphia, "How does the Pope being here affect you as a religious?" The only answer that comes to my mind is: He brings us together! And he does, at least 1-2 million of us! As head of the Universal Church he not only leads us and guides us, he reminds us that we are part of something that is much bigger than ourselves. As religious, we are daughters of the Church and the Holy Father is a member of our family, the head of our family. 

Each of us has a thirst for truth whether we realize it or not. The Holy Father is known as a spiritual leader by Christians and non-Christians alike. The whole world listens to what he says. Hearing him and seeing him brings home that desire to live in the truth and be the person you know you should be. For me personally, this experience was a reminder of what I am called to as a consecrated religious.  I am called to be a witness to the world of what truth looks like.  I talked to another woman in Philadelphia.  She was there as a reporter and was a fallen away Catholic. During the course of our conversation she shared with me how seeing the Holy Father and listening to him has given her the desire to come back to the Church and to have her two children baptized.  I believe that it was the feeling that the pope has made Catholicism "real" to her that allowed her to take this step.

In 1993, when John Paul II came to Denver for World Youth Day, I was living near Denver at the time and the Pope's motorcade went right by me.  I was only about 20 feet away. Sadly, at the time I was not Catholic and had only a vague understanding of who the Pope was. It was only after my conversion that I realized what an opportunity I had missed. World Youth Day was in my backyard and I missed it! In some ways my time in Philadelphia was the redemption of the chance I missed in Denver.

I was stationed in Philadelphia 2010-2011.  While it is a beautiful city with a very rich history, it was not as friendly as a small town in the Midwest would be. While on this pilgrimage, many natives to the city remarked to me that there was a different spirit in the city since the pilgrims and the Holy Father had arrived. To quote one woman selling Pope buttons on the side of the road, "The peace has come and I hope it stays."

The trip to Philadelphia from La Crosse, WI where I am currently stationed, was 24 hours by bus. It was long and exhausting, a true pilgrimage. But while walking around the city of brotherly love I truly felt that it had all been worth it. The memories, and hopefully the intention to be the person I should be, will last far longer than the discomforts of a long bus ride.

- Sister M. Judith, FSGM

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to our Family, Postulants!!!

Today, on the Feast of the Birth of Mary, our new postulants entered the postulancy of our American Province of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George! We thank God for the gift of these vocations. Pictured above - on their very first full day in the convent - are (from left) Ashley Vola, Samantha Goodson, Miranda Edgar, Jennifer Clark and Erin Leis. Welcome, Postulants! We Sisters are grateful that you have accepted Christ's invitation to belong totally to Him in our Franciscan community, and we support you wholeheartedly with our prayers and help! If you would like to send a word of welcome and encouragement to these new postulants, we will pass the greetings along to them. Just leave them as a "comment"!

Looking Back with Gratitude

“Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you and he expects great things of you!” My life would never be the same as the words of John Paul II coursed through my mind and beat with fervor in my heart. Me? Could he possibly mean me? Like many others, I felt Pope John Paul II was speaking directly to me as I sat behind him in the nose-bleed section of the stadium in Saint Louis. Throughout my high school years after this encounter, the idea of having a possible vocation to the religious life shocked and bewildered me, but at the same time brought me such peace. As each year came and went, my relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church grew with greater depth, understanding, and love. Through daily mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, Scripture and God’s divine intervention through his priests and religious, I soon realized that, yes, the Pope did mean me. Christ was calling me and how could I say no? After one year of college, I soon came to the realizatio

Celebrating our August Feastdays

We are pleased to announce the  Reception into the Novitiate of Clare Kennedy - Sr. M. Veronica Gabrielle Burnham - Sr. Bethany Marie Sidney Ramaekers - Sr. M. Magnificat and the First Profession of Vows of Sr. M. Rose Thomas Weighner Sr. M. Cecilia Abbadessa Sr. Mary James Becker Sr. Peter Marie Tran The celebration of Holy Mass with the Rite of First Profession and Reception into the Novitiate  will take place on  Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm. We are pleased to announce the  Final Profession of Vows of  Sr. M. Lucy Gantt Sr. Karol Marie Baumgarten Sr. Teresa Maria Leis Sr. Mary Francis Goodson Sr. M. Caterina Vola Sr. M. Gemma Kissel The celebration of Holy Mass with the Rite of Final Profession will take place on  Monday, August 3, 2020 at 10:00 am. Due to restrictions in place, we are unable to invite you to attend the ceremonies, however you are welcome to join us in prayer and participation via Livestream.