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Showing posts from September, 2016

A Jubilee in the Jubilee

I am grateful to God for 25 years of Religious Life.  It is hard to believe it has been that long.  As I look back, I thank God for everything I have experienced, for the joys and sorrows, the challenges and many blessings.  When I reflect on my many experiences in my apostolate as a teacher, I think about the numerous spiritual children that God has blessed me with.  I have a multitude of memories and stories I could tell of my teaching experience as well as my community experiences.  I know that god has been present through it all.  In the beginning, he said to me, "Veni Si Amas," "Come if you love."  I am grateful for that first call and the grace to respond to that call.  I pray that my life has been a joyful surrender, a sacrifice of praise to God through my service, through my vows and the gift of self.  I look back and I look forward with joy and gratitude.  Each day is a new beginning, a new opportunity.  In this Year of Mercy, this jubilee year in the Chu…

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100 Years of Religious Life!

Four sisters celebrated 25 years of religious life (4 x 25 = 100) in a community celebration on September 17, the feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis.  Click here to view some photos from the celebration and be sure to read their reflections on the blog.

Praising God "no matter what" for 25 years...

On Saturday, September 17, 2016 Sister Marietta, Sister M. Margaret, Sister M. Seraphica and I had a grace-filled Silver Jubilee celebration at St. Francis Convent in Alton. It was a great joy to celebrate together since in recent years, members of our group were in faraway Cuba and Oklahoma! My fellow jubilarians came to the Friday evening faculty recital at the college where I teach to support me as I  performed with our piano trio. When we returned, our doors were decorated with silver balloons and silver “25’s!” We were blessed to celebrate our Silver Jubilee on the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis, reflecting that the wounds of Christ should always remain imprinted on the hearts of Franciscans.  Many Sisters came from other convents to join us for the special Mass Saturday morning. My favorite hymn was the chant Ave Verum, which asks “sweet Jesus” to “be a foretaste for us of the heavenly banquet” and “to have mercy on us.” When singing or hearing chant, I remember learning …

Meet Anna

My name is Anna O’Connor. I am 20 years old and I am from Hopewell Junction, New York. I attended Franciscan University of Steubenville for two years, studying for a degree in Communication Arts with a concentration in Radio and Television. There I met our Sisters for the first time.         My family consists of my parents, Cynthia and James, my older sister Rosemary (26), my twin brother Alex (20), and my younger sister, Grace (15). In my free time I love to play tennis and to play piano and to sing. I am a huge New York Yankees fan as well!        The Lord drew me to this community through our charism of “seeking to make the merciful love of Christ visible.” I watched how the Sisters loved others and how they loved me and I saw Christ directly. He then romanced my heart each day with little gifts of his love and brought me here! Jesus showers us with surprises every day if we are open to His gifts. I am so grateful to Him for bringing me to Alton. May the Lord give you peac…

St. Teresa of Calcutta: Better than a Beanie Baby

St. Teresa of Calcutta is the patron saint of our Sister Teresa Maria.  Here she reflects on the canonization of her patroness and how she came to know and love the Church's newest saint.
Saint Mother Teresa, pray for us! This is a prayer I have been looking forward to for almost 20 years. Mother Teresa captured my heart when I was a little girl. I do not remember what it was that attracted me to her or caused a seven year old girl to be so attentive to a nun halfway across the world, but I was truly captivated. I had a “Mother Teresa box” where I would collect newspaper articles and pictures of my hero. I remember grieving her death and not understanding why Princess Diana’s death was receiving different attention. Their deaths coincided with the “Beanie Baby craze” and Princess Diana had a Beanie Bear created in her honor. I naturally was waiting for the Mother Teresa version. I remember feeling confused when my father told me my desired Beanie Baby would not be coming. “But, why…

Welcome, Anna!

Yesterday afternoon we welcomed Anna O'Connor from Hopewell Junction, NY to our community and today she became a postulant.  Her parents, Jim and Cynthia, were on hand to celebrate her entrance with us.  Anna studied Communications at Franciscan University before entering, and it was there that she came to know our sisters.  This morning, Mother M. Maximilia gave her a medal of St. Francis and assigned her to assist with teaching religion at St. Mary's School here in Alton.  Stay tuned for her own introduction!
In the meantime, enjoy these photos.


How to Become a Saint in Four Steps

This morning we in the United States awoke with a new addition to our litany of saints.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta was canonized by Pope Francis around 10:30 am Rome time, which was the wee small hours of the morning for most of us.  Headlines of the secular news swirled in the days leading up to her canonization about her worthiness, highlighting her dark night and other controversies, but the fact is, she is a saint.  A saint is canonized not for what he or she DOES but for one reason alone: holiness.  A headline that caught my eye and made me laugh was “How to become a saint in four steps” as if it there is one method or a sure-fire way to achieve or grasp sainthood.  The article, of course, referred to the process by which a person’s life is examined and the declarations that precede canonization.  But I would like to propose that there are, indeed, four steps to becoming a saint, and they are given to us by our Lord in Matthew’s Gospel.
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny…