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Showing posts from September, 2015


               My wedding day was not something I would have pictured years ago.  Images of walking up the aisle in a white dress with a colorful bouquet with my father was replaced with solemnly processing up the aisle with a candle, in a veil and habit, and with nine other women all making different steps in religious life.  Wow- what an amazing gift!  In a word… joy.                 I am given a privilege to be the bride of Christ.  In my weakness and unworthiness God called me to be with Him.  There is a sense of renewal and awareness of all the tiny and also significant moments that I have come to know my Spouse over the years.  In that time, really from the moment of my conception, He has been preparing me.  He has been pouring His grace upon me so I could say yes, a continual yes, for this moment.                 It has been a couple of weeks since my profession and I am grateful that I still have moments of amazement gazing on Christ in the tabernacle that He called me.  H

A Self-Emptying Gift

     “Love led Christ to the gift of self, even to the supreme sacrifice of the cross” (Vita Consecrata 42).  Since receiving the habit a few weeks ago, the Lord has continually been bringing the self-emptying gift of Christ’s love to my mind and heart.  The habit serves as a reminder that it is ‘no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ (Gal 2:20).  It is an invitation from God to be emptied of myself so that He can present Himself as a gift to oth ers through me.  Humanity’s very existence, our being, is a pure gift which has its source from the overflowing love within the Holy Trinity.  But He doesn’t stop there!  He then calls us to enter into the gift of Himself for eternity.  Religious life is the ‘already and not yet’ living out of that gift, so that our very being is completely taken up in love with He who is Love itself.      Being as gift was a central theme to Pope St. John Paul II’s spirituality and writings. In one of his poems, reflecting in the Sistine Ch

"Daughter of Light"

        A few weeks have passed by since I received my habit, veil, and religious name. I still remember being excited, nervous, but mostly joyful as I walked down the aisle in the beginning of Mass. It was beautiful to see all our families, friends, priests, and Sisters together to join us in celebrating our next step in religious life. A moment I will always remember was when Bishop Paprocki said: “You received the name Krystle on the day of your Baptism. Becoming a member of this community you receive the name Sister Mary Philomena.” When he said those words I saw him as my Beloved Jesus Christ smiling, thanking me for trusting Him with my life, and being a light for the world.           Saint Philomena, the saint I took my religious name after, actually means “Daughter of Light.” Her perseverance and fidelity to God while in the hands of the Emperor Diocletian struck me. Though she was imprisoned for thirty-seven days, stripped, scourged, thrown into the Tiber River with an anch

A Grateful Heart

      As the Feast Day approached, I wondered what the day would be like. Would I be nervous? Excited? Both? Who would be there? Will I remember my lines? While all of those questions bounced around in my head leading up to the Feast Day, the only thing I could think and pray as I walked out of St. Mary’s at the end of the Mass was “Thank You”. My heart was full of gratitude for the gift of my vocation and all those who had made the Feast Day possible. I was also incredibly grateful for the support of my family, friends and Sisters.                 While all the support from them was much needed and appreciated, I was also grateful for my patron’s intercession. The more I have gotten to know St. Joseph, the more I appreciate him and his pure, humble spirit. Not a word of what St. Joseph said is recorded in Scripture, although angels did visit him in dreams three different times. Each time the angel was making God’s will known to him. While St. Joseph did not always understand God’

Meet Shannon!

           Hello, my name is Shannon.  I am 28 years old and was born and raised in Connecticut.  I studied chemistry and biochemistry at Western Connecticut State University, where I also played on the women’s varsity soccer team.  I also spent a year at the University of Notre Dame where I earned a master’s degree in global health and watched the football team go undefeated at home and play for the national championship.  Go Irish!              Before entering, I worked as an entry level scientist at Pfizer, Inc. in Groton, CT.  I enjoy watching and participating in almost any sport but my favorites are croquet and gymnastics.  I also really enjoy coaching gymnastics, which I did for many years.             The devotion to Christ crucified and the humility and simplicity with which the Sisters lived really attracted me to our community.  I was also drawn by the joy within the community and the devotion that each Sister had to our Lord.  For those of you in the midst of discern

Welcome Molly!

Oh…hello!  I didn’t see you there!  I’m glad you found this blog!  My name is Molly.  I have moved around my entire life, but just a few days ago, I found myself moving here from Iowa… home of the Quaker Oats!             Before arriving here, I was a youth minister for middle and high school youth.  I also taught high school theology to the juniors.  Oh, what a fun time we had!             Working with youth, I had a little free time before I entered, but the free time I had was filled with naps, watching college sports (Cheer Cheer for Ol’ Notre Dame, and my KU Jayhawks!).  I also enjoy being outside and I absolutely love a good joke!             The charism of this community attracted me.  I have a great love for the Divine Mercy and St. Faustina.  Even more so, I was drawn here by Our Lady of Cuba and Our Lady of Aparecida (Our Lady of Brazil).  They sought me out during my year in the missions of Central America.  On my first visit to our Provincial House, I learned that

Meet Rachel

Hi, y’all!  My name is Rachel.  I am 22 years old from Missouri.  Before entering, I was a college student at Marian University in Indianapolis – Go Knights!  I graduated in May 2015 with a degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish.  I fell in love with teaching during my college years, especially thanks to the fabulous St. Christopher Catholic School in Speedway, Indiana.  I absolutely love youth ministry and in specific, the mission of Life Teen!  I spent two summers down in the mountains of North Georgia as a missionary at Life Teen Camps and I was a core member at Incarnate Word Life Teen in Missouri, before entering.  Some of my favorite hobbies include letter writing (yes, pre-convent life, too!), any sort of crafting, and cheering on my beloved St. Louis Cardinals!             I am humbled and honored by the Lord’s call to serve Him, love Him, and be loved by Him here in Alton with our community.  The Sisters’ radiant joy in all things, ability to be uniquely t

Veni Si Amas Retreat