Skip to main content

"Whatever the task, work as serving the Lord and not man": Reflections from the field

In honor of St. Joseph the worker, today we begin a three-part series compliments of our Second-Year Novices.  These sisters are preparing to make their first profession of vows and have reflected on their six month mission experience where they shared in the active apostolates of our community.  

Today's reflection comes from Sr. John Mary, named for Pope St. John Paul II, whose theology of work and of the human person informed her mission experience at Bonacum House in Lincoln, NE.

“Perhaps God wills to give that person to you,” Pope St. John Paul II’s spiritual director once said to him in the beginning years of his priesthood.  These words served to help him, as he put it, “…trust God and accept the gift one man becomes for the other.”  This “communion of persons” is at the heart of our mission as disciples of Christ and the six months I spent at Bonacum House in Lincoln, Nebraska.  As a retirement home for priests in which our sisters also live and work, it was a unique opportunity to witness how God calls us to a culture of communion. 

While the apostolate consists of domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning, the heart of it all is really the essence of our charism, to make the merciful love of Christ visible, both to the priest residents and our sisters.  I was constantly in awe of the ways the Lord’s desire to give Himself to us was manifested, whether in the sacraments, through our sisters, the priests and staff, and simply the unexpected gifts and events of each day.  For example, when one of the priests was ill I had the honor of bringing Holy Communion to him (this was quite the role reversal as the priest is usually the one giving me Holy Communion).  Upon my arrival with the Blessed Sacrament he became extremely reverent and freely prayed in gratitude that the Lord had come to him.  I returned to the Chapel with a sense of humble gratitude for the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist and His tender attentiveness to each of us.  This presence of God’s love created an atmosphere of constant gratitude which made for a very joyful six months.  I am immensely grateful for the gift I received at Bonacum House as I recall the following words of Pope St. John Paul II, “We must ourselves be a total gift…in order to recognize, in every man, the gift that he is, and to thank the Giver for the gift of the human person.”


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

Journey with Mary: Sacrificial Love of Spiritual Motherhood

                Recently, I found a reflection I had written during my first retreat as a postulant. The last conference that had been given was on Spiritual Motherhood. As I approached the 4 th Station where Jesus meets His Sorrowful Mother, this is what struck my heart:                 What is the sacrificial love of a mother? It is the self-sacrifice made to love her children. Mary’s self-sacrifice to be there with Christ, her Son, in His passion was the selfless love that united her with Him. Her heart was pierced with 7 swords in the agony of watching her beloved Son endure a cross that He did not deserve, but which He embraced for the love of the Father and mankind. Could she not have said to Jesus, “You don’t have to do this, there are other ways. Do you know how much pain You are causing me and those who love you?” She knew He could have chosen any other way to save us, but this was the Father’s will, and so in silent love Mary trusted. If the world is suffering, why do y