Reflections

Good, Goodness, and Grace

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Two small and little-known organizations in St. Louis have given me pause to reflect on how good grows from goodness. 

The Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Program, housed in an Episcopal church’s parish hall basement, provides English teachers for immigrant and refugee women as they learn to navigate American culture and the English language.

The women who staff the program are competent, compassionate, caring, and concerned about their students and teachers.  Each teacher is matched with a student and provided with the trademark teacher’s bag full of notebooks,

Trini-Trees, like the Trinity, Are a Mystery

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

It’s possible that I descended from the Germanic tree-worshipping druids. How else can I explain why trees captivate me?

During a retreat at the Adorers’ motherhouse in Ruma, Illinois, shortly after the Feast of the Holy Trinity, I discovered trees with three trunks that have graced our grounds for years, but that I just noticed. Big trees, medium-sized trees and saplings, these “trini-trees” were hiding in plain sight, waiting for me to notice their tri-trunks growing into branches.

 

Each of Us is a Corpus Christi Procession

By Sister Barbara Jean Franklin, ASC

On Sunday, Catholics celebrated the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – formerly, Corpus Christi — but mostly, without the triumphant liturgical processions that marked the celebration years ago.

In those days, the Eucharist was carried out of the Church, often under a fancy canopy, so that the Christian faithful could publicly profess faith and worship of the Blessed Sacrament.

The procession and canopy are not unlike the big tent crusades led years ago by preachers, such as Rev. Billy Graham, where people came forward to profess their faith,

The Adventures of Sister Sue and Buddy the Therapy Dog

By Sister Sue Andrew, ASC

For the last 14 years, I’ve worked at Visitation Catholic School in Kansas City, Missouri, as a licensed clinical social worker and child, family and school psychotherapist.

I’m also certified as a play therapist and head the crisis intervention team for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

It’s fascinating and fulfilling work, and puts me in the privileged position of helping kids deal with a variety of issues. Last year, Philip, a third-grader, came to me crying over his mother’s struggle with terminal cancer.

Surprises in Spring

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Since the Pokémon craze of a couple of summers ago has evaporated, the latest fad in St. Louis is the appearance of solid, sturdy, bright lime-colored bicycles.

LimeBike is a trademarked bike-sharing company that supplies dockless bicycle-sharing systems in St. Louis and other cities. Customers use a mobile app to reserve a bike.

A few weeks after its launch date in the city, LimeBikes are everywhere. Tower Grove Park in my neighborhood is a temporary parking spot for many bikes that dot the entrances,

Earth Deserves Good People

St. Louis University students and Sister Regina, wearing a sweatshirt saying “Never underestimate an
old woman who graduated from St. Louis University.”

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

My St. Louis neighborhood block held its annual alley cleanup on Earth Day weekend, a fitting time to care for our small plot on the planet. Before we began, I stood on the sidewalk talking to my African-American neighbor.

A guy on a bike sped by and yelled an ugly, racial epithet, loudly enough to be unmistakable. For good measure,

Earth Day & Precious Water

By Sister Jane Gegg, ASC

Were you around for the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, the brainchild of the late Senator and environmentalist Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin?

Thinking back on that time, I recall that Rachel Carson’s 1962 groundbreaking work, “Silent Spring,” which documented pesticide use and other harms to the Earth, was fresh in our memory.

Months after the first Earth Day celebration in April 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was established by order of President Nixon.

The Adorers helped sponsor a well for a family in Vietnam.

Be a Blessing

By Sister Barbara Hudock, ASC

I imagine that each day we receive and give blessings. They are like the air around us. We breathe in blessings as we realize that we are blessed and the world around us is a blessed place. And then we breathe out the blessings we have received to others.

The world is a tough place with many unknowns, differences of opinions and beliefs. It includes people who want things a certain way, people who want what is best for all, and people who believe controversy is the best way to move forward.

Transformation and Our Work in Guatemala

By Sister Kris Schrader, ASC

In Guatemala, having your own stylized signature is important. All documents, logs of meetings, school registration and bank transactions require a signature. Women who have not been able to attend school often use a simple X and have someone print their name alongside it or simply ink their thumbprint.

The Adorers’ Maria De Mattias Library & Resource Center is working with small groups of women with extremely limited literacy skills who are mothers of our first-year, junior high school students. One of the goals is to help each woman learn to sign her name.

Laundry Love and Dignity

Sister Regina helps mend clothing

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

While most of us take for granted the convenience of a washer and dryer, it’s actually a luxury inaccessible to many of our brothers and sisters.

A dozen years ago, a movement called Laundry Love started when a homeless man in Ventura, Calif., said having clean clothes would help people see him as a human being.

Since then, communities, schools, churches and other groups have been lifting people’s dignity by helping them get their clothes cleaned at partner laundromats.