Lent

The Forgotten Brothers We Knew

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

My parish community has witnessed a difficult yet strangely grace-filled Lent at our Saint Vincent de Paul Church in St. Louis, a haven for the homeless and forgotten brothers and sisters of Jesus the Christ.

Three weeks ago, Gary, one of the guests at our meals program, died of a heart attack at the entrance to the church.

Last week, Ben, another regular guest at evening meals, who also receives free clothing and bagged lunches, died of prolonged and acute alcoholism.

Although the local news did not report their deaths,

Lenten Twist: It’s Not About Me

By Sister Krystal Funk, ASC

As a musician who’s pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy, I naturally turned to music and song for insights into how I might spend my Lent.

In my research, I fell upon the song, “Beautiful Things,” by Gungor, which seems relevant for the Lenten season.

It says, in part:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change, at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?

A Plan for Lent

By Sister Maria Hughes, ASC

Today, we begin the Season of Lent, a holy time marked by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three traditional disciplines are paths to greater balance and wholeness in our spiritual lives.  While thinking about this season, I came across a little reflection by Jerry Welte about these three disciplines.

Here are his thoughts for Lenten practice, first published in “Words of Grace, Daily Reflections & Prayers for Catholics.”

Prayer:

  • Balance your spiritual life by integrating the body, mind and soul in your prayer life.

Lenten Journeys: #CarbonFast2016

By Sister M. Alan Wurth, ASC

Catholics of a certain age will remember abstaining from meat on Fridays throughout the year, but today the rule applies only to Fridays of Lent, hence, the plethora of Lenten fish fries. The discipline of fast and abstinence remains, however, and is universal, not restricted to Catholics.

The Anglican Communion Environmental Network adds a twist to the Lenten fast by encouraging people to fast from carbon, or at least to reduce carbon use during the holy season of Lent. Who knows? The Lenten discipline may create a new lifestyle and enrich our spiritual life.

Lenten Journey: Caring for Mom

By Sister Toni Longo, ASC

 “I don’t get you. I don’t understand you.
I don’t even like you sometimes.
But I accept you. I accept you.”

I’m not sure where I found this quote, but sometimes I say it to myself while caring for Mom, adding, “But I love you. I love you.”

That sounds pretty sick, doesn’t it, especially from a Catholic sister about her mom, let alone an Adorer of the Blood of Christ who is called to see everyone as the “dear neighbor” and welcome them as she would Christ.

Lenten Journeys: Waiting for Test Results

By Sr. Janis Yaekel, ASC

I am Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC and I have pancreatic cancer. In fact, I have lived with cancer since 2012. I hope to share in my blog my journey and my reflections on the presence of God in my life. It is my hope that those who read my entries will find strength for their own journeys. 

Today I am in the waiting zone.  I recently had my CT scan and MRI. I will get results today.  It’s a hard wait so I try to keep myself busy with stuff that I have been putting off like cleaning the bathtub. 

Lenten Journeys: Saying ‘Yes’ to New Adventures

joAnnMarkBy Sister JoAnn Mark, ASC

Over my life as a Catholic sister, I’ve said “yes” to new opportunities and places to serve God with a fair amount of regularity. These decisions come slowly, though, after I’ve asked God, “What is it that you want me to do?”

That question has led me to say “yes” to teaching English to members of religious communities in Bucharest, Romania and to our sisters and candidates in Dodoma, Tanzania; and to refugees in Benito, Texas. It led me to say “yes” to a request to establish and staff the Office of Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of Omaha,

Lent: Keep it Simple

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Now that Mardi Gras has beaded its way through Soulard, an old St. Louis neighborhood that hosts parades and Mardi Gras festivities that rival those in New Orleans, Lent sobers some of the citizenry into gazing both inward and outward.

But sometimes, there are too many good things. I arranged all the Lenten reflection booklets and pamphlets on a table in the back of my church, sorted through a myriad of materials that the Adorer community had provided, and prepared a list of resources for the adult formation class I teach at the parish.

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Clean Windows

by Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Most of the Sisters who have lived with me could probably attest to my compulsive cleaning habits.  I shift into a higher gear during the traditional spring cleaning time.  Flower beds and windows are wonderful areas for a Lenten sprucing up.

Does anybody wash windows anymore? I do. Religiously, every spring.

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There’s something about the lengthening light that calls for a clean window.  Although we often associate Christmas as a festival of lights, Easter and spring are also symbolic of strong sunlight returning to our northern hemisphere.

Touchy Topic Tuesdays

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Every Tuesday, I join a dozen or so residents for coffee and conversation at a cozy, eclectic, and homey coffee shop in our Shaw neighborhood in St. Louis. We are a mix of ages, races, and genders and call ourselves the Touchy Topics Tuesday group.

Touchy Topics Tuesday group

We talk about race, prejudice, police relationships, stereotypes, discrimination and other touchy topics. We respect each others’ opinions and views and have learned to listen more deeply. We delve into topics in an honest and open manner.

Ferguson protest, photo by Miranda M CaulkinsFor weeks now,