reflection

Hope in the Ashes

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

On Saturday, I retrieved last year’s palm fronds from behind “The Lady with a Light,” a picture that a friend gave me many years ago.

Then I gathered an aluminum pie pan and some matches to take to the back porch where I burned the palm branches, hoping the wind would cooperate and not blow the ashes, pie tin and matches away.

While the Soulard neighborhood, St. Louis’ own French Quarter, hosted a raucous Mardi Gras parade and party, I shivered on the back porch, thinking about spring and what to plant in the back yard.

More Faith Than Ever? Not Sure

By Sister 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.

The frigid weather has really gotten a grip on the Midwest this year and my birds are eating up a storm. I have always enjoyed the cold weather, but this year I long for temperatures to return to the 40s at least.

The Gift of Another Year

By Sister Barbara Hudock, ASC

“God loves us and is determined to prove it.”

I love this quote. It comes from Elizabeth Johnson’s book, “Quest For the Living God.” I offer it as a gift for this new year.

Yes, we have the gift of another year. What will we do with it?

As we step into the new year, we can first take time to realize that the gifts of time and a God who deeply loves us are ours. Yet, they can so easily be taken for granted.

A Little Good Friday on Christmas Eve

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

The scene at midnight Mass at St. Vincent de Paul was exquisite: The venerable, old church in St. Louis, my parish, was dressed up in red poinsettias, white lights, candles, and crib, and the choir was enchanting and soulful. In the pews near the back, however, scenes from Good Friday unfolded.

An intoxicated, incoherent and injured woman, in need of a shower and clean clothes, had encountered four Catholic Sisters in the church parking lot as they arrived at the church for caroling. She was screaming and pleading, ‘Help me!

A New Year Ushers a Letting Go

By Sister 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, as I sit by the computer, I find myself looking outside at a very cold winter landscape. The birds are eating and eating at the feeders. It is a hard time for the creatures of nature right now as they struggle to survive.

Living by Signs

L to R: Therese Wetta, Renee Kirmer, and JoAnn Mark, Circa 1980s

By Sister JoAnn Mark, ASC

Three years ago at this time, I made a decision to leave my life in Wichita for a challenge in New York where I knew no one. I had been on the board of a struggling nonprofit that was about to collapse unless someone did the hard work of pumping it with new life.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, I packed up the car and left all that was familiar —

Following the Spirit’s Lead

By Sister Frances Pytlik, ASC

Advent allows us to connect with our hopes and desires, our longing and yearning for God. But with Advent coming only once every 12 months, I try to be alert to that process year-round.

As I look back over the last years, I am aware of the Spirit’s nagging, prodding and pushing, and my slow and deliberate response to these proddings.

As I responded to calls for ministries and moved from one mission place to another, the decisions and the timing seemed appropriate.

At the beginning of my ninth year in western Kansas,

Traveling Outside My Comfort Zone

By Sister Ann Fearday, ASC

For believers, Advent is a sacred journey of hoping, waiting and preparing, and in my case, more deeply understanding self. Months after I completed a 32-day, 424-mile pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), I still am savoring the experience and coming to understand my whole life as a sacred journey.

  

Looking for God

I looked for God along the way of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain,

The Road to My Wildest Dreams

By Sister Barb Smith, ASC

Journeys always stir something deep within me. There is something exciting about taking off into the unknown.

Where will this road take me? Who will I encounter?

The Adventure beings

Maybe it is the adventure, the willingness to be challenged, taking a leap of faith or the excitement of discovering something new, but it seems that my whole life has been about being on a journey.

One of these journeys touched my life in a significant way in 1982 when I responded to a call to minister among the Navajo on a reservation in New Mexico.

A Journey of Faith

By Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC

The season of Advent is upon us, time to reflect on the powerful way that the Lord has touched our lives. It is a time of waiting for the rebirth of Jesus in our lives.

This past year, I’ve had to exercise strong faith. While I have been dealing with pancreatic cancer for five years, my discomfort has increased quite a bit over the last few months. I have experienced more issues and suspect that there will be more to come.

How do I face the issues ahead?