St. Louis

Enjoying Spring While Waiting for Therapy

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. 

Time often passes swiftly as we go about our daily lives, but when one is waiting, time can seem like it never moves. Of course that is nothing new. We have all experienced the drag of time especially when we are waiting for something like a vacation or a holiday.

I Have Faith in My Neighbors

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

I have faith in St. Louis, and especially in the people of our city’s many neighborhoods.

In my urban, south-side neighborhood, residents of my block have worked long and hard to create a peaceful, safe and friendly environment.

Most of us know and trust each other enough to have keys to one another’s homes, and can count on each other for help. That reliance and faith in each other were forged in relationships built on discussions held over back-yard fences, in block parties and during alley cleanups.

Is St. Louis safe?

 

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

St. Louis, home of the iconic Gateway Arch and world-famous St. Louis Cardinals, often ranks as one of the most dangerous U.S. cities on ubiquitous lists that try to make sense of violent crime per capita. The lists have their critics, who argue that the process is flawed and would reach a more accurate – and safe – conclusion if list-makers surveyed the entire metropolitan area.

I live in St. Louis and do care about safety, but I am not afraid and don’t feel surrounded by violence.

Grateful for a Parachute

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. 


It’s now been a month since my last chemotherapy treatment and I am beginning to feel like my old self. This morning, I went for a walk and I could tell that I had energy for it.

Lights During Daytime

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

from freeimages.comA couple of years ago, I started to document “Life in Ordinary Time” through photos that capture the everyday images – throughout the seasons — of my yard, garden and surrounding Shaw neighborhood, as well as nearby Tower Grove Park.

I sat on my front steps one sunny, dusty Fall afternoon waiting for my neighbor, Paul, to deliver free, energy-efficient porch light bulbs that were donated by our electric company.

While I waited, I watched Danny and Bryan, two good neighbors, blow leaves from the sidewalks into the street.

Touchy Topic Tuesday, St. Louis, neighborhood safety

Light Up the Block

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

On a crisp fall day when it was still quite dark, I strolled up and down my block to check who had porch lights on. As I took note, I thought about all the people in the neighborhood who work diligently for our safety.

There’s Paul, chair of the Shaw Neighborhood safety committee, who spearheaded the project for free porch lights to light up our blocks. Ameren, the local electric company, will provide free energy-efficient porch lights for anyone who wants one.

Paul posted flyers on all our doors so that we could sign up for a free bulb.

Touchy Topic Tuesday broken toy

Church of the Broken Toys

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Our pastor sometimes refers to our parish in St. Louis as “the church of the broken toys.”  As sad as his observation may sound, it holds a lot of truth.

Touchy Topic Tuesday broken toy

Most parishes are home to the healthy as well as to the suffering, the lonely, and the lost, who can sometimes be overlooked. It’s the privilege and job of the pastor and staff to seek out the wounded and the healthy and to incorporate all more fully into the healing, teaching, and service ministry of the Risen Christ.

Cancer and the Mystic Within

janisBy 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. 

 

Last Friday, I attended a workshop entitled: “Surviving and Thriving with Pancreatic Cancer.”  This is a yearly event put on by Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in collaboration with the Cancer Support Community of Greater St.

image from freeimages.com

Immigration: A Festival of Nations

image from freeimages.comby Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Tower Grove Park, a city gem of a Victorian walking park, hosts the International Institute’s Festival of Nations every year at the end of August.  The park’s gracefully curving roads are crowded tent-to-tent with food and craft booths from more nations than you can count.  Open grassy areas sprout stages for ethnic dances, drums, and storytelling.  Thousands of people visit to sample excellent food, beautiful arts, and lively music.  Cars constantly troll the neighborhood streets surrounding the park looking for that elusive parking spot while residents’ autos hunker down in that cherished location,

Thank a Teacher

la-habana-6-1450639-1599x2404by Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Cicadas rasp their hymns to the waning days of summer. The big yellow buses rumble on their routes through crowded city streets and winding rural roads to collect students who wonder how the summer days evaporated.

Last week I walked through St. Louis University’s campus before attending part of student orientation at Aquinas Institute where I teach a class to a group of intercommunity novices. It was an adrenaline rush, a deep feeling of being at home, a profound understanding of why I love teaching.

I also recently attended a benefit concert/reunion of a high-school band;