Touchy Topic Tuesdays

My Journey with Cancer, and God

Sister Janis Yaekel, ASC

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. 

In February 2012, I had a bladder infection and my doctor wanted a CAT scan to make sure the kidneys were okay.

Flags Aside, Focus on the Shooting Victims

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

The shootings in Charleston, S.C., were a natural discussion topic of our Touchy Topics Tuesday group. As is our wont, the conversation spiraled, swirled, and detoured to brief history lessons on the Civil War and Confederate flag, and shades of black skin and how lighter colors are more valued.

As enlightening as the dialogue was, we seemed as sidetracked as the nation that now focuses on the need to get rid of the Confederate flag and what it has come to symbolize.

But the people killed in Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston are the ones we should be focused on.

Snitches, Transgender Women and Rachel Dolezal

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

A recent Touchy Topics Tuesday gathering addressed several truly sensitive issues ranging from concern about a restless quadrant of the neighborhood to national newsmakers.  A couple of evenings of gunshots in that twitchy segment of our Shaw neighborhood where the target won’t cooperate with the police had us wondering what causes people to not want to talk to the police.

Is it fear, a refusal to be a snitch, or apprehension about retaliation?  We couldn’t begin to know the thought processes that a target of gunshots must be experiencing.

Coming Together Ready to Listen

Lots of white daisies in Meadow - green FieldBy Sr. Barbara Hudock ASC

June is the beginning of summer, a time to think of warm weather, extra time outside, vacations.  For us Adorers, it is also the time to prepare for our Assembly, the one time each year we gather as a total community to let the Spirit work among us.

We use this time to be open and to listen to how God is calling us.

As we ask to listen to God’s will and ask for the grace to move with it, I am reminded of this quote:

Touchy Topic Tuesday: The Homeless Out There and Within

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

St. Vincent De Paul, my parish, steeped in the Vincentian charism of seeking and finding the neediest of society, ministers in a variety of ways to people who come to us for social services.

Many of the folks who walk through our doors are homeless, the most unnoticed and most easily forgotten and ignored people in our society.  But they are people with names, stories, families, and a longing for a place to belong.  Often ravaged by mental illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction, “the homeless” are much more than a shadowy category. 

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Nextdoor

By Sr. Regina Siegfried ASC

Nextdoor is a social networking service for neighborhoods in the United States.  I imagine it as a huge backyard fence or kitchen table over which neighbors can chat, exchange items, and keep a vigilant eye on each other.

It might be a limping excuse for an actual face-to-face conversation, but it does serve a purpose in our social-networking culture. Nextdoor Shaw is my local service that keeps our neighborhood informed of events, lost pets, suspicious activity, and free items placed in alleys for anyone who wants them.

shawAlthough the tone is generally civil and courteous,

Touchy Topic Tuesday: No Charge, No Easy Solutions

by Sr. Regina Siegfried

On May 18, The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office released its no-charges report for the police officer who shot VonDerrit Myers, a young man in the Shaw Neighborhood, on Oct. 8, 2014.  The verdict was a natural topic for our Touchy Topics Tuesdays gathering.  We began our discussion group as a result of his death and the unrest in Shaw.  Current protests seemed more agitated outside Shaw than within the neighborhood, although small groups congregated peacefully at the site of the memorial.

Who chooses when to take down that sad,

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Seeing Other Viewpoints

By Sister Regina Siegfried ASC  

During a recent Sunday liturgy at my parish in St. Louis, I knew that we were hosting a visitor who professes no religion. The faith of our congregation is often palpable and inspiring, at least to the believers. I tried to enter the mind and heart of a person who is a compassionate, generous and intelligent humanitarian and who was with us because of family ties.  How did it feel to be surrounded by a vibrant, faith-filled community during a lively celebration?


Beyond the obvious knowledge that faith is a treasured gift,

Touchy Topics: Why Do We Meet?

By Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

Sometimes the topics in my Touchy Topics Tuesdays group get a little prickly, but the tone and mood has of late veered more into the pensive than the argumentative.

1383813_42612206We continue to wonder why we meet. If discussing concerns of our St. Louis neighborhood is the main focus, are we making a difference? Is gathering to drink coffee and chat an hour or two on Tuesday mornings with newly found friends keeping us together?  Can attentive listening solve the sometimes overwhelming issues of the neighborhood, city, and our society? 

Touchy Topic Tuesday: Stirrings Below Ground

by Sr. Regina Siegfried, ASC

I love elephant ears, those waving, Victorian-age showoffs. The bulbs trumpet the necessity of ritual planting, cutting, and digging up for winter storage.  After I cut back the big leaves in the fall, I have a private funeral procession to the yard waste dumpster.

Those elephant ears, while certainly plants, seem more than plants.  They seem to want to reach into the animal realm. They deserve a little ceremony as they move to the recycling phase of their lives. To ensure new life for next spring, the bulbs need to be dug up and stored in a dry,