Since the end of June, on Wednesday evenings at 6, people have gathered on the church steps of St. Vincent de Paul’s parish in St. Louis to pray for the people at our border.
We begin with a short reflection offered by someone in the parish or the broader community and spend most of the time in silence and contemplation. It’s not really quiet because the traffic on busy Interstate 55 rumbles, roars, and speeds by a few short yards from our church, celebrating 175 years of prayer and service this year.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Adorers’ arrival in Tanzania in East Africa, which is now its own “region” or province of the Adorers worldwide. Four sisters from Italy established the first Adorers’ presence there in November 1969. The presence grew to a mission, later a foundation, then eventually a region. And along the way, some U.S. sisters joined the effort. U.S. Sisters JoAnn Mark and Rose Anthony Mathews recently recalled their time in ministry there.
When and where specifically did you serve in Tanzania?
Sister Mary Thomasine was the second of eight children and spent her childhood on the family farm. She was baptized Edna Mae at St. John the Baptist, a rural parish near Bazine, Kansas. One of her siblings also joined the ASC community as Sister Joyce Stoecklein.
Mary Thomasine entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in August 1939,
My parish, St. Vincent De Paul in St. Louis, began Wednesday evening vigils on our church steps to pray for the people and situation at the Border. The half-hour of a short reflection followed by prayer provides time and space to call the people at the border into our hearts.
Last week, as parishioners gathered, one of our street residents, with dirty clothes in shreds, shambled up the steps and went through the church doors, carrying a plastic food container.
One of the other parishioners and I followed him into the church to see if he needed anything.
I was in my late 30s when I began ministry in Bolivia. My hopes, joy and curiosity were as great as the majestic Andes Mountains surrounding the city of La Paz. Actually, it was more like an international novitiate as I plunged into a sea of new learnings amid very unchartered waters.
I was blessed to share my new missionary journey with an Adorer from the Ruma Province and two from Spain; a pastor from Malta who spoke five languages and neighbors from different Indigenous cultures and traditions.
I recently met my Iraqi student Dunya for the celebration of Eid that marks the end of the Ramadan month of fasting and prayers for Muslims worldwide.
The party in St. Louis featured free food and prizes, sno-cones, cotton candy, face painting, a fire truck and more. Volunteers from the host, Oasis International, and Canaan Baptist Church were on hand to help.
Refugees, immigrants, and U.S. citizens partied peacefully and enjoyed each other’s company. Dunya and her friend Azlar chatted together in animated Arabic while their daughters Shams and Zahraa played on the fire truck.
While her own spirituality was already well developed, Sister Barb discovered a rich culture that opened her to discover God in new ways.
“Their love and appreciation of the harmony of all life has found a home within me,” she writes. “It draws my attention to the profound beauty of creation, to the simple things that are so often missed or unappreciated. This sacred rhythm of life is like the heartbeat/drum beat that resonates in my prayer and gratitude for every gift and blessing of life.”
Read the full article here.
By Sister Vicki Bergkamp, ASC
Mysteries have a significant role in our lives. The Easter season calls us to consider one of our most profound mysteries, that death leads to new life.
Some mysteries are meant to be solved and usually we enjoy this challenge whether it is a puzzle, a novel, a movie, or a life event. We actually spend a lot of time solving mysteries.
Science is designed to solve the mysteries of our universe. Every time scientists solve a mystery,
About 60 years ago, my 3rd– and 4th-grade religion class and I were talking about Lent and preparing for Easter. I listed the various extra opportunities we had during Lent to become better acquainted with Jesus. One little third-grader who usually became very interested waved her hand wildly and said, “you mean, it’s like grace is on sale.”
In her young imagination, you could attend a Lenten program and pile up grace in the shopping cart of the soul. Skipping candy equals one grace, staying out of a fight could earn a dozen graces.
Sister Lucille, a native of Aleppo, Kansas, was the fourth youngest of 10 children who lost her mother at age seven. She spent her childhood on the family farm. Her older sister Remigia entered the Adorer community before her.
Lucille entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita, Kansas, on September 6, 1943, professing first vows July 1,
As I checked my Facebook newsfeed recently, I came across a string of comments reacting to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s position on voter reforms. I don’t know how many people had responded. I stopped counting at 21, not yet near the end of the string.
Some comments were moderate, but the majority expressed anger, outrage, and frustration with McConnell’s attitude and stance, which seemed arrogant and inflammatory and contributed to the already chaotic and divisive atmosphere of politics.
As citizens, we are right to be angry at the divisive words and actions of many of our elected officials and at the corruption that has put them into office.
Courtney, my neighbor, had spread salt along her sidewalk as a wintry mix of ice and snow fell from the sky in St. Louis. Then, she came over to our home and kindly spread salt on our front porch, steps and sidewalk.
What a quiet, unassuming random act of kindness that I just happened to see by accident as I went to my front window to assess how long it would take me to de-ice my car this wintry morning. I was so touched by her care of “the dear neighbor” for us.