Bells for Mario  

By Sister Dani Brought, ASC

On a recent Sunday morning in La Labor, Guatemala, I was enjoying my cup of coffee when I heard church bells ringing next door. The bells or dobles in Spanish signify a funeral service for someone who had died two days before.

We had learned on Friday the sad, sad news that young Mario had died.

Mario, the 30-year-old husband of Merli, and father of three, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he waited at a corner store in Guatemala City to buy food for his work crew.

A Syrian Child Cries While We Pick a President

Posted by Talbiseh Media Center
Posted by Talbiseh Media Center

By Sister Krystal Funk, ASC

Like thousands of people around the world, I viewed with deep sadness a video of a terrified and bloodied Syrian girl screaming for her father after a rocket attack on their town, Talbiseh, caused the ceiling of their house to collapse.

Her cries found their way into my soul, the center space in my heart. I teared up.

Photo by photographer and media activist Mahmoud Raslan
Photo by photographer and media activist Mahmoud Raslan

The look in her eyes seems to speak of the same tragedy as that of the boy,

A Precious Encounter with Jesus and Miss Nadine

By Sister Maria Hughes, ASC

Where have I adored the Blood of Christ today?

As an Adorer, I try to ponder this question each day. Yesterday, I met the precious blood of Jesus in a woman named Miss Nadine.

Sister Barbara Hudock, ASC, and I joined many others in greeting the Nuns on the Bus at Southside Housing Coalition Midtown Center in St. Louis. As we gathered, we met brothers and sisters from all parts of society. Painted on the side of the bus were the words, “reweaving the fabric of society.”

Orlando Weeping

Enjoying the night, relaxing with friends,
In a moment became the beginning of the end.
Hearts racing to music just moments before,
Silenced in an instant by a man who swore,

To condemn those with a life different from his.

We pray for all those who were lost that day,
Their families and friends so grieved today.
Memories of better times, may God bless you.
Lives that meant so much, youth gone too soon.
Blood of Christ in the streets once again.

Be Free With Your Mercy

By Sister Mary Shaw, ASC

Pope Francis recently published his first book as pope, “The Name of God is Mercy,” which offers a practical way to live the environment encyclical that he completed a year ago today.

That encyclical, “Laudato Si,’” (today is the anniversary of its publication date) holds that everything is interconnected, and that we cannot be indifferent to anything. Yet, we tell ourselves that the refugee crisis, climate change and deportation are not our concern.

When our conscience gets pricked a little, we make a donation and stay at a safe distance to avoid encountering those with difficult lives.

War, Women and Girls: A Special Kind of Violence

By Sr. JoAnn Mark, ASC

A little more than a year ago, I moved from my university job at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., to run an NGO (non-governmental organization) in New York. In my work for Partnership for Global Justice, I frequently attend meetings at the United Nations.

You get numb to them after a while. But one particular meeting in March left me feeling overwhelmed. The topic was the inhumane treatment of women and girls, including rape and sexual violence in war.

I came to understand that sexual violence, unlike torture,

O The Places You’ll Go (as NOT told by Dr. Seuss)

by Cathy Pankiewicz – originally published in New Wine Press

A few years ago Facebook led me to a lovely post from a woman who wrote about the travels she had anticipated upon the birth of her first child and the one she actually took. Her child was born with Down Syndrome, and the figurative trip to Paris she imagined quickly became one just as lovely, but entirely different. She had fancied a voyage she and baby would take together. It would be one with a mix of blue skies and choppy waters for sure,

Sex Offenders in the Neighborhood

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

My neighbors and I recently learned that three sex offenders live among us on our block, a quiet, well-maintained urban neighborhood in St. Louis.

Of course, it came as a surprise, but it shouldn’t have. Sex offenders, drug dealers, and similar folks may be closer than we imagine. By law, sex offenders must register their address with local authorities, who share it for safety reasons with the public.

We met to discuss this troubling discovery, armed with information from various websites including their names and the nature of their crimes as well as the names of the property owner and landlord who house them.

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.

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.