Reflections

Collecting Children’s Christmas Books

By Sister Mary Catherine Clark, ASC

Sitting down with a cup of hot tea and enjoying some of my children’s Christmas books is one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas Season. It always brings me “tidings of comfort and joy.”

Some collect angels or bells or nativity sets. I collect Christmas books.

It started when I was a director of religious education and responsible for the Parish School of Religion Christmas program.

What began for a practical reason soon became a deeper and broader pursuit of great children’s books.

Gifts of the Heart

By Juanita Mason-Fegley, an ASC Sojourner

According to legend, there was a young man roaming the desert who came across a spring of delicious, crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet, he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey, he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly, and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

Later, the teacher let another student taste the water,

Ending Violence Starts with Us

By Sister Sara Dwyer, ASC

Our country has been shocked, perhaps even numbed, by the continued horrific violence inspired by a white supremacist/white nationalist ideology.

In just the last week:

  • Suspect Cesar Sayoc allegedly attempted to kill prominent Democrats, Trump critics and staff at CNN with targeted pipe bombs in the mail.
  • Two black Americans were gunned down in a grocery store in Kentucky after the alleged shooter initially tried to enter a black church minutes earlier.
  • A grisly shooting left 11 people dead at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

My Inspiration: What I Remember about Sister Bertha Fischer

By Monica Morrey Bayer

Recently I was saddened to receive the news of the death of Sister Bertha Fischer, known to her students at St. Pius X in Festus, Missouri, as Sister Mary Austin.

Though she figured in my life for only two years, her inspiration has lasted a lifetime. When she attended our St. Pius X High School Class of 1966 50th reunion, I hope we grads conveyed that we loved and respected her tremendously.

She was sweet and dear, and never had a discipline problem. She modeled for students like me a grace and dignity that we could emulate.

A Letter to My Father, Jim Funk

Sister Krystal with her father

By Sister Krystal Funk, ASC

We met when I was only 3, and I lost you this past July when I was only 35.

You were just 68 years old, a Baby Boomer and retired bank auditor, gone to all of us including your mother, who, at 96, remains the foundation of our family.

Though you were my stepdad, you were the only father I have known. Shortly after you married my mother, you adopted me without hesitation.

You loved me.