reflection

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.

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.

Seeds Far and Near  

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

My upstairs neighbor, a horticulturist at Missouri Botanical Garden, recently returned from a research trip to Kyrgyzstan where his team helped local scientists collect fruit and nut tree seeds for national seed banks including one in Kyrgyzstan.

He said some of the trees are among some of the oldest on the planet. Kyrgyzstan, located on part of the iconic Silk Road, is bordered by China to the east and Uzbekistan to the west, a location I can barely imagine.  How exotic the trip, the research, the land, the terrain,