Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement

In the June burst of green and sunshine, I am taking a bike ride through the historically black neighborhood where I live in Chicago. Along the way, I encounter a heron and a flock of geese; I see wrappers and plastic bags littering the sidewalks, discarded in the gutters. I smell freshly-cut grass and waveContinue reading “Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement”

Lessons learned in liminal spaces

this is the space of chrysalis– of break-downs & becoming something something better something more true (we hope, we imagine) this is the crazy time (some say) this is what they warned us about: “remember, you are more prone to accidents and illness. remember to breathe.” no maps are available no one has been hereContinue reading “Lessons learned in liminal spaces”

The body bags of pandemics and wars

Sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic, I’m tucked away into my bedroom, where my time is defined by solitude and screens as I move between projects. Right now, I am working at my desk on various tasks: responding to emails, returning phone calls, setting up meetings. In the background, my radio hums quietly, theContinue reading “The body bags of pandemics and wars”

Franciscan prayer for all of us: a conversation with Jon Sweeney

What does it meant to pray like a Franciscan? This question is one that I reflect on regularly. It’s part of my tendency to informally self-evaluate, to ask myself how I am doing at living my vocation. Typically, the question leads me right to Jesus on the cross. As modeled centuries ago by Saints FrancisContinue reading “Franciscan prayer for all of us: a conversation with Jon Sweeney”

When perpetual adoration takes on a new meaning

For more than 141 years, since Aug. 1, 1878, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have maintained the practice that gives us our name. Along with our lay prayer partners, one of us, at all times, has been praying before the consecrated host in our adoration chapel in La Crosse, Wis. Our congregation has enduredContinue reading “When perpetual adoration takes on a new meaning”

Letting the pandemic change us for the better

When I was 24 years old, I fell off a cliff and shattered my face. Surviving a life-threatening accident at a young age transformed me. Afterwards, I had no more illusions about my mortality or the sacredness of time. I discovered a new urgency to live well. My long-term goals came front and center. FromContinue reading “Letting the pandemic change us for the better”

The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation

I wasn’t sure what it would look like, or how terrible it would be, but deep in my gut I felt something squirming. An awareness. A knowing. An intuition. I had a feeling that bad days were ahead. I am fairly certain that my intuition that we were heading toward a humanitarian crisis wasn’t unusual.Continue reading “The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation”

Has social distancing put us in a double pandemic?

About four years ago, before any of us had been encouraged to practice social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, I moved to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. My family and friends worried I’d be lonely, but I embraced the peace and quiet and found myself feeling very happy among the trees and lakes. It didn’tContinue reading “Has social distancing put us in a double pandemic?”

St. Corona, pray for us

at first I thoughtshe was a bad joke during a pandemic,St. Corona.a joke like “did you hear that they’re putting the Corona beernext to the Lysol sprayin the stores now?” a joke compelling me to groanand roll my eyes at my goofy fatherbreaking the Fourth Commandment,breaking a crown but it turns out she’s not aContinue reading “St. Corona, pray for us”