Jessica Mesman: Church as muse

“If I want to feel faith and emboldened in my faith that happens through art. My most profound spiritual experiences have probably happened through reading books.” -Jessica Mesman

Seeing Jesus in the poor and the bread

In the pilot episode, Sister Julia introduces the podcast and offers a contemplative moment related to Adoration. She also speaks with guest Sister Sarah Hennessy about vocation, the mystery of the Eucharist and the charism of their community–Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

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”

When the ground moves and tradition changes

During my first visit to a foreign land there was an earthquake, but I was unaware of it until after the fact. I was an exchange student, staying with a host family in Mexico City. Within the first few days that I was there adjusting to everything — change of language, culture, climate, lifestyle andContinue reading “When the ground moves and tradition changes”

At a table with other sinners, the Eucharist unites

The first person who taught me eucharistic theology was my Lutheran grandmother. Although I have no memories of her ever uttering the words “eucharistic” or “theology,” she taught me in the way that the best teachers do: by being a living example. Grandma’s house usually smelled like freshly baked bread. Her counter was often dustedContinue reading “At a table with other sinners, the Eucharist unites”

We are endangered species, but Franciscan values could save us

At my new home in Chicago, I can visit the shore of Lake Michigan, and I like to go there to pray. From my spot on a concrete slab, all that is visible to me that is “natural” is water and sky. Everything else — the concrete, the fence, the shoreline — has been constructedContinue reading “We are endangered species, but Franciscan values could save us”

Lucy’s lament, Greta’s anger and hopeful action

It was a bright June day when I heard a sister lament. The sister: she is named for light; we call her Lucy. At a community meeting, she stood at a podium and spoke into a microphone, her voice full of passion and frustration. She gave a State of the Union speech of sorts, yetContinue reading “Lucy’s lament, Greta’s anger and hopeful action”

What’s whiteness got to do with it?

“You don’t dismantle white supremacy by ‘learning about other cultures.’ You dismantle white supremacy by deconstructing whiteness. – Benita Grace Joy I saw this quote the other day. As any good meme does, it deeply resonates with my own experience. As a white woman who chose to move to South America, originally serving as aContinue reading “What’s whiteness got to do with it?”

Rejoice with me

  Along with three others sisters in their mid-30s, I am in a busy café in St. Louis, Missouri, enjoying a lunch of sandwiches and salads. A bit ago, we prayed over our food. Between bites, we’re laughing and chatting about the work we need to do. Feeling happy and a little anxious, we stillContinue reading “Rejoice with me”

Our Common Call to Contemplation, Communion and Creativity

On an ordinary morning, I kneel into The Now. I am alone in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the floor. I have set my timer, so I know when I must move. But for now, this is all there is. I light the candle nearby, then close my eyes and move my mind — myContinue reading “Our Common Call to Contemplation, Communion and Creativity”