‘Sister Act’ put me on a path to finding my own voice

“Sister Act,” which came out in 1992, has been part of the soundtrack to my life since I first watched the film, when I was around 11 or 12 years old.

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.

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”

The crisis in Cameroon: join us in prayer and action

He went out and began to weep bitterly. – Luke 22:62 During the Gospel at Palm Sunday Mass, I noticed the emotions expressed by Jesus’ disciples – even when they failed to respond to the call to love and remain faithful. I wondered if I am faithful to Christ. I wondered if I am respondingContinue reading “The crisis in Cameroon: join us in prayer and action”

Groaning and gratitude

I am wide-awake in a dark hospital room. I survived a gruesome hiking accident that left me bloody and alone in the bottom of a ravine, but I’ve been told that I’ll have reconstructive jaw surgery the next day. My family and Franciscan sisters have gone home to sleep for the rest of the night.Continue reading “Groaning and gratitude”

Peace beyond corners

My most vivid memories of elementary school are from second grade. I had spiked hair (I’m not sure if it was cool back then or not), lost many of my baby teeth (earning a special certificate with each one) and played lots of playground football games. However, these were not my most important or formativeContinue reading “Peace beyond corners”

Black cloth

Red broth, steaming soup, vegetables just picked, now my lunch; I slurp life in. Phone rings Sister Laura on the line, “Sister Rita is dying. I’ll put the phone to her ear. Say what you’d like. She can’t talk, won’t respond. Say your good-bye.” A pause. My lungs expand, mind races, I search my heartContinue reading “Black cloth”

In a time for falling

Lately, falling has been on my mind. The season for this is approaching, as leaf after leaf will soon let go and make its journey downwards, trusting the winds to take them where they need to go. I have been thinking about the sensation of falling, but not for the reasons you might expect. ItContinue reading “In a time for falling”

Praying with children crawling every which way

Recently—and a bit ironically, considering my vocation—my life has offered me an opportunity to learn all sorts of lessons about prayer and parenting. When I was in temporary vows a few years ago I agonized about my vocation a lot. I agonized about why it was that I was called to be a Sister, especially sinceContinue reading “Praying with children crawling every which way”