Jon Sweeney: Finding Comfort and Confidence in the Mess

Sister Julia Walsh talks with author Jon Sweeney about his journey from Evangelical Christianity and Moody Bible Institute to writing about saints, becoming Catholic and marrying a rabbi. They also explore his thoughts on what Christians need to know and respect about Judaism. And they discuss Jon Sweeney’s new book about Nicholas Black Elk.

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”

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”

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”

Serving up accountability this holiday season

Thanksgiving in the United States is often a time to come together with family, friends and whomever else we call community. My favorite memories of Thanksgiving are around the table sharing food, memories full of warmth, comfort and a feeling of belonging. But as I grew up, I also learned about the real history behindContinue reading “Serving up accountability this holiday season”

Christian resistance in the style of St. Francis

It’s indisputable that today’s signs of the times point to heartache, injustice, division and confusion. The truth seems to be debatable. The persecutions of the little ones — from immigrant children, refugees, victims of natural disasters and targets of sexual assault; those who are on the margins — often are the ones who bear theContinue reading “Christian resistance in the style of St. Francis”

The greatest news of Advent … and all time!

What if things really are better than they seem? Often, people talk like we are living in the darkest period of history yet. There seems to be the assumption that if you look around, it’s obvious that things couldn’t get much worse. Actually, the statistics tell a different story. Oliver Burkeman cites a statement releasedContinue reading “The greatest news of Advent … and all time!”

Finding St. Francis and choosing to stand on the margins

It was early 2013 and I was fresh from three months of formation with Franciscan Mission Service. I had just arrived in Bolivia, South America, to live and serve for at least the next two years as a Franciscan lay missioner. I had spent the autumn months of 2012 in daily classes learning about FranciscanContinue reading “Finding St. Francis and choosing to stand on the margins”

Holy Week is here

Here we are! The Lenten journey is ending and it is time to emerge from the desert and enter into the Paschal mystery. Holy Week has arrived! Here’s a quick background on these sacred days in the Church year:     For your prayer and mediation this week, I’d like to share with you aContinue reading “Holy Week is here”