System upset, then and now

During a sacred meal with his friends, the rabbi mixed-up the ritual. When he stood and put a towel around his waste and carried a bowl of water across the room, he caused confusion. His followers exchanged glances, but stayed quiet, not asking questions. They stared as he knelt before the man with the longestContinue reading “System upset, then and now”

As one in the crowd

In my imagination, I am a girl of 10 years old, playing tag with my older brother. We are running through the stone streets of Jerusalem on a Friday morning. My calloused feet are well-accustomed to the alleyways and paths, to the steps and hills; I know my way around and am familiar to theContinue reading “As one in the crowd”

Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again

I sat down in front of 15 pre-K students for our bi-weekly Bible story time, expecting more or less to follow our routine. Every Wednesday and Friday I join them for a 15-minute story session, telling toddler-friendly versions of Sunday’s scripture or the classic Bible stories that adults clean up and present to young children:Continue reading “Preaching the Gospel for the first time … again”

With apologies to Agathon

“O happy fault, that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” ~ “The Exsultet: The Proclamation of Easter” It seems lately that many people around me are having a tough time. Perhaps it’s just my perception but in my day-to-day conversations and my friends’ social media posts, there are many struggling just to keep it together.Continue reading “With apologies to Agathon”

The wounds of Christ and the inauguration of Donald Trump

Last Friday morning—the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration—two screens were in front of me; words and images flooding in. A glowing laptop sat upon my knees, my web browser opened to an online Bible, Psalm 34. It was there because I awoke with this song in my head, particularly the “The LORD hears the cry of theContinue reading “The wounds of Christ and the inauguration of Donald Trump”

Walking for mercy, walking for justice

This week’s guest blogger, Michael Krueger, first met Sister Julia while working as a dishwasher at St. Rose Convent during his undergraduate years at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Inspired by those sisters and a Franciscan education he is an affiliate with the FSPA and, in La Crosse, was coordinator of Place of GraceContinue reading “Walking for mercy, walking for justice”

Good Friday: The crosses we create

Today, this high holy day, at liturgies worldwide, we will know no sacrifice at the banquet table. Communion will be different, stirring up spiritual hungers to remind us of the pain of our loss, the awfulness of the absence of Christ. On this solemn day, an unusual ritual will file us forward; all of us areContinue reading “Good Friday: The crosses we create”

seven days of salvation

strangers grip palms, bond at bus stops grins by glory, pilgrims unite onward, hosannas and hellos true buzz on the street: whisper, plot, might centuries of destruction and war ring doom age the days of tension, hoping who can save us from our plight? bright spring moon, free, feasting friends wash feet; bread, wine multiplyContinue reading “seven days of salvation”

oh, God

The solid statues seem to suggest that the horror of the cross is only historical.  We gather in dark churches to remember, and mix the meaning into our mind right along side wars, genocide, crusades and the holocaust.  Black and white photos in the history books tell us to keep telling the story and memorializeContinue reading “oh, God”