This is another long overdue post. I dedicated some time this morning (ok, early afternoon) to blog maintenance. I attempted to re-organize some of my links. I also wanted to change some of the layout but haven't been as successful with the html code. As a result, some of the font is now smaller than I intended, but I will re-visit this again (soon) and resolve that. In the meantime, I feel the blog is a bit better organized and includes some additional links. Of particular note are the links to congregational chapters. My own Sisters of Christian Charity
completed their General Chapter this summer and the dear Daughters of Saint Paul
are currently conducting theirs. Both are very insightful sites to visit and give an inspiring glimpse into the ministry of congregational governance and ongoing institutional formation and renewal. Be sure to visit the direct links now available on the sidebar.
So, where have I been?
August has been a full month although it flew by even more quickly than July.
Mid-August brought my community's annual celebration of significant events. On August 16th, two novices made their first profession of vows and joined the ranks of temporary (junior) professed Sisters. The Liturgy, celebrated by the Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese joined by over a dozen other priests and a permanent deacon, was simply beautiful, inspiring, and reflective of the journeys of these two young women. It was indeed a day of celebration!
The evening of August 20th marked the reception into the Novitiate of three new novices. These young women have journeyed together with their director through a period of initial formation. Candidacy, or pre-novitiate, included theological and liberal arts study and further discernment of their calls to religious life.
August 21st marked the 158th anniversary of our community and the annual provincewide jubilee celebration. At the conclusion of the day, the Sisters joined in a missioning ceremony and then headed out to the respective mission houses (local convents) to start the new apostolic year. Special among the missioning of each Sister was the sending forth of our Sister Marisol Garcia who volunteered to minister in one of South American provinces. Sister Marisol left for her new mission on August 22nd and our prayers accompany her on this very special journey.
Joining the Sisters for these special moments also provided opportunity to exchange prayer intentions. One of our Sisters who is rather young is carrying the cross of cancer right now and prayers are needed to lift her up as she undergoes treatment.
August 26th marked the arrival of two new candidates. In the Easter Province of the United States, the Sisters of Christian Charity now have three candidates (postulants/pre-novices), four novices, and seven temporary professed.
One Friday I attended the funeral for the mother of a very good friend from high school and the following Thursday the funeral for the father of one of my best friends. No matter the age, no matter the circumstances, the death of a parent is a major lifeloss. Both were people of deep faith and extraordinary character so I have no doubt that they are resting in God. Nonetheless, their physical presence among us will be greatly missed.
Joining with others, this time also marked the anniversary of Katrina's havoc and the tragic seemingly premature death of Diana, princess of Wales. For me, my perspective on Katrina's anniversary is altered this year as I am simultaneously preparing to travel to New Orleans (for the first time since Katrina) this coming week to co-present a workshop with colleagues at a national conference. While at the surface level, this will be a business trip, at the spiritual and personal levels, I anticipate it will be a pilgrimage. I don't expect to have much internet access during my short time there, but I hope to journal there and share reflections upon my return.
Now, September has arrived, traditionally a time for new beginnings, in some ways even more so than the beginning of the calendar year. The relief of more Fall-like weather adds something to this dimension. Let us avail ourselves of this opportunity to renew our commitment to our prayer, work, and community, wherever they may take us, wherever we may find them.
Let us be for one another a source of encouragement as we journey onward!