Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Last words of Ven. Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon
Foundress of the Marianist Sisters

Blessed Palm Sunday to you!

As we enter into Holy Week - my favorite part of the Liturgical Year - I am struck by the beauty of the Paschal Mystery. It's completely incomprehensible, and yet integral to who we are and who we are called to be. The call - to die to self and to obstacles in our path - so that we (and others) might have life - and have it abundantly. Paradox of paradoxes!

As you may recall, last weekend I attended the LA Religious Ed Congress. The theme of the event was "Incredible Abundance." The prayer services, liturgies, and sessions called us to recognize the abundance of God's grace - God's mercy - God's love. What a wonderful way, great thought with which to close Lent and enter deeply the mystery of the coming week. It reminds me of a song that we used to sing on retreats in college ... "Your love is extravagant. Your friendship is intimate."

This morning at the 10am Mass, we sang "Unless A Grain of Wheat"... I used that Scripture verse and song as the theme of the prayer service marking my entrance into the Marianist Sisters. I remember some thought it was a grim song to use. On the contrary! It's the call of the Christian life. That's what I say, anyway.

Yesterday I wrote a letter to our provincial requesting renewal of vows. Funny, but this idea of dying in order to bear fruit came to me again as I wrote the letter. I didn't quote it, but I was singing the song in my mind as I typed. Then to hear it again this morning was quite fitting. It's a constant in my life... the Paschal Mystery, that is.

Those are my random reflections for today. I hope that each of you has a blessed week as we celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lover of our hearts.

Sr. N

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

... in everything, we commend ourselves as ministers of God...
2 Corinthians 6: 4

Our Sisters send out an e-mail newsletter each month. It has been a LONG time since I submitted something for the newsletter. This month, though, I actually sent something in! I thought I would share with you...

There is so much to say, that I hardly know where to begin! I apologize for not keeping everyone more up to date with what’s been happening. The days, weeks and months pass so quickly. Life has been busy for me, but good. Here are a few highlights from this semester:

  • In January I had the great blessing of attending a Giving Voice gathering in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a gathering of women religious under 40. There were approximately 20 of us from all over the US. The theme of the weekend was based on Hosea 2:14 “I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.” It was good to reconnect with people I had met at an earlier Giving Voice gathering, as well as meet other young women living religious life. We prayed, shared, and had a lot of fun, too! I played my first game of croquet… I didn’t do so well...
  • February brought me the good fortune of flying back to San Antonio twice! Both trips were shorter than I would have liked, but both were good. Marianist LIFE is moving right along. I will miss it when I am finished with my term – especially the frequent trips to San Antonio – but I will be happy to have some of that time for other things.
  • March 2 – 5 I had the privilege of being on a Marianist committee visiting Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati. The team was charged with ascertaining the integration of the Marianist charism in the school. It was truly a wonderful experience. We met with small groups of students, faculty, parents, alumni, staff, and administration. We asked questions about mission, charism, the “Characteristics of Marianist Education.” I left absolutely impressed with the school. They are doing amazing things – with very little resources.
  • In two weeks I will set off for the LA Congress (March 18 – 22). I am flying out with one of the SM Aspirants to work the vocations booth for the Marianists. This will be my second year to do this. I’m looking forward to it. It was a good experience last year.

Other than these highlights, everything else is pretty much the same.

I continue to serve as a spiritual “companion” for three students. They call me their spiritual director, but I keep telling them that I have no training! I continue to enjoy that immensely. It is good that I am currently taking a course in spiritual direction at UD. My final project for the class is a paper and presentation on Spiritual Direction in a Marianist Context… or Spiritual Direction Informed by the Marianist Charism. I haven’t yet landed on something specific, but I’ve been reading some great things in my research.

Lastly, you may be happy to know that there is a new FMI website up and running. It’s at the same web location ( A UD student helped redesign it. There are still a few small kinks to work out, but I think the design will stay.

So, that's my update on life...

I hope that your Lent is abundantly blessed!
Sr. N