Christ - Related Content

Obituaries and celebrating St. Clare

Thursday, August 17th 2017 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

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St. Clare of Assisi

Reading an obituary can fill us with tension and sadness; loss as well as insight and inspiration. I have read a lot of obituaries. As a former parish pastoral associate I have been present with family members as they carefully chose the stories and words for the final public statement about their loved one. I have shared in laughter and tears for life stories shared in the sacred experience of death. How do you explain a lifetime of love and care through good times and bad? How can words convey what the heart feels and recalls, from ordinary routines to extraordinary experiences? Death can be a revelation and a time of reflection of the contribution that every life makes in our world. 

Our loved ones live on in us when stories of their lives are passed from one generation to the next. Last Thursday evening, as we marked the anniversary of her death, our community gathered in Mary of the Angels Chapel to hear witness accounts of the Acts of Canonization of St. Clare of Assisi and stories from the "Legend of St. Clare." Over 800 years later, the witness of her life continues to transform our world and shape the Franciscan family.  

Sister Mary Kathryn Fogarty reads the reflection by Lady Benedetta from "The Legend of St. Clare"

St. Clare followed the light of Christ through the darkness of greed, corruption and abuse of power that left many people of her time discarded and unprotected. She refused to be a part of a system that would perpetuate division between rich and poor. Striving to live like her beloved, poor Christ she fought for the privilege of poverty for her monastery, refusing the bishop’s persuasion to allow it to be endowed. Endowment would bring power and influence, two agents she desired to avoid. St. Clare listened to the voice of her conscious until her dying day. Just prior to her death, she received approval for her community’s rule of life. St. Clare’s entire existence on earth was aligned with her love of Christ and serving the needs of all those around her. 

What are you willing to stake your life on? Is there a cause or group that needs your help? Is there a system that perpetuates violence or oppression in which change is possible? Are there others who have the same cares and concerns as you? 

How would being part of a religious community allow you to have support and encouragement as you stand with and work alongside your brothers and sisters in need?    

Discernment is a time to take stock, to ask yourself what you believe. Where is your conscious leading you? How will you be an agent of change in our world today? 

In the far off future, what will your obituary say about you? Will it share the ways you sought to serve others, courageously using your voice, your gifts, your talents?

Christ has risen!

Sunday, April 12th 2020 9:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Happy Easter from Show me a sign

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

May the joy of the resurrection of Jesus fill our hearts this day and throughout the Easter Season.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Turn your back or open your arms to discernment?

Thursday, February 1st 2018 1:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


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A fleece blanket, crafted and wrapped  with care for someone in need

Lori True composed and sings a wonderful song called “What Have We Done for the Poor Ones.” This past Saturday, FSPA sisters, Viterbo University students, staff and alumni took this question to heart as they spent the morning together making blankets, scarves, hats, cards, hygiene bags and affirmation jars to be given with care for those in need. For these volunteers, each project provided a personal pathway of understanding; a way to reach out to the forgotten and the vulnerable who Scripture reminds us to look out for. We are called to provide for the child removed from violent households, for the men and women who wander our streets with no place to call home, and the elderly who wait for a sign that they have not been forgotten. How would it feel to ceaselessly long for loving memories in a strange environment (instead of the horror of being pulled away from your family)? How would it feel to get frostbite because your coat can't fend off the bitter cold? How would it feel to endlessly sit, stranded in front of a window in a nursing home, praying for a sign that someone still cares you’re alive?

How do we see these neighbors as our brothers and sisters in Christ?

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Sister Fran and students cut fabric for scarves

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Hand-made hygiene bags filled by students for homeless teens

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Sister Carrie Kirsch and a Viterbo student weave hats

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Sisters Margaret Schmolke (left), students and Sister Margaret Wagner worked as a team to create a soft, warm blanket

The day called for all to weave together a sense of community support for those who are readily seen as suffering as well as for the hidden poor; to remember that the statistics we see on TV, newspapers and social media feeds are individuals — not nameless numbers from a census taken of a faceless population. Every digit is a flesh-and blood-person who has hopes and dreams for their futures too. When we put ourselves in the experience of others, compassion and care arise along with a desire to help. And we have a choice whether to see the suffering of humanity right in front of us ... or not. Will we live with eyes wide open or avert our glance, ignoring our brothers and sisters in need? 

Discernment also comes with this choice. Will you turn your back or open your arms to your call in life?

What will you do?

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 25th 2017 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Merry Christmas to you from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

May the joy of Christ's birth be in your heart today and throughout the year.

Mantle of grief

Thursday, April 20th 2017 2:15 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

In moments of despair and grief in my life I have longed to hear the words “It’s going to be okay;” okay meaning others will walk with me through times of pain and loss (although not everything will be exactly like it was before, even when my heart longs for the way it was). Affirmation and assurance of care and concern have been like balm for my soul, in my own experiences of loss.

In the Gospels this week I have found companions in the lives of the disciples. Pain and sorrow shroud their vision. The mantle of grief is so heavy on their shoulders that they could not recognize the risen Christ. Through tear-stained, bleary eyes each one encounters transformation and deeper faith as they recognize who stands before them. Patiently Christ extends love and compassion to each one, revealing the truth of his resurrection to be more than a prediction. With renewed energy and purpose the disciples hasten to share the news of the resurrection. These stories stand as not only testimony to the truth of the resurrection of Jesus but also as encouragement to face our own moments of crisis; when the death of someone we love or the loss of what we thought was our direction in life suddenly shifts.

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We stand in the grace of time as we know that Jesus has risen redeemed as the Christ, journeying together through the church year as we celebrate the events of the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is difficult to see this same cycle at work in our own lives as we experience our own grief-stricken moments; situations in which the grace of time has yet to be revealed and our faith is stretched nearly to its breaking point. Like the disciples, we have to learn from the events of our day. We cannot fast forward our lives and look back from the future, expressing to our past selves that what you’re experiencing now is going to help you in the long run. We must rely on our faith in God and know that when we need it most, we'll recognize Jesus standing before us with our own resurrection moment in hand.

There are times in discernment that grief will be a part of the journey; where you may feel all is lost and the happily ever after you long for is not yet on the horizon. Remember the disciples; remember that the transformation is just a few dark nights away. Easter alleluias always come; God will not abandon you on your discernment journey. As in the Gospel you will be renewed, transformed and then sent forth to help others in their own passages, singing your irreplaceable alleluia as you go.

This week, ask yourself …

How have your worst experiences transformed into new life? 

What barriers did you have to break through to come to this realization? 

Who were the agents of transformation—those who helped you open your eyes to the reality in front of you?

 

 

 

Rejoice in love and resurrection

Sunday, April 21st 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Joy and Easter blessings to you

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

May our hearts overflow with joy as we celebrate God’s love for us and the resurrection of Christ this Easter Season.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for new videos in the FSPA discernment series! 

Sister JoAnn's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 2nd 2020 10:00 am
JoAnn Serwas, FSPA


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Show me a sign and Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have more inspiration to share. Stay tuned.

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.


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