COVID-19 - Related Content

Sister Meg's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, June 18th 2020 10:00 am
Meg Earsley, FSPA


Stay tuned. Show me a sign has more 6 Word Stories of Hope to share.

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

'Christ is among us and in each of us.'

Monday, April 13th 2020 9:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA



"It is not the end ... it's a new beginning."


Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

Our faith beckons us to remember that hope and joy can prevail where once only terror and death reigned. We are an Easter people, called forth to continue to proclaim the good news and to search for light where there is temptation to perceive only darkness, especially in a world held hostage by COVID-19. Our hearts are breaking for those losing their lives without the comfort of their family, friends and faith communities. Our prayers are with the healthcare providers who are risking their lives with compassion. We are given statistics and brace ourselves for the wave that is gathering energy here in the United States. We prepare for possibilities and pray for miracles. This is an Easter season markedly different than most others. 

As we prioritize prayer and pause, we remember that over 2,000 years ago, another community much like ours was also struggling with death — the death of Jesus whose body was placed in a tomb. There was no funeral celebration, no gathering by the thousands of people he once served, led, healed and, most importantly, loved. Worlds were turned upside down as friends, family members and one-time mission partners sheltered in place, weathering the storm of loss and the danger of their own possible death. Not death from a virus, but through relationship with Jesus.

From the Gospel of John, we hear the story of Mary Magdalene who goes in search of her beloved friend and mentor, Jesus, but cannot find his body. She rallies fellow disciples Simon Peter and others, explaining her discovery of an empty tomb and the visceral desire to take action. Grief, pain, worry, and anger are just a few of the emotions coursing through their hearts as they struggled to make sense of the scene before them. Navigating uncharted territory, the community does not yet realize the meaning of what they are witnessing.

Today, our struggle to understand the meaning of the times we are facing echoes this recounting.

With hearts broken, in the depths of despair, we cling to the words in Matthew’s Gospel that widen our vision. The angel of the Lord’s words are like balm restoring joy to our ailing souls. The tomb is transformed from a place of ultimate sadness to a space in which we can begin to understand eternal life. The tomb is empty. Jesus is not there. Tears of pain turn to tears of joy as they sprint to share the good news. But before reaching their destination they encounter Jesus who encourages them to keep going, to go tell the others and to know that they will meet again. It is not the end. Instead, it’s a new beginning.

And so, as we scour the news for stories of recovery and inspiration in the midst of widespread loss, we too are watching the tomb. I have found two such stories that radiate hope: one of a 90-year-old woman and the other about a 101-year-old man. They are the human proclamation of joy. Reminiscent of Mary Magdalene’s haste, their stories race towards the world with hope!

As we socially distance and follow the mandates of the CDC, let us also look for the signs of hope and joy in our midst.

Christ is among us and in each of us.

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

The grace of perseverance

Wednesday, August 5th 2020 12:30 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


"You have called me," declared Sister Michele Pettit (beginning at 32:30), making her first vows as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration at Viterbo University's San Damiano Chapel in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Joy permeated San Damiano Chapel in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on Saturday, July 25, 2020, as Sister Michele Pettit professed her first vows as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. In a confident, clear voice that could not be silenced by a COVID-19 mask, Sister Michele boldly declared poverty, consecrated celibacy and obedience for three years as an FSPA. 


From left, Sisters Corrina Thomas, Michele Pettit and Eileen McKenzie

Those who gathered to witness Sister Michele’s declaration of these vows (following social distancing guidelines) read words of support and acceptance from behind their own masks. Thunderous applause erupted and smiling eyes beamed around the chapel as Sister Michele walked back to her seat. Like Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi before her, Sister Michele offers light and life to a world encountering darkness, this time in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial divides and economic disparity. She will be here when humanity celebrates the joys of life, sorrows and even the mundane. Life in God and with God will always be an adventure. 

Nourished by the Word of God and at the table of the Eucharist, we exited through the chapel doors, renewed and filled with hope, ready to encounter the reality of life outside. 

A virtual reception met Sister Michele as many sisters logged onto Zoom and offered words of encouragement for her new life as a vowed FSPA. They shared with her a traditional greeting for newly-professed sisters: “May God give you the grace of perseverance.” And while Michele is making community history as the first person to make first vows during the COVID-19 pandemic — a true test of this sentiment — she is in good company. Twenty-two FSPA made first vows during the flu pandemic of 1918. They too knew that their call from God to religious life would find a way, even in the midst of human trials. Sister Michele now becomes the connection to future generations of FSPA.   

Is God calling you to join the next generation, to discern religious life?

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

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