jubilee - Related Content

A jubilant life

Thursday, June 16th 2016 10:08 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

What does it mean to live as a sign of God’s love? I find myself pondering this question as three of my FSPA sisters celebrate golden jubilee (50 years of vowed religious life), and two others, silver (25 years of fulfilling those same vows). Days, months and years all string together and suddenly such milestones appear. 


Golden jubilarians: Sisters Jean Michael Treba, Lisa Zmuda, Rose Elsbernd

Silver jubilarians Sisters Eileen Shaw and Marcia Baumert celebrate at a jubilee pizza party (photo by Sister Charlene Smith)

I saw joy and tenderness in their eyes as they took in the monumental experience and wondered if they remember the moments that led them to it: entrance into novitiate, first and final vows, years of abundant ministry. And like many women, they may also have recollected times of hesitance to answer the call to religious life they heard all those years ago.  


Sister Jean Michael Treba bears the cross into the celebration of Jubilee Mass at Mary of the Angels Chapel in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Life is full of ups and downs, but it can ultimately be jubilee everyday if we are open to living as a sign of God’s love. 


Sisters Marcia and Lisa "embrace" jubilee!

How are you embracing the jubilee of your life? Is discernment leading you to enjoy it rather than endure it?

To see all 2016 jubilarians, click here and scroll to page 5 of FSPA's Perspectives magazine.

Diamonds in our midst

Thursday, May 18th 2017 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Twenty-six remarkable members of FSPA are celebrating their Diamond Jubilees, “commemorations that mark 60, 70, 75 and 80 years as a vowed Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The milestone’s namesake has me reflecting on the gem itself. Before I joined community I went on a cruise to the Caribbean. Because many tourists purchase gemstones while traveling there, the cruise company offers information about them (including reputable places to shop) to passengers prior to docking at each port. Though I wasn’t in the market to buy diamonds I was interested in learning about what determines their value: clarity, cut, carat and color—the 4 Cs.

diamonds

I realized that I didn’t know what it takes to get to the end product, the examination of the 4 Cs. I began by turning to the internet and submitted the question “How is a diamond formed?” While much of what I read was quite technical and far beyond my simple curiosity, I closed the search engine with a bit more knowledge. Diamonds need pressure, heat and time to form naturally. It takes work to make them attractive. They do not emerge from the ground gleaming and ready for sale.


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Diamond jubilarians celebrated May 10 at Villa St. Joseph with Bishop Callahan

Each jubilarian has, in her own lifetime, experienced pressure, heat and time. There is resolve in ministry to do a lot with very little. Creativity and commitment to mission have guided each sister as she found ways to defuse heated situations that can occur, especially when working to promote Gospel tenants in which all those in need--not just a few--deserve care. Time is a gift each diamond jubilarian has had and not a minute has been wasted. Their lives of ministries have been in service to the whole spectrum of life from birth to death, serving generations of God’s people in schools, hospitals, parishes and spirituality centers (among others). Each encounter hones these women religious into sparkling gems.


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Fifteen diamond jubilarians were celebrated with Mass in Mary of the Angels Chapel on May 5

As I witnessed one of the recent FSPA diamond jubilee celebrations, watching the jubilarians process down the aisle of Mary of the Angels Chapel, the sun streamed through the stained glass windows and enlightened us to the gleaming examples they are as they live every day into their call to religious life. To conjure the image close your eyes and think of dazzling color and light dispelling all darkness, shining through a diamond. The commitment to prayer and service perpetually polishes their priceless lives. These are the diamonds we all can strive to imitate while retaining our own uniqueness. 

How is discernment glowing through you?

To shine like the diamond that you are, what rough edges do you need polished?

1,080 years of religious life

Thursday, February 8th 2018 4:20 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Today commences a new year of jubilation for our Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration celebrating 75, 70, 60 and 50 years of vowed religious life. These annual celebrations are known as jubilee. This afternoon, the festivities began with a party in honor of those residing at St. Rose Convent

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration joined by Sister Sarah Nakyesa celebrate jubilee
Celebrating religious life are, left to right, Sisters Nancy Lafferty (60 years), Loretta Penchi (70 years),
Sarah Nakyesa (25 years and a guest of St. Rose Convent while attending Viterbo University),
Margaret Schmolke (70 years), Cormarie Wernimont (60 years) and Jean Kasparbauer (60 years)

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration celebrate jubilee

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration celebrate jubilee

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration celebrate jubilee

 

We invite you to offer a prayer of gratitude for their many ministries, and to watch for future Show Me a Sign blog posts featuring jubilation reflections of personal calling to FSPA!

 

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

Sister Donna to discerners: "Get out there. Try something adventurous."

Thursday, July 25th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


“Be humble and listen to everything around you.”

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Donna Stevens, FSPA: 50 years of ministry as a woman religious

Life is ever-changing. Perceptions of who we are develop over time as we gain confidence in the transition. Sister Donna recalls that some did not believe she would last one week in the convent.  

Now, as she celebrates 50 years of vowed religious life, Show me a sign has asked Sister Donna to share her journey of discernment and ongoing commitment as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.  

Show me a sign:
How did you know that you wanted to be a sister?

Sister Donna:
I didn’t really know what I wanted, but the idea came in 8th grade because I adored my teacher, Sister Martha. She talked with me after school while we waited for mom to leave work and pick me up. She also gave me fun books to read. It wasn’t until many years later that I really chose religious life, and it wasn’t easy for me. I still choose to live it every day. It’s never been a “done deal” for me. 

Show me a sign:
How did your family and friends react when you first told them of your desire to become a religious sister?

Sister Donna:
My family and friends and just about everyone I knew didn’t believe it. The general reply was “You will not last one week!”

Show me a sign:
As you reflect on your jubilee, what facets of serving as an FSPA first come to mind?

It’s when I return to our motherhouse, St. Rose Convent, after being away on mission for a while, and receive a warm welcome from others. I love coming home and recharging! I also love the liturgies in Mary of the Angels Chapel, when we all lift our voices in prayer and song. It fills my soul. I don’t get much of this where I minister. I mostly spend my time nurturing folks; showing hope, compassion and tenderness.  

Show me a sign:
What has been your favorite ministry and why?  

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Sister Donna with two friends at the Butterfly Treatment Drop-In Center (image courtesy of Butterfly Drop-In Treatment Center)

Sister Donna:
I am fortunate that I have truly loved every ministry that I have been engaged in. I truly loved nursing and I truly love what I do now in healing the broken-hearted as a therapist.  

Show me a sign:
What advice would you give women discerning religious life today?

Sister Donna:
I would encourage women not to be afraid. Get out there. Try something adventurous. Be humble and listen to everything around you. You will hear what the Creator is inviting you to be.  

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.

Sister Lisa's Six Word Story

Tuesday, June 7th 2016 11:39 am
Sister Lisa Zmuda, FSPA


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What's your six word discernment story?

Sister Maris to discerners: 'Be aware of what feels right.'

Thursday, November 14th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"I have always enjoyed my ministries, then and now."

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Sister Maris Kerwin

With laughter in her voice, Sister Maris Kerwin shares stories of her journey to the convent — a surprising life twist for her and her family. She tells of graduating from nursing school in Carol, Iowa, and stepping onto a path similar to those taken by many of her classmates who lived and worked there. But a trip to St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin, turned those plans upside down, and an adventure of 60 years as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration began for Sister Maris. Now she is one of the sisters who meets discerners as they make their own first visits to St. Rose, leading them on tours of our heritage department and inviting them to discover new paths of their own. Among the artifacts are the stories of the many FSPA who answered their own call to religious life, just as she did 60 years ago.

Show me a sign:
How did you know that you wanted to be a religious sister?

Sister Maris:
I think it probably came to me when I visited St. Rose and met several FSPA. I had not been exposed to many other religious communities. I did, however, experience retreats during high school and nursing school that introduced me to religious life.

Show me a sign:
How did your family and friends react when you first told them of your desire to become a sister?  

Sister Maris:
They were as surprised as I was! It was a choice that was difficult for my dad to accept.

Show me a sign:
As you reflect on your jubilee, what facets of serving as an FSPA first come to mind?

two-women-pinning-corsage

In April, Sister Maris celebrated her 60th jubilee at St. Rose Convent.  

Sister Maris:
I have many memories of my nursing career as it broadened, also of being elected FSPA vice president and serving the congregation for 10 years.

Show me a sign:
Which of your ministries have meant the most to you?  

Sister Maris:
Nursing has always been important and many happy memories are connected with it, but I think I have always enjoyed my ministries, then and now. I am a volunteer in our community heritage department, and it’s great.

Show me a sign:
What advice do you have for a woman discerning religious life today?  

Sister Maris:
Be aware of what feels right, and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts!
 

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.

Lives that sparkle among us [Video]

Thursday, May 2nd 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

A lifetime begins with a vocations invitation … and a “yes” to the calling.

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Sister Karen Neuser shares elation and gratitude during her 60-year jubilee celebration.

With joyful witness, FSPA's 2019 jubilee season recently kicked off. It began with a day to celebrate the selflessness given by those who've served the needs of the world for 75, 70 and 60 years as vowed women religious.

Learn more about the discernment of religious life that led to these decades of mission in an upcoming Show me a sign series featuring jubilarians who share, in their own words, their amazing experiences of ministry.

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 Cormarie celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, April 26th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Cormarie Wernimont — who embodies 60 years of ministry in dietetics, pastoral care and finance — to reflect on her discernment journey.

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During a gathering at St. Rose Convent, Sister Cormarie (right) is congratulated for her jubilee by Sister Esther Leis.
 

SMAS: How old were you when you first thought about becoming a sister?

Sister Cormarie: I was in the second grade. My teacher, Sister Charity, FSPA, asked if I was going to become a sister. I had not thought of it, but this idea remained in the back of my mind all through elementary and high school. I prayed about it for a long time, and gradually became aware that this was my calling.
 

SMAS: What attracted you to religious life?

Sister Cormarie: It was the belief that this is my calling.

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Sister Cormarie Wernimont, 1958
 

SMAS: What do you recall about making your final vows and realizing that you were making a life commitment?

Sister Cormarie: I most remember my acceptance into the novitiate program, receiving a new name and the religious habit, and also my first vows. In my heart, my vows were final the first time I spoke them.
 

SMAS: What has been the most unexpected part of your life as an FSPA?

Sister Cormarie: My first mission was at Sacred Heart Hospital (now known as Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center) in Idaho Falls, Idaho. This was an area where, as a Catholic, I learned what it felt like to be a minority. There were many challenges. There were also blessings: we experienced the beauty of the mountains, rivers and Meadow Lake. Nothing ever tasted as good as pancakes cooked over an open fire up in the mountains.
 

SMAS: What wisdom do you share with a woman discerning religious life today?

Sister Cormarie: Pray. Try to be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Trust in God’s love and care.
 

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

Sister Sandra celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, May 3rd 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Sandra DeMann — who embodies 50 years of ministry in health care, parish ministry and social justice — to reflect on her discernment journey.

 

Sister-Sandra-DeMann

Sister Sandra DeMann celebrates her Golden Jubilee at St. Rose Convent's Mary of the Angels Chapel in April, 2018.

 

SMAS: What inspires you about religious life?

Sister Sandi: For me, living religious life is a journey. You don’t always know what is going to happen. I am a person who enjoys living with mystery. I know that God is with me and will help me through all that I encounter. I don’t need to have all of the answers. I enjoy searching for them. I spent part of my life ministering in Africa — it was there I learned that miracles happen.

 

SMAS: What has been your favorite time in ministry?

Sister Sandi: I enjoyed my time in Africa, but also enjoyed working in rural Mississippi. I was the Catholic presence to a parish community that was established in the 1800s. Because of their location, they did not always have a priest assigned to their parish. It was inspiring to see how the people worked together to maintain their parish. It was an area that chose to do something about isolation. Different denominations worked together rather than separately, to provide for the needs of the civic community.

 

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Pictured far right, Sister Sandra joins a group of women religious in Nogales, Arizona, for the SOAW Convergence at the Border in 2016.

 

SMAS: What wisdom would you share with someone who is considering religious life?

Sister Sandi:  Prayer and trust is important. If you have a dream, follow it. It may not take you where you thought it would but trust the process. Spend time in discernment. Remember that it is a walk of faith, and you will be guided along the way.

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

Sister Marla celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, April 5th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Marla Lang — who embodies 60 years of ministry in education, community leadership and spirituality — to reflect on her discernment journey.

SMAS: How old were you when you first knew that you wanted to be a sister? How did God get your attention?

Sister Marla: I was 13 years old and my 8th grade teacher Sister Mary Louis, an FSPA, invited me to consider becoming a sister.

 

SMAS: How did your family and friends react when you told them about it?

Sister Marla: My parents made it clear to us as children that they wanted us to become whatever we desired as long as it was about being “good” to ourselves. They were very affirming.

 

Sister-Marla-Lang-wearing-habit-1958

Sister Marla Lang, 1958

 

SMAS: Did you explore or visit different communities before choosing FSPA?

Sister Marla: Another community invited me to visit but just didn’t entice me. They were too formal, I sensed. After much pondering, I knew making final vows as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration was a true calling for me. It remains so today.

 

SMAS: As you celebrate your jubilee, what do you recall as your most memorable moments as an FSPA?

Sister Marla: I truly enjoyed each ministry and each ministry prepared me for the next one I was led to:

  • I taught grades 3 through 8 full time for 11 years and then was asked to serve as a school principal and director of religious education, K-adult, for 10 years.
  • Those 21 years invited me to say “yes” to serving as a parish director in the absence of a resident pastor for 12 years.
  • All of these experiences led my FSPA sisters to ask that I serve eight years as community president.
  • Now, all of these ministries have enriched me to be with others at a spirituality center as a soul partner to many (serving in spiritual direction).

S-Marla-Lang

Today, Sister Marla ministers as the outreach coordinator at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin.

 

SMAS: What has been the most unexpected part of your life as an FSPA? 

Sister Marla: I never dreamed I would be called to serve as the FSPA president. I grew up as a mid-Wisconsin farm girl. It almost took my breath away to be a part of three other leadership teams (with 10 sisters) — the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis and the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis. Together we were engaged in reconciliation FSE, OSF, FSPA process and companioning of an African Province of Sisters. The sharing of all this took place in Assisi, Italy before 365-ish Franciscan community leaders. It was a challenge and a blessing beyond my imagining.

 

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"It almost took my breath away," shares Sister Marla (pictured here, center) of her role with Franciscan communities gathered from across the globe to celebrate the Cameroon Common Venture -- Franciscan women of Africa.

 

SMAS: What advice would you give to a woman discerning religious life today?

Sister Marla: It is a gift of challenge and blessing beyond imagining when you put your whole self into your calling. Tending to discernment of the call requires prayer, guidance and openness, plus risking the goodness when found.

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

Sister Celesta: "What more could I ask?"

Thursday, May 16th 2019 10:15 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

“The tradition I chose … responded to the longing I recognized in myself early on.”

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The FSPA community celebrates Sister Celesta's diamond jubilee at St. Rose Convent.

“I had this longing connected to my beliefs but I needed time to discover what that meant,” shares Celesta Day, who for 60 years has served as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration — vowed Franciscan women engaged in furthering the work of the Gospel and the Catholic church.

In celebration of Sister Celesta’s diamond jubilee, Show me a sign asked her to reflect upon discernment of religious life — her personal journey that began before she answered “yes” to God and continues as she lives the Gospel through contemplation and action today.       

Show me a sign:
How did you know that you wanted to be a sister?

Sister Celesta:
It took awhile for me to decide on my vocation. I gave myself a deadline: by the time I finished school. I worked with sisters and observed how they served willingly, took opportunity to reflect and deepen their faith convictions. That seemed to appeal significantly to me, so I chose to enter the convent and began the journey to become an FSPA.

Show me a sign:
How did your family and friends react when you first told them of your desire to live religious life?

Sister Celesta:
Unbelievably! My faith-filled parents were mostly thrilled, knowing that if I chose the convent that dreams of future grandchildren and family growth would change forever. My friends were incredulous. For them, work, fun, dating and planning for the future didn’t relate the life of a “sister.” I recognized that my decision influenced more than my private self.

Show me a sign:
As you reflect on your jubilee, what facets of serving as an FSPA first come to mind?

Sister Celesta:
The yearning in me has been affirmed and largely supported by my religious life. This lifestyle requires me to take time to reflect, learn, observe and hopefully contribute to the life around me.

It’s likely that my family has expanded far beyond what would have existed, and I chose a different lifestyle. My birth family is at peace with that.

Opportunities in my ministry have exposed me to a wide world of cultures, traditions and customs that expanded my perceptions. The most exciting realization is that I am not finished! My experience and hopefully my transformation will continue until this life ends. What more could I ask?

Show me a sign:
What has been your favorite ministry, and why?

Sister Celesta:
I really enjoyed being a nurse, yet as my ministry has evolved I’ve learned that there is joy in serving many different needs.

Show me a sign:
What advice would you give women discerning religious life today?

Sister Celesta:
Sociologists say “Go with your burn.” The army says,” Be all you can be.” Christ says “Come follow me!” So don’t just go for it, but look for paths that have credible directions attached. The tradition I selected has, for more than 4,000 years, responded to the longing I recognized in myself early on. It has been a great ride. 

May God bless and direct you as you make your life decisions. I’ll pray for you.
 

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! 

"Yes" to God's invitation

Thursday, June 22nd 2017 3:05 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Over the course of the last several weeks our congregation has celebrated the commitment of “yes” to God with the vow renewal of Sister Laurie Sullivan, profession of perpetual vows by Sister Kristin Peters, and Golden Jubilee celebration for Sisters Romana Klaubauf and Esther Leis. We all experienced religious life unfolding before our very eyes; witnessed what it means to walk on the Gospel-centered journey of life as a religious sister—all on different stepping stones marking the way.  

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Sister Karen Lueck (left) calls forth Laurie Sister Sullivan (right) to renew her vows. 

Sister Laurie opened our season of celebration by renewing her vows for three years at Villa St. Joseph surrounded by FSPA community members, many of whom she ministered among during her early formation days volunteering in spiritual care. For her prayer service she chose a Gospel reading about love. Sister Laurie has shown love to others guided by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy by accompanying patients in hospital rooms, feeding the hungry at food pantries, visiting the elderly in their homes, and nurturing spirituality as the coordinator of youth in a parish—each new place and ministry a reflection of her deepening commitment to religious life and her “yes” to God. Sister Laurie is following in the footprints of Jesus and St. Francis, moving to serve where she is needed. For her the Franciscan Gospel life has been eyes and ears open for the call to where God invites; feet ready to move. 

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Sister Laurie, pictured here serving those in need at a food pantry.

 

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From left to right, Sisters Laura Nettles, Eileen McKenzie, Katie Mitchell, Kristin Peters and Julia Walsh stand together on their Camino pilgrimage (photo courtesy of Sister Katie Mitchell). 

The open road has also been a call to Sister Kristin Peters who just returned from a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. As on some legs of her journey she was accompanied by her FSPA companions and on others she hiked alone, she discovered that her Camino experience mirrored religious life: you may walk with others but you also have to walk your own journey. Each step reveals insight. No one can walk for you, live for you. Sister Kristin's “yes” to religious life over the past 10 years has taken her to discover diverse paths to serve those with substance addiction and mental illness; to deliver, in ministry, help and compassion. She has ministered to many who others step over, walk past. It is no surprise that the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd inspires her and is what she chose to guide her final vow liturgy. Sister Kristin listens and reflects the knowledge each person gains as they find their own way back into the sheepfold of our civic communities.

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Sister Kristin receives her FSPA ring from Sister Blanche Klein. 

 

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Sister Romana Klaubauf receives her 50th Jubilee celebration corsage from Sister Karen Kappell.

A bit further down the road of religious life, Sisters Romana Klaubauf and Ester Leis shared their travel stories—their individual ministries—at a pre-jubilee pizza party. We watched a slide presentation of the sights they saw along their professions of 50 years, glimpsing decades of serving God's people and meeting new challenges in the changing landscapes of religious life. Mary of the Angels was filled to capacity as community members, family and friends gathered to witness their ongoing commitment. The readings they chose (Isaiah 43:1-10Micah 6:8 and John 10) tell their stories of faithfulness to God.

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Sister Esther Leis processes into Mass held in honor of her Golden Jubilee.

These three celebrations were each unique in time and experience yet all pointed to the goodness revealed through the faithfulness of “yes.” The song “I Say ‘Yes’ Lord/Digo ‘Sí’ Señor” by Donna Peña and Marty Haugen has been moving in my heart and mind as I ponder the blessing each of these celebrations have been. They are witnesses to our world of faithfulness and commitment in good times and challenges. We all walk terrain smooth and bumpy; mountainous and flat. God is with us in each step, and every breath of life. 

This week as you consider your own location in discernment ask yourself ...

What are the celebrations marking my journey?

Is there a theme to my experience so far?

How am I relying on God?


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