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Sister Ronalda's Six Word Mission Story

Thursday, June 29th 2017 10:00 am
Sister Ronalda Hophan, FSPA



Are you willing to share (post a comment below) your own Six Word Mission Story?

What if it's you?

Thursday, May 4th 2017 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


Every now and then the concept of which came first—the chicken or the egg—pops into my mind, particularly when I am pondering something mysterious. I often allow myself a few moments to think about the possibilities but, as of now, I have yet to come up with an answer. As both are important, does it really matter which one was first? I choose to acknowledge that, in a world of fact finding literally at our fingertips, living with a little bit of the unknown is nice.

As I consider the mystery of how each person in the world discovers their unique vocation, I am intrigued. Almost overnight the world grows in complexity and innovation with new career options to explore, intriguing paths to follow. And within the infinite array of possibilities it’s remarkable each time someone says “yes” to their calling in life. It’s incredible when someone says “yes” to discernment.

One of the indispensable tools to use while discerning religious life is prayer. Praying to God for guidance and inspiration is essential. Friends and family also pray for discerners. The circle gets even wider when you consider that the whole Catholic church is praying for you too.


Mary of the Angels Chapel (image courtesy of Viterbo University)

It’s challenging to absorb the fact that people you don’t know, who you may never meet, are supporting your discernment through prayer. Each time a petition is read at church, prayer circles meet and parents pray for their children, vocational journeys are in motion. You may be unaware of the prayer surrounding you, but it’s there. 

Formally, across the world, parishes will join together on May 7 and pray for all discerners as we celebrate World Day of Prayer for Vocations. As communities access the needs in their cities they may pray that you are the one to come and serve; that your specific gifts and talents are the answer to their search for help.

What if it’s you they’re praying for? Are you prepared to say “yes” and choose life as a sister, brother, priest, deacon or lay minister to serve the people of God? Are you willing to also pray for others to join you?

This week, pray for openness to attune to the needs of the world. As you join your faith community in praying for vocations, ask yourself if the petition is spoken for you.

If so, how are you going to respond?

Discerning in the face of fear

Thursday, October 27th 2016 12:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

For one day each year fear is celebrated. As the sun goes down on October 31, Halloween, All Hallow's Eve (watch this Busted Halo video "You don't know Jack ... about Halloween"), imaginations light up. People of all ages let go of their everyday realities and dress up as cute characters, put on images of spookiness. The ghosts, zombies and monsters that darken doorways are rewarded with sweets rather than screams. A werewolf loses his menace as we catch a glimpse of human chin exposed to make way for a mini chocolate bar. 


Image courtesy of freeimages.com

Yet for some, shadows can transform even the cheeriest of places, like the neighborhood playground, into dark spaces of the unknown. The cover of night obscures both vision and actuality. You might be afraid to look ahead of and behind you. Sometimes, discernment can feel like that; like walking in the dark on unfamiliar roads with images of the unknown lurking around every corner. In times of uncertainty it is helpful to call on God, asking for transformation of the trepidation we perceive. The Psalms are great resources to guide us and to pray with in the various experiences of life, including times when we long for protection, happiness, and need to express sorrow and joy.

When I am anxious about dark moments in my life, when I long for reassurance of presence, I turn to Psalm 27: on the lips of the psalmist we hear the cry of a heart, speaking aloud to all, that God will always be ahead of us and behind us. God recognizes us and welcomes us, costumed or not.

This week, how will you wear your fear?

Transform it into trust in a God who always knows who you are?

Delighting in Routine...and Your Questions?

Sunday, March 20th 2022 10:41 am

The strange thing about writing updates is that I don't get to have conversations with everyone who reads them. I am curious - do you have any questions or anything you have been wondering about? Let me know! You can leave them in the comments (below) or email me at sistermeg@fspa.org. I will try to answer what I can in future updates. Looking forward to hearing from you!

When I am in transition, I long for routine. It brings a sense of normalcy to a way of being that is all-new, unknown and a bit awkward. The structure of my days with the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis provides me with a foundation that is constant. It is both prayerful and productive, a peaceful mix of life that I have appreciated since I came here - a month ago now.  As I am starting to feel settled in here, I continue to enjoy the routine.

This is a typical day for me in Ascención, Bolivia:4:50am Levantarme (Get Up)
5:30am Oraciónes de Laudes y Adoración (Morning Prayer and Adoration)
7:00am Desayuno (Breakfast)
8:00am Trabajo a la Clínica de Nutrición (Work at the Nutrition Clinic)
12:00pm Almuerzo (Lunch)
12:30pm Oraciónes de Nona (Mid-Day Prayers)
1:00pm Siesta (Nap)
1:30pm Tiempo de Libre (Free time for practicing Spanish, practicing harp, reflections, emails, Zooms, etc.)
3:00pm Té o Café (Tea or Coffee)
5:30pm Oraciónes de Vesperas y Rosario (Evening Prayer and Rosary)
6:30pm Cena (Dinner)
7:30pm La Misa (Mass)
8:30pm Oraciónes de Completas (Ending Prayers)
9:00pm Duermo (Sleep)

Over the last few days, I went to visit another one of the missions where the sisters minister, called San Miguel. It was about 8 hours away, and we spent the afternoon and evening on Thursday traveling, arriving finally at 1 am. It was a bright and open mission, with a large yard full of plants and trees. The convent had rooms that opened into small, open-places filled with green, lush plants that remind me of Hawaii. The sisters here are generous and full of kindness. It is a beautiful place with beautiful people.

As I sat in a quiet spot overlooking fruit trees on the shady veranda, I realized how accustomed I was to the flow of things back in Ascención. The time at San Miguel was important and sacred, but it was also a delight to return to Ascención. Embracing the new and enjoying the known. This is a beautiful, living harmony for me. I am glad it remains with me here in Bolivia.

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