vocations - Related Content

Sister Joyce's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 3rd 2020 10:00 am
Joyce Blum, FSPA


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Show me a sign has more stories of hope -- fresh perspectives of light and love -- coming soon!

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

Sister Dorothy's 6 Word Story of Hope

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 4:05 pm
Dorothy Dunbar, FSPA


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Visit us again to experience new Show me a sign 6 Word Stories of Hope.

Sister Jolynn's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 10th 2020 10:30 am
Jolynn Brehm, FSPA


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We are sharing the hope that you are seeking right here ... in six words and images of inspiration. Visit us again for more. 

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

Sister Theresa's 6 Word Story of Hope

Saturday, September 26th 2020 7:00 am
Theresa Connolly, FSPA


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We are sharing the hope that you are seeking right here ... in six words and images of inspiration. Visit us again for more. 

Sister Amy's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, June 4th 2020 11:10 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


Discerning action, spreading strength in times of great need

Hope is more than a word: it is an invisible, nutrient-dense reservoir of strength, resiliency and creativity. Hope holds the dichotomy of present unrest and future peace. It is the hardy root of our prayer reaching deep into relationship with God who helps to nourish the brave new tendrils of growth. Sharing hope with one another germinates new possibilities. The winds of collaboration carry the precious, newly-formed seeds to new places, transforming the landscape of our world.

This Show me a sign blog post is the first in the new series "6 Word Stories of Hope" that features inspiration shared by many Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Their stories reflect FSPA's mission and vision, "prayer, witness and service," so critical to us all in this time of uncertainty.

We invite you to take their words of wisdom with you as you face each new day, opening yourself to new possibilities.

And perhaps these 6 Word Stories will enlighten you to discernment of religious life.

Stay tuned for more Show me a sign 6 Word Stories.

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

Discerning action, new adventure in Lent and religious life

Thursday, April 11th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Lent: 'making space for the new adventures God is inviting us to.'

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

In every action and adventure movie I’ve seen, the main character finds themselves in a seemingly impossible situation. All protagonists, like Wonder Woman, face choices that will impact life in ways not yet imagined, result in consequences that bring blessings and challenges. Each decision impacts experiences to come.  

Discernment can feel like you’re living in such a film. New challenges arise, cause confusion, overwhelm and sometimes make your next move feel impossible. Potential movement for discerners of religious life can be literal: am I open to exploring a community far from home, away from my family and friends? How does one not get stymied in indecision and find a way to move through the experience?  

There is wisdom offered for all who reflect and pray with the readings from the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Isaiah reminds us of the point of peril that the Israelites faced as they fled Egypt, the charioteers hot on their heels and water looming in front of them. The scene was bleak but God acted, parting the water. The Israelites escaped and the army met their watery grave. Who would have seen that coming … water transformed into dry land just long enough for the escape? When it is least expected, God often provides a new route on the horizon. 

The Gospel from John also carries the theme of life on the brink of disaster. The Pharisees posed a double threat — attempting to trick Jesus into misinterpreting a law and endangering a woman’s life (in death by stoning) in the process. Neither ploy works. Jesus stops the advancement of the Pharisees and the woman is spared. Just when all seems lost, a saving grace arises. 

Sometimes what looks like the end is actually the first step of a new beginning, but it takes commitment to prayer and reflection to discern what is happening. It means asking the hard questions: to where am I being called, led, invited? It may also require adjusting your perception of a situation. There will be times of heartache and pain; when one moment ends to give space for a new time to arise. The Israelites had to leave Egypt, the woman had to choose to move beyond her former choices. The new way forward will bring change and challenges along with new blessings.  

Lent is a season in which we are invited to deepen our commitment to God, to see the parts of our lives that need to change and make space for the new adventures God is inviting us to. Letting go can be a way of letting God in.  

What adventure God is offering for you to consider?

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!

There's more to Sister Laura's discernment story ... [video]

Thursday, June 6th 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Infinite support for a daughter's choice, including religious life

The Show me a sign discernment video series continues with Sister Laura Nettles’ story, “How do I navigate my changing role as a daughter?”. In it, Sister Laura shares that her parents have given her one of the biggest, most powerful blessings a child could ever receive: “Throughout my life, they have been there for whatever I’ve chosen to do.” And that includes her decision to live and serve as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.

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Sister Laura teaches religious studies to Viterbo University students

With both the support of her parents and the FSPA community behind her, Sister Laura is ministering as an assistant professor of religious studies at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. And she’s not just serving, she’s paying that blessing forward to those she teaches — backing them as they too navigate the road ahead. Twenty Viterbo students recently received such gift as they were led by Sister Laura on a trip to Italy, immersed in the impact of St. Francis and St. Clare along the path of serving as future Franciscan leaders. “There is essentially no better way to learn about the larger world, people and cultures than actually being there and living it through one of these experiences,” she shares in a story about the study-abroad trip. For this vision and the others she passes on to her students, Sister Laura was named Viterbo’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

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Sister Laura is honored as Viterbo University's 2019 Teacher of the Year (photo courtesy Viterbo University)

In case you missed it — or her discernment story is calling to you again — you can watch Sister Laura's video “How do I navigate my changing role as a daughter?” by clicking here. You can also revisit the other discernment stories in the Show me a sign video series -- those of Sisters Lucy, Sarah, Dawn and Jacinta!

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.

Celebrating freedom ... from a distance

Saturday, July 4th 2020 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Happy 4th of July!

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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 

Today, may we reach out to one another in peace and unity that spans beyond physical distance and continue to pray for the safety and health of all during this time of global crisis.

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

 

Clearing hurdles with vocation discerners

Thursday, October 25th 2018 10:00 am
Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Amy Taylor

 

Synod of Bishops, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration develop new tools for discerning religious life

On Oct. 3, the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” began in Rome, Italy. Through the 28th, bishops from around the world are discussing ways to help young people navigate the numerous choices placed before them — clearing vocation hurdles — in discerning their path in life. 

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Image courtesy www.pixabay.com

Youth were selected from around the world to gather March 18 - 25 to share their perspective and offer insight for the bishops to consider. During their time together, participants were provided with tools by the Vatican to aid in the development a variety of resources like videos for social media and a working document (available for study prior to the synod) about their opinions and experiences — a collective of the voices of the young women and men who are modern prophets of the time to come. 

I am listening, and something I’m hearing clearly from the next generation is that discouragement in discerning religious life often starts at home. Parents always want what is best for their child but sometimes big dreams — often those of being grandparents — turn conversation into conflict. Parents may also fear separation: long-distance missions that make visits difficult. Siblings sometimes fear the loss of relating to their sister in vocation, and can struggle to understand why she would choose to make such a counter-cultural choice.


Coming soon: Show me a sign to premiere FSPA discernment video series!

Our congregation, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, is providing support for discerners by bringing these hidden obstacles to conversation in a new video series which will premiere right here in November! Throughout the next several months, you will meet five sisters who share the joys and struggles they experienced in personal relationships as they walked their own pathway of discernment. Perhaps their stories will help you or someone you know who is discerning and looking for ways to build bridges of conversation — clearing vocation hurdles — with family and friends.

Stay tuned!

**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 Joan to discerners: 'Religious life can be fulfilling and complete.'

Thursday, October 24th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

She "just knew" that religious life was to be hers

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FSPA honors Sister Joan Hageman on her 60th jubilee

We all learn by watching those we admire. Sister Joan Hageman chose to follow in the footsteps of her own heroes — the sisters who were her teachers — and became a Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Now celebrating 60 years of religious life, Sister Joan recalls the adventures she embraced while ministering throughout the Midwest as an FSPA.   

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

Sister Joan:
I was inspired by the FSPA who were my teachers throughout elementary and middle school. I didn’t think of another vocation. I just knew.  

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

Sister Joan:
They were surprised and happy. I knew that my mom, in particular, supported and inspired me.  

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

Sister Joan:
I really enjoyed pastoral care. The ministries were delightful, and the sisters I worked with and cared for were special. I also enjoyed cooking. It’s been exciting to see what each ministry has offered me.

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Sister Joan receives the joy of the FSPA community for her jubilee. 

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

Sister Joan:
Pastoral care, because not only did I help others, but they also helped me gain insight into my own life experiences.  

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

Sister Joan:
Trust in God, and know that religious life is a complete and fulfilling way of life.

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.

Want a glimpse into the lives of other FSPA who share their own discernment stories and answers to questions like "How will religious life affect my relationships?" and "What if my family doesn't agree with my choice?" Check out Show me a sign's discernment video series Meet our sisters.

Sister Marian's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 23rd 2020 10:00 am
Marian Massman, FSPA


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Stay tuned: there are more stories of hope to come in this Show me a sign series!

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

There's more to Sister Lucy's discernment story ...

Thursday, November 15th 2018 6:00 pm
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"What a blessing and grace-filled way of life that I’ve grown to know.”

Last week, we kicked off our Show me a sign video series premiere with the story "Sister Lucy, 'What if my family doesn't agree with my choice?'"  

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There's much more to Sister Lucy's discernment story including "Growing a strong foundation of faith," in which she says, "Being a part of community has clearly amplified what I can do with my life in ways that I could never do as a single Catholic woman. Being an FSPA enlarges, enables and enhances, as well as supports and encourages, my work for the cosmic, common good. As an FSPA, I continue the tradition started by St. Francis of Assisi and continued by Pope Francis to care for creation. What a blessing and grace-filled way of life that I’ve grown to know.” Click here to read more.

And, in case you missed it -- or the discernment story is calling to you again -- here is the video "Show me a sign: Sister Lucy, "What if my family doesn't agree with my choice?

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? Connect with membership@fspa.org to be added to our future premiere list. You’ll receive a sneak peek of our future Show me a sign video premieres

Celebrating peace, harmony, history and freedom

Thursday, July 4th 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Happy 4th of July!

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Image courtesy Pixabay

As we celebrate the history of our country with parades and fireworks today, let us pray for peace in our world and harmony in our hearts. May we also give thanks for the blessing of freedom.

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.

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.

Sister Beth: "Pay attention to your dreams and desires."

Thursday, June 13th 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"I love companioning people as they live into the fullness of God's invitation for their lives."

 

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FSPA Golden Jubilarian Beth Saner, celebrating 50 years of vowed religious life

“The direction for your life,” says Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Beth Saner, “may be hiding in plain sight.” In celebration of her golden jubilee — 50 years of living vowed religious life, engaged in furthering the work of the Gospel and the Catholic church — Show me a sign shares some of Sister Beth’s soul-searching discernment story and the wisdom she offers to those beginning their own. 

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

Sister Beth:
I didn’t really 'know.' My best friend and I decided we would become sisters when we were 11 years old, probably because we were fascinated by the sisters we knew; their lives seemed so mysterious. We never really talked much about it after that until we were high school seniors.  She went to college intending to study medicine, and I chose to go to the convent.

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

Sister Beth:
I encountered mixed reactions. My mother was adamantly opposed, while my dad was quietly supportive. Everyone else was noncommittal. I didn’t say much to my friends until it was time to go but when I told them, they were supportive.

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

Sister Beth:
After 50 years, here are a few:

  • As a young religious, I was always energized and enthusiastic about the way religious life was evolving in response to Vatican II.  
  • I’ve found that community life is not always easy, but living, working and praying in community has been a rich and personally fulfilling experience for me.  
  • Opportunities for on-going education, both formal and informal, all for the sake of FSPA mission, are true gift.

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Sister Beth (left), a member of the FSPA Incorporation Team, rejoices in the moment that Sister Michelle Petitt (right) becomes a novice.  

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

Sister Beth:
I’m lucky to have ministered in areas of my choice and that utilize my gifts and talents. I have loved my life of service, first as a teacher and liturgist at Viterbo University and then as a spiritual director and instructor in Chicago. I love companioning people as they live into the fullness of God’s invitation for their lives. That happened for me, both as a teacher and now as a spiritual companion.  

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

Sister Beth:
Pay attention to your dreams and desires. The direction for your life may be hiding there in plain sight.

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 Sarah's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, June 11th 2020 10:00 am
Sarah Hennessey, FSPA


Religious life: united with others, living strong relationships 

Visit us again to experience new Show me a sign 6 Word Stories of Hope.

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

Sister Clarone to discerners: '... listen to your heart.'

Thursday, September 19th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

‘God called: I listened and followed’

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Sister Clarone Brill celebrated her 70th jubilee on April 26, 2019, at St. Rose Convent.

Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Clarone Brill has ministered in Wisconsin and Iowa, spreading Franciscan joy to each person she’s encountered. She began serving as a teacher and later in her life found excitement and fulfillment through her ministry of pastoral care for the elderly. In celebration of her 70th jublilee, Show me a sign asked Sister Clarone to reflect on some of the experiences she has had over the last seven decades as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.  

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

Sister Clarone:
My older sister, Clara, entered St. Rose Convent around the time I was in first grade. We had FSPA sisters at our parish. I loved my eighth-grade teacher. I felt the spirit calling me to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. God called: I listened and followed.

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

Sister Clarone:
I think they were very supportive and happy for me. My dad said he would not stand in the way of my calling.

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Sister Clarone is a member of the Class of 1949.

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

Sister Clarone:
My delight has been being spirit led to an ever-deepening relationship with God, especially
through prayer, retreats and ministering to others.

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

Sister Clarone:
My two main ministries have been teaching and pastoral care. It’s hard to choose one over the other because, in both, I ministered to many with love, care, and support  — touching lives in ways I may never know and hopefully leading all to a deeper relationship with our loving God.

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

Sister Clarone:
I would say listen to your heart. Pray to the Holy Spirit to help you discern where God is calling 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.


 

Sister Clarone's 6 Word Story of Hope

Monday, September 28th 2020 10:00 am
Clarone Brill, FSPA

Celebrating discernment, diversity, family and Francis

Friday, October 11th 2019 10:10 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

In Chicago, Franciscan formation families came together to honor St. Francis 

 

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Residents of the FSPA formation house in Chicago include Sisters Helen Elsbernd, Sister Michele Pettit (novitiate), Sister Julia Walsh, Sister Corrina Thomas, FSPA novice director, and Sister Meg Earsley, novitiate (photo courtesy of Sister Julia Walsh, taken by Sister Eileen McKenzie).

It is vital to celebrate people and events that shape our culture. For Franciscans, October 3rd and 4th of every year serve as reminders of the life and death of St. Francis of Assisi. Each Franciscan congregation celebrates in a unique way, and our community held a celebration at our motherhouse, St. Rose Convent, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Those of us living and ministering in the area gathered on the evening of Oct. 3 in Mary of the Angels Chapel for Transitus — a special prayer service honoring the passing of St. Francis from death into eternal life, followed by a reception. The celebration continued the next day as we honored the life of St. Francis at a Mass commemorating his death. Sisters and FSPA staff then gathered to share fellowship over lunch.  

Simultaneously, Transitus and Feast of St. Francis celebrations were held wherever FSPA live and minister. Adding to the joyfulness this year is a new community formation house in Chicago, Illinois, where our canonical novices are living and studying, guided by Sister Corrina Thomas, FSPA novice director, and other members of the community. The novitiate phase of discernment is two years, a time in which novices learn more about the church, the community’s constitution, and vows of celibacy, obedience, and poverty. Novices spend time integrating Franciscan values into their lives.

Show me a sign was curious to find out how our formation house members celebrated the Feast of St. Francis, so we caught up with Sister Meg Earsley, an FSPA novice who recently moved to Chicago to live and discern as a there.  

Show me a sign: 
How did you celebrate Transitus and the Feast of St. Francis — your first Franciscan feast day away from St. Rose?  

Sister Meg:
Our formation house decided to join other Franciscan communities to celebrate. Here in Chicago, there are several religious congregations that we attend classes with at Chicago Theological Union. We also attend classes with others in the Inner Community Novitiate. It’s a collaborative learning endeavor established to educate women and men who are in the process of becoming members of religious congregations. We were invited to several celebrations through our connections with them.

We honored Transitus with the formation community of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars. The prayer service was incredibly moving: they carried a Franciscan habit laid across a stretcher as if it were the body of St. Francis and sang some of the ancient chants from his canonization. The church was filled with Capuchin Franciscans, our formation house community, other religious community members and parish members. After the prayer service, we all went to the parish hall for food, fellowship and the opportunity to meet others.

Show me a sign: 
How did you celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis?

Sister Meg: 
We began with our daily morning prayer in the chapel space of our formation house and continued in a unique way: we invited Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, to come and meet with us about the possibility of having the Blessed Sacrament in our chapel. He toured the space and granted us permission. We are really happy to have this blessing in our formation house.  

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Traditional St. Francis Day almond cookies, baked by Sister Meg (photo by Sister Meg Earsley)

After the departure of Bishop Perry, we visited the Order of Friars Minor’s formation house. We know these novices and their formation community because they also participate in our classes. I baked almond cookies, a Franciscan tradition, to share. (There is a story about St. Francis: as he lay dying, he asked his friend Lady Jacoba to come for one last visit and bring the almond cookies that he liked.) We celebrated Mass and enjoyed dinner, including the almond cookies, together. One of the OFM novices was a chef before entering religious life and continues to use his gift by cooking for his community.  

Show me a sign: 
It sounds like you had a great celebration with many friends and new acquaintances. What a blessing it is that you are experiencing the diversity of the Franciscan family. I think St. Francis would be happy, as many stories of his life are about companionship with people and the centrality of prayer. You honored both in your two-day celebration in Chicago!

Here are some questions for all of us, including discerners, to ponder:

  • What are some of the traditions that your local parish community celebrates?
  • Is there a particular saint that has been inspirational in your faith life? 
  • How do you celebrate their feast day?  
  • What are some of the traditions that your local parish community celebrates?

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 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.

Discernment iridescent this new year

Tuesday, January 1st 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

Happy New Year!

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

May it be filled with exciting adventure as you discern how God is calling you to serve.

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!
 

'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."

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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, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Discerning love in action

Thursday, April 18th 2019 8:30 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Giving witness this Holy Week

 

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Image by Sister Amy Taylor

As we begin the celebration of Holy Week may we observe love in action.

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 Kathy's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, June 25th 2020 10:00 am
Kathy Roberg, FSPA


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Visit us again to experience new 6 Word Stories of Hope.

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

Discernment and Advent: is your heart ready for the celebration?

Thursday, December 20th 2018 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"... a visual sign of what was to come."

 

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Image courtesy of Daisies & Pie

When I was young child, we began the month of December at school by making green and red construction paper chains — learning how to mark time link-by-link until Christmas. We arrived at the classroom each morning ready to tear away another slip of red or green and inch closer to the big day. I imagine the ritual, a visual sign of what was to come, curtailed our continual Christmas count-down questions for the teacher. It was a reminder — a connection of our fervent dreams to the special time to come. Looking back at the experience I realize it also helped us learn how to wait for something together, as a group. Without fancy theological concepts in our seven-year-old brains, we became a community of believers. 

Now, in our fourth week of Advent, the readings serve as a link in salvation history. The Old Testament prophet Micah is the wise teacher reminding the faithful of a time to come. They too struggled with how long the wait would be. But hope withstands like a long, invisible chain, linking the moments until the celebration can begin.

In the Gospel, we skip ahead in time to beyond the angel’s visit to Mary and her “yes” to becoming the mother of Jesus. She wastes not a moment; runs straight out the door, bursting with excitement to share the joyful news with her cousin Elizabeth. And in nine short months, Mary beholds the face of God in the birth of Jesus. 

Each Advent, over 2,000 years after Jesus‘ birth, we recall this story and challenge ourselves to make room for Jesus in our hearts. Time is of the essence as this year the day of is just a mere 24 hours after the fourth Sunday of Advent. The moment is now upon us. Is your heart ready for the celebration you have been anticipating?

For additional pondering this week ...

How will the celebration of the birth of Jesus change your life, not just a month in your calendar of events?

How does Mary’s example of moving on God’s invitation without hesitation inspire you to take the next step in your own vocational call?
 

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!

Step boldly into National Vocation Awareness Week!

Friday, November 1st 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"Is God calling me to discern religious life as a sister, brother, priest or deacon?"

As we celebrate All Saints and All Souls, we remember that most of humanity has, at one time or another, wrestled with the question “Who am I called to be?” In celebration of National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 3 - 9, Show me a sign is inviting you to discern what is perhaps an emerging question: “Is God calling me to discern religious life as a sister, brother, priest or deacon?” 

Prayer, conversation, research and action are all important aspects of discerning a vocation. And so we invite you to do just that.

Pray:
We encourage you to pray and talk to God about your vocation. Commit to spending a specific time with God. Write it down. Don’t just think about taking time to pray, make it happen.  

two-women-altar-praying

Perpetual adoration – round-the-clock prayer that FSPA began in 1878 – is practiced in the St. Rose Convent Perpetual Adoration Chapel in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Discuss:
Talk with friends or family members you trust about what they see as your gifts and talents and the possibility that religious life could be a wonderful way for you to use them.  

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Sisters Jacinta Jackson, Sarah Hennessey, Dawn Kutt, Laura Nettles and Lucy Slinger support each other through discernment and beyond. Image courtesy of Vendi Advertising. 

Research:
The internet is a great tool for learning more about religious life. Here are some excellent websites to visit as you begin your journey of discovery. Be aware of the questions that come to your mind as you visit each site:

fspa.org
religiousministries.com
anunslife.org
usccb.org

Take action:
National Vocation Awareness Week is a big opportunity to take a bold step in your discernment by meeting a sister (or a brother, priest, or deacon) and discover how they live their vocation. Communicators for Women Religious is offering several opportunities for you to do just that throughout the week with the #2019 Meet Our Sisters Tour in Chicago, Illinois. Sister Kristin, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, will be at Su Casa Catholic Worker House (5045 S. Laffin St.) this Monday (4:30-7 p.m.), Tuesday (10-11:30 p.m.) and Wednesday (4:30 to 7 p.m.). Stop by to see her, learn more about Su Casa’s mission of hospitality and intentional community, and discover how religious sisters serve a society rooted in simplicity, free of violence, and abounding in love there.

And, stay tuned to Show me a sign as we celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week!

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.

Stepping into newness

Wednesday, January 1st 2020 1:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Celebrating a new year in a world of opportunities ... including religious life. 

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

May the year ahead be filled with wonder and awe as you discern how God is calling you — inviting you to share your gifts and talents in a world full of possibilities.

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

 

Sister Jolyce: "... my life, my decision."

Thursday, August 22nd 2019 12:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

“Let the joy of religious life gradually unfold!”

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Sister Jolyce Greteman

“... it was my life and my decision,” was the ultimate advice Sister Jolyce Greteman received from her mother early on in her formation more than six decades ago. Now celebrating her 60th jubilee as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, Sister Jolyce shares more about how the support of her family led to a life of furthering the work of the Gospel and the Catholic church.  

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

Sister Jolyce:
My education was in a parish school and I also attended a Catholic high school. I enjoyed helping the sisters, especially in grade school. From early childhood, I wanted to be like the sisters who taught 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 Jolyce:
Everyone supported me, especially my parents. Religious vocations were common, especially in my dad’s family. Four men became priests and another a bishop. And one woman became an FSPA before me too: Sister Ann Greteman, a musician.  

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Sister Jolyce is a member of the FSPA class of 1959.

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

Sister Jolyce:
I think back to my parents visiting me at the convent for the first time. Formation, 60 years ago, was different than it is today: it was common to see your parents only occasionally. My dad died after that visit. It was the last time that I saw him alive. 

I went home for his funeral. My family owned a neighborhood grocery store, and I asked Mom if I should leave the convent and come home to run it. She responded that it was my life and my decision. I decided to go back to La Crosse, and someone bought the store. My mother was so heroic. She was 56 at the time and lived to be 81! 

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

Sister Jolyce:
As an FSPA archivist, I enjoyed learning about the community’s history and sharing our stories. I also enjoyed 29 years of teaching middle and upper grades. Storytelling, as both a teacher and as an archivist, energized me.  

Show me a sign:
Do you have any advice to share with women discerning religious life today?

Sister Jolyce:
Just let the joy of religious life gradually unfold!

The celebration of our 2019 jubilarians continues as they share reflections of gratitude for religious life. Read them here!

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 Janet to discerners: 'Say yes. You won't be sorry.'

Thursday, November 21st 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

One reaction to her choosing religious life: "Oh, I thought Janet liked to have fun."

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Sister Janet Fischer

Sometimes it is a struggle to make a decision about what to do with your life. Sister Janet Fischer, now celebrating her 60th jubilee, shares that it took time to discover that the invitation from God to become a sister would help her to live into the fullness of who she is. Show me a sign recently caught up with Sister Janet who continues to volunteer in her local parish and civic communities and shares inspiration for religious life, then and now.   

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

Sister Janet:
I did not want to be a sister. I finally got tired of God pestering me and said “Yes.” Then I was at peace.

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

Sister Janet:
I never told anyone of my thoughts about entering religious life until I said “Yes” to God. I went to St. Rose Convent shortly after. My mother was reassured and very happy after receiving a letter I wrote to her about becoming a sister. My dad said that the lifestyle was too hard and he didn’t want me to go. My mother shared that someone said to her with surprise “Oh, I thought Janet liked having fun.”

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

Sister Janet:
It’s interesting to ponder the thoughts I have as I reflect on each place I have ministered in. Three different stories come to mind. In my early days in community 60 years ago, not everyone had access to a car. I knew how to drive and was therefore chosen to be the convent chauffeur. I was responsible for transporting sisters where they needed to go. One of my favorite memories is taking a group berry picking: we had a great time!  

A funny experience I recall happened while I was the full-time cook for the sisters in Milford, Wisconsin. One day I made six donuts, one for each sister, as I didn’t want to have any leftovers  (they were really big). One sister never let me hear the end of that. I guess she wanted to have more than one.

One of my favorite community living experiences was in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. I was the baker there for a large group of sisters. I also visited members of the parish who were sick and taught religious education in the neighboring town.  

I am also thankful for my classmates: together we got through everything. It was a special bond of friendship, experiencing classes and learning about mission and ministry. We had fun!

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The FSPA community embraced Sister Janet during her 60th jubilee celebration.

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

Sister Janet:
I liked all of my experiences. There was fun, excitement and challenge in all of it. 

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

Sister Janet:
If you’re tired of God pestering you say “Yes.” You won’t be sorry.


We hope that you have enjoyed experiencing the discernment and ministry stories of the 2019 FSPA jubilarians. To experience more of their reflections of religious life, visit fspa.org. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for the 2020 jubilee celebration series beginning next summer!   

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.

Sharing wisdom with women discerning religious life ...

Thursday, July 18th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"The world needs women and men to respond to the greatest needs of humanity."

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Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Lorraine Forster 

For 75 years, Lorraine Forster has served as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration — a community of vowed Franciscan women engaged in furthering the work of the Gospel and the Catholic church.

In celebration of Sister Lorraine’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 Lorraine:
It just seemed to be my way. I was taught by FSPA, and I also had a great aunt in the community.

Show me a sign:
How did your family react when you first told them that you wanted to be a sister?

Sister Lorraine:
They were pleased. Both sides of my family are devoted Catholics.

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Sister Lorraine, ministering as a teacher of religious education 

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

Sister Lorraine:
The building of the FSPA-founded institution Viterbo University, the dedication of our nurses and teachers and the day I made my first profession of vows.  

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

Sister Lorraine:
Teaching children in secondary grades. I love youth and serving as a teacher to them.  

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

Sister Lorraine:
The world needs the joint effort of women and men to respond to its greatest needs — education, health care and serving the poor.

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.

There's more to Sister Jacinta's discernment story

Thursday, March 28th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"It's an opportunity to explain religious life."

 

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Jacinta Jackson, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

The fourth video in Show me a sign's discernment series — "Will I be able to maintain contact with my family?" — is now available and giving us the opportunity to meet Sister Jacinta Jackson. 

Sister Jacinta's ministry of chemical and mental abuse counseling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is buoyed by both her family living in several countries around the world and her FSPA family. Her vows and her ministry are, in turn, compelling many of the people she serves to ask questions about religious life. “A client asked me how long I’ve been a religious,” recalls Sister Jacinta. “‘For more than 30 years,’ I answered. ‘Thirty years ... wow!' he replied. 'You’ve given me something to think about.’” 

Read more about Sister Jacinta's ministry in her story in "Questions compel sister to counseling for chemical and mental abuse."

In case you missed it — or the discernment story is calling to you again —  here is the video.

 

And, Show me a sign invites you to revisit the discernment stories of three other FSPA: Sisters Lucy Slinger, Sarah Hennessey and Dawn Kutt:

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!

Step boldy into vocation: meet Sister Kristin!

Wednesday, November 6th 2019 8:05 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


You are invited ...

As we continue to step boldy into National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 3 - 9, you’re invited to meet Sister Kristin, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, and check out her Su Casa Catholic Worker ministry along the Meet Our Sisters Tour route today!

sign-2019-meet-our-sisters-tour-chicago-skyline

She will be at Su Casa (5045 S. Laffin St., Chicago, Illinois) this afternoon from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Stop by to see her, learn more about Su Casa’s mission of hospitality and intentional community, and discover how religious sisters serve a society rooted in simplicity, free of violence, and abounding in love there.

Add your voice to the discernment conversation, and stay tuned to Show me a sign as we continue to celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week!

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 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.

It's time to rejoice!

Wednesday, December 25th 2019 9:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Celebrating the greatest gift of all

red-candles-flames-pinecone

Photo by Daniel Seßler on Unsplash

May this day be filled with love and joy as you recall the birth of Jesus.

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

Discernment and Advent: what are you preparing for?

Thursday, November 29th 2018 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

First Sunday of the season shines light on spiritual preparation, reflects discernment

The ringing of the church bell this week not only calls us to Mass but proclaims the beginning of a new year with the First Sunday of Advent. We are roused from our routines of worship and greeted with plumes of incense as we bless the Advent wreath. We are invited to wipe sleep from our eyes to clear our vision and prepare our hearts and souls for the coming of Christ.

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

One of the invitations of Advent is to allow the Word of God to soak into our hearts and create space for renewal and relationship. We are challenged to make time for a spiritual preparation of the coming of Jesus, not just the temporal requirements of the season. Many of us will be easily distracted with concerts, holiday parties, volunteering, meals to prepare and many other things that vie for our time. What could make this Advent different, in terms of immersing yourself in the spirit, than any others in the past? 

Set your smart phone alarm as digital encouragement to celebrate Advent with God by appointment. If you are still using a paper calendar, be radical and schedule time for prayer in purple-marker that can’t be erased. Something as simple as reading the Scriptures of the day or listening to them online is also a great way to welcome the Advent season this year. You can do so on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops website where you will also find a reflection for each day (like Dec. 2).

As we consider the banquet set before us, it is the psalm that serves as a wonderful reminder of the season. How will we make the time to give our attention to prayer, not only during the season of Advent but throughout the whole year?

More questions for reflection:

How will you dedicate time to God this Advent season? 

How have your eyes been opened on this first week of Advent? 

How is this season of Advent mirroring your discernment journey? What are you preparing for … waiting for?

 

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? Connect with membership@fspa.org to be added to our future premiere list. You’ll receive a sneak peek of our future Show me a sign video premieres.

Joy in the waiting

Sunday, December 15th 2019 9:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

What experiences in your life inspire trust and new discernment steps?

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Image courtesy freeimages.com

Joy is contagious. Ask a child you know, “How do you feel with Christmas just two weeks away?” Their eyes light up; they dance in place as joy beyond words escapes their little body, their whole being. It’s a jubilance that many of us share on the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, which means rejoice! The rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath casts a warm reassuring glow as there is joy in the waiting.

And it’s a joy that can also fill discernment of religious life.

The prophet Isaiah exuberantly expresses the providence of God in our first reading. With lavish care, God shows his great love with not just one small example but with expansive artistry that transforms the parched, scorched, barren spaces in our lives to be places of great beauty.  

Pondering the magnificence of this image, I can’t help but recall the photos of the super bloom that happened in California this past March. The images of the flowers I saw online were captivating, the colors amazing. They gave me a sense of hope amid continual snow showers still occurring in Wisconsin at the time; thoughts of spring sure to come encouraged me every time I had to pick up my shovel. Signs of hope in the midst of trial aid the cultivation of resilience and patience.

James, in the second reading, reminds us that waiting produces maturity and bounty. Patience also generates endurance. While we desire the days leading to celebration to pass quickly, time moves at the pace of its own wisdom. In discernment, you may be waiting in joyful anticipation for a sign revealing to you where you see yourself living fully into the person God calls you to be, to the congregation in which you can best fulfill your gifts. Visiting and praying and pondering are actions, investments, essential for finding your future happiness. 

As we turn our attention to the Gospel, to John the Baptist, all of these gifts  — joy, patience and endurance  —  come to fruition. He has been faithful to his prophetic mission and the world rewarded him with imprisonment. He dared to speak the truth to power. You may ask, where is joy in prison? John did not lose all hope: he took action by sending his disciples to learn more about Jesus.

Can you imagine the joy his disciples carried as they rushed back to share the good news of the growing belief in Jesus with the man who inspired their own choices to follow Jesus? The joy of good news is contagious.

Perhaps when you share the good news of your discernment, others may also be inspired to consider religious life.

Advent in action: 

What are the joys you celebrate in your discernment on this Gaudete Sunday?

What experiences in your life, those that deepen joy and your relationship with God, inspire trust and new steps in discernment?

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.

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. 

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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, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

There's more to Sister Sarah's discernment story ... [video]

Thursday, February 7th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"I was really interested ... it lit a little fire in my heart."

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Sarah Hennessey, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

"What if my family isn't Catholic? Meet Sister Sarah" is the latest Show me a sign video in our discernment series to premiere. Sister Sarah, like every other woman who has taken vows, has more than one such personal story of discerning religious life. Global Sisters Report recently shared another about Sister Sarah in the article "Sister to sister: Religious reflect on who inspired them to follow God's call." In it, she recalls when her 21-year-old self, during a cultural immersion program, was gifted with a question by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration Cecilia Corcoran: "Did you ever think God might have a call on your life?" Shares Sister Cecilia, "It is a beautiful relationship with which Sarah and I have been blessed."

Visit Global Sisters Report to read more and experience many other sister-to-sister discernment stories.

In case you missed it — or the discernment story is calling to you again —  here is the video "What if my family isn't Catholic? Meet Sister Sarah."

And, Show me a sign invites you to revisit Sister Lucy Slinger in our video series premiere "What if my family doesn't agree with my choice?"

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 Pauline's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 24th 2020 3:45 pm
Pauline Wittry, FSPA


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Join us again for more Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration 6 Word Stories of Hope!

Sister Laura to discerners: 'Do not be afraid to trust ...'

Thursday, October 31st 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

For her love of people and her desire to serve them, Sister Laura "exudes joy."

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Sister Laura Schreck is celebrating 70 years of religious life. 

“Do not be afraid to trust your deepest desires and God’s grace.” This wisdom comes from the life experiences of Sister Laura Schreck, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration now celebrating 70 years of religious vocation. Her enthusiasm to serve God’s people has led her to opportunities in teaching, music and sacristy care. Each ministry has provided her with evidence of God’s providential grace. One cannot help but smile while conversing with Sister Laura: she exudes joy!  

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

Sister Laura:
From the time I can first remember, I’ve wanted to live religious life (though I never shared this certainty with anyone early on).  

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

Sister Laura:
They were very positive. My mother seemed to sense this before I told her. She was very accepting of my choice, and so was my dad!

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

Sister Laura:
I loved teaching. I taught for 19 years in elementary and middle school classrooms. I eventually moved into religious education, overseeing the ministry for several parishes. I also enjoyed helping with sacristy care, playing the organ and working with the choir.  

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A celebration for Sister Laura and other FSPA jubilarians was held at Villa St. Joseph in May.

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

Sister Laura:
I love working with people, particularly in my teaching and parish ministries.  

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

Sister Laura:
Don’t be afraid to trust your deepest desires and God’s grace.

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.

Discerning love in action

Wednesday, April 18th 2018 7:40 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Giving witness this Holy Week

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Image by Sister Amy Taylor

As we begin the celebration of Holy Week may we observe love in action.

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! 

A new career in religious life?

Thursday, September 27th 2018 1:45 pm
Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Amy Taylor

 

A common question that surfaces in vocation is this: can I change careers while serving as a Catholic sister? 

Yes ... it is acceptable to discern a change of ministry in religious life! The spirit is always at work within you and often leads you to new experiences -- perhaps the opportunity to care for the underserved of society -- that respond to the needs of the times.

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Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Katie Mitchell has traveled a ministerial path from teaching to faith formation.

Discernment of changing careers in religious life takes place within community. Together with others, you will examine the necessity of transition and consider the next steps to new ministry. This is part of the co-creation that is possible when you say “yes” to God’s invitation to serve his people. It is in the everyday experiences of walking with others that your eyes may be opened to see unmet needs.

Sometimes, additional education or training is necessary to change careers in religious life. In other circumstances, an open heart and willingness to learn from wisdom figures around you will provide all that you need to transition to a new way of serving. Many Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have made ministerial moves as they've recognized their own unique gifts and talents to serve others.

It is impossible to predict what will unfold over the course of your life. Every day is an adventure and God is always full of surprises and invitations to grow and co-create with you. If you ask any sister, she will most likely say that her “yes” to religious life opened more doors than she ever imagined. 

*Like our new look? Stay tuned to Show me a sign for more surprises -- fresh reflections of the good news of vocations -- soon to come!

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

Images of discernment: what's missing?

Thursday, January 17th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

Discernment ... can sometimes be inspired by reflecting on what is absent

 

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Image courtesy pixabay

Have you ever been flipping through a magazine and come across a “spot the difference” image puzzle — two photos that appear to be identical yet contain slight dissimilarities for you to find? Perhaps a chain in the first picture is missing a link in the second image, which, if you thought about it before moving on in the puzzle, would make the metal implement less structurally sound, less effective.

What if the missing piece to the puzzle — the lost link in the chain — is you? The support and the strengths and the gifts that only you can give? Discerning what is next in your life can sometimes be inspired by reflecting on what is absent. You may have a fulfilling job and comfortable home; a car in the garage and loving friends and family by your side, but also a nagging feeling that something to make you more complete is missing.

Sometimes, choosing to volunteer and reach out beyond your comfort zone can help you identify an absence in your life and also spark new insight to the greater needs in your community. Who are the people lined up outside of the brick building you pass every night on your commute home? What is human trafficking and why is there a billboard bringing awareness to it in my city? 

What is lacking in these images depicting such great human need?

Are you discerning a call to service beyond volunteering  — perhaps religious life? 

Are you that missing link? 

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!

Spiritual dust in the season of spring cleaning

Thursday, May 14th 2020 12:05 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"It's hard to ignore a sneeze" that opens your mind to living your faith life.

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Photo by Jan Kop?iva on Unsplash

With the arrival of spring comes the season of cleaning. Now is the time to open the curtains that have kept your homes warm and cozy all winter and let in the beautiful sunshine. Streams of light may reveal dust lurking in dark corners and many months of grime accumulating on window panes. Perhaps clutter has overtaken closets and countertops. As we diligently pull out our dust rags and buckets and move furniture to get at those baseboards, our world temporarily shifts. 

Now is also a good time to open the curtains to the windows of your spirit, to remove clutter that may be clogging up your communication with God. What if, buried underneath, covered in dust, there are unopened love letters from God? Invitations to discern religious life, sent to you in triplicate, enumerating your gifts, talents and propensity to flourish when helping others in need? These messages may be covered in dust, spiritual dust. Spiritual dust is tricky and can set off sneezes with surprising momentum. It’s hard to ignore a sneeze, especially one that clears your mind. Provides clarity. Reveals a plan for living the faith life that has been inside you all this time.

When your clutter is cleared, your cleaning is done and your house the physical and the spiritual is put back in order, sit down and read God’s letters. Entertain the invitations and discern what they are calling you to perhaps cleansing the world of the evils of starvation, physical and mental abuse, global warming, gender inequality, racial divides, societal hierarchy, corrupt institutions, education disparity and other suffocating pollutants all around us. Discern the light radiating from you: is it brightest when it shines in collaboration with others with whom you can unite in a commitment to living together and sharing Gospel mission? Is it guiding you to religious life?

How will you begin spring cleaning and ask God to guide you in this new season of your life?

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

Sister Rosile: "Kindness attracted me to FSPA."

Thursday, June 27th 2019 10:30 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


"It has been a wonderful life filled with many blessings and many challenges."

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FSPA Diamond Jubilarian Sister Rosile Pernsteiner

Sister Rosile Pernsteiner’s relationship with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration spans more than seven decades, as she first met the community while attending high school. “I was impressed by their Franciscan spirit and kindness toward each other …”

In celebration of Sister Rosile’s diamond jubilee, Show me a sign invited her to share the insight she gained in discernment, throughout 75 years of vowed religious life and today as she ministers in prayer and witness.

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

Sister Rosile:
I went to a high school where Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration taught. I was impressed by their Franciscan spirit and their kindness toward each other so I decided to join them.  

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

Sister Rosile:
My mother was very upset because I was going so far away — from Spokane, Washington, to La Crosse, Wisconsin. My dad said, “It that’s what she wants to do, let her do it.” 

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Sister Rosile Pernsteiner, Class of 1944

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

Sister Rosile:
It has been a wonderful life filled with many blessing and many challenges.  

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

Sister Rosile:
I was general treasurer of the community for 25 years. This ministry — a service to the community — was full of challenges and variety.  

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

Sister Rosile:
Trust in God — you will be making a good choice.

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 Rita's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 9th 2020 10:00 am
Rita Jansen, FSPA


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Watch fspa.org/showmeasign for new 6 Word Stories, renewed hope and unique inspiration from Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

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

Sister Rita Mae's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, September 17th 2020 10:05 am
Rita Mae Fischer, FSPA


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Enjoy. Share. Inspire. And, visit us again for more 6 Word Stories of Hope created by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. 

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

Discernment and Advent: called to new life

Thursday, December 6th 2018 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"God creates ways to fill in the holes we're convinced might swallow us up"

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

Life, as well all know, includes instances in which things don’t work out the way we plan and dream. It could be an important exam that, despite long hours of study, garners a bad grade; disappoints and shatters your confidence. Or, perhaps it is the sudden end to a relationship that breaks your heart. It is in these raw, emotionally exhausting and vulnerable experiences that we stand before God, mourning our losses and grappling with what feels like the worst time in life — one leading to doubts and questions of our own motives, goals and identity.

If you’ve ever sunk to the depths of such despair — your own rock bottom — you will understand this week’s first reading as we hear the words from Baruch. The people are in agony; separated and lost with thoughts that they have been forgotten. But this is not true. God calls them to new life; reminds them that all is not lost. They will be happy again. They will have all they need. They are called out of mourning, reassured and given a renewed sense of purpose. With God’s encouragement, the fading light of what looks like the end can actually reveal the footholds of a new beginning — not only survival but hope and happiness.

God‘s light and love never dissipates. Friends and family pray you through, even if silently; under the guise of leaving you to find your own way through grief or challenge. They, like God, have not abandoned you in your time of need. 

The Gospel is yet another source of encouragement, reminding us all this Advent season that every experience in life can be a stepping stone as we move into the future. God creates ways to fill in the holes we’re convinced might swallow us up.

As we reflect on the second week of Advent let us consider …

•    How has God guided you along a treacherous path to restore your joy?
•    How are you paying it forward and helping a friend or family member who may be suffering?
•    How have you experienced disappointment or loss on your discernment journey? 
•    How has God been with you … every step of the way?

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 Linda to discerners: 'I thank God every day for my vocation.'

Thursday, September 5th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

After 50 years of ministry, FSPA celebrates Sister Linda's jubilee

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Sister Linda Riesberg, celebrating her jubilee at Villa St. Joseph

In many classrooms across the United States, young children begin expanding their senses of belonging in the world. Their learning deepens as they listen to people who come to visit them, telling of the jobs they do on behalf of the world. Inevitably, their teachers ask, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” 

Many students change their ideas and their replies over time, but since the second grade, Sister Linda Riesberg has known who she wants to be — a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration. Now, 50 years later, after fulfilling this sense of self, she continues to grow into this choice each day. Recently, Show me a sign asked Sister Linda to contemplate her discernment story ...

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

Sister Linda:
I just knew since second grade, and never changed my mind. I don’t know what in particular affected that decision. I thank God every day for my vocation. 

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

Sister Linda:
I wanted to enter the convent after eighth grade, but my parents told me I had to attend two years of high school first. I didn’t like that answer and kept asking them to let me go. After my freshman year, they did: I finished my last three years of high school at St. Mary’s Academy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, which was a school run by FSPA.  

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Sister Linda, 1967

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

Sister Linda:
My biggest memories include being received into the novitiate, making promises on Holy Thursday (another step in the incorporation process during that time) and making final vows.  

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

Sister Linda:
I particularly enjoyed working with people who are developmentally challenged and have special needs. They taught me a lot about unconditional love, trust and being myself.

The celebration of our 2019 jubilarians continues as they share reflections of gratitude for religious life. Read them here!

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, 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! 

Step boldy into vocation with Sister Laura! [video]

Thursday, November 7th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Sister Laura adds her voice to the vocation conversation

Do you wonder how your role as a daughter will change if you choose religious life? Joining in the celebration of National Vocation Awareness Week (Nov. 3 - 9) is Sister Laura, who offers her voice to the vocation conversation, tells her own discernment story and talks about her relationship with her parents as an FSPA.

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.

Step boldy into vocation with Sister Dawn! [video]

Monday, November 4th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"How will religious life affect my relationships?"

As we continue to celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 3 - 9, we invite you to experience Sister Dawn's story about the importance of maintaining relationships with her family and friends as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.

National Vocation Awareness Week is a big opportunity to take a bold step in your discernment by meeting a sister (or a brother, priest, or deacon) and discover how they live their vocation. Communicators for Women Religious is offering several opportunities for you to do just that throughout the week with the #2019 Meet Our Sisters Tour in Chicago, Illinois. Sister Kristin, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, will be at Su Casa Catholic Worker House (5045 S. Laffin St.) today (4:30-7 p.m.), Tuesday (10-11:30 p.m.) and Wednesday (4:30 to 7 p.m.). Stop by to see her, learn more about Su Casa’s mission of hospitality and intentional community, and discover how religious sisters serve a society rooted in simplicity, free of violence, and abounding in love there.

And, stay tuned to Show me a sign as we continue to celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week!

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.

Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Clare

Tuesday, August 11th 2020 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

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Happy Feast Day of St. Clare of Assisi. As you discern religious life, may she inspire you to grow in your relationship with Christ and discover how your gifts and talents may serve the needs of the Church and the world.

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

Discerning our love in the world ... today

Thursday, February 14th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"How we love, who we love and who loves us are at the heart of discernment."

 

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day: the customary day each year when love is the topic of much conversation and measured in worth by cards, balloons, chocolates and flowers. These are all wonderful gestures, but what about the other 364 days of the year? How do we understand that calculating love in currency never works? There is no corresponding chart that shows the irreplaceable value of a friend who waits with you for results of a medical test, a stranger who stops to help you change your tire or a neighbor who shovels your snow-covered driveway. Acts of kindness — acts of love — are worth more than a single vase of roses on a day in February.

Paul wrote about this kind of love long before it was declared a holiday. The passage deserves pondering every day. What does it mean to be a person of love and kindness in our world? What happens when love is inconvenient? What happens when loving humanity challenges us to consider how we treat each other? 

Love begs our attention. It wears many disguises. It can call forth the best and the worst in each of us depending on our intent. How we love, who we love and who loves us are at the heart of discernment.

So, who or what do you love?

How are you called to be love?

How could religious life call you to be a person of love in the world?

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 Rita Mae to discerners: talk, explore, pray

Thursday, October 17th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"Check out different congregations, and talk with people you love and trust."

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FSPA celebrates 2019 jubilarian Sister Rita Mae Fischer. 

Inspired by stories of heroic missionaries and growing up in a strong Catholic community, Sister Rita Mae Fischer began pondering what could be possible for her life if she too followed God’s call.  She bravely took action by choosing to enter religious life after graduating from high school. Her own adventures have taken her to many new places. As Sister Rita Mae now celebrates her 70th jubilee, Show me a sign has asked her to reflect on her life of service according to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration’s mission.  

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

Sister Rita Mae:
I had several strong influences that helped me to decide:

  • Reading stories of missionaries.
  • My exemplary Catholic parents.
  • Visiting with Benedictine sisters who taught in my high school.
  • My extended-weekend visit (and traveling by train with a group of friends) with the sisters at St. Rose Convent.
  • Praying at St. Rose in the balcony of the Adoration Chapel.  

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

Sister Rita Mae:
My family and friends were happy. However, since I was the oldest girl in the family, it was my mother who missed me the most after I left for St. Rose Convent.

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Sister Rita Mae, FSPA class of 1949

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

Sister Rita Mae:
After eight years of teaching in Wisconsin and in the state of Washington, I went to Canton, Mississippi. I taught in Canton in the 1960s and, as the culture was vastly different from the one I’d experienced, I struggled to understand. Eventually, my teaching ministry of seven years there flourished. I treasure the communication I still have with my former students, some whom I taught 40 to 60 years ago.

Show me a sign:
Of the ministries you have served, are there any you hold closest to your heart?

Sister Rita Mae:
I have two favorite ministries: teaching primary grade children and ministering in school libraries.  

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On the day of her jubilee celebration, Sister Rita Mae receives a corsage from FSPA Mission Councilor Sister Karen Kappell.

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

Sister Rita Mae:
Pray about it, check out different congregations, and talk with people you love and trust.

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.

Want a glimpse into the lives of other FSPA who share their own discernment stories and answers to questions like "How will religious life affect my relationships?" and "What if my family doesn't agree with my choice?" Check out Show me a sign's discernment video series Meet our sisters

Discerning from both sides of the river bank

Sunday, December 8th 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

How we encounter and react "is indicative of how we're living our faith life." 

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Light continues to radiate in each Scripture reading for this second Sunday of Advent. Isaiah reminds all to hold on to hope. What seems to be impossible — adversaries putting aside their harmful ways to live in peace and respect of one another — will become reality. New ways of existing will be found, collaboration will occur, old patterns will be redrawn.  

In our world, our neighborhoods and our families today, we also must put down old conversations and begin new ones. Tell new stories too. Violence is a tale of winners and losers, oppressors and the oppressed, and peace is one of commitment to changing the narrative. We are invited to begin within ourselves, to examine how we easily categorize others as either lambs or wolves.

In the second reading, Romans 15:4-9, we are reminded that Scripture is a place that all of us can go to gain wisdom, insight and invitation as we face the daily challenges of life. The words endurance and encouragement leap from the text. Life will not be a problem-free existence. Endurance will call for strength, courage and humility, and the commitment to endurance will also provide encouragement, hope and joy.  

Life is full of encounters: how we choose to act in each one of them is indicative of how we’re living our faith. A clear account of such adversity in action is the story of John the Baptist. Opposing groups meet on the banks of the river, each seeing a different path to God, each claiming to know the “right way.” But in our time, when we face our own conflicts and challenges, how do we find the correct path?  

Discernment is a calling to look beyond the easy answers. It is a skill to choose a specific path of life to pursue  — single, married or consecrated. It is a delving into the questions that simple answers fail to satisfy. It is a call to look from both sides of the river banks.  

Advent in action:

Ponder for a moment a current conflict between yourself and someone in your life. How can you recognize the divide you’ve accepted? How can you commitment to non-combative conversation? What could be a collaborative way to enter into dialogue?  

Finding your way to peace within yourself and with others is the work of preparing your heart for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, whose mission was to bring about a different way of living life.

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.

Step boldly into vocation: Giving Voice

Tuesday, November 5th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Sharing Gospel living and the desire to "Live Religious Life NOW!"

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Nearly 80 women of over 40 congregations, including several FSPA, came together for the 2019 National Giving Voice Gathering (image courtesy of Sophie Vodvarka).

Religious life is a vibrant and wonderful way to further the mission of the Gospel just one of the reasons to celebrate as we honor National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 3 - 9. Today, I am living out this ministry as a member of the FSPA community vowed Franciscan women centered in Eucharist, committed to be loving presence through prayer, witness and service.

I am also sharing Gospel living with other women religious from around the world through my association with Giving Voice, a peer-led organization of religious women under the age of 50. Sisters gather from all different congregations to share in the joy of religious life and the many ways it flourishes around out world. They recently came together to celebrate — to “Live Religious Life NOW!”  and created this video to share their experience:

Watch it and ask yourself: Are you called to add your voice to the conversation of religious life?

National Vocation Awareness Week is a big opportunity to take a bold step in your discernment by meeting a sister (or a brother, priest, or deacon) and discover how they live their vocation. Communicators for Women Religious is offering several opportunities for you to do just that throughout the week with the #2019 Meet Our Sisters Tour in Chicago, Illinois. Sister Kristin, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, will be at Su Casa Catholic Worker House (5045 S. Laffin St., Chicago) today from 10-11:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Stop by to see her, learn more about Su Casa’s mission of hospitality and intentional community, and discover how religious sisters serve a society rooted in simplicity, free of violence, and abounding in love there.

And, stay tuned to Show me a sign as we continue to celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week!

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.

Gathering in gratitude

Thursday, November 22nd 2018 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration


Happy Thanksgiving!

As we gather around the table this day, may we call to mind and heart all the reasons to be thankful.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? Connect with membership@fspa.org to be added to our future premiere list. You’ll receive a sneak peek of our future Show me a sign video premieres

Merry, joyful and bright

Tuesday, December 25th 2018 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

Merry Christmas!

christmas-tree

Image by Graham Soult, courtesy pixabay.com

May the joy of the Christmas season fill your heart all through the year.

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!

The celebration continues! [video]

Thursday, August 1st 2019 3:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Honoring discernment, jubilee and the 141st anniversary of perpetual adoration

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Sister Laura Schreck, FSPA jubilarian celebrating 75 years

Show me a sign is honoring our 2019 jubilarians by sharing their stories of discernment and ministry. Today, four jubilarians, Sisters Rita Mae Fischer, Rosile Pernsteiner, Lorraine Forster and Laura Schreck, are [literally] ringing in FSPA’s 142nd year of perpetual adoration. Their celebration continues!

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75-year jubilarian Sister Lorraine Forster

This year, Sisters Rita Mae, Rosile, Lorraine and Laura are among our wisdom sisters: those FSPA who have served the ministry of perpetual adoration the longest and who are invited to ring the bell during the annual anniversary celebration. Today, it sounded 141 times to commemorate the anniversary ... and one more to usher in the new year. FSPA prayer partners are also invited to sound the bell.

Curious about FSPA's sacred ministry of perpetual adoration, round-the-clock prayer that began on Aug. 1, 1878?

And, 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.

Celebrating the work of making room

Tuesday, December 3rd 2019 4:00 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"Each moment that God is at our sides, the light grows."

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Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

As millions around the world observed the lighting of the first Advent candle on Sunday, hope and change are in motion. It’s an invitation to a season of preparation that we receive every year. How will this year be different for you? How will we all see that this year is ripe with opportunity to cultivate the best in all of us? How will we become the light of joy, hope and love blazing against the darkness of violent death, famine, war and destruction. 

Throughout the season of Advent, we have the chance to encounter God and encounter one another. By opening our minds and our hearts we can:

  • Look for opportunities to risk the unknown and discover the light that some will try to snuff out. 
  • Start conversations of depth with the commitment to taking action.  
  • Risk comfort for the sake of reaching out to another. 
  • See our differences not as liabilities but as avenues of learning and appreciation of diversity.  

As we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, it will mean not just going through the motions of another season, leaping forward to celebration, but making room.

Isaiah sparks our call to imagination by sharing a vision of unity and peace with God as our leader and loving one another as the litmus test for action. Do you see his vision?

Each time we encounter the light of God we are changed. We choose to be open to risking the known for the unknown, to take action when it would be easier to maintain a routine, to be a witness in times that try our souls. Each moment with God is at our side, the light grows. Preparation for the kingdom of God is not confined to four weeks on a calendar but continual. We are meant to be light all year long! 

The wisdom of Scripture continues in the first week of Advent in the words from the Gospel of Matthew. Time is short, we cannot afford to be lazy or to be lulled into a false sense of security of endless days. We are called to keep our eyes on God. To remember that we will one day be asked how we loved. 

Discerning religious life will pose hard questions for you. Advent is a great time to ask yourself if you’re willing to make room for Jesus and the world in your life Are you called to the prophetic life as a vowed religious?  

Advent in action:

What are you noticing in the world around you?  

What are you committing to do for the good of another this Advent 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.

Sister Mildred's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, August 20th 2020 10:20 am
Mildred Tigges, FSPA


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Are Show me a sign's 6 Word Stories of hope inspiring you? More coming soon ...

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

Sister Meg's 6 Word Story of Hope

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


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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, fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Marguerite's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 16th 2020 10:00 am
Marguerite Bruening, FSPA


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Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are writing hope for the future with the wisdom of religious life ... in just six words. 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.

Sister Helen's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, August 13th 2020 10:00 am
Helen Elsbernd, 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.

Sister Esther's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, July 30th 2020 10:00 am
Esther Leis, FSPA


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Visit us again for new 6 Word Stories of Hope — light-filled reflections in these times of uncertainty.    

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

Sister Eileen's 6 Word Story of Hope

Thursday, August 6th 2020 10:00 am
Eileen McKenzie, FSPA


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Searching for guiding light in this this time of uncertainty? Come back for more 6 Word Stories of Hope.

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

Reflection 1: gaze, consider, contemplate, imitate ... discern [video]

Thursday, February 20th 2020 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

"What would happen if, instead of seeking personal wealth, I chose to work for the good of others?

Show me a sign Discernment Meditation: Reflection 1

Welcome to a place of reflection, inspired by the advice given to Agnes of Prague by St. Clare of Assisi, upon the discernment of religious life. As a princess transitioning into consecrated life, Agnes wrote to Clare asking for guidance on how to grow in her relationship with Christ. St. Clare offered the words gaze ... consider ... contemplate ... imitate.

Show me a sign invites you to gaze, consider, contemplate and imitate with our 14-day discernment meditation series as your guide. Let them stir within you -- inspire you, as they did Agnes -- through your day, your week, or perhaps a transitional time all your own.

Maybe such reflection includes discernment of religious life.

View the next meditation in our series
"Reflection 2: What would life look like if I chose to live with others who also want to make a difference?"

 

Rejoice in love and resurrection

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

 

Joy and Easter blessings to you

easter-lily

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! 

Premiere: What if my family doesn’t agree with my choice? [Video]

Friday, November 9th 2018 8:10 am
Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Amy Taylor

Welcome to the Show me a sign series premiere! Throughout the next several months, you will meet five Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who share the joys and struggles they experienced in personal relationships as they walked their own pathway of discernment. 

Today, meet Sister Lucy Slinger and her sibling Eileen. About the family relationship, Sister Lucy admits, “I don’t always go and get to see her … because I have responsibilities. It’s no different than when I was a professional woman and a university professor. But if someone needs something—it’s kind of fascinating—I think I have more support in community than I would have had in the flexibility and freedom to do as a single professional woman.”
 



Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? Connect with membership@fspa.org to be added to our future premiere list. You’ll receive a sneak peek of our future Show me a sign video premieres

Open eyes can change world views

Thursday, January 19th 2017 11:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

This week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a charismatic civil rights leader who offered a new vision for the United States; who gave to the world “I Have a Dream.” He dared to imagine a different way of living his life to promote change on behalf of millions of others—most of whom he would never know. Those who accept his public declaration of an attentive worldview can harness that power; declare and realize their own dreams.

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Image courtesy of freeimages.com

Throughout my graduate school classes, conferences and formation studies I have continually been reminded that where we stand has a direct correlation to what we see. If you choose to perch from a place of power in order to maintain power you will not see the horizon from the vantage point of those with little control over their struggling existence. It’s a paradox starkly reflected in the refugee crisis in our world. Each time I see a photo my heart is twisted by the pain and anguish I see on the faces of those unnamed and suffering and unsafe before my eyes.

It’s these images that remind me of one of my professors in graduate school, Carla Mae Streeter, O.P. She gave us an assignment to search magazines and newspapers for an image of a person whose vulnerability spoke to our hearts. She challenged us to keep the image in a place of remembrance throughout our studies to remind us of why we were students of theology, and what the Gospel calls each of us to do. This assignment was more than just a class requirement: it continues to be a lasting life lesson. Each time I enter discernment--from ministry to volunteer opportunity--I reflect on why I am discerning and choosing action. Will the choice before me reflect Gospel tenants?

Questioning motives and desires is an important part of discerning religious life. If the dream is driven by power and recognition it may dissipate quickly in the face of challenge; crumble under the weight of commitment. Following the call of the Gospel requires not only response to the needs of others before your own, but laying down your life for the world around you.

What do you see in your discernment dream? What heart-held image inspires you? Are you responding to a need in your community, or do you envision crossing borders and oceans to give your life and service in missionary fields? I am perpetually motivated by the founders of my own religious community who heard there were people in need in the United States. They left their family, friends and comforts of their Bavarian homeland in 1849 to follow the call God placed in their hearts. Their lives were transformed in the moment they said “Yes” and their work of collaboration and co-creation with God began. Proclaiming your own “Yes,” waking up and making your own dream a reality, has the potential to not only change your life but also the lives of those you serve. Experience in the encounters will teach lessons far beyond any you could have ever imagined if you're open to mutual transformation.

What if your dream is the one the world needs now?

Are you willing to take the next steps in your discernment to make it a reality?

There's more to Sister Dawn's discernment story

Tuesday, March 12th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

The gifts of "goodness ... wisdom" guiding her call to leadership

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Sister Dawn Kutt is living her "call to leadership"
as an 
 FSPA Leadership Team mission councilor.

The third video in Show me a sign's discernment series — "How will religious life affect my relationships?" — is now available and giving us the opportunity to "Meet Sister Dawn." 

Sister Dawn Kutt's ministry in religious life as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration has encompassed health care and now, after a new kind of discernment, includes leadership as a mission councilor for the community. And just as her discernment of religious life was supported by family, friends and FSPA, so too was her contemplation of the call to leadership. Show me a sign asked Sister Dawn about the gifts she's received — the "goodness" and "wisdom" that continue to give her guidance today.

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Sister Dawn serves many, young and old, in her ministry of health care.

Show me a sign: How do you rely on friends and family for support as you encounter the joys and challenges of new ministry in community leadership?

Sister Dawn: My family and friends have always been very supportive of my decision to enter religious life, and throughout the discernment process that led me to leadership for my community I looked to them to share with me the gifts they thought I could give FSPA as a mission councilor. 

And as I begin my new ministry of community leadership, family and friends give me that balance between work and play. They also love to hear of the goodness I receive through the various community celebrations and milestones, and what it is that I find life-giving in this elected position. Of course, just as there are joys there are challenges to which I only ask them to pray for me, to pray for the wisdom and grace to do my best for the good of the whole.

Show me a sign: How is your FSPA community supporting you as you begin new ministry in leadership?

Sister Dawn: The FSPA community has been very supportive during this time of transition and change. I rely on the sisters to give us, the leadership team, honest conversation and feedback as we continue to build our future together. Having a leader in every chair allows us to tap into their wisdom and knowledge to which affirms that we all walk together to make a difference in the world.


In case you missed it — or the discernment story is calling to you again —  here is the video "How will religious life affect my relationships? Meet Sister Dawn."

And, Show me a sign invites you to revisit the discernment stories of two other FSPA: Sarah Hennessey and Lucy Slinger:

 

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!

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! 

Listening, exploring and discerning like Francis

Friday, October 4th 2019 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

"God will be with you each step of the journey to guide, to listen and to offer continual inspiration ..."

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Icon of St. Francis of Assisi by Sister Maryam Gossling

Today’s Gospel acclamation, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart,” is timely as we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. 

If you are familiar with the life of St. Francis of Assisi, you may recall that while he was out one day, roaming the countryside near Assisi, Italy, he stopped at a church to pray. Praying before the San Damiano Cross in a deteriorating church — Portiuncula — Francis heard God say to him “rebuild my church ...” 

After hearing these words, Francis had to decide whether or not he was going to listen to the request. It took him a while to figure out what exactly those powerful words meant. He didn’t understand what God was asking of him. Thinking it was a literal task, he gathered stones to rebuild by hand the crumbling chapel. In time, Francis realized the call was much deeper. His search for clarity led to conversations with his family, friends, the bishop, the pope, the local mayor, and many others. Men saw his joy and flocked to join his way of life, a pathway that lead to the establishment of a new religious community with a new rule of life approved by the pope. It all began with a few words he heard in prayer, his inclination to trust God and to begin searching. Francis was by no means perfect: he made mistakes and learned throughout his life journey. Conversion is one of the values of Franciscan tradition!

Like Francis, you may receive inspiration or a call from God in prayer. Moving from the idea of discernment to actually living into it requires motivation to discover its true meaning. For example, feeling called to religious life offers much to explore throughout religious communities: evangelical, apostolic or monastic orders, Franciscan, Dominican, Benedictine spirituality (among others), geographical locations and ministerial opportunities. Simultaneously delving into your own gifts and talents helps to discover where you feel a connection. The opinions of family and friends also provide fodder for reflection. Each new discovery leads to next steps and bigger questions. 

No matter where discernment takes you, carry today’s Gospel acclamation, Psalm 95:8, as you journey forth: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.” God will be with you each step of the journey to guide, to listen and to offer continual inspiration, no matter where the exploration leads.  

Are you willing to listen and explore?

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.

In the spirit of thanksgiving to God

Thursday, November 28th 2019 7:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Gather with gratitude on this Thanksgiving Day.

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As we gather around the table in a spirit of thanksgiving to God for the blessings of friends, family, community and food, may we also reach out to those who are separated from loved ones, those who are mourning losses, and those who are homeless or hungry. May we also remember in our prayers of thankfulness all those who have grown, harvested and prepared the food that graces our tables today.

Honoring legacy, service

Monday, May 25th 2020 9:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Care for our common good never forgotten

flag-cemetery

Photo by Daniel Foster on Unsplash

Let us take a moment of silence today to pray for peace in our world and to remember the brave military women and men who selflessly lost their lives in service to our country. May their legacy of care for the common good of all not be forgotten.

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

Thank you for following Show me a sign

Wednesday, September 30th 2020 11:50 am
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration


Dear readers,

In 2016 we started a conversation about discernment of religious life — Show me a sign. Many of you have been with us on our journey since the beginning. We thank you all for joining us along the way!

We have evolved, since then, to share discernment resources, Six Word Stories of mission and hope, a video series and a meditation series and the good news of FSPA celebrations.


Sister Eileen McKenzie's story, published in Show me a sign's first 6 Word Story series in 2016

While Show me a sign posts will remain on fspa.org as wonderful discernment resources, this is our final blog. We now move forward in collaboration with the Messy Jesus Business blog and podcast, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh, and encourage you to join the Mess of radical Gospel living.

Thank you for your loyal readership. We look forward to welcoming you into the Messy Jesus Business community!

FSPA at RE Congress 2018 ... Rise Up!

Thursday, March 22nd 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Sisters-Amy-Taylor-and-Kathy-Roberg-at-Los-Angeles-Religious-Ed-Congress

Sisters Amy and Kathy greeted hundreds of people -- youth and adults -- at the annual congress for religious education in Los Angeles, California. (Photographer Victor Aleman)

Sister Kathy and I would like to send a shout out to all those we met at RE Congress 2018: Rise Up! while we represented the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and vocations there. It was inspiring to see the diversity of ministries represented as we all came to learn and pray together. If you were unable to stop by for a visit and find out more about our community, please send any questions you may have through the comment section (below).

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We look forward to hearing from you!

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

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.


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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?


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