Friday, March 28, 2008

Praying With An MP3!

Music for the Spirit and the Brain

Well, I finally did it--invested in an MP3 player! I checked out price, capability, etc. last Monday and then took a few days to think about it. I found out that Florence had bought one exactly like the one I was considering--and at a considerable discount. Now the challenge is to learn to use it! I have only a few songs on it at the moment and I'm totally won over. I used it for prayer this morning--one of my favorite ways to pray is with music--and even had it on for a bit while I was working. I'm one of those people who finds that music in the background helps me to focus. Of course, with only three songs I'm getting a lot of repetition! That's a pretty good incentive to learn the process of adding music!

Meeting the Deadline Cruch
I hate to say it but even after a short work week, I'm ready for the weekend. I have an area chapter meeting (meeting with prayer, discussion, and decision-making with a group of sisters from our geographic area) on Sunday but Saturday is going to be purely for relaxing. This is the first week in a while that our office been free of major, major, major projects. That means finally beginning to get back to the "normal" projects that have been put on hold. I guess the sisters are wondering what happened to our Community News publication--we're having to combine last month's and this month's issues because of the time crunch. Ironically we have three separate articles that are already very long and are slated to extend over several issues. I'm afraid they're going to be "extending" a bit more than originally intended. I also finally got to filling out a survey for the website committee I'm on for the National Communicators Network for Women Religious--just barely making the deadline. I think I'd better get some more music on my MP3--I'll need it to soothe my jangled nerves!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Celebrating: Holidays and New Life!

The holidays are over far too fast! Easter Sunday was a great day. In addition to the Easter celebration, we celebrated Sister Mary Kennedy's birthday. She's been really excited about the fact that her birthday actually fell on Easter Sunday--first time since she was born. We had a great dinner which we all helped to prepare and Sister Katie O'Donnell came to celebrate with us.

On Monday I went out with Sister Albertus. We enjoyed lunch at the Old Country Buffet before we did some shopping. It's a disaster to have so many things to choose from--I have a tendence to want to try some of each but managed to restrain myself. A trip to Borders helped to spend a gift certificate and supplied me with a copy of The Other Bolyn Girl and a Ronan Tynan CD. We stopped at Best Buy so I could investigate MP3 players. They did have a few good sales but I still haven't made up my mind if I'm really going to get one. Would be great for traveling, though!

And then today it was "back to work" time. Must be the holiday spirit lingering on. It's been a sleepy kind of day and I'm not sure how much I really accomplished. One great treat, however, was that Florence brought in pictures and a CD of the ultrasound she had done over the weekend. The baby is so beautiful. We watched it at lunchtime and I was just fulled with awe--little hands and feet all curled up--and at several points he was sucking his thumb! It's beyond me how anyone could deny that this is a human being! Following the whole theme of new life that is so much part of the Easter message, we had a chance to view "new life" first hand! What a gift!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Blessings

As we recall once again the journey that Jesus walked during the last three days of his life, it isn't a far reach to find parallels in our own lives and in our own times. I went to Assisi House for liturgy on Holy Thursday and it was "holy" in so many ways. Just watching our older sisters process from chapel to the activities room where the Eucharist would be reserved was a meditation. On foot, on walkers, in wheelchairs--they made their way with profound reference, singing the words of the "Pange Lingua." I couldn't help but see in them the faithful women of the gospel who followed Jesus and "stayed with" him until the end.

On Good Friday I went to the motherhouse for liturgy. The services were simple, yet reverent and somber. Sr. Pat Smith gave the homily and talked about the ways in which Good Friday is lived out in our world today--in the sufferings of people in Africa and the Middle East, in cities around the world where people suffer from violence and injustice, in cities near to us where violence is a part of life, in homes and hospitals where people suffer from illness and loss of loved ones. However, she closed her reflection with the powerful reminder that today, as with that first Good Friday, there will come an Easter Sunday. That is the hope that carries us into the future!

Tonight I'm going once again to the motherhouse for the Holy Saturday liturgy. What a time of rejoicing, of ritual, of the birthing of new life and hope! I wish for all of you that same "new life," the gift of hope, and the blessings of an Easter that will always follow the Good Fridays of your life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good News--Alive and Well!

Find Some Good News in Your Life!

Worried that you haven't heard any good news lately? I know the feeling. Just listening to the news at night can get downright depressing. Wouldn't it be great if we could watch the presidential candidates without hearing them snipe at one another. I was at a weekend program here at our motherhouse last week with twenty-eight of our sisters who are discerning whether or not they will be a nominee for our next leadership team. As each sister shared her visions of our future as a congregation and her image of what type of leadership team would best enable us to move into that future, you could feel the spssirit of hope and trust for what that future would mean for us and for those with whom we minister and serve. You could also feel the trust and belief in one another that is so necessary to make any vision a reality. Wouldn't it be great--even inspiring--if we could turn on the evening news and listen to our presidential candidates share their vision and their plans for making that vision a reality without having to attack the other candidates?! What a future that would make.

Our latest Good News is out--and we've had a lot of really positive feedback. In this issue we shared the stories of Sister Marie Cecilia Irwin who ministers at the Mother Bachmann Maternity Center in Langhorne and of Sister Kathleen Winkelman whose work in the eastern shore religious education co-op has been so successful that she's worked herself out of a job. And as I'm typing this, our communications director came in to share a copy of a letter sent by a business associate to Al McCarthy, owner of Valley Press and our "Focus" person in this issue. The writer of the letter affirmed quality of Al's work and commended us for recognizing and honoring is work. You can download back issues of Good News on our website at www.osfphila.org/about/goodnews. And if you'd like to be added to our mailing list for your own free subscription, click on our "Contact" page.

Got some more good news yesterday--a letter from two of my former highschool classmates about a 50th reunion. Some people might think that should make me feel old but somehow my brain and my heart and my soul don't know that--I'm just excited!

And then there's always the good news that it's Friday--and this Friday I have a long weekend because I'm taking Monday off. How's that for something to look forward to! So...What's the good news in your life?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Franciscans on the Move--Check Us Out!

We've Gone Live!

That's right! Our newly designed website is up and running. It hit cyberspace on Saturday with barely a glitch. Check us out at www.osfphila.org. You can learn more about us by viewing our DVD (and order a free copy for yourself if you like). You can also request to be added to the mailing list of our Good News publication. In the section entitled "Meet," we introduce you to some of our sisters--we're doing some pretty interesting things. Besides meeting our sisters, you might find our some of our resources helpful. One of our most popular sections is our colllection of prayer services (I hope you'll enjoy some of my poems!). We also have a great section on the environment and a pretty extensive bibliography of resources on the death penalty. The section on our CSA, Red Hill Farm, is complete with recipes and access to the Red Hill Root newsletter. If you need a special prayer, we've provided a way for you to send us that request. We'll see that our sisters in our three retirement residences and our motherhouse know about it. You can be assured of our prayers. You can also link to our three spiritual centers and learn about their programs. And before you leave our site, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "blessing." We''ll send you off with the Blessing of St. Francis sung by our sisters.

Happy surfing!

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