We are living in extraordinary times. Our physical and economic health are threatened by an unseen force. We are afraid.
As Franciscan women, we have always provided hope to those who need it most. This ministry is particularly important now, so we are sharing the prayers and words of hope that have comforted us as we faced personal challenges. It is possible to comfort people even in a time of social distancing!
S. Kathy Adamski works with the Diocese of Charleston, SC, training staff parishes throughout the state and offering spiritual retreats. An attendee sent this note to her after the last retreat she held before COVI-19 restrictions went into place:
Good morning Sister Kathy,
I just wanted to follow up my first thank you with a more robust thank you for the time you took to bring us your Lenten Mission “Lent: The Power of Vulnerability”.
Who would have known then, March 8-10, that your message would have to sustain us throughout the rest of the 2020 Lenten season? We were not aware at that time that we would be staying at home due to the corona virus or that we would be sacrificing daily mass, sunday mass and holy communion for an undetermined or yet to be determined time. Thankfully, how you ended our retreat time, especially, was so powerful! Impromptu as it was, we were left with a sustaining gift…so beautiful!
On March 11, 2020, I drove to Mepkin Abbey where I was signed up to hear Sr. Susan Schorsten, HM and Sr. Gay Rowzie, HM. Their lecture had been cancelled but, I did not know it. My trip was not for naught, however, because I visited with the gift store clerk there, “Angel”, and bought a few books (on your suggestion – “What was the last book you read for spiritual growth?”).
One small book I bought belongs on your bookshelf. It is a great Sr. Kathy Adamski Lenten Mission companion in keeping with your vulnerability message: “Finding Your Treasure, A Monastic Journey through Lent”, by The Benedictine Monks of Munsterschwarzach Abbey. You definitely inspired me to pick it and buy it.
In sum, thank you again for your efforts to prepare, travel for and present your program to us. It continues to resonate with me and, hopefully, with the others who attended.
The sudden impact that coronavirus has had globally leads one to reflect on Richard Rohr’s mediation leading the human soul on two paths, one of suffering and one on love. According to the daily news, no one is excluded from the dangers that anyone infected with the deadly virus is in fatal or serious condition. This “oneness” is a factor in making our world an international family. This leads to unity that fosters peace and harmony; and no need for hostility and war. At present, the U.S. is engaged in the election for the president. Competition often engenders an atmosphere of division.
Suffering is inevitable for many. My father who suffered from cancer of the esophagus had difficulty breathing, Whenever he noticed the anguish on our faces, he would try to comfort us by saying, “Jesus, suffered and died, I am not better than God.”
What really matters in each of our lives is knowing that we are certain of God’s infinite love for each of us who are the work of His creation.
Sister Helen Buscarino
A Powerful Quote For Our Times
S. Rose Jerome Kenlon shares this quote by Winston Churchill. Taken from a November 1942 speech given at Mansion House, London after the Allied Victory in North Africa in WWII, it is fitting for today:
“Now this is not the end, it might not even be the beginning of the end, but it might be the end of the beginning.”
Thinking of Others
Thinking of the youngest generation of our family…so many home from school – elementary, high, and college doing distance learning. Best wishes to each of you. Thinking of the parents and grandparents and cousins and all who have to make big adjustments to their daily lives. God’s blessings to all of you.
S. Fran Gangloff
Let us remember the apostles at the tomb of Jesus.
They had to have HOPE that they would see Jesus
who always gave them hope for their life’s journey.
During these difficult times let us place all our HOPE in
Jesus and all will work out for the good of all. Amen.
S. Laurita Kelly