Written on: February 1, 2019
The Longest Night: Sr. Dolores O’Dowd
A Blue Christmas Service of Remembrance was held in Albion on December 10. This Interfaith program was an outreach of support for those who have experienced losses over the past year.
Strips of cloth were available to write on and were then placed in the manger. They will later be put on a cloth to share in each of the Churches over the course of the year.
After the service there was a time for sharing stories. Large blue Christmas balls were available to write the name of a loved one or a message of love.
The Longest Night Prayer
Take my grief, Lord,
Heal the hurt;
Embrace my weary spirit.
Let Your comfort
Overflow my soul.
Nourish my heart and
Grant me rest,
Especially at night when
Taunts my mind.
Never forsake me,
Include me in your thoughts.
Gently carry me toward
Healing and hope.
Tenderly touch my soul.
©John Stuart 2017 (image and poem from program)
On the last Saturday of every month, Sisters from Lafayette and the Plaza gather for an hour in the Redeemer Community Room for prayer and discussion on spiritual topics. Six sisters volunteer to select a topic and facilitate the table discussions. New topics are presented every month.
This month the discussion topics included: ‘Mr. Thelord’ (in “Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg) and ‘Shine on in Montana’ by Jo Clare Hartsig- a story of people acting together for the good of a Jewish family (from “Peace Is The Way : Writings On Nonviolence” from The Fellowship Of Reconciliation); three “select a quote” groups, a favorite Bible verse, a St. Marguerite d’Youville quote or choosing from a selection of quotes on the topic of gifts; and “Mid-winter Pick-Me-Ups”- sharing techniques for surviving winter doldrums without going to another location.
Coffee and refreshments are served and Sisters linger after the meeting for companionship and to share updates on life’s blessings.
Sisters at Holy Redeemer Lafayette are reading “What I Am Living For- Lessons from the life and writings of Thomas Merton.” Edited by Jon Sweeney.
Calling all Readers! Please help us start a spot where Sisters, Associates, and colleagues can share what they have read recently.Let us inspire each other with words meant to teach and raise-up our best selves! Please send submissions to Maryellen Glackin
Babies R Us!
We are happy to announce two new members of the GNSH Family! Both Pat Cohen, Director of Finance and Maryellen Glackin, Director of Social Media, became first time Grandmothers recently! Dalton Jacob born December 6th is the son of Pat’s daughter Lisa and her husband Brandon. Hannah Elizabeth born on October 21st is the daughter of Maryellen’s son PJ and his wife, Bridget.
It’s funny that both couples married the same year, and now had babies the same year. Wishing many blessings to the happy families!
Happy Birthday to our Sisters who celebrated birthdays this month: Sr. Marita Campbell, Sr. Ellie Martinez, Sr. Nancy Kaczmarek, Sr. Sheila Stone, Sr. Mary Brendan Connors, Sr. Mary Mulligan, Sr. Marian Adrian, Sr. Mary Salvadore, Sr. Cathy Bleiler, and also, Sister St. Catherine Curley who celebrated in Heaven this year. Many blessings in the year ahead!
Sister Eileen Spanier and Sister Kate Woody recently returned from sabbaticals. These experiences are offered to Sisters as they transition out of long-term ministry as a way to process the gifts they received from their ministry, to reflect on how they have changed from during their time ministering, and to consider what they are being drawn to for the next chapter of their lives.
They will be sharing their experiences in a presentation to the Plaza Sisters in February.
Sister Eileen attended Ministering to Ministers, a Sabbatical Program offered by the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. This was a 4 month (August 13 – December 8th) program. There were 17 participants (9 Men Religious and 8 Women Religious) representing seven different Countries. More than half of the participants were International.
“It was a time of renewal based on four key aspects of the Biblical Sabbath – ceasing, resting, embracing and feasting. It was a wonderful opportunity to facilitate my personal, spiritual, theological, and pastoral renewal at a time of ministry transition.”
Sister Kate Woody went to Scotland to study Celtic spirituality, a topic she long has been interested in. The program was called “Following the Celtic Way.” The highlight was a week’s program on Iona, the island on which St. Columba founded an abbey and from which he launched his conversion of the pagan Scottish Picts. There were fifteen participants from various Christian faiths, ten Americans.
“Iona in mid-October was beautiful but very rugged. We had four days of hail! Wind, rocks and a few scattered sheep made me feel as if I truly were a sixth century Celt. The weather may have been extremely cold, but the community we formed was warm, respectful and truly graced!”