Friday, February 22, 2008

United in Mission and Vocation

Last weekend was full of mission and vocation reflection- as a good weekend in the life of a postulant should be! Alina told you about our Friday night apostolic experience at St. Cecilia’s parish. The following night, Sr. Jerome, Sr. Caritas, Emily, and I attended a Mass of induction for the new president of the Aquinas Institute here in St. Louis. The Aquinas Institute is a school of theology started by the Dominicans in the 1920’s. The Mass was followed by a reception and we got a tour of the Institute itself which is located right next to Saint Louis University. It is a really nice facility, complete with chapel and many classrooms. It was just nice to see where and how other religious receive their formation!

Sunday we had another day of tours and religious academia- it was the Open House at the Kenrick Glennon Seminary. We have been there many times, of course, as we took Sacramental Theology there last semester. Sr. Laura, however, had never been there as she is new to the Saint Louis area. Plus, it’s always nice to see our friends at the seminary! Many priests have come to say Mass for us from the seminary and they are very good to us over there.

For me, the exciting moment of mission and vocation this week was going to the Covenant Network radio studio yesterday. Sr. Carmen and I went to record some new radio ads for our Book Center, which will air on the station. Covenant Network is our local Catholic AM radio station here. We have a dear friend who has a show on Wednesdays for the station-Zip Rzeppa- who we are honoring this year at our benefit dinner. I call in once a month to his show to talk about our events here at the Book Center. Through my calls to the station, I’ve been in contact with the owner and founder- Tony Holman. We met Tony yesterday and he shared with us about his vision for the Covenant Network, which he started eleven years ago. The story is really quite Alberione-an, as he received the call in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. We hope to do more with Tony and Covenant Network in the future for we are united in mission!

Praise the Lord for all the ways He unites us and works through one another! God bless your week. Here are some pictures of Sr. Carmen and I recording at the studio and also Sr. Caritas and Alina showing our next book of discussion for our Book Club- “How Big is Your God?” J


Monday, February 18, 2008

Con Nuestros Ojos Fijos En Jesús

Continuamos nuestro viaje por Cuaresma con nuestros ojos fijos en Jesús. Como Emily dijo miramos la película Romero, la vida y el trabajo de Arzobispo Oscar Romero que se opuso, a un gran riesgo personal, la represión en El Salvador. Para nuestra próxima película Cuaresmal pensamos ver The Hiding Place, la historia verdadera de Corrie Ten Boom, una mujer quien fue mandada a un campo concentración cuya fé la salvó de desesperación y la permitió perdonar a sus captores.

Esta noche nosotras dirigimos el Vía Crucis para la comunidad de la parroquia de Sta. Cecilia. Hermana Carmen compartió un poco sobre como Cristo es la luz del mundo y como la luz que recibimos de su sufrimiento es la esperanza con que aguantamos nuestro propio sufrimiento. Mientras cantamos Go Light Your World cada persona fue invitada a escoger un libro religióso de la exposición que habíamos traído. Este libro era símbolo de luz para crecer en su fé. Cada persona se comprometió a compartir este libro con un amigo. Como en todas cosas nosotras tuvimos nuestros propios planes pero fue claro que el Espíritu Santo estuvo encargado.

Además de la clase de Padre Soto nosotras tuvimos nuestra primera clase con Padre Lockwood que nos estará enseñando Doctrina Católica Básica.Gozamos ambas clases mucho. No tenemos clase Miércoles por la noche. Esto permite que participemos en las actividades de la librería. Este Miércoles pasado Dr.Madden, el autor de La Historia Verdadera de las Cruzadas, dio una conferencia sobre las cruzadas y como han sido percevidas por los Cristianos y los Musulmanes a lo largo de los años. Nuestro próximo acontecimiento en la librería será La Noche de Fé y Film. Estaremos discutiendo la película Pay It Forward. ¡Tenemos algunas películas, libros y conferencias excelentes programadas para estos próximos meses! Manténganos en sus oraciones como ustedes estan en las nuestras.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Blessed Lent!

“Turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel.” These were the words we heard on Ash Wednesday as Fr. Edwards marked our foreheads with ashes. As a postulant community, our theme for this Lent is: “Live in the present moment, with your eyes fixed on Jesus, in a spirit of thanksgiving.” We have also decided to watch movies this Lent that depict the passion of Christ in humanity – we’ll be starting with Romero on Saturday. Finally, we’ll be praying the Stations of the Cross with the whole community every Monday evening.

Academically and apostolically, things are moving along! Last Friday we started a class on the New Testament with Fr. Soto, one of the teachers at the seminary. He will be coming here on Friday mornings this semester to study the Gospels with us. This week is also the last week of our online class with Sr. Rose.

Last weekend Sr. Laura and Julia held an exhibit at St. Simon’s parish. Some of the rest of us went there for Mass on Sunday. It’s a beautiful parish, and the people seemed really grateful to have us there. We gave many Lenten titles and LOTS of the pope’s new document on hope!

Feel free to comment and share any prayer requests or any thoughts on Lent and Lenten practices that you may have. We will be keeping all of you in prayer this Lent, that it may truly be a time of drawing closer to Jesus! God bless you!

- Emily

Friday, February 1, 2008

Gifts of God: Vocation, Media, and Hope

We have been reflecting alot this week on the many gifts the Lord has given us, but in particular, the gifts of vocation, hope, and media. Alina mentioned the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul last week- we had a Mass in our Book Center with many friends and benefactors of our mission last Friday night. We followed the Eucharistic Meal with a dinner and some socializing. The spirit of St. Paul really is alive in all our cooperators and people who aide in our mission. This past week, I felt a heightened call for all of us to share the Love and message of Jesus like St. Paul did.

On Sunday, we went to the cathedral to take part in a Mass for religious vocations. It was a good end to Vocation Awareness month and also a fine finale for our feast of St. Paul. We were surrounded by many, many other young people giving their lives to Jesus in the consecrated life or priesthood. Archbishop Burke really spoke to us in support of our mission to share Jesus with the world through His Church.

As a postulant community, we concluded our reading of Spe Salvi (the Holy Father's newest encyclical letter). We all really enjoyed it. We had been reading it in parts and then discussing it with one another. The Holy Father gives so much hope in His words- words I truly believe the world needs to hear. If everyone were to read this document, I think many people would change their outlook on suffering, eternity, and have hope in Christ Jesus. I highly recommend it! Find it in a Pauline Book and Media Center near you ;)

Finally, we are continuing with our class online with Sr. Rose. One of the topics this week was reflecting on the media as gift. We often lament it or complain about the dangers of media, rather than seeing it as the gift it is. After celebrating vocations and St. Paul this week, I believe St. Paul would see the media as a gift and tool of hope. So let us each have hope in vocation and humanity as St. Paul and the Holy Father encourage us to do!

God bless you!