Friday, April 25, 2008

The End of the (Birthday) Octave!

This week concluded what the postulants had dubbed: The Birthday Octave. Also known as, the week of Alina and Julia’s birthdays!

On Sunday, Alina, Emily, and Sr. Carmen celebrated my birthday with many surprises.
Sr. Caritas was my guide as I was given 27 clues to find throughout the convent and book center. With each clue was also a quarter (27 quarters= close to $7.00, in case you were wondering ;) As I began to collect quarters, I kind of began to figure out what would be in store for me later in the day. Earlier in the year- I believe I blogged about it- I had expressed an interest to returning to the Arcade which we had discovered at a local movie theater. But before I could think about it too much, I was blindfolded and taken to the car.

We did not end up at the Arcade, but to another one of my favorite places- The Laumeier Sculpture Park close to our house. We had a picnic lunch and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine that God had willed for that day! Then it was back to the car for the destination I had anticipated- the Arcade.

After winning enough tokens to win each of us a toy animal straw, I was blindfolded one last time. This time I had no idea where we were going!

After driving for a while, Sr. Carmen requested to get dropped off out of the car. I was totally confused! We parked a few blocks further away, causing Alina and Emily have to guide me from both sides (I was blindfolded, you will recall) until we reached my final surprise of the day- my sister, Janet, waiting for me at a St. Louis famous ice cream place- Ted Drewes! I am very grateful to Jesus and to the postulant community for making my birthday so special.

Wednesday we hosted a great friend of the community and one of our 2008 Benefit Dinner honorees- Zip Rzeppa- for dinner at the convent. It was a really nice evening for all of us. Zip is a great example of St. Paul because he has made it a personal mission to evangelize Jesus to the St. Louis community. He is a former sports broadcaster who now directs the St. Vincent Paul Society here in St. Louis. He told us many great stories of conversion and hope of people in the Church. We are honored to collaborate with him in our mission, and are grateful for all the people who collaborate with us!

This weekend will be a busy one for many of us. Alina is helping Sr. Laura with a presentation to Librarians this Saturday. Emily is also helping Sr. Laura this weekend with presentations she is giving on St. Paul. There is a theater company here in the diocese that is doing a play on St. Paul this weekend. Sr. Laura is giving little presentations on the life of St. Paul at each show. Again, a great collaboration with our mission!

God bless you all! Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Esta semana ha sido definitivamente emocionante. Todas hemos esperado con ansia la llegada del Papa Benedicto a los Estados Unidos. Hemos estado manteniéndonos al dia con su horario lo mejor posible y agarrando clips en la televisión de vez en cuando. Hemos sido inspiradas por sus palabras y presencia en nuestro pais como estoy segura que ustedes han sido también.

Esta semana fui bendecida porque mi cumpleaños fue celebrado en una manera muy especial. El lunes mis compañeras me sorprendieron con una piñata. Me vendaron los ojos y me entregaron una escoba para darle a la piñata. ¡Que peligroso! Las otras hermanas tuvieron una oportunidad también. ¡Finalmente calleron los dulces!

El martes recibí los regalos y habian notas especiales en cada lugar que miraba. Las oraciones por mí fueron la parte más especial. Fui muy conmovida por cómo mis compañeras usaron mis canciones y oraciones preferidas. Como el cumpleaños de Julia es la semana próxima, Emily y Sr.Carmen nos sorprendieron a ambas con boletos a un concierto de Matt Maher (muchas gracias a nuestra amiga buena que compró los boletos). El y los otros estaban en tour y prepararon una experiencia muy devota y llena del Espíritu. El tour se llamaba 2097 en referencia al número del catecismo que dice, “Adorar a Dios es reconocer, con respeto y sumisión absolutos, la “nada de la criatura”, que solo existe por Dios. Adorar a Dios es alabarlo, exaltarle y humillarse, así mismo como hace María en el Magníficat, confesando con gratitud que El ha hecho grandes cosas y que su nombre es santo. La adoración del Dios único libera al hombre del repliegue sobre sí mismo, de la esclavitud del pecado y de la idolatría del mundo.”

¡Gozamos mucho!

Esta mañana tuvimos otra sorpresa grande! Fuimos todas despertadas a las 4:30 de la mañana cuando la casa empezó a temblar. Nosotras salimos corriendo de nuestros cuartos y fue imposible volvernos a dormir. ¡Sobrevivimos nuestro primer terremoto!

Esta noche nosotras tuvimos nuestra noche de fe y film. Tuvimos un buen número de personas y una gran discusión despues sobre la película October Sky. Fue una semana increíble! Ahora estamos en vísperas del cumpleaños de Julia. Únanse en oración y celebración por ella esta semana.


Friday, April 4, 2008

The founder and birthday boy- Blessed James Alberione

Happy Birthday, Blessed James Alberione!

Today is the 124th anniversary of Blessed James Alberione's birth! We celebrated the founder's birth with much prayer and a cake (that I baked and should note that I hardly ever bake, so this was truly a special occasion!) We also watched, as a postulant community, his Beatification ceremony on DVD (courtesy of Sr. Laura!) What a blessing to have that moment captured for all to share!

This past Sunday was our free day. I don’t know if we’ve ever mentioned anything about our “free days”. Well, let me tell you! We get one day off a month with no obligations, other than Mass and making our holy hour (“Visit” with Jesus) which we can do on our own at anytime during the day. The rest of the day each sister or postulant can spend the day however she chooses. Alina had heard about a Cuban restaurant, so she and Emily went with one of our employees, Mary, for lunch. They said it was really good! Since my sister lives in St. Louis, she and I usually hang out all day. This free day was no exception. We went to Mass, lunch, and spent the day hanging out around St. Louis.

We continue with our classes with Fr. Lockwood, Fr. Soto, and Sr. Carmen. We also finished up the NCEA exhibit by helping Sr. Laura verify the books that we brought back from Indianapolis. (Let me break down some of the terms we use around here for you, in case you are wondering what I mean). “Verify” is basically counting how many books we have left, which allows us to figure how many we “diffused”. We say that we “diffuse” books rather than sell because we believe we are evangelizing and helping people and they are giving us an offering in return. It is not a “sale” but an exchange and offering between God’s people! We are helping each other!

Emily’s brother is here and they went to the art museum today. We will be watching “October Sky” on Saturday, which is our next faith and film movie this month. Things to look forward to this month: faith and film night, lecture night, a visit from Sr. Agnes’ sister, Angie, and…Alina AND Julia’s birthdays ( Apr.15th and 22nd)…stay tuned!!!

Peace in Him,