Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Radio, Cleaning, and Other Apostolic Adventures

This week our preparations for Mother General's visit have escalated! Everyone pitched in to clean and organize the house. I must say, it looks great! We've also been preparing reports for Mother General on the apostolic reality of St. Louis -- what kind of a place it is, demographics, statistics, etc., as well as what our response has been in the area of the bookcenter and outreach. We're all looking forward to seeing Mother General, some of us for the first time! She will arrive on Tuesday, so please pray for safe travel for her and her councilors, and for our community as we live this time with them.

In the midst of all this, Sr. Carmen and I went to the Catholic radio station here in St. Louis (Covenant Network -- AM 1460 or 1080 for our St. Louis readers!) on Wednesday to record a half-hour program on vocations. We spoke about the vocation to the religious life in general, as well as the spirituality and apostolate of the Daughters of St. Paul in particular, and some of the vocational programs that we offer. It was my first experience with radio, and though I was very nervous going in, I enjoyed it very much. It made me think again about how powerful the media are and filled me with a desire to tell people about Jesus!

We've received some good questions from some of our readers, and we'll be working on responding to them this week. Feel free to ask any questions or leave any suggestions or any prayer requests.

In the meantime, does anyone know the answer to this triva question: Who was the first Daughter of St. Paul to come to the United States, and when did she come?
Aspettiamo la sua rispostas! (We await your answers!)

God bless you!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Come, Holy Spirit

This week has been blessed with many gifts of the Holy Spirit. Last Saturday we had a Mother Thecla Book Club meeting -- six girls came! We discussed a book about the Blessed Mother, had a time of Eucharistic Adoration, and concluded with a May Crowning at the grotto in our backyard. God has truly blessed our efforts to reach out to these girls and we are looking forward to continuing the book club in August.

Sunday we celebrated the great feast of Pentecost! Alina made "tongues of fire" that we hung in the dining room to remind us of the Holy Spirit's presence. We went to church we hadn't been to before (Immacolata Parish in Clayton, Missouri). On Tuesday we went to another new church, Little Flower Parish, for the first Mass of a newly ordained Dominican priest. It was a beautiful experience for me -- it made me reflect that God loves us so much, He calls us to give ourselves totally to Him.

We had forty people come for our lecture series on Wednesday. Fr. John Kavanaugh, S.J., spoke on the dignity of the human person. It was both informative and inspiring.

Our preparations for Mother General's visit are continuing. We are preparing a report on the social/religious situation in our area, as well as cleaning house and learning some Italian -- poco a poco!

Before we leave you for this week, we want to ask you: for those of you who have been reading our blog regularly, as well as for those who have just started reading it, do you have any questions about our life? Is there anything you would like to ask us about our prayer, our classes, our apostolate, anything else? Please feel free to comment with your questions and we will respond to them. Thanks for reading! God bless you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Al completer nuestro primer año de postulantado terminamos con un hermoso retiro, un tiempo para orar con nuestros evaluaciones de este año. El resto de la semana ha estado bastante ocupada. El lunes nosotras guiamos a los alumnos del séptimo grado en St.Simon durante un tiempo de adoración eucarística. Fue la primera vez para todos los estudiantes. Despues ellos compartieron con nosotras como habían vivido esta experiencia y fue muy hermoso. Muchos de ellos dijeron que ellos estuvieron agradecidos por un tiempo de calma en sus vidas tan ocupadas. Algunos lo experimentaron como un momento fuerte.

Nosotras también hemos estado ocupadas con nuestros papeles y presentaciones para nuestras últimas clases de este semestre. Fr.Lockwood nos visitó para desarollar algunos temas de nuestra clase y nosotras pudimos preguntar cualquier pregunta que no pudimos preguntar en la clase. Entregamos nuestra tarea final para la clase de comunicación de Sr.Carmen y el viernes Fr.Soto vino a escuchar nuestras presentaciones sobre los evangelios sinópticos. Todas hemos sido muy iluminadas por su conocimiento y amor de la santa escritura. Celebramos el fin del semestre y nuestro tiempo juntas este año gozando de un almuerzo en “Las Margaritas”.

Nosotras también vimos Evan Almighty en preparación para nuestra próxima Noche de Fe y Film. Es una gran película para la familia y nosotras esperamos a todos los que vendrán a participar con nosotras. Comenzamos la preparación para la visita de nuestra madre general, aprendiendo algunas frases en Italiano para darle la bienvenida cuando ella llegue. Oren por nosotras y cuenten con nuestras oraciones para ustedes.

=) Alina

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sr. Carmen Christi at the radio studio in Boston

Meet Our Formator

Classes are winding down here in the postulancy. Last week we had our last communication class with Sr. Carmen, and on Tuesday we had our final Basic Catholic Doctrine class with Fr. Lockwood. Next week we'll finish our Scripture class with Fr. Soto, and then classes will be done for the semester! Also this week, we had Mr. and Mrs. Shaughnessy over for supper -- they are our St. Paul Man and Woman of the Year honorees for our 2008 Benefit Dinner. They are a beautiful couple and it was wonderful to hear their stories.

We wanted to introduce you to our formator, Sr. Carmen Christi. Sr. Carmen entered the Daughters of St. Paul in 1984 and has been the postulant formator since 2002. Before that, she was the national vocation director, and before that, she was assigned in our bookcenters in Los Angeles and San Diego, among other places.
The role of the formator is to guide the postulants in their discernment of God's call, and also to introduce the postulants to community life, the Pauline prayer life, and Pauline mission and apostolate. Sr. Carmen fulfills this role in many ways! She has taught us many classes over this year on Pauline spirituality, discernment, communication, and other topics. She also organizes and schedules our classes with our other teachers. She accompanies us in our experiences of the apostolate in the bookcenter, on book exhibits, on the radio, our Faith and Film Nights, and on many other adventures!
Sr. Carmen guides our weekly community meetings and helps us learn how to live in community with one another and with the sisters. She is also our spiritual director, so we each meet one-on-one with her every other week. In addition to these more formal roles, Sr. Carmen helps us with a host of other things. She is creative, a talented guitarist, and she loves our co-foundress Mother Thecla Merlo. If you're interested, her vocation story is online: http://www.daughtersofstpaul.com/daughters/vocations/meetsisters/meetsr_carmen.html.

Thank you, Sr. Carmen, for all that you do for us!
Muchas gracias, Hma. Carmen, por todos que tu haces por nosotras!
Grazie tante, Sr. Carmen, per tutti che tu fate per noi!

As Sr. Carmen always says, "Avanti!" Ever onward! God bless you all!

- Emily