Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Come and See! Pauline Vocation Day

January 2,
1 to 4 p.m.

Daughters of St. Paul
9804 Watson Road
St. Louis, MO 63126

We look forward to sharing with you our community life stories, experiences, and pictures. We have a lot to share with you especially during this Christmas season :-)

P.S. We are waiting for you!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Butterfly House

December 27:

Today we went somewhere we had never been before: the Butterfly House. Jackie, Sylwia, Emily, Sr. Assumpta, Sr. Noel, and Sr. Elizabeth all went to see the butterflies. They were beautiful! There were many, many different kinds of butterflies inside a greenhouse building (where it was about 85 degrees -- a nice change!). We took hundreds and hundreds of pictures! There was also a section of cocoons where we could watch the butterflies coming out. It was like watching a miracle! The rest of the building had different insects and spiders, with lots of information on the butterflies and the insects. It was a great place to go and be reminded of the beauty of God's creation.

Christmas Lights

December 26:

Our Christmas celebration continued! One of our friends told us about a house close to us with very beautiful Christmas lights. So, Saturday evening, five of us piled into the car and drove to see it. Wow, was it incredible! We had never seen lights like this in our lives! We got out and walked around and took lots of pictures. There was Christmas music playing, decorations all over the yard and the house, and lights everywhere! After this house, any other Christmas lights did not look too spectacular! :)

P.S. What were the best decorations that you saw this year?

Christmas Day

December 25:

The joyful welcoming of our Savior began at the midnight mass (more like 10pm) at St. Margaret of Scotland parish on Christmas Eve. The worship was beautiful and music...heavenly! On Christmas Day, we led the congregation in singing and praising God. "Today is born our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord!" was the response to the Psalm we belted out joyfully at our local parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary. It was such a joy to welcome Jesus - the REAL reason for the season. After mass, we all "chipped in" in preparing the savory Christmas dinner which we enjoyed with Christmas music. The afternoon was filled with excitement as opened our Christmas gifts around the Christmas tree. We also enjoyed discovering our "Advent Angels" - fellow sisters who had "secretly" prayed for and journeyed with us during Advent. We crowned our evening with Christmas songs at vespers and thereafter watched a movie together.

PS. How did you celebrate Our Lord's birth this Christmas?

Art Museum

December 26:
Have you been to the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (www.slam.org)? It's amazing and there was so much to see! We spent most of our afternoon enjoying excellent indigenous pieces from Africa and Oceanic islands, historic and exquisite European china, furniture, armor, and interior decor. It was fascinating to see such an elaborate array of still life, portrait and abstract paintings alongside religious and cultural pieces. The museum was also holding a special exhibition on Japanese screens with unique Japanese mementos at the gift shop. It was so neat to see how much art has been our way of communication and expression of love, power, beauty - you name it - for centuries! It's no wonder we walked around so much until our feet got sore...but it was well worth it :-)
PS. Have you visited any 'cool' museums lately? Do share!

Christmas Eve -- Polish Wigilia

December 24:
We celebrated Christmas Eve Polish style! In Poland, on Wigilia (Christmas Eve), all people gather and share a special meal. For our St. Louis community, the postulants made pierogi, barszcz czerwony (beet soup), sałatka jarzynowa (vegetable salad), and kutia (poppyseeds, nuts, dried fruit). We also decorated the dining room for Christmas. Before supper, the community prayed the Our Father together, read the Gospel of the Nativity, and shared opłatek (unleavened bread). Each of us received a piece of opłatek and shared it with every other person, thanking them for the past year, asking forgiveness for any wrongs, and giving them wishes for the new year. It is a truly beautiful way to begin our Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Provincial Superior's Visit to St. Louis

December 18 -

December 21:

Our U.S. provincial superior, Sr. Margaret Timothy, came to visit the community of St. Louis. She came to spend time with the community and to have meetings with the Sisters. On Saturday night, we all went to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows for the Way of Lights, and took our picture with the Nativity scene. It was good to be with Sr. Timothy and hear all the news and stories from our communities around the United States.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kenyan Independence Day!

December 14:
Today we REALLY celebrated Kenyan Independence Day (which was officially on December 12). Emily and Sylwia decorated our dining room with Kenyan artifacts and helped Jackie prepare the Kenyan dishes. Our fete began at our afternoon merenda (snack break) where we enjoyed “mandazi”(fried donuts) and Kenyan tea. In the evening, we continued our “trip” to Kenya as we savored a variety of Kenyan cuisine and enjoyed some Kenyan music. Our menu consisted of fried plantain, githeri (stewed beans and corn), chapati (fried tortilla), kale in peanut sauce, nyama choma (baked pork) and papaya (tropical fruit) for desert! It was Sylwia’s first time to fry and eat the plantain :-) After dinner, Jackie gave a presentation on Kenya and shared many pictures with the community. We concluded our evening by dressing up in Kenyan clothing – we even learned how to tie the head gear! We had so much fun and thoroughly enjoyed our cultural “visit.”
P.S. Where will you be traveling this year?

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!

December 12:

We had our annual birthday party for Baby Jesus! In our chapel, we prepared a back-drop with a stable scene, and a manger with Baby Jesus. The children (and the adults, too!) dressed up as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and angels, and we took their picture with Baby Jesus. Jackie and Emily helped with the picture-taking and printing (it was Jackie's first Baby Jesus Party!). In the conference room, we had many activities: birthday cake for Baby Jesus, coloring, and the children's favorite -- face-painting. Sylwia had a lot of fun face-painting, along with some of our volunteers. Many people volunteered to help us: some people from our parish, some of our other friends, and even a Catholic Chinese man and his friend from Sylwia's English school. Three Polish families also brought their children to the party. In the bookcenter, two clowns from the Knights of Columbus entertained the children by telling jokes and making balloons. This year, many families came who had never been to the party before. It was beautiful to see everyone enjoying themselves and celebrating Jesus' birthday!
P.S. See you at next year's party!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You Are Invited to Baby Jesus' Party!

You are invited...to our annual Birthday Party for Baby Jesus! It will be on Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at our bookcenter on Watson Road in St. Louis. We will have picture-taking with Baby Jesus, birthday cake, face-painting, coloring, and more! For more information, please call us at 314-965-3512.
P.S. We hope to see you there!

Vocation Day "Marathon"!

December 8:

Jackie, Emily, and Sr. Emi went to give a vocation talk at St. Clare of Assisi School in Ellisville, Missouri. The school had a retreat day for the students in honor of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and part of the retreat was a session on vocations. At the beginning of the day, Sr. Emi was interviewed on the school's live internal television broadcast! Then we gave four 40-minute vocation talks to students from ages 5 to 14! We used clips from the movie Evan Almighty, and a YouTube video of our sisters who are singing in the Christmas concert tour. We spoke about vocation in general and also about the charism of the Daughters of St. Paul. (It was Jackie's first vocation talk as a postulant!) When we came home, we were tired but happy to have shared with so many children about our life and vocation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Postulants' Meetings

December 7:
When do you plan for the kinds of things you will do each week? The postulants get together to plan for the week ahead on Mondays. We get our calendars out to pencil in any meetings with our formator, lectio, recreation, apostolic projects, book center-related events, community activities with the professed sisters, and any other appointments. Of course, there is always room to tweak our schedules to embrace new things that come up during the week. Our meetings certainly help us make sure that everyone is on the same page on all that's happening in the community :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Postulants Stopped by Police

December 6:
At 8:10 a.m., Jackie, Sylwia, and Emily came downstairs to go to Mass. We got into the car, but as we backed the car out of the garage, we were surprised to see a police car in our backyard! The officer motioned to us to wait. What was happening?! He got out of his car and walked toward us...with a book in his hand! He wanted to ask us if we had in our bookcenter any more books similar to the one he had. We very happily said yes and went on our way to Mass. It was a good reminder to us that God is always working and sending people to us, and we must always be ready to share the Gospel with them!
P.S. Do you have a similar story?

Christmas Party

December 4:
Sylwia, Emily, and Jackie went to help Sylwia's teacher Sr. Carolyn at a Christmas party for poor and homeless people. We brought costumes, equipment, and everything we needed to take their pictures with Baby Jesus. Sylwia also did face-painting for the children. Both children and adults enjoyed getting dressed up as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and angels and having their picture taken. One couple told us that they hadn't had their picture taken together in thirty years. It was wonderful to help them celebrate Christmas in this way, and beautiful and inspiring to see how much they enjoyed it. And, it was good practice for our Baby Jesus Party next Saturday!
P.S. How are you preparing for Christmas?

Italian Party for Sr. Caritas!

December 5:

The postulants organized a "festa italiana" -- an Italian party! Our Sister Caritas, who has been in St. Louis for three and a half years, is being transferred to our community in Toronto, Canada. For her good-bye party, we collected everything Italian: Italian music, Italian decorations, and best of all, Italian food! :) We cooked spaghetti, ravioli, and pizza. We enjoyed this time of being together with Sister Caritas, and we especially enjoyed a funny game that Sylwia prepared.
Thank you, Sister Caritas, for your faithful witness of living the Pauline charism, and for the smile and laughter that you always had for us! We will miss you, but we will be united in prayer!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monthly Retreat

November 29:

Come, Lord Jesus! The postulants began the season of Advent by making monthly retreat. We had a beautiful day of prayer and reflection on the Scripture readings of the day and on an Advent letter from our Superior General, Sr. Maria Antonieta. At Evening Prayer with the Sisters, we had a little ceremony and prayer to light our Advent wreath, asking Jesus to increase our desire for Him. Pray for us this Advent -- we are praying for you!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26:

This Thursday, we had a double feast: it was Thanksgiving, and it was also the feast of our Founder, Bl. James Alberione. We began our day with Mass. Then we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV while we decorated and prepared our dinner. Jackie made kale, Emily made green bean casserole, and Sylwia made cranberry sauce. All the sisters made something, too, and we had a delicious meal! Later in the afternoon, we had our Hour of Adoration together and gave thanks for the gift of our Founder and our Pauline charism. Then we had an fun evening of recreation together with music, dancing, and games. We give thanks! Dziękuję! Asante!
P.S. What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christ the King Parish Exhibit in Kansas!

Saturday, November 21
Sunday, November 22
This "Christ the King" weekend we were graced with the opportunity to bring the Word of God to the parishoners of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Monsignor Mullen, the pastor and his associate as well as the parish members gave us an exceptionally warm welcome. During our exhibit, we shared information about our mission and presence of our bookcenters in the country. Sr. Emi gave a brief talk about our mission and media to the congregation. Many parishoners thanked us for coming to their parish as they sought "food" for their souls and their loved ones after the masses. We drove back to St. Louis on Sunday evening after a faith-filled weekend, thanking God for all the people that we met over the past couple of days and offering our prayers for them that Christ may reign ever more in their hearts!

National Catholic Youth Conference!

November 19 -

November 22:
Thank you for your prayers for our exhibit at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Kansas City, Missouri! We joined 24,000 young people for a truly exciting and Spirit-filled weekend. On Thursday morning, we set up the exhibit. Our space was directly across from a booth that had a live Internet feed of the event, so our exhibit was online for people around the world to see the whole time! We were in a huge hall with hundreds of other exhibitors and vocation tables. On Thursday afternoon, the young people started to arrive. Many of them wore very interesting and very distinctive hats: everything from cowboy hats to crabs to chickens to cheese! From Thursday to Saturday, we gave out thousands and thousands of "Thoughts from St. Paul," vocation flyers, and bookmarks. It was great to be able to tell the young people about our charism and mission. We joined them for Mass during the weekend, and it was inspiring to see their faith and enthusiasm. It was also fun to see all the other religious communities who were there. We met some of Emily's friends from New York and Missouri, some of Jackie's friends from Tanzania and Colorado, and some Polish sisters and young women who were happy to speak in Polish with Sylwia! We had a beautiful experience -- as one priest said, "If you want to know what the youth of the Church are like, come to NCYC!" We will continue to pray for all the young people that we met.
P.S. Did you see us?!