We are on the road again, this time to Texas for an amazing experience with the college folk at Texas A & M as well the people in the parishes around there. Please pray for our trip. Check out our schedule while we are there and we will be sure to keep you posted of our journey :-)
Guess what??? We are having a Lenten Come and See weekend right here in St. Louis next month! We hope you can make it for this grace-filled time of prayer and reflection on your vocation in life. It will also be a wonderful time to visit with our sisters and postulants...
Dates: March 25-27, 2011.
Invited: Single young women 18-30 years old, who want to learn more about the vocation to religious life.
Once again, we were on the road again for an apostolic road-trip to Jerseyville, Illinois. This time it was Sr. Rebecca and I along with another sister in our St. Louis community. The weekend involved bringing our books and media to the children at St. Francis/Holy Ghost school (http://www.sfhg.org/). It was really neat to see how the children recognized us from our visit with them last year. We shared materials with the children as part of our J-club program (http://jclubcatholic.com/), which is part of our mission to reach the school kids with the Gospel message. The kids and teachers really enjoyed having us as we did being there with them. The families in the parishes we exhibited too enjoyed seeing us again. They welcomed us warmly and were grateful for the materials we brought. Of course as Paulines, we did not miss the opportunity to have some downtime with our Jerseyville “cooperators in the Gospel work” (i.e. our hosts). We enjoyed a big brunch after our Sunday masses and a good time to catch up with our friends....
So, it’s “ever onward!” for the Daughters as our Founder Blessed Alberione used to say. God is truly opening up new places and ways to reach many with the Gospel!
Last week, I took a day's journey to Chicago with Sr. Mary Joan, one of the sisters in our St. Louis community and Dr. Jeff Mathews, a Pauline cooperator (http://loveofstpaul.blogspot.com). We had a blast - from cameras, lights, make-up, laughter at meals to interviewing for the film and prayer - it was all truly blessed :-) Sr. Helena (www.hellburns.blogspot.com), one of our sisters in the Chicago community is the film producer and writer.
Essentially, the filming experience was a celebration of the life of our Founder. So, Sr. Mary Joan, Dr. Mathews and I each shared how the Founder has impacted our lives. I have come to admire Blessed James primarily because of his steadfast faith in God. He believed in the grace of God at work in him when the Lord invited him to reach the people of 20th century with the “good press”. Imagine how different things would have turned out if he hadn’t followed these movements of the Lord within him? But thanks be to God that he did! For the mustard seed of the Pauline family planted in Blessed Alberione’s heart has indeed grown into a large tree with many branches!! (Matt 13:31-32)
God bless you, Jackie.
PS. The filming crew was amazing - Spirit Juice Studios (www.SpiritJuiceStudios.com) - guys truly filled with the desire to spread the Good News through film! Check out their productions :-) In case you haven't had a chance to view the trailer, it's on www.alberionefilm.com. Also, stay tuned for updates on the film through: www.alberionefilm.blogspot.com.
I have noticed that Jackie has been blogging all by her lonesome lately and I am embarrassed to admit that I have been focused on my own blog. But I am going to make more of an effort to get over here and add some updates for all of our loyal readers.
I have been thinking that one way I can contribute more is to share some of the posts from my own blog to the readers of this blog. On my blog I focus on my inner journey through formation while this blog mainly focuses on what we do outwardly. But, as I am sure you all know, we go through a lot on the inside while we are staying busy on the outside!
And I am sure you are interested in those details as well!
So, here is an assignment that I recently did for our Scripture class that we have been taking for Sr. Rebecca. She asked us to read a Gospel and interview one of the apostles. I chose St. John and here is the letter I wrote:
At the end of my Gospel I say, “There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world could contain the books that would be written” (Jn 21:24).
You have asked me to describe Jesus so that you may feel closer to Him. Maybe you wish you could have seen the way that He interacted with the people He healed. Or maybe you wish that you could have asked Him questions, or received explanations that would soothe your mind. Or perhaps you wish that you could lie against His heart and feel it beating as I did at the Last Supper.
All of these are beautiful and natural desires but the thing that I want to communicate to you more than what Jesus was like is that you already know the Jesus I knew, in some ways better than I did when I followed Him. I know this is hard to comprehend and perhaps you will never really believe me, but it is true. There is a large expanse of years between the time Jesus walked the Earth and your life now, but that leaves you with many examples of what Christ was like, lived through the lives of holy people who followed in His footsteps.
If you combine all of the things that you love about all of the Saints, that tells you about Jesus. If you imagine all of the amazing saints to come, that tells you about Jesus. He has the strength and the unflinching honesty of Padre Pio. He is the tender sweetness of St. Therese. He is the knowledge and intellect of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is the humility of St. Jeanne Jugan. He has the deep and wide love for all humanity that Bl. James Alberione had. He has the love of justice of Dorothy Day and the love of the poor of Mother Teresa. Jesus is a brilliant diamond with many facets, and you learn more about Him through other people He puts in your path every day.
You love beautiful things. If everything that you saw was perfect and pleasing to the eye - that would be a little what like watching Jesus was like. He was like a moving piece of art. All that He did spoke of Beauty. All that He was is Beauty. All that He loved, it made it all look beautiful in our eyes too. And you already know what this is like, how the world has opened up like a budding flower after your conversion - that is how the world was when we were with Jesus.
You want to know what He was like, in His mannerisms and way of being. I can tell you that the thirst you have for holiness and perfection, it was found in the most ideal way in Jesus. He never responded to anyone or any situation in any way except love. He loved when He healed, He loved when He chastised. He even loved when He overturned tables. We always could trust that every single action and blink of His eye was pure love.
You have Jesus now in the Eucharist, my dear daughter. I know it is hard to remember this. It is easy to forget, to take for granted, to become lukewarm but Jesus is with you now in His body, blood, soul and divinity and He humbles Himself to become your spiritual food. God becomes your spiritual food. What an amazing miracle. Maximilian Kolbe said, “If the angels could be jealous of men they would be jealous of the gift that we have in Holy Communion,” and he was right.
So do not envy me, my daughter. Do not envy the time that I spent listening to Jesus’ heart. You listen to His heart every time you sit in prayer in front of the tabernacle. Do not envy me because I was the “beloved apostle” – YOU are His beloved apostle. Rejoice my child because Jesus is with you now, and we will all one day be together without tears or suffering in Heaven.
With eternal love,
The beloved apostle, John
I will try to make it on this blog more often but if you are also interested in reading some of my other posts on my blog, please feel free to. The address is: theresagnes.blogspot.com
Every year we have a day when we invite all our friends and benefactors to our convent for a dinner to show our gratitude for all that they do for our community. Last Sunday, we had vespers which included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a homily and benediction. We had almost 50 people in attendance :-) Many have been friends and supporters of our community for years. Sr. Mary Joan, one of our sisters from Italy, cooked delicious pasta and meatballs and lots of people brought different deserts and side dishes. It was so good to see how the Lord has loved, guided, and provided for us in our mission through all these people! It reminds me of the words of Jesus to Paul, "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking...for I am with you...I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:10). God is good all the time and so we are rejoicing in His goodness!
A couple of weeks ago, we had our first visitation from our provincial councilors. A visitation takes place once a year where members of our provincial government visit our various communities around the province. The two sisters who visited our community spent some days in meetings, prayer and renewal with our professed sisters. The sisters also spent time with our postulant community where we had recreation, sharing and a presentation. The meetings were very enriching for me because I learned a lot more about our community, our councilors and their vocation stories. I also learned more about my co-postulants and myself. It was a time of much grace and lots of fun (especially at our dinner conversations!). I am grateful to have been part of it. Please keep the prayers coming so that we may continue to grow “leaps and bounds” in the Lord! You are in our prayers too :-) Peace, Jackie.