Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1,586 Sisters and Counting

"Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father"
(Mt. 5:16)

It was St. Joseph's Day and everyone was in good spirits.  The Sisters had an ice cream party, I won a prize for my nephew Jeremiah who has yet to come into the world, and I stayed up late pondering life, reflecting upon the person I am growing into and where God is taking me.  I finally began drifting into the comfort of sleep just past midnight when the quiet of our house was interrupted by a phone call.  Since it was so late I knew someone was in need of prayer.  "Hail Mary, full of grace..." I began, but in my mind I wondered who the call was for.  "I hope it's not for me," I thought, and I continued to pray.  I listened for the sound of footsteps in the hall just to make sure they weren't headed my way.  "Don't knock on my door, please don't knock on my door," I begged, and I sat up in bed to listen more closely.  Then it happened: TAP TAP TAP, "Sister Desire'?  Sister Desire', it's your mom."  The door opened before I even put my hand on the knob and I rushed to the phone.  "Iseverythingok?!" I asked and my mom had to comfort me before even telling me what was going on.  "It's alright," she assured me, "I'm sorry to call so late, but Johnele is in the emergency room because she's having contractions.  She's around 30 weeks, so she is two months early.  I haven't heard much else, but I'll call back if I need to.  Remember, it's Saint Joseph's day and the baby is supposed to be 'Jeremiah Joseph', so make sure to include the patron as you pray for your sister and nephew."  Sister Carlotta, who had answered the phone, stood eagerly in the hallway to see if there was anything I needed.  I shared the news and she assured me of her prayers as we parted to try and go back to bed.  I could hardly sleep, but around 2:00 a.m., as I began to pray a second rosary, I finally let myself rest.
Johnele and Angelina:
The two sisters I started out with <3

In the days following I was able to maintain constant contact with my sister, Johnele.  She kept me updated and the Sisters in the house were eager to hear of any new information I had to share.  "It's wonderful to be surrounded by people who care," I thought to myself, but I still wanted to be there for my sister.  Then, in the midst of my self pity, the Lord reminded me of a Sister whose close relative had died while she was away.  Unable to attend the funeral, a few of the Sisters in the nearby area had offered to attend in her name.  It was such a touching story, and as I thought about it, I realized I could ask some of the Sisters in New Mexico to stop in and see my sister.  Would you believe that the very day I called and asked this favor of them, Johnele received a phone call and a visit from some New Mexico Felicians?  Not only that, but they spread the word and I ended up receiving emails from even more Felicians who assured me of their prayers.

The Felician Franciscan Sisters are 1,586 Sisters worldwide and I can say with pride that it is a joy to be among their members.  The kindness they have shown to me and to those I hold dear tells me that it is possible to live out the heroic love of Christ.

Flowers from the Felicians
I feel as though my life has been especially blessed; like no matter what challenges or difficulties present themselves, I will be well cared for.  I realize, though, that God would have walked with  me no matter where I went in life.  The only reason I am seeing this so clearly now must indicate that I am in the right place -- the place where His light is most visible to me.  How generous and perfect and loving is our God to provide us each with a path that simply leads us closer to Him.

"The path of the just is like shining light that grows in brilliance."
(Prov. 4:18)

Monday, March 12, 2012

For Your Entertainment

Have nothing else to do?  Check out some videos from our most recent Graymoor, NY experience!  There's nothing better than watching Franciscans praise God through song and comedy :)  May the peace, smiles and laughter brought to you by these performances remind you of the gifts and talents that God has called us all to share for His greater glory. God bless us as we each strive to build up the Body of Christ!

The first video is of Sister Agnes Therese who wrote the song she is performing based on the three loves of Saint Francis (the crib, the Cross and the Eucharist):

This skit may be lengthy, but it's worth every minute!  The OFM Brothers know how to do television.

Another group of handsome OFM Brothers serenaded us with Salve Regina; I'm sure it pleased Christ to hear such a sweet melody sung of His Mother!

This last one is of the Poor Clares -- I never knew cloistered nuns had so much fun. They're hilarious!

Unfortunately, I did not get video of the skits that my fellow novices and I performed, but we're asking around to see if anyone else did.  If not, we'll put it on for our Sisters next door and get the video up later, so do not despair!