March 29, 2015

Change your heart, Change the world

Praised be Jesus Christ! My six months on mission have taught me two main things: all the evil that I notice in the world is a constant proof that I must become a Saint and…that Jesus loves me!

Washington, D.C. was a wonderful city to be missioned in, and being able to serve at the Apostolic Nunciature as the sacristan was a very great honor! Being in two such prominent places allowed me the opportunity to see satan trying to work. However, the Lord taught me that I really can help change the world if I allow the Lord to change me. He taught me that it doesn’t matter what I am doing, it simply matters that I let Him do it through me, and by striving to let Him live through me He not only transforms my heart but also the world.

I don’t think it is possible to begin to understand the joy of allowing Jesus to live though us if we don’t first know the love He has for us as individuals. This too the Lord was teaching me on mission. I began to see His loving hand guiding everything, from the crazy traffic on shopping trips to the forgotten cookies in the oven. I have begun to see that at every moment, no matter what is happening or what I am doing, He wishes to lavish His love upon me and from my heart He then wishes to pour His love upon the world.

My time on mission could be described with many words: joyful, adventurous, busy, challenging, fun, etc… but only one word can really sum it up: love!

- Sister M. Xavier, FSGM

March 25, 2015

Sister M. Gemma's Call

Take a moment to share in the journey of Sr. M. Gemma's call to be a Sister of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.

March 22, 2015

Bringing forth the love of Christ on Mission

My Mission:  bringing Christ to others and bringing others to Christ at St. Mary’s school in Alton, IL.  I was teaching preschool to third grade religion as well as other responsibilities during the school day including answering phones and leading 5th grade patrol students out to stop traffic for walkers.  All of this was focused on Christ and allowing others to know the great love Christ has for them.

At our Provincial House I had many beautiful examples of how to live religious life through our vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  My Sisters inspired me to spend time with the Lord, which built community and brought forth the fruits of Sisterly love among each other.  The love of Christ inspired me to delve deeper into gratitude and joy.  In these I hope to live our charism of making Christ’s merciful visible.

- Sister Maria Christi, FSGM

March 19, 2015

Everyday is a Gift

                “Sister Krystle, may I have more pancakes? May I have more milk? What is that (pointing to my St. Francis medal)?” These are just the little questions I get each day from the beautiful children at St. Francis Day Care where I work in the mornings.

                Every time I go to the day care, I am always surprised by the questions and stories the children share during breakfast. They love to share about their new toys, dresses, etc. They are also excited to see each other and play in the gym. The children have so much joy and innocence that just makes me smile and sometimes reminds me of my childhood.

                As children, they depend and come to us for help and comfort. They come to us when they get hurt, need a tissue, need a drink of water, etc. Whenever I hear a little child cry, all I want to do is wrap him in my arms and let him know that everything is going to be okay.

                These little experiences with the children remind me that everyday is a gift. It is a gift to be cherished, shared and for which to thank God. I thank God for this day by saying to Him, “I love You and thank You,” just like a little girl told me this morning.

- Krystle Cagandahan, Postulant

March 15, 2015

Mission Inspiration

            Serving at the Apostolic Nunciature for my mission was a privilege.  There it is the Vatican Embassy and the Pope’s representative to America whom we serve but, more simply, we serve our brothers and sisters in Christ in some of their most fundamental human needs.  To perform the works of mercy such as clothing the naked and feeding the hungry is always an honor and a joy.  In my six months there I mainly worked in the kitchen, helping to prepare, set up for, and clean up from all the meals for the Papal Nuncio, the priests and religious who assist him, and all the lay people who work in the house in various capacities.  I personally always enjoy opportunities to serve people in such a way, and find it an easy way to share the merciful love of Christ with them, so this experience was a gift to me!

            I am also grateful for all the ways in which I was edified and inspired by those around me.  The Nuncio and the priests were an amazing witness of fidelity to prayer and love for the Church – even in trying times.  The lay people who work around the house with us were always joyful and so happy to be able to humbly serve the Church in their own way – whether washing dishes, caring for the garden, or mopping the floors.  The other Sisters from our community there showed me what it means to make the merciful love of Christ visible through being attentive to small details or doing extra things to make someone else’s day more joyful.  Each of these people in their own way helped me to learn more about Christ’s love.  Overall, the most powerful lesson I learned is to allow the Lord to be the source of all my Love and joy, so I can fulfill any mission He gives me!  

- Sister M. Veritas, FSGM

March 12, 2015

A Receptive Heart

“God, open my heart to Your love. Help me to be open to whatever You have in store for me today.”

     I often find myself praying this right before leaving chapel after Mass in the morning. With so much going on in our lives, it can be difficult to take a step back and have a receptive heart. Unless we open our hearts, we can miss all the ways each day that Christ is trying to show us how much He loves us. 

     When I took the time to reflect on how God had showed me His love since entering the convent, I was slightly overwhelmed, not only by the ways that I already had noticed, but also by those of which I hadn’t thought.  There are so many vehicles that God uses to reach us each moment of the day! And yet so often we don’t open the eyes of our hearts to recognize that love when it comes to us. Whether it is another Sister encouraging me, a child making me laugh at school, or kneeling down in front of Christ in the Eucharist and just being with Him in the silence, there is so much love and mercy being poured out into each moment. We simply need to have a heart open to receive the love Christ wants to give us in that moment.

- Catie Kneemiller, Postulant

March 8, 2015

Beyond All Fear

I was sent to Mother of Good Counsel Nursing Home in St. Louis, MO for my first five weeks of mission. I had never cared for the elderly and had some anxiety about what my mission would entail. I did a variety of things from yard-work and answering phones to blessing the residents at night. In surrendering my anxiety to Jesus, He was able to work great things through me. Even in such a small thing as smiling, I was able to bring Christ’s merciful love to others.

The rest of my mission I spent in Alton, IL at our provincial house.  I worked as a pharmacist in the hospital. Much of my work was hidden as I didn’t often leave the pharmacy. I didn’t experience my poverty in lack of knowledge, but in not seeing the fruit of my work, feeling I had very little spiritual impact. Recognition and acceptance of my personal poverty was deepened as I surrendered to Christ my plans and desires. I worked with Christ not to accomplish great things, but to do all things in His merciful love. As I return now to the Novitiate, I have a greater peace and joy in being able to give my all to Jesus as I prepare for vows. He wants all of me, especially my weaknesses and personal poverty.

- Sister M. Annuntiata, FSGM