Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining in the celebration as we gave thanks to God for the Double ARC ministry of the past 20 years.  What an incredible group of people gathered for this event!

One of our Notre Dame Education Principles is based on the Human Dignity of Each Person as an Image of God. Certainly this lies at the heart of our Double ARC ministry as those involved reverence each person – each client and each family member – and seek to find ways to encourage a positive sense of self-worth and the full development of each person.

Our foundress, Sister Maria Aloysia, knew what it was to have her heart broken by the plight of hte children she taught who experienced various needs. The staff of Double ARC sees the unique needs in those they serve and I witness their hearts breaking as well. They can’t help but do everything in their power to help these children and families. I’m convinced that Sister Maria Aloysia would feel very much at home with the Double ARC ministry.

We celebrate with deep gratitude the gift of Double ARC and its role in keeping alive our mission of proclaiming God’s goodness in our world.

Miracle Making

September 8th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Susan Maria Kusz in Uncategorized - (6 Comments)

I’ve been reading the Rule of Benedict …. The other day I came across this gem from Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB in her commentary on Benedict’s Rule: “Work is not just a job; it is our exercise in miracle making.” That got me thinking: I’ve just begun a “new job.” I’m “in transition.” This is all “new ministry.” I’m going through all the mixed feelings one experiences in a new place, doing new things, longing for “the old,” for the “tried and true,” for what “worked” in the past. But it is in the present that God IS. And so I’m trying anew today to practice the spiritual exercise of “miracle making.” How about you? How are you making miracles today?

Cactus in New Mexico

September 4th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

(from left) Sr. Dean, Sr. Valerie and Sr. Karen are part of the Lial Renewal Center team.

Recently I changed my e-mail address, making my business cards useless. Of course, I could build a tower of business cards or write math facts on the back for a youngster learning multiplication tables or store them somewhere. What do you do with useless business cards? A more perplexing question is the content of a new business card. What is my real business? More than liturgist/musician at St. Richard, more than team member atLialRenewalCenter, more than a community member with the Sisters of Notre Dame, I am the created expression of God’s love. I am an initiator of free energy radiating out to give life abundantly to all. I am Christ in evolution. I am an indispensable member of a living body, which is the Body of Christ. Well, if that’s what I am, please excuse me. I better get down to business.

What would you write on a new business card? What is your most useful business?

Ready or not

August 30th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Sometimes I can get overwhelmed with the nitty gritty of each day and forget that the real reason I’m here is to encounter God. The “catch” is that I don’t know when and how God will choose to be present.  I need to be always prepared and on the lookout for God. It reminds me of the games of tag we used to play as children when someone would call out, “Ready or not, here I come!”

Today’s Gospel reading reminds me of the importance of being faithful each and every day for “I know not the day or the hour” when God will come.  Not only do I not know the timing of the final coming or the time of my death, I also do not know when and how God will choose to enter my life.  It is for me to be faithful at all times and so to be prepared.

I’m reminded of Mother Teresa’s saying that the important thing is to be “faithful, not successful.”  Anticipating that God is indeed just around the corner, eager to be part of my day, can help me live a more faithful life.

Where will God appear in my life today?  Will I be ready for His coming?

One of the Sisters with whom I live has a favorite coffee mug with scenes from The Lion King and a handle with “just the right shape.” Most coffee drinkers have a favorite cup, I suppose.

Do you have a favorite mug or cup?

When Jesus asked James and John, “Can you drink of the cup?” they quickly assured Jesus that they could. Just as quickly Jesus assured the two that they would indeed drink of the cup that he would drink—the cup of suffering and death. Then at the Last Supper the apostles drank of the blood of the new covenant, thus sharing in the covenant sealed by the death of Christ.

The next time you sit down with your cup of coffee or tea, ask yourself, “Can I drink of Christ’s cup?” It will mean accepting death as the way to life, crucifixion as the way to resurrection

The satellite sighting information sheet claimed I could see the space station on Friday, August 4 at 8:51 p.m. for five minutes at 20 above NNW. Outside and ready, my inner spirit jumping with exclamation points, I watched the night sky. Before and beyond the predicted minutes I watched, but I missed the “sighting opportunity,” knowing that others were hosting a star party and giving high-fives over an event that I missed.

Summer sunset at Lial Renewal Center

What I saw was the sky in its pinkish-orange pajamas, dark birds like shutting eyes above yawning clouds. All I saw was the moment between day and night, the miracle that happens every 24 hours. O God, your wonder takes my breath away. May I be attuned to such sightings every day. Let me catch a glimpse of at least one minute each day, and forgive me for missing the other 23 hours and 59 minutes.

Poker Run?

August 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

One never knows what a Wednesday night in August will bring!  Last night, Sister Alice Marie and I joined about 180 other people (including the Cross Country Team from NDA) at Sidecut Park in Maumee for a Poker Run to benefit SewHope.  SewHope is an organization founded to assist the people of northern Guatemala.  Sister Pamela Marie has been a vital member of this group and is now serving in Guatemala, so Sister Alice Marie and I thought this was a great way of showing our support.  Well….

We arrived at Sidecut in plenty of time to register and scope out the trails.  Our task was to run/walk (WE definitely walked!) to at least five of the seven stations in 45 minutes.  At each station, we were given an envelope with a playing card inside.  After collecting 5-7 cards, the person with the best poker hand ws the winner.  The start siren sounded and we were off!

What did we learn from the evening?  1) We are NOT runners!  We do walk well.  We were happy to make it to four of the seven stations in the allotted time. 2) We won nothing with the cards we collected.  3) Everyone had a great time!  4) SewHope is a wonderful cause for spending a lovely August evening outdoors!

I Vow…forever

August 20th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

One of the reasons I love our summers in community is because it is often during the summer that we celebrate jubilees, first professions and perpetual professions.  I had the privilege on Saturday of witnessing the perpetual profession of our Sister Maria Christina and Sister Mary Judine in Covington, KY.   It was a great joy to be part of this celebration since I have come to know these Sisters through our national formation gatherings.

Each time I take part in one of these ceremonies of commitment, I am renewed in my own gift of vocation. Our life in Notre Dame is a tremendous gift, and I am blessed to be called to give my whole life to God and God’s people along with this amazing group of women.  I rejoice that our spirit continues in our newer members.

Congratulations, Sisters Maria Christina and Mary Judine!  May you know the joy of a life given in love!

Sr. Kathleen, Sr. Alice & Sr. Carolyn having fun!

What are you doing today?  Working? Having fun? Sleeping? What about faith-ing? Verbs ending in –ing tell us something is in process. For example, I am writing this blog now. I’m actually doing something; I don’t just have the capacity to do it.  In the spiritual life, too, I think we should go about our day faith-ing.  Faith isn’t something I have. It’s something I’m doing and something I’m becoming. I grow more deeply in love with God, I’m more willing to make a difference in people’s lives, I’m more open to the Spirit’s possibilities. Well, gotta go!  I’ve got a lot of faith-ing to do today.

What now?

August 13th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

There’s something magical about the whole world coming together for the Olympics.  They certainly bring our competitive spirit to the fore, but there is also the shared amazement at the incredible ability of each athlete.  I’m always struck by the effort and sacrifice these individuals and their families put forth with the hope of being named “best in the world.”

As I watched some of the closing ceremony last night, it left me with a sense of “What now?” What will happen now to those athletes who were declared winners?  What will be the future of those who didn’t make it to the winning platforms?  What will life be like for the people of Great Britain when everyone leaves and goes home?  What impact will these Olympic games have had on the way I live my daily life? What now?

I’d like to think I come away with a renewed sense of giving my very best to whatever I’m doing, of celebrating the amazing things I see people doing around me each and every day, and of focusing on those things that unite us rather than our differences.

What lessons are you taking away from the Olympics?