The Power of Presence

February 6th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

We all know of people whose presence can light up a room, put everyone at ease, and bring out the best in those present.  Today’s Gospel reading from Mark relates that Jesus had this effect on people.  Everyone flocked to him, wanting to be near enough to him that they could touch the tassle of his cloak, because his presence brought them healing and made them whole.

I suspect that Mary’s presence had a similar effect on people, since she carried the presence of Jesus in a transparent and unhindered way.  While crowds may not have gathered at her door, I think she was someone who had a way of making others feel comfortable, at home, and whole.  She nurtured the life of Jesus in herself and in each person she met.

Several of our Sisters have the privilege of being present to others in healing ministries. Sister Mary Camilla Lochotzki serves as a nurse at Rosary Care Center, Sister Mary Maxine Young is a chaplain at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Sister Mary Corese Floyd visits the sick as a pastoral minister, and many of our other Sisters tend to those who are ill and elderly.  I thank God for these Sisters and all caregivers who find simple ways of sharing the power of Jesus’ healing presence with those in need.

 Just 40 days ago we celebrated the feast of Christmas and the mystery of the Incarnation.  Today, Mary and Joseph continue to live faithfully their response to  God’s call as they fulfill the requirements of the law and bring Jesus to the temple. Along with Simeon and Anna who faithfully waited for the coming of the Messiah, they witness God’s revelation to His people.

Each of us is also called to live our daily lives in fidelity to God’s call.  For our Sisters, this may be Sister Mary Kent Burgard teaching a readiness class at Lial Catholic School, Sister Mary Patricia Snyder hosting a bible study, or Sister Virginia Marie Myers helping with food preparation in our Provincial Center kitchen. We bring our gifts and talents, as Mary did, to furthering the mission of Jesus wherever we find ourselves each day.

Many of our Sisters entered Notre Dame on this Feast of the Presentation and celebrate their anniversaries today. May Mary continue to be their companion as they share God’s goodness and care with others. Happy Anniversary, Sisters!

Mary, the Educator

January 30th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

As we begin the celebration of this Catholic Schools Week, I’m mindful of the powerful gift of education that I have received from so many in my life.  First and foremost, I am most grateful to my parents for all they have taught me both by their words and the example of their lives.

Sr. Mary Ann Culpert with Notre Dame Academy students.

In the Gospel, we are told that Jesus grew in wisdom, age and grace before God and men. In his humanity, Jesus needed to learn just like the rest of us.  Certainly, Mary and Joseph were primary educators in his life.  Many of the parables and images Jesus used in his own teaching were likely ones he learned from Mary in his early years.  It’s not hard to make the connection between the compassion and mercy Jesus showed to others and what he must have witnessed in Mary’s example.

As Sisters of Notre Dame, we look to Mary as a model educator.  Our ministries of education are privileged ways for us to help others come to know the deep truth of God’s goodness and provident care.  Perhaps you have been educated by one of our Sisters or perhaps you are a co-educator.  Celebrate the great gift of Catholic education with us this week!

Join us in rejoicing with our Sisters in Papua New Guinea as they celebrate the installation of Sister Mary Lilian as the new delegation superior this weekend.  Sister has been with our community since 1992 and has served most recently with the local radio station. We ask Mary, Queen of Apostles, to intercede for her and for all of our sisters as they proclaim God’s goodness and provident care to the people of Papua New Guinea. See Sr. Mary Lilian now!http://t.co/tsnVWoMi

Welcome to our new Sisters of Notre Dame Express blog!  We hope to use this blog as another forum for a mutual sharing of reflections on daily life.  We look forward to hearing your comments and responses.

 Mary certainly witnessed a vibrant friendship in her relationship with Elizabeth at the Visitation. They joyfully recognized and affirmed the life of the Spirit in one another.

 As we celebrate the feasts of Sts. Timothy and Titus today, I’m reminded of the great gift of friends and colleagues in our journey of faith.  Both of these saints were among the early Christians who worked closely with St. Paul. Paul instructed them in the faith and served as an encouragement to them as they helped to spread the Gospel. He recognized the unique gifts they brought to ministry and sought to nurture these gifts. They, in turn, were a support to Paul in his ministry and carried on his teaching.

 True friends are often the ones who recognize our gifts and strengths and encourage us to develop these areas of our lives.  They offer us support when things aren’t going so well and they provide us with the example that gives us something to work toward.  I once read an article that spoke of how friends influence our desires. Friends have a way of helping us grow in our relationship with God through their words and their example. 

I’m certainly grateful for those people in my life who have influenced my desire for God. Perhaps today is a good day to thank God for the friends and companions who have been part of our journey.  ~ Sr. Marilyn Marie