Author Archives: Sr. Marilyn Marie

Truly a Blessing

January 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (4 Comments)

???????????????????????????????Each year we gather the employees of our Sisters of Notre Dame Sponsored Ministries and honor those employees who are marking an anniversary year of employment with us, and each year I find myself a bit overwhelmed. These are individuals who have committed to more than a job; they make a statement by their day-to-day efforts that this is about ministry – the ministry of introducing Jesus Christ to all those they meet.

Whether they serve at Maria Early Learning Center, Notre Dame Academy, Lial Catholic School or Double ARC, our collaborators in ministry are living proof of the impact of our fourth guiding principle: an integrated education for transformation. In big ways and small ways, their presence and service makes a great difference and helps to change our world – for the better!


I am truly grateful for the blessing of each of our employees!  Is there a particular employee in one of our sponsored ministries who has touched your life and helped to transform your world?

Simeon and Anna Ministry

January 15th, 2014 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (4 Comments)

Anna and SimeonWhen Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to present him as in infant, they encountered two wisdom figures – Simeon and Anna.  We’re told in the Gospel that these two individuals spent a great deal of time in the temple (and had done so for years!) awaiting the Messiah.  They lived lives of prayer, all the while very alert and attentive to the many people they encountered each day.  They had honed their skills of awareness, so that when they met Jesus they KNEW he was the One!

Our newest ministry here at Little Flower Parish (Toledo) is the Simeon and Anna Ministry.  Our parishioners who are 65+ years of age are invited for a luncheon and short presentation each First Friday of the month. As I shared with them in January, it is our way of saying thank you to them for the wisdom and witness they provide for the rest of the parish and to help them continue on their faith journey. Not only do they carry a history of the parish, they teach us how to be aware of Jesus in our daily encounters in a wise, holy and integrated way.

The wisdom figures here in the parish as well as those among my Sisters give me so much to strive for and to look forward to!  Who are the wisdom figures in your life who serve as models and mentors for you?

24 and Under

June 21st, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As we celebrate the feast of St. Aloysius today, I am reminded that he belongs to the 24 and Under Club — those Saints who died at the age of 24 or younger. There are actually quite a few in this amazing group, including Dominic Savio, Elizabeth of Hungary, Kateri Tekakwitha, Therese of Lisieux, Aloysius and Maria Goretti.

What makes them so special?  I marvel at what God was able to do in and through them in a few short years.  It’s utterly amazing to me the number of lives they’ve touched and the influence they’ve had as a result of their openness to God’s action in their lives. It gives me reason to reflect on what I’ve allowed God to do in my 56 years of life.

These Saints are representative of the tremendous gift which young people are for us.  Let no one underestimate the power and influence of our young Church!

Words and Actions

June 13th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Like so many others, I have always known St. Anthony as Patron of lost articles and I have sought his intercession on more than one occasion!  I never thought of him as a great theologian or scholar.  However, in today’s Office of Readings, the excerpt on his life indicates that he was recognized by St. Francis and the other members of his community as extremely gifted in the areas of teaching and preaching.

One of his sermons contains the line, “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.” This simple, but powerful, message was a hallmark of Anthony’s life. It’s a good reminder to me to check the consistency of my words and actions.

Perhaps the most precious thing St. Anthony can help me find is a life of authenticity and truth where my actions give credence to the words I speak.  Saint Anthony, pray for us!

Feast of the Sacred Heart

June 7th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I love the fact that the readings for this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart highlight the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  When I was on pilgrimage in Rome and Germany in 2002, I was touched by how often I “met” the Shepherd.  This image is everywhere!

One of the things I have come to appreciate about the Good Shepherd image is that when the shepherd carries a sheep over his shoulders, the ear of the shepherd is very near the heart of the sheep.  For me, it’s one more tender way that Jesus reminds me of His gentle and personal love for me. I know He hears not only what I say but also what I carry in my heart — the joys and sorrows, frustrations and victories.

Today is a good day to pause, reflect and thank God that His heart connects with  mine in a love that is beyond my wildest imagining! Sacred Heart of Jesus, change my heart to be like yours.

An Intense Hold

May 31st, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As I celebrate today with the Church the feast of the Visitation, I’m drawn to our Congregational Constitutions, Art. 14:

  “The more intensely the tender love of Jesus takes hold of us, the more we become free from self and available to share his love with others.”

I believe this is what Mary experienced and what compelled her to visit Elizabeth.  Jesus’ tender love captured her heart and freed her to bring Him to others.  Just as Sister Valerie wrote in her blog entry yesterday, there’s a certain “all or nothing” that comes to play in our relationship with God.  Jesus’ love captures us and takes hold of us in an intense way.  I find myself praying that God will never let me go, especially at those times when I may find His love uncomfortable and struggle to be free of His embrace.

May Jesus wrap each of us in His tender love today and may we share that same love with those we meet.

Jesus – the Best BFF!

May 24th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As I listen to today’s first reading from Sirach, I can’t help but smile when I think of the common use of “BFF” today.  Certainly, Jesus is the very best BEST FRIEND FOREVER!

 “A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth” (Sirach 6: 14-15).

It seems to me that our friendship with Jesus sheds light on what should characterize our friendship with others, and our friendship with others can help reflect the gift of friendship we have with Jesus.

I certainly feel blessed to have a few good friends who serve as this reflection for me.  Who are the friends for whom you are grateful today?


A Marian Pause

May 23rd, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Yesterday touched on a treasured tradition here at our Provincial Center. Several of our Sisters gathered after Mass with Father Tom Leyland for the blessing of a special Marian Grotto on the fourth floor porch.  This so reminds me of the many May Altars I experienced as a child in my home, my classroom and in my parish church.

At times, individuals express concern that we are focusing too much attention on Mary and not enough on Jesus. It is certainly possible to get caught up in the rituals or devotions, but if our love for Mary is sincere we have no cause to be concerned.  Mary will never draw us to herself without taking us to the heart of her Son, Jesus.  St. Maximilian Kolbe said, “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

I, for one, know I need the special love and protection of a devoted Mother.  Mary, our Mother, pray for us.

What is your favorite memory of devotion to Mary?

Gift of the Father

May 16th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

There is so much in the Gospel readings from the Farewell Discourse of John’s Gospel that makes me stop and ponder….and wonder. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus refers to His disciples and all of us as “those You [the Father] have given me.”  Jesus truly sees me as “a gift from the Father!”  I find that pretty amazing.

The fact that Jesus called the apostles “gifts” — those who would betray, deny and doubt him — and that He calls me “gift” — despite the many times I miss the mark — brings me a great deal of hope.  It also challenges me to see the people in my life in an equally favorable light.  Do I consider each person I encounter as “a gift from the Father?”

Who are the gifts the Father has placed in your life for whom you are grateful today?

Back Seat Driving

May 11th, 2013 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I think God must smile at times when I try so hard to be in control.  When we go to Mass each morning, we take turns driving.  One morning, one of the other Sisters commented how much she was enjoying the scenery because I was driving and she was able to look around.

God offers me this opportunity all the time.  He’s willing to do the driving and free me to enjoy the journey.  I need only to trust that He knows where He’s going and that He knows the best speed and direction to go.  Amazing how often I think I know a better way and turn into a back seat driver!

I think I’ll let God do the driving today and just sit back and enjoy the ride!