Author Archives: Sr. Marilyn Marie

In loving memory

September 24th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (6 Comments)

Bishop Albert Ottenweller enetered eternal life early yesterday morning.  When I heard this news later yesterday, I couldn’t help but thank God for the gift that he has been to so many.  Bishop Ottenweller truly loved people and truly loved the Church. He loved the People of God.

So many of our Sisters’ paths have crossed the Bishop’s path over the years, including his sister (Sister Mary Jogues) and his nieces (Sister Mary Dean and Sister Diane Marie) all of whom are members of our community. I recall many times when he would stop by for a visit with them and with all of us.

My most recent memories of the Bishop include many weekday Masses at the Cathedral where he would celebrate Mass for us. One of the parishioners has aptly named him “Our Friend, the Bishop.” He cared for all of us and helped us to enjoy the simple things in life.

I have no doubt he will continue his presence among us and intercede many blessings for us – just from a slightly different place.  May he know the joy of eternal life!

How was Bishop Ottenweller a blessing in your life?

Profound and Simple

September 21st, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Today many of the educators of the Toledo Diocese are gathered for an inservice at Seagate Center here in Toledo. Our Sisters are among this group of professionals who continue to daily offer our young people the hope of a promising future.

Education has always played a significant role in who we are as Sisters of Notre Dame. Sister Maria Aloysia and our first Coesfeld Sisters were professional educators even before they entered religious life. They were formed in the spirit of Fr. Bernard Overberg for whom school learning and faith were deeply connected. Overberg recognized the dignity of both student and educator and advocated an education that was clearly linked to daily life. We continue today to educate in his spirit and principles.

I am most grateful for our Sisters and collaborators who educate in many different venues. They offer an invaluable gift and truly make a difference in our world!  Thank you!

Who is a teacher who has made a difference in your life and has helped you to change the world for the better?

Fragility of Life

September 17th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

My brother and sister-in-law were in a serious car accident this past week. We are so fortunate that they are on the road to recovery and doing well.  It’s amazing how life can change in a matter of seconds.

As we navigated this past week with them through emergency rooms, surgeries, physical therapy and rehab, I was touched once again with the reality of how very fragile the gift of life is and how much I take for granted. Their new struggles shed a very different light on my small aches and pains, fatigue and busy schedule. I don’t want to miss this opportunity to be renewed in gratitude for the life I’ve been given. God is indeed very, very good.

I’m also aware in a new way of the tremendous support system we have among family, friends, co-workers, Sisters and so many others.  It’s good to know we have wonderful companions on our journey through life.

May you experience in some small way today a renewed awareness and gratitude for the amazing gift of life.

Congratulations, Double ARC!

September 10th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

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.

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?

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!

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?

Road Closed

August 8th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Yes, I had another one of those nights when, what should have been a simple trip became quite the adventure!  Leaving a half hour early for a picnic with the Tiffin Serra Club, I still managed to arrive five minutes late.  It seemed there were even detours on the detours!  I didn’t do too badly for a person who is not gifted with a good sense of direction.

 I worked hard to reach my destination last night despite the many road closures I encountered.  I couldn’t help reflecting how easily I sometimes give up when I encounter what seems like a closed road in my spiritual life.  Perhaps I need to be a little more creative in finding different ways to pray or try looking at situations from a different perspective. I wouldn’t think of just sitting on a road staring at the road closed sign; yet, sometimes I sit and do nothing when I encounter a block in my spiritual life. I know the ultimate destination I have – how hard am I willing to work to get there?

Even coming home last night provided some good laughs.  After deciding to take a route I was sure of even though it was a little out of the way — you guessed it, another road closure! God has a great sense of humor!

First Profession

August 6th, 2012 | Posted by Sr. Marilyn Marie in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Several of us had the joy and privilege yesterday of traveling to Chardon to celebrate the First Profession of Sister Lynette Miryam and Sister Mary Kelley.  Everything about the day was truly wonderful.  Witnessing these Sisters professing their vows certainly brought back many memories of my first profession and strengthens my daily renewing of these vows.

In his homily at the Mass of Profession, Father spoke of  the Gospel reading from the Bread of Life discourse in John’s Gospel.  Among other points, he referred to the Eucharist as sign and symbol of a greater reality than simple bread and wine.  As he spoke, I reflected that the vows and lives of these two Sisters are also sign and symbol of a greater reality.  They share with the world the reality and possibility of an incredible and amazing relationship with our God.

I pray that Sister Lynette Miryam and Sister Mary Kelley are graced with all they need to be vibrant signs of the reality of God’s love in our world.  Has there been a Sister in your life who has been/is such a witness?