Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Joys of Volunteering

I hope you all are enjoying your summer. We've had good weather at the motherhouse, so Sister Isabelle and I have gotten to play tennis a couple times, which is always fun. We now have three really good tennis rackets, because one of the sisters donated hers.

Everyone is full of anticipation and excitement for the upcoming arrival of the new postulants. If you are one of them, know that we pray for you, both as a community and individually, daily. Also, just in case you may feel nervous, it is totally normal to have "cold feet" right before a change from what you're used to. That's why there's a name for it! I literally had to go through the motions last year of walking onto the ferry to cross Lake Michigan, but once the ferry started moving, I thought I might as well stay on for the ride. I'm glad I did. The water was pretty deep.

I mentioned briefly in my last entry that as novices we spend Thursday afternoons volunteering at the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse, directed by Brother Regis, a Salvatorian. "Since 1968 The Salvatorian Mission Warehouse has been shipping tons of critical materials to needy villages around the world" (

It is an awesome experience! We have a lot of fun putting the different items together to send them to different parts of our world, and we get to hear stories and see pictures from those on the receiving end. Sister Dolores has organized groups from our Motherhouse to go there for years.

This time, we organized "cut offs" from Land's End. The machines in the factory only use the fabric they need, and the rest is sent to us. We then ship the cut offs to people who live in third world countries, and they make them into clothes.

These are some finished clothes that people sent back to us to show how the cut-offs are used.

Later on, I was reading part of Pope Benedict's encyclical, God is Love, and he writes that "love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to [the Church] as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel. The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word."

The Pope's message truly echoes Matthew's Gospel when Jesus says,
"Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25: 34-40, NAB).

So it's cool to have another way to live the Gospel, as Saint Francis intended for Franciscans.


  1. Sister Monica,

    Thank you for your thoughts and reflections. The pictures were great but, your spirit articulated so well, is even better. May your novitiate days of learning and prayer be blessed. Also, that wish is for Sister Isabelle and Sister Pamela Catherine.

  2. As a person who also went to the warehouse, I can only agree with Sister Monica that working there is a great experience. It is a real opportunity to serve the poor, and to serve the Lord through serving the poor. Also, there is time to pray there as we can work in silence if we so wish and also to share with some of the many other volunteers who come from all walks of life to serve. All three of the novices are doing a great service by working in this ministry. Thank you, Sisters, for serving.

  3. I am so glad you are able to experience the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse. It is a wonderful experience I have had many times. My mom started going there in the first years it was open and has been going there ever since - about 40 years, and now my dad also goes since he retired from farming several years ago. As a child I was able to be part of the mission work during the summers, going with my mom, as did some of my sisters. When I am with my family during the summer I usually am able to go at least once. It is a privilege to be part of such a wonderful ministry. God's blessings upon all those who give so generously.

  4. Dear Sister Monica,
    I am glad you are having the opportunity to do this work at the warehouse. One always feels good when helping others. May your days as a Novice continue to help you grow in Community Life.
    Sister Rosangela

  5. Dear Sister Monice.
    good to hear hou you enjoy working at the warehouse.I also found it very enjoyable,
    knowing it is for a good gets tired,yet have a good feeling after.
    God Bless.

  6. Thanks everyone for the comments! I am so glad that our community is enthusiastically involved in this program!

  7. Sr. Monica!!!!
    I thought about you this morning and realized I hadn't checked your blog in a while. I am getting ready to go on another east coast adventure with Amanda, only this time David will be joining us instead of you.
    I'm glad to see things are going well!
    Pray for me, dear friend. Just as Amanda and I were able to aid you in your vocational journey, the Shaheens are doing the same for me. I don't know where God is going to take me, but please pray that God will make His will obvious and that I will be open to it. I have no idea what to expect, and I am both excited and scared!
    It would have been fun to go to the city again with you and Amanda! Please keep the updated coming - I love hearing about your adventures!
    With faith, hope & charity,

  8. Hi Cecilia! I agree, it would have been a blast to go to the city with you and Amanda again. I hope you have a fun and fruitful time with David and Amanda! I am praying for you. I am about to give the sacristan a votive candle to put under the Infant of Prague in the Saint Francis Chapel. I will include your intentions.