Sunday, May 27, 2012

Living Out Our Spiritual Motherhood

Project Linus was a success! We returned home with four quilts that will be given to children at UW Health: American Family Children's Hospital in Madison. We quilted blankets for boys. Jean and Dottie, who  patiently and warmly taught us everything we needed to know about sewing and quilting, said that many blankets are donated for girls, but there is a shortage of boys' blankets, so that is what they focus on. They are so cute! Sr. Natalie did a dinosaur one, Sr. Regina Rose did a shark one, Sr. Leslie did a Winnie the Pooh one, and I did one with various animals, such as giraffes, tigers, monkeys, and hippos. We just know the boys who get them will be so happy!

Not only was I able to sew without jamming the machine once, but I enjoyed the whole process. It was fun to sew and quilt everything together, and it felt great to do something nurturing and motherly for these children. Helping children who need to go to the hospital is something that I have been passionate about for a long time, so it was an honor to do this for them. Jean also shared with us some touching stories about her experiences handing out the quilts.

In addition, we each took a turn preparing a meal under the guidance of Sr. Jerianne. She gave us plenty of tips and help. Every meal was excellent. Nothing flopped. It was fun to work with Sr. Jerianne, because she was patient and had a great sense of humor.

On the way home, we put our heads together and wrote an article for Franciscanized World that Sr. Leslie typed up and sent to Sr. Julie Ann. To read it as well as see pictures from the week, click here: Quilting Quandaries and Culinary Capers.

I am excited to begin retreat tonight! It is a silent retreat and the theme is The Francis You Don't Know - His Greatness Was In His Weaknesses. Our retreat master is Fr. Thomas Speier, OFM. I am also planning on reading Hinds' Feet on High Places. Those of us in formation started to read it to each other, but we only got through the first part. I enjoyed the story, and I think it will go well with the theme of the retreat.

The retreat will end Saturday family will arrive Saturday afternoon....and my first profession is the next day on June 3rd! I am so excited, and it seems our Sisters are as excited as I am, because so many of them have come up to me and said, "Just think, only one more week!" It is so cool to go through this together. Also Sr. Thi and Sr. Tuyen will be renewing their vows, and I couldn't be happier to share the day with them!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Preparing for Project Linus

Life has been pretty busy around here. We just finished a young women's discernment retreat....6 lovely young women came to the Motherhouse. We novices were able to join them for a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help and then to a picnic. They seemed to have a good time, and we certainly enjoyed them. For pictures and to see what Sr. Julie Ann had to say about it, click on this link:

Now we are finishing up packing for a week at a lakeside home that is owned by the family of one of our Sisters, where we will sew blankets for Project Linus. "As Charles Schulz’s Linus character from the PEANUTS® comic strip was comforted by his blanket, Project Linus strives to do the same and more for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need" (  Project Linus accepts handmade blankets.

I don't consider myself all that skilled at sewing things, so it will certainly be a labor of love. We will have expert seamstresses to guide us along. I am hoping they can teach me how to sew a straight line without jamming the machine. That's my first goal. Thinking of the children who will be comforted by these blankets will help me along as well.

I'm looking forward to the cooking part of the week. We each took a day to prepare dinner. Sr. Jerianne, the head of the Motherhouse kitchen, has been helping us with menu planning, and she will be working with us one-on-one to prepare the meals. She encouraged us to be adventurous and to cook/bake things we haven't made before.

I think it will be a nice week!

We'll be back at the Motherhouse late Friday afternoon. Be sure to check out Franciscanized World soon after that for our reflections from the week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Game and Movie Night

 Since school is out, we decided to celebrate! The Novitiate Community invited our International Sisters over. We knew we wanted to have dinner together, do some kind of physical activity, and then watch the movie Akeelah and the Bee. We were planning on going outside for frisbee or soccer, but it rained that day, so we switched to the gym and pulled out anything we could for activities. We ended up having a great time. We tied together two long ropes and played jump rope, we did hula hoops, and a few large-group activity games. To finish, we played lightning.

Here's how to play lightning:

There was definitely some natural talent in the group! Even though for some of them it was their first time shooting hoops, they did very well and had excellent "follow through." We were amazed! I remember how long it took me to shoot my first basket when I was a kid....
Way to go, Sr. Emiliana!
Wow, Sr. Theresa...really? Four hula-hoops?!

Back Row: Sr. Regina Rose, Sr. Rose Maura, Sr. Monica, Sr. Theresa,  Sr. Tuyen
3rd Row: Sr. Thi, Sr. Bernadette
2nd Row: Sr. Constansia, Sr. Juliet, Sr. Leslie
Front Row: Sr. Emiliana
Sr. Maria Echezonachukwu (Sr. Maria Eche) is also one of our
International Sisters, but she's away right now.
We were having so much fun that the time that we had planned to start the movie came fast. Sr. Elaine, our postulant directress, also joined us for snacks and Akeelah and the Bee. Everyone loved it. It is about an 11-year-old girl from South Los Angeles who aspires to compete in the National Spelling Bee.

Overall, it was a wonderful night, and one that we would like to do again! I love our International Sisters (our "cousins"). Each one of them is a blessing to our Community, and I am going to miss them when I am out on mission this fall!