The year 2015 started off with a "bang" for me. I spent time with some friends here, lighting off fireworks. (See what I did there?) It was great fun...and then the fun did not stop from there. I felt like I was a kid again, being pushed by one of my uncles so that I could go flying down "Big Toe" a mammoth-sized hill in my late Grandma Beechnau's backyard. The weeks and months have blurred together as I've soared across the hill of time.
Updating this blog has always been in the back of my mind, albeit buried under a stack of papers, so to speak.
Our school was awarded an awesome grant that enabled each child to have a Chromebook to be used at school. While we have had a lot to learn, I am a computer geek by nature, so I have loved using them in the classroom, and more importantly, our students have, too!
|Father Arnel held an all school blessing, so we could pray for the holy, safe, and good use of the Chromebooks. We were celebrating St.Valentine's Day on the same day, which is why you see all the pretty clothes!|
We have also spent time celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life by giving vocation talks and by inviting people to our convent to encounter our life in a deeper way than they usually do.
|Sister Janet enjoyed taking our visitors to our chapel in Saint Theresa Convent|
I had a chance to spend a weekend in Wisconsin for the annual Initial Formation Weekend. This year was extra enjoyable because we were there the same time as an discernment retreat! I loved getting to know the women who were coming to see what our Franciscan life is all about!
|A selfie after breakfast with Sister Natalie. She's our Community Director, but she was also the novice directress for Sister Pamela Catherine (perpetually professed), Sister Regina Rose, and me. It was nice to catch up with her!|
I am always praying for those who are discerning their vocation, so if you are discerning, know that you are in my daily prayers. Actually, you are in my mom's daily prayers, too. :)
Speaking of discernment, I have a good friend, Amanda, who I spent time discerning with before entering the convent. We would get together frequently as she was preparing to marry her husband, David, and I was preparing to join my Community. Everything came full circle as Amanda, David, and their youngest child, baby Mercedes came to spend a week with us Sisters in Hawai'i. We loved having them, and Amanda did some really awesome performances!
You might have heard her speak or perform if you attended Catholic conferences where she has been at. If you are unfamiliar with Amanda Vernon's music, you can visit her website at amandavernon.com. I personally cannot stop listening to her acoustic CD! She travels all over the place giving concerts, so don't hesitate to contact her if you would like her to come to your parish or venue!
The following is an interview she did on EWTN's "Life on the Rock":
What else? Lent has been amazing for me. I love this time of renewal and extra time for prayer. Well, there isn't extra time per se, but I allow myself to devote extra time. One of my favorite stories of my Confirmation Saint, Mother Teresa, was of her Sisters informing her that they did not have time for the required hour of personal prayer. Their duties to serving the poorest of the poor were simply too great. Mother Teresa responded by increasing the personal prayer time to two hours daily. In fact the Missionaries of Charity still commit to two hours this very day! There is so much wisdom in that! I can tell you time and time again, that whenever I've felt like I didn't have time to pray, after praying anyway, God has increased my productivity to where I accomplished more than I thought possible! He cannot be outdone in generosity!
If you are looking for some spiritual resources, my mom has been telling me about some amazing talks that she has gotten to listen to at our home parish for their Lenten Mission. I trust her judgement, so I am posting the links to the recorded talks before I get to listen to them myself. You might beat me to them if you listen to them before Friday! Their visiting priest was Fr. Patrick Martin, and his theme was "Mission Possible."
Once you click on the the links, scroll down to listen to the podcasts:
At St. Theresa, we had our own visiting priest, a Capuchin Franciscan named Fr. Bob Udulutsch. He helped us to develop our understanding of the models of the Church and reflect on them as well as grow in prayer. We will miss him.
I suppose that's about it. God bless you as we enter into Holy Week.