Monday, December 22, 2008

Images (and Insights) of the Journey...and it Continues

St. Roman was supposed to have our Christmas concert on Friday, but we got walloped with 15 inches of snow during the night! So no school for us...begin our Christmas break a day early! I was pretty wiped...so I stayed in my PJs all day (and shoveled), loafed (and shoveled), opened up my presents from school (and shoveled), and worked on a few projects (oh...and I did some shoveling). It was nice. Yesterday, we got oh depending 3-5 more inches...and this was light, fluffy, but make the roads icky snow. Today... -4 degrees with a -30 windchill! Translation for those of you where the sun shines always: THAT IS REALLY REALLY COLD.
4th Sunday! This is it folks...our Advent journey is almost complete. I can't very well, write about the last three and skip the 4th. Plus, being cooped up in the house, I took the opportunity to play with my replacement camera (replacing the one that was stolen out of my suitcase) and took some neat photos. For me they are familiar signs that our preparation is almost complete and JOY and NEW LIFE are right around the corner.

My 4th experience of community during this week of Advent was with my staff. The week before Christmas break in a school is so exhausting. Kids are checked out and crazy, staff is worn out, Christmas concert preparation, etc...let's say we are all ready for break when it arrives. On Thursday (not knowing for sure that we'd be off the next day), we had our little staff Christmas gathering after school. It was lovely...nice conversation, low key, yummies...I stepped back and observed for a while and thought...wow! The energy was so positive and cheerful, despite the tiredness of the days before. It was a delightful time and people seemed to enjoy it. That's a happy!

Transition is a hard thing in general; I've come to appreciate the perspective of a leadership transition for a staff/school. I work with gifted professionals who have been successful teachers, at St. Roman for 30+ years. They've had principals/pastors/colleagues come and go...philosophy changes, transition...transition...transition. I work with gifted educators who are relatively new (myself included!) to the field and have an energy and enthusiasm for the possibilities. For myself, I have a good knowledge base and clear directions in which I'd like to see education (universally) go. Put all of this into a big pot and mix it up and then empty it...and then ask people to find what was theirs. Um yeah...it's a journey (ACK...that's one of those formationy words that I swore would never come out of my mouth! HELP!).

Stepping back and "observing" has been one of my processes as I transitioned into this new school. That's not easy for me; I'm a watch you for 2 minutes to see how you do it, jump in and do it, and adapt/learn as necessary person. Stepping back and observing...sometimes makes the journey seem a bit tedious at times, but the relationships that form are worth it. I stepped back and observed for a few minutes at our party and it hit me. We've come very far since we began our journey together in August. Relationships have formed as a staff . The spirit in our school is lively and supportive. People seem to be free to share ideas and weigh in with an alternative perspective. We can enjoy each other's company, outside of "shop talk".

I used to think (although a lover of Advent as a kiddo) that Christmas was this burst of JOY and EXCITEMENT...that it all started with that day. In light of my 4th week of Advent experience, I realize that unless the journey happened, the JOY and NEW LIFE could not be the end result.

Oh geeze...now that I type that...I think--"Great, Kate...that's one of those insights that has multiple meanings." I know this entry will come back to bite me sometime; another Spit in your Soup moment courtesy of the Fun Nun.

I found this simple poem written by one of my nuns, Sr. Irene Zimmerman, in her book Incarnation, which spoke to me this morning in my prayer time:



Christmas Sky
That once-in-a-world-time night
even the stars, otherwise
so distant in their ancient skies,
came to adore the in-the-beginning Light.

May the "blessings" (yes, even those ones that don't seem like blessings...and don't I know that!) be with you as the JOY and NEW LIFE of Christmas emerge. Cha, cha, cha.
(It's like the birthday song...all this seriousness, needs a "cha cha cha" once in a while.)


Peace out!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gaudete! Rejoice!



Not writing since November 1st...even I miss me! Ha Ha Ha...


Actually, I've had a lot of material to write about, but just not a good chunk of time to sit and write. Let me give a brief update before launching in to my real thoughts (which will actually relate to the title)...

I had a magnificent Thanksgiving surprise! My mom surprised my sisters and grandmother with a cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday. We had 4 days to make arrangements, pack, etc...I don't do spontaneity very well, but I managed. We went to the Bahamas and had a wonderful time together. I have great pictures too; I'm not going to post them though. Why you may ask? Unfortunately, my suitcase was ransacked sometime after we checked our luggage in Miami and picking it up at MKE...camera and pictures...all gone. Booo! I guess I can hope that the person who took it needed a camera; I'm mostly bummed about the pictures.


School is good...really good, but crazy these weeks. These kiddos (who am I kidding? The teachers and principal too) are R-E-A-D-Y for break. We have Christmas concert rehearsal this week, concert on Friday, by 10:00 p.m. Friday I am officially on break! Woo hoo!

That's about it for the updates...and now for our regularly scheduled entry:

Gaudete! Rejoice!

I LOVE ADVENT; I have since I was a little kid. Something about the anticipatory excitement, the stories, the rituals at school, the multi-sensory experiences, I love it! I was always fascinated in grade school, hearing the Isaiah stories and thinking, "WOW...how did he know all of that?" Obviously didn't get the whole concepts of prophecy and fulfilment yet. NO, this was not last year, I was little...like 1st/2nd/3rd grade. Ha ha...



When I started teaching, I was even more excited because it became a challenge for me to get my students more involved in Advent than skipping right over it and launching to Christmas. My classroom always had a shift during Advent (and Lent too) where our routine would change slightly, so that we had time to consider why our faith tradition has this intentional time. Business is not as usual, or should not be as usual, during this time of preparation. When I see my former students, they often remember our change of pace, activities, and projects we did during these special times of the year. I love it just as much as a principal; planning the school wide, community building events with the teachers is energizing. It's one of those, "Yeah...that's why I am a Catholic educator" moments.

Community building...that's what has struck me this Advent Season. Three different experiences, yes, one each week. All of which have been outside of the context of my religious community (I mean, C'mon...that's a given). Rather, they were profound moments of how important a ministerial community is to my call and commitment to serve.

1st Week of Advent--O Come O Come Emmanuel

The Advent committee at St. Roman, decided that each Monday of Advent we would gather as an entire school for an Advent Prayer around our Advent wreath at the entrance of the school. The student council kiddos led the prayer each week. I stepped back that first week and was just goose-bumped--do you know what 287 kids and 20+ adults, packed into the entrance of a school around a wreath, praying and ending with O Come O Come Emmanuel is like? It was awesome! The big inquisitive eyes of the 4 year olds when the candles were lit, to the attentive middle school kids making sure their "younger buddies" were not goofing around. I was so proud of our students and was happy they have these experiences of being the "living church".

2nd Week of Advent--Be Born is us Today

We have an extraordinary volunteer who is adored by EVERYONE (and that is no exaggeration!). He had to have minor surgery as was going to be out for a few days. We had a regular Tuesday liturgy scheduled and after the homily, we participated in the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for Tom with the children.

Now, my practical side thought, "Oh what a great learning opportunity for our students as a part of their faith development." I was so moved by the experience. All of the school staff were called forward with Tom to lay hands on him together as Fr. John led us through the sacrament. He involved the children in the Rite too. When those little ones all extended their hands in the gesture of blessing over Tom, if you couldn't feel the Holy Spirit present--WAKE UP. Then we all hugged Tom and finished our liturgy.


I was very moved by what a witness and expression of community we shared. Tom gives so much to our school and our students--we adore him too! The kids were able to be a part of the healing prayer of our church and in such a special way. I tell the children how the love of God is in all of us; Advent is the time to prepare for Jesus to be born in us again, year after year. I can't think of a more profound moment with students that gave me a tangible experience of what I teach the children. Light and love of God...born in each of us...Holy Spirit all over the place...yeah that was quite special.

3rd Week of Advent--Gaudete! Rejoice!

If you can honestly say to me that finally getting to that "different" candle wasn't the most exciting...you need an attitude shift! C'mon it's PINK CANDLE SUNDAY! Really...it doesn't get more exciting than that! By the way...this excitement began circa 1985 for Katy...well B.C.(before convent); so don't blame the nun thing. We're almost there...



I cantored the Mass this morning at St. Roman. After the homily (do you see a pattern here?), Fr. John announced that we were having a wedding at Mass today. This couple who had been married 60 (that's right folks SIXTY) years were going to received the sacrament of marriage through the Catholic church. The wife was not Catholic and this year decided to go through the RCIA program and they both agreed they wanted to renew their vows and officially be married in the eyes of our faith. These two elderly people, with corsages and all, walked up to the front of the church. Fr. John went through the marriage rite and they exchanged vows. Fr. John adapted the Rite so eloquently to acknowledge that they have been in a sacred union for 60 years and now being sealed by the Holy Spirit through this sacrament. The husband could barely get through his vows...teared up and all. (98% of the church was all teary and stuff) They looked into each other's eyes with nothing but JOY, for what has been and what is yet to come for them.

It was beautiful and again, moving. And in the context of the Parish community...wow...again, to have the support from your parish community to celebrate and be vehicles of the spirit working through us...how can you not GAUDATE?? That was the PERFECT 3rd Sunday experience for my theme of ministerial community this season of Advent.

1 more week!!! My ministerial community at St. Roman's has helped with these important "pre- Christmas reminders" that: God will send Emmanuel; Jesus will be born in us again; and we will REJOICE once again!
Blessings these final days...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Call...Quite Literally/Communion...Come Union

"The captain has indicated that you must fasten your seat belts, we are experiencing some turbulence." It's one of "those" blog entries...Yes there are two titles; you'll understand why in a moment.

Without further adieu...The "fun nun" presents something fun:

"The Call...Quite Literally"

I begin with a moment of hilarity and spiritual irony (betcha didn't learn that one in middle school language arts!!) which actually occurred today and would be more appropriately placed in the middle of this entry:

[from my interior prayer monologue--yes all true; the double negatives and even the quoting of an educational theorist--my brain works in strange ways]:


So...what is it? What is the "it" that I'm still wondering about? How/where do I fit? Where am I doing? I understand the bigger picture of where I'm called; no it's more than that. Um...I am totally content with the bigger picture of call. Ok, yes, it kinda weirds me out sometimes because there is no other area that I don't worry or question about; but it's mostly freeing. So, it's not the big picture. It's the little one. It's the now. It's the Bronfrenbrenner hierarchy: with the concentric circle design--except "most people" (according to the model) start with the inner circle and move outward. Oh no...not me...let's get the big picture down and then move inward. Makes perfect sense...NOT. I'm not struggling with where am I called for LIFE or forever or with whom. NO...I'm thinking about where am I called in myself, in my day-to-day...Call it's always about CALL...

No lies...absolute truth--at that very moment THE PHONE RANG. Now...that may not seem like such a big deal EXCEPT for one little detail:
I WAS IN OUR MOTHERHOUSE CHAPEL (alone).
It was your typical, non-digitalized, non cell, hang on the wall with a cord...RING of a PHONE; in our CHAPEL. I NEVER in my LIFE have heard a phone (like that) RING in our CHAPEL. Who calls the chapel? Where is the phone in the chapel? And all of this at the same time I'm trying to have another one of my arguments with the divine about call?? Nice...really nice sense of humor SPIRIT.

I burst out laughing...and this "phone" didn't stop ringing. (I was in the choir loft) So I thought...as soon as I get up it will stop. I got up, started walking back toward the relic chapel...and got in the room...Stopped. Didn't see a phone anywhere. Hilarity...I thought I better blog this story just because it was so unbelievable.
Now that I have your attention....

The nun, who is also fun, now presents (something less humorous, albeit hopefully just as intriguing):

"Communion...Come Union"

(I'm throwing some random pictures in this part because it helps break up all of the text and I can't figure out the formatting rules of blogger--so there, blogger!)

Today after I slept LATE and knew I just had some time to chill, I knew I needed some uninterrupted quiet. There are 6 of us living in our house...uninterrupted quiet is difficult to achieve sometimes and when I'm in my bedroom there are too many "distractions". So I thought I'd go hang at the MamaCasa in the chapel for a while. (yeah...I don't really do this much at all)

I grabbed my "Saturday-I get to take my time today" coffee mug, filled it up, grabbed the ol' journal and mosyed on down the hill to the big house. I actually was drawn to the adoration side of the chapel (that was weird to me), but couldn't quite bring myself to bring my coffee in there and hang. So I settled on my favorite spot...up, up, and away in the choir loft on the director's stand. Spent some time in quiet, drinking my coffee, thinking, praying...[insert story above here]. There was not a sound and no one around...it was just what I needed.
Then I took out the journal and started writing. I go in journal spurts...sometimes I write, sometimes I don't. I know that if I really want to get somewhere with my journaling...I need to write down what comes without editing. I also am learning that when I have time to write, it takes me a little while to get out of the head; I'm not a fan, but big stuff comes out then. Here's where my reflections led me today:


Every year we have this liturgy for All Saints (the eve before) called Candles of Love. This is my 2nd favorite liturgical custom we have in my community. (The 1st changes--it's usually St. Francis Day) We celebrate the people who have walked with us in mission, our benefactors, friends of the community... We also celebrate the lives of those who have died this past year who have a connection with the SSSFs--family, friends, our Sisters, etc. People are invited to send in "Candles of Love" cards with the names of people to remember at this liturgy. The cards are presented at the offertory and then placed in the Adoration chapel for the Sisters to pray for this month. We get hundreds of cards each year!


We always have a litany during the liturgy; in typical SSSF fashion, it's not your run-of-the-mill litany of Saints, proper. Names are read of people, living and deceased, who have walked paths which coincide with our mission. We pray for/with those who give of themselves in order to partner with us in mission. We pray for our loved ones...we pray for justice and the pain around the world. It's always so powerful to hear those names; some of whom are often unspoken.

On the dome of the sanctuary there are these little gold crosses "floating" on a sky like backdrop. One of my Sisters, when I was having a really rough time in the novitiate, sat with me in chapel and told me to think about those crosses as our Sisters who have gone before us, watching over me. Every time I'm in chapel since then, I look up at that dome. Last evening, I was very aware of their presence among us.


Then the litany came...I was so moved; not so much by the names like usual, but what/whom they represented; commitments of people who minister to those who are or have been: poor, marginalized, afflicted with AIDS, terrorized, victimized by natural disasters, and all who have been affected. Those who work for peace and justice, in a profound way. People who have lost their life because of efforts toward a just and peaceful world. We prayed by name those who are often not prayed for: those recently executed and those who are incarcerated.


There was a presence in the space; I never experienced before. Maybe it was the space I was in? Who knows? The themes were quintessentially our charism and our mission to be present in the world. There was a connectedness...a unity present. This is pretty hokey...but it was real and profound: It was almost like you could imagine (see? dare I say feel?) the prayers being turned over to the spirit. It was another one of those "God moments" for me...hard to describe in words; even hard to figure out why.
Ok...so we talk about the "Communion of Saints". I talk about it with the kiddos. I think we have no real way of knowing who is a saint and who isn't...but that "they" are up there and walk with us. I rely much more on the Saints I can connect with or "know" (um...like some of our Sisters, friends, etc) much more than your official"Saint-a-day" "Patron Saint of XXX" variety...but they are cool too; especially Francis and Clare!
But last night (and this morning), I was like, "WOAH...back that truck up!" What does this mean? We talk about being in communion. Or receiving communion. Or the Communion of whatevers...like it's this existential, out-there, don't try to touch it, just do it, concept. Is it?
I thought, communion...hmmm. It struck me that communion implies some more action: being and receiving. Even those "saints"...whomever they are (living, dead, "official", not...) Being a part of the communion, implies that they've done something. Staying in communion with others requires something of you. Receiving "communion" is a commitment we make to be a member of the "body of Christ". It's the "do" part that gets this communion stuff rolling and then the "be" part that follows (like BE aware, BE connected...) is what creates the space for the communion to sustain.
So... Last night, I was listening to those names being read, aware of the spirit's presence, and the communion of people with whom we are connected through prayer, commitment, sharing of life and resources, world view, justice, ministry, and mission.
And then this morning...sitting back in chapel, with my coffee, looking up at the dome and thinking about the communion of people who walk with me in spirit and love...and realized that when I hear communion, I hear the invitation of come union. Union in love and mission. Listening those who are in need and those who speak to your heart saying, "come".
*Sigh*...reflecting and connecting is exhausting...LOL! :)
The captain has now turned off the fasten seat belts sign, please feel free to move about as you wish...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And now a "Fun Nun" update...

Oh...so much to share...where do I begin?


The past month in 5 key points or fewer:


  • I'm settling in at school. It moves at such a fast pace, I'm in disbelief that we're 1/2 way through October. I work with great kids, great families, and wonderful teachers. What I'm most appreciative of is the collegiality I am experiencing. People are very supportive of one another, help where help is needed, laugh and enjoy time together, work well as a group, have common goals and a vision for moving forward. I think us newbies are supported and feel welcomed. I think our wisdom figures are energized and open to new ideas. All of this is very good....very, very, GOOD.

  • Mary, one of the Sisters in my community (and one of my educational heroes), and I presented a session together on Using Descriptive Feedback as a Powerful Learning Tool. At the Archdiocesan Teacher's Convention. We had about 140 participants over 2 session. Despite a sleepless evening before, my gut in my throat, and out of WHACK nerves...when I got into the flow with Mary...I thought we did a great job and made a great team. I experienced us to be complimentary in that we come to the same outcome with slightly different strategies...so I think multiple learning styles were reached. People gave us great feedback too!

  • St. Francis Day--October 4th--WOO HOO (Need I say more? I'm a Franciscan for gosh sakes!)
  • Planning has started for 2 Giving Voice gatherings...what a great transition! The scoop: Giving Voice = group of young women religious across the country...saying, "We are called...we're not alone...let's walk this crazy journey together!" (I've posted a couple times about this...) We have 2 regular gatherings:

The January Gathering--happens every January over Martin Luther King Weekend, in Florida. It is a gathering specifically for women religious who are in their 20s and 30s. GREAT time to be with our own age group, talk about life, and offer support for one another.

The National Conference--happens every other year, usually in summer. This gathering is geared for women religious who are under 50. This year the national conference is at ALVERNO COLLEGE IN MILWAUKEE! WOOOO HOOO.

I am working with some of my GV peeps with planning for both...so I'm very energized and excited about all of this! If you are a young women religious reading this posting, you like to have fun, talk about your reality, call, prayer, community, etc with other folk who get that playing music in the kitchen while you're cooking isn't strange...or that it is ok to leave the house with jeans/shorts on...or there is life after 9:30p.m. :-) PLEASE consider coming to one or both of our gatherings! I'll link the GV website to my blog...all the information is there. Meet new people! Have fun! Pray! Play! Laugh! Discuss! Frolic! It's great...great great!

So those are my highlights...that's where I've been hiding. Hope life is good for all too...

Oh...I'd like to give a shout out (although I hesitate ever using this phrase again) to my friend: Sister Susan Rose Francois, CSJP, who just made her first vows, YESTERDAY! Welcome to Vowed Land!! YAY!!!! (Click on her name...and you can check out her blog too; come to think of it, maybe I should do the same and see if she's posted her big day... :-))

It's 70+ degrees here on this beautiful fall Sunday...I'm going to enjoy it. Peace out....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

TINGLY HAPPYS, LOVE, CHALLENGES--Lisa's Wedding (and the thoughts which ensued)

WOW! What a weekend....I'll give you a brief synopsis (WATCH THE VIDEO...it's worth it) and then I actually have some thoughts to share!

Ok...the low-down in 100 words or less:

Lisa (one of my best friends) got MARRIED this weekend! She and her (now) husband Jake had a lovely outdoor, woodsie, nature--go hug some trees wedding and reception. I was honored to have been asked to be the "Mistress of Ceremonies" for the wedding prayer service. It was really a nice experience searching for prayers/transitions and adding a little bit of my own thoughts to make this prayer service personal and wonderful for Jake and Lisa. It truly was lovely. I haven't enjoyed myself this much in a long time...I am so happy for them! Watch the video...see pictures...woo hoo! Need more of the nitty grittys to cure that insatiable curiosity that the VIDEO can't curb? Visit the wedding site of Jake and Lisa.

And now....my thoughts....(brace yourself)

So...my thoughts started on the car ride up to Medford, WI (5 hours away from Milwaukee). I was so grateful that my friend Shemagne agreed to be my travel buddy and "wedding date". I could tell that my brain was on hyperspeed overdrive; I don't think I was nervous, well maybe a little, but I think I just needed to wind down from my week at work and I knew I had to be "on" all weekend. Don't get me wrong...there's nothing I'd rather be "on" for than seeing someone I love commit themselves to someone they love! I digress....

So my friend Shemagne asked me something like, what do you think love is? (Or how do you know you're in love? you get the idea) At first I thought...ugh...I don't want to talk about this...now. So I said, "Let me think about it a minute." Now...I have spent some serious time thinking about this in my recent past. C'mon...I just made my vows a year ago...and I was thinking about this love stuff way before that!

I replied to Shemagne, "Well...I think the most profound love is deep within; the person challenges you to be the best version of yourself and you consider always what's best for the other." When I said that I thought, "Do I believe that?" So we pondered quietly for a few miles. My mind was racing again. What do you mean...do I believe that? DUH...of course I do.

Well...then I started thinking of the people that I love and care for very deeply. They do challenge me to continue being the best version of myself--and sometimes to be totally honest, that doesn't feel much like love--at least not right away. Sometimes these "challenges" to keep that becoming process moving, really challenge me to TRUST that these things are coming out of a space of love.

Obviously...a big part of LOVE is mutuality (that's a total nunland word) or reciprocal...so I thought...do I challenge the people I love deeply? For me too...this love stuff always circles back to trust. Man oh man...

So...Shemagne and I solved all the world's problems dealing with and defining love. Yeah right...but we did have a thoughtful conversation. Now...what does this have to do with the WEDDING? Well...I'm getting there...chill.

There are a few givens when I am out socially with non-nun folk, who don't know me. There's the introductions by the friend who does know you, "Oh...this is my friend Katy, she's a nun." Or maybe people have already heard the news. As people feel more comfortable and realize that indeed I am pretty normal (ha ha!)...then the questions start. And you know...I love this...I love that people are interested enough to ask me about my lifestyle choice and that I get to respond with some reality to try and avoid the stereotypes.

Almost ALWAYS someone asks me, "Wow...a nun. Um...how is that for you?" I smile and enthusiastically share that it's GREAT for me. We all have to find our niche...where we can be most ourselves (and now I've added where we can be challenged to keep growing...EW), for me, it's in religious life and I truly couldn't be happier.

NOW...at a wedding...where people tend to be all gushy anyway...people recalling the love between their partners and themselves. People who haven't made the plunge yet are considering it. People who haven't found their life long challenger are hopeful. People who have found true love are content...you get the picture.

In conversation, someone asked me, "So...is this hard for you? You know...um...being at a wedding?" (Yeah...I'm a little dense and replied, "No! I love dancing!" DUH KATY) so she clarified, "No...is it hard because you'll never be in love and have this? You know...like commit yourself totally to one person and know that they'll be there for you no matter what?"

Immediately I said (and my face matched), "NOOOOOOOOOO! This is GREAT...one of MY best friends just married a wonderful person. They compliment each other--a perfect fit. I have nothing but JOY for them." Then I explained my life choice and how it very much is connected to the same profound love, it's just expressed differently. And how much I am in love with what I have committed my life.

Well...I just couldn't shake that conversation and the impact it had on me...right in my gut and in my chest. I had this happen once before, when I was blessed to be present for Sydni's birth. My mom said, "Kate, now...after witnessing that [childbirth], do you ever wish you weren't a Sister?"

Let's see...I was gushy (well as gushy as I get) during this celebration...I was all tingly and happy. I was touched in a special way at thinking of Lisa committing her life to Jake. HER WHOLE LIFE. She was glowing, the joy was from the inside out and we were all there to witness and celebrate this.

I recalled my reception day and my vow day and immediately experienced that rush of joy and contentment that comes with when you commit yourself, your life to something/someone (which ever it may be) and there is no question whether this is the best way to give your love. Religious life, as in marriage, isn't about what you don't have. It's about where can you be your most authentic self, be at home, allow yourself to love and fall in love again and again, and yes...be challenged to be the best person you were created to become. WOW!

Yeah...I loved this wedding. I loved the opportunity to recall my commitment and choice in whom I've committed my life to. I could have possibly taken a pass at realizing that the people that challenge---and I'm not talking about whimpy challenges, people...I'm talking "make you squirm, want to run away, sometimes get mad at the challenger, no way Jose...and then you realized they're right (ooh I hate the you're right ones)..etc...like biggo's---do it because there is a deep love between you--Nah...this is a helpful insight for where I'm at right now.

My little thoughts on BIG things....like LOVE. I still know that my falling in love with my community is still emerging...and that's exciting. I also know that when I do experience these other "mega love fests" (I.e. weddings, babies being born, etc)...I experience much JOY for these people that I love committing themselves for LIFE .

I think my JOY or TINGLY HAPPYS...are experienced even more deeply because I know that I am deeply in love with what I have committed my life to.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Practical Jokes

Religious Life 101--A brief lesson to set context:


In formation, you learn the Religious Life "lingo" pretty quickly...one of the buzz words of formation is "Family Systems". You get some speakers on it, maybe read a bit about it, encounter it when the flares are up in the novitiate. It's basically, the "rules" (spoken and unspoken) that families have that affect us as we grow older. In Religious Life, living with other adult women who are not related to each other, usually brings together many unique personality types. It's how you negotiate your life together that builds community and understanding your own "family system" and what "rules" you are bound by or react to in relationship to the other "rules" and systems that the Sisters with whom you live are at play.


So...I am predisposed to humor, sarcasm, and a good, healthy practical joke now and again. I can't help it! It was one of those core values that ran deep though my family system. I grew up hearing the stories of my mom and her 4 brothers and all of the shenanigans they pulled--in and out of Catholic schools, camping, you name it--those Taylor kids did it! My sisters and cousins learned the ropes quickly as our uncles were training us for the real world--either you were two steps ahead, or you got squashed by what ever joke they were playing and then you learned! Ha! Even in the extended family...we had "Large group" practical jokes...oh like a traveling plaster Greek Goddess statue, an ugly plastic bow that would find itself on presents (that went around for like 15 years)...you get the idea. My mom (the catalyst of most of the Taylor mischief), had one rule: "Practical jokes are ok as long as no one gets hurt and nothing gets destroyed" Fine...thanks...no problem mom! The world was our oyster...and we had great models! Mom and uncles...this blog's for you!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Naturally, when I entered the community, it was only right to start finding out who else had this predisposition to practical joking. Fortunately...I was blessed with Sisters who indeed had a dry sarcasm that can keep us laughing for hours and some very good practical jokers (actually...it goes back in our community's history...those "serious young sisters" were just TROUBLE)!


One Sister in particular (and trust me, it's always the quiet ones)...she has had a LONG history of great jokes. She even sent one of our sisters BUGS in the MAIL...ew! So I have been fortunate to have taken in many of the stories. So this is the story of our Sister Maureen (Moe)...


Meet Moe: Hi Moe!


You see she looks all innocent in this picture...she's on retreat and she's doing her prayer mandala. BUT...there is a serious practical joker behind that aura of peace and calmness.



Moe loves many things. 2 things that Moe REALLY loves are: Leon's Frozen Custard and Dunkin' Donuts. When in Milwaukee one must stop often at Leon's when accompanying Maureen to and fro, hither or tither...there is always a necessary Leon's stop. Milwaukee is a little low on Dunkin's; however, sometimes she'll want to go there. But when Moe is in Chicago...Dunkin's is a regular stop...and Maureen has creative ways of getting her fix as does Mary Ann have creative ways of making her earn it!



Last weekend...I just so happened to be in Chicago with two of my favorite people...chillin' and hanging out. Luckily, Sr. Mary Ann has similar predispositions to humor/jokes that I do (actually, I learn so much from her in this area!). Upon finishing a lovely liturgy at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish...Sr. Mary Ann thoughtfully pulls into a Dunkin' Donuts and gets us some coffee and muffins. Aww....


Now, in community we do share all things in common--that's part of our vows, our constitution, and our commitment. It would have been rude of us not to include our dear Sister Maureen into our thoughts that morning, knowingly eating and drinking coffee and muffins from her favorite place. So we thoughtfully picked up the phone and called her. In community...where two or three are gathered, enjoying DD...there Maureen is too. We called her just to let her know that we were thinking of her. Aw...that was really a sweet gesture on our part.



Upon completing our phone conversation, we were sitting around the table trying to think of other ways to torture, oops! I meant to share the love and care for our Sister. We thought about mailing our DD garbage to her...so that she too could partake in the physical experience of our breakfast that morning. Luckily, I remembered that she was coming to Milwaukee this weekend and I offered to take the garbage and create a lovely representation of our time together...something tangible...something uniquely for her. There was really only one thing to do...Make a Dunkin Mobile...


I laminated our crumby muffin wrappers--this was excitedly disgusting...I can't believe I put crumbs in a laminator--(um...I won't say where the laminator was from...I know who reads my blog!), used the DD bag and tissue, as well as Mary Ann and my used coffee cups..complete with coffee residue on the inside and out. I made a wonderful mobile for our Sister Maureen and hung it above her bed for her arrival.



We Franciscans believe seriously in hospitality...when you come to stay at our house...we'll have your mismatched towels and washcloth along with a cup on your bed. There will be a little "welcome note" from the Sisters in the house. Sometimes I put some chocolate out for people who I know would appreciate it.




I couldn't think of anything more Franciscan and hospitable than recycling used garbage from Dunkin Donuts--crafting it into an exquisite mobile--WOW! That's community. That's love. Sharing art and beauty. Being thoughtful to another Sister's likes. Acknowledging one's family system and honoring that tradition in one's self and in others....(I'm sure my community will be so proud that what I report about family systems is my predisposition to humor :-) )That's sharing in the spirit...wooo hoo hah hah hah!





Her reaction?? Well...see for yourself:



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Best Cartoon Ever!

Two of my favorite noun turned adjective and/or verbs all wrapped into one cartoon that I just find very funny. I know this doesn't really count as a post...but I thought I'd share!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation By: Sister Katy LaFond

To the tune of "Yankee Doodle"

It is Sunday, end of August, what am I to do?
School is starting, summer's parting...I think I'll blog for you-ouuuuu.
End of summer va-ca-tion! Start of a new school year.
Do the happy dance and sing--'cuz that school bell's about to ring!


No, I haven't lost my mind completely...yet. I was clearing out photos on my camera and realized that I had some good pics to blog about from my summer break. Hmmm...I believe I only updated twice this summer...retreat and new baby. Well...I thought, the night before my summer break is over, why not do a little photo/video journal using the ever famous cliche title:



What I Did On My Summer Vacation
By Sister Katy

June 22-28
Summer really began with my retreat...you know where to find that report! If not click here:
July 1
Summer break is (technically) over! Oh yeah...you read that correctly. I excitedly began my new ministry at St. Roman Parish School. Check out our website!


July 5-12
VACATION!!!! In formation you have to have goals. My goal for this first year of temporary vows was to go on vacation. I have had a couple days here and a weekend there (where were wonderful and with some of my favorite people), but I have not had a week long vacation since I don't know when!

My White House group of Sisters, rented a house in Lake Delton, WI and spent a week together. (There is some irony here...with the traumatic and disastrous rains in the beginning of June, Lake Delton was completely emptied due to flooding. It was awful. Fortunately, the house we were renting was ok and we became "disaster tourists" and supported the local economy.
Many many people cancelled their reservations because there was literally no lake. Lake Delton will be refilled next year and people are working at getting their homes and losses restored. Many prayers went toward that situation and we were glad to support our renters and the community!)


Seriously this was one of the best week vacations I have ever been on. It was soooo relaxing. My White House group is a great group for me...I find being with them very easy and I think I fit in pretty well. Mornings (whenever people made appearances) were quiet--people read, walked, ate, slept...etc. We would usually pick an excursion or two to suggest each day (i.e. mini-golfing, boat tours, regular golfing, etc...).



When it was excursion time, there was no expectations...people either chose to go or not to go. Then we'd take turns making dinner and enjoying our dinner late evening (like 7-8ish) on our great deck. We'd end our days with either Trivial Pursuit, cards, movies, baseball game, and even a campfire! It was just wonderfully restful and relaxing...and I was thrilled to be with 6 of my favorite people.

(Here's some bonus never seen before video footage of the great Trivial Pursuit Contest...in 4 installments...Enjoy!)








(By the way...this was a 2 day experience. We were getting creamed that first night. We had a team meeting before round 2 and we came back to win it! WOOO HOOO!)





July 18-22 Vow Group Retreat
One of my community's favorite formation events are "Reflection Groups"...well last year, as a part of my vowie wowie prep I requested to have a group of my Sisters together for a preparation/bonding retreat. It was so awesome and wonderful we wanted to do it again. So I asked the provies if this could be my yearly thing in lieu of a reflection group. Voila!




We met a few days before our assembly and had just a marvelous time. Good sharing, good process and prayer.


It's great to come together to pray, play, veg out, and continue to support one another on the journey. We are excited for next year!











July 23-27 Provincial Assembly


Every other year the US Province (all of the Sisters in my community who are in the US grouping of our International Congregation) have a "Provincial Assembly". It's basically our governance meetings for the province. We pray, we meet (and meet and meet), we learn stuff, we have processes, and this year we even played! It's pretty energizing during and afterwards...you know it's been good when you're just wiped out. :-) Don't have any pictures, but you could try our website...there are pictures and daily summaries...oooh lah lah!





August 16th--Reception of Sr. Deb

We have a new Sister! Woo! We have a new Sister! Wooooo hooo!


Deb Murphy, our affiliate this past year and one of my "live-ers"...was received into the novitiate in an absolutely beautiful liturgy on 8/16. It brought back so many gushy butterfly tinglys from my reception 5/2005.





Sr. Deb has begun her apostolic year and will be traveling our Province, meeting the girls, and doing some other cool stuff (LIKE GOING TO SCHOOL AT ALVERNO, volunteering, praying...yes...I am a little bit envious :-) ) I am so happy to welcome our Sister Deb into a deeper commitment with our Congregation!



Here are some pictures from the rehearsal hooo-hah at our house the night before. Just image that giant Tau made of yummy frosting, in silver around her neck...yeah!



We decided it was the role of the Affiliate minister to cut the cake...Yeah for Sr. Mary Ann!


WOO HOO!












August 23--Sea Dog Adventures
Don't have pictures (Sr. Barbara needs to send them to me!)...

For my last hurrah...5 of us SSSFs went to downtown Chicago to ride on the 40mph speedboat SeaDog...for a quick tour of Chicago's skyline. It was delightful, fun and nice being with my Sisters! I'm looking forward to our Intermodel Adventure next. (Ha ha..SMAM!)


Well...that consists of your audio/visual tour of my summer vacation. I hope you enjoyed this update.





School begins tomorrow! Please send prayers to the faculty, staff, students, families (oh and principal) of St. Roman's Parish School. Peace and all good!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New Year...New Ministry!

As I have alluded to in previous entries, I changed jobs after the 2007-08 school year!
July 1st I began a new ministry as principal of St. Roman Parish School. St. Roman is located on the "south side" of Milwaukee--a thrilling 3.6 miles from my house! I am very familiar with the Parish, as that is where I have attended Mass with the White House Sisters for the past 5 years; I am a cantor and a Eucharistic Minister as well. With the White House, we have come to know Fr. Bill very well these years. I was thrilled when I saw that St. Roman's School had an opening for principal, I applied, interviewed, and bah da bing...I am now the Principal of St. Roman's! Woo hoo!



There are many gifts of this transition for me: It's WAY closer to my home, it's a familiar environment, and my heart is committed to Catholic Education in an urban setting. I also have made friends with people who minister in the parish: my fellow cantors (some have kiddos in the school, RuthAnn was also just hired as the co-director of faith formation...watch out world, here we come!), the Liturgist/Musician (Oh Holy Father of the Organ, Patrick), RaeAnn the other co-director of faith formation, and of course Frs. John and Bill. It's nice to walk into a new ministry knowing that you have support and partners on the journey.



So since July 1st, I have been opening cupboards, setting up my office, trying to find things, make too many to-do lists to count, etc. I was so happy when my awesome Administrative Assistant, Cindy, started on August 1st...it was getting a little too lonely and quiet in that building. We've been buzzing like crazy to get things prepared for the teacher's arrival this week.

YEP...you read that correctly...THIS WEEK. AHHHH!



We began our 2008-09 school year together on Wednesday, August 20th with a retreat day!
Sr. Stella DeVenuta (she did let us do the Streetcar adage in the beginning STELLLLLLAAAAA) a Lake OSF from Milwaukee was our facilitator. Stella is an incredible artist, spiritual guide, and retreat guru. (Go visit her website sometime....let it speak for itself!)



Her theme for us was Seeing Things Whole. We prayed and played keeping mindful of our gifts and how they fit into the whole. It was a great day of community building and beginning our year in the context of prayer.



Thursday we had a morning full of in-service led by moir. The Home and School provided us with the yummiest breakfast and treat bags to welcome us back...how nice! I wanted to talk about expectations and all of the nitty grittys involved in being a new principal in a school. I created a powerpoint called: Help! We have a New Principal...Now What do We do? I led a conversation in developing common language and expectations that we have/created as an "educator team".



We ended our session Thursday with handbook Jeopardy! Complete with the section on Bloodborne Pathogens (oh yeah...no silly video this year folks!) and prizes...good prizes. I strategically had the prizes set out all morning for my faculty to drool over wondering in anxious anticipation on how they will get to partake in the great variety of goodies I had. :-)



Today was an exceptional day! I led a "visioning process" for the faculty on creating character sketches and commitment statements for our students and our practice. It was all done in the context of recognizing the wisdom of the past and present so that we can put into action what is needed for a sustainable future. The sharing and discussions were quite profound and I was very much energized by the process.



Those kiddos come on Monday for "Welcome Back Day" (Drop your books, meet your teacher, get your picture taken...woo hoo!) and Tuesday is the first full day of school. I can't believe summer is over!



To all of my blog readers who are in the educational fields...blessings on your new years! More updates to come!

Friday, August 1, 2008

God Moments and Miracles

There are these moments in my life which I call my "God Moments"; sometimes it's an insight or an awareness. Sometimes, they're disguised as a friend saying the right thing or just knowing without saying much. Sometimes, it's just really being aware of the presence of God. It's awesome and profound when these "God Moments" happen.

19 months ago (that would be December 31st, 2006), I was sitting at a group of my Sisters house watching the Packers play the Bears in the last game before the playoffs. Luckily...we weren't the ones needing the miracle for this game--(we won; however, that was the unfortunate year that the Bears clinched the division and my poor poor Packers weren't going on to the playoffs...yes there are miracles for teams like the Bears--occasionally. Sometimes the "God moments" are not what you'd like...I digress...) Then I got a phone call from my best friend's husband saying, "It's baby time...are you coming?" That evening, I got to be present for my best friend, Carli as she brought her first baby (and MY Godchild), Sydni into this world. It was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed. In fact, I still don't have the words to describe the experience!



I watched my friend transition through the different phases of labor and delivery. And then in minutes this baby, this complete little person was here. She was just perfect! I looked at her and thought...God is so good. I was so grateful to have been able to have that experience in my life. I was happy to be there to support my friend (actually I was comic relief to keep her occupied, if you can imagine that?!)



So...last night I was privileged enough to have had a 2nd invitation to witness the birth of Carli's second child! I arrived around 8:30p.m. to the hospital where Carli and Tom were settled. My job was to keep Carli laughing (perfect). See look at the good job I'm doing...she's been in labor for about 4 hours now and she's still smiling. (Unless that's the "get the camera out of my face look"; nah, she's smiling.)



We had a great staff of Health Care Professionals--they were fun too! They called our room the "Party Room" and came in often (I think they liked us!) I'm pretty sure the anesthesiologist who came and did the epidural didn't want to leave...oh well. Carli's OB doctor...was great. Young and spunky...we were teasing each other with analogies from our past. She had a great sense of humor and I knew my friend was in good hands. Thank you to Nurses Jean and Becky and of course Dr. Lorree Moehring! You all rocked!



When it appeared as though Carli was in for a long haul...we watched one of our favorite movies: Austin Powers and reminisced from years ago when we were both lifeguards and could recite that movie in its entirety across the pool into our lifeguard cones (I know, I know...we were talented you)

Shortly after 1:30...we realized that baby was coming...and she was COMING NOW. So the doctors and nurses came in and Baby Emelia Marie was welcomed into this world. She has a great set of lungs and a beautiful little face. Again, I was just in awe of the process and the miracle of this little human being coming into the world. So fascinating and wonderful; another one of those"God Moments" in my life, truly witnessing a miracle.

Here is a little video of Carli introducing us to Baby Emmi (I thought she was going to kill me for taking a video, but she was a good sport.)




To the left is a picture of Baby Emmi getting all cleaned up. She's about 2 mintues old! To the right is Mom Carli and her OB/GYN Dr. Moehring (Very cool lady...we loved her!)
















Aw...Mom, Dad, and Emmi there first family photo (sans big sister Sydni). A picture of Dad and Baby Emmi in the middle. And even I got a chance to hold this little peanut; so tiny and cute.















Welcome to this world, Emmi! Happy Birthday! Thank you God....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Adventures of Media Nun

This fun nun was on vacation for a week (ahhhhhhh) and I have some more media news to share...

You got it folks....One Fun Nun has hit the media scene again! Woot woot!

WTMJ-channel 4 (Milwaukee's NBC affiliate), interviewed me and a couple of my peeps. Click on the title of this post for the interview! Then click on "Video" underneath that charming picture of me.

Thanks to Stephanie Graham and the neato camera people she brought with her. They did a great job!

Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Video...it worked!

Ok...I think I figured out the problem. I didn't covert the file to a .wmv file which was incompatible with my bloggy blog. I guess that's the risk of working at 2 something in the morning. But after an investigation and some further playing around...I now present you with the video. More blogging to come... Enjoy!

RETREAT VIDEO!

Hi folks...here's the low down...it's 2:13 in the morning. I sat at my computer to simply upload some photos to make a little video from my retreat. Well that was at 11:30 and then I got to playing and started making this video...and then got all excited that I could do cool things and just couldn't stop until it was finished. So I got it all purty and ready to upload and for some reason I lost all of my images...EEK! Well I'm too tired to fix it now...so you'll have to keep your suspense mounting for a bit longer until I can fix the video.

And I PROMISE...promise promise promise...I will blog about some more of my incredible (IT WAS AWESOME) retreat and life in general very very soon (I'm hoping tomorrow but notice I'm sticking with "soon".)

Trust me this video is SOOO worth it though. Now...I MUST go to bed. I'm bushed.

Yay for retreat week! woo hoo...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where ya at?

VERY VERY BRIEF UPDATE...

I finished school! (Yay!) I have a new job which begins July 1st. (SURPRISE!) I'm leaving for retreat (RETREAT....RUN AWAY!) in 13 minutes.

Will write about life, love, and the God things when I return.

Hasta la vista!

Ciao Ciao!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Signs of Summer...Gardening and a Brewer Game!





This past weekend we had gorgeous weather (FINALLY). On Saturday, Sr. Phyllis asked me if I'd go to Stein's with her (I think she needed my 'big' muscles to carry the top-soil :-) ) So we went to Stein's--it was NUTS with all of the people buying things to grow!





You have to understand something...I do not grow things. I enjoy things that grow (plants, veggies, animals, flowers, children, me on a good day ha ha) but I'm not a good grower of said items. So much to Sr. Phyllis' surprise when I said, "Hey, I'll help you plant this stuff!" So she gave me some instructions and I was in charge of the herb garden...GREAT! Deb and Phyllis were on flower patrol and brick laying duty.


I decided I like planting/gardening...well this part of it. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like weeding or getting up early in the morning to water, but I enjoyed this piece. I had my Zune Tunes playing and found it great to be in the sun.





I enjoyed mixing up the soil with the pitch fork and I loved getting my hands in that dirt (I was a mess..dirt everywhere...like a kid!). I found it all quite meditative and enjoyable. And I was so pleased with the instant gratification to see the finished product--I think I'd be less enchanted with planting seeds (Um...hello...that would require waiting and patience).






Last night, the White House Sisters and I went to the Brewer vs D'Backs game at Miller Park Stadium. We had a blast! Here are my White House Girls: L-R (back row) Srs. Judeen, Mary, Marlene, Joyce, and Kathleen and (Front row) Sr. Liz! Yahoooooooo!







We had pretty good seat too; just beyond the 1st base foul line, as you can observe. I thought we had such a good time together!






It was quite an exciting game and a nail biter at the end. D'backs were up 3-1 and two crazy errors helped us score two runs. The bottom of the 8th Prince Fielder (As Sr. Mary said, "He's a prince of a fielder" *groan groan groan*) hit a home run (WOOO HOOOO) and we were up 4-3. Top of the 9th...D'Backs HAVE NO OUTS and load the bases....EEEEK. We held them for the win...phew! We were very excited...Go Brewers Go Brewers GO!

Of course a baseball game isn't a baseball game with out your 7th inning stretch. I think every stadium does "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", but here in Mil-town...we also add the age old, timeless, load of fun and laughter "Roll out the Barrel POLKA" Here's exclusive footage of the White House does 7th inning stretch (You can only see it here folks!) Enjoy both videos...



I don't think I've ever blogged a "Top 10" list before...there's a first time for everything. Although blogging "Top 10" would be less than creative so how about Sr. Katy's top 7 (random numbers are my friend).
Top 7 Reasons why Brewer Games are Awesome:

7. Between inning music for dancing!

6. Bob Uecker--50 years as Mr. Baseball and for those of us who are real dorks remember him on Mr. Belvidere (I can't believe I admit that)

5. BRATS, MILLER, and deep fried CHEESE CURDS...woo hoo

4. Majority of the players are younger than me!

3. Miller Park has it's own organist and pipe organ (all of those organy sounds are real folks!)

2. SAUSAGE RACE! Helllllll-oooooooo (That almost made #1) only in Milwaukee!

and the #1 Reason why Brewer Games are Awesome.....

#1......Spending time with my Sisters---laughing, cheering, checking stress at the gate, and having a marvelous time! Aw...it's all true.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A few of my favorite things...

Yeah...I can't sleep. So I found these goofy quizzes and I thought I'd do a little tour of: "Sister Katy's Personality based on her Favorite Foods" Sad but true...it's Saturday night...have a little fun!




Your Ice Cream Personality:



You like to think of yourself as a fairly modest person. And it's true that you don't talk yourself up... but you're also pretty happy with who you are.



You have a wild reputation, but you're not as wild as you seem. You take risks, but only measured risks.



You are a fairly open minded person with a wide range of tastes. You are quite accepting of unusual ideas and people.



You are a natural multitasker. You feel alive when you're doing more than one thing at a time.



You can be a big dramatic and over the top sometimes. You are bold in every way






What Your Taste in Chocolate Says About You



You are sophisticated, modern, and high class.

Your taste is refined, but you are not picky.

You are often the first to try something new.



You are confident and strong.

You know what you want, and you're willing to wait for it.

While you do eventually get what you want, people consider you materialistic.



You love new adventures and activities. You enjoy living a full life, even if it is chaotic.

You feel lost when things are quiet. You rather not think... you prefer to just do!






What Your Pizza Reveals



You have a hearty appetite. You are likely to complain if a restaurant has small portions.



You aren't particularly picky about pizza. It's so good... how could you be? You fit in best in the Western part of the US.



You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.



You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices.



You are definitely unique and artistically inclined. You should consider traveling to Prague.



The stereotype that best fits you is geek. You're the type most likely to order pizza to avoid leaving your computer.



So that's what my ice cream, chocolate, and pizza preferences allegedly say about me as a person. The only thing dorkier than me posting this are the people who create these quizzes. Mmmmm...Ice cream, choclate, and pizza....yummy! Now I'm hungry...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Prayer of St. Francis

One of my favorite musical artists is Sarah McLachlan. I was YouTubeing tonight just looking to see what kinds of YouTubes are on about Franciscans and nuns, etc (it's Vocation research) and I came across this version of Prayer of St. Francis sung by my FAVORITE...

It's really a great version of this song...the images are ok, but the music is phenomenal! I hope I can find the mp3 to download on my Zune. I'm a super Sarah fan; I can't believe I didn't know she did this song! Does anyone know which album it's hidden on...I thought I had all of them!

Hope all are well...10 more days of school! Yipeeeeee! Enjoy the music!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Faith

Hi Blogg-ets...

My second go at journalism (ha ha ha); well writing for our Catholic newspaper The Catholic Herald was published this week.

(Click the Blog Title...to take you there)...

My favorite part is the first paragraph...ha ha....

Enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jubilee! (And other said Frivolities)

Still in Boston...and having a marvelous time!

Jubilee! Jubilee! One of my Sisters has a brother who says that us Religious have "code words" for things...like Retreat = Vacation and Jubilee = Party! I would like to advocate that we don't have code words which replace vacation and party...just more opportunities!


Jubilee is a celebration of milestone anniversaries in Religious Life. And the Jubilarians get a whole year to celebrate! In our community the different regions have a jubee celebration (like Chicago and Alverno are two of my favorites) and then in June we have the big community Hoohah where we celebrate all of the jubilarians. And then sometimes the Jubee's will have their own hoohah at their ministry and/or home parishes.


Giving Voice is of course the group of young women Religious and our foundress (ha ha) is Kristin who is a Notre Dame de Namur. Kristin is a woman of incredible passion and vision for religious life. She inspires me! I was so happy to be able to be here in Boston with some of our other GV peeps to celebrate her 25 years (YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT FOLKS) of commitment to religious life.


Here she is right before her liturgy...can we say HAPPY?!!! YAY! KRISTIN WE LOVE YOU!!!



Saturday Lisa and I picked up some more Giving Voice folk from various airports and headed toward Lawrence, Massachusetts where Kristin is a teacher and campus minister at Notre Dame High School.


Lisa and I were responsible for coordinating the music for the event! Yay! Lisa is an extremely talented singer, guitarist, and drummer...I love singing with her. So Lisa and I practiced a bit and the others chatted until the Liturgy began!


Moose forgot to get in the car, so we had to leave her at home. Monkey was fortunately able to join us (and good thing too...we needed some extra guitar and percussion assistance!)











The liturgy was beautiful...simple and very Kristin. I have some video and pictures of the event (No too many because I was a signing most of the time). Here's the GV people...Maria (OSU), Katherine (SND), and Jeannie (you can't really see her) (OSU) next to her. YAY OUR GV PEOPLE!










Kristin gave the homily and it was really wonderful. It was about love and relationships (if you follow my blog, do you see a theme? Welcome to religious life people...love and relationships are at the core.) Here's an excerpt of her homily (Sorry it's sideways...don't know how to flip it.)



Here's Kristin renewing her vows (just tilt your head...it'll be just like you were there!):



Maria wrote beautiful intercessions and really touched on the spirit and needs of the world. They were powerful and inclusive. She invited everyone to share blessings and prayers for Kristin which were also lovely because you got a sense of the impact and spirit of Kristin and how she has entered into other's lives.

After the liturgy we shared a nice meal and some good conversation. And yes...Kristin is still smiling! Happy Jubilee Kristin!


After the clean-up we went to Kristin's house to hang out for a while. I ended up teaching them some Comedy Sportz games which became a theme for our conversation and meeting the next day. After a deeply profound conversation of hidden talents, Katherine (Last name is withheld to protect the innocent) decided to share with us one of her talents:
To say that we were impressed, just wouldn't do her justice. Fun and good camaraderie was had by all.