Julia Walsh is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, retreat director, educator and social justice activist. Her award-winning writing has appeared in America, Global Sisters Report, Living Faith and elsewhere. Visit her online at messyjesusbusiness.com, on Twitter (@juliafspa) or sign up for her newsletter, Messy Updates, at TinyLetter.com/juliaFSPA

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Hope in hard times is an element of our prophetic vocation

Horizons - As people of prayer and service, we go into dire circumstances and insist that God's goodness will be triumphant — all situations have potential. It may seem foolish, but that's the point.

Democracy is collapsing, but let's imagine how the church could change that

Horizons - I'm afraid the war has already started. We've sorted ourselves into echo-chambers online and in real life and succumbed to a mentality that our disagreements make us enemies. The good news is that we have a formula to move forward.

'Sister Act' put me on a path to finding my own voice

Horizons - "Sister Act," which came out in 1992, has been part of the soundtrack to my life since I first watched the film, when I was around 11 or 12 years old. I watched it again after a long time, and I noticed how deeply the sisters care for each other — the loyalty and affection are deep. The communal bonds are transformative.

The body bags of pandemics and wars

Horizons - I imagined it would only be natural for all of us to sacrifice our comforts once body bags began to line up in our counties and towns. It was hard for me to imagine that we'd become divided about this.