When our group of 12 teachers and pastoral workers from the Cincinnati Archdiocese traveled to a parish in Huispache, Guatemala, we became a bridge between loved ones who had not seen one another in too many years. With each encounter, the globe seemed to shrink un poquito.
In Horizons, younger sisters reflect on their lives, ministries, spirituality and the future of religious life.
Horizons - When does one become "American"? Some believed as soon as an immigrant got citizenship, she could now be named as "Americana." Others said it had to do with English proficiency. Still others said someone born outside the United States could never feel or be fully American.
Horizons - As I sit in discussions about the future we try to live today, questions arise: Can we try something new without the guarantee of success? How free are we to live the mission and not just leave a legacy?
Horizons - In recent months, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on and praying with the call to be experts in communion — to be people who seek encounter and encourage dialogue. As I've reflected on this call, what keeps coming to me is the necessity of metanoia.
Becoming one holy family at Holy Family Parish in Cincinnati is a process. But we — parishioners from both the United States and Guatemala — are getting there, using some formal initiatives and building an intercultural community in small ways every day.
Sometimes I falsely think I know the Mississippi River. But I haven't experienced the whole of the river; I likely never will. And I'll never know all of God. The vastness of God shrinks me. Yet, within God's mystery is a peace.
Horizons - I've been thinking a lot about relationships lately. If I truly believe the truth of this call to be about building the beloved community, then it needs to start in my everyday life and relationships. Who do I avoid, and why?
For Pentecost, I gathered with 35 other Sisters of St. Joseph from across North America, all of us ranging from candidates and novices through 10 years as fully professed sisters, a gathering intended to remind us that each of us is working at this life and, though separated by distance or living situations, we are living this reality together.
I believe kindness can learn something from me and my fumbling ways — how to be bolder, more daring and more spontaneous. Kindness need not be relegated to soft smiles and warm sentiments; kindness can be fierce.
During a hike, I climbed a fire tower. At the top, wind and fear knocked me over, leaving me clinging for dear life to the rail at the center of the winding stairs. Such a place of utter dependence is one I avoid at all costs. My struggle with mental illness since my early 20s has brought me unwillingly to this place.
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