By President Jean Anne Zappa, OSU
Today as I sit at my desk and ponder two significant days in the church year of All Saints and All Souls, I noticed the desk. It is the same desk I sat on the other side of 50 years ago when I was being interviewed by Sister Adelaide for first vows in 1970.
It is the very same desk where Sisters Mary Lavinia, Angelice, Rosella, Sarah, Lynn, and Janet Marie sat at as they too, were fulfilling their ministry of leadership.
If this desk could talk, what would it say about the decisions that had to be made, the letters signed or the sharing of the Sisters who came to talk to those in leadership. How many tears were shed or sounds of laugher did it hear? How many phone calls were received, expressing pain or joy, as the ones sitting behind the desk called on the Holy Spirit for wisdom, understanding, compassion or forgiveness.
I do not know the origins of the desk, but I first saw this desk in the Presidents office in the Administration Building. When the Administration Building closed and as Brescia was being renovated, it traveled to the Motherhouse, then to Brescia and back to the Motherhouse, now in the former chapel of the formation home. The desk is surely a symbol of how flexible we have been over the years, about making decisions, responding to circumstances or needs, as Saint Angela Merici stated in her writings.
The desk is a bit worn, with a few scratches, the drawers squeak, but it is still in fairly good shape. But…most of all, it is sturdy and durable—like us.
So, what does this desk have to do with the two feasts of All Saints and All Souls? Just think for a moment…all the Sisters in our community we have known, loved, lived and prayed with or prayed for, all the Associates or coworkers we have related to, all the decisions made, and the missioning cards signed that sent us forth to minster to so many people. That surely is the communion of saints—both living and deceased that we are a part of, not because of this desk, but because of the love of God poured into hearts in us through Christ Jesus.