Reflections Blog2022-06-08T15:57:38+00:00

Following in the Steps of Jesus through Lent

By Ginny Schaeffer, director of the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality   You are my beloved. —Mark 1:11 We spend most of Advent preparing for Christmas – decorating, buying gifts, baking, wrapping gifts. We spend most of Holy Week preparing for Easter – shopping, coloring eggs, baking. All of this for just one day. Granted, these are the two great feast days of the Church and should be celebrated with rituals, remembrance and loved ones gathered around a table laden with food. Have you ever thought about preparing for Lent? That’s a whole season – forty days. You might think, “Yeah, [...]

Prayer for the People of Ukraine and Russia

  We ask you to join us in praying for the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia. If you do not pray, then please join us in sending thoughts for peace, reconciliation and healing. Lover of us all, Our hearts are so heavy and breaking with the news that Russia has invaded Ukraine. We come to you as your children praying for our brothers and sisters, holding them with love in our hearts. We pray for the people of Ukraine whose nightmare has come true. May their desire to live independently, as a self-governing people in peace be their [...]

Pope Francis says progress must never trump care in World Sick Day message

by Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service   Although scientists have made great strides in the field of medicine, genuine care and listening to those who suffer must always be at the forefront of any therapy, Pope Francis said. “Patients are always more important than their diseases, and for this reason, no therapeutic approach can disregard listening to the patient, his or her history, anxieties and fears,” the pope wrote in his message for the 2022 World Day of the Sick, which the Catholic Church marks Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Care that respects each patient's “dignity and frailties” is especially needed when “healing is not [...]

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Who is With Us

By Kathy Williams, Ursuline Associate and director of communications for the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville Our Lady of Guadalupe by Jen Norton, used with permission   Right in the middle of Advent, we find two feast days devoted to Mary—the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, which celebrates Mary being born without sin, and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. With the Immaculate Conception, we celebrate Mary’s “yes” to God, confused as she was about this turn of events in which she would find herself a pregnant teenager, sans any “relations with a man.” Lk [...]

The Small Greatness of Advent

By Sister Janet M. Peterworth, OSU   When I wrote this reflection, I was looking out the window of my hotel in New York City at the Freedom Tower. It is the one that was built on the same grounds where the Twin Towers stood. It is indeed an awesome structure. I suppose it is a tribute to what we human beings can do with our 21st century engineering and technology. Being in the presence of such a structure fills me with wonder; and among other things, I wonder what this building stands for. I guess for me it says to [...]

On the 41st anniversary of martyrdom, we fast

By Sister Janet M. Peterworth, OSU This article was first published in Global Sisters Report on December 3, 2020 Cemetery where Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke are buried in El Salvador, pictured in 2015 (Janet M. Peterworth) My thoughts today come from Isaiah (58:1-9a) on the kind of fast that our God wants. I was musing about this in the context of my trip to El Salvador in 2015. The background of that trip started many years ago. A brutal civil war was raging in that country. The military was propping up the government and the two together were [...]

A Time of Waiting

By Sister Jean Anne Zappa, OSU, president of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville   Waiting seems to be the hardest thing to do for many of us—waiting in doctors’ offices, at the drive-thru at the bank or fast-food place. Then, there is waiting for that package you ordered or waiting for when you could get the COVID vaccine or booster. Today begins a different kind of waiting—a waiting at Advent time—as the days grow darker, we wait for light; as we get discouraged, we wait for hope; as we hear unwelcome news, we wait for some good news. As we wait [...]

Our Need for Gratitude

By Ginny Schaeffer, director of the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville     Gratitude turns what we have into enough. —Anonymous It seems that we are living under a whole new threat this season. At this time last year, we were struggling to get the pandemic under control, too many families were mourning the loss of loved ones and difficult decisions were being made by other families not to gather so as to protect Mom and Dad, Granny and Grandpa. This year, it’s all about the supply chain. Day after day, we see [...]

Hearing to Understand

The following is a reflection given by Sister Janet M. Peterworth, OSU, on Sunday, October 31, 2021 at St. William Church in Louisville, Kentucky.   “Why do I hear, but do not understand? If you hear, but are having trouble understanding, take advantage of the complimentary demonstrations offered  this week. Call Acute Hearing Center to schedule your no-obligation appointment.” When I saw this ad in the Courier-Journal, I thought of Moses. Yes, Moses. Seems to me that Moses should have taken advantage of that offer for his people. He had to say several times in the Book of Deuteronomy, (his last [...]

Letting Go

By Ginny Schaeffer, Director of the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville   It’s that time of year, one that I look forward to and then dread its passing. The cooler temperatures are a reprieve from summer’s oven. Skies deepen in their blue with less humidity. Trees change their colors as they prepare for winter’s slumber. What a wonderful season; but it can also be sad, watching all the leaves let go and fall back to the earth from whence they came. Yet, there is a lesson in watching leaves fall from their place [...]

Remembering Sister Brendan

Friends of Sister Brendan Conlon at her memorial service in Kermit, West Virginia on September 24, 2021 By Sister Janet Peterworth, OSU They gathered one by one, carrying chairs and heavy, but grateful hearts, as they gathered to remember their friend, mentor, and associate, Sr. Brendan Conlon. The people of Kermit, West Virginia, in Mingo County, could not let her pass without saying what they wanted to say to pay tribute to her. Saturday, September 24, 2021, was a beautiful fall afternoon. Some came from up Marrowbone Creek, some came from Pikeville, Kentucky, some came from Big Laurel Ridge, some came [...]

Live In Joyful Hope

The following is a reflection given by President Jean Anne Zappa, OSU, at the annual Missioning ceremony held in the Motherhouse Chapel on Sunday, August 29, 2021. The theme for this year's missioning is "Live in Joyful Hope/Vive Con Gozosa Esperanza."   I hope she will be ok. I hope he is not upset with me. I hope it is alright. I hope Jean Anne doesn’t t talk too long. We use the word “hope” more often than we imagine, and we use it as a verb or wanting a happy outcome. Pope Francis reminds us that hope is not optimism, [...]

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