Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Do Nuns Do All Day?

I get asked all kinds of questions about what life is like as a nun. Some of them are more thought provoking, like if I've ever thought about leaving or how I felt about the things I've given up. Some of them have been a little easier, like what my second favorite color is. My favorite that I was asked the other day is, "So, do you all knit and watch TV?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Help Getting Dressed

Today one of the kids said, "Sr. Catherine, your nametag is upside down." Oh, my. I really should pay more attention to what I'm doing. At least she caught it early in the day. I think everything else is in order. My shirt is buttoned right and my shoes are on the right feet.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pray. Fast. Give alms.

Today, Ash Wednesday, begins the season of Lent. The minister places blessed ashes on our foreheads, marking us with the sign of the cross while saying “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.” This ancient Christian ritual reminds us of who we are, why we are, and what our destiny is. It’s no coincidence that Lent is observed during the season of spring — a season of warming, greening, planting, brighter sunlight overtaking the darkness, dormant bulbs awakening as crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths — new life and transformation everywhere. The season of Lent also brings about transformations, growth, and renewal in our personal lives.

Pray. Fast. Give alms. Yes, we’ve begun the season that calls us to do those three simple things — a little better than we’ve been doing them. Praying can be as simple as spending a little quiet time with God, having a chat with God. Fasting might focus on what we eat or drink, or it might mean decreasing our portions of complaints, anger, impatience, grudges. And giving alms could be as simple as sharing what we have with those who have less or don’t have.

We had a mini Mardi Gras celebration at our evening meal yesterday. The traditional Mardi Gras celebrations observed around the world encourage participants to “eat, drink, and be merry.” Quite a contrast to the coming days of Lent when we “pray, fast, and give alms.”
(Sister Paulette Seng)

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Not Dead Yet!"

Tonight I concluded my stint as chaplain of our high school girls' basketball team. Closing out a successful season with a celebratory banquet, the coaches gave out awards to all the players for their various strengths and gifts to the team. We had the participants, a most improved, a most-free-throws, best defense, best offense, an MVP, a "trooper" award, a leadership award- you name it. At the end of the rest, the coach gave me a plaque too, and then said that they're starting a award in my name! A month or two ago, unknowingly, I helped pick our first winner when the coach asked my thoughts on who ought to get an award for just being a good overall person of character, on the court and in the classroom. I gave him a suggestion or two. Tonight I had to laugh when he gave it to one of my students whom I'd recommended. I thought you had to be dead to have awards named after you, but I guess not!