Summer’s Not Over

While many might think summer is close to ending, as we see teachers and kids gear up for school, it actually is just the middle of the season, which officially lasts this year from June 21 to September 22.  With this in mind, and 6 more summer weeks ahead,  a poem of Wendell Berry gave me pause:

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Looking back at past weeks of summer, we surely can see blessings.  Still enjoying the bounty and beauty of this season, we must keep going toward a blessed light as yet unseen. The June issue of Heartbeats sent by our charism team offered wonderful suggestions for living in a Sabbath spirit. It’s not too late! In fact, it could be a practice for always.

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Celebrate What’s Right

As an alumna of Ursuline Academy of St. Louis, it’s my joy to assist with the Alumnae Board retreat each year.  The theme for the school’s 2018-19 year was the focus of our gathering this week: “Celebrate What’s Right In Our World.” 

Our model, St. Angela, and her attitude toward the world of her day launched our reflection.  Early 16th century Italy was a difficult time, one of war, corruption, chaos and confusion—enough to make anyone despair.  But Angela was bigger than that.  She listened to the Holy Spirit speaking to her in her heart, and decided to do what she could.  Known in her town as a woman of kindness, prayer and peace-making, she gathered 2 dozen young women together and began a new life of consecration to God called Ursuline.  She remained positive and faith-filled: “Persevere faithfully and joyfully”;  “Without doubt, you will see marvelous things”; “I will always be in your midst”.

Taking a fast-forward to TODAY, it was not hard for the group to name what is right in OUR world as women blessed by an Ursuline education.  The flow of ideas and enthusiasm built from one to another. Gratitude was evident, even without saying the word.

I was, as always, in awe at these graduates who are now professional women, wives, mothers, generous, active and committed to a school they love. They want to celebrate what’s right in our world and keep it growing.  Right on!

Until Next Time

Greetings from San Antonio, Texas. Samantha and Priscilla here! We hope everyone had a wonderful and eventful week so far. As this week is coming to an end, we recap on everything we’ve done so far. On our first full day here in San Antonio, we visited the old Ursuline convent and academy which is now an art school. We learned the rich history of the Ursuline sisters!

Everyday we spent about 7 hours in Haven for Hope, where we met wonderful people with outstanding stories. At our time in Haven we met several members, and one person specifically touched our heart, a man who loves art. Our first day at Haven we got to speak to him and view his wonderful art work. We got to know him and understand his reasoning for being in Haven for Hope very well. Sr. Elizabeth introduced us as she was starting her meditating coloring session.  He immediately asked us if we wanted him to draw us something. He indeed has great talent. He is just one of the many gems here at Haven.

On our last day here, we sure ended with a bang! Serving lunch to over 500 of the members that live in Haven is surely something we will never forget. Although, this week was full of memories, compassion, patience, and gratitude, saying goodbye to the wonderful members is something that hit us hard. We hope everyone in Haven finds their way, because with God by our side everything will turn out just fine!

The Cycle of Homelessness

Hello! Lyndsey and Jeannie here! Well it is our second wonderful, hot day working here at Haven for Hope. Today started out with a great tour of the campus where we were able to learn all about the mission of the program and all the services they offer on the beautiful twenty-two acre campus. Between yesterday and today, we also learned about the cycle of homelessness and how it particularly affects families and children. A story was told to us about a family who had three generations of women born in homeless shelters. Yesterday, as we volunteered in the courtyard and Intake, we met many strong mothers with small children who were unable to be put in the family residence because there was no room. As they wait for more permanent setting on the campus, they are able to stay in offices, meeting rooms, and in the chapel with mats and blankets. This living situation is called being in “overflow.” We cannot get the images of these children out of our mind and hearts. As a member of our group said last night during sharing time, “No child should ever be considered overflow…”

Please pray for all the families at Haven for Hope and the breaking of this vicious cycle.

We are not allowed to take pictures with the residents so here are some pictures of our volunteer work in the kitchen and the art class these past two days.