Over the weekend I attended a small gathering of six Ursuline Sisters from around the country. One member, Sr. Mary Ann Dooling, had a birthday while we were together. What better reason for a party! As the spiritual writer Henri Nouwen wrote, “On a birthday we do not say, ‘Thank you for what you did, or said, or accomplished.’ No, we say, ‘Thank you for being born and being among us.'”

One of the many gifts of our Ursuline life is that of community. Our foundress Saint Angela Merici told her daughters to “build community wherever you go.” That certainly means at home, but it also means in the places where we minister, worship, recreate, or gather for any reason. Building community calls us to be grateful for the gift of our own lives and to express gratitude for the lives and unique gifts of all we meet. So to all of you, our readers, “Thank you for the gift of being YOU.”