Sunday, July 28, 2013

Some Call Me Sis

It has been nearly two years of writing "Some Call Me Sis." This experience has been enjoyable while sharing with you thoughts and experiences from my perspective as a vowed woman religious n the 21st Century. I will be leaving for a sabbatical in the next couple of weeks and during that time will not be blogging. I am not sure what will happen after, and just want to say, "Thank you." As time has rolled out over these years I have become more aware of those who read this blog, and with that awareness feel a connection with you as reader. This amuses me somewhat during this age of technology while we strive to stay connected with one another in new ways. Sometimes the technology can be overwhelming and appears to separate us more than anything. Of course this is a concern that I have for folks I see in public places sitting together and playing on their computers, tablets and phones. And, yes sometimes I find myself so distracted by technology that I forget the presence of those around me. This weekend while with some family and friends in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (affectionately called the U.P.). I noted that when in constant contact I use technology as an escape. My guess is that during the sabbatical technology will take somewhat of a backseat and I both look forward to that part of the experience, and dread it. As my Mom pointed out last month I have become a bit of a technology junkie (she used different language of course). Blessings as you continue to journey!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial 
Today I am praying for unity in our world, nation, communities and families. Last week marked the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin. I did not watch the trial and am unsure how the jurors came to their decision. My heart is heavy about the entire event, as I am sure is true of many of us. President Obama's words to the country yesterday were hopeful as he made connections to what it is like to be a black male in our country. My hope is that at some point we begin to recognize our fears and begin dialogue that challenges the ethnic divides in our country. As I reflect on my fears and concerns about people who I see as different the challenge to transform is a constant. While writing it seems like we already know that each of us holds prejudices and maybe this is not necessary to write about. And still the Gospel of Jesus does not come fully to life if we are afraid of difference, and it is further deadened when we are ignorant of our own fears. It's that simple to say, or write, and yet much harder to live.

National Cathedral, Washington D.C.
The tour to Washington D.C. was fabulous last week. We rode bikes, saw a few movies and toured the city a bit. Thursday we went to the National Cathedral for a tour and stayed for Evensong. The choir from Christ's College of Cambridge, UK led us in song. The prayer was rich as we gathered behind the podium where Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his last sermon four days before his assassination. The cathedral is breathtaking, no other words to describe it. What impressed me more than the gothic architecture is the way in which the National Cathedral functions to bring people from various denominations together. Their are nine chapels and my favorite was the Chapel of the Resurrection. The mosaics were beautiful and so contemporary. The stained glass throughout the Cathedral is astounding (I tried to get a picture but it turned out pretty lame).

Later that night we headed to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial (see picture above). Again, breathtaking.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Partial X-Country Road Trip

The online summer school class I taught ended Friday and it was great fun. I would have never guessed this would be the case. What a wonderful challenge to learn about the cyber-classroom and how to build rapport and connect through the fiber optic world of technology. There is so much to do and it was time intensive to build and called upon creativity and humility in the process. Fortunately I have a friend that mentored me through the process.  I am surprised that you can get to know students in an online forum. It is still foreign, and there is much room for improvement. And, if given the opportunity I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Currently, I am traveling from Collegeville, MN to Washington D.C. with my friend where we will meet two other friends for some communal fun. While sitting in a coffee shop waiting for her to finish wedding activities "Homeward Bound" came on the radio and it created a swirl of reflection. For a variety of reasons I spend time reflecting on the concept of home, where it is for me and what that means. Where is home? This is an existential question. I invite you to watch the video and take some time for reflection (that sounds sort of directive doesn't it...maybe teacher mode is kicking in). Respond to the question if you feel comfortable letting us know your thoughts on home.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Guest Blogger: Sister Dolores Lytle

For a couple of years now we have all relished Sister Vicki sharing the stories of her ministry and her life as a sister of Saint Agnes. I joined Vicki two weeks ago for the great gathering of our community called chapter. Unlike the annual CSA days, this gathering brings all the sisters together to tell of their efforts to understand and appreciate the privilege of working as ecclesial women the last four years. Reflection and conversation helped us articulate our dreams for renewing the life of the community. From listening and deep reflection together came a clear outline of what is most important the next four years. Our common journey expresses our commitment to journey together consciously evolving for the same of the mission.  A newly elected leadership team will coordinate all of us and we review our own lifestyles to sync them with the 2013 Chapter Statement. Once again this statement says our lives are about the mission of Jesus, and all our individual and group relationships are to measured in Christ.

At times working in Illinois with the dozen sisters in our area, I can feel like a drop in dry bucket working for Christ and our church. But coming together with more than a hundred sisters and associates to listen with care and great attention to Christ and each other, I know my drop is part of great and strong river a century long. A waterway present in Latin America and North America touching the lives of those whose faith life and human dignity are threatened. We celebrate the jubilees of vowed and committed members, a couple of thousand years of dedication to Christ’s mission. Check our website, the IT people should have it working again real soon. Read for yourself the statement woven of our dreams and get to know the sisters who will help us live it out.

Sister Dolores Lytle, CSA