Our Spiritual Mother

We Sisters of Notre Dame honor Saint Julie Billiart as our spiritual mother. Saint Julie founded the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Our congregation is just Notre Dame—not de Namur or School Sisters of Notre Dame. Yet we might say we’re all related—some to Saint Julie as foundress, others like us as spiritual mother.…

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Will Her Children Ever Learn?

Our Lady of Fatima in 1913 asked the children in Fatima, Portugal to pray for peace. War in Europe was imminent, and it soon became World War I. War after war continued through the rest of the 20th century and into the new millennium. Rumors of World War III are in the air. Will Mary’s…

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Catching My Attention

A bird called to me. Looking I saw nothing in the trees. I walked on, but before my second step I heard the same call. Again I looked but saw nothing that could fly. ‘Oh well! I might as well get going,” I thought until the call—this time with a teasing lilt—seemed to say, “You…

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If I Were a Child Again

Sometime in my youth my mother told me about something I did as a baby. With pride in her voice, she related how one day I heard the crunch of tires in the driveway and the opening of the porch door. Immediately I started babbling “Da Da!” I was happy that Dad was home, and…

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Spiritual and Material Entwined

I belong to a group studying the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Had I background in botany and love for gardening I might enjoy the book. As it is, I have only a deep appreciation for the author’s style and ability to find deep meaning in cleaning a swamp and gathering sap. Over…

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Five Loaves and Two Fish

When I played for Mass this morning, I was glad that there’s a hymn mentioning barley loaves and fish, namely, “We Come with Joy,” a parody by Delores Dufner. You remember the story, how Philip wondered how so little could feed so many. My mind went to the 10th National Eucharistic Congress scheduled for July…

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Give Me the Ritual; We Want It All

On Palm Sunday I witnessed a touching moment as I saw the ritual of palm through the eyes of an eight-year-old. The boy was crying very hard but quietly. He turned to his mom who wondered what the matter was. “The water didn’t touch me or my palm,” he said sadly. What could be worse…

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Just Wait  

Saint Bonaventure believed that there is a spiritual potency in all creation, and it is already brought to completion in the resurrection of Christ whose “glorified body becomes the perfect expression of this relationship with the cosmos” (Christ in Evolution, Ilia Delio). What Christ experienced we—and all of creation—will experience, too. All will be radically…

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Changing Our View of Christ

Karl Rahner writes that the quintessence of Christianity, according to Saint Paul, is that Christians have turned from the false gods of their past life, to serving a living and true God, who will come again to take them to glory. We have completed Lent, a time when we tried to cast aside our personal…

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The Emmaus Story – My Favorite Story

Do you ever look forward to your favorite Scripture story, waiting for it to be read in church? Well, I do. I anticipate my favorite Gospel story on Wednesday in Easter Week. Remember the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus? Every year I sympathize with Cleopas’s dejection over Jesus’ crucifixion and…

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