Search Results for: Community – West Midwest

Bienvenidas, bienvenidos a la Familia de la Misericordia — Reflexiones de la Hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny por el Día de la Madre

May 12, 2018

¿Qué significa para una madre cuando su hija ingresa a la vida religiosa? ¿Cómo influye o responde una madre a la decisión de su hija de profesar votos de pobreza, obediencia, castidad y servicio? Con el Día de la Madre en camino, hablamos con la Hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny, quien reflexionó sobre las formas en que su madre la inspiró a servir a Dios y al mundo como Hermana de la Misericordia.

De izquierda a derecha: el padre de la hermana Mary Kay (John Dobrovolny), la madre de la hermana Mary Kay (Mary Ann Dobrovolny), la tía de la hermana Mary Kay (hermana Pat McDermott, RSM) y la hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM

De izquierda a derecha: el padre de la hermana Mary Kay (John Dobrovolny), la madre de la hermana Mary Kay (Mary Ann Dobrovolny), la tía de la hermana Mary Kay (hermana Pat McDermott, RSM) y la hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM

Las vocaciones religiosas no son una novedad en la familia extensa de la Hermana Mary Kay Dobrovolny. Su tía es la Hermana Patricia McDermott, RSM, presidenta de las Hermanas de la Misericordia de las Américas. Esta familiaridad, sin embargo, no impidió que los padres de Mary Kay, Mary Ann y John, fueran tomados por sorpresa cuando ella anunció inicialmente sus intenciones de ingresar a la vida consagrada.

Su madre Mary Ann fue educada en escuelas de la Misericordia y estaba familiarizada con la vida religiosa, con su propia hermana en la misma orden; sin embargo, el temor de una madre de «perder» a su hija para la Iglesia se apoderó de ella.

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Aprendiendo de su ejemplo – Reflexiones de la Hermana Taryn Stark por el Día de la Madre

May 12, 2018

¿Qué significa para una madre cuando su hija ingresa a la vida religiosa? ¿Cómo influye o responde una madre a la decisión de su hija de profesar votos de pobreza, obediencia, castidad y servicio? Con el Día de la Madre en camino, hablamos con la Hermana Taryn Stark, quien reflexionó sobre las formas en que su madre la inspiró a servir a Dios y al mundo como Hermana de la Misericordia.

Hermana Taryn Stark con su madrina, la Hermana Rose Davis, RSM y su madre Ruth

Hermana Taryn Stark con su madrina, la Hermana Rose Davis, RSM y su madre Ruth

El caminar de la Hermana Taryn hacia la vida religiosa comenzó con la conversión de su madre al catolicismo mientras Taryn era niña. Su madre, Ruth, enfermera, era amiga de varias Hermanas de la Misericordia. Mientras Taryn crecía, ella acompañaba a su madre en varios viajes patrocinados por la Misericordia a Perú para proporcionar atención médica. Ruth finalmente fue recibida en la Iglesia en la capilla de la Misericordia en Burlingame, California, y Taryn fue bautizada allí el mismo día.

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Welcomed into the Mercy Family — Mother’s Day reflections from Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny

May 10, 2018

 

What does it mean for a mother when her daughter becomes a Sister of Mercy? How does a mother influence or respond to her daughter’s decision to take vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service? With Mother’s Day on its way, we spoke with Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny who reflected on her mother’s influence and continued connections to Mercy.

From left to right – Sister Mary Kay's father (John Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay's mom (Mary Ann [McDermott] Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay's aunt (Pat McDermott RSM), and Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny RSM) celebrating Pat’s 50th Jubilee and Mary Kay’s 25th Jubilee as Sisters of Mercy. October 2016.

From left to right – Sister Mary Kay’s father (John Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay’s mom (Mary Ann Dobrovolny), Sister Mary Kay’s aunt (Sister Pat McDermott, RSM), and Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny, RSM celebrating Sister Pat’s 50th Jubilee and Sister Mary Kay’s 25th Jubilee as Sisters of Mercy. October 2016.

Religious vocations are not a novelty in Sister Mary Kay Dobrovolny’s extended family. Her aunt is Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. This familiarity, however, didn’t stop Mary Kay’s parents, Mary Ann and John, from being caught off guard when she initially announced her intentions to enter consecrated life.

Her mother Mary Ann was educated in Mercy schools and was well-acquainted with religious life, with her own sister in the same order, but nonetheless a mother’s fear of “losing” her daughter to the Church crept in.

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Learning From Her Example — Mother’s Day Reflections from Sister Taryn Stark

May 8, 2018

What does it mean for a mother when her daughter enters religious life? How does a mother influence or respond to her daughter’s decision to take vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and service? With Mother’s Day on the way, we spoke with Sister Taryn Stark who reflected on the ways her mother inspired her to serve God and the world as a Sister of Mercy.

Sister Taryn Stark with her Godmother Sister Rose Davis, RSM and her Mother Ruth

Sister Taryn Stark with her Godmother Sister Rose Davis, RSM and her Mother Ruth

Sister Taryn’s journey to religious life began with her mother’s conversion to Catholicism while Taryn was a child. Her mother, Ruth, a nurse practitioner, had befriended several Sisters of Mercy. While Taryn was growing up, she accompanied her mother on several Mercy-sponsored trips to Peru to provide medical care. Ruth was eventually received into the Church in the Mercy chapel in Burlingame, California and Taryn was baptized there the same day.

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Mercy and Poetry—A Challenge, a Delight

April 6, 2018

By Sister Regine Fanning

This is the second reflection in our Poetry and Mercy series as part of National Poetry Month. Read the whole series here.

Sister Regine Fanning

I love words. I’m fascinated by them. To me, their mystery pairs with gift. As a child, when I would ask my dad the meaning of a word, in his own gentle, nudging way, he would say, “Ask the dictionary.”

As a primary school teacher, words became my challenge. When I later taught intermediate grades and then high school, poetry became my specialty. Typically for most students, poetry proved at first a challenge, but later a delight.

Pursuing degrees, my chosen courses for theology and spiritual direction opened me to a whole new vocabulary. Now, in my later years, their gift lies in the depth of their power in seeking God’s gift of the word.

Three Poems by Sister Regine
Sister Regine shared the following poems for the blog:

Wandering with Words
I have grown taller
wandering with words.
At first, floundering,
but their spirit kept
tugging – drawing me
to mystery.

I basked in richness,
texture with color,
iridescent scenes,
rainbows of nature,
fields of wild flowers,
one smiling sky.

I found rare power—
“I’m sorry.”—healing.
“I’ll help.”—affirming.
“Come in.”—welcoming.
With teasing—tickles.
Radiant joy!

Satire so sluggish,
I ran giddily
with rhyme and rhythm,
unearthing fullness.
Danced my own ballet,
words energized.

Coming to quiet,
Seeking THE WORD.
Why not choose new words
to share the story
my life is writing
anew each day?   Read More »

The Undeniable Power of Music

January 24, 2018

By Sister Mary Jo Baldus

Sister Mary Jo Baldus with her harp.

Sister Mary Jo and her harp.

I am a registered music therapist and provide music therapy services for many organizations in the greater Winona, Minnesota, area. I play guitar or harp and go out in the community, using many percussion instruments, voices and movement to encourage people of all ages to engage and participate in the musical experience.

After ministering as a music educator and a director of music and liturgy in Iowa, Montana and Wisconsin, I realized the undeniable power of music. This drew me to music therapy, because I realized that music does not only bring people together, but also it has the potential of healing and putting people back together in many ways. One powerful use of music therapy is with Winona Area Hospice where I work with patients and their families.

My ministry as a music therapist provides me a front row seat for reaching out in compassion, care and mercy for those most vulnerable in the Winona community. Not a day goes by that I am not overwhelmed with opportunities for kindness, patience and understanding as I work with those in need of some joy in living.

It is my pleasure, my privilege and my saving grace to be called to this Mercy ministry of music therapy. Oh, yes, and it is a very joyful way to minister! I am one lucky Sister of Mercy!

Sister Mary Jo plays the harp while her niece accompanies her on violin.

Sister Mary Jo plays the harp while her niece accompanies her on violin.

Of Calls and Compassion

January 3, 2018

By Sister Joy Clough

Todd called today—so eager to be of assistance. He was calling from the Fulfillment Department. (Of course, I’d love to be fulfilled.) It was about the medical alert system I’d ordered. What medical alert system did I order?

Veronica also called—referred to me, she said, by one of my lenders who sensed that I’d want to consolidate my debts. Hmm, I wondered, should I be contacting the Sisters of Mercy finance office? I asked Veronica, but she talked on without stopping.

The collection agency calling on behalf of the IRS wasn’t at all like Veronica. They sounded pretty serious and pretty mean. They told me the FBI was on my case. Scary. But I decided to risk arrest. (Okay, I’d heard the newscast warnings about this scam.)   Read More »

This Advent, Deliver Us from Evil

December 19, 2017

By Mark Piper, Mercy Associate

Manger

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths and lay him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash.

I don’t wish to be the Donny Downer on your holiday cheer, but like a caroler who is singing a bit flat or eggnog that has sat out to long, I want to remind you that it is Advent and we need to attend to something that is fundamental in this time of preparation: evil.

When you get down to it, the Works of Mercy and critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy—the Earth, justice for immigrants, equality for women, anti-racism and nonviolence—are ways to confront, dismantle and, through Christian hope, eliminate evil.

A Child Born in a Stable, a King Blinded by Power

No matter how much we romanticize or domesticate Christ and his birth in a manger through our cute tabletop nativity scenes, remember that a very pregnant woman had to give birth amongst animals and place her child in the feeding trough of cattle because there was, supposedly, no room for her at the inn. I believe that it was evil 2,000 years ago—and evil still today—to have a child born under such circumstances, when all we need do is open our hearts and homes to those in need. There is space for others if only we took the effort to make space for others.

In just a few verses of the Gospels of Matthew or Luke, we can see the need for several of Mercy’s critical concerns: attending to the economically poor, especially women and children; supporting immigrants; and practicing nonviolence. We could also look to the Works of Mercy: sheltering the homeless and welcoming the stranger. These actions could confront the evils of closed, hardened and inhospitable hearts that breed pride, selfishness and myriad sins.

Perhaps evil is more obvious to us in King Herod, who ordered the Massacre of the Infants (Matthew 2:16-18) when the Magi didn’t return to him after paying homage to the newly born Prince of Peace. Because of Herod’s orders, an angel instructed Joseph to flee into Egypt in order to protect his family.   Read More »

Our Daily Bread

November 27, 2017

By Trish Trout, Mercy Associate

Freshly baked bread

Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash

My parish in Portland, Oregon, has a tradition of giving fresh-baked loaves of bread to all who attend Thanksgiving Mass. We’re meant to extend the blessings of Thanksgiving by sharing them with our families and friends. Last year, because of travel and work, my family celebrated Thanksgiving on the Tuesday before the holiday. I had no turkey to attend to, no salads to make. On the spur of the moment, I asked for the leftover bread and heard myself say I would distribute it in our homeless community.

I’ve lived most of my life in Portland in the same neighborhood. One block from my house is a 100-year old public park where generations of my family have played, walked, skated and gone sledding. I walk through it almost every day.

During the past few years, this park has become home to people who have nowhere else to go. The city allows them to camp or car-camp in one section of the park. This area is my destination. I set out, about to learn my first lessons from my neighbors, the homeless.

When I approach the park, I see three people sheltering under the large roofed entry. In a downpour, I pick up my heavy basket of donated bread and start for their shelter. I see that a woman is half-lying, half-sitting propped against the building’s large door. She’s covered with blankets, a quilt and a waterproof ground cloth. It’s dry here.

I ask her if she would like some bread. “Sure,” the woman and two men reply. I pull back the towel covering the loaves of bread and hand each of them a loaf. One man opens his bag and inhales. “It was baked this morning,” I say. He murmurs, “Oohh,” and pulls some out.   Read More »

Who Is At Risk of Becoming a Human Trafficking Victim?

November 20, 2017

By Sister Jeanne Christensen

In 2014, I wrote about how I first became aware of the horror of human trafficking while working with a not-for-profit women’s group in Kansas City, Missouri. The director of the group had been a victim of domestic human trafficking, and many of the women we served were victims as well. Listening to their experiences moved me to devote my ministry to helping victims, advocating on their behalf and educating the public about this atrocity.

Changing Stereotypes

"We Are Not for Sale"

“We Are Not for Sale”—art by Sister Mary Daly

In the intervening years, much has changed. The stereotype of a human trafficking victim is changing—victims are not prostituted women only. They are younger and may be your neighbor’s child, your coworker’s grandchild or your child’s friend.

In response, I have spoken to hundreds of high school and university students explaining to them what human trafficking is, how they and their friends are at risk and what they can do to avoid being targeted, lured or chosen as a victim. While speaking to one university class, I explained how they might be approached while hanging out with friends at the mall, who might be targeted in their group and how best to respond.

Very quietly, a young woman raised her hand and said, “That happened to me.” When I asked how she responded, she grinned and said, “Sister, I won’t tell you what I said to him!” Her classmates laughed, but she drove my point home, loudly and clearly.

Younger Victims Targeted

The really sad thing is that many who are exploited are much younger than college-aged. In the vicious human trafficking world, especially in commercial sex trafficking, the younger the victim, the more they earn for their trafficker.   Read More »