Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dear Neighbors

Here in the St. Paul Province, we have been happily celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph this weekend. Last evening we had a special Vespers in our province chapel for sisters and consociates. This morning a mass was celebrated at Bethany, and this noon we had a public celebration at the College of St. Catherine with over 550 people in attendance. One of my housemates, Sister Suzanne, acted the part of Joseph in a small playlet about St. Joseph, here seen talking with an angel, played by one of our consociates, Lou Anne. We welcomed many partners in our ministries, along with family members, neighbors, employees, St. Joseph workers, and doubtless many Dear Neighbors I haven't named.
And speaking of our other Deer Neighbors, I've lately spotted a LOT of deer down at Fort Snelling State Park. Yesterday I counted between 35 and 40, the most I've ever seen down there. This afternoon I saw 18 in various places throughout the park. They're beginning to lose their heavy winter coats, and one or two looked positively sleek, almost like they do in the early summer. There's still a lot of ice cover on the lake, but it looks slushy. There is almost no ice in the Minnesota River, save a few stray floaters. For awhile I was keeping track of these phenomena, along with precise temperatures, times of observation, etc., in a little notebook, but I found that to be a distraction. That's not the way to learn about the seasons and cycles of nature, at least not for me. Better to just visit a place frequently and soak it all in. I've been doing that long enough at Fort Snelling now that I know the some of the signs and signals, and yet everytime I go there, which is about 4 or 5 times a week, I see some new amazing thing.
Today I'm grateful for: my vocation; the Sisters of St. Joseph; Fort Snelling State Park; the good news of yesterday that Selamawit Kifleyesus was freed from detention; for the work of theologians Elizabeth Johnson and Roger Haight; for our St. Joseph Workers.
Holding in prayer today: friends and neighbors who are sick or injured; immigrants in detention; people who work for ICE, especially Tim Counts; Eliot Spitzer and Silda Wall Spitzer; Archbishop Nienstedt; women caught in trafficking and those who exploit them; Sisters of St. Joseph in all the 55 nations of the world where we serve.

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