All Road Lead to Cincinnati
Dear people of Saint Martha,
Tenderly from my heart, I come with this written message. It was going to be something that I shared with groups as we were together through March but …
What’s next in my life? Back in January and the beginning of February I was pondering that question. I love you here at Saint Martha parish, very good place to be and doing ministry side by side with you. I am grateful for all that I have been part of and for the growing in love these past nine years and especially these most recent couple of years … growing so much in my own love of Eucharist and being present to the Lord.
Our community asked our thoughts on when we might consider moving to the motherhouse, Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati - we call it the Mount. There are 190 Sisters of Charity total in the congregation – of course so much smaller number than even I was thinking. At first, I was saying oh, 3-5 years with the wonderful ministries that I have here and interactions with such good people. Then in the beginning of February, after reading a Sister of Charity article about the unstoppable heart love of my sisters, it came to me that though I know these wonderful women and they know me, yet it is not enough - I am too removed from them.
I heard so clearly from our loving Lord - “Come … follow me … leave all behind …”
So, with a new sense of urgency to be with my sisters, while they are still around and I am able to do so, I am retiring from Saint Martha and moving to the Mount. At the beginning of March, I was thinking to retire end of June and move early fall, but I feel like I retired on St. Patrick’s Day because of all of what I was doing, I am no longer able to do - visiting the people in residential homes and bringing them communion, sewing with the ladies and girls, school projects such preparing the 4th graders to do a brief play on Sister Blandina for the school family breakfast and so forth.
I was praying with our sisters this morning by way of webcast and one part of the reflection was - consider these elongated moments as Sabbath time - give only self to God and those in your care. Place in God’s hands all, and for right for now, for this moment accept what is before you rather than how you would like it to be. Wow! How do we do that? Only with God’s ever-present grace.
While sitting at my home looking out at my neighbors, I was also present with my sisters in Cincinnati - one-coin offered to God with two sides. Then, I heard the Lord say - “revised plans - come … follow me … middle to late summer.” Depending when the Mount’s doors will be opened and with a month’s notice to my landlord, this is could be at the end of July.
I will go with all the love that you have shown me, so that I may enter into their hearts with this wondrous love. And being the new, “youngish” kid on the block, new ministry will come to me, to be for and with my sisters - reentering the Sisters of Charity 53 years later with a bit more than just being a 17 year old, right out of high school with only a suitcase and a trunk.
I have already begun to share this with some individuals and groups and will continue to do so. I will also continue to share my thoughts and inspirations as they come through email and our bulletin on-line.
Please hold me in your prayer heart as I do hold you.