Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There are blogs and there are blogs

I have a friend who blogs on her office door!

We have a half dozen sisters who maintain their own blogs via the web, of course, but this one is not one of those. This "blog" usually consists of a color photo, graphic or design and a quotation, meditation or idea. The topics range from liturgical feasts and events to contemporary issues of the day.

We smile with her when we needle her about this "blog." She makes no secret of her (in)tolerance of the techie world: web sites, cell phones, emails, power points, etc.....and blogs. She much prefers "other worlds" I'm sure. But either way, her blog goes up two or three times a week and much as we all continue to be engrossed in our web/techie worlds, darned if we don't turn and read her "door blog" every day! Of course it helps that it's creative, beautiful, pertinent and.... worthy of being a real blog, too!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Blessed days

This morning our Sunday Mass celebrant presented truly wonderful reflections on the readings--his underlying base being the beginning of Ordinary Time within the church year--and the blessing of such in our lives.

I often say to myself on Sundays, when thinking about a Monday blog entry, What would a visitor "see" if they were with us this weekend--in our ordinary community life? Here's today's answers:

* the request of our postulant to continue into the novitiate and the agreement of the community for such;
* a simple, yet deeply moving portrayal, by our three scholastics, of the first reading about the call of Samuel when he was just a boy serving in the temple;
* the end of a winter service week with eight Canisius students from Buffalo--fine young adults all;
* slight football mania as our many Pittsburgh Steelers fans (and followers of the other teams, too) watched the four playoff games in the NFL over the weekend;
* the sense of brief but significant relief on most of our faces as we experienced two days when the temperatures hit the 60s (yes, it was quite bizarre as there is still snow around, but it was a welcome spring tease--although somewhat surreal in the middle of January!)

Blessed Ordinary Days.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


January 11--today my Dad would be 99! And I always thought that he had the greatest digital birth date. You know all those hundreds of forms where you have to put in the month, day and year of your birth? Well, every time he had to, he put in great....and it would have been just as fun to put it in with the full year: 1-1-1-1-9-1-9.

So, here's to you Dad, a very cool guy with a very cool birth date: happy 99th on 1-1-1-1-8. Wish you were here!

We Shake With Joy

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.

Mary Oliver

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Always welcome: Ordinary Time

The Christmas season ends today and blessed "ordinary time" returns (for 4-5 weeks until an early Lent will interrupt it).

Today's Epiphany celebration was marvelous, complete with a heartfelt "Shepherds and Kings" that we wait all year to sing on this one day. Then, at the end of Mass we had "Go Tell It On the Mountain" with the congregation becoming part of the accompaniment with their clapping in time with our music. Great fun!

An eye-catching arrangement of icicles on our building.

A friend feeds the birds all winter courtesy of 6 bird feeders on her backyard trees. She has quite a number of cardinals as regular visitors. I was too far away--and shooting through a window--to get a good shot, but they were stunning against the snow.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Give Us This Day

I want to "plug" the marvelous daily prayer book--yes, that's what it would be called, but it's nothing like your childhood version--Give Us This Day. It's produced by the Benedictine publishing house Liturgical Press out in Minnesota and it's been adopted by scores of communities of religious and lay people because it is great!

If this peaks your interest go to and there's a place for a free sample.

What made me think of this plug is that since Christmas we have had a rash of saint's days to celebrate: Stephen, John, Holy Innocents, Basil, Gregory, not to forget the BIG ones: Mother of God, and still to come, the Epiphany and Baptism of Jesus. Give Us This Day does such a fine and contemporary presentation of saints, prayer, daily readings and the art work it includes.

I doubt that you could find something of this genre that's much better/more complete and more suited for "real" life!

P.S. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts, prayers and good wishes during our snow-extravaganza Dec. 24+, but to be truthful, we've gotten along pretty well: we're practiced, it was school vacation, and our local municipalities really work hard at clearing roads, helping stuck vehicles, housing street people, etc. Not that there weren't accidents and difficulties, but minimal I'd say. The ones that seem to need our prayers now are the east coast cities. When they get it, they really get hit. Hope they'll just stay home and help their neighbors in need. Good luck and prayerful remembrance to them.

Our chapel alcoves.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

So, what's new?!

For the third consecutive time, here's an update on our record snow "experience."

An area map in the Erie paper recently showed the snowfall in the city and in all the townships that surround it, over the record-setting 30 hours that have made us media stars or (in)famous stars for the 60" that was recorded at the airport. The map, however, showed that every few miles had its own total, and the airport's was far and away the most. i.e. we here in northwest Harborcreek, 13 miles east of the airport, had about 30-35" over the same time period.

Don't get me wrong, cleaning off 25 cars on three consecutive days with 12" of new snow each time is enough hard work. Especially with 15-20 degree temps. Our "team" of eight sisters worked in sync with one of our maintenance guys who was driving the truck and plowing. Personally I just kept thinking of it as exercise and help in working off those delicious Christmas cookies that are everywhere!

Things have settled a bit, but the cold temps are keeping the piles and piles of snow around. There are some great photos from our local Erie Times New here. Upper left: Sections and then Photos. Look for "snow"!!

Troupe Rd entrance

The Blessed Mother statue in the inner courtyard. If Sister Veronica was alive she would have covered it with a plastic bag to save it from losing its head!

Lots of our bushes/trees have these large snow blobs caught on their limbs.

The ever-evolving drinking fountain sculpture! See last week's entry--4 days ago!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Yes, it's true!

When you've been on national TV, including The Weather Channel...and received calls, texts, emails from family and friends asking if it's true, Are you all right? and How are you doing?...there's really only one thing to report on: Yes, our airport, the official weather station for the area, did record 60" of snow over December 25-26.

But, as you may know about lake effect snowstorms, the intensity and the amount of snow vary considerably throughout an affected, for example, here in northwestern Harborcreek, right along the lake shore, we received in the neighborhood of 12" each of the three days: Dec. 25-27...but 3-4 miles south of us there was probably a whole different experience, ditto for the City of Erie itself and all of the townships and boroughs surrounding it.

The highlight (or lowlight) of it for me was digging out, cleaning off and re-parking 25 of our cars yesterday. Quite a task as they each had about a foot of snow on them. THEN, doing it exactly the same, all over again today! I couldn't believe it! What a job....all I thought of was that it was exercise and was burning off some of those Christmas cookies that we have in abundance and that are delicious!

I also wished that my Dad had been here for this. He would have enjoyed it tremendously!

The courtyard's drinking fountain.

One day's shoveling outside the back door.

A little bush--totally buried!

Don't miss Sister Valerie's blog for more photos of our "unforgettable Christmas snow". (Sounds like something out of a Walton's episode!)