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Well, Sister Pat said to “tell your friends.” So, it occurs to me my friends might not know that my community hosts some events for women discerning their call: “the plan God has for you.” And for my guy friends, the two events at the bottem of the list are open to you too! Contact Sr. Pat Farrell, OPfor more information.

Being a Woman in the Church
October 8-10, 2004 Bolinas, CA

We have a heritage, a family tree as women in our church – and as sisters – women of the WORD – that we can be proud of. Come, study and reflect with us on this weekend retreat by the ocean. What is God calling us – calling you to?

Waiting and Listening in Advent
December 7 & 14, 2004, 7-8:30 pm
San Francisco

Two Wednesday evenings to explore how the WORD calls us to prepare for Christ’s coming, and to discover how the Dominican Sisters respond to that call.

Go Make a Difference
April 30-May 2, 2005 – Santa Cruz, CA

Christ’s WORD calls us to Go Make a Difference. Discover how Dominican Sisters make a difference in our world today. Reflect on your own call on this weekend retreat by the ocean. How do you – how will you make a difference?

Blister with a Sister

Reflect on God’s presence in nature. Share our experience of the WORD of God while hiking with sisters on Bay Area trails. Contact Sr. Pat Farrell, OPfor dates and details.

Lenten Soup and Scripture
February 16, 23; March 2, 16, 23, 2005 – Dominican Sisters’ Center, San Rafael

Come and join us at 6 PM for reflections on the Stations of the Cross and a soup supper during the Wednesdays of Lent. In this time of fasting and prayer, be filled with good things by breaking bread and breaking open the WORD.

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“You just don’t see many hot sales on sheet protectors these days,” said I while perusing the Sunday ads for our local office superstore.

“You need what?” said Sister Pat*, as she continued cleaning up her laptop hard drive at the dining room table while watching 60 Minutes across our community space.

“Sheet protectors,” I repeated.

“I think I have some at the office. How many do you need?”

“Fifty.”

“Yeah, I think I have that many. I’ll bring them home tomorrow.”

“Really? This nun thing is really starting to pay off.” I quip.

“Tell your friends.” She quips right back.

* Sister Pat is our vocation minister – she’s always looking for that connection! VIsit our web site if you’re interested in the limited time free sheet protector offer… 🙂

So there we were: 27 people, in a classroom with one candle, one ridiculously long handout and one ridiculously long PowerPoint presentation. And only 75 minutes to explore how one lives a full life, fulfilling the God-given vocation, using God-given gifts. The event, you ask? Fall Fest 2004. The Archdiocese of San Francisco’s annual young adult conference. The workshop? “Doing Life On Purpose: Discernment, Decisions and Mentors.” The gang that gathered was awesome – young adults looking to change careers, follow God more fully, discern a call to priesthood, religious life, or perhaps lay ministry – looking to grow in their journey with the Lord. And what in the world was I doing there at the front of the classroom? Well, ultimately it all comes down to the fact that Mary asked me to. And generally, after initial resistance, I do what Mary asks me to do. (While in this instance I refer to Mary Jansen, the same could be true for the other Mary. You know the one.)

I’m awed and humbled by the participation and the fact that not a single person told me I had the wrong ending time and that they patiently, actively joined in for the extra thirty minutes I subjected them to!!! Oh, my.

Here are a few of the quotes I used in the workshop:

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. — Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC

Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true. — John Keats

If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. — Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

And this is my personal favorite – more a reading than a quote. But it helps me to have courage…

There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: a people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death.

It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time—or even knew selflessness or courage or literature—but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.

There is no less holiness at this time— as you are reading this —than there was the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Chebar, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of God. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree by your street than there was under the Buddha’s bo tree. There is no whit less might in heaven or on earth than there was the day Jesus said “Maid, arise” to the centurion’s daughter, or the day Peter walked on water, or the night Mohammed flew to heaven on a horse.

In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant the bush may flare, your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in a tree. In any instant you may avail yourself o the power to love your enemies; to accept failure, slander, or the grief of loss; or to endure torture.
Purity’s time is always now. Purity is no social phenomenon, a cultural thing whose time we have missed, whose generations are dead, so we can only buy Shaker furniture. “Each and every day the Divine Voice issues from Sinai,” says the Talmud. Of eternal fulfillment, Tillich said, “If it is not seen in the present, it cannot be seen at all.” from Annie Dillard: For The Time Being

WHAT QUOTES OR THOUGHTS OR SCRIPTURE MOTIVATES YOU TO FOLLOW YOUR CALL?

Young Adult Catholics and the Preacing Opportunity
Catholic Coalition on Preaching

This is what is needed: a Church for young people, which will know how to speak to their heart and enkindle, comfort, and inspire enthusiasm in it with the joy of the Gospel and the strength of the Eucharist; a Church which will know how to invite and to welcome the person who seeks a purpose for which to commit their whole existence; a Church which is not afraid to require much, after having given much; which does not fear asking from young people the effort of a noble and authentic adventure, such as that of the following of the Gospel.
–Pope John Paul II, 1995 World Day of Prayer for Vocations

They are married, single, divorced and of every nationality and ethnic group. Their ranks include professionals, laborers, students, military and immigrants. Some are straight, some gay, some are parents and some have disabilities. The common ground is that they are Catholic young adults, defined by the U.S. bishops as men and women between the ages of 18 and 39. — Mary Anne Reese, “Refracting the Light: The Broad Spectrum of Young Adult Catholics.

General Young Adult Population
This generation is made up of more than sixty-six million people and has a combined spending power of over $125 billion.
90% of young adults believe in God and 36% strongly agree that the Christian Faith is relevant to the way they live.
71% of young adults have done volunteer work and 37% average ten to twenty-five hours each month.
More than 46% of single young adults in their twenties live with their parents.
Over 80% of young adults say that having a clear purpose for living is important to them.
75% of young adults believe that one person can make a difference.
Young adults see their family relationships as the most important ones in their lives and more than one third chose a family member as a personal hero and almost all surveys rate personal relationships and community as the defining characteristics of today’s young adults.

Catholic Young Adults
Now more than 42% of the Adult Population in the United States is of the Post Vatican II Generation.
Post Vatican II Catholics are the most diverse cohort of Catholics in the United States: Diversity includes: Race, Ethnicity, Socio-Economic, Education, and Sexual Orientation.
90% of Catholic young adults say they have a responsibility to reach out to the poor or struggling.
Young Adults in their 20s place a slightly higher value on helping the needy than do young adults in their 30s.
90% of the young adults who were confirmed (in high school) continue to identify themselves as Catholic, and a majority consider themselves active and are registered in a parish.
Generally religious identity for young adult Catholics rests on three basic elements: 1. Belief that God is present in the sacraments (including Christ’s presence in the Eucharist); 2. Charitable efforts toward helping the poor; and 3. Devotion to Mary.
Top Three things young adults look for in a parish community: 1. A welcoming sense of belonging; 2. Meaningful, lively, participatory liturgies with preaching that touches their lives; and 3. Opportunities to serve the community and especially the poor.
A significant but declining minority of Catholic young adults attend church regularly: A. About 26% of YA Catholics report attending mass each week; B. About 60% of YA Catholics in their 30s report attending mass at least once or twice a month; and C. About 50% of YA Catholics in their 20s report attending mass at least once or twice a month.

The older categories of conservative and liberal, based on responses to Vatican II, are no longer adequate to describe millennials, who have no experience and little knowledge of the Council. They have a new set of challenges and diverse ways of relating to the Catholic tradition, but they are empowered by the same Spirit, who is the real basis of our hope for this generation of collegians. — Rev. James J. Bacik.

More tomorrow….

SCHOOL BEST SELLERS:

Walking To School The First Day Back
by Misty Bus

The Day The Car Pool Forgot Me
by I. Rhoda Bike

Can’t See The Chalkboard
by Sidney Backrow

Practical Jokes I Played On The First Day Of School
by Major Crackupp

What I Dislike About Returning To School
by Mona Lott

Making It Through The First Week Of School
by Gladys Saturday

Is Life Over When Summer Ends?
by Midas Welbee

What I Love About Returning To School
by I.M. Kidding

Will Jimmy Finally Graduate?
by I. Betty Wont

What Happens When You Get Caught Skipping School
by U. Will Gettitt

[forwarded by Brad Thayer]

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PASS IT ON!
Yeah, you can send this Funny to anybody you want. And, if you’re REAL nice, you’ll tell them where you got it! www.MikeysFunnies.com

TCPalm: Do odd TSA rules really make us any more safe?

Instead of loving what you think is peace, love others, and love God above all. and instead of hating the people you think are warmongers, hate the appetite and disorder in your own soul, which are also causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed — but hate these things in yourself first, not in others.

Thomas Merton

Tuesday – day one….

Driving over the Bay Bridge this morning, I thought how fantastic to have this amazing opportunity to “go back to school.” It’s a gift to be able to do this full time for a bit. I’m blessed and I’m grateful.

Today’s coures: Christian Contemplation & Action and Methods in Christian Spirituality

If you can believe this, the professor for the second one actually sent an email to us with the assignment (written and reading) that are due today. I must say, this is ingenious! Some (my advisor among them) would say this is the benefit of email. I’m sure there are those who, like me, immediately thought “oh, so there is a downside to email.” However, having done the assignment, I’m pretty interested in how the course is going to go. I think it will be fabulous as well as fabulously challenging.

Meanwhile, life goes on outside the ivory walls of higher education. Hence:

Let us pray for all the wounded in the wars that are tearing our world apart. For the victims of war, and its profiteers. For the soldiers and the civilians, the cheerleaders and the dissenters. Let us pray for our presidents and prime ministers, but also for the mothers of the dead. For those lying in Iraq’s bombed-out hospitals, but also for those in the military hospitals of Washington and Landstuhl. Let us pray that all of these may find peace. Because as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The judgment of God is upon our world. And unless we learn to live together as brothers and sisters, we will perish together as fools.” —Johann Christoph Arnold

September 2004
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