With not one but two papal saints in the upcoming canonization (their warm,welcoming faces are on the posters in our Michigan Avenue window!), many people who come by have been sharing their stories of how one or the other of the “Blessed” Holy Fathers impacted their life. We’ve heard stories of conversions, of healing, of seeing Pope John Paul in person here in Chicago or getting a blessing in St Peter’s Square.
Needless to say, books by or about the new saints have been very popular, especially “Secret to Happiness: Wisdom from Pope John XXIII” and “A Boy Who Became Pope” (about young Karol Wojtyla, better known as Pope John Paul II). Both books were reviewed by Dolores Madlener in her popular “benevolent gossip” column in the Catholic New World.
The bulletin board in our entrance is focused on the canonizations, too: all visitors are invited to share any pictures they have of Pope John XXIII or Pope John Paul II. Naturally, the sisters got it started with photographs of their own! Most of the sisters in the community had the occasion to meet Bl. John Paul II in person–in some cases, more than once! If you have a photo to share, bring it in! The sisters will scan it so that your copy remains intact; they will print a copy to post on the bulletin board for you. Be sure to tell them the story behind it, too!
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” continues to be a best-seller downtown. Not only are Sister Lusia and Sister Edward enthusiastically recommending it to just about every visitor, many are coming in asking for it by name. “Our priest keeps talking about it in his homilies,” more than one has said. A twenty-something young man who hopes to join the Franciscans soon (his t-shirt read CAPUCHIN) commented that when he visits the community, the friars are often talking about the document in their mealtime conversations. When we sisters heard that, all we could do was laugh: we do the same thing! And it doesn’t hurt that Pope Francis himself gave a copy to the President of the United States. Don’t you want to know what President Obama is reading?)
We are also running a radio spot on Relevant Radio (with grateful prayers to the generous benefactor who makes this possible); perhaps you have heard it.
Have you read “The Joy of the Gospel” yet? Where has Pope Francis’ call to conversion struck you?Read More
Did you ever catch yourself secretly wondering whether or not God really, really has our best interest at heart? It is so easy to slip into thinking that doing the will of God is automatically tantamount to a life of suffering and woe. Instead, Jesus came to bring us life – abundant life! As Pope Francis reminds us we are called to encounter and become messengers of the joy of the Gospel!
Paradoxically, however, we have to admit that the kingdom of God that Jesus preached and lived out in his own life does put us in the pathway of suffering and even conflict. Blessed are the poor, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… (see Matthew 5:1-11)–these are not the values of the business-as-usual-world and we shouldn’t be surprised when we find opposition. In the face of this where do we find encouragement and confidence in following God’s loving plan for our lives?
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Pope Francis is giving the Church – and the whole world – the gift of the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II. Both of these men teach us with their lives and their words that a life of holiness is a life of deep confidence in God’s love for us.
As the editor for the Classic Wisdom Collection, I was delighted when two of my colleagues volunteered to prepare a book each for this series. Sr. Donna Giaimo compiled Secret to Happiness: Wisdom from John XXIII and Sr. Lorraine Trouvé worked on Be Not Afraid: Wisdom from John Paul II. Like the other titles in this series, Secret to Happiness and Be Not Afraid are short but substantial collections of writings about the spiritual life lived out in the real world. They both address overlapping issues of confidence, humility and trust in God. Let their words and their example inspire you!
Sr. Sean Mayer, FSPRead More
|Sister Anne has a new book out–but you won’t find it here in the Michigan Avenue bookstore. It’s only available as an e-book! (Don’t worry if you don’t have an e-gadget; you can download a free Kindle program to read the book on your computer.) Read the reviews and download the introduction from the 5 Keys to Understanding Pope Francis website!|
Our shipment is in, so call your order in right now for Pope Francis’ “The Joy of the Gospel” (English or Spanish).
Be sure to let your parish ministry team know that the handy paperback edition of Pope Francis’ document is ready to ship–and that there are bulk discounts available (at $9.95, it’s already the least expensive English version out there):Read More
Sister Kathryn Hermes is coming back to Chicago!
This year, the Advent Women’s Retreat will be based on HeartWork, a new process of spiritual growth developed by Sister Kathryn. Join us Dec. 7, from 8:30-3:00 for an Advent retreat day with John the Baptist, King David and St. Joseph that will lead you to a place of rest using the simple tools and exercises of HeartWork–practices you can take with you and continue at home.
As in past years, the retreat will be held at St. Peter’s in the Loop (downtown Chicago). Doors open at 8:15.
Register through the bookstore (call us at 312-346-4228 or drop in), or register online. Through the bookstore, we can accept Visa/MasterCard, personal checks and cash. Online accepts all major credit cards. The $40 fee (50% discount for religious sisters and students) includes coffee/donuts and a boxed lunch. (As requested, we’ll try to have more salad and fruit options this year.)
Sister Kathryn Hermes is a Daughter of St Paul and author of the best-selling “Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach” (and its accompanying Journal) “Beginning Contemplative Prayer,” “Making Peace with Yourself,” and other spirituality books. Sister holds a Master’s in Theological Studies and an advanced certificate in Scripture. She is currently Director of Electronic Publishing for Pauline Books & Media, Boston.
Sister Kathryn’s books will be available for purchase and signing throughout the day. (You can also get them in e-book formats!)
8:15: Doors open
8:30: Orientation and Opening Meditation
8:50: John the Baptist and Making Peace with Life Choices (Meditation and Exercise)
9:30: Private Prayer (handout)
10:00: King David and Making Peace with Life’s Responsibilities (Meditation and Exercise)
11:15 Private Prayer (handout); Opportunity for Confession
12:00: Mass, followed by lunch
1:30: St. Joseph and Making Peace with our Concern for Others ( (Meditation and Exercise)
2:30: Q&A, Closing Meditation
Registration Widget loading…Click Here to visit the event page.
For more about Sister Kathryn’s HeartWork ministry, visit http://www.pauline.org/heartwork
The interview of Pope Francis conducted over three days by his fellow Jesuit Antonio Spadaro did more than spark a few headlines: it got the whole world talking about what the Pope had said (or not said, as the case may be). There’s always a risk involved in going off-script, but Francis clearly believes that it is worth it–and he seems to hope that the world’s one-billion-plus Catholics will be able to carry their part of the conversation forward.
Many people seemed to get the Pope exactly wrong. Apparently believing the headlines, some fervent Catholics have called the bookstore with troubled questions, wondering if Francis is selling out on Catholic doctrine or making political statements that compromise the very positions their bishops are upholding. (“I’m not a right-winger” means one thing in the US context; something very different for a person who lived through Argentina’s “dirty wars.”)
America (Jesuit weekly) has a number of thoughtful posts on what has got to be the journalistic coup of the magazine’s more than a century-long history.
Here are some additional posts on an interview that deserves to be read carefully, reflected over, and prayed with. For now, you can read it online; the book version will be in soon (call to reserve your copy).
Followed by this brief “spiritual antivenin” by the same author
and a poignant reflection on the would-be patients in the “field hospital” that is Francis’ vision of the Catholic Church
(All of the above from the prolific and profound Scalia.)
Keeping Up with Francis (by Daughter of St. Paul nunblogger, Sister Anne)
First thoughts about the Francis Interview (by Father John Zuhlsdorf)
Pope Francis’ Comments about Homosexuality in the Big Interview (by Father John Zuhlsdorf) The most headline-grabbing aspects of the Pope’s interview really comprise a tiny sliver of the lengthy whole, but since the Pope’s comments have been taken out of context to such a degree, Father Zuhlsdorf patiently puts the context back in.
And one scholar suggests that the discomfort being expressed by many anxious Catholics is an invitation to transform the uncertainty into reflection. The article offers some helpful distinctions about the difference between, say, an interview and an encyclical, as well other insights that shed extra light on the Pope’s words.
Just released (Pauline Books & Media): Jorge from Argentina: The Story of Pope Francis for Children (primary-level readers).Read More