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sr.christinaosf

Thoughts from a Franciscan Sister

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sr.christinaosf

Thanks - did you notice the black border on the sides. 

Does that bother you, or does it look nice and professional still?

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BarbaraTherese
On ‎15‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 0:05 AM, sr.christinaosf said:

Thanks - did you notice the black border on the sides. 

Does that bother you, or does it look nice and professional still?

Looked professional to me, Sister.  I probably only noticed the black border because you asked about it.  If anything the black border emphasised the video inside.

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sr.christinaosf

Stairs for Lent?

PA100002.JPGLast evening, I went to bed at 6:45, anticipating working a night shift.  One of our aides had called earlier in the day, home with sick children.  By early evening, neither she nor I had been able to find another staff person to fill in.

The decision was made that, unless we heard anything, I would just plan on working ‘nights’; I did not have a heavy work schedule on the morrow and could easily catch up on sleep.  Plus, knowing in advance, I’d have a chance for a “long [spring] nap” before hand.

Although I went to bed, I had a tough time getting to sleep.  What sleep I did get was fitful.  Then, at 9:15 p.m., I heard the phone rang.  One of the night staff had got his message and had called that he would come in to work; I would not need to fill in after all.  Read more

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sr.christinaosf

A Heart for Holy Week

Holy Week has always been special to me.  Back home, growing up, it was made special with beautiful customs, from attending Holy Thursday Mass to dyeing eggs on Holy Saturday afternoon.  (I am not trying to put these on the same plane.)

Now, since I’ve come to St. Anne’s, this annual commemoration has only grown in significance for me.  I’ve even developed traditions of my own, including making hot cross buns, ironing curtains for the Altar of Repose, and several others.

Many of these are linked to my assignment as sacristan here, which I was asked to take up several years back when our Sister Annella retired to our provincial house.

A week before Palm Sunday, the famous brown suitcase comes down from the cupboard above a closet in the sacristy.  It contains cloth covers for the crosses and other items used at this time of the liturgical year.  It will sit on a chair in our conference room until Easter.

Along with the special baking, ironing, and liturgical planning

 which take place during these holy days, extra cleaning has also become customary for me during the latter part of Holy Week.

We have Eucharistic Adoration (Exposition) in our chapel during the week, normally.  However, during the Paschal Triduum, this does not take place.  I use this time to do some thorough cleaning which I do not like to undertake when people are there, including polishing the woodwork, cleaning the vigil light stand, and cleaning candle holders.  (In typing this, I just reminded myself of some of the work that’s ahead.)

palm trimming

We trimmed the palms I and wrapped them in damp towels overnight.

All these tasks and considerations can be a little overwhelming.  However, they are good exterior elements to correlate with interior dispositions at this time.

As I prepare the chapel for these important commemorations, as I bake hot cross buns for our residents, as I clean and iron, I think of the Holy Women who accompanied Jesus on His way and I pray that my own heart (and not just our chapel) my be cleansed more and more.  I pray that it may be close to His.

(Please Note: Due to the solemn nature of these holy days I will not be posting during the Triduum.  We have a custom of observing silence from Holy Thursday until the Easter Vigil, which my oft-typing fingers will strive to maintain as well.)

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sr.christinaosf

Barely Scratching the Surface

PA230022.JPGWhew….

We just finished the hustle and bustle of Holy Week!

I really love these beautiful commemorations, but as a sacristan who has to coordinate things, I am always relieved Easter Sunday morning when it’s all behind me for another year.

This time of “the last three days of Holy Week” is such a special one.  Yesterday, as this time of silence and reflection was nearing its end, a realization settled upon me:

In this period, I had barely scratched the surface.  I had tried to reflect upon all that Jesus did for us, but the mystery is so deep, so profound.  In a year’s time, we hardly even get started in grasping it.

Even a lifetime of Holy Weeks won’t be enough.

Maybe each year, as we prepare throughout Lent and then delve deeply into the mystery during the Triduum, we can at least increase our love and appreciation for Christ’s passion.

Furthermore, I hope, that all my busyness during Holy Week doesn’t hinder my ability to go deeply into this mystery.  I hope I don’t let these precious days pass by without growing in my appreciation for this mystery.  I want to delve as deeply as possible into it, not hindering or ignoring the movement of God’s grace within me. Now, may the same be the same during the 50 days of Easter.

I pray that all of you who read this have a very blessed Easter season, that you may be enriched as you delve now into the mystery of Christ’s resurrection.

Would you please pray for me as well?

Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF

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