Tag Archives: charity

Our Lady’s Rosary Makers – Not What You Think

IMG_4401Sixth graders are on fire.  They have made hundreds of cord rosaries and it appears we are still early in the process.  Eighth grade Giana Girls are also engaging in the process.  Even some fourth graders have gotten involved.  Sister Mary Guadalupe is the main instigator, and she is willing to teach a new Rosary Devotee how to tie a knot any chance she gets.

This week a small group of sixth graders came to me with a charitable request.  IMG_4397One of our kindergartners has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.  The girls, some of whom have very close associations with leukemia in their own families, wanted to help that kindergartner and her family.  They’d like to market their rosaries for her.  I love how their hearts that are making the connection that we could do this to help another.  The boys will be helping, too, but this core group has a good dose of the feminine genius that we will fan into flame.  They have the green light from me to proceed with their plan.  They have a strategy for posters as well as a time and place to engage not only the school community, but also our parish and a couple other parishes.  Some have also begun to reach out to their family members.  The leadership ability of these young people is growing, as is their charity to those in need.

IMG_4402We have been communicating with the cord manufacturers to see if they, too, would like to contribute to our cause.  I’m wondering who they think is on the other end of the communique.  Sisters in their 80s are a grace for the Church (someday I hope to be one), but that is not the “Rosary Makers” of today, here at our school!

Just yesterday a few eighth graders proposed a project to promote solidarity and prayer for the same intention…more on that next week.  In the meantime, join us in prayer for that little one and her family.  Many of our children have “tied one on” literally.  May they tie Rosary knots for charity and the good of the Mystical Body with regularity throughout their lives.

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Lent and Mercy


There are many things we can give up for Lent, but it is also wise sometimes to add something good as a Lenten resolution.  An act of charity usually makes my list somewhere.  This year the Lord is fine tuning my concept of virtue and charity particularly.  The greatest virtue is (fill in the blank)….I always thought I knew the answer, but recently Pope Francis has given additional insight.  The most perfect form of love is mercy.  And oh, isn’t Our Father good at that.  I think he would like to see a little more of it reflected in me.  We I do need to work on remediation of the parts of me that are out of order, but an act of charity, better yet and act of mercy, can send us forward in goodness

May we truly grow in love and mercy.  As I looked at my list of things I’m thinking about doing for Lent this week.  I asked myself, which of these will make a difference for eternity.  Love never fails, neither will mercy.

I’ll close with three quotes from Pope Francis on mercy and one of my favorite works of prose for Lent and Ash Wednesday.

I think we too are the people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, to condemn others. And Jesus has this message for us: mercy. I think — and I say it with humility — that this is the Lord’s most powerful message: mercy.  — Homily on March 17, 2013

It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! … “Oh, I am a great sinner!” “All the better! Go to Jesus: He likes you to tell him these things!” He forgets, He has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets, He kisses you, He embraces you and He simply says to you: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more” (Jn 8:11).   — Homily on March 17, 2013

In the past few days I have been reading a book by a Cardinal … Cardinal Kasper said that feeling mercy, that this word changes everything. This is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient. … Let us remember the Prophet Isaiah who says that even if our sins were scarlet, God’s love would make them white as snow. This mercy is beautiful.   — Angelus on March 17, 2013


Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling within them.

Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.

Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on words that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; feast on divine order.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress; feast on verities that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

(Fast from worry about yesterday, feast on the good you can do now.)

Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.

Fast from the shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.

Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.

~William Ward (+ anonymous addition)

Blessed Lent to you all!

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Sister Mary Michael

St. Peter Principal



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What did you do with yours?


The above is a friendly snowball excursion, I am sure!  There is even a smile under that dispersing snow.

After reflecting on the snow day, I saw many opportunities for charity on a variety of levels.  For example:

  • Children went out in groups of three for 10 minute shifts to clear the teachers’ cars of snow.  There was a line of students wanting to go!
  • Some of the Sisters baked for us at home!  Warm soft pretzels with the soup for dinner, yum.
  • A family that lives down the street from our convent was scheduled to deliver their seventh child Wednesday morning, so we scooped their drive.
  • On the way to their house we helped another neighbor scoop their driveway and walks.
  • It was a real cross, but I joined in the card game to make four in the afternoon.
  • On the way into school this morning, even in the midst of the genuine cold, I noticed several children looking behind them as they entered to see if there were other children, especially little ones, for whom they would need to hold the door.

As we went to scoop, we did not have shovels, but knew St. Teresa Church had some at each of the doors.  We live right next to the Church there, so we borrowed the shovels.  As we did so, I thought about the act of charity and how it was fostered by the Church.  Without the shovels, the act of charity would not be possible.  Without the Lord and His prompts of grace no good is possible.  He prompted the prayer, “Lord bless me with an open heart as I’m sure I miss so many opportunities.”

Many acts of kindness are little.   St. Therese paved the way for helping us know the value of little acts done well.  A while back one of the children asked, “I really don’t have big things I can do, but I can do little ones.  Sister, is there any act that is too little to bother with?”

“God cares about even the littlest things.  Nothing is too small to offer Him.”  How pleased He must be with such children, no wonder He says, “Let the little children come to me.” (Mk 10:14).

Snow days remind me of grace.  Freely given by the Lord, undeserved by us, bringing goodness and delight (for the most part, I’m sure for some the immediate change of schedule is difficult.)

This work of prose was floating around this week among the teachers.  I found it delightful!  We really do love school, but there’s just something about a snow day that appeals to the kid in all of us.

Oh Lord, let it snow.
Let it drift and let it blow.
In the morning, no real fuss,
Just enough to stop the bus.
Enough to make them say:
“There will be no school today.”
Let the radio report:  “Snow’s deep!”
And I’ll roll over for more sleep.
Then later on, say maybe ten,
I’ll turn the radio on again.
Just in time to hear them say:
“It’s strange, the snow has gone away.”
And then I’ll know, You made it stop.
And back tomorrow to school we will hop.
Please Lord, just hear my teacher’s plea,
And make it snow for the kids and me.

Thank you, Lord, for your gift to us.

May it help us remember to always trust.

In His Love,

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St. Peter School





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