Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the wonder of eight years

Blessed Feast of the Visitation!

Visitation BVM - icon by Rebecca Taylor

So many wonderful texts, so many wonderful possibilities.  I had the joy of preaching and presiding this morning.  We sang the Magnificat, of course, and we really were rejoicing with Mary and Elizabeth.  What an amazing pair of women they were.  And Mary's song... Well, that will have to wait for another time. There is too much there to write now.

It's been an especially meaningful day for me because it is my eighth anniversary of profession.  So hard to believe! Didn't I just get here?  And wait, wasn't I supposed to be incredibly holy by now?!  Well, it is a good thing God is gracious and patient. And I'd say God has a wonderful sense of humor, too. 

Six years ago today, I made my final vows - my life vows.  It was the best day of my life, though ordination to the priesthood was only a hair shy of catching up to it.   In gratitude and wonder and praise, I am posting this photo to remind myself as well as to share the joy of that day with you. 

taking life vows as a Sister of St. Margaret
May 31, 2005

Magnify, my soul, God's greatness! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

a Boston benefit concert for Haiti

Saturday, May 28
8:00pm - 9:30pm

Church of St. John the Evangelist
35 Bowdoin Street
Boston, MA
(near the State House)

The Facebook Event description is as follows:
"Over 40 professional early music specialists will present a concert of polychoral works by Michael Praetorius and Giovanni Gabrieli. All proceeds will benefit the Sisters of St. Margaret and their relief work in Haiti. Directed by Michael Barrett."

Come join us!  Good music for a good cause.

Monday, May 23, 2011


happy feet!
All right, with all these disasters happening, I need a little fun.  You?  Need to cut footloose with those (hoping to be) happy feet?

Here's a music video that made me smile right when I needed it.   From Fred Astaire in Singing in the Rain to penguins in Happy Feet!  Flashdance and White Nights.  Mary Poppins and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  And of course Saturday Night Fever.  

Let's dance those disaster blues away to renew our energy for the work ahead.

no more tornadoes, please


Enough already.

Tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fire and flood... oh yes, and that volcano... What next?

I've caught up with most of my friends via Facebook now, so I am much comforted.  A longtime friend's condo complex was hit in Minneapolis, but she says she got lucky. 

For those of you who have not caught up on your news, here is a link to some extended video news coverage:  Missouri tornado leaves 89 dead - Today Show, Monday morning.  Obviously, the death toll will be rising.

I've been reading some of the news on Joplin, Missouri, and wondering how we can help.  Obviously, we can pray.  People with financial resources can give.  I'm also wondering if parishes will be able to send people to help clean up and rebuild much the way they did (do!) after Katrina.  The Episcopal diocese there did much to coordinate this.

To that end, I'd like to pass along a link to the website of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri:


There are updates there, as well as the following message about needs yet to be determined:

"We know even less about the assistance that will be needed in the near future, though emergency housing will definitely be high on the list of initial needs. More definition of needs will pour forth soon. I speak from experience when I say, “Rest assured, the needs will become evident soon, as soon as disaster response teams and community leaders are able to begin ascertaining damage and needs.” I base this on my own experience of losing a church building in Jackson, TN to a tornado in May 2003 (the entire City of Jackson was also affected of course). As needs are defined, we, the Diocese of West Missouri, will respond with all speed and will muster all available resources.   Financial contributions to assist with immediate and long-term needs may be sent to the diocesan office, checks made payable to Diocese of West Missouri, with note, “Joplin Tornado Relief Fund.”"

I trust local coordination will be best able to respond to needs of the community.  Certainly they will need less overhead and will know the people affected personally.  Perhaps this is a place to start.

So pray for those affected: not only those who have lost families and friends and homes, but also those who are responding to the disaster, who must be exhausted and traumatized to some extent themselves.  Pray for anyone yet stuck in the wreckage.  And pray that more stormy weather will pass them by. 

Enough already.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

still here waiting for rapture

 I've been Left Behind!  6PM has come and gone, and we didn't finish our Solemn Vespers with a light show after all.   How will I ever explain this to my spiritual director?

Then again, I read that there was a volcanic eruption in Iceland today, so perhaps the end of the world goes one country at a time.  Rather impressive, no?

Grimsvotn volcano, southern Iceland, erupting 5-21-11

I was invited to Post-Rapture Looting, among other things, but now I suppose the convent will have to do without a Hummer Limo in which to transport the entire order at once.  Maybe next time. 

Seriously, though, while I was amused by the Doonesbury series, several very creative prank suggestions (e.g. laying out a set of empty old clothes on the sidewalk in the shape of a person so it looks as though they had just disappeared) and the suggestion that we could skip doing supper dishes tonight, I am truly concerned for all those people who have been deeply invested in this concept.  I gather some of them spent their entire life savings on advertising campaigns in the hope of saving more people from the disasters to come and the end of the world (which is not until October, mind you).  What are these people going to do now?  And the psychological and spiritual crisis that must inevitably ensue for most of them isn't going to help them get their finances in order, either. 

We need to pray for them.  This is going to be difficult.  Probably already is, and though I haven't searched for any articles on this yet, I assume there will follow-up.  What will it be like?  It's easy to laugh (see indulgence above - should I even be posting this?); however, this has provoked anxiety in many people and must be truly traumatic to the core group.  I suggest we all have some compassion rather than indulging in schadenfreude.

Monday, May 9, 2011

up for rent in Haiti

I don't know a thing about Mission of Hope, but any charity that is doing something about construction of small homes in Haiti has my vote. 

It's so frustrating knowing that so many are still homeless - millions?  I don't know the answer to the situation any more than anyone else does. How do you build when the rubble is still there? And if you are having trouble finding enough money to feed your family, how on earth could you hire someone to help take away the pile of concrete and iron bars that once was your home?  It's not as though you could demolish it by hand, after all. 

I read recently that it will take Japan two years to clear away the rubble from the tsunami - and that's Japan.  Why people expect Haiti to have it taken care of in less than that time is beyond me.  And yet the slow pace must be driving some to despair.  So many have gone on to the next thing - New Zealand, Japan, the recent storms and floods in the American midwest - and there will be more.  But it's not over in Haiti. It's barely begun, sad to say.

I wonder what it will be like when I arrive in Haiti this fall if all goes as I hope.  I'm still not sure where they will put me - but it will work out.  I'll have a roof over my head, which is more than so many people do.   It's going to be very difficult to see in person this devastation.  To see the place where the cathedral and convent and schools once stood.  To visit Darbonne, where most of the campus was flattened - though the rectory, at least, was still standing and usable, cracks and all. 

So that's why I am grateful to find this tiny article buried on msn. 

charity building small rental homes in northern Haiti

The key information: 

"The Mission of Hope project near the town of Cabaret will consist of 500 simple homes in bright pastel colors, each with a couple of fruit trees to provide food and a source of extra income to the families, said Jay Cherry, who is coordinating the project for the charity based in Fort Myers, Florida."

Cabaret is way up north near Cap-Haitien, so not at all near the crowds in Port-au-Prince.  I can't decide if that's a good thing, since Port-au-Prince is overcrowded, or an unfortunate thing, since there is so much need near the capital.  It may be that this is simply not a useful thing to wonder, since wherever it is, it is needed.

Thanks be to God that a few more will be taken care of.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

sunrise joy

Awake, my soul!

God showed up this morning in beauty.

My heart sings on mornings such as these.

This photo, by the way, is not edited or corrected - just the view from our roof.