Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Many have already taken down their Christmas decorations or turned off their lights. We have just started celebrating (since Christmas Eve)! In the Catholic Church, we celebrate Advent in preparation for Christmas until the evening of Dec. 24. We then celebrate the Christmas Season for 8 straight days in a row! That's how big it is to us! Many keep their decorations up until Feb. 2 -- the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple.

We hope that you all had a great Christmas. We did. Just being together, praying together, eating junk food together, trying out the new Christmas gifts . . . but most importantly, enjoying each other. We've said this many times -- we have so much more fun when all the Sisters are home from the schools. It's a good time!

We have certainly remembered all of you in our prayers of gratitude and love. God bless us, every one!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

God's Beauty -- Have we opened our eyes and hearts to it?

Sr. Mary Jude renewed her vows for one year on Dec. 17. Congratulations!
May God continue to bless you with deeper intimacy and love!
May you be a bright witness of Jesus' Truth and Love and Joy!

Christmas Plays are among our favorite "jobs" of being involved in Catholic Schools!
What a delight . . .
Many times the students will have songs to sing and dance to, lines to memorize . . .
It's always one of our favorite things to watch during December.

2 Sisters were able to attend the ordination of a Benedictine Monk friend in Pecos, NM
this past week. Father, you're in our prayers!

On the way home from the ordination, we discovered the beautiful "Canadian River Canyon"
in New Mexico. What a surprise! Amazing how you live fairly close to some of these things
and do not even know that they are nearby.

This is alot like God and His Awesomeness! We have so many treasures nearby

(the Holy Scriptures, Adoration, the Holy Mass, His Love and Truth, and . . . so much more),
but we many times take them for granted or do not even know the depth of their beauty!

May we spend this Advent and Christmas asking God to draw us closer to Himself and
to open our eyes to His beauty that is so near to us!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent -- A Beautiful Time to Reflect

What a privilege it has been to be able to share some time with the beautiful married couples (pictured above) with their TOOLS groups! It has been a delight getting to know them better and helping them reflect on their vocations and being Centered on Christ!

We've had 2 Marriage Retreats this month! God is SO good!

Also above, we had a cookie decorating party yesterday. It's become a tradition for some local friends to bring their children to spend time with us decorating cookies for Christmas. What a blast that was! (The picture in the chapel was us praying before they went home.)

Families -- what an awesome time of year to have families here! May the Christ Child be born in our hearts in a new and powerful way this Advent and Christmas.

We're having a Christmas Novena of Masses said for all of you before Christmas. In this most powerful prayer (the Mass), we are asking for blessings and graces in an awesome and overabundant way! God bless you all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blessed Advent to All!

Dear Friends,

During this very important Advent Season, may we all take extra time and effort to reflect on God, on His Love for us, on what He's asking of us, how He wants us to grow and to make some changes for the better . . .

Come, Lord Jesus, Come! Come into our Hearts in a new and awesome way! Open our hearts to be open to You and your life-changing and healing love. Amen.

On another note, check out some of the pictures from our recent FUN Raiser - Click Here!

God bless you all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Harvest of Blessings" Gala & FUN Raiser 2011

The candles wrapped up on the tables were supposed to be a gift to everyone that attended. Please, if you want a candle, please come by for one soon if you're in the vicinity.

Another awesome "dessert table" by one of our local friends. She always makes it so special!

Original Drawing by Joshua Sorenson (donated to our auctions)! Awesome job!

Cotton-eyed Joe -- We like to try it. Some Sisters are still trying to learn it . . . .

We had our FUN Raiser last Saturday night. It was awesome!

We are SO grateful for the Harvest of Blessings bestowed upon us by God and so many people. How could we ever thank you all enough for your friendship, your prayers, your generosity, and your goodness to us! We love serving you and serving with you. We love being your sisters in so many ways. Continue to pray for us as we pray for all of you!

And, don't forget to thank God for all the blessings in your life! Wow. How much God LOVES us! Do we ever thank Him enough??? Thank you, God! Please continue to bless us! We especially ask you to bless us with a deeper love for You and a deeper longing to be united with You and Your people. Amen.

[btw, If anyone has good pictures from our fun raiser, please forward them to Sr. Mary Michael! Thank you!]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

School Sisters "FUN Raiser" Around the Corner!

We have been working feverishly (is that a word?) to get ready for our Annual FUN Raiser. There's still a lot left to do, but it'll get done before the doors open Saturday night at 6:00 at the St. Thomas Gym (Amarillo, TX)!

See some of the hand-made crafts above that have been prepared by the Sisters in preparation for this night.

We also have some great Auction Items (we'll try to get the website updated).

If you haven't bought your ticket yet, we will be selling them at the door until we run out! Hope to see you there!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Receive Love - Be Love Retreat

A picture is worth a thousand words, so we'll spare you all the details! We had a great retreat this past weekend for some who are wanting to learn more about prayer, Religious Life, and what God might be calling them to!

We have been doing our "Come and See" retreats with the theme of Receive Love - Be Love because it's difficult to hear God's call in any direction if one does not first truly know how much God LOVES them! After we are able to receive God's awesome love, then we are more able to be love to others in our vocation.

Thank you for all those who were praying for us! God is love!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Latest Goings On -- Lots!

One of the beautiful Panhandle mornings!
We get to enjoy this almost every morning during breakfast! God is awesome!

Our "Harvest of Blessings" Gala is just around the corner!!!
Get your tickets now! Don't forget -- November 19th!

The Sisters enjoyed sitting on the basketball goal table at the St. Anthony's School Oktoberfest Auction. This was one of many auction items that sold to benefit the school last month.

Crystal enjoying the snow in Texas!
She immediately went out to make a snowman!

There is so much going on right now -- this weekend will be our "Receive Love - Be Love" Come and See Retreat, so please pray for everyone attending this and for the Holy Spirit to be overwhelmingly a part of the experience!

(Not to mention the very important All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day!) No matter how involved we are with all the events coming up, prayer is always a priority. If we do not have God as the center of our lives, then we're in trouble. We encourage you to do the same!

Pray for us -- we're praying for you! God bless you all!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We Had a Great Community Day!

Last weekend we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis as a Community! It's always so much fun for us to be together again (the Sisters in the schools come home about every 2 weeks). So that in itself is awesome.

On Saturday (sorry there's no pics), we used a gift card that someone had given us for the movies. We went to see Courageous. That was awesome. We also ate lunch at Furr's together. After that, several of us drove over to Pampa for their parish fundraiser. That was fun seeing old friends over there . . . and getting to dance to the Cotton-eyed-Joe (even though some Sisters need to learn that dance better).

It was a great day!

So many people are sick right now. Faith is more than hoping that someone will get better. Faith is trusting that whether the person gets better or not, God is trustworthy and good, and everything will be okay . . . one way or another. We have to trust that God has a plan and that good can come out of everything . . . everything.

Lord, there are so many people that are sick. Please bless them! Give them and their loved ones extraordinary strength and courage to go through the suffering that they are going through. Help them to stay faithful to You through it all and to get closer to You, oh God of Love. Help them to trust You and to remember that we are only pilgrims in this world. We are all on the journey to spend the next life with You in an amazing union and ecstasy! Help us to remember that and to begin to experience that awesome union with You now. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Marriage Retreat in Both Ways

Dear Friends,

We just had the priviledge of hosting a Marriage Retreat for local friends. Whether your vocation is marriage, single life, or Religious, we all need the same reminders to be Christ-Centered every day despite our human nature (and society's influence) to be otherwise.

Pictured above is our group from the retreat.

The bottom picture is a Sister from the Community of St. John that stayed with us for two weeks to brush up on her English. What a delight it was to have her! She too is married, like us, longing to have a deeper relationship with the Lord of Love every day. We really had a good time with her and we miss her (she attended the marriage retreat too)!

Please help us pray for the many intentions that are coming our way -- so many people are suffering, sick, and so forth. Some of them are close family members. Thank you so much for your prayers and love!

God bless you all!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Church, School, Lots of Memories, and Tears

What an awesome day!

Last Saturday, we were part of a very monumental day -- the Re-dedication and consecration of St. Anthony's Church and School in Dalhart, TX (see pictures above).

The top picture was taken after Mass. The Sisters were honored during the celebration for our almost 60 years of service to the school and church there. We realized in a powerful way that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.

The 2nd picture is the newly remodeled church.

The 3rd picture above was taken during Mass. The Sisters were chosen to wipe off the Chrism oil after the consecration of the altar. The people in the church told us later that they were able to hold back their tears until they saw us go up. That's beautiful.

The bottom picture is a close-up of the beautiful new crucifx behind the altar. It's amazing!

Lord, thank you for helping us to make a better space for your worship and your family. Thank you for the many years of service and love that you've allowed us to live. Please continue to bless us, helping us all to have a more intimate relationship with you! Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trees, Termites, and College Students

Some people imagine that Sisters have . . . pretty much nothing to do all day. Well, they probably pray a lot, and then they watch the flowers grow . . . .

Yes, there are days (like Sundays) when we can sit and enjoy the beautiful flowers, but most days are pretty full. This week has been one of those weeks.

The webmaster/technology person is trying to get a newsletter out, but other things keep taking her time. One of those things, and we'll refrain from putting a picture here, is termite damage! It's amazing how quiet they can be as they're destroying your property. . . .

The other thing is the tree trunk above -- old trees that need replaced in our special prayer garden. (Pray for the kind men that removed them for us! Thank you Mark and Vernon!!! You're awesome!)

The top picture is probably the most fun part of the week -- being with College Students and talking about Mary, how to understand her as our spiritual Mother that really can intercede for us in powerful ways, just as she did for the wedding at Cana (notice that it was not a big healing that she asked for -- God really cares about small details of our lives!!!). We always have a great time with college students!!!!

Finally, today is a very special day as we travel to Dalhart to celebrate the end of their construction and renovations! See article here in the Amarillo Globe News.

Here's the article link from the West Texas Catholic Newspaper!

Keep praying for us as we pray for all of you! You are a beautiful child of God -- never forget it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What a Surprise!

What a surprise! Some of us went to Nazareth (Texas) last night to see Addison Road and support their first "Faith Festival". It was a lot of fun meeting Jenny Simmons (pictured above in the black and white stripes), the lead singer for Addison Road. We were able to visit with her for a long time -- she told us a lot about her life and what it's like on the road, being a mother and wife, and loving what she does . . . .

Then she had a lot of questions for us, like what's the hardest part about being a Sister, and how did you decide to become a Sister?

She told us about what it was like to be on the road with Matt Maher, and so many things. We have found a new friend in the world.

We decided to leave after one song of her concert because it was so late, but while we were in the parking lot we heard from her, "Are the Sisters still here?!" She was about to sing a song for us because one of the girls in our group talked about how her song helped change her life. It's the song called, "What do I Know of Holy?" (We went back to listen to it, of course!)

It's amazing how God is using so many people to reach people's hearts. What a surprise that we found a new friend in a famous Contemporary Christian Pop Artist. God works in mysterious ways!

Also, this weekend is exciting for us because all the Sisters are home for Labor Day weekend. We just love it when everyone is home. God is good!

Monday, August 29, 2011

School is in Session

Dear Friends,

School is back in session! Some of the Sisters came home last weekend for the first time since school started. It was so awesome hearing all of their stories again about funny things that the children said or did . . . or to hear about cool things they're doing in class and to see the excitement and joy on their faces as they talked. That was awesome.

The top picture is from one of the Masses the children attend. To be an integral part of these children's religious formation is such an honor. What a great calling we have!

The bottom picture was taken on Sr. Josita's 87th birthday! Happy Birthday, Sister!!!

Lord, help us in our call to evangelize your people. Fill us with your light and your truth! Amen.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Love, Love, Love -- It's Where it's At!

3 visitors (on the right) -- We just had a good weekend with them!

Theology of the Body Conference in Amarillo!!! Pictured above: 3 TOB "Nuts"
Marcel LeJeune and Monica Ashour

Sisters at Chimayo Shrine in New Mexico

Sisters on Vacation in Taos, NM . . . visiting our old friend, Fr. Dino

A mother bear and her babies in Red River (Sisters' Community vacation).
This is in the back yard of the cabin we stayed in.

Sr. Rita learning how to fish in Red River with one of our good friends there!

The title of this post is about LOVE. Reflecting over the past 2 weeks or so since the last post, that's the word that comes to mind.

  • Love is what moves young ladies to visit here and to have a good experience while they're here.

  • Love is what moves speakers like Marcel and Monica to spread the message of the Theology of the Body all over the country and world. (TOB always leads to a deeper understanding of what love really is...)

  • Love is what moves the Sisters to visit shrines and to go on vacation together!

Hopefully love is all about every life! God is love and He's sharing it all over the place through His children. Isn't He awesome?!

God bless you all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Visitors Galore - Awesome Time!

This past weekend was a bit exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. We had a family spend the night on their way to vacation in Colorado (not pictured above). They have 6 children and that was fun having them, even if it was a short visit! We always enjoy having them here (even if they beat Sr. Mary Michael in Knock-Out)!

Top 2 Pics: We had 2 Youth Directors bring 5 (total) teens to "visit a convent". They're pictured above at the "Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" in Groom which is not far from our house. We had a great time with them -- see bottom picture of the young ladies helping Sr. Louise bake bread.

The picture of the two young ladies with the Infant of Prague: Crystal (on left) who is our new Candidate that entered this past month is from Baltimore; Ariel (on right) has been accepted to Enter next summer and she is currently living in Minnesota. She is one of more that are applying to Enter next summer.

Keep all the young ladies in your prayers as they are very excited to follow God in this awesome vocation of Love with God and His People!

We're gearing up big time for our last few days of vacation before school days are here again. We appreciate all prayers to support our apostolates and all the people we touch. God is SO good!