posted on: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by: renaebauer
For National Vocation Awareness Week, may we
all listen to God's call
by Sister Laura Zelten
A young woman recently stated how clear the invitation to follow
God is in Sacred Scripture. When I asked her what she meant, she
said, "Samuel was awakened in the middle of the night, Paul was
knocked down and blinded on the road, and Mary had an angel come to
her. For them it seems so clear and direct. Why isn't it that way
I smiled in agreement. Sometimes the invitation to follow
Jesus can seem nebulous or inaudible. But maybe the people of
Scripture were listening intently and were open to God's call no
matter how it came.
To hear God we might be well served to silence the noise around
us. It is so easy for us to fill our days and nights with
activities. Connecting with the spiritual means a daily commitment
to quality prayer time. God does speak to us through Scripture,
Eucharist, nature, and the people and events in our lives. Can we
be like the people of Scripture and listen closely for God?
Through prayerful discernment we discover that God wants only what
is good for us -- what brings wholeness and leads to holiness.
posted on: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by: renaebauer
Today's "to-do" list: Love God and love
by Sister Francis Bangert
Today Jesus, the Master Teacher, responds to a trick question
put to him by a religious lawyer, "Which commandment in the law is
There were 600+ regulations in the law of Moses. Jesus narrows
them down to simply two: "You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second
is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." To do these
two is to carry out all the others.
So who is my neighbor, according to Jesus? To name just a
- the immigrant seeking a better life
- the homeless child facing tremendous odds
- the woman, man, or child trafficked right under our eyes
- the person released from incarceration, genuinely wanting to
- the elderly neighbor, isolated and lonely
How might Green Bay, Brown County, the state of Wisconsin, the
USA, our world look different if all who call themselves a follower
of Jesus would live these two laws ... both in word and in
posted on: Thursday, October 16, 2014 by: renaebauer
Though hidden, God comforts and loves us each
by Sister Mary Kabat
Have you had those experiences when for no reason at all you
remember something important you had forgotten, or you run into an
old friend you haven't seen in a long time and he/she says
something you needed to hear, or you hear a song on the car radio
that resonates with your life and brings a tear to your eye or a
smile to your heart?
If you think such moments are random or purely by chance, take
some time with the first reading for this Sunday from the Prophet
I, the Lord, have helped you, called you,
encouraged you, rescued you, loved you ... though you knew me
I believe God loves us beyond our comprehension and is near and
ready to give help or comfort whether we ask for it or not. Much of
the time we go through life unaware or weighed down by troubles and
sorrow. Let us walk through this day with a heightened awareness
that our God is with us and is blessing us with good from "the
rising to the setting of the sun."
posted on: Tuesday, October 07, 2014 by: renaebauer
Simple acts of kindness can ease affliction
by Sister Agnes Fischer
"You have done well to share with me in my affliction." (Phil. 4:14,
Sunday's second reading)
-- You paid for my prescription from the doctor.
-- You brought my family food when my husband was laid
-- You stood up for me when I was accused unjustly.
-- You visited me when I was sick.
-- You helped me find a job.
-- You gave me a ride to church and to the grocery
-- You found help for me to pay the gas bill.
-- You waited patiently until I could pay the rent.
-- You comforted me when my mother died.
-- You allowed me to work for you even though I had to bring
my child along.
-- You carried my groceries to the car.
-- You raked the leaves in my yard and kept my sidewalk clean
"... God, in return, will supply all your needs." (Phil
posted on: Monday, September 29, 2014 by: renaebauer
Like our fall harvest, we are to be the good
fruits of God's vineyard
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
The Parable of the Vineyard in Matthew is one in a series in
chapters 21 and 22, describing the Kingdom of God. It's a
perfect reading for this time of the year when all of us are
focused on harvesting the vegetables from our gardens, or
purchasing the fruits of others' labor at farmers' markets.
We know how hard we work to facilitate growth and how much we look
forward to the good things we've planted and nurtured. We
also know how disappointed we are if drought or birds or bugs
destroy our crops.
God planted a vineyard (Israel) and expected a fruitful harvest of
justice and care for the poor. Instead, the "tenants" of the
vineyard gave back little. When God sent the prophets and
finally his own Son to call the people to greater responsibility,
they treated the messengers badly and even killed some. So
God's promise and choice passed to a new people, the Church.
As members of this "new Israel," you and I are called to bring
forth the fruits enumerated by Paul in his letter to the
Philippians: being honorable, just and gracious -- doing what we
have learned and seen and heard from the Scriptures and from the
example of the apostles and all true believers.
This week as we enjoy fresh tomatoes, squash, and other garden
produce, may it remind us that we are called to be the harvest of
justice for God's Kingdom -- which includes graciously sharing what
we have and who we are with those in need.
posted on: Thursday, September 25, 2014 by: renaebauer
An open heart is the first step to
integrating God's ways
by Carla Schommer
St. Francis Convent Director
Jesus asks a question of faith, not one of social standing,
character or reputation: Which son did the will of the
Father? Openness and repentance are the keys that lead us to
the change of mind and heart drawing us ever closer to God. Which
of the two sons are you more like? We are all sinners and perhaps
we are a little bit like both. Often we can be like the first
brother, or like the tax collectors and prostitutes Jesus
references, and openly say no with both our words and our
ways. Then, like them, we have a change of mind and heart,
repent, and do the work God asks. Other times we can be
self-righteous like the second son, or the Pharisees, and pay
lip-service to God's call.
Like it or not, we argue with God. It is our human
struggle. We ask, "Lord, teach us your ways." We pray,
"Lord, Thy will be done." Yet, often our actions say, "Lord,
Thy will be changed!" because our words say "yes" but our lives say
"no." Our ways need to be God's ways. Our attitudes
need to be ones that exemplify the mind and heart of Jesus.
Our intimate self-interest is in loving others.
May our relationship with others be marked by unity, love,
humility and consideration for the interests of others. Peace
in our families, communities and world, and eternal life with our
God will be the fruits when our ways are God's ways.
posted on: Thursday, September 18, 2014 by: renaebauer
God's peace and generosity is offered to
by Sister Jacqueline Capelle
Today's Gospel tells us the story of a peaceful and generous
vineyard owner. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he went out
many times during the day to hire workers. At the end of the day he
paid all the workers the same amount. The people were overcome with
amazement. The owner of the vineyard was a generous and peaceful
Sunday is International Day of Peace. We are seeing more and
more violence in our world. To end this we start with ourselves --
each of us has to ask ourselves if we are leading a life of
violence. If we say "yes" then we must unlearn the ways of violence
and cultivate nonviolence. If we each do this, we can make steps to
change our violent world. On International Day of Peace, find one
way to bring nonviolence into your life, such as attending our Peace Vigil, and
encourage those you know or live with to do the same.
Universal Peace Prayer
Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill my heart, my world, my universe.
posted on: Thursday, September 11, 2014 by: renaebauer
Holy Cross Feast celebrates historical,
by Sister Renee Delvaux
This Sunday is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross,
which celebrates three historical events: the
finding of the true cross by St. Helena, the
dedication of the basilica built on Calvary by Constantine,
and the restoration of the true cross to
The spiritual celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the
Holy Cross is a remembrance and celebration of God's greatest
work: His Son Jesus' saving death on the cross and His
resurrection. The holy cross is the symbol of salvation,
divine love and compassion: "For God so loved the world that
He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might
not perish but might have eternal life." (Jn 3: 16)
How do we respond to this awesome outpouring of love? We fall on
our knees and humbly pray:
"We adore You, O
Christ, and we praise You,
because by your holy cross You have redeemed the
posted on: Thursday, September 04, 2014 by: renaebauer
Sunday's readings have much to say about
by Sister Annette Koss
Wisconsin is the third highest state in the U.S. for human
trafficking, according to local police. Milwaukee and Highway 41
increase this corridor of evil.
On September 11, a group of 11 persons, our sisters and members
of Holy Spirit Parish, Darboy-Kimberly, will attend the 2014
Women's Fund Annual Luncheon at the Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.
This awareness and fund-raising event will be filled to capacity
with 1,000 people in attendance! The featured speaker is Rachel
Lloyd, trafficked at 16 and a now survivor and leader. In 1998, at
just 25, she founded GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring
Services. Rachel made an indelible impact to shift the perception
of trafficked girls from criminals to victims and now to survivors
and leaders. She co-produced the documentary "Very Young Girls,"
and wrote the book "Girls Like Us." Rachel has advocated for
survivors at the White House, the United Nations and before
Congress. The GEMS training program will coming to the Fox Cities
In our readings for the 23rd Sunday, Ezekiel strongly encouraged
us to warn the wicked, the psalmist says that we should harden not
our hearts, Matthew tells us to gather together in the name of
Jesus, and Paul makes it clear that love does no evil to the
- What can I do to become educated and increase awareness about
- How can I be supportive and take action against it?
- How can we gather and go forth on the promise of Jesus to be
with us in all the circumstances of our lives?
posted on: Thursday, August 28, 2014 by: renaebauer
Paradise in our Father's house requires
dispensing of this world
by Renae Bauer
Self-preservation is instinctual, which is probably why Sunday's
readings are so challenging. They speak of losing everything
"here" in return for everything "there." Why does Jesus ask us to
sacrifice so much?
The full answer isn't necessarily ours to know. After saying,
"(W)hoever loses his life for my sake will find it," Jesus
explains, "For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his
Father's glory, and then he will repay all according to his
conduct." We are not to conform to this age; we are to prepare for
something more to come. Yet, none of us knows what exactly heaven
or eternal life is like.
Perhaps we'd be more willing to give up everything if we
understood exactly what we will receive in return. But that's not
going to happen, as far as I know. I'd like to believe that the
sweetness of eternal life is not ours to know today because our
minds can't comprehend how amazing it is. Even so, Scripture hints
at what heaven is like: Our Father's house (John 14:2); paradise (2
Cor. 12:4); and a dimension that is free of tears, pain and death
When, because of my faith, I feel "duped" or the "object of
laughter" (as described in Jeremiah) I need to remember another
passage from Jeremiah: "The Lord is with me, like a mighty
champion" (20:11). His aid alone makes all things possible.