September 20, 2007


This week has been very full already. Sunday was my birthday--26 years old! I got more birthday cards and phone calls than I knew what to do with. I think maybe the people back home were extra aware that I was somewhere new, as were the people here, so it was double what I could have expected. We spent the evening here at a wonderful Mexican restaurant, then came home to play Rummikub and eat some cake and ice cream. Liz asked if I wanted a certain kind of ice cream. Growing up we used to get the off brand chocolate chip in the big tub. Is there anything better?! (Picture detail... Sr. Liz with whom I live is in the front left. Sr. Roseanne who lives in a little apartment attached to our house is in the back left. Myself front right. And Sr. Mary Clare, the other sister with whom I live, is in the back right.)

The last two days have been spent at a workshop with Fr. Ray Carey on the skills needed to live a consecrated celibate life. Two (sometimes three) CSJs there with about 25 Jesuit novices. It was kind of fun to hear how the presentation was given recognizing that Father Ray's audience was primarily male. The presentation was given from the perspective of God as Shalom. Shalom is popularly translated as "peace," but we were given a more in-depth description: wholeness, balance, integration, harmony, the Gospel perfection we CSJs speak about in our maxims. From that framework, Fr. Ray, a self-described behaviorist, gave intimacy skills needed to live life as celibate lovers. His presentation was assuming a high inner locus of control, and, thus, left it up to each of us to develop and practice the skills he presented. Yes, maybe we are each called to be there as novices, but what we do with that call is highly personal within the context of our particular congregation. I'll have plenty to pray with tomorrow on my prayer day.

At Sarah's I'm trying to learn more of the ins and outs of our U.S. immigration policy. Looking at the policies in regards to the women's experiences with whom I am in contact as well as the stories daily in the paper here, I know there is lots to learn.

I suppose that is where I am currently--lots to learn.

P.S. A picture with some of the St. Joseph Workers, a group of young women doing a year (or two, or three) of volunteer work with the sisters here.


  1. Sorry I missed your birthday. Actually, the reason was that the cat ate my mouse! Anyway, I'm happy you had such a happy one, and Belated Happy Birthday!
    Mary Ann Hilgeman

  2. Belated Happy Birthday, Sarah! I didn't realize you were a September baby... Me, too... I just turned 70!

    Your description of having the workshop focused mainly for the male population must have been quite different. Glad you are intelligent and can observe that! May your prayer day be greatly blessed!
    --Pat M

  3. I think there is something better - Baskin Robins Chocolate Mint Chip - When I came home from the Novitiate my local community had a container waiting for me. Aren't local communities fabulous!!!
    Paula Terese

  4. Sarah:
    Sounds like you're adjusting fine to "up north." Hope you can join us for the sectional in Green Bay.
    Also...Happy Belated Birthday!
    Alexandra (Lex) Guliano

  5. Happy belated birthday Sarah. The kids and I remembered you and your birthday on Sunday in our nightly prayers. Hope you had a good day and hope all is well in Minnesota. We love you!

    Uncle Dave

  6. Sarah, I'm so sorry to have missed your birthday! I thank God for the gift of your life and for your sharing it with us as CSJ!

    I agree with the one above who said that mint chocolate chip was the greatest treat!

    Your classes sound stimulating, and your classmates 'interesting!' I hope the feminine dimension gets included in the presentations. Also, you're so articulate that you've given us a real flavor of your experiences. Blessings on all your projects.

    Joan Henehan

  7. Sarah,
    It sounds like you're getting into the swing of learning lots. I've attended workshops by Fr. Ray Carey. He is a good examples, is clear and interesting. Wow you were really outnumbered by all the Jesuit novices! They must have come from several provinces.

    Happy Birthday a little late. Sounds like you had a wonderful one!

    Margaret G.

  8. Another belated Happy Birthday!!! With a big long distance hug.

    I can relate to the immigration things. It is really a challenge being in another country that doesn't share your assumptions about how things are done and what is the 'right' way to do things.

    In Belgium, English is widely spoken, and it is a western country. But I'm realizing just how 'foreign' I am to them, and they to me. It makes me appreciate the plight of immigrants to the US even more.


  9. Thanks for the update looks like you are making yourself at home both on the outside and the inside. I'm glad your birthday was a good celebration filled with a deep sense of being loved and connected with so many. I'll get back to you soon. Love, Linda

  10. It was fun to share the same birthday.... I love the blog with pictures too. What a great adventure for you. I know you will make the most of it.
    SJA is humming....volleyball is doing well.
    Take care.
    pat dunphy

  11. Oh Sarah your workshop and classes sound wonderful. The Jesuit novice director is from St. Louis. Tom Prag. His sister is a Fontbonne Grad in either deaf ed or speech path. I have kind of forgotten. Had a good beginning visit with Tony. I understand that your friend Dave I is moving back to STL. Have a most wonderful week. HAPPY FALL!!!MARIANNE