A Message from Sister Carol Ann Petersen, November 26, 2022
Advent is a season of watching, waiting and preparing. It’s a time when church communities, families and individuals prepare both hearts and sacred spaces to welcome Christ and celebrate his coming.
Of course, we know that Christ was born and came into the world many years ago, but we must continually wait and watch or we’ll miss him in our midst today. The Jesus presented to us on social media, at political rallies or in the news is often not the Jesus of the Gospels. Jesus did not teach violence or hatred; he taught us to love. At our baptism, we promise to live that love by seeking and serving Christ in ALL persons, by striving for justice and peace, and by respecting the dignity of EVERY human being.
When we picture ourselves in the Gospel story of Jesus, I’m sure we hope that we would be the inn owner who would have a room, or the shepherd who would hasten. If we watch and wait and pay attention to the signs of our times, we see so many examples of Christ among us, unrecognized but looking for a welcome: Christ who comes in the migrants and refugees, Christ who is wounded but present in those who are victims of violence or discrimination – Jews, Muslims, LGBTQIA+, young people and old people, the handicapped and mentally or physically ill, the homeless and so many more who are on the margins of society. In each person, Christ is present and seeking a loving welcome and a home.
During Advent, there are carols to sing, candles to light, doors of Advent calendars to be opened, trees to be decorated, presents to buy, a festive table to be set, meals to be prepared, and on and on. Let us, above all, be alert and prepare our hearts to embrace Christ in anyone who might be left behind or missed. Let us watch, slow down to notice, and expand our hearts to welcome God among us. Let us have the courage of the Holy Spirit to address the sins of our times. Help us rise above our dread that nothing can be done, and grant us the conviction to advocate for a world that values each person. That, I think, is the true message and hope of Advent.
All of us at Sophia, and all of the Benedictine Sisters, wish you and yours a most blessed Christmas. You will be remembered in our Masses and prayers during this season and throughout the year.
We have published our calendar of upcoming events January-May. We hope you’ll be able to join us in person or on Zoom.
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Our ministry is to serve you, so if you would like to attend a retreat, but find the cost prohibitive, please don’t hesitate to make a scholarship request. We ask only a few questions. No explanations are necessary.
January 10, 17, 24, 31, 2023 | Tuesdays 7:00-8:30 p.m., CST Facilitated by Renee Neff-ClarkCost: $40 If we view our life as a journey, then
January 27-28 | Friday, 4:00 p.m.-Saturday 2:00 p.m., CST (A College-Aged Retreat for High School Graduates through age 25 years) Facilitated by Mary Kay WhitacreCost:
January 28, 2023 | Saturday, 10:00-11:00 a.m. CST, via Zoom (Sessions offered monthly, January through May. Days and times vary.) Souljourners Inquiry Sessionsfacilitated by S.
February 1, 2023 | Wednesday 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CST facilitated by S. Linda Zahner, OSB Cost: $15 Join us for a guided meditation based on Isaiah’s
February 15, 2023 | Wednesday, 1:00-3:00 p.m. CST, on-site (Sessions offered monthly, through May. Days and times vary.) Souljourners Inquiry Sessionsfacilitated by S. Mary Elizabeth
February 24-25, 2023 | Friday, 3:00 p.m.-Saturday, 4:00 p.m., CST facilitated by Sr. Micaela RandolphCost: $150 (includes private room and meals)Registration is limited. “Abide in
March 1, 2023 | Wednesday 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CST facilitated by S. Linda Zahner, OSB Cost: $15 Join us for a guided meditation based on the
March 16, 2023 | Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CST, via Zoom (Sessions offered monthly, through May. Days and times vary.) Souljourners Inquiry Sessionsfacilitated by S.
March 24-25, 2023 | Friday 7:00 p.m.—Saturday 3:00 p.m. CDT Facilitated by S. Susan Barber, OSB, and Renee BhatiaCost: $140 (includes one-night stay in private
March 28-30, 2023 | Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.—Thursday, noon, CDT Facilitated by Rev. Rob Carr and Rev. Dennie Oades, trained presenters of centering prayer and members
April 7 | Friday, 9:00-4:00 p.m. CDT facilitated by Rev. Rob Carr, trained presenter of centering prayer and member of Contemplative Outreach, founded by Fr.
April 16, 2023 | Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CDT A Bilingual Retreat in Spanish & Englishfacilitated by Mary Kay Whitacre and Karla MelgarSuggested offering: $35
April 19-21, 2023 | Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. —Friday, 3:00 p.m., CDT facilitated by Judith Valente and Lisa BregerCost: $240 Registration is limited. In his Rule
April 22, 2023 | Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CST, on-site (Sessions offered monthly, through May. Days and times vary.) Souljourners Inquiry Sessionsfacilitated by S. Mary
May 4, 2023 | Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. CDT facilitated by Rev. Mary DonovanCost: $90 (materials and lunch included) The day will begin reintroducing ourselves
May 16, 2023 | Tuesday, 3:00-4:00 p.m. CST, via Zoom Souljourners Inquiry Session facilitated by S. Mary Elizabeth Schweiger, OSB Souljourners is a three-year spiritual