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Are you restless or hungry for more in your life? Are you seeking wisdom or looking for inspiration? The Gospel gave guidance to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi as they followed in the footprints of Jesus some 800 years ago. The witness of their lives and values continue to inspire those of us on a spiritual journey today. Join Sister Michelle L’Allier and her guest, ordinarily on the first and third Tuesday of each month, for a time of shared reflection and conversation.

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Jun 15, 2021

Join young adult Sister Eilis McCulloh as she explores the influence of Franciscan values and life experiences in her journey to a life-long commitment of service in religious life. Eilis notes the impact, for example, of reverence for creation, simplicity, encounter, and hospitality.

From Sister Eilis: “There was something about the Humility of Mary (HM) Community that was calling me to return. That was the place where my heart was, where I felt most at home and most authentically myself. And if I was going to explore religious life, that that was the community that I needed to really do that exploration with. It was the learnings and the experiences of being a Franciscan Community Volunteer that really opened me up to be able to live into the call of religious life and to take the parts of my time in St. Cloud that I loved and were foundational to me. And then to return home to where I knew that I was being called to live and to recognize that that it was back in Villa Maria, Pennsylvania in Northeast, Ohio. …

Key values to explain Franciscans:

The first is honor or reverence for all of creation. … Our HM community is on 740 acres of farmland. And so learning how to honor creation, how to honor the land and to walk gently on it from the Franciscans really was just a natural shift into the HM charism, into the HM community of reverencing the land and taking care of it and making sure that it's around for generations after me to continue and to learn more about it and to be active in protecting the land…

And then, hand in hand with that is the idea of simplicity. Asking continually, what are my needs versus my wants? And how do you balance that as someone who's taking a vow of poverty and what does that mean?  How do I live that out? And really, I think returning to the idea of simplicity that we learned is as Volunteers, what can we live without and what are we abundantly blessed with that we share with others? And then how do we live that out as religious or as people, in general. 

This came to me now, the real profound idea of encounter and meeting one another where each person is, and being able to use that in an encounter. Be able to reach across divides and to talk to one another and to honor the dignity of each person and the story of each person and religious traditions with each person that I meet, I think is a value that I learned in Minnesota and is a strong value of my community as well.

The final thing for me is the idea of hospitality and of being able to welcome another person into your home and to really break bread together and share a meal with one another and get to know each other on a different level than one would, if you don't take the time to share each’s stories and to become friends with them.”



Sisters of the Humility of Mary, the community to which Sister Eilis belongs:


Parker Palmer quote that Eilis referenced: “Vocation at its deepest level is, ‘This is something I can't not do, for reasons I'm unable to explain to anyone else and don't fully understand myself but that are nonetheless compelling.’”
― Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation,

     San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2000, page 25.


What is fracking? For general information: There is information online from pro-industry and environmental perspectives as well.


From HM foundress Mother Madelaine Potier:

“I have always said that I would appreciate the goodness of everyone who will come to our house to help me to do something for the Glory of God.”*   


*Inside back cover:  

Quotation on front cover is from page 39 of Recollections: a fragment, by the Rev. J. J. Begel, New Bedford, 1879. Originally translated by Sr. Mary Therese Berry, HM. October 13, 1979; Revised translation 2007. The recently revised wording is a more accurate translation of the peasant type expression in the original French. Fr. Begel is quoting Mother Madelaine when in September 1854 Julie Claudel had come to Dommartin as the teacher in the new schoolroom.