“Rebuild My Church!!” . . . Literally!

Francis, Rebuild my Church!

Francis, Rebuild my Church!

+JMJ+

Friends!! Thank you so much for your ongoing prayers in support of my vocation! I’ve received permission to be active on thenunrun for the next couple of months to ask for your prayers . . . and help once again!

Just today, the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, where I live with my community, the Franciscans of the Eucharist, was featured on CBS Chicago!! Why?? Because through God’s grace and the generosity of countless men and women (sound familiar) we are rebuilding the historic Our Lady of the Angels Church. Check out the story here!!

Why is it so important to re-open this Church? Because we want to host Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, to have constant prayer for our neighborhood and for God’s glory! We want the Church to be a House of Prayer for all people, and we want to use the enormous Church basement as a center for the neighborhood–to host meals, Christmas parties, and family and youth nights. We need more space to reach out to our brothers and sisters in need here on Chicago’s West Side–so fraught with violence, and threatened by drugs and gang activity!

Please help us by keeping the intentions of the Church in your prayers. We need to raise $50,000 more to finish the first phase, and a total of $130,000 to complete the project. Visit the Mission website to learn more about the Church by clicking here.

Finally . . . this wouldn’t be thenunrun without a run! The Mission has a full-fledged Charity Team running the 2011 Chicago Marathon to hep rebuild the Church! If you can sponsor us with a donation, please click Donate Now.

Come back soon for more updates and learn about our runners . . . God bless you!

Merry Christmas!

Holy Family+JMJ+

Ave Maria! Dearest Friends…I know it has been a long time. I want to assure you of my prayers for you as we enter into this Holy Season of Christmas.

Because of your generosity and prayers, I am now a Novice with the Franciscans of the Eucharist, a new religious community serving at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels in Chicago. I entered Novitiate on October 4, 2010–the Feast of St. Francis–with Sr. Kate. Both of us, along with the rest of our community, under th leadership of our superior Fr. Bob, are doing so well. It has been an incredible joy for me to receive the holy habit, a simple brown tunic, white cord and white veil, as well as the San Damiano Cross and sandals. Daily I am reminded of God’s love, mercy and generosity to me. I am so grateful for the gift of my vocation, to be Christ’s Bride!

Each day I try to die to self and receive the Grace God desires to give me. Formation has been a beautiful challenge, and it has only just begun! Know that I will not be posting on this website frequently, and may eventually close it down, but be assured of my prayers for you, and please keep praying for me. Once our community website is updated, I will post that link here.

As we enter into this Season of Light, let us recall that Christmas is a time not only of hope and joy, but also the beginning of the Passion…of Jesus’ 33 years on earth that lead to Calvary but also the Glory of the Resurrection!

May the humble Baby Jesus, His Immaculate Mother Mary, St. Joseph her most Chaste spouse and St. Francis intercede for us all as we journey along this path to Heaven. May we persevere through the struggles and carry the Cross we are given with great joy, as we are purifed in order to join God, the Angels and Saints for all eternity! God bless you!

Joyfully in the Cross, Sr. Alicia

His Grace is Enough

Our Lady of the Angels, Pray for us!

Our Lady of the Angels, Pray for us!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! It is with GREAT JOY that I announce some amazing news…my debt is completely PAID OFF!

The story: After I was on the Drew Mariani show, I received an email from a woman inquiring about my debt. I responded, and she wrote back to tell me she’d like to assist me by paying off whatever debt remained after the Mike Mangione Benefit Concert.

The Benefit Concert was beautiful–Mike and the band were so generous and the music was wonderful. Rob and his crew from Spirit Juice produced the event flawlessly and the food donations from Blue Star Wine bar were lovely…

I was in touch with the donor (who desires to remain anonymous) and we arranged for a time she would visit the Mission. She came on Saturday and we spent some time visiting and had the opportunity to show her around the buildings that we live in and use to help serve the poor and house retreatants, as well as our Church which will soon (by God’s grace) be renovated!

After we saw the buildings, as she stood under the beautiful picture of Our Lady of the Angels in our hallway, she wrote out a check to pay off the rest of my debt! Such an act of kindness and generosity! Praise God!

I would not have gotten to this point without the help of countless men and women across the USA and around the world–your prayers and sacrifices have brought me to this day, and now I am free to say “yes” to God and be a Franciscan Sister!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support…and you are ALL in my daily prayers. More news to come…God bless!

Register for the OLA Benefit Concert NOW!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a blessed weekend. Yesterday marked a new milestone–18 miles! It was such a joy to push through this training run–we offered it up especially for all who’ve been praying and offering financial gifts so that I can enter religious life.

With less then 4 days until the special Mike Mangione and the Union Benefit Concert, we are getting really excited! Blue Star Wine Bar is donating appetizers for guests to enjoy that evening, so we hope everyone registers so we have enough food. We have to let the restaurant know by Tuesday, so register now! Please keep spreading the word, this will be a wonderful evening to share with friends and family. Many thanks again to Mike and his band, as well as Rob and Spirit Juice Studios for helping make this happen.

Blue Star Wine Bar is also offering a coupon–if a guest purchases dinner and a beverage with the coupon (click here), $4 will be donated to the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels. If you are in Illinois, make sure to take advantage of this great offer! Blue Star has incredible Mediterranean food and a fantastic selection of fine wines and craft beers.

Alright…you are in my prayers! Thanks for all your prayers and support…I hope to see you and all your family and friends on Thursday night!

Thank you Drew!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a gift to be a guest on the Drew Mariani show a few moments ago. Thanks so much for listening, and for your prayers and support to help me be debt-free so I can enter religious life!

Know of my daily prayers for you and your intentions. If you can help me with a gift to finish paying off my debt, please

Click Here

God bless you!

August 26 Update

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! Here are some quick updates:

– Training presses on–last week mileage racked up to 32 miles (including a 16 mile weekend run)!

- The debt total is down to $15,766.63! Praise the LORD!

– The Mike Mangione & the Union Benefit Concert is coming together so well. Rob/Spirit Juice Studios are on board to produce the show, posters are up in Wicker Park and Bucktown…and more promo is in the works! If you can help do street promotion or bring posters to businesses in Chicago or the suburbs, please email me ASAP, [email protected]

That is all for now…your prayers, sacrifices and support are such a gift! Please keep praying and spread the word about the Benefit Concert on September 9! Be assured of my prayers for you and your intentions!

Assumption JOY

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! On Saturday evening, we ran 15 miles, not only as part of official 10/10/2010 Chicago Marathon training, but also in honor of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It was a beautiful run, 10 miles of which were along the Lake Front Trail. Stephanie, who was an NCAA track and cross country runner, has become my training partner, which is such a gift. She moved to the Mission about 2 weeks ago, and is so excited to take the first steps toward religious life as a Franciscan Sister. It is awesome to have Stephanie’s running company, especially as the miles tally up.

The first week of August was such a joy here at the Mission–we had two young men from Montana visiting, as well as Patrick, the seminarian from Pittsburgh who founded Run for Nuns. Patrick was such a joyful presence, and joined me on all my training runs–even the 7 miler at 4:30 a.m., during his stay. We were able to visit Marytown, the national shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe, while he was hear, and fit in a 10 mile training run along the Lake Front Trail which accidentally became nearly 12 miles! The epic run ended as fireworks exploded at Navy Pier. Keep Patrick and all the seminarians around the country in your prayers, as they are beginning their studies once again. May God bless them for their generous hearts!

I have some exciting news! My debt is officially down to:

$21,520

Praise God! There is even better news…Mike Mangione and the Union have agreed to play a benefit concert to help raise funds for the Mission and for vocations…so this will directly assist me. What a gift! If you are in the Chicagoland area, please come out for a fantastic concert:

Details:
Mike Mangione and the Union Benefit Concert
Thursday Sept. 9, 2010
Concert Time: 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Venue: St. Stanislaus School Gym, 1255 N. Noble St., Chicago, IL
Cost: $20/ticket

Please click on the button that says “OLA Benefit Concert” for more details and to order your tickets. Mike is a Catholic artist from the Midwest who’s mainstream music is imbued with themes of love, mercy and redemption. It is such an honor to receive his help. Please pray for the success of this benefit concert, and spread the word near and far!

Please know that you are daily in my prayers and lifted up on our runs. It is an honor to have your prayers and support…we are so close. May the Virgin Mary intercede for you and all your loved ones. God bless!

12 Miles…and Counting!

+JMJ+

Our Lady of the Angels, Pray for us!

Our Lady of the Angels, Pray for us!

Ave Maria! What a gorgeous day in Chicago after a wet, wet, wet Saturday. Here at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, we shared the experience of many Chicagoland residents after the torrential rainfalls on Friday evening. Our Rectory and Church basements were flooded! Praise God the Rectory was not too bad…and God sent some angels to help us out!

A crew of Alumni from Marquette University had scheduled a volunteer day at the Mission a while back, and were able to help us with our swapping and mopping of well over 100 gallons of water. And, on a fun note, 2 were training for a marathon and one for an ultramarathon! So in the midst of the puddles we swapped training and nutrition stories and tips.

On to exciting news…today was a 12 mile training day, and my mile averaged out to 9:30! I am hoping to get down to a comfortable 9 min. mile before 10-10-10 (Chicago MARATHON)! Next weekend (August 1) is the Rock n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon.

In other exciting news, the official debt total is:

$23,475.47

With the help of Patrick (www.RunForNuns.com) I was able to get 300 T-shirts printed to sell to help raise more money. The Shirts are brown and say “Run for Nuns”. They are selling at 1 for $15 or 2 for $25. My resources are limited as far as shipping goes, but if you can order 4 or more shirts, I will ship outside of the Chicago area. Email me at [email protected] if you are interested.

Finally…check back here soon for some very exciting news! We are solidifying details for a new event to help finish paying off my student loan debt. With Novitiate set to begin October 4, I have 69 days to finish paying off my debt! Please, keep up the prayers, God is answering them every day.

Know that you remain in my daily prayers, and if you know anyone who can help, please encourage them to make a financial gift by clicking here. God bless!

Marathon Training…and other such things

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! It’s been a month since I’ve posted…and a busy month indeed! I continue to train for the Chicago Marathon (Oct. 10) and the 1/2 Marathon (August 1), and training is going well!

Through the generosity of family and friends I was able to travel to the East Coast to visit my parents and extended family over the 4th of July weekend. From there I headed out to Colorado to visit some very good friends of mine. I spent a few days in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I’d never been before, and I was absolutely stunned by the beauty. I woke up by 5:30 each morning so that I could pray and watch the beautiful sun rise upon the mountains. What a gift!

And…the mystery of my foot/ankle injuries is solved! One of the muscles in my right leg is weak, so it had caused me to alter my form which set everything else out of whack. After a visit to Tom, a local Chiropractor in a town near where I stayed in CO and a new pair of sandals courtesy of my friend Jane, I’m on the road to recovery! Praise God!

Sunday was a 10 mile day–brutal in the heat, but wouldn’t miss that training run! With less than $29,000 to pay off, I have a lot of motivation! Our community is set to begin Novitiate this fall, but if I don’t have my debt paid off, I will have to continue to work and wait to begin Novitiate.

God has been so incredibly generous, and so many of you have been very kind collaborators in God’s generosity. I trust in His goodness!

We have a new Nun Run event in the works which I’ll announce soon, but in the meantime please spread the word about the Nun Run and keep me in your prayers. You are remembered in my daily prayers and sacrifices! God bless!

Thanks St. Anthony–13.1 Chicago

+JMJ+

St. Anthony, pray for us!

St. Anthony, pray for us!

Ave Maria! Joyful feast of St. Anthony of Padua–a great Franciscan saint!

I was able to run in the 13.1 Series today, and it was a fantastic road race! I set a new PR–2:10:30–running just under 10 minute miles. The field was under 5000, but still was a good showing of racers. Fans were sparse, but those who came out were very kind. Thanks to all the race volunteers–especially the Mt. Carmel HS students!

Thanks for your on-going prayers and support! I am $29,000 away from paying off my student loan debt! Please let me know if you can help me get one step closer to religious life. God bless you, and know of my prayers for you!