Are we really that busy?

The Blessed Sacrament--the real presence of Jesus--exposed in the Monstrance at a Youth 200 Retreat.

The Blessed Sacrament--the real presence of Jesus--exposed in the Monstrance at a Youth 2000 Retreat.

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! I realize most of my posts are very factual, and I haven’t shared much reflection lately on this whole adventure! Mea culpa!

I know I’ve said it many times, but what I’ve learned most during these past few months is that God is truly not outdone in generosity, and when you say yes to His invitation, truly phenomenal things happen.

A month ago this coming Monday, I moved to the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, where I live in a discernment community. This is the first step toward becoming a religious community in the Catholic Church.

As you know from reading the page about the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, we live in a neighborhood that needs a lot of care, love and prayers! It has been a privilege for me to live there thus far. Although I still work full time (and now that I live at the Mission, I’m able to contribute almost my entire salary to paying of my student loans), we’ve been able to have a very intentional life of prayer. Every morning we gather in the Chapel for Morning Prayer, from the Liturgy of the Hours–a beautiful way of praying the Psalms and other texts from the Bible over a four week cycle. Following Morning Prayer, we have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To begin every day this way really puts life in perspective, and it challenges me to be joyful at every moment–what have I to complain about when daily I have the honor of so intimately communing with God?

Every evening, we have a Holy Hour. We begin Holy Hour with Evening Prayer, and close it with Night Prayer–also from the Liturgy of the Hours. In between, we sit and pray in Silence with the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Monstrance. Sometimes it is hard to sit in silence, but the more I do, the more natural it becomes. To sit there with Our Lord and bring him not only my intentions, but your intentions and those of the whole world, is such a grace! To offer praise and thanksgiving for His many gifts brings joy to my heart. Ultimately, spending time in silent prayer alters the way I see the world, just as the Holy Mass does, it truly puts life in perspective.

Things have not become slower since I’ve moved to the Mission, but life, I think, has become holier. Learning to balance prayer, work and rest has been a challenge, but it is a beautiful lesson to learn…

Know that every day I pray for you and am so grateful for your prayers and support! I contiue to train–particularly for the 15K on November 1st–and offer my runs for many different intentions, including yours. May you know joy today and every day!

Next Road Race: Hot Chocolate 15K

hotchoc+JMJ+

I’m excited to share the next road race date and distance: Chicago’s Hot Chocolate 15K on November 1, 2009 at 8:00 A.M.!

This 15K (9 mile) race is along the beautiful lake front, beginning and ending at Montrose Harbor.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support thus far. If you haven’t done so, please consider making a donation to the NunRun by clicking here!

Also, you can follow the NunRun on Twitter @NunRun!

Weekend in Review

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! It was a beautiful weekend. 

Up until yesterday, I had never gone for a run in my new neighborhood, West Humboldt Park. After conferring with our community at Our Lady of the Angels, we determined it would be safe to run during the day…and what a joy it was!

We live very close to Humboldt Park, a gorgeous park that occupies several acres in the city of Chicago. Of course I’ve driven by the park many times, but never experience its beauty until yesterday’s run!

I probably logged about 6 miles during my hour run, and it was such a blessing! Once again, God is not outdone in generosity. Not only does He supply every grace, but even a safe, beautiful place to run. The park has a lagoon, flower gardens, running paths and beautiful park district buildings. I offered the run for our government, that all their decisions would be for the benefit of everyone in our nation.

I pray you had a beautiful weekend, too! Catholic News Agency printed a very lovely article on the NunRun this weekend, and I received word that a Catholic newspaper in the Netherlands is printing a story soon…I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for your prayers and support. If you haven’t had a chance, please consider making a donation to the NunRun. I’ll announce the next road race soon! God bless you!

NPR Today!

Joyce and I before the Half Marathon on Sunday!

Joyce and I before the Half Marathon on Sunday!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a surprise to get a call from All Things Considered this afternoon! Melissa Block was generous enough to include me in today’s show. Check it out here!

The irony is before I was really serious about God’s call to religious life, I thought I would be a professional journalist. I used to spend a great deal of time listening to NPR, reading alternative press, the New York Times…you name it! When I realized God was calling me to serve Him as a religious sister, I stopped pursing a career in professional journalism. So, as you can imagine, it was a tremendous honor to be on NPR!

I am doing well post race and really looking forward to the next distance run. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but stay posted…I’ll let you know once I get news!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support! Know of my daily prayers for you…God bless you!

Chicago Half Marathon: Complete

After 13.1 miles!
After 13.1 miles!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a joy it is to complete 13.1 miles! The Half Marathon was a grueling experience, but so much grace abounded.
Joyce, Pegeen, Rosemary, Dave, Christy and I all finished and have no injuries–praise God!
My overall time was 2:40:03. I am so grateful to Kate, Eric and Fr. Bob–from our community at Our Lady of the Angels–for coming out to cheer.
Also, to Karen Callaway, who is the photographer for the Catholic New World, for coming out on her day off to get pictures! She is responsible for the great picture of me running, posted a few days ago.
Also, big thanks to my ‘kids’ (as I call them) who came out to cheer me on: Mary Liz, Lisa and Greg–three rock star Pro Life college students of whom I am so proud!
Yesterday afternoon we had a beautiful party at Michael and Kelly’s house here in Chicago, and many friends came out to celebrate and support my vocation. Over $2,000 in donations were gifted yesterday alone!
Don’t foget to tune into Drew Mariani’s show today at 4:45 CST (on Relevant Radio, or online at RelevantRadio.com .I’ll be a guest once again,  sharing about race day!
Stay tuned for more NunRun updates…we’re going to try to get a graphic up to indicate where we are and how much more we need to raise!
Above all, thank you for your support and prayers. When you make a gift to the Laboure Society on my behalf, please be sure to indicate it is “in honor of Alicia Torres.” For more information, please visit Donate Today.
 
Know of my daily prayers for you…God bless you!

T-Minus 16 Hours!

Me training on Tuesday...running over the 35th Street Bridge!

Me training on Tuesday...running over the 35th Street Bridge! Thanks to Karen Callaway of the Cathoilc New World for the awesome picture!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! This will be my last chance to post before the race!

Chicagoans: Chicago Half Marathon Info The race starts tomorrow, Sunday Morning Sept. 13 at 7:30 AM CST! We’ll begin at Jackson Park, essentially run North on Lake Shore Drive to 31st Street then loop back south…come out and cheer on Team Nun Run…we’ll have white T-Shirts on that say “TheNunRun” on front and have a cartoon of a running nun on back!

My bib number is 4817!

Chicago Tribune coverage is HERE! Thank you Many and Heather–what a gift!

Catholic New World Coverage is HERE! Thank you Joyce–you have been an amazing gift during the last several months of this journey to race day!

Drew Mariani Show Update: I’ll be a guest on MONDAY at 4:45 CST to give an update on race day…Relevant Radio, Chicago 950AM!

If you haven’t yet, please consider making a donation to Fund NUNRUN!

Thank you so much for all of your tremendous support and prayers over the past few months…and, Fear not! Even after tomorrow…the NunRun is NOT OVER! I’ll keep working and praying…and hopefully running–literally and figuratively–events to raise the money needed to pay off my student loans so that I can serve God’s people on the West Side of Chicago as a Francsican Sister!

Above all, I praise and thank God for His love, mercy and generosity! Know of my prayers for you…and I’ll be offering up some of my run for your intentions! God bless you!

Less than 3 Days!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! It is hard to beleive that the Chicago Half Marathon is 3 days away. The months and more recently weeks leading up to the race have been particularly eventful–and I am just so grateful to God for His generosity, mercy and love!

To date, nearly $11,000 in donations have been made to the NunRun Fund! While this is a significant amount of money, it is still very short of what I’ll need to pay off all of my student loans. But, God is faithful to His promises! I am absoultely confident that in God’s time, this debt will be cleared away and I’ll be free to enter Religious Life.

On Monday August 31st, I took the next step toward religious life by moving to the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels. Please visit the Catholic New World (http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2009/0830/4.aspx ) to find out more.

Above all, I am so grateful for your prayers! Please keep them coming. Know of my daily prayers for you. God bless you, and keep the Novena up…I’ll post more soon!

Special Nun Run Novena

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! Please join me in praying this special novena leading up to the Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday, September 13th. The novena begins today (Friday, Sept 4th) and is prayed every day through Saturday September, 12th.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support this far. My prayers are with you!

God bless you!

In Jesus and Mary’s Love,

Alicia

Glorious St. Paul, martyr for the love of Christ, give us a deep faith, a steadfast hope, a burning love for our Lord; so that we can proclaim with you, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Help us to become apostles serving the Church with a pure heart, witnesses to her truth and beauty amidst the darkness of our days.

Most zealous Apostle, you told us, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” Intercede for us on this Nun Run. Touch the hearts of those you want to help this effort. Protect and bless those running the Chicago Half Marathon on Sept. 13, those who are part of the NunRun team and those who are not.

And bless the new community starting at Our Lady of the Angels. May the
Holy Spirit guide them every step of the way.

With you we praise God our Father, now and forever.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

St. Francis, pray for us.
St. Clare, pray for us.
St. Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us.
St. Sebastian, patron of athletes, pray for us.
John Paul II, pray for us.

Amen.

On The Drew Mariani Show!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a gift…today I was a guest on the Drew Mariani show on Relevant Radio! Drew was generous enough to spend time with me on the air, so that I could share about the NunRun and my vocation–he’s even linked this website to his page!

**If you didn’t hear the segment, it will be aired again TODAY (Thursday) at 5 PM CST on Relevant Radio (AM 950 in Chicago)!

I can’t tell you how many beautiful gifts God has given me in the last few days. On Monday, I moved to the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels. Along with Kate and Eric, I am now living in community and experiancing the joy of “dwelling in the house of the Lord,” which includes a beautiful prayer schedule–and a Holy Hour–every day!

The Cathoilc New World published an article on our community at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels this past weekend…take a moment to check it out!

Thank you for all of your prayers and support for the NunRun! Please keep the health and saftey of all the runners in your prayers as we gear up for the race next weekend. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a special novena that I invite you to pray with us leading up to the run!

If you haven’t already, plese prayerfully consider donating to the NunRun. Click on Donate Today to find out how…above all, I count on your prayers. Know that you are in my daily prayers. God bless you!