June Updates

Jesus, I trust in You!

Jesus, I trust in You!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! It has been over a month since I posted…I apologize. It has been an incredibly blessed (and busy) month, for sure!

Last weekend, Cardinal George came to bless the nearly-fully renovated convent here at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels. Visit www.MissionOLA.com for some beautiful pictures of the convent. You’ll also see pictures of Our Lady of the Angels Church–which we are JUST beginning to rebuild. It will take a miracle, but with God, all things are possible!

And…the running update: I am still running (of course)! I ran 9-10 miles yesterday along the Lakefront, which was beautiful. Be assured, each mile was offered up for various intentions, including yours. This coming Sunday, June 13, is not only the feast of St. Anthony (a great Franciscan saint), but also “13.1 Chicago”. I’ll be running this half marathon, and am VERY excited! The route is very similar to September’s half here in the Windy City, but it begins a bit further south along Lake Shore Drive.

On the fund-raising front: the estimated student loan debt left to be paid is roughly $30K. This is give or take a few thousand, depending on the exact donation total from the Run for Nuns Campaign. Patrick and the Pittsburgh seminarians, priests and deacon have been incredibly generous, and I am still humbled by their kindness! Please keep them in your prayers!

If you know anyone who can assist me in paying off the rest of my student loan debt, please let me know! Our hope is to begin Novitiate this fall, and I won’t be able to move forward until my debt is paid off! I trust in God’s Divine Providence!

Please keep me in your prayers, and know of mine for you. If you can make a gift to assist me, please visit Donate Today to do so! God bless you!

Grace upon grace

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a blessed weekend in Pittsburgh. Thanks to the generosity of my dad, I was able to fly out to the City of Bridges where Joyce met me at the airport. Thankfully we made it to St. Paul Seminary just in time for a beautiful Mass and Evening Prayer with all the Run for Nuns people! It was such a joy to meet Patrick and the other seminarians, priests and deacons who have given so sacrificially of their time, talent and prayer for myself and the other future sisters. I also got to meet many of the TOR Franciscan Sisters from Ohio, as well as some other wonderful young women. The spirit of Christian love and joy abounded!

Thanks to Thom and Candie who so generously opened their home to Joyce and I. We got up on Sunday before dawn to head into the city for a 7:30 start time…and Thom and Candie were downstairs at 6 AM to send us off!

The race itself was…awesome!  I did have some mild ankle issues leading up to the race that truncated training, but by the grace of God it went really well! My finishing time for the Half Marathon (and new PR) was 2:21:04!

I was able to meet up with some of the Run for Nuns team after the race, and everyone was in great spirits. Please keep William, one of the seminarians, in your prayers, as he has  foot injury from the race.

Not only did they and do they continue to pray and sacrifice for us, but the Run for Nuns team has also broken their initial goal of raising $15,000!!! Sometimes God moves mountains…other times, He detonates them!

Thank you for your love and prayers, and please keep the Run for Nuns team, the seminarians, priests, deacon and future sisters in your prayers! Don’t forget to visit www.RunForNuns.com to donate! Know of my daily prayers and sacrifices for you! We’ll get a photo up soon!

Pittsburgh Joy!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! Great news…the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has run a fantastic story on Run for Nuns!! I got a phone call a few minutes ago from Patrick, one of the Seminarians who is so generously organizing Run for Nuns and running this coming Sunday, letting me know the good news!

Check out the story here.

Keep us all in your prayers, that all the runners are safe this weekend, and pray that God moves many hearts to help support this effort so that myself and the other ladies can be free to enter religious life! God bless you!!

Easter Joy

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What a beautiful day. Thanks to your prayers and support, I just paid off another chunk of my student loans! The grand total due is down to $46,937.89 from over $94,000 less than a year ago! This is truly miraculous, and a manifestation of God’ s Divine Providence.

I ask for your prayers for the Run for Nuns team–these selfless seminarians, priests and a deacon from the Diocese of Pittsburgh are incredibly generous, and next weekend, May 2nd, will participate in the Pittsburgh Marathon for myself and a couple of other young women who are just waiting and working to pay off our debts so we can be free to enter religious life! Check out www.RunForNuns.com. I’m excited to be traveling with Joyce from Chicago to Pittsburgh next weekend to run the 1/2 Marathon in support of the Run for Nuns team. I am so excited to meet them and have been humbled by their efforts.

Truly, with God all things are possible. Know of my daily prayers for you and your intentions–please, if you have ideas or can assist me in paying off the remainder of my student loan debt, let me know! In the meantime, I continue to work, pray and of course…RUN! More soon as we gear up for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Run for Nuns in just 7 days!!

Blessed Holy Week

+JMJ+

Jesus died for our sins...may we live for Him!

Jesus died for our sins...may we live for Him!

Ave Maria! Dearest friends, peace to you as we enter into the holiest week of the year! I am sorry to not post more regularly, but I think I’ll have a little more time now that Lent is winding down.

Thank you for your prayers and support–the Shamrock Shuffle was great! I finished the 8K in 48:11, which was awesome. It was cold when we began, and somehow I ended up one of the last to cross the starting line…but that only meant I basically ran the entire race passing thousands of others–in fact, I finished around 11,000 out of 25,000, so that was a good boost for my running confidence.

I have great news! Joyce and I are going to travel to Pittsburgh for the Half Marathon on May 2! I was just on the phone with Patrick, one of the very generous seminarians who will be running either the relay or full Pittsburgh Marathon to help raise funds for myself and two other future sisters! Have you visited www.RunForNuns.com yet? Please check it out!

I am working with Patrick to put together a PR plan to get some good media exposure for Run for Nuns. If you have connections, please let me know–this is such a beautiful story. Priests, seminarians and a deacon running and offering up prayers and sacrifice so that we can be free to enter religious life! It is so counter cultural, and so beautiful!

Please pray for all of us as we are training for this race. Emily, one of the future sisters, is actually running the full marathon! Right now Joyce and I have mild injuries (I have a double ankle sprain), so please pray for a good recovery. In the mean time, it is just another gift to offer up for the Glory of God!

Know that you are all in my prayers, and I am so humbled by your generosity and love. Please spread the word about Run for Nuns and the Nun Run! We need your support–both spiritual and financial–so that we can be free to give ourselves completely to Jesus!

Well on our way to the 8K

Summertime View of the City from the Lake Front Trail

Summertime View of the City from the Lake Front Trail

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! Blessed Sunday…just a quick update. As flurries begin to fall out the window, prep for the Shamrock Shuffle on March 21 is going well! I’ve been blessed with some great cold weather gear, and my lake front trail runs–while chilly–have been fantastic.

Please continue to pray for the repose of the soul of Thomas Ongige, a Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago, who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday February 18. May he rest in peace!

Look out for more activity @NunRun…God bless and know of my constant prayers for you–with a little under $54K to raise before I can be free to say “Fiat” to Jesus, please keep me in prayer and spread the word to all who are willing to support me spiritually and financially! Don’t forget to check out www.RunForNuns.com! God bless you on this Second Sunday of Lent!

Run for Nuns!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! What joy I have to share–this is really God’s generosity at full-throttle!

In January I received an email from a seminarian for the Pittsburgh Diocese named Patrick. He and his classmates, along with a Deacon and two Priests, are planning to run the Full or Relay Pittsburgh Marathon…for future nuns!! These men of God are sacrificing time, prayers and much effort to train for and fund-raise to assist myself and three other young women in paying off our debts so that we can answer Jesus’ invitation to Religious Life!

Please join me in praying for Michael A., Patrick, Deacon Tom, R.J., Michale R., Carl, William, Fr. Dennis and Fr. Mike. The Pittsburgh Marathon is on May 2! You can learn more about these generous seminarians, deacon and priests online at www.RunForNuns.com, and follow the team on Twitter @RunForNuns. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, please plan to be in the crowd to encourage them on race day. Also, please support their efforts to raise funds!! May God bless them for their generosity and great charity! Bear in mind, I have never met Patrick or his classmates–he stumbled upon the NunRun online, and offered to help. What a gift!

Announcing…

Fr. Bob, myself, Kate and Eric at a gathering for Religious Life.

Fr. Bob, myself, Kate and Eric at a gathering for Religious Life.

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! I am thrilled to let you know our next race will be the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday, March 21! This 8K will hopefully be  a piece of cake, and you and your intentions will be lifted up during the race.

Life has been a busy blessing! I arrived back from the March for Life Pilgrimage on Sunday January 24, filled with much hope after seeing so many young people among the record 400,000 or so people standing up for the dignity of human life. Neighborhoods like where we live – West Humboldt Park – bear the brunt of the effects of the Culture of Death…violence, teen pregnancy, poverty and drug use, abortion… just to name a few. It is so crucial that we are able to share with our neighbors in need the message of Hope and Life that is found in the person of Jesus Christ!

I ran for the *first time* on a treadmill this past weekend, and that was definitely a challenge (because you don’t really ‘go’ anywhere). I think I’ll stick with running outside, even if it is cold – the weather definitely motivates me to increase my speed!

As the days and weeks go by, I am continually delighted by God’s generosity to me, how He draws me to Himself in prayer and shows me His love in others. Truly, religious life is an honor, and I am blessed to have the support and prayers of so many men and women around the world!

Next week I have a MAJOR road race announcement, so stay tuned for that! In the mean time, know of my prayers for you. If there is ANYTHING you can do to spread the message about this campaign, and even personally invite friends and family to pray and consider giving a financial gift, that would be such a help! We have payed of $40,000 so far, and have roughly 45K left to raise, depending on if a grant comes through. Please visit Donate Today if you can make a gift right now! You can also contact me about making a gift in my name directly to the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels.

I hope you are having a beautiful 2010, and are planning to make the most of the beautiful season of Lent that is upcoming…God bless you, and know of my daily prayers for you!

March for Life!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! I am so sorry it’s been so long. I came down with food poisoning over Christmas…which lasted quite a while! I was unable to run the New Year’s Day 5K because of it.

Plans are in the works for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K here in Chicago…and we await date and location confirmation for the Spring 1/2 Marathon.

I’ve been very busy with my work for the Archdiocese of Chicago Respect Life Office-where I am still employed full time. I am preparing to lead 70 college students to the Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. I look forward to praying and witnessing for the end of abortion with so many wonderful men and women from across our nation.

God continues to bless us at the Mission–just today as I walked to the bus stop several neighbors stopped me to thank me for what we do at the Mission, taking time to introduce themselves. It really touched me and made me realize how important it is that we live on the West Side, and we really are neighbors to the people who we love and desire to serve.

The other day I was thinking about how discouraging it can be when we try so hard and there seems to be no fruit. Then I realized, even when we try, God is so please with that effort. As St. Maximilian said, God is even pleased with our desire to please Him! So, do not be discouraged. As Ven. Pope John Paul II said, we are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!

I continue to pray for you every day during Holy Mass and Adoration, and am so grateful for your Spiritual and Financial support. Tomorrow will be my first run since I’ve been sick, so I’ll be sure to offer up your intentions during the run. Please continue to pray that God inspires others to help me pay off my debt so that I can be free to be a Franciscan Sister! God bless you!

Joyful Christmas Season!

+JMJ+

Ave Maria! It is the Second Day of Christmas–and the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Martyr! How wise the Church is, to have us remember the first person who laid down his life for the love of God and belief in the Faith that Jesus Christ gave to us.

This Christmas I was at midnight Mass at St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Hartford Conneticut. This is the parish that my mother grew up in, and it is a Polish Parish. We arrived at 11:30 PM and were privilage to a small choir singing traditional Polish Christmas Carols. I don’t know Polish, but I didn’t need to know the language to recieve the gift of those hymns…and I couldn’t help but think of Ven. Pope John Paul II, and that he must have celebrated Christmas in the very same way for decades as a child and a young man in Poland.There was somthing so simple and yet profound about the Church and the Faith of the people there–many old families, but also many new immigrants to the United States.
 
After receiveing Holy Communion, we partook in a Polish Christmas Tradition–Oplatek. Our family had done this earlier duing Christmas Eve dinner (when it is traditionally done)…Oplatek is a thin wafer–very similar to the Holy Eucharist. It symbolizes our daily bread and the Bread of Life, Who came down from Heaven on Christmas! Holding the Oplatek, we offer it to one another, along with a blessing…I found this beautiful story about the tradition:
 
 A story was told us by a woman whose family is still in Poland. Every Christmas their family had Oplatek. When some migrated to America, those in Poland sent Oplatek to America and those in America sent Oplatek to Poland. Came the Russians with their persecution and espionage, and the family in Poland learned to conform, withdraw, carry their religion in their hearts and write between the lines of their letters.
 
When it was time to send the Oplatek, they determined to find a way. That year the family in America received a conventional card on which was pasted a red paper-like disk with a conventional greeting. The censor never suspected it was Oplatek, properly blessed, cut in a circle like a host, painted red for Divine Love not for Communism, and sent as a salute from one part of the Mystical Body to another half a world away. They were reminding each other that they share the same Body, eat the same Flesh.

This story reflects so beautifully the Spirit of our Faith! Regardless of the challenges and even persecution, we stand firm upon God’s promise to us! May we always live our lives with profound gratitude for all the blessings we have–even our inconveniences and sufferings can be a blessing, we just have to be open to whatever it is God is trying to teach us…

Running Update: I am excited to run the (short) but nonetheless fun New Year’s Day 5K in Chicago! I’ll ‘ring in’ the New Year (as they say) with Midnight Mass at one of our local parishes, and be up for Morning Prayer before heading out for the chilly run by the Lake Shore. I am planning to run the race as quickly as possible 🙂 Joyce, Rosemary and I were looking at the 1/2 Marathon Spring options, so we’ll announce that road race date soon. My mom and dad are getting me some new running shoes, so I’ll be on the streets very soon!

I’ve been visiting my parents and family in New England for the past few days. This is the first time I’ve seen them since I’ve moved to the Mission. It has been a blessing to be here and to see all of my relatives. Of all the things that they could ask, they were all very interested in how deep my pockets are and how much stuff I could fit in them–maybe this was something kids used to ponder about their nun teachers?

Each day I continue to pray for you and your intentions, and am tremendously grateful for your spiritual and financial support. I am going to get a graphic up here soon with some fund-raising goals.  I consider it absolutely miraculous to have paid off already over $30,000! If you are looking to make a gift, it is nearing the end of the year! Please prayerfully consider assiting me so that I may be free to enter religious life. I am particularly grateful to the Laboure Society and all of their assitance in helping me to pay off my student loan debt!

God bless you all…and I’ll continue to update! May the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for all of you and your loved ones during this Holy Season of Christmas!