Advent Updates!

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O Sapientia! Today we begin prayig with the “O Antiphons”…and I want to wish you a blessed Advent! It has been such a long time since I’ve posted…but I haven’t forgotten to pray for all of you!

So many wonderful things have happened over the past month or so—the weekend of November 14 I was able to attend the first YOUTH 2000 Retreat in the Joliet Diocese. This was a beautiful weekend, full of grace for all who attended. Please keep the young people—especially the Confirmation students—in your prayers that they be open to the graces God is offering!

This past weekend (December 13) we had our neighborhood Christmas Party at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels. Nearly 200 children and their families came for a meal, making Christmas Cards and horse rides! Through the generosity of many parishes, families and even American Airlines, each child left with at lest 2 gifts. Thousands of pieces of clothing—including warm winter coats—were also given to our neighbors! What an honor to share the joy of Jesus’ birth in such a special way.

Last month, because of your generosity, I was able to pay off the two loans with the highest interest rates—roughly $30,000! Right now the debt remaining is about $60,000. There are still donations coming in nearly every day. I am waiting for enough money to be saved (between gifts and my own saving up of my salary) to pay down the loan with the next highest interest rate, which is about $15,000. If you or anyone you know is still looking for a place to make a gift this Christmas season, please prayerfully consider helping me to pay off my debt so that I can freely enter religious life!

Know that you and your intentions are in my daily prayers—during Mass and Holy Hour, most especially—and I am most grateful for your prayers! I’ll try to post more during these days leading up to the celebration of Christmas! God bless you!

15K Success: 1:33:03!

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Ave Maria! Blessings on All Souls Day!

The Hot Chocolate 15K went really well this weekend. I had my best time ever for a distance longer than 4 miles: I ran the 9.3 miles in 1:33:03—averaging a 9:59 mile! It was a beautiful day for a race, and Rosemary and I really motivated one another to run hard—we finished within seconds of one another!

I ran into a couple of folks at the race who had read about TheNunRun, and they were kind enough to stop and chat with me. I received even more encouragement to keep running—both road races and toward my vocation as a religious sister!

I have no updates on the stolen backpack, but it is in God’s hands. Please continue to pray that this issue be resolved.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. If you haven’t done so, please consider donating to the NunRun Fund! Every penny helps me get closer to freely entering religious life! God bless and keep you!

On the Air this AM and Prayer Request

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Ave Maria! I pray that you are well. I am sorry it has been a while since I updated. October is a very busy month for me, as I work for the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Respect Life Office…but even in the business of it all, know of my prayers for you!

Today I am a guest of Fr. Joe Noonan’s on his radio show (airing on Relevant Radio, 950AM in Chicago, at 9:30). It was a very fun show to record, and if you are visiting this site because you heard the show, thank you!

I want to ask for a special prayer request. Yesterday I was at a workshop at Columbia College here in Chicago, and my backpack was stolen. Not only did I loose my wallet and passport, but also a very special computer that I did a great deal of work on for many different pro-life and Catholic projects. Please pray for whomever it was that stole the backpack, and that God’s will be done in the situation.

I hope and pray you have a blessed weekend. Less than 48 hours until the Hot Chocolate 15K on Sunday!! Know that I will be offering up the run for you and your intentions!

CBS Chicago!

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Ave Maria! By the grace of God, CBS Chicago covered the NunRun during the Friday evening news. I haven’t had internet access until just now, but I wanted to post the link, check it out here! Thanks to Vince and the CBS Chicago team for bringing the NunRun to television screens across Northern Illinois.

It is just 2 weeks until the Hot Chocolate 15K. I had a beautiful run in Humboldt Park today–8-9 miles in under 1.5 hours! I have to run, but please keep a very special intention in your prayers–there may be a major NunRun announcement coming soon!

Thank you for all of your help, both material and spiritual. Know that you are in my daily prayers–I offered up part of my run for you today. God bless you…and if you haven’t yet, please prayerfully consider making a donation today.

Chicago Marathon This weekend

The NunRun Icon!

The NunRun Icon!

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Ave Maria! This weekend several friends of mine are putting their months of training to the test with the Chicago Marathon! Of particular interest are those running for Vocations.

My friend Fr. Steve Bauer, an Archdiocesan preist, along with some seminarians are running to raise money for the Archdiocese’s vocation office. In Our Sunday Visitor’s recent edition, many different groups that are running road races for vocations–mostly vocation awareness–are featured. I‘m honored to say that I, too, am featured in this article! Take some time to read about it here.

I continue to run and above all pray for all of you who have supported me spiritually and materially. God is never outdone in generosity. We are near the $45,000 mark! That is extraordinary–and nearly half way there! I continue to work full-time, and my entire salary (save some minimal expenses, mainly transportation and my phone bill) goes toward paying off the debt as well. With God, all things truly are possible.

I look forward to running the Hot Chocolate 15K on November 1, and be assured your intentions will be part of my intentions as I run those 9 miles. Thank you for your prayers…and of course I’ll keep you posted!

He Laid Down his Life

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe

St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe

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Ave Maria! 

In 2007, just a few days after I graduated from Loyola University, I was blessed to take an amazing Pilgrimage to Europe—which was entirely paid for by donors!

My friend T.J. and I had done a great deal of evangelization through our publication “Vertias”, which we, along with fellow students, published for the Loyola Community to add a Catholic voice to the discourse on campus. This lead to many people supporting the work of our publication, and ultimately helping us get to Europe for the 1st International Symposium on Theology of the Body, hosted in Gaming, Austria.

During our time overseas, T.J. and I worked on what became a documentary project about St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe—the heroic Franciscan saint who laid down his life on behalf of another prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp. You can view the final project here. T.J. did most of the editing work, and did a beautiful job at that.

What is so inspiring about St. Maximilian’s story is that he was honored with the title “Martyr of Charity” because died for love of another person—truly following the example of Christ.

As I continue to work and pray my way toward religious life, I am constantly reminded that every vocation requires a death to self. We must be self-less if we want to respond fully to the vocation God invites us to!

Thank you for your prayers and support…I’m still running, gearing up for the November 1st 15K! Know of my prayers for you…and please continue to spread the word about the NunRun! We have raised over $36,000 to date! 

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.

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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

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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

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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!