Teachers Become Students
What is this? Another flyer in our mailbox! Inviting us to grow?! I’m already 85 years old! How much more can I grow?
My mind began to toss around the words on the invitation: contemplative, ecology, spirituality, justice, our common home, racial inequality, conversion to new life. Our recent Congregational Assembly expressed directional statements from some of these main themes!
I peered more closely at the picture of the “kid” highlighted as the presenter. He was next to a chicken and bales of straw by a barn. Didn’t we just finish 60 years of teaching kids of every age? YES! Of course! Now it is our turn to sit back and learn from our “kid.”
And learn we did . . . over 100 BVMs in person and on livestream.
Indeed, this was a refreshing retreat. Eric Anglada, a.k.a. “the kid,” was deeply grounded in his ministry with the Catholic Worker Farm in Wisconsin. He generously shared his wide experiences and his research in spirituality. Eric exuded generous portions of his love for the land and all its creatures, including native peoples. He challenged us in our responsibility to ensure the flourishing of all creation.
Eric walked us through the liturgical calendar in a new way, highlighting how each month is intertwined with nature and unfolds our desire to be transformed. Our focusing on the cycles of the earth brings a rhythm to this sacred time of contemplative growth. BVM Constitutions #11reads: By our work in union with Christ, we participate in God’s creating action, transforming the earth.
Eric sounded like he was a very close friend with Pope Francis. He generously shared deep reflections of Laudato Si’: Care for our Common Home which prompted us to sit up and pay attention. Living in our natural world in a spirit of wonder, praise, joy, and gratitude captures the intent of our Creator for us.
BVMs appreciated their retreat in various ways: Angele Lutgen says it made her feel “more united with the trees, plants and animals that call Mount Carmel their home, too.” Mary Jean (St. Christopher) Ferry proclaims, “I open my eyes and see all things as sacred!” Bernadette (Lucinus) McManigal shares, “I am grateful for the gift of water, knowing by its existence, it is also praising God.”
And I just loved sitting back, absorbing the words of this very wise “kid.”
This story was featured in:
FALL 2022: Together we participate in God’s creating action, transforming the earth. (BVM Constitution #11)
In this issue of Salt, we celebrate the legacy of our beloved Lou Anglin, BVM; the 103rd birthday of Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM; fifteen 70-year-Jubilarians, and our first in-person Assembly since COVID-19. We look to the future as we continue to adapt our mission, sponsor women in pursuit of education, support children in need, and advocate for justice in society and in the Catholic Church.