Immigration Reform from the Heart of God

Every night before dinner Sr. Agnes Anderson and I, along with many IHMs and Associates, pray the following prayer as part of our pledge to fast, pray and advocate for forty days for immigration reform. Our congregation invited us to join this initiative sponsored by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. The prayer is so beautiful I’ve been wanting to share it with you.

Heart of God, full of mercy, watch over our sister and brother immigrants.
Protect them from harm even as they suffer mistreatment and humiliations on their way.
Touch our hearts as we see them pass by.
Break open our hearts to embrace them and the gift that they are to our communities.

Heart of God, full of compassion, give our brothers and sisters in Congress the gift of compassion. Open their eyes to the pain and longing of those affected by their decisions.
Give them wisdom as they struggle to repair our unjust immigration system.
Break open their hearts to embrace the dreams of our immigrant parents, siblings, and friends.

Heart of God, full of love, we give you glory for all the blessings you have given us.

Help us to share those blessings with others that we may all know that you are a God of mercy, a God of compassion, a God of love.Break open our hearts that we might embrace the challenge to build a land, a nation, a community where all are welcome.

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Good discernment resource

Do I go to grad school? Whom should I marry? Should I change careers? Am I called to religious life? All of us have important decisions to make–decisions that radically alter our lives.  Yet without a sound process in place for making key decisions, we are likely to to question whether or not our final decision was a good decision. Can we feel confident that our decision  was truly what God desired for us.

For those who truly want to make their decisions with God, What’s Your Decision? is a tremendous resource.  The authors provide clear principles and steps for good discernment and show that is not just a technique for making decisions, but rather a rich way of living our lives. They encourage us, “We don’t need to have it all together to make sound decisions. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t need to be deterred by imperfect knowledge and murky circumstances. If we are earnestly seeking God we won’t go far wrong.”

Sr. Angela’s story


When I asked our sisters to be guest bloggers Sr. Angela Hibbard sent me this post about her journey to a relationship with Mary. I think she should have her own blog.

Waiting for the Word

I’m an IHM sister, so theoretically I should have a strong devotion to Mary.  I must confess, though,  it’s been long in coming.  I should have the spiritual “genetics” for it however.  My mom’s name was Mary Grace, and she had a unique relationship with the Mother of God.  Here’s a prime example: after eight years of waiting for a child, she turned Mary’s statue to the wall and said, “I’m not celebrating your son’s birthday any more until I have a child.”  Roughly 10 months later I was born and was named Angela Marie.

I didn’t hear that story until I was an adult and already in the Congregation, but my mom’s very robust devotion hadn’t come to me with her genes.  At least I trusted my instinct not to push a grace that just wasn’t there.  My turning point came when I was asked to give a homily for the feast of the Immaculate Conception at the local Jesuit novitiate.

The Gospel of the day is the story of the Annunciation, and Mary’s response, “Be it done to me according to your word,” became the core of my preparation. Her profound readiness reminded me somehow of the dark rich earth of my native northern Ohio.  In the late fall after the harvest, my mom, who was a gardener, would look at the empty fields and say, “Aren’t they beautiful!”  She saw them waiting for whatever seed fell into them – just like Mary, God’s rich dark earth ready for the Seed.

The word “humus” and “humility” have the same Latin root.  That image of the humble Mary, saying “yes” to whatever God would ask, has stayed with me and has slowly grown into a still-young but sturdy plant.  Mary, help me always to say a generous “yes” like you.

So proud…

So proud of the IHM legacy very much alive at Marygrove College!  So proud of the way IHM spirit and values continue to shine through the faculty and students of Marygrove! So proud and grateful to be a part of this IHM community! Today Sr. Donna Hart and I traveled to Marygrove College for the last of a series of “Fireside Chats” sponsored by the Mission Integration department at the college. Srs. Gloria Rivera and Ann Nett gave a presentation on “Greening and Healing.”

Sr. Ann spoke of her thirty plus years of ministry in the poorest area of Brazil and her ministry now in greening initiatives in Detroit. She is spearheading the planting of a medicinal herbs garden at Marygrove as she had done in Brazil where the project produced jobs, medicine and empowerment for the people of the area.

Ann Nett at Fireside chat

Sr. Ann Nett, IHM

Gloria at Marygrove

Sr. Gloria Rivera, IHM

Sr. Gloria shared her growing awareness of the interconnectedness of all creation that first impressed her when she saw the photo of planet earth taken from outer space. A natural leader, she traveled to the 2005 Women’s Conference in Bejing and came back even more empowered to use her gifts in renewing the city of Detroit. In addition as she continued to study our interconnectedness with all of creation she founded the Detroit chapter of the national Bioneers movement. This year she and many other committed environmentalists will host the 9th Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit conference October 25-27 at Marygrove College.

Saturday night was game night

So, what’s it like to be with nuns on a Saturday night? I knew there would be dinner. I was pretty sure there would be fun. But I had not idea what, exactly, was going to happen. Sabrina (Bree), Sr. Mary Ann, Sr. Anne and I all showed up at the apartment of Srs. Barb and Camille this evening about 5:30.

After a delicious dinner of salad and lasagna, Sr. Barb and Sr. Camille cleared the table, and the dominoes appeared. Turns out, some nuns are wicked domino players.

We played a version called Mexican Train . Each person began a train from a central “rail yard” (a double domino). Play on your own train or play on the train of any person who was “stuck”, it didn’t matter. What did matter was how many spots were on your dominoes when the first person went “out”.

Turns out even math teachers end up counting the spots, one at a time, and giggling all the while. We played for quite a while, each round becoming more rowdy. Sr. Camille won by a single point – talk about a close race. Back home, now, both invigorated by the company and fun and more than a little tired of counting those tiny spots. I can’t wait to go back.