Why the name?

"Holy Conversation" does sound like an exceptionally pious name, even for a parish blog. And we can't guarantee that everything here will meet the high standard the name implies. But the phrase comes from the story of our patron saint, and we think it fits. Here's why.

St. Scholastica was a sixth-century abbess who, according to the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I, used to meet once a year with her brother, St. Benedict. On the last occasion they were together, they spent their time "satisfying each other's hunger for holy conversation about the spiritual life."

We hope that this blog can become a place where the members of our parish can find a taste of the companionship and conversation that Scholastica and Benedict enjoyed so much. Welcome!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lenten Reflections

We were blessed to have two memorable Lenten evenings of reflection in the parish this year.  The Aquinas Guild sponsored Fr. Joe Freedy's presentation on Monday, March 9.  Fr. Joe had preached at the weekend masses, and people must have liked what they heard.  The parish hall was filled on Monday evening to hear Fr. Joe's challenge to deeper discipleship.  After the talk, most of the listeners bacame pray-ers as we moved to the church for eucharistic adoration to music provided by some of Fr. Joe's friends.

Unfortunately, we have no photos of the Aquinas Guild event.  We do have some for the second Lenten evening of reflection, sponsored by our Hope for Haiti Committee on Wednesday, March 18.  A group of parish members and guests listened to a presentation by Linda Kincel and Janice Marco, Passionist associates and ambassadors for the Saint Luke Foundation.

The Saint Luke Foundation for Haiti was founded by Fr. Rick Frechette, a Passionist priest and doctor.  The foundation provides education, healthcare, and dignified humanitarian outreach to over 150,000 people each year while employing more than 1,000 Haitian staff.  While Fr. Rick remains a mentor, young Haitians provide the leadership of the foundation.

Linda Kincel and Jan Marco

Linda and Jan spoke of their experience visiting Haiti to participate in the work of the foundation.  They visited an orphanage and worked as support staff for medical clinics staffed by health workers from the United States who were giving their time to the foundation.  The women shared their experiences with us through YouTube videos, photographs, their own recollections, and some written summaries.

Jan wrote: "The reality of my experience in Haiti was one of profound awe.  Each day brought new experiences which gave way to a heightened awareness that we, as God's creations, are created equal and yet socioeconomic status affects our lives in vastly different ways."

Linda remembered seeing a blind man at one of the clinics, and being told that his blindness may have been a result of cataracts, a condition routinely handled with surgery in the U.S.  Both women were deeply impressed with the medical volunteers.  Linda wrote: "When these doctors and nurses were out in the field surrounded by so much suffering, they became present to each individual as if they were the only person who existed in time and space."

Both women agreed that they were "challenged forever" by their experiences, challenged especially to act in ways that would allow Jesus to work through them in every area of their lives.

Linda and Jan brought some Haitian crafts and other items.
We used the candles in our final prayer.

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