Ash Wednesday: A Big, Red Stop Sign


By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

I made an appointment at a Moline office at 8:30 on  Wednesday, February 11. Uh-oh.

When I realized it was Ash Wednesday and we would not be finished with Eucharist and the distribution of ashes until about 9:00, I knew I had to change the appointment. It was going to be tough because this office frowned upon appointment changes.

Mustering up my courage, I called, saying I had made an error and could not get to their office until 9:30. I explained why in a weak voice. It’s the beginning of Lent. Continue Reading

Week #1: Be a Grain of Wheat


By Sister Mary Core, OSB

Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (John 12:24)

I don’t much like the idea of dying, in any way, but then, neither do I want to remain the same – to stagnate.

I like the notion of growing and becoming a better me, but l’d rather do it without the cost of “dying to myself.”

I suspect I’m not alone in those feelings. Continue Reading

The Voice that Would Not Be Still

katie-and-audrey 2

Sr. Catherine Cleary, left, poses for a photo with her sister Sr. Audrey Cleary during a recent community event.

In celebration of the World Day for Consecrate Life, Sister Catherine Cleary reflects on her childhood, and how and why she became a Sister. If you are discerning religious life, perhaps Sister Catherine’s memory will help you!

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

Growing up in an ideal Irish Catholic family for me meant an unquestioned acceptance of faith and fidelity to the Catholic Church. It also meant loving and really liking my parents, brothers and sisters. It also meant being raised by parents who were dedicated to education, music and reading, who loved a social life, and who served on many civic boards. In general, we were a well-balanced family.   Continue Reading

Look inside … and see for yourself


By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

I am re-reading Seeking God: The Rule of St. Benedict, by Esther de Waal, a book I read when I was a novice.

So far, this line has spoken to me: “…life in Christ means life through a succession of opening doors, not a life that is always static or safe.”

I sure appreciate that.

Like anyone else, my gut instinct is to seek safety, even when I SAY I want to say Yes to Christ.

Continue Reading