Friday, September 11, 2009

It is a Fine Day to Begin a Blog!

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." St. Francis of Assisi

As I begin this Blog all of a sudden at am at a loss as to what to write first ... I had all these great thoughts in my head this morning, but what first?!? So, I guess the best way to begin is to start with a brief introduction of myself.

My name is Sr. Patricia Novak and I work in Vocation Ministry for my Franciscan Community, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. I am not from Philadelphia, I'm from Klamath Falls, Oregon, but that is where my Congregation began in 1855 and where our Motherhouse still is.
Our history in the "west" began within thirty years of our founding, in 1885, when Sisters were asked to come out to Eastern Oregon to minister to the people. Quickly the Community was involved in education and health care and we started spreading out from Baker City to other parts of this vast area of the country. We still serve our brothers and sisters on the west coast ministering in a variety of ways in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Wyoming, Hawaii as well as the east coast.
Anyway ... I am from Oregon, I graduated from Gonzaga University way back when, and have been a Franciscan Sister for nearly 30 years, teaching 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade for many of those years, but also having the chance to serve the poor for brief periods in Wyoming, Appalachia and Haiti.

As I begin with this initial writing I am aware of several things that mark the beginning of September:
1.) For over 21 years I was a teacher in Elementary School, so I note the beginning of a new school year with all the energy and excitement (and moans & groans sometimes too) that a new school year brings. What a wonderful time though - to start out fresh in a new year of learning and growth!
2.) Yesterday, September 10th marked the 31st anniversary of my entrance day into the Sisters of St. Francis. That was an exciting day for me for sure! I had made a huge vocation decision as a twenty something young adult and there I was, arriving at the convent, open to where ever God was leading me ... there is something very freeing about making a decision/choice and following through on it. God is good
3.) And then today is September 11th, a day we remember with great sadness in the history of our country. For me it is a day to stop, reflect on my life and freedoms, and to pray ... pray for our country, pray for all those who lost their lives on 9-11, for all those who still mourn the loss of those they loved, and pray for peace in our world.

St. Francis is often attributed with the words, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace". May we all strive to have peace in our hearts, peace on our lips and peace in our homes!
Pace E Bene!
Peace and All Good, Sr. Patricia

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