From Sister Mary
Sister Mary

Dear Friends,

I do believe Sister Joan Chittister’s words, “We can only live in such a way that every night there is something for which to be grateful and every morning there is something for which to get up.” But lately it’s been more difficult to put into practice. The ongoing pandemic, the rupture of the country into vile rhetoric and lack of concern for the common good, the agony of Afghanistan and Haiti, the dire reports and daily evidence of climate change…all of these can paralyze hope. All of these can make me want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed when morning arrives. Purpose? What purpose?

Then I take a walk to our Kids Cafe and am renewed. I like to listen to the stories that Breanna Mekuly, the coordinator of our program, tells me about the children. If anyone should be discouraged it’s these children who often don’t get enough to eat and whose lives teeter on the economic margins of society.

And yet…Breanna’s accounts are filled with resiliency, wonder, creativity, and gratefulness. So, I thought we’d share a few with you. Perhaps you, too, are discouraged and anxious about the relentless headlines of violence and tragedy. If so, take a few minutes to be with our children as they laugh and jump in the fountain at Perry Square in downtown Erie. Or join them on the Victorian Princess and wait wide-eyed to see a dolphin or shark leap from Lake Erie waters! Or have the youthful openness and chutzpah to challenge a U.S. Senator to a game of one-on-one basketball. And who doesn’t remember what it felt like to be sprayed by a garden hose on a hot summer afternoon…Wow, what would a firehose feel like?!

These are the simple pleasures and gifts of life. These are the reasons to end each day with a grateful heart and greet the dawn with purpose. Sometimes it just takes the children to remind me of life’s blessings. And, once reminded, I must do whatever possible to shape a future that God intended for these expectant little ones.

In peace,
Sister Mary