Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Will Consider My Dog Goldie - poem by Sr. Linda Julian, OSH

So much life is behind her already,
so many relationships:-
breeders, vets, puppies; even, for a while, a cat!

Such a great fund of doggie wisdom flows from her:
knowing when I should get up, how manage my day,
to do, in order, all the things
on which her life and comfort depend.

Does she know she is a dog of surpassing beauty,
a paragon among poodles?
Or is her flouncing and flirting aimed just at keeping
her place secure in my eyes?

Do not fear, little monarch. You are my daily joy,
and my clear assurance of the abundance of grace.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reflections on our Founding Day Celebration

From Friends

Pat Knox-Hudson:
Thank you all for the meaningful and happy 65th birthday celebration at St Helena’s Your beautiful place at the top of Eagle Drive’s hill has been a place of solice and inspiration for me since about 1966, and I’m so grateful. Thank you for your lovely music. Thank you for your open, welcoming doors and arms. Thank you for your leadership during difficult national times, particularly the civil rights struggle and the Vietnam War. Thank you for your sense of fun and celebration. Thank you for leading ever deeper into spiritual truth. Thank you for following Jesus’ teaching so faithfully….”Love your neighbor as yourself.” Thank you for blessing us in Augusta with your presence, your hospitality, your guidance, your love.

Tom and Martha Portney:
Attending the OSH 65th Anniversary service and celebration reminded us of how much the Order is a second church family for us. In their teaching, worship, and laughter we have grown with them. The Sisters of St. Helena provide a window into practices and learnings you can find nowhere else in this area.

Mary Lou Harrold and Stephen Henderson:
Thank you for the glorious camaraderie and hospitality toward visitors that exists in your glorious community. We consider ourselves very blessed to have found St Helena and the beautiful souls that dwell there.

From Sisters

Sister Ellen Francis:
I am doing regular Sunday supply at All Saints Church, Beech Island SC, and a number of parishioners came to our 65th event. For many of them it was their first time to visit the convent! It seemed to me that we were celebrating our past history and also very much celebrating future friends and ministries.

Sister Grace, Novice:
What I remember most was joyfully being initiated with red wine on the back of my habit, quite by accident, while assisting Sister Mary Michael through the visiting crowd. It was wonderful to have my friends from EFM and the Church of the Holy Comforter come. They had never been to the convent and had a splendid time.

Sister Ann Prentice:
As we were preparing for the 65th anniversary of the Founding of OSH, I was startled to realize that I have been part of the Order for almost 1/3rd of its existence and am older than "Saint Helena!" In a strange way that realization freed me up to participate with an outpouring of joyful celebratory spirit embracing everyone who has been connected with the Order and every work and witness of our community life. I believe the Holy Spirit was present, spreading a joyful embrace among those who gathered in our chapel for Festal Vespers and afterwards during the reception. The founding sisters were mystically present and joining in the alleluias. We have come into our "wisdom years" accompanied by so many wise and wonderful Associates and friends of the Order – women and men – who have contributed their prayers and presence, time, talent and financial help to bring us through many tribulations. May we continue to trust God, to be good stewards of our heritage and keepers of the vision of our founders. May we allow ourselves to be filled by the "new wine" of the Holy Spirit and renewed for joyful service in this life to which we have been called.

Sister Ellen Stephen:
There was a feeling of great energy within the OSH community that night – sisters sat together even after the party and reminisced and talked. I so appreciated the warmth and support from our friends and Associates in the larger community. I was especially glad to see Mary Lou Harrold and Stephen again.

Sister Blaise, Novice:
As a relative newcomer to OSH, I am especially struck by two things. One, I am honored to now be a part of the great lineage of this Order, and grateful for the founding Sisters who started it all. And two, I am touched by the many friends and Associates of the Order who pray for us and care so much about us – and for whom we pray and care for in return.

Sister Mary Michael:
It seems to me that on our 65th anniversary, God is blessing us by sending new inquirers and aspirants, a vibrant new guest ministry, new energy and ideas for a future, that I think, while growing out of our past, will be different from what we’ve had before.

Sister Linda Elston:
The evening was so gentle and easy and happy feeling. Great to have a chapel FULL of guests.