Friday, May 13, 2016


I wrote this blog post for the C-YA website 2 years ago. Much of it still rings true today. As my spring semester at JCU ends and my novitiate year winds down, I'm again reminded of the questions I posed in the first blog:

Where do you hide?
What would change if you let the Holy Spirit move in your life and you let go of control?
Who is part of your community?

And, I would add,
If I truthfully answer these questions, where would I be moved and where would I encounter God?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bridging Cultures...a follow-up

Last month, I shared my experience of welcoming refugee women and their children to the Villa for a weekend. I also wrote a reflection for the February Giving Voice Newsletter. (Giving Voice is a peer led organization for younger women religious).

I am continually surprised to hear from the women and kids how much they loved the weekend. One of the little girls even asked, "When are we going back to your big house?"

Here is a link to my reflection in the February newsletter. I hope you also enjoy reading Rejane Cytacki's reflection ("This Lenten Season"). It includes a picture of the Sisters of St. Antoine of Fondwa (Sr. Judy, HM has worked with this community and HM leadership provides leadership formation for the Sisters of St. Antoine).

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Magnificat Chapel

I spent my spring break at the Villa. One afternoon, I walked by the chapel as the sun was pouring through the windows. Enjoy!

View from the choir loft

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Vows and Community

The Vows and Community
It seems to me that there are varying opinions among religious today as to what it means to profess vows in the context of a religious community.  Does it mean we need to live together?  Does it mean we live alone and come together to celebrate, to mourn, and to pray?  We live in a very individualist culture and the many ways community is interpreted reflects that culture. 

The vows of evangelical poverty, chastity and obedience which we profess, we profess to God.  These vows evolved in opposition to power, sex and greed.  To me, they mean a whole-hearted commitment to live as Jesus lived, to love as Jesus loved and to obey God as Jesus obeyed God.  As members of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, “We share in Jesus’ mission of bringing more abundant life to God’s people, especially to those who are poor, by announcing the liberating message of the gospel and by the witness of our lives” (HM Constitutions No. 3).

While my vows are to God, they are also professed according to the constitutions of the community.  Anyone could profess these same vows to God independently, so what does professing them in the context of a religious community mean?  To me it means that I am also committing to whole-heartedly share life with my community. 

Community does not just happen.  Like any relationship it requires commitment; it takes work.  I came across an article by M Scott Peck, MD titled The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (  In it, Peck offers “that the real dream should be: ‘If we can live together in community, then someday we shall be able to resolve our conflicts.’" Religious life stands as a model for a counter-cultural way of living that is a prophetic witness to an egalitarian approach to being community. If Peck is accurate in his assessment of what true community is, then, is living together the way that we are able to be more; the way we become the model and prophetic witness of peace?

~ Sr. Audrey

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Welcoming the Villa Maria

Group photo outside the sheep barn
Together with VMESC, the HMs welcomed refugee moms and their children to Villa Maria for a weekend of rest and fun. Each family was resettled in Cleveland through MRS (Migration and Refugee Services-Cleveland Catholic Charities). With the help of MRS staff and volunteers and a number of HM sisters, the families were able to take time away from the stress of beginning life in a new country. Everyone enjoyed trips out to the farm, games in the gym with Srs Jeanne and Janet, and swimming! Sr Paulette also did an art group with the moms. It was a great joy to welcome and share the Villa with the moms and kids.

On Saturday, one of the children performed a traditional Bhutanese dance for the sisters and other people on retreat. Enjoy!

Sharing the experience, the group gathered in a circle for the "hokey pokey." Bringing cultures and generations....that's what it's all about!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Total Formation with Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS

Trying out the selfie stick! (everyone in formation w/ Sr Simone)
Last month, we gathered with others in formation (and our directors) for a Total Formation weekend. It is a great time for us to share community with our peers in other communities. Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS presented on Catholic Social Teaching. The weekend was both inspiring and challenging.

For me, the weekend helped me see my own passions in a different light. Sr. Simone encouraged us to pray the news as we each thumbed through local newspapers and read articles against the backdrop of Catholic Social Teaching. In light of all the darkness in the world, this exercise helped me see glimmers of hope, as well as guide my prayer and action.

Sr. Simone ended the weekend by sharing her 4 virtues for the 21st century:

1) Have and practice a modicum of joy.
2) Practice holy curiosity.
            I want to know your story—what moves you? What is your experience?
3) Sacred gossip.
            Share what you have found out.
4) Do your part.
            Where are we called to bring hope? Where are you lead when your heart is broken open?

Sisters & brothers in formation + directors with Sr. Simone