Sneak Peek into CSA Days 2019 ~ Wednesday, June 19 at Marian University of Wisconsin. The day's focus: Charism and It's Relevance for an Emerging World. Stay tuned! Next week we will be posting a CSA Days Photo Album and a Jubilee Album.
CSA Associates gathered for a spiritual retreat on Monday, June 17 followed by an administrative day on Tuesday, June 18. CSA Associates, are a community of women and men called by the Spirit to embody the charism, mission, and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Agnes.
There are a total of 111 CSA Associates based in the US and more than 25 based in Nicaragua.
Associates joined the Sisters throughout the week for CSA Days 2019 at Marian University of Wisconsin.
Stay tuned! Next week, we will be posting a full album of images from CSA Days.
Today I request your prayers. Our monastery respite center for asylum-seeking refugees is wearing out. We need someone to generously donate a new site. A possibility is under consideration.
For months up to 500 guests have been housed daily in the monastery which at one time housed 40 Sisters. The plumbing system has totally worn out. Electricity has been intermittent. As of this weekend, port-a-showers and port-a-potties have been added. Up to 200 guests continue to arrive daily and are assisted with journeys to their families in 48-72 hours. With the 100 degree Tucson weather, few parents sit outside under the tress to watch their children play. Many sit on the floor in the corridors or on the few folding chairs or stairs. Because of longer and more difficult detentions at the border, more arrive with greater stress, dehydration and illness. Needless to say, the stress level of guests and volunteers is increasing while at the same times smiles and words of appreciation are shared repeatedly.
On Saturday, June 8, a lilac bush on the grounds of the motherhouse was blessed in honor of Sister Gonzaga Hron. Sister Gonzaga (Louise LaVern) Hron was called home to the Lord on March 20, 2019.
In 2007, Sister Gonzaga memorialized the passing of Sister Donna Innes’ mother, Lorraine, by planting a Sweet Lorraine plant near the butterfly garden at the motherhouse. Sister Donna Innes initiated the call for a lilac bush to help remember Sister Gonzaga in a similar way. A purple lilac bush was chosen as a symbol of spirituality and as a reminder of Sr. Gonzaga’s passion and care of the earth. Sister Gonzaga was passionate about land and living CSA’s Care of Earth Statement:
In light of the growing impact of climate change on the global community, we, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, honoring our interdependence with all of God's creation and in a spirit of nonviolence, personally and communally renew and recommit to care for Earth, home of all living creatures.
-Corporate Stance Developed by the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee
Adopted by the Congregation May 31, 2016
Approximately 20 sisters were able to attend the blessing on June 8 and each was given the opportunity to bless the bush. The lilac bush is located at the Northeast corner of Household C.
Click here to view additional photos from the blessing.
Come to the Walleye Weekend Conservation Station and find us straight down Main Street! Visit Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA, at the "Invisible Paper" Demonstration on Saturday, June 8 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. and other presenters on June 7 at 3:00 - 6:00 pm, June 8 at 9:00 - 4:00 pm, June 9 at 10:00 - 3:00 pm.
Learn about rain barrels, recycling, beekeeping, electric bikes, "Lasagna" garden, aquatic invasive species, storm water runoff, and The Lake Management Plan.
For additional readings, view Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
The public is invited to join a group of local community leaders, City officials, and other interested parties at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5 at the Fond du Lac Public Library for what is intended as the first of many meetings to discuss the “greening up” of Fond du Lac. Today’s Fond du Lac Reporter article gives greater detail on the intentions of the organizers and also recognizes the leadership of the Sisters of Saint Agnes in caring for creation through the use of solar energy.
Read the article here.
Cantera was founded 30 years ago in Nicaragua by two Sisters of St. Agnes, Sister Anabel Torres and Sister Mary Hartman. It is based on Paulo Freire’s belief in popular education where people determine for themselves how to work together to change the realities for hundreds of Nicaraguans. Cantera now has 29 different services ranging from holistic health to reforestations campaigns to learning activities to leadership training and a farm that includes beekeeping.
The Clean Your Closet for Cantera rummage sale events began in Santa Rosa, CA, by Alice Waco and Bill McGee, two strong supporters of Cantera. Board members in Baton Rouge, LA, followed the tradition and when I became a member of Friends of Cantera, Inc. board I realized that this was a way money could be raised for Cantera through Marian University and the Fond du Lac Community. The first event was a garage sale on a bitter cold Ash Wednesday in 2014 when $350.00 was raised.
Marian University’s Social Justice Committee now sponsors the event. Dozens of people bring items to the garage at the President’s office building during May. Many Marian personnel, sisters, and CSA associates help transport items to where the sale occurs on Memorial Day weekend. Students, staff, faculty sisters and associates helped sort items that covered over 50 tables in the Dining room and overflowed to the parking lot with racks of clothes and furniture items.
Reasonable donations are asked and people give as they can which helps many people in Fond du Lac who would not afford a couch or chair, etc. otherwise. Others donate more than an item would be in other rummage sales, knowing that it is a good cause. Since it is our 6th year, people come up to me with their donation saying, “I know the good work that this sale helps, so here is my donation.”
This year $3,225.00 was donated for items and two generous donors gave one-time donations totaling $3,000.00 making this year’s total of $6,225.00 the best year yet!
Personally, it is a gift to be a part of this event. I began because I am serving on the board and had an obligation to support the organization. Now I treasure working with the many people who support it and gather to work hard hauling items, arranging them for sale, and packing them up to go to the St. Vincent de Paul Store. They are the one who make this a special event, knowing the great work that the many Cantera people in Nicaragua are doing every day. I have been motivated to continue being secretary of the Board of Friends of Cantera, Inc. by my personal witness of how Freire’s philosophy has been lived out through the work of Cantera. When I visited Cantera in 2014, I met professors at the University of Managua who had been in gangs in their youth until they started being part of Cantera’s leadership program for teens. With scholarship assistance from Cantera, they finished high school, graduated from college and earned degrees allowing them to be professors who now work with today’s youth through Cantera. I pray that today’s youth who get assistance through Cantera will follow this example into the future.
The Spring Cantera newsletter is available to view here: Friends of Cantera Newsletter - Spring 2019