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Sunday, January 20, 2008

St. Agnes and Martin Luther King

St. Agnes was one of the early Roman martyrs and gave her life for Christ when only twelve or thirteen years old. Her feast has been celebrated since the 4th century on January 21. Today is also the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States and is a national holiday. Both were people who were willing to die for what they believed and we celebrate their courage.
I have just returned from New Orleans. On Friday afternoon we had a tour of the city and saw both the terrible destruction that Katrina caused and the heroic efforts to rebuild the damaged neighborhoods. It was both depressing and hopeful at the same time. Some houses have signs saying, "Please do not demolish!" Others are newly occupied with fresh paint and a tended yard; what courage it took to return to homes that had to be gutted before being restored! I only hope the government continues to help this city recover. The streets are still in terrible condition in so many neighborhoods. Yet, the people are full of hope and beginning to celebrate Mardi Gras!
The Quad Area meeting (all the Religious of the Sacred Heart from Houston, Grand Coteau, New Orleans, and Miami)was life-giving as we spend an entire day just listening to each other share what has been most important in both inner and outer life during the past year. We have been doing this for many years and the level of sharing is very deep. We also invite some of the Associates to join us and they seem astonished by the variety of ministries in our Quad Area.
I have missed writing this blog last week, but it would have been impossible to even try. Now I need to catch up with my international online course in Contemporary Spirituality as we have just finished the first unit.

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