People always want to know why I ever entered the convent in the first place. I left the convent for the same reasons as I had when I entered sixteen years earlier: I felt the Spirit's call and the call of conscience.
Yesterday (Oct 15), more than 70 prominent religious leaders joined with locked-out federal workers in a pilgrimage on Capitol Hill to urge an immediate end to the government shutdown and urgent passage of laws to prevent a default on the U.S. debt.
In the summer of 1977, I moved to another suburb, and had to start seventh grade at a new school. I was 12 years old and well into the awkward years. Moving and starting at a new school is always tough, and being the new kid in seventh grade was especially challenging. At that age, the lines are already drawn, the cliques formed.
As the immigration debate continues, one question haunts me: What can we do to educate immigrants' children?
Whenever anyone asked me why I was going to Salzburg, I "blamed" the movie musical The Sound of Music. Often, I was met with eyes popping with delight. But I had yet to find a moment that was truly worthy of that reaction.
As a Catholic nun for seven years I saw the power of the Catholic Church in making and breaking rules, baptizing and excommunicating members, and throwing a heap of guilt on those poor souls that miss their mark of perfection.
The era of nuns leading hospitals has passed. The question is not how to go backwards, but how to clearly define the value of a hospital being "Catholic" in today's society and culture.
Just like most veterans, the sisters preach equality, progress and accomplishing the mission. Unlike so many religious extremists, the sisters' god neither threatened nor damned any group. Immigration was a challenge to be faced and solved as equitably as possible.
Queen Elizabeth served the Commonwealth. Sister Mary Owen served the common health. The Queen has served faithfully, consistently, responsibly, day after day, year after year, with modest warmth and wisdom. So did the Sister. And the world changed around them both.
Nuns on tractors? Sounds a bit odd, but if a creative group of Roman Catholic sisters in Kentucky and neighboring states have their way, they and other religious orders can take leading roles in the world's growing movement for sustainable agriculture.
Over three days during Lent this year, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles -- a community of Catholic nuns -- quietly assembled in their priory to record an extraordinary album of sacred music that has topped the charts since its release.
Responding to the campaign, an astounding 70,000 online actions were generated by Massachusetts voters. There may be some powerful special interests behind Keystone, but the Massachusetts primary has shown that the people still have a voice.
Pope Francis is brand new to his job, and it would have been odd for him, as some may have expected, to essentially undo a process that has been in the works for several years.
Though I'm not a Catholic, I'm always genuinely inspired by followers of Christ who try to live lives of true humility and true right-sizedness. I hope, for both the sake of his church and the church universal, that Pope Francis lives into the name he has chosen for himself.
The key to achieving the reform so desperately needed by both Catholic and Protestant churches was right under Pope Francis' nose the moment he stepped out on the Vatican balcony. Clues can be found in a cloud of pink smoke and in the legacy of his patron saint, Francis of Assisi.
The leadership of any faith body impacts the way all religions do or do not interact respectfully and productively for the common good of the world.