Tag Archives: FMA

Sharing Faith Until the Whole World Hears

Here is one of the latest songs from Casting Crowns.  If you go to the official website for the band you can find the info I am about to provide.  Here is what is said about the song and its info.  It is word for word from the band, as well as the lyrics, so please do not consider it from me.

The title track comes from my mentor in student ministry, Roger Glidewell. He always closed his e-mails with the phrase “until the whole world hears.” Our goal is to live our lives telling others about Jesus – until the whole world hears. John the Baptist was the voice crying out in the wilderness, eating grasshoppers, and speaking into the world about their sin. Speaking out in the wilderness is never popular, but in the body of Christ. we’ve got to do it in love. – Mark Hall

[“Until the Whole World Hears” also includes the voices of the congregation from Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church, where Hall has served as Student Pastor for eight years.]

Matthew 5:16 / Matthew 28:19-20 / Mark 16:15 / John 9:5 / Hebrews 13:20-22 / James 2:19 / John 1:1-42 / Matthew 24:14

Lord, I want to feel with Your heart
See the world through Your eyes
I want to be Your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads

Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
Let us shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night
Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise

Until the whole world hears, Lord, we are calling out
Lifting up Your name for all to hear the sound
Like voices in the wilderness we’re crying out
And as the day draws near, we’ll sing until the whole world hears

Lord, let Your sleeping giant rise
Catch the demons by surprise
Holy nations sanctify
Let this be our battle cry

Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
Let us shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night
Ready yourselves, ready yourselves
May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise

Woah, woah, sing until the whole world hears
Woah, woah, sing until the whole world hears

I want to be Your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads
To see You set the captive free
Until the whole world hears
And I pray the day will see
More of You and less of me
Lord, I want my life to be
The song You sing

Woah, woah, we’ll sing until the whole world hears
Woah, woah, we’ll sing until the whole world hears

Until the whole world hears.  This is what we should be striving for in life.  Spreading the faith until the whole world hears.  What a task to be lived each and everyday!  Wait, what?  You think you can not do it because you don’t do church work type things?  You are wrong.  We were commissioned to spread the news of Jesus Christ to the whole world and not stop until everyone hears.  Below is a passage from the Gospel of Matthew stating this Great Commission.

The eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.  And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  – Matthew 28:16-20

In everything we do, everything we say, everything we think, in absolutely everything; we must spread our faith in ways that are suiting to what God is calling us to do.  God has a plan for each of us and within that is the call to share the faith until the whole world hears.  How many other forms can I put this in to make it clear!?

For me it may seem a little more cut and dry, but that does not mean it is an easy thing by any means.  God’s plan has now put me waiting to enter formation this August 24th.  I will be studying, praying, and all else in order that I might become a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians in approximately four years.  The Salesian Sisters just had this thing that drew me in.  Now, I have always prayed and hoped that I could be God’s hands and feet, seeing the world form His point of view in order that I may reach out where I am meant to reach.  The thing is, this is not how I thought I would be spreading faith until the whole world hears.  With that said, I am so excited.  What a better way to live my life but married to Christ doing His work that I have been commissioned to do!

I pledge that I am going to sing until the whole world hears.  In my love of music, my love of dance, my love of my faith and the fire within me I am going to give it all I have and pray that it is enough to satisfy God!  Will you go out and face the world with your faith like I am?  As a community we have the power to do many thing and catch those demons by surprise.

Watch out because I’ll share my faith until the whole world hears!

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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Inspirational Music


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Let Go

The following song is called “Let Go” and it is by Barlow Girl.  We used this song during the teen retreat this past weekend and it came to my mind today with all that I have been dealing with and figuring out.

Yeah I trust in You
I remember times You led me
This time it’s bigger now
And I’m afraid You’ll let me down

But how can I be certain?
Will You prove Yourself again?

‘Cause I’m about to let go
And live what I believe
I can’t do a thing now
But trust that You’ll catch me
When I let go
When I let go

What is this doubt in me
Convincing me to fear the unknown
When all along You’ve shown
Your plans are better than my own

And I know I won’t make it
If I do this all alone

Letting go, how fitting to me.  I am guessing that most of my friends are still shouting at me to let go of certain things in my life and I will, as soon as they are solved.  Even more than that I need to let go, we all need to let go.  We should do what we need to do  so that when God steps in, everything is in its place.

Everything is bigger now in my life.  The hard moments show what a bigger deal they are.  The great things God has planned for me are a big deal; I am no longer just a student making my way through school.  I used great courage to land myself all the way out in the point of New Jersey from my Midwest life in Minnesota.  It was all for the good to do the work I love to do.  Worth it?  Oh yes it has been.  Then I find myself having turned in an application to enter with the Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco, formally known as the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.  Crazy!  My energy in the beginning of this part of the journey was astoundingly high.  Now, I find myself at a different level.

I still feel called to formation with the Salesians; I still know that if this is not where I end up, God must have a plan or I screwed up the plan.  There is yet a phone call to tell me what the outcome of my application is nor an e-mail in reply to what I told Sister Phyllis about my current status in life.  It makes me real nervous to not hear anything back.  Granted, this new info could change things a little, I must let go and let God take care of it.

It is hard.  What is “it?”  It is being really far away from friends, dealing with what is inside of me, balancing my work, taking care of myself, waiting for a response to my application, doing things I am not sure of, making a positive difference in people’s life (proper lack of comma use…Jessica) and so much more.  It is going to be hard, who said it would be easy?

We have got to let go and trust God will catch us.  No it will not just happen.  If it rains on the fields and we have not prepared them, nothing will happen.  We need to prepare ourselves for God and we do that by taking the right steps that allow Him to show himself to us.  Whether that is through taking the right path to solving problems or opening the doors to what may lay ahead, we need to do it.  For me, it is both finding the path to healing and keeping open the doors of possibility, all without getting discouraged.  Hard, yes.  Possible, yes.

Let go, God will help you if you just let go of the control.


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Picture Story

When my family was here at the point to visit me…

…Sister Colleen came to visit my family.  It was quite nerve-wrecking for some odd reason.  I am not exactly why it was this way, but it was.  It made me want to get out my nervous energy…

…of course there is no archery range that I know of around.  I do have to say, seeing Sister Colleen after so long was really good and it made me smile.  She caught me in the act of smiling while talking about religious life before going to meet the family.  I think I really could be a Salesian.  This might be close to the smile…

…but it does not equal it I am sure.  Once we showed up for the meeting of my family and what seems to be the rest of my life, everything seemed to go real well.  There was an odd feeling of wanting to be distracted.  All in all, the meeting went well.  Before this meeting, I forget to say, I turned in most my application.  Let me tell you…

…it makes you want to do crazy things when do turn in most the application for the rest of your life.  I am so excited and there is such an odd peace about doing this.  Of course at the same time, there is some chaos and nervousness with the whole thing.  I have many questions lurking…

…okay, not as slowly lurking as a turtle.  Really, there are fast paced and many the questions in my mind.  I have to learn to breath and reflect upon my life, realizing that questions are okay if they don’t consume me.  It is nice sometimes to curl up in the corner…

…and just smile and pray and be happy with the good things in life.  On the flip side, I have realized that is is good for me to have times of being goofy and full of energy.  If I don’t do that, who knows what will happen…

…and it could be very strange.  Don’t judge!  In the end of it all, balance is key to making sure I don’t drive myself up a wall, or anyone else for that matter.  Things have been rough in parts of my life, and I am ready to move and let it all go.  Of course it is going to me a climb…

…but it is going to be worth it in the end.  I can not wait until all my application gets in and I get the letter in return for acceptance (God-willing)!  Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco, here I come!  Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, you better watch out!  The FMA has never seen one like me! 🙂 Right…now I should go be weird somewhere else and clean, my room and my soul (constant cleaning I tell ya)!  Here goes the beginning of the rest of my life…

…and I am going to conquer it!  Just, you know, pray for me in that process!  I will be praying for all you too.  Peace!


Posted by on April 6, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Photos


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Many Salesian Facts

I have decided to put a bunch of facts that I have discovered about the Salesians in one post.  The ones that are here are all ones that have appeared randomly throughout my blogging, so you may have seen them before.  Enjoy!

In the USA, this religious order I am looking at is commonly known as the Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco.  More formally, they are called the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, FMA.

FMA is the Italian name for the sisters.  It stands for Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice (Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) which was the name Don Bosco wanted for his Religious.  In English speaking countries, they are referred to as Salesian Sisters.

The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA, aka Salesian Sisters) are the largest female religious order in the world.  They are approximately 14,430, the next order of women down is 9,693!  You can find these and more statistics in the Catholic Almanac 2010 on page 487.

“SALESIAN” – The title was chosen by St. John Bosco because of the esteem he had for St. Frances de Sales, and his desire that his Sisters, Priests, and Brothers imitate the kind and gentle ways of this saint.

St. Mary Mazzarello (1837-1881) worked with St. John Bosco (also known as Don Bosco) and found the Salesian Sisters in 1872.

The formal name for the Salesian Sisters is Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.  This title for the Blessed Mother dates to 1571 and Pope Pius V.  Don Bosco believed, “Our Lady wants us to honor Her under the title Mary, Help of Christians. Times are so bad that we need Our Lady to help us to be faithful and defend our faith.”

There are four years of formation for the Salesian sisters that one must go through before taking first vows.  The following definitions are taken from Merriam-Webster.  The first year is Aspirancy.  An aspirant is “one who aspires.”  The second year is Postulancy.  A postulant is “a person admitted to a religious order as a probationary candidate for membership.”  The third and forth years are the novitiate.  A novice is “a person admitted to probationary membership in a religious community.”

“F.M.A.” Our official initials represent our official title in Latin: FILIAE MARIAE AUXILIATRICE. This translates to, DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, the formal name of the Salesian Sisters.

The Salesian Sisters in the United States belong to two provinces, the East and the West. I would belong to the Eastern Province, known as St. Philip the Apostle Province.

The mission of the Salesian Sisters, Priests, and Brothers is to educate young people, especially the poor.

Distinct characteristics of the Salesian spirituality are the three devotions that have been part of their prayers since the beginning.  This is one of them: “Love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is He who fires our soul with a love that compels others to Him.”

Distinct characteristics of the Salesian spirituality are the three devotions that have been part of their prayers since the beginning.  This is one of them: “Friendship with Mary under the special title of Help of Christians. As a woman, wife and mother, she understands the inner workings of the our own journey through life, as well as that of the people to whom we minister.”

Distinct characteristics of the Salesian spirituality are the three devotions that have been part of their prayers since the beginning.  This is one of them: “Dedication to the Church, seen especially in the person of the Pope. Pope John Paul II, who himself attended a Salesian parish, and his great love for the young, bring to life Don Bosco’s words, “Young people must know you, love them.” “

On July 16, 1908, the first four missionary Salesian Sisters arrived in New York City. They settled in Paterson, NJ, to begin their ministry with the children of Italian immigrants.

When you type in “Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco” into a google search, you get about 15,300 hits.

I hope you found out some interesting things about the Salesian Sisters!  Hopefully more facts will be found and added in random posts.  Be sure to keep an eye out!

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Posted by on March 14, 2010 in Living Salesian


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Who Are You Not To Be?

I took this picture July 2009 of Denali Mountain (to those outside Alaska, it is casually known as Mount McKinley).  It was one of the most breathtaking moments of my life!  There was but one cloudy and rainy day and we were able to see the mountain every day except the last day as we were leaving.  It was a blessing that this was the case when we were there and the people said living there, it is a rare occasion to see the mountain.  I spent a good amount of time staring at it, contemplating.  Like I said previously, it was a blessing indeed and if I could have stayed and watch it forever, I would have.  To be in God’s wonder and awe was absolutely beautiful.  I was led into this prayer I was not even fully aware of existing in me!  This is what I want with my life, to live life in such grander and have such amazement filling me.  As well, to know that God sees that same beauty in me that I see in that mountain.  I see the following quote to relate to this experience.

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  –  Marianne Williamson

Who are we not to be great?  No, not in the egotistical way that many people may be drawn to see this as.  We are children of God born so that we may show God’s glory to everyone.  This is not just in some of us, but in all of us.  God believes in us otherwise He would have not put us in the world with such responsibility.  I found this quote, author unknown: “Just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that God doesn’t believe in you!” This is something that we can really think about with our lives.  By taking the strength found in God, in Christ, we can let our light shine out for others to see.  When we let our light shine, we allow others to do the same thing.  It is truly amazing how this is, when one person’s happiness can feed another person’s happiness.

When I talk to people about wanting to enter religious life with the Salesians, to God-willing become a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, FMA; there is something special that happens.  My excitement and smiles shine from me like more than ever, and it bounces off those I talk to and back to me, re-energizing me and reminding me of what makes me happy.  While, as I have mentioned before, I have yet to finish and turn it the application, knowing that there is hardly a thing standing in my way at this point makes things so much better.  When I finally get all the paperwork in and hear back, I can only imagine the feeling that will fill me.  It is like that of staring into the wilderness at Denali.  The awe-struck wonder that almost took my breath away in such beauty that I wish I could live with always may be found in this place, this life, that I am pursuing.

Isn’t it glorious?  Who am I not to take this step forward and follow the path it seems God has given me?  Who am I not to try and find where God’s light will shine the best in me?  Who am I not to follow Christ and be His disciple?  I am a child of God and I am going to live as so!

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Posted by on March 2, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Photos


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Just a Generally Good Weekend

Today I went to mass in the evening rather than in the morning.  Okay, you are thinking, what is so important about that.  It is just how wonderful my evening felt in that short time away from the retreat center.  This weekend has been a very good weekend and while there were a few tears trickling down my face at mass tonight, there has been some joy as well.

The weekend started with an unexpected meeting.  Villanova, the outside group that came in to use the center, was led by four interns.  One of them graduated from Saint Mary’s two year before me, from the same major!  To see someone from what was home for four years gave me a lift in spirits.  I have decided again that God is amazing in bringing people to be.  Granted we did not know each other well and never hung out, we were in the same department with similar friends and both involved in campus ministry.  Lately loneliness has settled in being so far away, but being given the chance to see a familiar face has reminded me about how oddly connected we are.  The group was amazing and so grateful, that too is a reminder of how much some people still appreciate things.  God is so good.

Going to mass without anyone I knew gave me the chance to not be so self-conscious of what I am doing.  While that should not be important, it is amazing how different we can act depending on who we are with even if we are not trying to be so aware.  There was something that just calmed me and slowed me down when I first knelt to pray.  Early to mass, there were not many people there when I arrived.  I had a very hard time focusing on what was going on at mass, although aware I was still; my mind traveled rather to letting what God asks of me to settle in me so that I can really feel His love in what I am about to do.  It was interesting.  God is so Good.

Walking from mass to my car, I took a glance upwards to see an amazing sight.  The stars were made visible and the breeze was cool as well as refreshing.  Closing my eyes, I was for a brief moment able to put myself back in Winona, MN in the bluffs…until a car drove by.   That brief moment stuck in my heart.  Oh how I love being outside and feeling the cool breeze, looking into the sky with so much hope and desire to do so much more in this life.  God is so Good.

When I got into my car and the radio kicked up, a high energy praise and worship song was on.  No, I can not recall which one, but I turned up my radio and blasted it.  To jam out singing praise, another one of my favorite things I could do!  It made my smile even more.  God is so Good.

RB TEC 228 is this weekend.  The TEC program has done so much for me, and I am sure it will continue to reach people in amazing ways.  This weekend I am goign through the weekend as best as I can.  The tears that trickled slightly while at mass were in longing to be there with my TEC friends.  As well, a dear little sister friend of mine is making the weekend.  Their mass happened around the time I was at mass.  To be in solidarity with them is beautiful.  God is so Good.

God seems to want me to join the Salesians, it is all I can think about.  I smile like crazy when I think of it and especially when I talk about it.  He is has given this gift to me and I shall open it and see if it fits.  If by chance it doesn’t, I know God will guide me from there.  As of now though, it fits well and I plan on keeping it!  God is so Good.

Fact: “F.M.A.” Our official initials represent our official title in Latin: FILIAE MARIAE AUXILIATRICE. This translates to, DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS, the formal name of the Salesian Sisters.

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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Inner Reflection, Living Salesian


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Question: When was the Moment I said Yes?

In a comment on the last post, a question was asked of me and I have decided to address it in a post. IT is something that I have not thought too much about, but rather but too consumed by so many other things.

What was the moment when you said, “okay God, that’s what I’ll do?”

The past day, since I read that question, I have thought up and down my whole life to find that moment.  Now, one may think that would be an easy thing, but I can not find a single “ah ha!” moment that rings true in me.  Instead, there are just all these little things that have come together slowly for me.  There is the feeling that there is so much more for me, the love of working with youth at camp, the passion for retreat work, the longing to find ways to make my faith really strong, wanting to help people, being there for my friends whenever they need someone, finding God in abstract ways, and so many other things.

For most my life, I always remember wanting to be outside, and just be.  There was something amazing and wonderful about being outside.  As time went on, especially when I hit college and got to go in the bluffs on hikes, I realized being outside was one of the places that I found God the most.  I wanted to make my faith stronger and understand why I continued to stay Catholic rather than stray elsewhere.

The pull for something more was there in high school, but when I hit college, it really yanked on me.  I wrote before about the struggles between the awesome points, as well as the difficulties I had with finding a major that I really felt I was supposed to do.  All of it was important, but through it all, I wanted more and to do something unique to reach out.  When I first asked myself what it would be like as a religious sister during my sophomore year, I had no idea it would stick this far.

Looking now to all that has happened since I met the Salesians for the first time, as much as I freaked out on the outside, I have done nothing but smile about the whole thing.  Sure, there are those questioning moments that I mentioned previously.  Even in that, I found myself smiling.  When I went to do my interview this past Monday, I was beaming.  Something has felt right the entire time, even though I have never been able to 100% admit it yet.

Basically, I have said yes over and over, but have said no a few times too in between.  I have been telling myself and preparing myself for a long time now, to be open to whatever God may call me to do.  It was this path, religious life, that I had never expected to come to me.  Now, I just need to continue to accept it.  I am happy to thinking of my life this way and I smile unable to stop smiling even when I try hard.  What I have found helps is knowing that many people are following in the journey, one of the reasons I want this blog out there.

I hope this answers that question, even though straightforward it is not.  Thanks for following.  Peace and Prayers!

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Posted by on February 13, 2010 in Inner Reflection


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