Category Archives: Articles by Kathy Coffey

The Sisters of St. Ann: Perennial Pioneers

There are many kinds of pioneers, and the Sisters of St. Ann demonstrate this superb diversity. Since their founding in Quebec, Canada, by Blessed Marie Anne Blondin in 1850, their original spirit continues vigorously today.

-Editor’s note: Kathy Coffey’s latest article, “Perennial Pioneers: The Sister of St. Ann” was published on the Global Sister’s Report in January.  To read the full article, click here.

 

Seeing all of life through the banquet lens

“As Richard Rohr often reminds us, we see things not as they are, but as we are. Lately, I’ve been trying to see things through the banquet lens. Surely, that was one of Jesus’ best images for his reign: a table overflowing with favorite foods, wines gleaming like rubies in glass goblets.”

Check out the rest of Kathy Coffey’s new article, “Seeing all of life through the banquet lens” on the NCRC website.

Three Sisters Hold up Half the Sky: Sisters of Loretto in Pakistan

Editor’s note: A new article by Kathy Coffey about the Sisters of Loretto and their work in Pakistan running the St. Albert’s School in Pakistan.

….Yet the sisters, who visited the Loretto Spirituality Center outside of Denver recently, seem to accomplish the work of legions.

Since 2011 they have run St. Albert’s School in a slum in Pakistan’s third largest city, Faisalabad, where most people live on $1 a day and the size of houses is about 12-foot square. They ask the families of their 350 students, kindergarten through grade 10, to pay minimal tuition (about 50 cents a month) to encourage self-respect.

To read the rest of the article, click here: Three sisters hold up half the sky

Faith as Glue in an Unraveling World, Part 2

Beautifying

What lifts peoples’ spirits now is what always has: the arts. The people of the Middle Ages walked through squalid streets and lived in miserable poverty. But they could lift their sights to the spires of Chartres Cathedral or see Bible stories in its luminous stained glass. Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky knew the horrors of prison camp. But he wrote, “the world will be saved by beauty.” Franciscan missions throughout California were built around an inner garden, lavish with bougainvillea and roses, and often a sparkling fountain. These are only three examples of a long history. For over 2000 years, the church has offered beauty at critical times for the human family.

When depression threatens or anger overwhelms, the arts move us outside ourselves and into a realm beyond the economy. They remind us we were born not only for work, but also for joy, praise, appreciation.

If we have spent time appreciating the arts, we have strengthened the imagination. It then suggests new possibilities for a new era, new ways to live and different ways to cope. Jim Wallis says that the problems we face now are as formidable as mountains. It takes faith to change them, and fortunately Christians are in the mountain-moving business. Our times call for heroic responses. This is our moment; “now is the time of salvation.”


Some of this material appeared originally in
Everyday Catholic.

Faith as Glue in an Unraveling World

Crisis in the Ukraine, in Gaza, on the southern U.S. border. What does faith have to say in such desperate circumstances? Christians believe that we can bring the lens of faith to bear on every issue, no matter how painful. The challenge today is avoiding pious platitudes that help no one, instead finding insights to support and strengthen people enduring difficult times. The ancient Latin “adsum” means “I am here.” These are the times we are called to; this is our moment. God’s pattern placed us in 2014, not 947 or 2078. Why? Two brief possibilities:

Companioning

The church has always been a powerful voice for immigrants, and must continue to speak for 50,000 undocumented children crossing the borders. The Christian community speaks the concerns of the voiceless who might otherwise be crushed by politics, greed and irresponsibility. Faith often comes alive in times of crisis, and this era is no exception.

While Congress dithers over immigration law, the nuns are on the ground in El Paso, working. Three Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, fluent in Spanish because they’ve worked in Peru, offer food, showers and safe sleeping quarters. The children respond with large embraces, perhaps recognizing the first kindness they’ve encountered in a long, arduous journey.

To be continued…

Sharing the Power of Reading

Editor’s note:  Kathy Coffey’s latest article, “Sharing the Power of Reading” is now available on the Global Sisters Report website:

“On a frigid winter morning Doug hopped on a bus to a storefront help center, despairing that he’d lost his job with a cleaning service for not understanding printed signs and written warnings. And when Doug asked if the bus went where he wanted to go, the driver snapped: ‘Can’t you read the marquee?'”

To read the rest of “Sharing the Power of Reading” about a literacy program in Dayton, Ohio, staffed mostly by volunteer teachers from the Sisters of the Precious Blood Convent, click here:  “Sharing the Power of Reading

The Joy of Being Catholic

“The Church is not a refuge for sad people. The Church is a house of joy.”   -Pope Francis

In Kathy Coffey’s latest article, The Joy of Being Catholic,  she offers reasons for our Catholic joy:

When Catholics are baptized, the Christian community welcomes them “with great joy.” Not with an agenda, criticism, challenge, or a 14-page questionnaire. Instead, new members are welcomed with the “great joy” (Lk 15:5) of the shepherd who hoists the lost sheep onto his shoulders, focused more on love than sin.

You can read the rest of the article here.