November 15, 2016, Detroit – The following blog is by Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, who ministers in the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Services of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. It was originally posted on the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s website.
I think Thanksgiving must be a difficult time for those who feel bereft or abandoned. I remember my first Thanksgiving prayer with the children at the Soup Kitchen. Brother Ray and I had worked hard to promote prayers of gratitude among the children. One distraught 9-year-old girl shouted out, "I ain't thankful for anything. I don't even know who my daddy is." Her pain stayed with me for a long, long time, but eventually, her life got better and she often expressed words of gratitude.
Sometimes, I also feel pain at the beauty and simplicity of prayers at the soup kitchen morning prayer. So often, someone prays, "I thank God I woke up this morning."
Being with so many grateful people has greatly encouraged and increased my own gratitude. But I know gratitude cannot be forced and I will continue walking with some people who need love and patience and healing before their spirit can recognize gratitude. Hopefully, some day, all people will experience blessing and express thankfulness.
Even when times are hard, I must remember to grieve but not to despair. Despite many challenges in our city, country and world, there are, also, so many, many blessings of life, love, family, friendship, a beautiful moon and a rising sun…
Will this Thanksgiving season be a time you can share gratitude with someone? Will this special day be a time that you pray thankfulness?
"With gratitude, all life is a journey of blessing. Without gratitude, all of life is perceived as a burden.” - Jonathan L. Huie
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
August 11, 2016, Detroit – In her recent blog, Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, describes her reaction to the gradual loss of houses in Detroit neighborhoods – and to the key role that houses play for the people of Detroit. After reflecting on the families who had once occupied some of the now-empty homes, she concludes with a heart-felt prayer that “more and more new and old houses in Detroit will become homes…homes with heart, with beauty, with gardens, with children.” Sister Nancyann ministers with children and youth in inner-city Detroit as program director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program. Read her blog.
Photo Courtesy of Capuchin Ministries