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St. Louis, Missouri, September 28, 2023 – “What are you doing here?”
For Adrian Dominican Sister Sara Fairbanks, OP, Professor of Homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, that is the “most vital spiritual question every human being must answer. What supreme reality can claim your whole heart and free you to live for one another at any cost?”
Sister Sara posed those questions during a recorded video homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, focusing on the story of the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a and on Jesus’ loving support for his apostles – and us – in Matthew 14:22-33.
“What makes it possible for us to embrace hardships, to put aside self-indulgence and indifference to the sufferings of others and the Earth, ‘to lay down our lives’ for the people we love and the common good?” Sister Sara asked. She turned to the prophet Elijah for the answer, noting how Elijah fled for his life from the rulers of Israel, Ahab and Jezebel, and was finally crushed in spirit. God treated him with kindness and compassion, giving him rest and appearing as a gentle whisper until, ultimately, Elijah answered God’s questions with his life. “With spirit renewed, liberated from fear, he rededicates himself to participate in God’s saving plan for Israel,” Sister Sara said. Jesus offered the same loving support to his apostles when he appeared to them in their boat on the stormy sea.
Sister Sara’s homily was part of a unique initiative, Catholic Women Preach (CWP), in which Catholic women offer homilies on the readings for each Sunday, encouraging Catholics in their daily faith lives. CWP provides “a global platform for women’s voices and faith reflections so that the fullness of our Catholic giftedness can be accessed by all Catholics,” according to the website.
Read more about Sister Sara and watch a video of her preaching.
September 25, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – How do Scriptures call us to relate to people most needing compassion? Sister Maribeth Howell, OP, PhD, STD, addresses that question in a workshop, The Poor, the Widow, the Orphan, and the Stranger in your Land, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Weber Retreat and Conference Center and via live stream.
In the workshop, Sister Maribeth explores our call to relate to people in need by examining texts from the Hebrew Scriptures, particularly Exodus, Deuteronomy, and several books of the prophets; New Testament writings; and church teachings.
An Adrian Dominican Sister, Sister Maribeth is a Congregation’s Vocations Team member and a spiritual director. She taught at Aquinas Institute of Theology and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis and St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio. She holds a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada, and a PhD and Doctorate of Sacred Theology in Hebrew Scriptures from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
The cost is $45, including lunch, for those who are attending in person, and $35 for those participating via live stream. Registration is required. To register, visit www.webercenter.org and click “programs,” call 517-266-4000, or email email@example.com. Limited scholarships are available.
Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse, Adrian, Michigan. Traveling east on Siena Heights Drive, pass the Adrian Rea Literacy Center and turn left just before the solar panel-covered parking lot. Follow the signs to Weber Center. For information, call the Weber Center at 517-266-4000.