Three Short Reflections for Holy Week and Easter

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 15, 2019

Here are three short reflections for Holy Week and Easter. They are adapted from my book, By the Way: “The Times We Live In” Some of the Saints lived during terrible times. Take Catherine of Siena, who lived in 14th Century Italy. During her times, the Black Death raged throughout Europe killing 26 million people (an […]

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Quirky (but True) Stories from History

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 8, 2019

Here are six quirky (but true) stories you may not have heard in history class. I found these in Rick Beyer’s book, The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy. It was the time of the Civil War in the U.S. A young man was standing on a crowded […]

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The Common Good (And My Nephew, the Mayor)

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 1, 2019

Two weeks ago my nephew, John Hartman, was elected mayor of Churchville, NY, near Rochester. After serving as a trustee and then as deputy mayor for 8 years, John ran unopposed. Churchville is a small town. Population about 2,000. You might be asking: So what’s the big deal? Well, even small towns have some of […]

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Excuses for All Occasions

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 25, 2019

Jesus told a parable about a certain man who prepared a huge banquet and invited a great many people to come and enjoy it. But right away, the excuses began to come in. Two of those excuses were immortalized in the old song, “I Cannot Come.” (Medical Missionary Sisters, 1965). Those two excuses were, “I […]

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“Useless Beauty”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 18, 2019

We Sisters of Notre Dame are divided into smaller groups that meet once a month to share faith together. Using scripture, other readings, music, and prayer, we try to share our faith more deeply with one other, often focusing on a certain theme. Last month’s theme was beauty. I shared excerpts from an article I […]

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A Reflection on Sin and Evil

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 11, 2019

Lent is a good time to reflect on sin and evil. Some of what I write here is based on an article by Alice Camille one of my favorite writers. The article, entitled “Unoriginal Sin” appeared in the March 2019 issue of U.S. Catholic. Evil is rampant in our world. Because we are basically people […]

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Lenten Reflection: Who Is God?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 4, 2019

In my prayer, I sometimes come upon what others have said about God. Often their words enrich and expand my own experience of the Divine. In my collection of quotations, I have scores of quotes filed under the single word “God.” Here are twenty of those quotes for your own prayerful pondering today. I thought […]

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Good News!

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 25, 2019

How did you feel when you saw the title of today’s blog? Were you surprised? Were you curious? Were you eager to read on? The fact is, we are bombarded daily with news. Often it is bad news. So, today I thought we could take a break from bad news and focus on ten pieces […]

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How Good Are You at Writing Haiku?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 18, 2019

As many of you may know, a haiku is a traditional three-line Japanese poem of 17 syllables. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven, and the third has five again. Haiku are characterized by simplicity and often focus on nature or daily life. Each poem tries to capture a brief moment in […]

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Jack Kahl: Community Volunteer and Creator of Duck Tape

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 11, 2019

An obituary in The Cleveland Plain Dealer caught my eye. The headline said: “Jack Kahl, 78, volunteer, created Duck Tape.” I had no idea who Kahl was, but I was certainly familiar with Duck Tape, so I read on. As I did, I found myself saying, “What an extraordinary human being!” So, I thought I’d […]

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