Celebrating National Poetry Month

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 17, 2017

April is national poetry month. In honor of poetry, I’d like to share four short poems with you. I’ll say a word or two about a few of them. I suggest you read the poems slowly and even aloud. The first poem is by St. John of the Cross, translated by Daniel Ladinsky: What Is […]

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The Turtle Story: A Reflection for Holy Week and Easter

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 9, 2017

I love the writings of Barbara Brown Taylor, a 65-year-old American Episcopal priest, professor, writer, and theologian. Her books include The Preaching Life, Altar in the World, and Learning to Walk in the Dark. In 2014, Time magazine named her on its annual list of the 100 most influential persons in the world. Currently she […]

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Eleanor Roosevelt: Wife, Mother, Writer, Diplomat, First Lady

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 3, 2017

When Eleanor Roosevelt died, the New York Times obituary called her “one of the most esteemed women in the world.” In 1999 when a Gallup Poll asked Americans to rate the people they most admire in the 20th Century, she came in ninth. (She and Mother Teresa were the only women to make it into […]

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Let the Little Children Teach Us

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 27, 2017

The gospels tell us that Jesus loved children. When people were bringing their children to him to be blessed, his disciples rebuked them. But Jesus scolded the disciples, saying, “Let the children come to me.” Then “he embraced the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them” (Mk. 10:13-16).

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The Charter for Compassion

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 20, 2017

Karen Armstrong is a British author who has written many books on comparative religions. A former Catholic sister, she won the prestigious TED Prize for ideas to change the world. Her idea was to formulate a “Charter for Compassion” that could be endorsed by people of all faiths all over the world. The charter would […]

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How Do We Grow in Wisdom?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 13, 2017

How do we become wise? The quickest answer is: through experience. This experience begins early in life. Several years ago I was at a first birthday party for a little boy named Brian. He was sitting in his highchair smiling as his mother set a small birthday cake in front of him. Then she lit […]

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“Beauty Will Save the World”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 6, 2017

The Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in one of his novels, “Beauty will save the world.” Many people have wondered those words mean. Some have said they mean that Beauty helps to give meaning and purpose to life. It is as important as Truth and Goodness for instilling in people a desire to live a […]

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What Are You Doing for Lent? A Suggestion

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 27, 2017

Ash Wednesday is this week. As we begin the Lenten season, we may be wondering: What am I going to do for Lent this year? I have one idea you might want to consider. It comes from a good friend, Father Rich Jones, pastor of a church in the Pittsburgh diocese. In his Lenten Reflection, […]

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Building Bridges of Peace

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 20, 2017

The date was December 9, 1967. The occasion was the Veterans Day remembrance ceremony in Missoula, Montana. Attending the ceremony was Dan Gallagher, a demolitions specialist, who had just returned from a 13-month tour in Vietnam. But at the front gate of Fort McChord, where the ceremony was to take place, a group of anti-war […]

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Three Cheers for Dentists!

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 13, 2017

I had dental work done recently. Not just a cleaning, but actual “work,” which is a euphemism for drilling! But I don’t want to bore you with the details of my last visit to the dentist. Instead, I want to celebrate dentists today. For I believe they are often the unsung heroes in the field […]

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