2021: The Year of St. Joseph

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 25, 2021

On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis published an Apostolic Letter called Patris Corde, in English With a Father’s Heart. In it he recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. He also proclaims the year of St. Joseph, from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021. What […]

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“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 18, 2021

I just finished reading a very riveting book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The book , published in 2010, is written by Rebecca Skloot, a science writer. Though it was her first book, it won dozens of awards and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for six years. It was even […]

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A Lamentation for Today

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 11, 2021

The Book of Lamentations was written after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. Its author, who remains nameless, laments the terrible destruction of the Temple, the city, and God’s Chosen People. The book’s tone is bleak, its descriptions vivid. The depictions of overwhelming suffering are coupled with an admission of the people’s sinfulness, that […]

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Tales of the Weird and Wonderful

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 4, 2021

I spotted a book on display as I was passing through our library here the other day: Tales of the Weird by David Braun, editor in chief of National Geographic Daily News. Now, before I entered the library, I had told myself, “Don’t take out any more books, Melannie! You have two books already lined […]

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Prayer for 2020 and 2021

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 28, 2020

Let us give thanks to our Good God for all the blessings of this past year, 2020. Wait a second. Blessings? for 2020? The year that will go down in history as the year of the raging COVID-19 pandemic? The year that saw over 80 million cases of the coronavirus worldwide–and over 1.76 million deaths–and […]

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I Was a Princess…A Christmas Reflection

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 21, 2020

Introduction: Christmas puts me in a pensive mood. As we continue to live during the dark days of this pandemic, I took some time to ponder some of the unearned blessings, the taken-for-granted gifts I received in my early life. I concluded that in many ways, I was a princess—although I didn’t know it. In […]

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Is It Too Late?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 14, 2020

For me, one of the saddest phrases in the English language is this: It’s too late. The words exude powerlessness, hopelessness, and perhaps even serious regret. For the truth is, sometimes it is too late. For example, if you forget to take your banana bread out of the oven and you don’t remember until it […]

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“Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 7, 2020

There’s a large book on my shelf (608 pages) that I’ve had for a number of years (the copyright is 2006). It’s entitled Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life. The authors are Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat, a couple in New York who have devoted their lives to discovering resources to aid people […]

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An Advent Reflection on the Incarnation

by Melannie Svoboda SND on November 30, 2020

Recently I read an article entitled “One of Us” in the December 2020 issue of U.S. Catholic. The author, Father Bryan Massingale, tells of a homily he once gave for the feast of Epiphany. In it he suggested that the magi’s gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were not very practical. Maybe they should have […]

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

by Melannie Svoboda SND on November 23, 2020

As we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I would like to offer a few thoughts on thanksgiving itself. In doing so, I am going to refer to a homily sent to me by my good friend, Sister Marlene Vigna, a Mercy Sister from Rochester, NY who attended Indiana University with me many, many years ago. (Each […]

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