Share - Spring 2017 - 8
Na tional Re ge nt's Message
mention the twenty hours that it took me to
EAR CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS,
get from New Bern, North Carolina to Newark,
As I began to write this article for the
New Jersey. Believe it or not, an airport can
spring issue of Share, I took time to think
Author | Position
become a sacred space, and in this case, a
and do a little research on the theme - Sacred
mini-retreat and time of reflection.
Space. Developing this article on sacred space
It was soon time to get ready for Christmas
has been a personally rewarding experience.
and the birth of Christ in our hearts once
This is not a topic I have addressed before, and it
again. We had to find sacred space in spite
challenged my own spiritual growth. What does
of all the materialism and bustling activity
sacred space really mean to me especially with
that makes it Christmas. In order to do this, I
all my responsibilities and my travels? How do I
needed to spend time in prayer and reflection
work this concept into my "life on the road" with
on what is really important in our lives.
a different schedule from day to day?
In spite of the cold weather, the Executive Officers were
After much reading and research, I came to understand the
soon off to the national office where we worked on developing
definition of sacred space. It is the place that you designate
a budget for the coming year. Once that was completed, we
as a religious place invoking the Spirit or the Lord. It can be a
headed for Washington, DC, for the March for Life. I attended
formal place of worship such as a church or temple or a state
the Leadership Mass with Olga at the St. John Paul II Center
of mind to which you can retreat and withdraw from worldly
where the Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of
distractions, or a physical or mental location where you
Kansas City, was the Celebrant and Homilist. We then ventured
feel connected with and in communication with the Lord.
to the Basilica for the Vigil Mass where we met up with the
Therefore, in each of the stops I had to designate a place that
National Board. We geared up for the day of the March.
I called my sacred space.
Tom Panas graciously set up the opportunity for us
Since the last issue of Share, there were many physical
to be interviewed on EWTN. This is always a wonderful
sacred spaces. I participated in Vespers with the Bishops
experience. We then headed for the March. This was no easy
from the USCCB in Washington, DC. This took place at the
task for some of us. After the March, hot chocolate sounded
St. John Paul II Center. This was definitely sacred space for
very good and was most welcomed by all.
me. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, our National Chaplain, led
Margaret Sitte arranged for a speaker for the Legislative
the group in Vespers, and it was followed by a presentation
meeting that took place at the Saturday morning brunch. All
explaining the Convocation that will take place in July 2017,
Catholic Daughters at the March were welcome to attend
in Orlando, Florida. I couldn't help but think this was sacred
the talk. Our speaker this year was Jo Tolck, the Executive
space for me that day because I had time to reflect and pray.
Director of Human Life Alliance, a national pro-life
I was fortunate to get a room at the Washington Retreat
organization with headquarters in Minnesota. HLA works
House for the Franciscan Sisters right next to the Center.
to protect life from conception to natural death. She spoke
Once again, this was sacred space for me. They were most
about end-of-life issues because so many state legislatures are
cordial, and I was greeted by Sister Eileen. She recognized
in the midst of euthanasia legislation. Jo is so knowledgeable
my New York accent immediately. She was from Willsboro,
and such a kind person. Margaret got to know her at the
New York, and the cousin of Rita Devan. In the quiet of this
Catholic Leadership Conferences. It was time well spent
convent, I had time for prayer and reflection before I began
before we all went our separate ways.
my journey to the airport and back home.
Each week I had a variety of activities that could easily
It wasn't long after that I journeyed to Santa Barbara,
have been distractions; however, it was a challenge for me to
California, for the 100th Anniversary of Court Santa Barbara
find, amidst all the activity, my own "Sacred Space" and take
#293. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with so many
time out to be alone with the Lord and become refocused.
Catholic Daughters from many courts in the state. California
There are places that are conducive to communication and
is definitely a state with sacred spaces. There were beautiful
prayer, but when these places are not available, you must
Churches and beautiful scenery. I enjoyed both the mountains
establish them within for yourself. It will be your challenge
and the ocean as well. I was definitely in a place with sacred
in 2017 to find your own Sacred Space and return to it
space, and I had time once again for prayer and reflection.
frequently to renew and refresh your spirit. Find time each
During the month of November, I attended seven Memorial
day to be alone with the Lord and you will find the fullness
Masses in New York State. The sacred space for each one was
and light His presence brings.
so very different but yet very meaningful.
I had the opportunity to go to New Bern, North Carolina,
for their Board meeting.
In Unity and Charity,
On Saturday Nancy Jean Stewart was laid to rest. I attended
Helene Shepard, National Regent
her funeral Mass with the State Officers. However, I will not
SHARE * SPRING 2017