Hanging Tough while in Crisis

We’re “Hanging Tough” here at the Motherhouse. We hope and pray that your family doing the same.

Here’s a bit of inspiration by our Sister Darla Jean Vogelsang. The article below was written for and featured on the “Valley Tough” website created by Dan Pecchia of Pecchia Communications:

Having recently retired from Hospital Chaplain Ministry, I never gave a thought about HANGING TOUGH in our present situation, nor aware of our Tough Valley Spirit. I was ready to ease into a life of more freedom to focus on my agenda, my plans for more time for prayer and scripture reflection; to relax, de-clutter, now watch Sunday Morning on CBS, and visit out of state family.

Living in a home with a Community of Religious Sisters quickly reminded me – it’s no longer your agenda; all those plans and dates on your calendar, put aside. We are all in this together in ways we never anticipated in our vowed life together. I am learning not to let oppositional energy control my response.

We (The Ursuline Sisters) immediately and graciously complied with all the guidelines sent out by our Governor and did what was necessary for the well-being of our members, our employees and the community beyond our Motherhouse.  We are staying home and social distancing, a big adjustment and discipline, even for a group of women who profess to live in harmony, holding all things in common – our choice.  But we know we are not alone.

The biggest sacrifice for me is abstinence from the Eucharist and the services of Holy Week; these are the source and summit of my spiritual journey and our common prayer in our Ursuline Community.  And yet, the time I have for prayer and reflection draws me into solidarity with the rest of suffering humanity as I pray the news each day.

I am more conscious of the many lives we touch in our Ursuline Center Ministries and grateful for the way others support us.  I have a deeper appreciation for the leadership that has taken action to keep us safe and well, in our home and in the community beyond our home.  I am more aware of the self-sacrificing love of first responders and health care workers; the outreach and generosity of businesses and individuals helping individuals and the community. 

I have more time to communicate with my Chaplain colleagues who are on the job, my out of state family, and the man I write to in a state prison who experiences the lack of freedom and isolation every day of his life.   And I feel empathy for the many families and communities who have lost a loved one, as we have with one of our sisters dying this past week and were not able to have a funeral service for her.

I continue to live with the belief that our faithful Creator is in this with us and will make good of it all.  So I keep looking for signs of HOPE, trust LOVE, tie a big knot in the rope of FAITH, and HANG TOUGH through this universal journey of suffering, remembering that we are not alone – we are all in this together.