The Empty Tomb

Empty-Tomb-Picture-07Anyone who has ever been to a burial service in a cemetery knows how gaping the six-foot hollow in the earth is. If we peer into the empty space, it seems to go down forever. It is deep, foreboding, not just a little bit frightening. We are much more comfortable when the casket is lowered, the earth has been replaced and cultivated and planted, and living green grassreplaces the gaping hollow. Death and tombs have a finality about them. No doubt so Mary, Peter and John believed as they raced to the place where the lifeless Jesus had been laid. They simply did not yet understand. They sought a lifeless body and found an empty tomb. They queried about “where” and discovered “what”. They simply did not yet understand. They simply did not understand that he had to rise from the dead.
Our belief in the Resurrection must begin with the empty tomb. It is the empty tomb that brings us to raise the question about where they put Jesus’ lifeless body. It is the empty tomb that sends us searching for what we thought was lifeless. It is the empty tomb that brings us to belief: Jesus is alive, he is risen. Only as the risen Lord comes to us does our own belief in the meaning of the empty tomb continually grow. Easter faith is never still.
Jesus’ risen presence can be found where we least expect it – in the gentle smile, in the unexpected extension of a helping hand, in the goodness and generosity of oyr family and neighbors and friends. And even perfect strangers.
Easter teaches us that we must give ourselves over for others in total love. This is the paschal mystery. Easter faith is never still. The risen Lord is always active. In our Easter faith. In our acts of love.


Remembering Sister Teresa Winsen

On Christmas Day our Sister Teresa Winsen joined the choirs of angels singing “Glory to God in the Highest” when she died at Park Vista. She was 80 years old.
In her 57 years of active ministry, Sister Teresa distinguished herself in education and leadership in Catholic schools, parishes and for the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.  She taught at Immaculate Conception, St. Columba, and St. Patrick Schools in Youngstown.  She also served as principal at St. Patrick, Immaculate Conception, St. Brendan, and St. Joseph, Austintown.


Sister Teresa was elected to leadership of the Ursuline Sisters in 1972, serving as Temporal Coordinator in addition to her ministry as principal at Immaculate Conception.  She was elected General Superior of the Ursuline Sisters in 1976 for a 4-year term.


After her term as Superior,  Sister Teresa began parish ministry and worked in several local parishes including St. Maron, St. Patrick, Leetonia, St. John, Campbell, St. Anthony, Youngstown, and Holy Trinity, Struthers.


In the 1980s, Sister Teresa was appointed Associate Director of the Office of Religious Education for the Maronite Eparchy of Brooklyn.  In this capacity, she helped publish a Marionite Religious Education textbook series.  In 2000, Sister Teresa was awarded the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifce, i.e., the Cross for the Church and the Pontiff, by Pope John Paul II.  This award is given to clergy and laity who have given service to the Church.


Calling hours for Sister Teresa will be 4:00 to 4:45 pm, Wednesday December 28, 2011, at the Ursuline Motherhouse, 4250 Shields Rd., Canfield.  Mass of Christian Burial will be at 5:00 pm immediately after calling hours.


In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.

Saint Angela Today – Alive in Us

The entire Community of Ursuline Sisters and Associates gathered to celebrate the gift of St. Angela, their Founder. They celebrated their lives and their faith with the Eucharist and a special meal. They were inspired and challenged by the message of their Superior, Sister Nancy Dawson. Seven new Associates were welcomed. They brought new life and energy to the enthusiastic gathering.