Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul West Central Province
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We want to share with you some of the ways that we express ourselves creatively. We hope you enjoy!
I'm privileged to enjoy an Art Ministry with proceeds going to Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock, Arkansas.
The clients of the food pantry inspired me with the "Sacred Feminine" theme, especially the women who have shared their deep faith and positive outlook in spite of overwhelming odds.
They are the "Women Trees Rejoicing" because when I ask them how things are going, they answer, "I'm blessed".
To see more of Sr. Maria's art, please visit her website: www.womantreeart.com
When I travel I like to take photos of beautiful scenery. I don't know much about cameras but I have a pretty good eye for composing a photo of something I see that is beautiful. Often I'm aware at the same time as composing the picture of some scripture quote as I "pray" with the photo I'm taking. After the picture is printed I paste it on some quality card stock and write the scripture quote on the bottom of the photo. As I do this I'm actually praying a second time with the beauty of the scene, as well as remembering with gratitude when and where I was when I took the photo. The entire process from start to finish is a contemplation hobby for me - thanking God for the beauty of his creation, enjoying the giftedness of making the photo card, aware that the donations received for the cards will support our ministries to homeless persons, and just relaxing in the beauty of the composition I'm beholding as I work making the cards.
Among the favorite cards I've made is one of a desert saguaro cactus when I was making a retreat at Desert House of Prayer in Tucson, Arizona. I entitled this photo "My soul waits for you, O God, more than sentinels wait for the dawn" because I love early morning prayer times. The quote is from Psalm 130. In addition to cards I've made from my photos, I have also made cards using watercolors I did when I was on retreat.
So where do I start? I've spent a lot of my years as a teacher of kids with special needs. From there I graduated to testing kids for learning disorders. In my old age I went back to school to study counseling and now serve as a mental health counselor at Catholic Family Services. One afternoon a week, I volunteer at the local jail to do one-on-ones with the women who desperately need someone to listen to them. To tell you the truth I don't know how I got into poetry. It just sort of happened about 20 years ago while I was making a retreat in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I was so taken by the amazing creation I saw that a poem rose up inside of me and just sort of wrote itself. And the rest is history (as well as a mystery). Nature has a way of making me wonder and sometimes those wonderings come out in a poem or a poem-prayer.
The history of it all -
Reaching behind the ages to Abraham
entertaining angels with bread and wine,
and continuing through the centuries
threading its way into the fabric of a people.
The mystery of it all -
Captured in a Supper and
repeated in every Mass,
weaving us all into the Body of Christ.
Life, death, and resurrection,
our History and our Mystery;
all tied together with a piece of Bread
and a Cup of Wine, a Cross and an Empty Tomb.
The tapestry continues down through future ages.
Eat and drink, and remember Me.
poetry by Sr. Jude Hebert
Presently I have two hobbies that give me much pleasure and reward: photography and gardening. Actually they are more than a hobby, I find them life giving and rewarding; they are an experience of the Presence of God. For me, light, texture, color and smell in nature exemplify the Creators loving touch. I stand in awe of God’s grandeur. Both of these activities bring me up close and personal with the creative and merciful One.
Making my own greeting cards became a hobby of mine about 10 years ago. I press flower petals and leaves in books and then see what I can do with them. It is so much fun to see what comes out. Recently I have made several butterflies out of flower petals, even combining some colors. To prevent damage, these are covered with contact or laminating paper.
I have also created a house blessing decorated with different flowers as well as birthday and anniversary calendars which don’t have to be changed every year.
Sometimes I use my mandalas to make cards. One of the flowers I've used is Bougainvillea. I also cut colored paper and cloth to make designs or flowers. They are sent off in the mail as soon as I make them.
I was born and raised in the country. Nature for me reflects God’s creation, and I began to capture that beauty with my camera. I shared my photos with others who enjoy nature.
I continued taking pictures of gatherings of Daughters of Charity, our ministry at St. Paul’s Hospital in Dallas and our Provincial House in St. Louis.
I am happy to make greeting cards featuring my photos. If interested, please Contact me .
"Reflections" photo by Sr. Annette
Art, whatever the medium, is a way to try to visually capture God’s work in the world. Creating art (for me that is photography, collage, watercolor, or writing) requires me to slow down, to take notice, and to see what is there. It means seeing the tiny things I might other wise overlook-a bird, a cloud in the sky, the expression on a child’s face. It also means seeing things from a different point of view; looking at something close up or from a broader point of view.
In a lot of ways this nudge to create is like the ringing of a phone…someone is calling, someone is trying to reach me and I need to respond. I need to answer the call. The someone calling is God. God dwelling amongst us, in those I meet and in God’s magnificent creation that is around me.
When I photograph people it is a way to reflect their beauty as a child of God and to see the Christ that is within them. Sometimes Christ is in the joy of another (the resurrected Christ) and sometimes it is in the poverty and suffering of someone in need (the crucified Christ).
To show another my photographs or art work is to show a bit of myself, how I see the world. Yet, I also hope that my work gives others pause to stop in the midst of our hurried lives and to remember that God is indeed with us.