Bridges Across the City: The Story behind the Invitation to Connect

Click for details or to register

Click for details or to register

“I think most of us have stories that break us open. The challenge is to find places that offer healing.”

– Maura Schnorbach, Social Justice Coordinator at St. Patrick’s Church, Edina

On Thursday, October 29, the Visitation Sisters and several northside neighborhood friends will travel to St. Patricks’ Church in Edina to share a meal, swap stories and spend a few hours together in prayer. If you are reading this, and are in the area, you are invited to come and be part of this evening!

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The following reflection comes from Maura Schnorbach, the Social Justice Coordinator who has lead the collaboration between St. Patricks, the Sisters and neighborhood friends in bringing this Fall Forum evening together. We share this with her permission.

maura-schnorbach

Maura Schnorbach

“Spending time with the sisters and neighbors has been a great blessing to all of us. We have felt privileged to have a glimpse of their lives in North Minneapolis.

Someone said at one of our gatherings at the Monastery, “it all starts with conversations”… The Pope has called us to, “encounter” one another. I feel that our gatherings at the Visitation Sisters’ Monastery have created a space to experience the sacred. This experience was only possible by the decades of work– [of prayer and presence]– by the sisters.

MAURA’S STORY

Part of my motivation to meet the sisters was dealing with an old friend’s daughter’s death. She was murdered last spring in St. Paul by her boyfriend. She was a year younger than my daughter (21). Although they didn’t grow up together, I am struck by how different their lives were. My daughter just graduated from UW Madison and is working on a Master’s Degree in Accounting. Michelle was an only child and left a baby behind. Her boyfriend will spend his life incarcerated. The death haunted me for several months, because I thought of the unimaginable loss…. Gun violence has become so routine in the US that I don’t think many of us realize that in some communities it is part of the landscape.

I was trying to find a way to hold a community conversation about violence and the intersection of hope and faith. At the same time, we wanted to focus on the Gospel, and not get into the, “left vs. right” political arguments. St. Patrick’s has a long tradition of holding respectful community conversations about important issues. We want to engage, challenge and invite people of faith to get involved. I also believe in the power of sharing stories and faith… Inviting the sisters to share their work seemed like the perfect fit. The sisters wanted to include their neighbors. We had several conversations to see if this could be a collaborative event that we could all create together.

HISTORY of FALL FORUM SERIES:

Last year, we focused on elder issues on two evenings. One night focused on Homeless Youth and Affordable Housing. The previous year, we invited Fr. Larry Snyder. Our focus that year was pathways out of poverty. We featured:  Catholic Charities, Risen Christ, Cristo Rey, The Lift Garage and Finnegan’s Beer. Our goal is to focus on transformational justice work.

BRIDGES ACROSS THE CITY INFORMATION: (Click to download Flyer)

Date: Thursday, October 29, 2015Time: 6-8:00 p.m., Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.Location: St. Martin’s Hall, Church of St. Patrick-Edina, 6820 St. Patrick’s Lane, Edina, MN 55439

To register go to St. Patrick’s website at www.stpatrick-edina.org. or call Maura Schnorbach in Social Justice at 952-941-3164. There is no cost, but reservations are requested by October 26.

==>Please feel free to circulate with colleagues, friends and neighbors.<==

Take Me Out to the Ball Game: The Power of Story!

Sr. Mary Frances, holding the first pitch ball,  enjoyed the evening with her sister Susan....

Sr. Mary Frances, holding the first pitch ball, next to her sister Susan

by S. Mary Frances Reis, VHM

On Friday, August 7, 2015 I threw the first pitch at the St. Paul Saints’ game. On that gloriously clear and sunny ‘Minnesota-at-its-best’ evening at the ball park, little did I realize God would re-visit me with my own very personal Sacred Story.

The Cookie Cart folks had asked me to represent them, as they were being recognized that evening as a nonprofit doing significant work with the youth of North Minneapolis, with plans to expand to St. Paul’s East side.

From the moment (7:05 pm to be exact) that the catcher actually caught my pitch, my Sacred Story unfolded before my eyes and in my heart:

The day I was born in St. Paul, my dad was playing a double header with the Boston Braves in Pittsburgh.   At the 7th inning stretch the announcement came over the loud speaker: “Bobby Reis has a baby girl!” It was Father’s Day so it was an even bigger deal! I always like to remind folks that I got a standing ovation at my birth!!!

Eventually, ‘Daddy’ left the “Big Leagues” to play with the St. Paul Saints. Back in those days, baseball was more about the sport than the money. (My dad sold Hoover vacuum cleaners on the off season.) I remember going to the games and being so proud of him and enjoying the fun atmosphere with the sport and the crowd.

A packed stadium

A packed stadium

Memories of my dad’s career* rushed in on me as I sat in the stands behind home plate with my sister, Susan.

If you’ve been to a Saints’ game in recent years, there’s lots of entertainment, from the pig bringing the baseballs out to the pitcher and a lady dancing on top of the dugout, to the fireworks display at the end. In spite of, or shall I say — in the midst of all of it, I had a sacred, precious moment on the Sacred Ground of the St. Paul Saints new stadium.

As I reflected back on the evening a maxim of St. Jane de Chantal came to me: “Keep a light heart, and above all put sadness behind you.”

Give yourselves a gift, Everyone: Touch into your own Story and that of others. We are on the planet together for a Sacred Reason, helping one another keep a light heart in the midst of life’s challenges and gifts.

Take me out to the Ball Game! May Jesus Live in all the Sacred Stories of our lives!

 

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My dad, Bobby Reis, Boston Bees, 1938

Excerpts from 1973 St. Paul Dispatch Sports Page article by Don Riley upon my father’s death:

*”No finer gentleman ever played baseball than Bobby Reis….And few recall his dazzling versatility. It was not even recognized in his obit. He was the first major leaguer to play every position on the diamond in the course of a season. He did it with the Boston Bees in 1934….Bob had a sense of humor that could laugh at himself. I remember the gang presented him with a big book entitled “All I know About Baseball” by Bobby Reis. It was filled with empty pages and Bob laughed until the tears came. In reality, he was one of the most intelligent baseball people I ever met…More than a sportsman, he was a wonderful husband and father. And that’s what it is really all about.”