Archive | April, 2020

A Plan for Our Times – UPDATE

22 Apr

Hoo boy, got that message loud and clear. Like Gilda Radner’s Litella, I’ll say “Never mind.” Take a look at your e-mail for another idea. I’m leaving these content ideas from below on this page in case you need ideas.

We had our first virtual Campamento meeting! It was a little bumpy, but together we met our goal.

Our goal was to keep moving toward campamento goals given our constraints today: no travel, no shipping, unreliable internet connection at the home. I’m e-mail this info with some other details to people who’ve shown an interest. If you do want to participate, but didn’t get my e-mail, please let me know.

The Plan

We settled on sending a weekly letter to Sister Fifi. Everyone who wants will take a turn creating a letter (signup genius schedule through e-mail, lmk if you didn’t get the meeting follow-up e-mail and want to). You can put together the letter at anytime, just send it to Sister on the date you signed up for. She can share it with the girls. See the e-mail for a schedule to sign up for a week and more detailed instructions. Copy me on the e-mail to let me know you sent it 🙂


They should be sent in Spanish, making it easier on them. If you don’t have a family member, friend, or resource to translate, let me know and I’ll try to put you in touch with someone. If you want to be a translator, please let me know. I’m learning Spanish so am going to use this time to practice what I’m learning. Of course that may make for simpler messages, but that’s OK.

Ideas for Topics

We brainstormed ideas on what to include in the letter. We’re not going for a consistent format, but consistent timing. So each letter should reflect what you want to share or do.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Photos or short video of you, family, friends, work in quarantine life (remember their bandwidth is low)
  • Stories from what’s been going on with you and your family
  • Prayers (that you’ve written or like), prayer requests (pray for my sister who is ill), prayer offerings (we are praying for everyone in quarantine at the hogar, the Sisters and the girls. We pray for everyone who is suffering. We pray for everyone who is helping.)
  • Bible stories – or women of faith. Current women or Saints, or Biblical women or other stories the kids would like. A link on that you think they would like. (I’m sending them directions for that separately)
  • Songs – sheet music, link to recording. Lyrics with Spanish translation or a Spanish song (see Father Michael Joncas’ new song Shelter Me, does anyone want to translate the lyrics?)
  • What you are grateful for
  • Short English “lesson”
  • Short Math game (they have cards, dice, dominos)
  • These are fun if you can translate one and pass it on!
  • Physical activities – video or link to video of activities like Zumba, yoga, workouts, or games they can do.
  • Notes from other people – in case they have something short and timely to add.
  • Questions about what they are learning in distance learning, what have they been doing, links or pics they want to share, etc.


Do not call out (i.e. name or somehow specify) any one girl. Don’t call out a group unless you’re calling out everyone. For example, if you want to say something special to the pecenas (smallest girls), be sure to say something special to the other three age groups as well.

Review the Code of Conduct or ask me if you have questions.

Saint Teresa of Avila

For inspiration, learn about St. Teresa of Avila here


Want to learn more Spanish with me? Use this link to sign up for DuoLingo.

Sister Community (Dominican and Nicaragua) Meeting Monday April 20, 2020, 7-8:30 PM

16 Apr

Location: Video Conference. Contact me for the link.

Opening Reflection

Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity to meet this evening. May we engage with each other with faith and perseverance. May we manage this new situation with wisdom and value. May we speak and serve with integrity and purpose.

Lord, we invite you to work within us today. Amen


Let’s go around and introduce ourselves.

New Normal

It looks like we won’t travel in July 2020 due to the global pandemic. We always think Campamento will always happen “Si Dios quiere.” Of course God wants us to do camp, so of course it’ll happen again. I’m confident that we can do something, but it won’t be the same as last year. I’m inspired by friends’, my employer’s, and the Church’s response to this virus, they are figuring out a new way – whether it’s:

  • a golden birthday parade, complete with a police car, fire trucks, electric scooters, decorate minivans. It really livened up our sleepy neighborhood!
  • my employer’s first “road show” to major cities in the US plus London is moving to an online series of events on EventMobi
  • Archbishop Hebda offering an inspiring Easter morning Mass and drive-thru blessings.

What’s cool about these is they are all redesigned events under new design constraints. Our design constraints for camp this year are: no travel, no shipping, unreliable/low bandwidth internet.

Campamento has been such a special experience for me and so many others as well as for the girls and Sisters. My hope is that we can find a way to maintain a relationship even though we can’t travel. We might even be able to include some Americans who couldn’t travel but wanted to be a part of it. As a group, let’s review our principles.

Principles of Sister Community Relationships

Let’s review

1. Emphasize relationship over resources

2. Practice mutuality and equality

3. Seek to give and receive, learn and teach

4. Work to change unjust systems and structures

5. Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal, catholic church

Brain Writing!

In this exercise, each of us will simply start an e-mail with a few rough ideas for solving the problem in an e-mail. Each e-mail is then sent to someone else, who reads it and adds their own ideas and forwards it to the next. This process is repeated until everyone has had a chance to add to each original e-mail. The e-mails can then be gathered, ready for discussion.

The big advantage of brain-writing is that it makes sure everybody is given the opportunity to have their thoughts and ideas thoroughly considered by the group. This avoids the loudest or most extroverted people (I’m guilty!) unintentionally dominating the sessions.

Two rounds:

  1. What are the goals of these activities. See for our on-premises campamento. I’m hoping we can settle on 3-5 goals.
  2. Ideas for solutions “Meeting our goals with travel restrictions”

Next, let’s look at each and consider the ideas. I don’t think we’ll come up with a final answer yet, we might even prototype/test some ideas, depending on what we come up with. We can whittle down based on realities of their internet, travel, and shipping. Then, what people will sign up for.

Next Steps
Action items/owners
Next meeting

Closing Prayer

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are changing.
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the good.
One who has God lacks nothing.
God alone fills out needs.

            St. Teresa of Avila