Dear Friends,

As we end this week, I hope that you have found a bit of a routine and perhaps some moments of joy amidst the moments of challenge. Below are a few of the resources that some of our Siena community have shared with me, and I wanted to post them here.

I have watched many around me use story as a method to process all that is occurring around us. As time expands and shrinks before our eyes, we are about to enter the most powerful story of our faith during Holy Week. Perhaps this time when everything is uncharted might invite us into new ways to enter into that story, and perhaps we will find that faith will light our path. Our theme for the year at the Siena Center is sharing our stories – so I invite you all in this moment when we are not together to share your story with one another, to send them to me, to send them to your friends. It seems stories can move us through this time with honesty and care.

Of course, our challenges are abundant – the loss of life, the tragedy around access to health care, the risks that now accompany seeking care, and the isolation and loneliness that have impacted the lives of many.

Despite these challenges, heroes are emerging – much like what I shared about Catherine of Siena last week. Her life was marked by the Bubonic plague, and her ministry involved caring for those more marginalized.

Additionally, I have witnessed so many moments of joy in our community: caravans of teachers driving past the homes of their students, appreciative families waving to them, candles lit on porches to honor healthcare workers, rainbows and hearts in windows and on the sidewalks with elaborate chalk displays, etc.  These simple but profound expressions of togetherness and support give me hope.

We have a rich story here at the Siena Center, and in this time we can look back a little to some of our beautiful moments and the voices that have shared wisdom with us in the past.

Timothy Radcliffe, OP joined us at the Siena Center in 2016. Here is a powerful piece he wrote last week in Commonweal Magazine:

Gregory Boyle, SJ was with us at the Siena Center in both 2014 and 2019 and shares this beautiful message here:


And perhaps a book suggestion if you would like to read along with me:

For a book suggestion, take a look at Sr. Joan Chittister’s The Time is Now: The Call to Uncommon Courage. She has joined us at the Siena Center twice in the past 8 years, and this new book is one to savor because it offers quite a bit of wisdom for this moment. Here is a book review from last fall:

We also have an exciting event to anticipate! On April 20, I will post a virtual Earth Day page to our Siena Webpage. This will be our way to honor and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Bill McKibben will send a recorded message for our community, and there will be messages from other sustainability leaders and other resources there, too. So mark your calendars for that moment; more details will follow next week.

A few other resources:Aspen Institute has valuable resources here on faith communities:

America Magazine has insightful content and also shares some interesting stories about the global dimensions of the pandemic in this story: