CHRISTpower Manifesto

This summer I went on my third CHRISTpower retreat, a week-long service retreat for high school students in our diocese. We stay at the local high school and each day we attend a different service site, reflect on a different theme, and look for Christ in sometimes unexpected places. This year’s overall theme was Mercy in Action, in conjunction with the Year of Mercy. Each day at Mass while on the retreat one member from each group would describe where they saw Christ that day. As a tribute to everyone I have met through this amazing experience these past few years, especially those I met this year, I have written a manifesto of sorts:

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Saint Profile: St. Francis de Sales

Today is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, a Church Doctor and the patron of authors, writers, deaf, and journalists. He followed the will of his father so much so that he did not tell him of his desire to be a priest until he was absolutely certain of God’s will. He refused to do anything prematurely, lest he follow his own will rather than the Lord’s. And how did he know that the priesthood was truly what God wanted for him? He fell from his horse three times, each time causing his sword to come out of his scabbard and make the shape of a cross. If that isn’t proof of God’s visible presence in our lives, I don’t know what is. Continue reading

Let This Year Be Done

As I begin to think of the new year ahead, I am starting to think of my mission. My mission on this blog, my mission in life, my mission in faith, and my mission for the world. I began this blog almost exactly a year ago, and since then it has been something that I have felt fulfills my mission not only in faith, but in life. Fiat, or “let it be done unto me” is the phrase that started me on this journey, and is the phrase that adheres me to it as well. Continue reading


I Woke Up Like This: 21 Things I Took Away From Missouri Fine Arts Academy

This past month I was fortunate enough to attend the Missouri Fine Arts Academy (MFAA), a graciously state-funded inter-disciplinary arts academy on the campus of Missouri State University. The experience was unlike anything I had ever imagined myself having, and I am grateful for every minute of it. The community created at the academy spurred such a profound emotional response from students and faculty alike that to say I learned a lot about myself as an artist is an understatement. I learned about myself as a human being. I learned about art in society, about the changes that are occurring in our country right now and how they are affecting my generation, about collaboration, that there are people like me out there struggling in their situations the same way I am in mine, and a million other things that I don’t even know if I could put into words. In order to give you an idea of what I have been a part of the past three weeks, I have tried to pair the learning, laughter, and tears down to one for each day of the life-changing experience that is MFAA.


  1. 99 is not 100.
  2. You learn by doing.
  3. Entertainment gives you what you are expecting; art leaves you to connect the dots yourself.
  4. Snapping is a great way to recognize how profound something is without interrupting…unless it’s during Father’s homily.
  5. Education is an angelic troublemaker.
  6. You do not always wake up flawless, but it is always the proper response to “I woke up like this.”
  7. To collaborate is to create something bigger than yourself.
  8. Cereal gets the right of way. (in the dining hall)
  10. If something is deemed “unspeakable”, it is almost a sure sign that it must be discussed.
  11. If you have a fall back plan you’ll fall back on it.
  12. To fight for others to be accepting of you, you must first be accepting of them.
  13. Sometimes the words that best describe things are not words.
  14. The point of some art is to create a strong response.
  15. “Leaving Jesus out of it” ensures that you will find more of Him in it.
  16. We feel in tempos.
  17. Sometimes the best actors are not those of the theater discipline.
  18. Dr. Pepper and Muddy Buddies can fix almost anything.
  19. When a man says he hears angels singing, he hears angels singing. ~Mary Oliver
  20. Sometimes the best way to be creative is to think inside the box with your out of the box ideas.
  21. You don’t need wings to fly.

Where Feet May Fail

To me, Lent is somewhat about facing our fear of the unknown, facing that which keeps us from trusting God with everything we are. As we carry our crosses alongside Jesus, we must trust with all of our hearts that Jesus will carry us to the end. He will be our Simon, uniting our crosses with his, picking us up when we fall. I have always been irrationally afraid of spiders and of heights, but my focus this Lent is on a fear that I have only realized recently.  
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When God Lowers the Kneeler

I don’t know about you, but I am fully prepared to petition that the month of February be officially removed from the calendar (sorry those of you with February birthdays!). One needs a lot of endurance to make it through February sanely. Though teachers can get a lot of work done during the month, students are struggling to stay with the program-even the ones who agreed to it in the first place. For me, one crazy thing happened after another, and though most things in my life were in place, it felt like anything but.  Continue reading

A True Disciple of Christ

This past Sunday I was at a loss for words. I learned that the assistant principal of my grade school, Mrs. Susan Ponder, passed away that morning. For those of you who have never met this wonderful woman of God, she was the epitome of our school mission long before we stated it. At St. Joseph Cathedral School, the students recite in their sleep: “We will be disciples of Christ and fishers of men.” With the example of Mrs. Ponder, we are certainly on our way to doing just that.  Continue reading

Parce Domine (Spare, Lord)

Can it be that Lent is upon us so soon? I know that I, for one, am not ready. Though I am ready for Christ’s triumph, I am steadfast in my complacency and my sin. Change my ways? Ehh, better not. I will, however, vow to not eat sweets and work out three times a week, because “giving up” and “adding” things will help me reach my goal of a smaller weight!

Though I have never taken part in Lenten work-outs, I have given up sweets in the hopes that it will lead me to a better lifestyle; and while neither of these are always bad things to do for Lent, we must do them for the right reasons (ie; not because you want to lose weight!). Continue reading

Catholic Education Appreciation Post!

What a wonderful liberty it is to be able to write such a title! In a world that still struggles so greatly with religious persecution, I feel so blessed to have not only grown up within a huge community of faithful, but to have received a formal education within that community as well.  Continue reading

A Holy Pilgrimage, Part 1

Today I am journeying to Washington D.C. for the 2015 March for Life. This morning we had a Eucharistic procession through our town to the Cathedral, where Bishop Gaydos generously said mass for us. Now we are on the bus, passing the time with prayer and anticipation of the joy to come.

I would like to share my journal entry from today with you; it is written to God through the intercession of Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek:

                                          January 20, 2015
Dear Blessed Anton,
       We’re off! Today in his homily Bishop Gaydos told us: “Stand up for life. Stand up for justice. I am proud of you all. God bless you!” What fuel for this pilgrimage!
        He talked about how the media has in the past and will continue to keep silent about this holy pilgrimage. To them, we are not here. This saddens me beyond belief, but does not dampen my spirit. I will stand my ground and march for what I believe in until someone takes notice. We are not fighting a losing battle.
        According to the Guttmacher Institute, 205 abortion restrictions were enacted by the United States from 2011 to 2013, in comparison to only 189 enacted from 2001 to 2010!
         This journey will not be in vain. I am so excited to see what it will bring, though I know it may be difficult. Please turn my suffering into salvation.

                                  Maura Clare