Tuesday, May 11, 2010

As I sit down to write this little piece for Catherine’s Cafe, cup of tea and croissant in hand, the phrase “comfort food” keeps popping into my head. After several exchanges this morning with volunteers, parents, clients, donors and tutors, I am beginning to think that one of the major calls to vowed religious life involves “comfort food.” No, not eating it, though for sure, that is a regular joy. It feels like that is what Sisters are called to be. Somehow we are called to allow others to slowly savor, drink in, the presence we can offer. We are called to listen to the undocumented woman whose car was just impounded leaving her without a way to pick up her children from school. We are positioned to listen to the elderly volunteer who just underwent the amputation of her second leg leaving her afraid and angry. We are placed across from the parent who has no money to purchase the inhalers needed for her son. We hope that those who come into contact, into relationship, with us might feel somehow more satisfied, alive and filled up.

Thanks for sharing my tea and croissant time; you unwittingly became, “comfort food” for me.
Sister Christina Heltsley, O.P.
St. Francis Center
Redwood City, CA


  1. Your "comfort food" analogy hit home. I've been blessed to spend some time with several of your sisters through their ministries and during personal retreats at the Mound. Each time I have sensed a connectedness, understanding and trust that is difficult to find today. You reach others through your chosen ministries and in your daily interactions. It's comforting and nourishing to be in the company of spiritually charged individuals whose lives and works "feed the people" in so many ...sometimes subtle... ways. Thank you for providing the refreshments.

  2. ...and thank you for your kind and affirming words!


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