My life at the Mound and Villa is unique. Each day is different and yet meals and prayers are regulars that everything revolves around. Every night I connect with my two sisters on a 3-way call. We each share about our day. My sister Elaine says to me, “You are getting older yet your life seems to be fuller. Shouldn’t you be getting ready to retire?” They both comment about all my social “engagements.”
Before I came here I knew that my life would be different, however I didn’t realize the many blessings I would experience each day. The Isaiah readings during this season of advent have new meaning for me here. On this “holy mountain” we call the “Mound” I know a peace-able kingdom. Our co-workers and sisters are often reaching out to each other, offering support and wisdom, prayers and affection. We had an opportunity to come together for a retreat day during which Ann Willets invited us to reflect on the Mound-Villa community as an “Advent Village.” The sharing revealed how much we all treasure one another on this holy Mound. At the heart of our life here is relationship.
The comings and goings here at my home include reaching out to families in the area who are in financial need and this village raised over $2,500 for Christmas. We also welcomed local people who have been affected by the opioid epidemic especially among the youth. We offered our support through listening to their stories, wrapping them in prayer, and getting involved with advocating for government assistance. One of our sisters, Julie, is engaged at the grass roots by participating with concerned parents to create a free residential treatment center in Wisconsin. During Advent our community is praying especially for Colombia and just today, a nephew of one of our sisters shared about his work in Colombia as a Peace Corp volunteer giving us a closer connection with the Colombians.
When I begin my day I know for sure that blessings will be abundant. Why don’t you come and be a part of this unique life?
Mary Therese Johnson, OP