Open to the Needs of Others

In Their Own Words: Open to the Needs of Others

“One thing that we learned from our foundresses was when you go somewhere, what you do is look around and see what the needs are — and then you try and fulfill those needs.” The opening words from Joan Saalfeld, SNJM in this short video, “Open to the Needs of Others,” let viewers catch a glimpse of the world through the eyes of Holy Names Sisters. A number of Sisters share their perspectives, including Brigid Baumann, SNJM (pictured above). You’re invited to pray the prayer below before watching the video. The prayer is followed by reflection questions. Download the prayer and questions

For I was hungry and you gave me food.
I was a stranger and you took me in. ─Matthew 25:35

Gracious Spirit, please open my heart to the needs of others.
Let me see how I can be of service to lighten a load,
to bring hope, to liberate another.

Help me remember that the smallest action on my part
can confirm the dignity of someone in deep despair.

Open my eyes to show me where I am needed.
Give me strength to offer my gifts.
Prevent me from wrapping myself in my own cocoon.

Let me live by Pope Francis’s words:
   To protect creation, to protect every man and woman,
   to look upon them with tenderness and love,
   is to open up a horizon of hope;
   it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds;
   it is to bring the warmth of hope! (3/19/2013)

For this we pray to our God. Amen.

Reflection questions:

Question 1: Sister Joan says when you go somewhere, you look around to see what the needs are. Sister Mariellen wonders if Blessed Marie Rose might identify new needs today.

  • What new need/s might your ministry meet?

Question 2: When students asked Sister Brigid to coach track, she thought Why not – even though she’d never seen a track meet.

  • Have you ever stepped into a role for which you felt unprepared?
  • How did things work out?

Question 3: If a student showed up hungry at school, Sister Jane fed her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ─ no questions asked.

  • Did anyone ever give you the equivalent of that peanut butter sandwich?
  • How did it make a difference?

Question 4: Sister Sharon encountered sacred moments (and some humorous ones) when she ministered to mental patients at a state hospital.

  • When you met someone else’s need, did you ever get back more than you gave?
  • What was that like?

Question 5: Sister Jane said a Sister in Mississippi does a lot with a little by building baseball diamonds.

  • Does someone in your ministry do a lot with a little? What?
  • How does that one person’s effort make a difference?