AS A CHILD growing up in Pittsburgh, my father used to take me fishing on the lakes
and rivers in Pennsylvania. No talking was
allowed. It would scare away the fish, he said. As
I sat quietly in the boat, I drank in the beauty of
my surroundings and marveled at the wonder of
creation. I believe this was my first experience of
When I joined the Maryknoll Sisters in the
early ’60s, we said the Divine Office in common
several times a day. The rhythm of the psalms and
the beauty of Gregorian chant entranced me.
My assignment to East Africa in the ’70s was
a dream come true. When I arrived on the shores
of Lake Victoria to learn Swahili, I felt as if I had
arrived home. The gentleness of the people and
their joy in simple pleasures struck a chord within
me. I fell in love with the extravagant abundance
of nature that is displayed on the wide-open plains
of the African savannah where elephants, giraffe,
zebra, impala, and wildebeest graze side by side.
The people with whom I have worked in
Africa view everything as gifts from God and
pray accordingly. Prayers are offered for rain, for
a good harvest, for the birth of a child, for the
death of a family member, or any important event.
These services are held under trees or on hillsides
and remind me of how Jesus went off to pray
in the desert and in the hills around Galilee. As I
join in these prayers with my neighbors, I feel a
sense of belonging with the people and with their
awareness of God’s presence in their daily lives.
—Sister Janice McLaughlin, M.M.
religion of the Shona
people of Zimbabwe
is especially attuned
to nature and to God’s
presence in all creation,”
says Maryknoll Sister
Janice McLaughlin, M.M.,
currently in Zimbabwe.
OF MOUNT SAINT JOSEPH
MAPLE MOUNT, KENTUCKY
PRAYER HAS SILENTLY taken me down numerous paths that have led me to God. Theyexistinspacesofquiet,
such as a wooded area, a gentle
touch, a nearby stream of water, a
long reflective walk, the outstretched
hands of the poor, or simply sharing
with another the wonderment of our
God. These ways of praying, as well
as other forms and styles of prayer,
have embraced my personality over
the years and allowed me to touch
the essence of God.
—Sister Betsy Moyer, O.S.U.
the iris garden
of the Ursuline
Sisters of Mount