Monday, December 1, 2014

Waking up to Christ's Presence

By Sr. Rejane Cytaki

Happy New Year!  When I taught at Xavier Elementary School, I stood in the hallways the Monday after the close of Ordinary Time all decked out with my New Year’s Eve hat and noisemaker, shouting, “Happy New Year!” The students always got a kick out of it! Their initial reactions of amusement and confusion changed as it dawned on them that yes, the first day of Advent is, in fact, the beginning of the Catholic Church’s “New Year.”

As you know, Pope Francis has dedicated this church year as “The Year of Consecrated Life” to recognize the service provided to the world by those who live a consecrated life including Catholic sisters, nuns, priests, and brothers.  I think the year’s theme, “Wake up the World!” is a fitting one for all Christians. We are each called to wake up to Jesus’ presence in each other and our world in preparation for His birth at Christmas (and always).

In my current ministry as Campus Minister at the University of Saint Mary (USM), I see Jesus present as the USM community wakes up to the needs of others locally and internationally:  Listening to USM alum Alma Habib talk about Syrian Refugees and donating winter clothing items to Syria, serving at the Kansas City Kansas food kitchen and our Leavenworth Community Meal, and packaging food at our Feed the Need event that sent food to Liberia. 

As we continue to wake up to Christ’s presence, others will be called to do the same.

Name:  Sr. Rejane Cytacki
Congregation:  Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
Stage in vows:  Professed Final Vows in 2014
Hometown:  Kansas City, MO
Current Ministry: Campus Minister at the University of Saint Mary

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