Friday November 11 is widely known as Veteran’s Day, and it happens to be the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Founder’s Day. This is the day a small band of sisters arrived in Leavenworth by riverboat after making a long journey from Nashville, TN. On November 11, 1858 they stepped foot on Kansas Territory, their new home.
One of their prized possessions they brought with them happened to be a large concert harp, showing the value of music in their lives. We still own it and had it displayed in the Women and Spirit exhibition. My community continues to imbue the value of music in its members. When I was a novice, I was given the opportunity to take time learning music. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to play the harp, and I jumped at the chance to learn from one of my sisters. I do not play the large harp that everyone envisions (this is the one that did come from Nashville), instead I play a smaller Celtic harp. I have played it on and off over the years.
Now that I am ministering in Racine, WI, and far away from Leavenworth, I have picked up playing the harp almost nightly before I go to bed. It is a wonderful way to end one’s day peacefully and especially today on November 11 it connects me to the founding sisters who made an arduous journey and yet felt the importance of music in bringing a harp.