Written by Sister Jan Kilian, this blog will give an understanding of what it’s like to be Franciscan. Living out the spirit of Saint Francis, we see all God’s creation as brother and sister. We, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, are committed to building relationships and community, ministering wherever there is greatest need, promoting justice and healing Mother Earth’s wounds. My writings will give a glimpse of the compassion, spirituality, interconnectedness and goodness of living Franciscan.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


by Sister Jan Kilian

Nicaragua is a significant place for all of us Franciscans at Clare’s Well. Sister Carol accompanies a mission group to the far-flung mountainous villages of this country every January. Sister Paula was a member of these January brigades for several years. I was privileged to spend two months living in a barrio on the edge of Managua several years ago. One of our Franciscan Associates and dear friend, Monica Rudawski has ministered in the Leon and Esteli area over the past ten years. Monica visited us this summer and we all relived some of our own privileged experiences in Nicaragua.

It seems Franciscans are attracted to Nicaragua because it is one place where we meet people, who in the dark of their deep poverty, still radiate light and compassion for one another. Monica shared a beautiful prayer that speaks of this. The prayer is from John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us.
Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life. . . . .

There is so much to be said for Summer and the joy of sunshine. We watch our garden thrive under its influence. However, most seeds sown on top of the ground in direct sunlight can’t take root. The dark under the soil is a vital necessity for our vegetables and flowers. The darkness draws warmth and mysteriously nourishes hidden seed.

I think this is what keeps Monica going back to Nicaragua all these years. In the dark of the poverty of the children for whom she helps to provide food, she is better able to “see inside things.” Sister Carol and the January missionaries, too, go to peoples in Nicaragua who lack much of what we consider necessary, such as electric light. They go year after year to walk in the dark, minding the interior.

Monica concluded our summer morning prayer, “Fill our darkness with the nurture of Your Light. Help us to burn with the fire of Your Love.”


1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Jan-- this is wonderful! So glad to know the connection with Nicaragua, and that blessing and your closing will stay with me a long, long time.