Parish Stories

Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI

Alma, MI Diocese of Winona-Rochester


“The Eucharist is the place where I encounter our Lord”

Sr. Mary Elisha Glady

The Eucharist provides direction and meaning for my life as I live my relationship with the Lord as a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Michigan. 

Every morning I begin the day by going to our convent chapel and visiting our Lord in the Eucharist. In His presence I renew my desire to love Him through all of my thoughts, words, and actions that day. 

My religious community prays the Liturgy of the Hours in our chapel each day. Praising and worshiping our Lord veiled in the Eucharist reminds me that one day I hope to praise and worship our Lord face-to-face in Heaven for eternity. 

Each day I have the privilege of attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I offer myself with our Lord to the Father in the Eucharistic prayers. Receiving Holy Communion strengthens me to live my offering to the Father in all of my thoughts, words, actions, and work of that day. Every evening during our community Holy Hour I share with the Lord the joys and concerns from the day. His loving presence reminds me why I do what I do each day and deepens my desire to serve and follow Him. 

Our day closes by praying Compline, the last hour in the Liturgy of the Hours. In this prayer, I thank the Lord for His blessings that day and I ask for His continued blessing. For me, the Eucharist is the place where I encounter our Lord and live my spousal relationship with Him. It is a gift for which my heart swells with gratitude.

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“When we sit with the Lord, we come to know Him who knows us”

Sr. Mara Lester

As a freshman at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, attending daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration was essential for me throughout my discernment of religious life, the source from which came courage to respond. So many years later, now as a perpetually professed Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, MI, the Eucharist remains essential to my life and allows me daily to gaze upon our Lord and peer into Heaven! 

In the Liturgy of the Hours, during the Easter Season, there is an excerpt from a sermon by Pope Saint Leo the Great wherein he comments on the disciples on the road to Emmaus: “…as they shared their meal with him, their eyes were opened in the breaking of the bread, opened far more happily to the sight of their own glorified humanity than were the eyes of our first parents to the shame of their sins.” This, I think, is a good way to explain what has happened and happens for me when I am before the Eucharist. In the Most Holy Eucharist I meet, gaze upon, adore, and receive tremendous graces from our Lord. I am reminded more of who I actually am and am called to be, not by what sin or whatever in this moment may weigh upon me. My heart is continually invited to see Him more, to be more disposed to always abide with Him and know of His mercy that endures forever. As a religious sister, my day is “bookmarked” with the Holy Eucharist, with Holy Mass and a communal Eucharistic Holy Hour, wherein all my spiritual and temporal cares—joys, anxieties, sorrow, struggles, pain, community, family, friends, and those whom my community serves are brought to the greatest Healer! It is a great thing to “give all” to Jesus, knowing He knows all, He is the One Who is ultimately in charge and can affect good in all situations even if it is unknown or remains a mystery to me. 

You and I, when we sit with the Lord, we come to know Him who knows us, and He transforms us more into Himself, of course with our cooperation. May we have faith in God and His promises! May we have hope that God can engage with all our defects and situations of misery to provide, in His great goodness and mercy, all that is necessary to do His will! May we lovingly abide with Him Who is Love as we seek to live virtuous lives! 

The Author of Abandonment to Divine Providence reminds us, “The one thing needful is being in the presence of God’s will now.” Is that not what we are trying to do at every moment, especially in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament? As we prayerfully sit before, or receive, the Glorified Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist, the eyes of our hearts are opened, we more happily come to know ourselves, what God’s will for us is in this moment of our lives, and gain all that is necessary to seek our ultimate homeland—Heaven!

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Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.

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