From discovering new ways to pray to learning how to touch the hearts of troubled kids, Mary Ann  finds much to both enjoy and challenge her every day. In this reflection, our “Companion in Mission” this summer shares how she turns downs into ups, and how the ups help her to soar!

Over the past few weeks, Sister Dorothy and I have gotten into the routine of saying prayers together in the evening. I have learned to navigate my way through the various parts of the prayer book, and the routine has become a relaxing way to end the day. On one particular evening, I found myself falling into the routine, and when it came time to say the “Our Father,” I clasped my hands together as I’d been taught to pray from a young age.

As I unfolded my hands, Sister Dorothy mentioned that she prays the “Our Father” with her hands open, whether raised in church or laying on her lap in private prayer. It’s a way to show that you are open to giving and receiving God’s love rather than holding onto it too tight.

Ever since that evening, I have made sure to pray the “Our Father” with open hands and let the rest of my being follow, and I am still amazed at how different the words feel when I let myself go. Read on….Turning Downs to Ups_ A Companion in Mission Reflection


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  1. Michele Gatts, Media, PR & Dev. Coordinator for the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown

    You’re so right about Mary Ann and the younger generation, Cheryl. She was one of 11 young adults we had in our Summer Intern & Volunteer Program, and they all were wonderful and brought their own unique gifts to the program. It was a pleasure getting to know and serving with all of them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

  2. I know Maryanne: she is a terrific student and teacher. This reflection, about being open to change of all sorts, including and especially spiritual, models what gives me hope about the younger generation. Aren’t they gifts to us all? So surprising and genuine and creative and good.

    I’m so glad Maryanne had the opportunity to intern with the Ursuline sisters and to serve out at the Villa, my alma mater.

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