Posted February 25, 2022 in Articles
Author: Sister Elaine Berkopec
Nearly five centuries ago, an elderly woman in Brescia, Italy left her heartfelt thoughts, prayers, advice, and counsels for the group of women she would soon leave behind in this world. That woman was St. Angela Merici, and the group of women was the Company of Saint Ursula. The Company has evolved and grown like a vine all over the globe. The Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland make up one of the branches on the vine Angela planted.
One of Angela’s wisdom sayings that has stood the test of time is from her Legacy or Testament: “If, according to times and circumstances, the need arises to make new rules or do something differently, do it prudently and with good advice.” Just ask Sister Maureen McCarthy, creator and author of the blog, angelafortoday. (https://angelafortoday.org)
Sister Maureen began her ministry in education as an elementary school teacher. She earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Union Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio before spending the rest of her educational career as a high school and college theology professor. Her ministry later in life included retreat work and presentations on spiritual and theological topics. She loved the interaction and dialogue that resulted.
Aging takes a toll on any of us, and one of the costs to Sister Maureen was hearing loss. This difficulty impeded her ministry of retreats and presentations because she could no longer interact with her audience. She regretfully gave up this phase of her journey, but not for long. She was looking for a way to minister. When Sister Maureen expressed her disappointment in being unable to do retreats, Sister Susan Durkin, President of the Ursuline Sisters at the time, encouraged her forage into the world of blogging. Another Ursuline, Erin Zubal, had helped a Sister of Charity start a blog and was able to help Sister Maureen create hers. Thus Angela for Today was born!
How does Sister Maureen decide on her weekly blog topics? “The first year I did any topic that came to mind for 52 weeks. I was running out of ideas, so from the second year on I have done the Sunday readings. This will be the third year of reflections.”
Sister Maureen does four Sundays’ reflections at a time. “I spend time with them; if a theme pops up, I stay with it. I try generally to stay to one full page. I think people appreciate it.” The reflections benefit her own spiritual life. “It’s been good for me because I spend extra time with those readings. Then when they come out on Friday morning, then I read through them again before Sunday.” Some readers use them throughout the following week for reflection and prayer. Some forward the reflections to their friends. Others find them on the Ursuline Sisters Facebook page.
The blog’s messages reach more than a local audience. There are at least 80 regular followers, and persons in over 100 countries at least open it. Like the seed in the parable of the sower, the message reaches many people who allow it to grow and bear fruit.
What does the future of Sister Maureen’s blogging career look like? “My love for Scripture and doing talks—the writing helps get some of that out. I am going to continue until I am not able to do so.”