Creative pursuits of all types allow us to express thoughts and feelings that can sometimes be difficult to put into words. Color, form, texture or sound can take us to a place beyond language as we continually seek transcendent experiences that elevate, challenge and inspire.
Many Sisters of the Precious Blood make art and crafts, and while the forms of their creations vary widely — carving, painting, quilting, singing and many more — they share in common a means of communion with others, and a way to reflect the beauty of God.
Sister Regina Albers jokes that a Christmas craft she started making this year is rather extravagant. “I use very expensive materials; I don’t know how many more of these I can afford to make,” she said, laughing.
In fact, Sister Regina is quite frugal in her crafting. She uses everyday, throwaway items — toilet paper rolls and direct mail catalogs — to create charming, festive candy holders. She wraps the rolls in white paper and decorates them with angels, Nativity scenes, snowmen and other holiday images cut from the pages of catalogs and newspaper advertisements.
She’ll give the candy holders as Christmas gifts this year, and she also used them at a recent birthday gathering at Salem Heights, the Congregation’s central house in Dayton. During the birthday luncheon, each Sister was invited to share a story of how some Sister, now in heaven, was a gift to them. Then the small candy holder was given to them as a “gift of love” from that Sister. Her small gift became a symbol of the gift of Sisterhood.
Sister Regina’s memories were of Sister Julie Link, who was the superior and also principal of St. Mary’s School in St. Joseph, Missouri. “I was just 18 years old when I started teaching,” Sister Regina explained. “You didn’t have to have a full degree to teach in those days, and I taught first and second grade, as well as music up through eighth grade. My biggest fear was that the eighth graders would find out I was only four years older than they were!
“Sister Julie was just so understanding and so caring,” she continued. “We just ‘clicked,’ and with her guidance and care, she made my new work and my living with the other four sisters a joy.”
— Story by Mary Knapke; Michelle Bodine photos; Jenna Legg logo