As part of the observance of the 160th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, earlier this year the Community invited Sisters and Associates to submit poems on the theme “Moments of Grace.” The poem submitted by Joanne Bodner, SCL Associate, was selected as representative of the charism and spirit of the SCL Community. Joanne read her poem, “Guiding Grace” during the prayer service that opened the Aug. 1 celebration in Leavenworth. With Nov. 11 marking Founders’ Day and the official anniversary date, here is a reprint of her poem:

Guiding Grace
by Joanne Records Bodner, SCLA
Years past, our band of faith-filled founders
Followed a hallowed call to distant lands,
Heeding a need beyond seeds of doubt,
Despair, stopping not until they reached a
Prairie spot amid sweet sunflowers, picking
Sister petals, blowing them west with wind,
Falling on soil ‘tween mountains and ocean,
Dipping their roots and blooming again.

We seekers this day now bow and pray,
How can we follow these Holy women?
Face a future uncertain and fearsome
As the barren frontier they once embraced?
Listen!  Our mother whispers from the spire,
Accompanied by her precious sister-choir,
Love others humbly, go forward simply,
Find the good enshrined in unity.
Her fingers reach out, touching our own,
A link to Grace guiding her long ago,
Propelling us forth ‘til we see our world
Aglow with petals of peace and charity.