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The Slipper  Slip-Up

It wasn’t a matter of ‘more haste less speed’.  No, I think it was the comfort of my cozy slippers which caused me to head out to work in them.  My bag slung over my left shoulder, my water bottle clutched in my right hand, off I head all dressed up with somewhere to go.  Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work I go.  Stunned, I come to a sudden halt.  I don’t have to look at my feet, snug within my footwear.  I know what is; certainly not my well-worn clogs in which I daily walk those endlessly long corridors at the hospital where I minister as a chaplain. It’s my slippers!  What should a professional woman do, but turn around, go back to where those clogs patiently await my feet.  Heigh ho, heigh ho, now off to work I go, all the while wondering what would have happened, had I, horror of horrors, arrived at work in my comfy slippers.

 If you were to talk to some of my friends, they’d tell you about my quirky mind.  While my clogs carried me quite nicely, though not as comfy as my slippers would have, I wondered what, say doctors or nurses, might say if I wore slippers to work.  One of my colleagues, a palliative care doctor, might just smile and commend me for choosing to care for my tired feet.  Now, a fellow chaplain might glance at my slippered feet and, concerned not only for folk’s spiritual wellbeing, might perhaps secretly envy me not only for thinking outside the proverbial box, but for walking outside the ‘shoe box’.  I would most certainly steer clear of the otolaryngologist, aka the head and neck doc, for he might want to examine my head. However, my heart would go out to all the weary nurses who might longingly glance at my comfy slippers wishing they could wear slippers.  So, come to think of it, why don’t I start a new sartorial trend and wear my slippers to work? 

And here is the clincher which makes me ponder whether to don or not to don slippers at work.  In the article, ‘Could Wearing Slippers to Work Actually Make You More Productive?’, Dr. Karen Pine, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and fashion psychologist, told   The Guardian     that our sartorial selections can strongly influence our mindset. In response to this fascinating idea, a slipper company in the UK, “is encouraging people to wear their (yes, you guessed it) slippers to work, claiming it improves employees' productivity.  A spokesperson for Shoegarden told The Sun that allowing their staff to wear the fluffier footwear has been “tremendously beneficial for our workplace performance.” 1

Aha, it seems my slippers know something I did not know.  My slipper slip-up was not for nought.  Negotiating those long hospital corridors in the comfort of my slippers, may well have a salutary effect on my overall wellbeing, and spill over into my ability to offer the best possible pastoral care to the patients entrusted to me.  Would I be daring enough to wear slippers to work?  To don, or not to don slippers at work, that’s the million-dollar question.

Sr. Magdalena Vogt, CPS


1)     https://www.womenshealth.com.au/could-slippers-increase-productivity-at-work


Weekly Pause &  Ponder

Trust the wait.  Embrace the uncertainly.  Enjoy the beauty of becoming.  When nothing is certain, anything is possible.

 - Mandy Hale.  


The Prodigal Son; The Forgiving  Father

As I turn the page of my missalette to the Gospel for the 4th Sunday of Lent, my mind sighs, “Here we go again”. How many times since childhood have I read and pondered “The Prodigal Son”, an age-old parable of love, sin and forgiveness.  Turning from the son’s transgressions, these days my focus lingers on the longsuffering father who lovingly and mercifully welcomes the errant son back home. Amazingly, the father asks no questions but envelops his son in an embrace of warmth and forgiveness. I find myself asking, “When have I been a forgiving person?  When have I been forgiven?”  Ah yes – my mind settles on the forgiving mother!

When I was a little girl, my parents went to town for groceries, leaving me and my siblings at home.  They weren’t more than in the car when my sister and I began running around making noise and having fun.  Somehow, we chose the revered spare bedroom to cavort and play.  As fate would have it, I bumped into the beautiful golden hued antique lamp and sent it smashing to the floor.  Imagine my horror as I surveyed the treasured lamp now in shards.  We pondered what Mom would say when she arrived home.

Finally, the back door opened, footsteps crossed the kitchen and into the hallway.  The house was ghostly quiet.  I’ll never forget my mother’s shocked countenance as she entered the bedroom and surveyed the damage.  Not a word was said as she bent down and began to clean up the mess. the two of us sadly crouched on the floor handing her delicate fragments of gilt-edged glass.  There were no angry words, no reprimands.  I felt complete forgiveness wash over by being.  My soul was quietly restored to peace.  We had a forgiving mother. 

If my mother’s love was beneficent and merciful    how much more expansive and universal is God’s loving, healing presence as portrayed in the magnificent parable of the wayward son and his magnaimous father.

- Jean Moylan, csj

You might enjoy this lovely song by Keith Green, The Prodigal Son Suite, which tells the story of the Prodigal Son is such a loving way.


World Water Day in  London

Several Sisters of St. Joseph participated in the World Water Day rally in London, on March 22, 2019.  The aim of the rally was threefold: to protest the poor condition of drinking water in First Nations communities; to highlight the infringement of First Nations water rights in the water bottling process; to stress environmental issues related to water.

The rally began at eleven a.m. in Victoria Park amid drumming and prayers. The event was organized by the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI). Sister Sue Wilson csj, in her opening remarks, explained how joining in activities such as World Water Day increases awareness: “When the Sisters of St. Joseph became a Blue Community, it was a wider effort to deepen our relationship with the watershed.  And we are learning from Indigenous neighbours to reconnect with the watershed as a source of life, as relation, as a spiritual connection”.

Following the introductory rites, the participants marched through downtown London and arrived at Harris Park where a moving tobacco ceremony ensued. Each person was given tobacco to be held in the left hand.  We formed silent intentions and were invited to release the tobacco into the swiftly flowing Thames River.  This sacred action was a testimonial that allowed The Creator to receive anyone’s pain, suffering and injustice.  Interestingly, it was noted that the wind calmed and all was silent as we cast our offering into the water.

The day’s events were both prayerful and solemn. The friendship experienced among the group left a lasting imprint upon Mother Earth as we danced together hand in hand to the beat of the sacred drum.

- Linda Parent csj

- Jean Moylan csj



Weekly Pause &  Ponder

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