Roxane B. Salonen
This past Mother's Day, I found myself fondly reflecting on my first Mother's Day. That day, some 22 years ago, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my husband, with a handwritten note: "Happy Mother's Day." It was the first time I'd been called a mom, and a moment I've held close ever since. I'd only learned of my first pregnancy a few weeks earlier, and was still settling into the idea that in just a few months, my life would be rearranged around a small human being.
FARGO — When the Christian Brothers religious order came to teach at Shanley High School in 1964, Sandy Thiel found not only a new wardrobe — school uniforms marked by pleated skirts and "knee highs" — but also a calling. "That first year, we did 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown,'" she says of the school's inaugural musical in 1967, her junior year. At Brother Andrew's encouragement, Thiel says, she helped with props, and something stuck.
For years now, Shanley High School has offered an annual retreat for its junior class, but I'm assuming few of these two-day events — if any — have happened in the snow. This year's outing, however, began with a spring splattering of the white stuff, which threatened to dampen the experience.
Susie Larson preview Variety/April 22 396 (main) +84 ("If You Go") IF YOU GO: What: "Extraordinary Expectations" event with speaker and author Susie Larson When: General public: 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 5, "Living the Promised Life;" and women only: 9 to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 6, "She is Wise" and "She's an Heir." Where: First Assembly Church, 3401 25th St. S., Fargo. Cost: $40 for both days; $30 for one day; $10 additional for VIP tickets
FARMINGTON, N.M. — Krisxan "Krickitt" Pappas Carpenter can tell you about the day her aunt nicknamed her based on her wiggly ways at age 2. "You're like a cricket," she'd said of the tiny gymnast. But don't ask Krickitt to offer details about her wedding to Kim. "I can't remember marrying my husband," says the wife and mother of two, who, after a car accident following her 1993 wedding, lost all memory of her courtship and marriage.
At around age 4, our middle child would sneak out of her bedroom, drawn by a simple melody being plunked out on ebony and ivory. I'd be there at the piano in the dark, my sheet music lit by a small light, rehearsing notes for my singing role at next morning's Mass, while the kids — or so I thought — slumbered.
FARGO — At a Wednesday evening vesperal Presanctified Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, the only light emanates from windows holding the last spark of day and the flickering of candles. Incense permeates the sanctuary, where the Reverend William Rettig processes with a vessel through which smoke rises like prayers. A sense of holy, and of waiting, has settled into the Lenten ceremony of this small but committed congregation.
Last Saturday, I spent the day with over 600 other ladies for the Fargo Diocese's Redeemed Women's conference. The event centered on the reality that our identity as women comes not from what we do, but in who we are: beloved daughters of the Father. The two opening speakers gave moving testimonies that spoke to the heart of our "feminine genius," the innate, life-giving capacities of women in both earthly and spiritual motherhood.
BRANSON, Mo. — There's a reason Tony Melendez named his music ministry Toe Jam Music. Born without arms due to an anti-nausea drug his mother was given while pregnant, Melendez plays guitar with his toes. And soon, he'll be in North Dakota to lead a parish mission, with his feet, faith and family at the forefront.
FARGO — When planning the upcoming "Beloved Daughter" women's conference, Jennie Korsmo says the hope is to provide a beautiful, nourishing atmosphere for weary women. "We wanted to make a way for them to pamper themselves, to take a break from worrying about feeding the kids or husband or the next 10 things on their plate," says Korsmo, marriage preparation coordinator for the Diocese of Fargo, which is hosting the March 11 event. "It's a day for them to be a little bit pampered, a little bit spoiled and to focus on their relationships with each other, and with Christ."