It all began with Katrina, an artist, a free spirit, chalkin it up on the boardwalk at Bondi Beach. Her jagged Kool Aid hair drew us to her instantly and we were sharing laughs almost immediately. There was a true and genuine goodness that she so generously shared with us. She invited us to join her and join her we did...for three hours of Chalk Catechesis, true "sidewalk" evangelization. Picture the scene with us...chalk of every color on the hem on our white tunics, fingers that looked like they were the canvas, bands and guitar strummers playing on a stage in front of a lawn, fathers and mothers doting on their children, dogs without leashes, a beat box playing in the distance, kids skateboarding through our art, and surfers coming in from the shore, whales surfacing, the bluest and purest water washing over the rocks.
As we laid out our stories there in living color on the sidewalk; "The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive", "It's time to live"; "The Humble, Life Giving Love of Christ"; the Immaculate and Pierced Heart of Mary... the encounters began. "Aren't all religions the same?" "What is meant by fully alive?" "Have you ever been in love?" "Why the hypocracy?" "Why a sword in the heart?" "Who needs the Church?" "What if there isn't a God?" We laid out our stories, and the passersby laid out theirs. A mother who lost her 18 year old son in a car-accident, three years ago yet ever present. A woman wounded by the Church, searching for meaning, yet drawn to His Bride still. Two young surfer boys calling out, "Pray a Hail Mary for me Sisters!" making the sign of the cross in passing. An actress with the Sydney Theatre Company, looking for Truth through the parts she plays. Two Frenchmen pursuing meaning in their lives through journalism.
At the heart of it all, at the end of every exchange, it was plain...our very souls reach out for the transcendent, seek fulfilment: to love, to create. Through creative expression, through lyrics, through paint, through the graceful movements of a board sliding down a wave...the human heart seeks to find itself, know itself.
We were surrounded by the arts...passionate people, expressing their gifts and deepest desires... The passion that fuels the drive for all of that is inspired by the Infinite One.
Sr. Joan Marie, Sr. Mariae Veritas, Sr. Bethany Madonna (SV novices)