Advent 2022

Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier: Schwabisch

An Image Reflection for the Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier

STM's staff will share an image and reflect on it each Saturday. Today, Sr. Jenn writes about being a shepherd. 

First Saturday

My last name is an old Schwäbisch (Southeastern German dialect) word for sheep or shepherd. When there are readings that reference images of shepherd and sheep for God and the people of God, I can’t help but think of the many Schaafs that have passed down their faith from Germany to Kansas to Washington State and now to Connecticut. Although I serve in professional ministry, my parents and grandparents (and likely many before them) have all served in ministry in different ways. My dad has led music since before I was born. My mom helps to lead a Bible study. Both help to cook and serve food for community dinners - serving those in need. My grandpa, who learned how to be an electrician and connect phone lines during WWII, was always helping to fix up people’s houses. Many holidays were hosted by the family member that needed a new roof, or deck or repairs to their fences. My grandma was part of a quilting group that made quilts from scraps to give away to those in need.

At the end of the Gospel today, Jesus commands the disciples to go out and do ministry. Whether you are in training to be a professional in ministry at YDS, or someone who is called to ministry in less formal ways, I hope you take time this Advent to be the shepherd for someone else - giving without cost and healing those who are in need of hope. And, I hope you also take time to be a sheep - listening for God’s voice calling you tenderly, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Sr. Jenn Schaaf, O.P.

Sr. Jenn Schaaf, O.P.

Sr. Jenn is Assistant Chaplain at Saint Thomas More: The Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University