VM Uplift Spring 2022

From the Director

As Christians, we may sometimes forget that we are called to celebrate.
Celebrate the many ways that Christ is present in our life.
Reflect on that presence each day.
Rejoice in that presence as a community.
Celebrate the many ways our life has been gifted by:
The gifts and talents that we have to share with others.
The friends and neighbors who have shared their gifts and talents with us.
Celebrate those who were part of our life at one time but are no longer with us.
Our lives are much richer because of them. Cherish those memories by doing the
good that they did.
Celebrate the opportunities that we had to help others.
Their lives are richer because of what we did.
Celebrate who you are as a person. You are worth it.
Take time to see the good that you do each day.
Celebrate the good that you experience in others.
Take the time to notice them. You don’t want to miss it.
Celebrate the gift of each day.
There is an opportunity to enjoy something new every day.
Celebrate the many ways you are able to show love to others and to be loved by them.
Where there is no love, put love and there you will find love. [St. John of the Cross]
Celebrat Your Life Celebrate the opportunity to be Easter People.
Celebrate Your Life!

Br. Tom Ruhmann, OMI
National Director of the VMs


A reflection by songwriter, recording artist, performer and educator Carrie Some thoughts as we come to the end of LENT and recommit to living again as EASTER PEOPLE…


I grew up with practical parents.  A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it.  She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it.  A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. 

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.  Their best friends lived barely a wave away. 

I can see them now… Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish towel in the other.  It was the time for fixing things.  A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, the screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.  Things we keep. 

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.  All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing.  I wanted just once to be wasteful.  Waste meant affluence.  Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more. 

But then, my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more. 

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.  So while we have it, it’s best we love it and care for it and fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true for marriage…and old cars…and children with bad report cards…and dogs with bad hips…and aging parents…and grandparents.  We keep them because they are worth it; because we are worth it. 

Some things we keep.  Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. 

There are just some things that make life important:  Like people we know who are special, and so, we keep them close!

~Author Unknown

Things God Won’t Ask On That Day:

  1. God won’t ask what kind of car you drove.  God’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
  2. God won’t ask the square footage of your house.  God’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home. 
  3. God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet.  God’ll ask how many you helped to clothe. 
  4. God won’t ask what your highest salary was.  God’ll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it. 
  5. God won’t ask what your job title was.  God’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability. 
  6. God won’t ask how many friends you had.  God’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend. 
  7. God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived.  God’ll ask how you treated your neighbors. 
  8. God won’t ask about the color of your skin.  God’ll ask about the content of your character.

~Author Unknown

A Reflection

Who said it would be easy … 
this being human … being Christian,
keeping our hearts open
when it is easier to close them
to try to protect against the suffering
that comes from loving one another?

Who said it would be easy
to stay awake … to be aware
of pain & sorrow, violence & oppression
& still remain vulnerable,
still live with an openness to be broken open
& tossed aside & get up & love again?

Who said it would be easy …
that loneliness would come between
even the best of lovers
& create an emptiness & a longing
that seem impossible to fill?

Who said it would be easy? 
No one did … but we thought it would be possible,
loving without pain… compassion without suffering,
peace in families & communities
without violence & oppression.
We long for it.  We labor & writhe with pain. 

Where will our longing lead?
Can we try again… can we begin again
to see one another & love one another
tenderly as we once did?
Can we create a space for the other,
a healing space of deep love?

I look up at Jesus on the cross …
our model, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. 
It couldn’t be easy … loving so tenderly …
loving so much, feeling our connectedness to others. 

There has to be pain,
there has to be suffering,
but how can we support one another?
How can we hold each other up?
Where do we turn?  How do we find the way?

`~ Maribeth Clancy

Please Pray for
All those affected by COVID
Special Intentions

Natalie Adams
Alice Anderson
Nicole Barnett
Pat Barboza
Mary Rita Bauck
Hannah Bergen
Kathie Bomsta
Gail Catchings & family
Jane Cygan
Doris Drago
Patricia Drisdel
Carol Durand
Orly Elizondo
Chandler Fleischmann
Br. Conrad Fleischmann, OCSO
Jonathan & Angela
Sr. Teresa Ganley
Steve & Lynn Glauber
Pauline Gulash
Dawn Hackman & family
Ron Helgert
Benedict Hermann
Anthony Higgins
Paul Hilbig
Cindy & Jim Hoef
Jimmy Hoef
Elaine Hofer
Brenda Johnson

Neil Kielty
Kathleen Koesterer
Betty Kolenda
Jackie Kolenda
Tom Kue
Sean Kuga
Sean Lawlor
Diane & Carol Maertens
Michael & Clare Marrinan
Rita Meyer
Terry Meyer
George & Billie Munie
Jaylin Otis
Zion Ratchford
Larry Reid
Graham Robinson
Joel Robinson
Celeste Schenkenberg
Bill Skinner
Paul & Helen Starke
The Sweet family
Brenda Tanner
Tim Tanner
Izzy Wade
Vi Whelan
Mary Willett
Norm Zilka
Bern & Charlie Zittel

In Loving Memory
Vien Hatch
Ed Michael
Larry Pillen
Ada Power
Dennis Stone


support tree It’s that time of year when we ask for financial support from our readers.  We will not turn anyone away who is interested in receiving the UPLIFT but cannot afford to donate.  Please know that all your efforts are appreciated.  We thank you for your support. 

Make check payable to: 
442 South De Mazenod Drive
Belleville, IL 62223-1023


Belleville, IL –
Sue Collins, 618-578-8084  
Buffalo, NY –
Carol Buchla, 716-639-7542
Erie, PA –
Pat Fronzaglia, 814-440-1987 or
Sharon Bond, 814-450-7748
Flint, MI –
Karen Dutil, 810-908-9822
Houston TX –
Barbara Devaraj, 713-981-8376  
Lowell, MA –
Fr. Mike Amesse, OMI,
Maryville/Granite City, IL –
Gary Wilbur, 618-444-9873
San Antonio, TX –
Contact VM National Office,