On the weekend of our April 10th Assembly, I had the opportunity to visit my family in San Diego. Friday morning, my brother-in-law handed me the latest copy of the Southern Cross, the Catholic Diocesan newspaper and said, “There’s an article here that I think you would be interested in.” I opened it and read about a new partnership between the diocese Restorative Justice (RJ) Office and a local nonprofit called Restoring Citizens involving opening a 30 bed facility in Normal Heights.
I quickly sent an email to the Founder/CEO of Restoring Citizens who immediately called me and arranged my tour of the new facility. Fifteen minutes later I was standing inside the former convent of St. John Evangelist Parish, a place that for decades many of our sisters called home when we staffed the parish school. Bobby Ehnow, the Director of the Diocesan RJ Office, and Eddie Blajos, the House Manager, welcomed
me, shared their personal transformation stories and provided me with the tour of the convent, now called Kairos House. (See attached photos)
The last space they showed me was the convent backyard and
pointed to an area along the front fence where they plan to create a healing garden. My eyes fixed on the fence which was topped with a row of bricks in the form of the Fleur-de-Lis. Realizing the prayer we were going to share tomorrow at our Assembly, I was awestruck. Could this be a vision
of redemption for the fleur-de-lis? I felt a deep sense that we had come full circle with our beloved symbol and believe this is just one of probably many examples of a ripple effect that can happen with a greater awareness of our troubled and redemptive journey with the fleur-de-lis.
Sister Theresa Harpin, CSJ