Salt of Earth & A New Morning Song by Angela Roesler

March 3rd is coming around the corner, and our gifted Storyteller and Experiential Retreat Leader, S. Karla Barker, OSF will be honoring us with her reflective program, “What does it mean to be Salt of Earth?”

S. Karla’s retreats touch the soul through her most beautiful ways of helping others integrate beliefs and life experiences with imagery and rituals that enrich our spirits in deep and unexpected ways.

Last year, I posted this poem and reflection (shown below) on my personal blog.  I am sharing it with you today to give you an idea for the profoundly peaceful impact a single morning with S. Karla had on me, long before I worked for our retreat center!

I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope you’ll consider joining us on Saturday, March 3rd from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center for a peaceful day of retreat and personal discovery. We’ll discover the ways we can both savor and add zest to the life we’ve been given, and we’ll find encouragement in sharing our distinctive flavor as Salt of Earth so that others may relish our gentleness, creativity, and love of Life!

RSVP to 812-933-6437 or!

Peace & joy to all,
Angela Roesler
Oldenburg Franciscan Center


Dear Shadow, Come Home ~ A New Morning Song

Poet’s preamble:  There is a Native American tradition that teaches its children that when we sleep at night our shadow runs off to chase our dreams.  In the morning before children rise and let their feet hit the floor, they are taught to whistle or sing for their shadow to come home.  Upon hearing the call, their shadow will return and reunite with them.  If they forget to do this, however, their shadow will remain in a distant dreamland, and the person will go through the day separated from an integral piece of their soul, and they will not be whole or fully present to give or receive what is needed that day.

I learned of this tradition while attending a program on Native American Spirituality given by S. Karla Barker, a Sister of St. Francis in Oldenburg, IN, and the story resonated deeply within my heart.  The poem and artwork that you find here are like prayers – calling my shadow home through difficult – and peaceful – times.

Dear Shadow, Come HomeArtwork:  Dear Shadow, Come Home

Poem: A New Morning Song
(Thanks to Sister Karla, OSF – Oldenburg)

Can you hear
The beat of the drum,
Dear shadow?
Come home.

The sun is
Arisin’ and 
I’m on my own.
Come home.

The world’s
And we’re full of dreams.
Come home.

Return and
Stand tall as the
New morning gleams.
Come home.

At night while
I’m sleeping,
We’ll ride your white steed.
Come home.

And you’ll
Keep me dreaming
So we’ll never need.
Come home.

But a new day
Is callin’ and
We must be true.
Come home.

You must follow me
I cannot
Follow you.
Come home.

Together we are
And together
We’ll be.
Come home.

And we’ll
Keep on seeking
Responsibly: free.
Come home.

My spirit, my shadow,
My heart,
And my guide,
My presence, my love,
My hope and my pride,

A new day is dawning;
Together we’ll ride.

Come home.


Artistic notes:   As for the artwork, I created this one weekend while on a mini retreat at a dear friend’s house.  She suggested that we do decoupage – to see through art where the Spirit might be moving within us.  I stayed up past 1am putting mine together, totally into the process.  I still love the images I discovered.  And while it might look like a bunch of random hodge-podge to others, to me, it speaks gently and happily to my soul.  If you want to make one of your own, it’s easy!

  • Paint a background on canvas with 1 or 2 colors… you can do a design, but it’s not necessary.  Pick color(s) that speak to you.
  • Choose a word or phrase that has particular meaning or a ‘catch’ for you right now and paint it on the canvas.  (i.e. Mine was “Dear shadow, come home.”  My friend’s was “Alacrity”)
  • Get out some old magazines and newspapers and start flipping and clipping out images that speak to you.
  • Arrange the images you cut out and adhere them to canvas with Modge Podge (or a similar project glue).  We first painted the surface of our (dried) canvas with the Modge Podge, placed our cut-out pictures one by one on the gluey surface, then painted another layer of glue on top of each picture.
  • Let it dry!  See what you think….. :)

Last but not least, I encourage you to come to the Burg on Saturday, March 3rd to spend a morning of reflection with S. Karla!  Come learn more about yourself and how God created you to be Salt of Earth!  She’s a wonderful retreat director!  Call 812-933-6437 or email for more information!

© ~AMNR~ 2011

Finding God in Our Dreams

Have you ever thought of your dreams as messages from God?  They are!

If we pay attention, our day and night dreams can paint for us the story of our soul.  They can reveal to us our frustrations & fears, our loves, our hopes, and our passions.  Through our attentiveness to the images and patterns that arise, we can uncover God’s wisdom and discover new insights.  We can grow in peace and freedom and courage to follow God’s will – from dreams into life!

In the coming weekend of January 13-15, Sr. Olga will be offering her most popular retreat: Finding God in Our Dreams.  If you have ever wondered how paying attention to your dreams can help you become more aware of God’s movement in your life, this truly is a wonderful opportunity for faith exploration, and there is still a little time to join this year’s group!

Call 812-933-6437 or email to register. 

The following fees include accommodations (as described), materials, and meals:
$215 for a private room.
$195/person to share a room with a friend.
$125 fee for commuters.

While you ponder if this experience is right for you, check out this 5 minute video that we made with Sr. Olga last year.  It will give you a feel for the type of experience you might expect by making the retreat and working with her.  Just note: this year’s dream workshop is Jan 13-15!!

Just remember: this year’s retreat dates are JANUARY 13-15, 2012, and time to RSVP is running short!

Sr. Olga Wittekind is a Jungian Psychologist and Franciscan Sister from Oldenburg, Indiana.  She taught clinical psychology for 28 years at Marian College, Indianapolis, IN.  Sr. Olga is the director of the Oldenburg Franciscan Center where she provides counseling, spiritual direction, and facilitates workshops and retreats with a passion for fostering psychological and spiritual growth.  Sr. Olga is currently working on developing a six week continuing education seminar on Jung’s Red Book in collaboration with clinical psychologist Claire Sherman.  She’ll share more on that exciting development, soon!

Coffee Talk: Wise Men & Women Following a Star: Epiphany 1851

Stushie Epiphany

King of Kings - artwork shared with permission © Stushie

Epiphany tells the story of three wise men from the East who followed a star to find the newborn king of their hopes and dreams. For Sisters of St. Francis, Epiphany is celebrated again in a similar story – that of Mother Theresa Hackelmeier’s arival in Oldenburg on January 6, 1851 in fulfillment of her hopes and dreams and those of Fr. Francis Rudolph, pastor of Oldenburg.


We invite you to come hear their miraculous stories and be inspired by these wise and courageous individuals whose hopes, dreams, and faithful journeys founded the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg.


As we enter the new year, we might all reflect: what hope/dream/star is God beckoning each of us to bravely follow in 2012?


Our speaker, Sr. Rachel West, OSF, is a community historian and archivist for the Oldenburg Franciscan Sisters.


Cost: freewill offering.

Date: Sunday, January 8
Time/Place: Sunday Mass is celebrated at 9:30 in the convent chapel;
the coffee talk will follow in the convent’s OA dining room.

Coffee & donuts will be served!

RSVP to or 812-933-6437.

Note: You are welcome to make a private retreat for the weekend! Come in on Friday, January 6 or Saturday, January 7th and enjoy a peaceful retreat at our Oldenburg Franciscan Center. Spend time in private reflection with God. You may even arrange to meet with one of our spiritual directors for retreat guidance and inspiration. Retreats are available year-round. Private and shared rooms are available. Now is a great time to come! Click here or call 812-933-6437 for more info.

(Artwork courtesy of ©Stushie!)