The Beauty in Brokenness

Sr Walsh with Stacia McDermott
Sr. Julia Walsh (’03) & Stacia McDermott (’03)

“There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in,” so says Leonard Cohen. “Beautifully Broken, Entirely Whole,” our Lenten theme, was inspired by 2003 alum, Sr. Julia Walsh’s writings and image of a broken pottery mug with light streaming forth featured on her blog: messyjesusbusiness.com.

Sr. Julia joyfully re-joined her alma mater, now as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, who is an award-winning writer and retreat leader at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in the north woods. On March 1st, she led Duhawks in a Lenten reflection evening that was rooted in prayer, scripture, and individual and group reflection. During her witness, Sr. Julia shared about her own experiences of brokenness and how they have enabled her to love God and the world better. She offered passages from scripture paired with cracked images from our world as a way to engage people’s hearts, minds, and individual brokenness. Participants also went on a gallery walk meditation throughout Christ the King Chapel, prayerfully looking at images of things that are cracked and broken, reflecting on how brokenness has allowed for transformation, change, and growth in their own life.

“The image I chose during the gallery walk is now hanging in my room as a regular reminder of how I can transform my own brokenness into self-love and love of others.”- stated first year, Caty Klostermann. Another first year student, Alyssa Corkery shared, “This evening of reflection inspired me to partake in the sacrament of Reconciliation.” Wherever students found themselves, the witness and reflection led by Sr. Julia, touched hearts and enriched their Lenten season.

Fellow classmate of 2003, Stacia McDermott reflected on how, “Our campus community was blessed by Sr. Julia’s contagious joy and deep love of God and others. After not seeing her for nearly fifteen years, Sr. Julia’s return to our Loras family provided a beautiful opportunity for reconnection. It’s amazing to see how Duhawks are transforming the world through their witness of radical love and faith!”