Matt Maher Thinks Nuns are Awesome-Sauce!

Exactly one year ago today we shared this little message from Matt Maher with our followers. Today, we wanted to share it again, simply because we love the fact that Matt Maher thinks nuns are awesome-sauce! A few days prior to posting the video, a friend of mine called me out of the blue with an extra ticket to a Matt Maher concert near my home. I was so stoked to be able to attend the concert, and was even more stoked for the opportunity to connect with Matt after the show! I was curious to know if he had heard of the Imagine Sisters Movement and what he thought of the religious life. It turns out that he loves nuns and he relies on the prayers of nuns to do what he does! Don’t believe me? See for yourself below!

 

Did you know?

The Imagine Sisters Movement first took root in early 2012 within my young women’s religious discernment group at Loyola University Chicago. Over time, we learned that young women all over were feeling called to discern religious life, but were afraid or unable to express it. Meanwhile, perhaps due to the lack of media attention given to young sisters and thriving religious orders, we knew many other young women were unlikely to envision religious life as a beautiful, fruitful, and real option for their lives. Still others lacked support from friends and parents, and were lost and unsure of how to begin their discernment. Soon, it seemed clear that the call to religious life was on so many young women’s hearts, but nobody was talking about it!

So we decided to start a conversation. On March 19, 2012, our group held a dinner event on campus inviting students to meet fifteen joyful, inspiring, and young religious sisters. Religious sisters from several communities around the Midwest came to the event, giving talks and vocation stories while inadvertently spreading their joy and love of the Lord like wildfire. Discernment resources and t-shirts were given bearing our signature logo of a sister, and the word “Imagine.” By God’s grace, the event sparked much attention and discussion on the topic of religious life on campus. The event was professionally filmed and then edited by Dan Rogers into a short video clip, under the official heading: The Imagine Sisters Movement.

 

We’re back… Blogging & Praying!

You might be thinking…

“I haven’t seen any movement on the Imagine Sisters Blog in over 5 months.”

 

We are back!

It’s true!

We have been on a little bit of a blogging hiatus due to some major transitions that have been happening behind the scenes with the Imagine Sisters Team and the Movement itself. In the coming weeks we will be sharing updates, a few recent happenings, some AWESOME news as well as reflections from Team past & present and a few of our friends who have been impacted by the Movement. In short: the blog is back and we are just getting started!

Until the new blog posts start rolling out, we want to ask you to join us in prayer. Over the next 54 days the Imagine Sisters Team has committed to praying  a 54-day rosary novena in anticipation of our 2nd Anniversary and the upcoming Year of Consecrated Life. We hope that you will join us! But why the commitment to this extremely long novena you might ask? Why not just pray a standard nine-day novena? The answer to those questions is simple: VOCATIONS! The Imagine Sisters Team has been experiencing a renewal in zeal and we wanted to do something BIG (hence the 54-day commitment) for vocations and the religious life! With the Holy Father’s announcement of the Year of Consecrated Life we are feeling more excited than ever about the mission of Imagine Sisters! We have some really cool things in mind for 2015, yet we know that even with a renewal in zeal, we are going to need your prayers, support and a lot of grace to accomplish them.

Pray for Vocations - Imagine Sisters

So how will it work?

We will be praying 54 rosaries over the course of 54 days. One rosary each day! For the first 27 days of the novena we will pray a rosary each day in a spirit of petition with our intentions in mind (find specific intentions listed below). During the second half of the novena (27 days) we will pray a rosary each day in a spirit of thanksgiving, thanking God for hearing and answering our petitions. 

The novena starts on Wednesday, April 16th and will conclude on Pentecost Sunday, June 8th. 

Here are the intentions we are praying for during the first 27 days of this novena:

  • For young women throughout the world to be open to the idea of a religious vocation, for honest and authentic discernment and for and increase in the number of women that respond with a resounding “YES!” to the Lord.
  • For consecrated women religious throughout the world, that they might be strengthened in their vocation and that their lives given totally to Christ might be an example for all of the Christian faithful. 
  • That, as we celebrate our 2nd Anniversary, God’s will might continue to be fulfilled in the work of the Imagine Sisters Movement; and with this, that a culture of vocations might continue to be renewed and strengthened within the Church.

Again, the novena concludes with another set of 27 days, offering our daily rosary in  thanksgiving for God’s generosity in hearing and granting these petitions.

THANK YOU ahead of time for joining with us in this powerful period of prayer. We are so excited to continue working with each of you to foster a culture of vocations! We cannot wait to share with you our JOY and a few of our hopes for the Year of Consecrated Life! Until then… let us join together in prayer!

Enter your email into the black box & press enter on your keyboard to submit!



The ISM Store is back open!

Hello friends!

We’re very excited to announce our new and improved Imagine Sisters store! We’ve made a few changes and we’ve improved our ordering system! Here is how it works:

  • Ordering is open from Wednesday, November 6 through Wednesday, November 20. After the 20th, the store will close down until next Quarter.
  • Printing will take place from November 20th – December 3rd
  • Shipping will take place from December 4th – December 9th
  • You will receive your items at least a week before Christmas (probably more like 2 weeks!)

We’ve got a small team, but we finally have the system down. That being said, we have tons of new items… and the Imagine Sisters DVD! The DVD has the full version, plus a new shorter version of the film (about 16 minutes) for using in large groups or at conferences. Full HD quality! No downloading or buffering or waiting for it to load online! We also have a special features section with a link to download the soundtrack and other goodies. Every dollar goes to support the work of Imagine Sisters, seriously!

We would also like announce that we are using a new printing company called Proud Catholic Company. By purchasing a shirt or other item from Imagine Sisters you are directly helping a great Catholic small business and Imagine Sisters! We have also upgraded all of our clothing to Anvil, and what an upgrade. Check the descriptions of each item to read more, and we’ve included size charts to help you figure out the fit. It is very similar to the original Imagine Sisters shirts… just stronger and softer!

Please tell your friends about the store! If you’re interested in an international order please contact us.

Click to visit: The Imagine Sisters Store

How to Download “Light of Love” for FREE!

God is good! Thanks for all the support the past few days… it looks like Light of Love has received over 12,000 plays! This is incredible! Keep watching, keep sharing, and be on the look out for more information about getting the film on DVD. In the meantime:

If you’re having a hard time watching the film 

  1. Try closing all open tabs in your web browser (the film needs a fast connection to watch in full HD. Why? Because it’s in high quality and over an hour long!)
  2. Try closing extra open programs (the film needs all of your computer power to watch in full HD.)
  3. Refresh the page and/or try a different web browser if you’ve got one.
  4. Try watching it on Youtube here: http://youtu.be/PIwJacw_Z3Y (make sure you click the gear and set it to either 1080p or 720p)

Some viewers have asked about downloading a super high quality version of the film to show at an event or on their computer. First go to the movie on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/74036429 and then click on the blue Download button under the video viewing space and options for download will appear:

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 10.00.05 PM

Right-click on “HD .MP4 file” and select “Save Link As” to download the video. It’ll take a long time because it’s 1GB big, but the quality will be worth it!

DVDS: We’re getting lots of questions about DVDs…they will be available in about a month. They will have a high quality version of the film for viewing.

Shorter Versions: Many people have requested a shorter cut of the film to show at parishes and conferences.. we’re working on it! We’ll keep you updated via Facebook so keep an eye out over there. Thanks for all your support and energy to share this film!

Support: As a tiny organization with needs and wishes to get this film out to as many people as possible, please consider making a donation to help us continue to get the word out: https://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org/imagineSisters

Light of Love FAQ

Hooray! Light of Love comes out today! We are so excited and blessed to be able to share this film with you. But before it comes out we would like to address a few of the questions we’ve received… read this first!

What time does the film come out, and how do we watch it?

The film goes live at 7 pm Eastern time, 6 pm Central time, and 4 pm Pacific time. Check our Facebook page for the link to the video when it goes live! You can also watch at lightoflovefilm.com

I can’t make it at 7 PM to see the film. What do I do?

The film premieres at 7 PM Eastern, but the good news is that it will be available to watch/download/share 24/7 after that! We will keep it up forever, and it will always be free to watch online.

Is the film really an hour long?

Yes! After interviewing the sisters and putting all of the material together, the film team decided that Light of Love needed to be an hour long to let viewers have the time they need to interact with the sisters: to follow them from prayer to work, to hear their stories in detail, and to let it all soak in. This means that the film is going to take up more time to watch, but we’re very excited to allow you to come face to face with these truly inspirational women. We recommend blocking off at least an hour of distraction free time… grab a pair of headphones and get comfy!

How can I get resources for small groups / personal reflection / journaling?

We’ve got just the solution… tons of awesome resources put together by our team and sisters from all over the United States. Check out the page at imaginesisters.org/filmguide

I want to show Light of Love at my church / school / university… is that allowed?

Yes! You can play, download, share, link, screen, and project the film to any size audience you’d like. Thank our sponsors for this awesome opportunity to make the film available totally free!

Where can I get a DVD copy of the film?

We hope to have DVDs around one month after the initial release, so hopefully around October 8th. Check our Facebook and we’ll be sure to post more information when it is available. They will be affordable and available for online purchase.

What about subtitles and language translations?

We hope to get the film on YouTube and give individuals the chance to add subtitles and translate them into various languages. Check the Facebook for more information… we’ll post as soon as we can begin this process!

 

Got more questions? Leave them in the comments below! We hope you enjoyed the film, and if you did, we hope you shared it with friends and family!

Learning to Speak His Language

Discerning your vocation can be an intimidating task, but it should not be a frightening one – it should really be exciting, because to discern your vocation is the first small step in the great journey of uncovering the mystery of God’s will in your life. And it is a journey well worth the effort! As St. Augustine said, “to fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” The journey of discovering your call is not always easy, but it is always joyful, because to find and follow God’s call is nothing other than to learn the way God wants to love you. It is God’s desire to romance every human heart, and discerning your vocation is a matter of sifting out how He is asking you to let Him love you. Continue reading

The One True Desire

I find I’m always struggling to remain open to God’s will for two reasons: fear and ambition. There is a simple, logical solution to fear: God loves me with infinite love, and knows me better than I know myself. Any plans He has in store for me must fulfill my nature and carry along an abundance of joy and satisfaction. Begone, fears!

Deeper, though, lies the dilemma posed by my own will and desires, which is not so easily solved.  It is common knowledge that God places certain desires in our hearts with the intent of using them to draw us to Himself.  But how are we to determine which desires are good and which will not lead us to happiness?

Continue reading

Every Francis Needs His Clare

[Editor’s Note: The following is a reflection from Imagine Sisters contributor Eric Garris.]

When I first entered the seminary five years ago, it was a great struggle for me to find Godly friendships outside of the seminary.  The majority of my friends from high school went off to colleges around the country, and although I remained in contact with them, whenever we would get together over breaks I found that there was something missing in our friendship.  I brought this struggle to spiritual direction; my spiritual director and I reflected on this and we came to the conclusion that what was missing in these friendships was God.  My friends really didn’t understand what I was doing with my life in choosing to go to the seminary. Whenever we got together they would tell me how I was “wasting my life” in going to the seminary, but unfortunately I soon realized that these “friendships” were doing more harm than good.

Continue reading

One Year Later: John’s Reflection

The success of Imagine Sisters this past year has brought me great consolation.  Imagine Sisters has flourished through the tireless collaboration of many people dedicated to promoting the vocation to women’s religious life.  Imagine Sisters’ dream was to develop an encouraging place on the Internet for women in discernment.  Yet God (through the intercession of Mary and the Little Flower) has abundantly surpassed the wildest “imaginations” of what Imagine Sisters could become.

Tens of thousands have been touched with the message that “One Sister Can Change the World.”  Indeed, sisters are living proof of God’s presence in a world that so desperately needs more witnesses like them.  As a man preparing for priesthood, young sisters continue to inspire me to persevere through the witness of their joy and generosity. I could not be more amazed at the intensity of life that God has poured forth on the world through Imagine Sisters.

John Roselle, SJ

Why has Imagine Sisters resonated with people so deeply this past year?  I think we – humanity – want to see heroic lives poured out for God and for souls.  The “light of love” that sisters radiate is irresistible to our imaginations.  No wonder Imagine Sisters’ posts get so many “likes” and “shares!”  Through photos, videos, quotes, etc., people are able to see God’s glory manifested in the lives of sisters.  No matter what our vocation, Imagine Sisters gives us the hope that comes from God.

The Holy Spirit uses our imaginations to help us imagine how God is calling us to love and serve Him. Imagine Sisters was born by a gift of the Holy Spirit in order to aid young women and the larger culture in imagining a breathtaking vocation: being a Bride of Christ and spiritual mother to the people of God.  By supporting Imagine Sisters, I have no doubt that together we are playing a part in Christian History.

Imagine Sisters has answered the Holy Father’s call for the Church to use the Internet and other media for missionary purposes, to “set sail on the digital seas” (as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said), for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ and the salvation of souls.

I believe Imagine Sisters was always God’s dream and God’s project.  Let’s pray for its continued impact in helping people love Jesus, and in creating a culture of vocations.  I have a feeling that Imagine Sisters is only just beginning its vital work for the Kingdom.

– John Roselle, SJ

 

(John Roselle, SJ is a Jesuit scholastic and a supporter of Imagine Sisters)