Reflective Moments with Angela March 2024

By Sister Michele Morek

Visiting New Mexico about five years ago, Sister Angela Fitzpatrick and I were attending Mass in the Saint Joseph chapel of the Santa Fe cathedral, where we were approached by an elderly little man who said he was a retired janitor. His retirement project was making crosses out of barbed wire, and to our delight he gave each of us one of his creations.

I am very attached to that cross, which still hangs on my bedroom wall. I have always liked the picture of Saint Angela praying at the foot of a cross. It is what comes to mind when I read the quotation from her Seventh Counsel: For in these troubled times, you will find no other refuge than at the feet of Jesus Christ. With ranchers in my family background, I have encountered a lot of barbed wire, and agree that it represents “these troubled times” very well!

One Lent, our MSJ communications office asked Sisters for a picture of their favorite crosses to post on the community Facebook page, so that was the one I chose.

Last November, I got an email from Theresa in Philadelphia, who explained that she had attended Mass in the Saint Joseph chapel at the cathedral on a recent visit to Santa Fe. She stayed behind to get a photo of the paintings of the life of Saint Joseph, and a little man slid into the pew next to her, carrying something wrapped in newspaper. Introducing himself as Johnny, he unwrapped his package. It was a cross of barbed wire.

Tears came to her eyes, and she did not tell anyone about the incident, pondering how she felt and what it might mean. Later she called the rectory and spoke to “Deacon Joe,” who did not know of anyone who made crosses and gave them away. Finally, her son went on Google and found the picture of my cross on our website. She tracked me down and asked if I would share my story.

We agreed that the man could have been Saint Joseph (after all, the Loretto chapel with its miraculous staircase was just a couple of blocks away) – maybe he was still hanging around!

What is your favorite cross, and does it have a story?



  1. Valesca Lopez

    Sister Michele

    What a beautiful and sensitive story. So meaningful and special. Thank you for sharing.

    Many Blessings
    Your alumni

    Valesca Lopez

  2. Theresa Haynes

    This is so wonderful. Shows the hands of God working through ordinary people. May you have a blessed Lent and an awesome celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection.

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