Sister Mary Matthias Ward remembers the bows of Advent

To help celebrate Advent 2023, the Ursuline Sisters were asked to recall a special Christmas gift they gave or received; a memory of their ministry during Christmas, such as planning an event with their students; or a favorite Christmas ornament they loved.

This feature is called “The Gift of Christmas.” Each week until Christmas, we will share the Sister’s remembrances on the Ursuline website and Facebook.

Our next memory is from Sister Mary Matthias Ward, from her six years of leading a retreat center in New Mexico.

“I have an Advent story to share from Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Gallup, New Mexico. My favorite liturgical season is Advent, so as Advent approached, I got the local florist to make me 12 huge purple bows, one for each exterior door. Every morning I was out and about putting on bows again that the wind had knocked down. But I told myself someone should call us together for Sunday evening vespers. I knew that someone was me. Afterward, we ate homemade soup and bread.

“When Advent was over, I would declare, ‘I will not do this again.’ Well, I did it every Advent I was there. Christmas Eve the purple bows came down and red ones went up. How I loved that time!”




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