“I’m kind of an extreme person,” Sister Stephanie Baliga says. The Franciscan is about to run her tenth marathon. It’s a way to raise money for the mission the Franciscans of the Eucharist run, which works with the poor in the deprived west side of Chicago.
About 10 years ago, Sister Baliga told the Catholic News Agency, she was a college athlete, when a serious foot injury put her out of action and “forced me to re-evaluate my life priorities and realise that I had pretty much placed running on this pedestal. It was how I defined myself and how I thought, how I understood who I was, and how I explained myself to everybody else.” She went on retreat, and felt called to Franciscan life.
Some Sisters run in their habits, says Sister Baliga, but her order has ankle-length habits. So she wears “a bandana, and a T-shirt, and then a long-running skirt with tights”.
Last week, we noted Pope Francis’s dislike of saturnos. Now the Pope has indicated of his preferred clerical outfit, in the course of defending a man who brought up the gifts at Mass in a feathered headdress. “What difference is there,” Francis asked, “in having feathers on your head and the three-cornered hat worn by some officials of our dicasteries?”
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