Mysterious Madonna

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Written January 28, 2013

Maya Angelou’s poem, Phenomenal Woman, has always been powerful for me. I first heard it at a retreat 20 years ago when a friend read it aloud. I went to the bookstore immediately upon my return home. I wanted my own copy so I could study it and feel the words over and over. Those words have sustained me through the years particularly during times of intense self-discovery. I find that the authentic self is often tough to fully articulate and it was even more difficult for me during those early shifts. When I couldn’t find my own words for my newfound feelings of empowerment, I gratefully allowed those of Phenomenal Woman to speak for me.


2013 Sauer Family Letter

Written January 6, 2014 Here’s what going on with the Sauer clan at the moment. Alex got her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate last year, sold or gave away most of her life in Boulder, Colorado, then packed up the rest to temporarily store in our attic so she could head to Seoul, South Korea for a year to teach English. She loves it – loves the kids, loves exploring a new culture, and now realizes just how much she loves the art of teaching. Her commitment ends mid-August,… Read More


Written January 22, 2014 The fall of 2013 presented an interesting shift for our family. We now preside over an empty nest. We were prepared for this transition particularly since Drew has been counting down toward it since he was a junior in high school. And, having been through it twice before, the transition itself moved along without a hitch so no biggie there. There is one difference, however. We’re REALLY empty nesters. Past years of kids moving to college and living out on their own still allowed for weekend visits –… Read More

Mother Teresa for Mother Kay

Written January 3, 2014

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Dear Mom,

I created this piece for your 91st birthday. I call it Mother Teresa Retablo since it is meant to capture the sacredness of Mother Teresa’s life’s work in much the same way as retablos of saints and icons do.

I started with a papercutting of Mother Teresa’s face using Tyvek paper. Tyvek is very fibrous and does not rip easily making it the perfect medium for cuttings with intricate details. This image was then glued onto a wood base which is actually part of an old kitchen cabinet. When gluing it down, I used some blue strips of paper to add the familiar blue stripes to Mother Teresa’s habit. I also secured it over a page from the book In the Heart of the World: Thoughts, Stories, and Prayers from Mother Teresa. These are the words you see inside her face. Some of them are covered up, so you cannot read them fully. She is writing her thoughts about St. Frances’ prayer, Make Me and Instrument of Your Peace. Both the prayer (written first) and Mother Teresa’s words (written below the prayer) are written out below. The words highlighted in purple are those that actually show up in her face, i.e. the last bit of the prayer and most of her reflections.

Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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