THE CROSS AND LAMININ

Sister Martha Herkness, 1945-2020
July 7, 2020
Our Memorable Mother Adelaide
July 14, 2020

By Sister Nancy Linenkugel

It was a strange Easter this spring 2020 due to Covid-19 with churches closed and only TV-liturgies to experience in our solitary residences.  Even Pope Francis was a faithful yet lonely image offering Mass in a deserted St. Peter Square and Basilica.  Images of Easter filled our minds largely from memory since Ash Wednesday on February 26, 2020 occurred barely ahead of the personal distancing/working from home/activity lock-down orders we’ve all experienced in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible.  The phrase, “We’re Easter people” took on extra importance as we heard plenty of times, “Church buildings are closed, so now we have to be the Church.”

St. Paul tells us, “Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.”                        (Col. 1: 17)

LAMININ GLYCOPROTEIN is the cell adhesion molecule of tissue proteins.  We can think of Laminin as the “rebar” of the human body, similar to the steel bars or grids buried in concrete to reinforce it.

Laminin strengthens our cells and is the glue that holds the body together. Laminin is shaped like a cross in this way:  (see image above)  

There are some 60,000 molecules in the body and this one molecule, Laminin, has the job to hold it together.

Without Laminin, the body would fall apart. 

Conclusion:  Laminin, the cross-shaped “stuff” that holds the human body together, unites us in a special way to Christ’s passion.

Indeed, “… he holds all things in unity.”  (Col. 1: 17)

The four arms bind to other molecules.  The three shorter arms bind to other Laminin molecules.

The longer arm binds to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membranes.

We all carry crosses in our daily lives and ministries, including enduring the Covid-19 precautions.  I especially think of the residents in Rosary Care Center and in Our Lady of Grace who have been so faithful about distancing, about not going to the chapel or dining room or Evergreen Room (activity space), and about following precautions simply to preserve life.  As difficult as those things have been, of course these are nothing like the cross Jesus carried for us.  From the above information about Laminin, we now know that the cross is within us and is actually part of our genetic make-up.

Sister Nancy Linenkugel

Franciscan in the Marketplace

Sister Nancy Linenkugel has served in healthcare administration, education and leadership for the Sylvania Franciscans.  From 2011-2020 Sister Nancy served as the chair of the department of health services administration and director of the graduate program in health services administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and was the first program alumna to serve in that position.  She has served on the Sylvania Franciscan Leadership Team, was president of Chatfield College in Cincinnati, president and CEO of the Providence Health System and Providence Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio, and vice president of St. John Medical Center in Steubenville, Ohio.  She is a life fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on its national board.  Sister Nancy was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1999.  She is an accomplished cello player and a member of the Washington D.C.-based Medical Musical Group, made up of doctors, nurses and medical professionals from around the country, and also recently completed service as president of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra.  She is a Toledo, Ohio native and a liturgical musician.

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Feli Sebastian

Thank you Sr. Nancy for the beautiful metaphor!
Clever and inspiring.

Brigid O'Shea Merriman, OSF

Thank you for your uplifting post, dear Nancy. What you wrote about the cross-shaped laminin gave me a new perspective on the experience of the Cross. I now find a a larger meaning in Colossians 1:17: “. . . He holds all things in unity”. Again, thank you for the uplift and for the way your share your gifts with us.

Sister Irie

Thank you Sr. Nancy for enlightening us about this Laminin Glycoprotein cell molecule which holds our body together and comparing it to the Cross of Jesus which holds us together. Amazing what mysteries lie inside us. This example of your cleverness helps bring to mind how special God made us and how much He loves us. I learned something new today.

MARIA

Thanks for sharing. I never knew this.

Shannon Schrein

Very cool metaphor. Thanks!