On vaccines, ‘no one will make it alone’
May 25, 2021
Prayerful reflections on Laudato Si’
May 25, 2021

Hummingbirds and Pentecost

Sr Angela Ann Zukowski MHSH loves hummingbirds. She sent this reflection from her home in the United States.

Perhaps you, like me, anticipate the arrival of hummingbirds in your garden come mid-spring.

Sister Angela Ann Zukowski.

I begin online tracking their flight from Mexico and checking with relatives in Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, to see if they are on their way. I anticipate with great enthusiasm their arrival in Ohio. I want to be prepared.

I live on the 10th floor of an apartment building. For the past 15 years, hummingbirds have managed to discover my feeders. Yes, each year I increase the number of feeders accentuated by Dragon Wing Red Begonias and Germaniums to signal I am ready.

These birds are true acrobats. And I must admit, very entertaining. They dart, and dip, flit, and flutter as they look for high-energy foods they need to fuel their flight. They look for reliable food sources and I do not disappoint them.

May 5, the first hummingbird arrived. In a matter of days, the balcony is regularly visited by these amazing creatures. The anticipation was amplified by their arrival.

This may be a far stretch but let me try it. The anticipation and joy that hummingbirds are on their way, is like the preparation for Pentecost.

I imagine the apostles and disciples’ hearts were burning with enthusiasm anticipating, marking time when the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus would arrive. The Holy Spirit is mentioned or alluded to in over 70 passages in the Acts of the Apostles.

Pentecost represented a new beginning for those who were present for this phenomenon. It is in the anticipation and waiting their hearts were being prepared. The Holy Spirit’s arrival moved the community to mission. The disciples in that Upper Room were transformed and left with a burning message they were compelled to share.

All during Covid-19, we have been discovering virtual ways to be Church, to bring the Good News, and companion our Catholic community through a vast array of liturgical and para-liturgical virtual experiences.

Our mission—to hold the Catholic faith community together until normalcy would resume. We lived with anticipation; our hearts were burning as the slow recovery of Covid-19 was announced.

In praying the Novena for Pentecost each morning, I observe my hummingbirds. I now prepare myself and anticipate the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to energise me for the mission yet ahead in the virtual milieu.


Sr Angela Ann, a frequent visitor to Trinidad & Tobago, is a member of the religious community known as the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart. She is the Director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Dayton, USA. Involved in different aspects of communications and with distance education for over three decades, Sr Angela Ann was a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Vatican) 1994-2002.