We are happy to have Sr. Bernie Claps here at the Provincial House and Spiritual Center in Marriottsville with us now. Sr. Bernie began her ministry as Manager of Spiritual Care and Mission at the end of the summer. The Spiritual Center is a direct ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours and flows out of its charism of compassion, healing and liberation. This charism is further elaborated in the sister’s ministry focus of caring for all of creation and working to eliminate all that diminishes life.
Sr. Bernie elaborated on her new role at the Spiritual Center in a brief interview:
Could you tell me about your hopes for the center?
My hope for the center is that it will become a spiritual home for those who are seeking to deepen their relationship with God and with all the manifestations of God in the wonder of God’s Creation. By spiritual home I mean a safe and welcoming place– a sacred space– where people can come to rest, rejuvenate, center and draw on the many spiritual resources available here to deepen their inner life and go back into their daily life ready to make a difference in the world. I see spiritual direction or spiritual companioning as one of the important resources of the center. I hope to make it an integral part of our program here and look at ways to make it more accessible to people who have not had access to it before.
What are you looking forward to with this change of Ministry for you?
I am looking forward to new and exciting ways that God is calling me to minister to God’s people. While I have some ideas about how that may enfold, I am being prayerfully open to God’s lead in the process.
How did your previous role help to prepare you for change?
I think that God is always preparing us for the next steps in God’s plan for us. In my previous social work role I was assisting seniors who live in our Bon Secours independent living senior housing in Baltimore to “age-in-place” by helping them to access services and benefits to enable them to remain independent. Many of the seniors were deeply spiritual. They shared with me their joys and struggles as they continue to live with dignity in the community. Working with the seniors let me see first hand the challenges that people face in their later years particularly those with limited resources. Besides offering practical help, my role was also to listen, to give them unhurried time and attention. I let them share their stories and felt privileged that they would share so much with me. I bring a new sense of understanding and deeper listening sills to my new role at the center. My hope is that I can also bring some of the seniors here to experience the Spiritual Center and what it has to offer.
Welcome Sr. Bernie. We’re excited to see God’s plan for your new ministry unfold!