A Life Lived in Service
Listen to three Sisters of Bon Secours as they share the richness of their lives as vowed religious.
HAVE YOU EXPLORED WHAT THE LIFE OF A RELIGIOUS SISTER IS ALL ABOUT?
Three of our sisters shared a bit of their journey with you. And there is so much more!
What does a sister look like?
First, let’s dispel some myths – Whoopi Goldberg of “Sister Act” and Julie Andrews of “Sound of Music” it is not. Think more like Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Workers, or reflect on the life of a Catholic woman you admire who is currently making a difference in the world. These reflections will bring you closer to the life of a religious sister as it is lived out today in active communion with others.
What’s your dream?
After reflecting on women who address pressing needs of people, add God to your equation and a dream, in which you make a difference in the world. What you’ve got then are the makings of God’s purpose in life for you.
Putting God at the center of your life
Religious life means putting God at the center of your life — every person on planet Earth is on a journey to God who calls us to be the person we are created to be. It is in relationship with others that I discover this person. It’s mystery at times to share with others who I may never have chosen before I became a sister. Finding a sense of belonging within a congregation gives meaning to our life. Finding support and caring and that deeper sense of love that God calls all to between sisters gives one a sense of joy. Living the life of a sister is like coming home to one’s self. It’s a knowing in my gut and heart that this is what God has called me to. It doesn’t mean there aren’t ups and downs like all lifestyles, but it’s a knowing deep within that keeps us connected to others and open to God’s desires for us. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Relationships are at the heart of it
Relationships with those in a community of religious sisters aren’t any different from relationships you have formed in your life. Look inside of yourself and ask:
- Do I have healthy self esteem?
- How well do I communicate with others?
- Do I place a strong value on integrity in myself and in others?
- Do I have a sense of humor?
How do I find my ministry… one that serves God’s desire?
Speaking as the Vocations Director, I must confess, my own vocation was a surprise to me — but opening yourself up to hear God in your heart brings lots of wonderful surprises. I have been a sister now for thirty years and listening to my sisters sharing the richness of their faith, bring so many gifts of consecrated life to mind.
My own deep sense of wanting to minister to others and to create a more just world has gone far beyond anything I or any of our sisters could ever have dreamed of on our own. What we have experienced together could not have been done alone. In sharing a common vision there is so much more that has been accomplished.
I have had the opportunity to serve with others in a variety of ministries.
- As a Health Care Administrator, I was involved in creating innovative programs for the elderly and enriching their lives.
- I then became a missionary in Ecuador in a parish without a priest while developing a health care clinic. I worked with the indigenous Indians to bring needed services to their isolated mountain village. Walking with others in their daily struggles to survive has changed me. I have been sensitized to the injustices in the world and the needs of the poor and oppressed. The experience was life changing.
- After returning to the USA, God called me to continue working with people who are poor. I developed a resource center for women in urban Baltimore. The deep sense of joy in ministering to others comes in knowing that God put someone in my path in need of help and allowing God’s work to make the difference.
Is it really so crazy to imagine becoming a sister?
If you can imagine yourself for a moment living this life, allow yourself to explore that possibility. To find your answers you must pray and ask questions of God, yourself and of others, especially those who have “walked the walk” before you. Don’t miss this special opportunity this exchange provides for you to hear God’s voice in those around you.
For more information, e-mail me. -Sr. Pat