Well no one actually said “seriously,” to me, but I could tell they wanted to each time I told someone where I was going last weekend! So wondering where was I last weekend?!!!
Last weekend I attended the Giving Voice national conference where about 70 Catholic sisters under the age of fifty, from different congregations, and different parts of the country and world were gathered. We grappled with the topic of building bridges and healing divisions whilst being committed to our vows and the Gospel values and mission of Jesus Christ. We shared leadership roles among us. We laughed until we cried. We were vulnerable with one another. We learned a little more about ourselves. We sang and danced our hearts out! All in all, we continued to build community together and energized one another for the mission.
As a Catholic sister under the age of 50, this is so important and essential to do and be a part of because we’re in this beautiful and adventurous life together and we’re going to be hopefully for the rest of our lives. A rather moving moment of the weekend happened when the priest at Mass invited everyone up for a blessing who since the last gathering had made first or final profession of Vows. It was a powerful moment to see and feel the love and commitment on the altar.
Joining religious life today is not done in ‘a silo’ or on an ‘island’ of your own Congregation. While they are the main focus and you get a firm foundation in your own Congregation you also get a broader experience of Religious life as you attend or are a part of inter-community events. Each Congregation and every person in them has something beautiful to offer the world. Now more than ever we recognize this is not a competition. Rather, it is blessing to be able to share our lives together and with the world around us. It is a blessing for people in discernment to have options. We want all to find the place and vocation where it is most authentic and life-giving.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a vowed religious Catholic sister today as a Sister of St. Joseph and am ever hopeful about my future and our future together! Indeed our collaborative future beckons!
Blessings on the journey fellow pilgrim, Sister Clare