Gift of a Lifetime

–by Sr. Amy

We gathered to celebrate on the evening before Sr. Mary Flick (royal blue shirt) makes her final profession as a Sister of St. Joseph. Sr. Sarah invited us each to bring a card, a prayer and small gift. Some were funny, some were profound, some were touching. All together, they said that we have walked with Mary for these past years from tentative probing of inquiry, through the deliberate ‘getting to know you’ of candidacy, through the deepening discernment of novitiate and through the growing confidence of her  years in temporary profession.

We celebrated Mary’s upcoming final profession in which she definitively says yes to the journey so far and to the unfolding journey of a Sister of St. Joseph. We also celebrated the lifetime profession of every other sister in the room. Each of us has given our lifetime gift and each of us in turn receives and holds the lifetime gift of the others. Each sister’s life is unique, each sister’s gift is unique, and as we gathered, we celebrated the richness of that diversity and the deep mutuality of our community.

Jesus says:

There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions–and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

 In religious life, this gospel-promise is lived out in a particular way. “The young and the old, the frightened, the bold, the greatest and the least….” We come to walk together, we share a feast, we share a journey, we support one-another in hope, in challenge, in service.

Each time we celebrate a sister who takes a step forward in her formation journey, we renew the deepest and highest gift we share. The gift we give for a lifetime, the gift we receive for a lifetime, the God who is the author of all giving.

Thank you Mary for this opportunity to remember, celebrate and grow.

“The More”

The Sisters of St. Joseph claim Ignatian roots.  St. Ignatius was the founder of the Jesuits.  Thus, the Sisters of St. Joseph share many connections with the Jesuit spirituality, one of which is the idea of Magis, or “The More.”  But, what does “The More” really mean?

When I consider my myriad roles as principal, vocation minister, discernment house coordinator, Giving Voice leadership team member (the list could go on and on), most days I can’t possibly think of anything more.  Thankfully, this idea of Magis or The More, is not about doing more.

Interpretations vary, but the idea of Magis is related to discernment.  When we are discerning between two or more good things, all else being equal, we are to choose the option, at the service of faith, that will have the wider impact.  In a sense, we must work smarter, not harder.  The More calls us to deep contemplation, to a quality of work and relationship that brings people to our personal, incarnate God.  It calls us to look beyond the immediate need to what will have long-lasting, universal impact.

Saying for sure, “This choice is the More,” is impossible; we can make discern decisions based only on the light we have at the time.  Thankfully, Ignatius and many other wise and faithful followers have given us many tools that make the light a little brighter.

Blessings on whatever discernment you may be about in service of our God for the universal good.

–S. Sarah


Geger, Fr. Barton T., S.J.  What Magis Really Means.  Xavier University.