Monday, January 23, 2012

Franciscan Vocation Decision includes Community Life and Ministry

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are again anticipating their February 17-19, 2012 Discernment Retreat. Click here for details. Realizing that a Franciscan vocation decision includes community life and selfless service to others, we share some of Sister Henrietta Mean's experiential wisdom as a member of our congregation.

Reflecting on my Community life and ministry, it has been a truly joyous journey. The hundred-fold the Lord said would be ours is that and more. Having known so many beautiful people and having the opportunities of sharing God's love and word is a humbling experience. Being of service to so many people and cultures is enriching and awesome. Our lives give testimony to the unending flow of Divine Love. It demands trust and dependence on God. I learned that strength from prayer is a vital part of each and every day.
Being able to work with so many ethnic backgrounds in Hawaii and the Native Americans on the Tohono O'odham Reservation and the Black Americans in Mississippi has been a precious gift. Each group of people has enriched my life. Their spiritual and cultural gifts have shown the universality, yet oneness of the Church. One of the special privileges and joys while in Hawaii was the opportunity to visit the Leper settlement of Kalaupapa, Molokai. To be where Father Damien worked, prayed, and suffered in spreading God's love-to be in the church he built and offered Mass--was an inspiration.

If I were asked which of the missions I enjoyed the best, I would be unable to answer. Each had the beauty of its people and culture, enriching me in so many ways. Collectively these missions have a beauty of their own, which you take with you as you leave and it becomes a part of you forever.