In honor of National Catholic Sisters Week, Show me a sign posed the question "What inspires you about religious life today?" to women religious in our community. Here's what Sister Sue Ernster, whose vocation is to serve the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration as congregational treasurer, has to say.
I am thrilled to be in religious life during such an exciting time. With all of the changes occurring in our world the opportunities to shine in the realm of sharing our charism are limitless. Women religious everywhere are allowing the world to see the difference we are and can be.
We are not constrained as before by institutions or society. In this ever-changing and what some may call crumbling world, we offer the gifts of hope, love and goodness. We strive to exude the blessings of sharing and relationship.
Sister Sue (standing next to the host) defers to her FSPA teammates during the community fundraising event "Game On!"
Sharing who we are and what we have, I believe, is key in this world of chaos. We offer contemplative and alternative, nonviolent ways of being in relationship with others.
In the midst of the changing society, we have the opportunity to share our values with others in partnership and collaboration in ways not known before. Through these collaborative or partnering ways, we invite others to see and think differently. Growing in engagement inspires our world as it continues to evolve.
Riverfront residents and Sister Sue gather around St. Nick's Boot, a Christmas giving program.
I am excited about collaboration, invitation, engagement, inspiration and evolution in religious life. We are branching out further than ever before, working with businesses and others to eradicate human slavery, mental health stigma and homelessness. As we engage others and gain partners in ministry, we also allow others to be part of and carry on our charism and mission.
This time is blooming with opportunity, and craving what we have to offer.
*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.