National Catholic Sisters Week - Related Content

Kindness: we are all called to be Esther

Thursday, March 9th 2017 12:45 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

In a spirit of collaboration, we enter into the celebration of National Catholic Sisters Week (March 8 through 14). There are over 45,000 women religious in the United States, and FSPA is a member of one of the organization’s partnering groups—the Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. They have come together in a campaign called “Kindness: Get in the Habit.” Billboards and advertisements as well as a school curriculum for the week are all aimed at encouraging individuals to find ways to be kind to one another.

Kindness-handshake

Kindness is a basic human value that’s often lost amid a world filled with competition and sometimes questionable motivation. As we walk through the second week of Lent we recall that the tenets of the Lenten season include prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Kindness easily supports each tenets. We are invited to open our eyes to our own actions and reflect on the ways in which we are attentive to the invitation of the season.

The readings placed before us today are like a glowing neon sign along the Lenten road of spiritual growth. The words flowing from the lips of Queen Esther are those of intercession on behalf of her people. Choosing to give voice to the concerns of her heart, she pleads for wisdom and courage to have eloquence of speech to persuade those who can protect and champion her cause.

How many times—in the defining moments of your life where everything is on the line and God is your advocate—have you prayed like Esther?

 

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Eileen McKenzie, FSPA, deep in the tenet of prayer (image courtesy of Vendi Advertising).

There are many Esthers in our world today as prayers of refugees, immigrants and others displaced pray on behalf of their communities for safety, food, water and asylum from the horrors they have fled; to be heard in their suffering and feel the presence of caring from God and all of us who walk in humanity by their sides. What does the season (and not just during Lent) call us to but the obligations of being Catholic Christians?

Esther bows in prayer and supplication to God. She aligns her interior and exterior reality of life situation as queen, advocate, subject and co-creator. She has not walled herself into the security of the palace. She knows the struggles her people face as it was once her own experience. Her actions have a direct impact on others. She is accountable for what she chooses and she holds God accountable to guide her.

Esther is a model for all who discern. She exemplifies the courage, strength and perseverance that is indispensable to remain rooted in Gospel values as you make a choice for your own vocation. Challenges are a part of life, and how you choose to move through them speaks volumes of who you are.

How can the choices you make in your life alleviate the pain and sorrow of a hurting world?

How does your vocational discernment bring relevance to humanity at this time in our history? 

There's more to Sister Jacinta's discernment story

Thursday, March 28th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

"It's an opportunity to explain religious life."

 

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Jacinta Jackson, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

The fourth video in Show me a sign's discernment series — "Will I be able to maintain contact with my family?" — is now available and giving us the opportunity to meet Sister Jacinta Jackson. 

Sister Jacinta's ministry of chemical and mental abuse counseling in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is buoyed by both her family living in several countries around the world and her FSPA family. Her vows and her ministry are, in turn, compelling many of the people she serves to ask questions about religious life. “A client asked me how long I’ve been a religious,” recalls Sister Jacinta. “‘For more than 30 years,’ I answered. ‘Thirty years ... wow!' he replied. 'You’ve given me something to think about.’” 

Read more about Sister Jacinta's ministry in her story in "Questions compel sister to counseling for chemical and mental abuse."

In case you missed it — or the discernment story is calling to you again —  here is the video.

 

And, Show me a sign invites you to revisit the discernment stories of three other FSPA: Sisters Lucy Slinger, Sarah Hennessey and Dawn Kutt:

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for new videos in the FSPA discernment series!

There's more to Sister Dawn's discernment story

Tuesday, March 12th 2019 10:00 am
Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

 

The gifts of "goodness ... wisdom" guiding her call to leadership

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Sister Dawn Kutt is living her "call to leadership"
as an 
 FSPA Leadership Team mission councilor.

The third video in Show me a sign's discernment series — "How will religious life affect my relationships?" — is now available and giving us the opportunity to "Meet Sister Dawn." 

Sister Dawn Kutt's ministry in religious life as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration has encompassed health care and now, after a new kind of discernment, includes leadership as a mission councilor for the community. And just as her discernment of religious life was supported by family, friends and FSPA, so too was her contemplation of the call to leadership. Show me a sign asked Sister Dawn about the gifts she's received — the "goodness" and "wisdom" that continue to give her guidance today.

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Sister Dawn serves many, young and old, in her ministry of health care.

Show me a sign: How do you rely on friends and family for support as you encounter the joys and challenges of new ministry in community leadership?

Sister Dawn: My family and friends have always been very supportive of my decision to enter religious life, and throughout the discernment process that led me to leadership for my community I looked to them to share with me the gifts they thought I could give FSPA as a mission councilor. 

And as I begin my new ministry of community leadership, family and friends give me that balance between work and play. They also love to hear of the goodness I receive through the various community celebrations and milestones, and what it is that I find life-giving in this elected position. Of course, just as there are joys there are challenges to which I only ask them to pray for me, to pray for the wisdom and grace to do my best for the good of the whole.

Show me a sign: How is your FSPA community supporting you as you begin new ministry in leadership?

Sister Dawn: The FSPA community has been very supportive during this time of transition and change. I rely on the sisters to give us, the leadership team, honest conversation and feedback as we continue to build our future together. Having a leader in every chair allows us to tap into their wisdom and knowledge to which affirms that we all walk together to make a difference in the world.


In case you missed it — or the discernment story is calling to you again —  here is the video "How will religious life affect my relationships? Meet Sister Dawn."

And, Show me a sign invites you to revisit the discernment stories of two other FSPA: Sarah Hennessey and Lucy Slinger:

 

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for new videos in the FSPA discernment series!


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