MORE Weekend Shares Experience of Community

by Sister Amy Hereford, CSJ

In June, we flung open the doors as we welcomed a woman who is interested in the Sisters of St. Joseph to a CSJ weekend of Community, Spirituality and Justice.

Four members of the vocation team (Sisters Sarah Heger, Clare Bass, Mary Flick and I) organized the weekend with lots of help from other sisters along the way. Over the course of the weekend, four of us on the team wove in and out of the program, depending on our other commitments. We published the schedule for the sisters on the expanded vocation teams and asked for their prayers, support and participation. They came forward generously to make the weekend a success for us all.

We began Friday evening, sharing the evening meal at Carondelet followed by a tour of the motherhouse. It ended in the chapel where we prayed around the notion of “call” – our fundamental call to loving relationship, our vocational call to a particular life-calling, and our daily calls to community, spirituality and justice.

On Saturday, after a short prayer, we moved out to our volunteer sites at Dogtown Ecovillage, where I l ive, and Marian Middle School, where Sister Sarah works as principal.

At Dogtown Ecovillage, where people work for community and sustainability in an urban neighborhood, we harvested and braided organic garlic. For those who have never harvested garlic, it was a new experience of receiving the earth’s abundance that will continue to bless the community for the coming year. After the harvest, we did maintenance work at a public native plant installation, pulling bindweed and Johnson grass. Native plants are a great way to build sustainability and restore our ecosystem.

At Marian Middle School, we shared a wonderful lunch brought in by Sister Kate Filla. Well nourished, we headed into the afternoon’s project of cleaning and organizing one of the supply closets at the school. I had my doubts whether we could make order out of the chaos before the end of the day, but we managed to finish early. We enjoyed the camaraderie of working together and sharing stories of the mission at Marian, the life of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and life in general.

In the evening, Sister Ida Berresheim led reflection and prayer. Dinner was hosted in community with Sisters Linda Markway, Jean Paul Selissen, Nancy Marsh and Rita Huebner. The sisters at Holy Spirit Community welcomed us to their home where we had an opportunity to respond to questions about religious life. Each of us shared from our own rich perspective and varied experience.

Sunday morning we attended parish Mass, followed by a wrap-up session of conversation, questions and sharing with the Vocation Team.

I enjoyed sharing this time with our visitor and with our sisters in community. The woman who joined us for the weekend said, “I really feel like you opened your home and your lives to me. This is really what I needed for my discernment process.”

Visit our vocations site www.csjlife.org to meet our team and learn more about vocations. 

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