How are the Sisters Sent to Serve?

Paul Keggington

March 17, 2009

img_5356.jpgJesus told His disciples, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news“.

Francis heard Jesus say, ” Go rebuild my Church“.

Sister Louise Hembrecht, OSF, Community Director of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, sends her Sisters,  “Go to live and proclaim the Gospel”.

Here’s how this sending forth is done in 2009:

  • God calls women to this particular religious community.
  • Each Sister brings her own gifts, talents and the potential to grow.

All the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity listen to the innumerable ways God speaks in the present day through Scripture, the Church, the liturgy, the sacraments, community life, other people and events.

  • The General Administration, Sister Louise and a council of four of her Sisters,
    • dialogue with each Sister (also called visitation)
    • assess the vitality of the Sisters’ community life
    • review professional evaluations
    • contact Bishops, pastors and others to identify any new needs of the Church
    • confirm the apointment of a Sister to be a Local Director (servant leader)in each community of Sisters

As a result, each person says ‘yes’ to what is asked of her.  Sisters are then sent to live together in various size community groupings, in diverse locations and in different roles of service. Each receives an appointment for one year at a time.

Some Sisters are also assigned to pray for the community and people in these respective ministry settings and thus retain a strong link to the apostolates of the congregation.

img_5372.jpgOnce a year the whole community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity celebrates the gift of being called in obedience on the same day in each of their geographic settings. In the context of a special prayer service, each Sister receives and opens an envelope with this wording:

Go to live and proclaim the Gospel 2009-2010, Called to Be. Called to Serve.

You are sent to live and proclaim the Gospel at (name of convent, city, state) for this 2009-2010 as (particular ministry)

Recall that you have given yourself up completely and handed yourself over totally to our Lord Jesus Christ. (Paraphrased Third Order Rule, #30)

Community Director: Sister Louise Hembrecht, OSF.  

How do these examples speak to you of obedience? How are you living Jesus’ proclamation?

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