#2 How Do You Meet Franciscan Sisters: NE, OK, KS, IL, WI

Paul Keggington

March 10, 2013

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share more travel log encounters with young adults at St. Thomas More Parish Center, Norman, OK and Creighton University, Omaha, NE who desire to meet Franciscan Sisters and other ‘on the road again’ experiences.

It all started when a young woman from Okalahoma State University, Norman, OK sent a website inquiry asking if her discernment group could ever make a nun run stop in Cambridge, OH. Knowing that our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity serving at Christ Our Light Parish were not able to accommodate 10 additional guests in their convent in the middle of the week, our vocation team began a conversation with the end result of ‘saying yes’ to an invitation to come to St. Thomas More Parish and Newman Center for March 8, 2013 Living Stations, a Student Fish Fry benefitting St. Vincent De Paul and a session to share on Franciscan discernment in a smaller campus ministry house nearby.

Living Stations were very touching. Father Eugene LaVerdiere, SSS Way of the Cross on Luke published by Emmauel were prayed with several students in acting and speaking roles.

Food included fish, lots of macaronni and cheese, coldslaw, corn on the cob  and hush puppies. There was tables set up in the gathering space and plenty of chairs for everyone. We sat with the students who invited us to come and met other parish members.

The young women’s discernment group were clearly directed on learning as much as they could on discernment, as well as specifically religious life. Their experiences had not yet included meeting any Franciscan Sisters. Those later gathered around the circle in a separate campus ministry house were bright, delightful and open to hear more about us. After learning a bit about them, we shared not only some Year of Faith podcasts introducing them to many more of our own Sisters, but also some Franciscan discernment tips.

Of course, a road trip also includes other planned and unplanned significant encounters.

  • St. Mary Convent, West Point, NE: our first night we were able to stay with our Sisters enroute. Conversation included all current happenings at the Motherhouse, but also allowedfor developments in our Sisters lives there. We were able to fill the trunk of the car with one of our Sister’s personal items that were needed back in Wisconsin.
  • St. John Church, Creighton University, Omaha, NE: Jesuit Brother Pat mentioned something to Sister Mary Ann (Spanjers) while serving on a UW Stevens Point, WI Busy Student Retreat about a young woman at Creighton University, Omaha, NE, who was seriously thinking about religious life and how it may be helpful for her to meet some Franciscan Sisters. To make a long story short, the student arranged that we would meet her at St. John Church and visit at Java Jay on campus.
  •  Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, KS: Friday included a ‘magnanimous’, Eucharistic moment. Pastor Father Jim Weldon presided at a school liturgy for the intention of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment on our Catholic Church especially for the Cardinals selecting our next Holy Father. The word ‘magnanimous’ was fittingly defined in the homily and used to describe this important moment in our Catholic Church. We invited Father to check out our website song of the month.
  • El Agave, Wichita, KS: we enjoyed some great Mexican food. The people were genuinely hospitable and worthy of all stars!
  • St. Rose of Lima Parish, Wilmington, IL: this was a later Saturday afternoon sacramental pause whereby we arrived with other faith-filled people. Diocese of Joliet Father Steve Bondi had a perfect radio voice and included significant sharing on St. Francis of Assisi in his homily. To put it simply, we felt right at home.
  • Kopps, Milwaukee, WI: Key Lime Pie was the flavor of the day!

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