Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie shares congratulatory comments for the Sisters celebrating 60 years of Profession of Vows this year.
Good afternoon and welcome to Bishop David Ricken, Deacon Peter Gard , Father Placid, Father Jerry, our Sister Jubilarians and all of our Sisters! Today we are privileged to gather to celebrate with the Sandals of the Savior, the Sisters celebrating their 60th Anniversary of Religious Profession of Vows. Special prayers of congratulations are extended to Sister Jean Anne Moser, Sister Mariella Erdmann, Sister Barbara Jean Butler, Sister Annette Blonde, Sister Lorita Gaffney, Sister Anna Maar, Sister Mary Lee Schommer and Sister Maureen Bomaster. We trust that Sister Lynne Jagemann (2016) and Sister Frances Joseph Hildebrand (2020) are interceding for you and rejoicing with you from their place of eternal rest with Our Lord.
The Scripture readings for this 13th Sunday in Ordinary time show us that God wants nothing but life and goodness for us, if only we will let Him rescue us. The first reading explained that God desires life for us, not death. (Wisdom 1:13-15: 2:23-24) The second reading told us that God desires abundance for all of his children. “For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:7,9,13-15) And in the Gospel, Jesus brings a young girl back to life and heals a woman who has been suffering for years. “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mark 5:21-43) https://young-catholics.com/3320/13th-sunday-in-ordinary-time-year-b
At the time of your Reception, June 13, 1960, the Title, “Sandals of the Savior” was chosen to be a distinctive inspiration for daily living. Reflecting on Sandals, we know that they are worn on the feet. They give protection to the bottom of the foot, but the rest of the foot is open to the elements and does not protect the rest of the foot. There is an idiom that says, “Before you judge another, walk a mile in his/her shoes.” This advice helps to gain a new perspective and more understanding and empathy for the other person’s experiences, challenges and thought process.
Through your Profession of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, you said, YES to being the Sandals of Jesus. You said YES after the example of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis wanted to live as Jesus lived and experience all that Jesus experienced. We know that this meant the Paschal Mystery. He believed that if he could walk in Jesus’ footsteps, the crucified Christ, it would hopefully lead to his conversion and effect change in the Church and in the world.
Our Constitutions tell us that “we walk the path of obedience on which God leads us, by calling us to this particular Franciscan Community… Moved by the Holy Spirit you have made sincere personal efforts to listen to the innumerable ways God has spoken to you over these 60 years through Scripture, the Church, the liturgy, the sacraments, our Community, people and events.” Constitutions, Chapter II, (O and P), pages 20-21.
You have been given encouragement in the Scriptures to be the Sandals of the Savior, allowing Jesus to be known in and through you. “As you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in Him!” (Col. 2:6) “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:6) “So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God. (Col. 1:10) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) You shall walk in all the ways that the Lord, your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.” (Deut. 5:33)
There are more Scripture references, however, I will just add one more from Ephesians 5:2, “Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Thank you, Sandals of the Savior, for your faithful commitment of giving witness to Jesus, living and active, in your life these past 60 years as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Through you, Jesus’ sandals of love came in different sizes. Wherever you walked, you have influenced our Community, the Church and the world.
Congratulations and God bless you!