Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were among the Consecrated Women invited to a recent Diocese of Madison Santa Lucia Mother/Daughter Evening at Holy Name Heights, Madison. Theresa Klinkhammer and Lorie Ballweg served as gracious hostesses for this evening welcoming mothers, daughters, Sisters of Mary Morningstar, Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Consecrated Women from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, a Madison area Consecrated Virgin and our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Sister Kathleen Murphy, Sister Cecilia Joy Kugel and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan. First on the program, Diocesan Vocation Director Fr. Greg Ihm exposed the Blessed Sacrament and led the Divine Office in the Oratory.
While there were volunteers who stayed in this place of prayer for the evening to pray for all those involved in the Santa Lucia dinner, everyone else moved to the lower conference room and found places at table.
Fr. Greg invited the Consecrated Women represented at the gathering to introduce themselves. Bishop Hying followed commenting on the purpose and beauty of Consecrated Life. He said “St. Therese is an example of when you get what you want, you find out it wasn’t, isn’t, what you expected. She’s faced with long days of prayer, penance and silence. Here she is this vivacious fifteen year old. She starts to imagine a whole different life. Wouldn’t be great if I was a martyr, anything more than these long days of cloistered silence. So she starts reading the Scriptures and her answer came when she read Paul’s hymn to charity in 1 Corinthians: 12-13 and there Paul says “if you are without love, you are nothing.” If we do great things, without sharing, it matters not at all. She realized then, that God was not calling her to great things. He was calling her to do little things with great love in her heart. She realized that ‘I will be love at the heart of the Church.’ Not that I will be loving, but I will be love at the heart of the Church. I can’t think of a better description or definition of consecrated life. ‘To be love at the heart of the Church.'”
Next, all enjoyed a tasty barbecue dinner while at the same time engaging in conversation about consecrated life.
Before the whole group moved back to the Oratory for the closing Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Thesesa Klinkhammer shared invitations to coming diocesan vocation events for young women. Gift Bags were also distributed to those present. Included in this package were our Sister-made, matching Mother/Daughter bracelets, Each bracelet has a hidden Franciscan Morse-code message. We also attached an invitation to consider our June 13-16, 2022 Franciscan Sisters Experience: Called to Bring Hope taking place at our Motherhouse, 2409 South Alverno Road, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This event is open to high school students. Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 for more information. Registration begins in January.