Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were invited to meet 14 young people involved in a San Damiano Encounter at Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sponsored by the St. Clare Center for Ministry and Leadership, participants in this Immersive Experience explored faith through service, prayer, reflection and community. Campus Minister Gino G. Grivetti extended the invitation and we were blessed to come mid-week.
After sharing the Wednesday evening meal, the group gathered in the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel to ask questions forming a vocation panel. Sister Marie Guadalupe Martinez Lopez and Sister Julie Ann Sheahan were among other Franciscans introduced including Sr. Mary Lea Schneider, OSF, Sr. Lucy Marindony, Little Sisters of St. Francis, Sr. Carol Yaeger and Sr. Phyllis Wirtz, SSSF, Sr. Beatrice Knipple and Sr. Mary Beth, CSSF, Barb Spies, OFS, Kurt Kiedl, OFS, Fr. Gregory Plata, OFM and Brother Robert Wotypika, OFM Cap.
Sister Maria Guadalupe summarized the experience so well:
“Going to Cardinal Stritch University to meet the youth of the St. Damiano Encounter was so awesome. It was great to meet other Franciscans and learn about their vocation journeys. Those are powerful witnesses and they encouraged me in my own journey. It was so inspiring to see the youth so eager to listen and serve the Lord. What really hit me is what Citlali said in such simple words that the Catholic church for her is like family, like Mary covering her with her mantle and the colors of Mexico. Such a beautiful, and yet uncomplicated philosophy!
I was happy to share my journey with them but really I received much more from them. This was such a blessing.”