Do you get paid?

by Sister Julie Ann on November 20, 2008

img_4931.jpgThis was one of the questions posed by St. Mary Central High School, Menasha, WI students to Father Thomas Long, Diocese of Green Bay vocation director and other women religious representing the Racine Dominicans, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Elm Grove, WI, and the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, WI. on Wednesday, November 19, 2008.

img_4907.jpgFaculty member, Karen Fahley invited the guests to introduce themselves and answer the students’ prepared and spontaneous questions during religion classes. A music-PowerPoint prayer began each session. The song and images highlighted all of the vocations-marriage, single life, priesthood and religious life.

img_4906.jpgHere are a few more student sample questions. You are invited to  answer these questions, add your own or just comment from your own heart based on your life experience. Notice most questions could be answered from any one of the vocation perspectives.

  • What was the experience in your life that you felt God’s presence with you the most?
  • What made you decide to become who you are?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Do you ever regret the life you chose because of what you had to give up?
  • How could you do that? Did you feel the vocation inside before the decision?
  • Do you get lonely?
  • What do you enjoy most?
  • What is the coolest place you have traveled?
  • How much money do you make?
  • Is there anything you feel you missed out on?
  • Why a priest instead of a deacon?
  • Is your faith in God ever swayed?
  • What other careers did you consider?
  • Did you ever want to be married?
  • Is it bad for you to have fun sometimes?
  • What freedoms do you wish you could have back?
  • What was the one thing that made your decision clear to follow Christ and the Church?

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Rochelle Kerkof, OSF, is principal of St. Mary Central High School. Michael Sullivan is president of Twin Cities Catholic Educational System.

4 thoughts on “Do you get paid?”

  1. I do get paid, but not in the way most people do…it is more like being filled with lots of blessings, surprises, adventures, opportunities to be stretched and grow in my faith, hope, and love of Jesus and others…

  2. Sister Mary Ann had a great answer. My hope is that most people feel they receive more in the preciousness of relationships and in the richness of experience than they give-especially when they are living the vocation God called them to be.

    Answering this question from another economically practical perspective, our Franciscan Sisters who are teachers, leaders in our health care system, principals, pastoral leaders, nurses, parish and diocesan religious education leaders, etc. often do receive some kind of salary. These monies are pooled and used for all of our individual member’s living expenses including health needs, as well as to educate our Sisters. We also are very conscious of sharing our resources with the poor and the needy in our midst and throughout the world. Sounds a bit like Acts 2:44-‘those who believed shared all things in common…dividing everything on the basis of each one’s need?!’

  3. I’m commenting on the question: What was the experience in your life that you felt God’s presence with you the most?

    There have been several times when I felt God’s presence keenly. One was the day of my final vows. I had been conversing with God about what I needed to live this vowed religious life: support, consolation, a sense of purpose, intimacy with God etc. I had a felt experience that God was saying, “I’ll take care of my part of this love relationship. Don’t worry.” I’m glad I listened, God has been with me through difficult and wonderful times. I try to stay open to keep my part of the relationship alive.

    It’s been a wonderful journey and I don’t feel I’ve “missed” anything any more than my siblings feel they’ve “missed” the beauty of my life.

  4. Sister Rosangela says:

    I never regret being a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity because I am happy and believe I am where God wants me to be, doing want God wants me to do. There are ups and downs in every chosen way of life. Thinking of others makes one’s life better because if we think only about ourselves and having things be become selfish. This does not lead to happiness. Depending upon our work, we do receive a salary. However, we don’t have the worries that many people face because in Community we share everything we have. We do have fun enjoying simple things, and have the opportunity to go out to eat, go to a movie etc. Our blessings are a hundred fold as Jesus promises.

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