How are the Sisters Sent to Serve?

by Sister Julie Ann on March 17, 2009

img_5356.jpgJesus told His disciples, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news“.

Francis heard Jesus say, ” Go rebuild my Church“.

Sister Louise Hembrecht, OSF, Community Director of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, sends her Sisters,  “Go to live and proclaim the Gospel”.

Here’s how this sending forth is done in 2009:

  • God calls women to this particular religious community.
  • Each Sister brings her own gifts, talents and the potential to grow.

All the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity listen to the innumerable ways God speaks in the present day through Scripture, the Church, the liturgy, the sacraments, community life, other people and events.

  • The General Administration, Sister Louise and a council of four of her Sisters,
    • dialogue with each Sister (also called visitation)
    • assess the vitality of the Sisters’ community life
    • review professional evaluations
    • contact Bishops, pastors and others to identify any new needs of the Church
    • confirm the apointment of a Sister to be a Local Director (servant leader)in each community of Sisters

As a result, each person says ‘yes’ to what is asked of her.  Sisters are then sent to live together in various size community groupings, in diverse locations and in different roles of service. Each receives an appointment for one year at a time.

Some Sisters are also assigned to pray for the community and people in these respective ministry settings and thus retain a strong link to the apostolates of the congregation.

img_5372.jpgOnce a year the whole community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity celebrates the gift of being called in obedience on the same day in each of their geographic settings. In the context of a special prayer service, each Sister receives and opens an envelope with this wording:

Go to live and proclaim the Gospel 2009-2010, Called to Be. Called to Serve.

You are sent to live and proclaim the Gospel at (name of convent, city, state) for this 2009-2010 as (particular ministry)

Recall that you have given yourself up completely and handed yourself over totally to our Lord Jesus Christ. (Paraphrased Third Order Rule, #30)

Community Director: Sister Louise Hembrecht, OSF.  

How do these examples speak to you of obedience? How are you living Jesus’ proclamation?

8 thoughts on “How are the Sisters Sent to Serve?”

  1. Celebrating St.Patrick’s mission to the Irish seems like a great day to share about how our Sisters are missioned/sent to serve God’s people!

  2. Francis learned much getting his hands dirty in rebuilding the Church. After being blessed with companions, he continued to be open to what his original obedience could mean.

    One example: Francis appointed one of his own friars who dwelt with him to be his own guardian (another word for servant leader), to whom he was humbly obedient. This simple, yet profoundly humble decision put into motion the ease of a friar leadership succession plan that has lasted 800 years.

    Mother Gabriel, our foundress and first elected servant leader, was a true follower of Francis. She shared the responsibility of leading the fledgling community in 1869. This had led to years of dedicated sharing of leadership with countless Sisters.

    Any young woman called to our community can expect to be a servant leader, one who serves with a humble, self-less heart.

  3. Elijah Green says:

    Oh ma god!!! your website is so totally cool!!
    i’m glad i was like introduced to your website… peace!

  4. Thanks for your affirming comment Elijah! I hope that you come back and visit us again!

  5. Sister Rosangela says:

    Since we will be receiving our appointments soon, this is very timely. It is so well expressed and explained. It is a good reminder to all of us that we are called to be and called to serve. We are to live the gospel as Francis did. That is a real challenge. We have commited our life to it.

  6. Leslie says:

    Well I know you don’t all get moved some where new ever year. So if you are supposed to stay in the same place as you were the year before would the appointment letter just say the same place and ministry? How often do you normally move or does it just depend?

  7. Leslie, you gave the correct answer to your own question!! A Sister who remains in a certain ministry and continues to live in the same convent, receives a card that confirms these facts. A Sister is changed to a new convent community or ministry when a need arises. I invite others to comment further on this point.

  8. In addition to what Sister Julie Ann explained to you about your question Leslie, we receive our obediences/appointments each year; if we are to begin in a new setting or new ministry or if we are to continue the present ministry and/or convent we are living in.

    It is renewing to know that each year we have the freedom and encouragement to discern this with one of our Sisters in the Administration of the community.

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