Read Two Stories of Passionate Love and Selfless Service

by Sister Julie Ann on August 15, 2009

img_6275.jpgIf you are wondering how to ponder the great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to consider reading two news stories from Manitowoc, WI and Grand Rapids, MI. Both accounts reveal women whose relationship with God led them, like Mary, to serve others and do things beyond their wildest dreams. (FSCC Motherhouse photo)

Sister Cecilia Byrns, OSF

srcecilia.JPGRead about Sister Cecilia Byrns, OSF. Charlie Mathews, Herald Times Reporter correspondent, writes about A Life Filled with Music …The studio at the Holy Family Conservatory of Music still has her baby grand piano where hundreds, if not thousands, of students took lessonsread the rest of the story. (photo by Francis Ford)

Kara Martin

medium_martin2.jpgRead about Kara Martin. Charley Honey, religion columnist for the Grand Rapids Press, comments about Aquinas Graduate Follows Her Heart to Join Franciscan Sisters of Christian CharityThe first time I met Kara Martin, she was 17, smooshed among thousands of teenagers going nuts as Pope John Paul II passed by in his popemobile. “I saw him!” Kara shouted at World Youth Day in Toronto, 2002. “He was smiling! That was so cool!” The last time I saw her was Tuesday at the Kava House in Grand Rapids. She is still bursting with enthusiasm.  Read the rest of the story.

Do you mirror Mary’s life?

15 thoughts on “Read Two Stories of Passionate Love and Selfless Service”

  1. Sister Annette Kurey says:

    Just having read the two articles I am filled with awe and wonder at the workings of God in our lives. Knowing Sister Cecilia a little and reading her words upon her retirement, “God has control of my life”, I can only thank God for her and her witness to us. To live with that attitude and belief is truly freeing. God is her All.
    Which brings me right to Kara, whom I met at Camp Franciscan this past June. She is a young woman so full of life and enthusiasm. Just to see her is to know she is happy. Her words, “Being a sister makes me happy…I’m really giving all of myself to God. It’s so freeing.”, are a reflection of Sister Cecilia’s. Kara has a God filled adventure ahead of her. Sister Cecilia is now basking in the memories of her life filled with God. Both are truly happy and truly free. Their two lives are so heart warming. Thank you.

  2. I was blessed to attend a little bit of the Open House at Roncalli for Sister Cecilia today. How heart-warming to listen to the ‘boy’s choir’ that Sister began many years ago at St. Boniface Parish! The boys are truly dear men- along with some current students at Roncalli.

    Many photos of Sister’s life (before convent and after) became a walking, conversation path through the auditorium. I hope Kara keeps a sentimental photo collection of people who have shared her life as well.

  3. Sister Marie Bernadette says:

    It is so wonderful to observe our elderly Sisters being recognized for their many long years of service to God and community. Sister Cecilia certainly is one who gave herself totally to the Lord. Even this summer in the infirmary, she inspired me as she stripped herself joyfully of all unnecessary items in order to live in her small infirmary convent room. Sister is an inspiration to all who know her.

  4. I so appreciated the two articles juxtaposed: one beginning a life long journey into religious life and one reflecting on that life. Both stories made me grateful to be a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity.

    I also emailed the author of Kara’s story grateful for the realistic portrayal of religious life.

    I am praying for Kara as she recovers from her surgery and assure her that “Yes, God’s timing is perfect.”

  5. Sister Pat Sevcik says:

    Kara, I am so happy for you! I read the article describing how you heard the call to become a Sister. Praise God that you have answered, “yes!” It is now only 4 days from your arrival at Holy Family Convent. I am excited for you and looking forward to your arrival here on Sunday. It will be great to work with you and to mentor you and Marie. We are paying for you. Bon Vayage!! Peace and all good! Sister Pat

  6. Sister Pat Sevcik says:

    Hello again, Kara! Unfortunately, when I posted my note, I did not correct 2 typos before I submitted it. I want to correct them here by saying, “We are PRAYING for you” and “Bon VOYAGE.”

    Peace and all good!
    Sister Pat

  7. Sr. Pat, Kara and Marie,

    I will be praying for each of you in a special way during the next week as you come together in our Postulancy. I remember my own entry day to Postulancy very well. Our directress had us ponder the scripture passage, “Walk in a manner worthy of your calling.” I still try to do that these 41 years later.

  8. Sister Rosangela says:

    Congratulations to Sister Cecilia on her many years of dedicated loving service to God’s people, especially in the field of music.
    Welcome to Kara Martin. Having met Kara once, I look forward to having her enter our Postulancy. I am happy I’ll be on the Team getting to know her better. Our Community is truly blessed. God looks with favor upon us.

  9. Sr. Helena Young says:

    Congratulations Sister Cecilia. It was so nice that so many came to wish the best to you at your reception on Sunday. You are in my prayers that you may enjoy your years of retirement after many years of sharing your gift of music.
    Kara, your excitement fills the article I just read – I am also excited about your joining us. I look forward to meeting you and assure you that you, Marie and Sister Pat are in my prayers.
    Blessings!

  10. Sister Sharon Paul says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to you, Sr. Cecilia on your abundant & fruitful years of teaching music to God’s children as well as adults. Imagine how this talent will be spread and shared down through the years to thousands. Your GIFT of MUSIC, from the hand of GOD, your hard work will be transformed in myriads of ways just like the seed planted in the ground and bearing abundant fruit. I’m proud of you and wish you abundant grace in your Retirement Years and always keep a SONG in your heart & on your lips. Thank YOU for your caring ministry!
    KARA, it was GREAT to meet you and some of your family when we were in WI for the Community Mtgns. & or Jubilee. As you may remember we hailed from West Point, NE but am from Zanesville, Ohio. Blessings on your arrival in Manitowoc and will stop to see you at the Health Care Mtgns. in Oct. Bless you and WELCOME ABOARD!

  11. Maggie McConnaha says:

    Kara,
    Having met you at Camp Franciscan (you were my leader) I’m sure you’re making the right decision. Your eyes lit up as you talked to the sisters, and I could tell you were genuinely happy. Good luck!

    Maggie McConnaha

  12. It is a joy to reflect on these two women of today! It is also enriching to read the comments being written about one of our faith-filled Sisters and one of our hope-filled Postulants!

  13. Sr. Delores Wisnicky says:

    Congratulations, Sr. Cecilia… I was happy to work at the event. Your family is wonderful and seeing so many friends come was great! You have given so much to this community. You have touched their lives forever.
    Kara, your joy and love for God touches my life as well. I am so happy for you. I enjoyed meeting you at camp and listening to you at the campfire.
    Welcome… My prayers are very much with you.
    God invites you on an amazing journey…

  14. Kara says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I just read them, and they made me smile. I’m enjoying my first days at the convent!

  15. Sister Mariella Erdmann says:

    I just read the story of Kara Martin and it was so very inspiring. The young who are truly committed always set my heart afire. Kara’s story is one of hope for the future of religious life in our country and faith in the young people who continue to be called by God to serve Him in a very special way. My prayers and support go out to you, Kara. May you become more and more alive with God,s love in your heart and may God be so much the center of your life that you can meet the joys and sorrows of life knowing our God is always with us.
    Welcome to our Franciscan Community.
    Peace and all Good!!

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