Sister Julie Myers, OSF
If you are a follower of the Sylvania Franciscan Sisters’ Blog, you will recall that my day’s energy focuses on Vocation work. In the secular world it is known as ”Recruiting”, but in religious life, we refer to it as “Vocation Ministry”!!
We all have a vocation in this life. I chose the path of becoming a vowed member of a women’s religious order. All but one of my siblings chose marriage, and that one brother is single—whether by choice or not, I don’t know.
I am one on a team of nine Vocation Ministers who sponsor an event called: Nun Run
. The typical concept of a Nun Run is where single, Catholic, women (between the ages of 18-40), who have an interest in or at least an inquiring mind about religious life, travel from convent to convent. They visit about 4 or 5 different congregations of Sisters to learn about their way of life—prayer, ministry, community, humor and joy—in a 24 hour period of time. In our diocese, we were unable to accommodate the overnight piece, so we creatively tweaked the concept and turned it into a 12 hour event visiting two convents. We began this venture last spring of 2012, visiting the Little Sisters of the Poor in Oregon, the Sisters of the Precious Blood in Toledo (their motherhouse is in Dayton), and the Ursuline Sisters of Toledo. In the fall of 2012, we highlighted the Sisters of Mercy in Fremont and the Tiffin Franciscans…yes, in Tiffin! A couple of weeks ago we visited the IHM Sisters in Monroe, MI and the Dominicans in Adrian. This coming fall the Notre Dame Sisters and the Sylvania Franciscan Sisters will have an opportunity to be the hosts. It is a powerful event for interested or inquiring women to learn about religious life, our various congregational charisms, our humanness and our love for this life!! It is a great time for women interested in our life to freely ask questions—the good ol’ “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”.
During this event last Saturday, I had some quiet time to go off and reflect on my own. I found myself pondering the question: “how many women out in the world think about the vocation of religious life, but maybe don’t allow themselves to inquire or to even go the next step to discern their vocation in light of God’s will for them”. I also wonder what we, as Vocation Ministers, can do to assist women in their seeking. No one has to sign on the dotted line to look into our life or engage in conversation with us. How can we reach out and tell our story of a beautiful life—our spiritual growth, our deep relationship with God, our camaraderie as sisters, our service to God’s people in need?
We all have a vocation in this life—how did we get to it, if not for the companionship of others who journeyed the path of discernment with us. I would like to put a challenge out there to YOU
! Do you know of anyone who is uncertain of their life’s vocation? Ask yourself, “is God wanting to use me as an instrument?” Or…..maybe you are in discernment about your own vocation and are wondering about religious life. Free your spirit by inquiring—then you will know if this life is for you! Our diocese has at least nine different congregations represented—I would be more than happy to walk your discernment journey with you and to help make connections for you.
Please inquire, as we love to tell our story and share our life!! You just never know what door is opening and how Christ’s presence is waiting to be experienced in your life!!