Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Lost in Transition"

The end of July ... the beginning of August marked the end of my vocation ministry and the transition into something new. After eight years as a Vocation Director for my religious community, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, I have "closed up shop" in my Portland vocation office. Two other Sisters are moving into the ministry on the west coast - Sr. Christine Still located in Tacoma, WA and Sr. Elaine Thaden who will have an office in Spokane, WA. I have really enjoyed the ministry which has allowed me so many opportunities and the chance to meet many wonderful people, so this ending is kind of sad for me, but also exciting as I anticipate a new ministry. It is not totally settled right now what the next ministry is going to be so, for right now, I wait patiently.

Shortly after I cleaned up my office space and had the adventure of taking furniture and materials to Tacoma in a big U-Haul for the new vocation directors, I had my last "official" trip east to meet with the Formation Team one last time bringing closure to my ministry with a beautiful prayer service and blessing, to celebrate and share in the joy of the renewal of vows for one of our Sisters, Sr. Rose Mare Eve and connect with with our new members especially our two novices, Srs.Sara and Simona before they left for St. Louise to begin their novitiate time at the Third Order Regular-Franciscan Common Novitiate (TOR-FCN). Whew, I had some good, but whirlwind days at the Motherhouse the first week of August!

Following those busy days at the Motherhouse, I did take a few days to spend with some Franciscan Sister friends who have just moved to the Maryland country side to live on a farm. Sisters Kathy and Libby have the desire to live a simpler, more contemplative and sustainable life-style right now and found the perfect place to rent. They don't have the whole farm as they do have other ministries, but have the farmhouse and a fair amount of land around it to have a great garden which was lush with tomatoes when I was there! A few weeks before I was there they had a "party" of others sisters there to help harvest their nice little potato crop ~ I did get to enjoy the fruits of that harvest while I was with them :)The "farm" was a great place to be for a few days. I enjoyed sharing in their new endeavor and just having a little down time. The past week I have been on the road quite a bit ... down to Southern Oregon, a quick trip to Spokane and now tomorrow I head off for my annual retreat. I am so looking forward to that retreat time! I need that quiet time and space apart to be with my God and to continue my own discernment about my next ministry and where God is leading me. There is a quote by Dr.
Howard Thurman that I have come across several times in the past week or so, and which actually has been a good thought for me and anyone who is discerning something in their life. I think it is worth sharing and so close with these words to ponder: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." That is how St. Francis lived his life and that is what God desires for us! Pace E bene ... Peace and All Good!