On this day in 1826, our congregation’s first leader, Josephine Potel, was buried and Mère Angelique Geay became the second Superior General of the Sisters of Bon Secours. We know from one of her letters that she advised, “Be simple.” And to her fellow Sisters: “Love one another.” Angelique Geay saw the Congregation spread through France. The Sisters became known for their dedication to Christ and devotion to the sick and suffering of all classes and religions.
Sr. Nathalie enjoyed taking a field trip with Sr. Elaine to see “Mary Help of Christians” in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Sr. Nathalie bought a souvenir angel in her favorite color – pink. This was her first time seeing this beautiful shrine. The Sisters of Bon Secours celebrate Mary Help of Christians Feast Day on May 24th.
Sister Jean Aulenback gets an up-close look at the renovations going on at Marian Hall, the home for the retired Sisters of Bon Secours. Crews are upgrading the hall, which is on the third floor of the Provincial House in Marriottsville, to make it feel even more like home with pretty colors and new furniture. It’s very much a family atmosphere for the sisters and the women who work there. Work is expected to be done sometime in July.
That’s how the LCWR morning meeting began at the Sisters of Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center. Some members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Region 4 gathered here this week for three days of meetings. One of the leaders said, “How good it is, O God, to sing of your love in the morning and to rejoice in your faithfulness.” It was a wonderful way for different congregations to connect, share their experiences and gifts, and offer praise to God.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious ( LCWR ) is the association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has about 1350 members, who represent nearly 80 percent of the approximately 49,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
Sister Fran Gorsuch makes you feel like a million bucks every time you see her. She’s a generous hugger, serious smiler, and all-around wonderful person. But who knew she’s also a comedienne? Come out and support her at the Baltimore Improv this Friday, April 27th. Showtime: 8:00pm. Address: 1727 N. Charles St., Baltimore. It’s the best five bucks you’ll ever spend! Bon Secours employees free. More info here.
The “Pathway to Peace” outside the Provincial House for Sisters of Bon Secours is coming together one brick at a time. Here you see our Maintenance Supervisor Tim Cugle placing more bricks ahead of today’s rain. He’s already laid down about 6,000 bricks but he still has about 6,000 more work to go. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center, we are extending the walkway near the gazebo to the Peace Garden. Tim’s using plain bricks now, but over time, we will replace them with specialized commemorative bricks, purchased in honor of loved ones, family and friends. If you want to purchase a brick in honor of someone, go the RCC’s website, www.rccbonsecours.com
The fifty-fifth World Day of Prayer for Vocations happened this weekend, and we thank Pope Francis for reminding us of the beauty of vowed religious life. From his message: “Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy. In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.”
Sr. Dorothy Brogan celebrated 65 years as a Sister of Bon Secours last May. Her advice to women considering life as a Sister? “I would strongly encourage her to listen to what’s in her heart, pray, and seek guidance from someone who can offer her direction.” Read more about Sr. Dorothy, Sr. Kathleen, Sr. Gabby and Sr. Rosa here.
This Sunday, April 22nd, is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. If you know of someone who has been considering religious life, please say a prayer for them, and if it’s something you’ve been thinking about for yourself, keep your heart open and listen for God’s words of encouragement. LifeAsASister.org
What is the biggest source of joy in your life or the biggest source of stress? Sr. Pat Dowling and Nick Stein, who is on the Planning Committee, are in New Jersey taking part in the National Dialogue to look for ways to better engage young adults in the Catholic Church. The goal is to bring together the voices of young adults, religious communities, pastors and more into this conversation.
Sisters of Bon Secours April 8, 2018 Sisters Chat Room is designed for single Catholic women and invites discussion on a variety of topics related to exploring God’s call in one’s life. So, how do you know if God is calling you to be a sister? Is it unusual to begin thinking about becoming a nun – where did that thought come from?
Unusual Question not Unusual
Sister Pat Dowling, vocation director for Sisters of Bon Secours in the USA, holds a monthly chat room called – Sisters Chat Room – for women to explore these questions and much more. Many of the questions that women have today related to becoming a nun may seem unusual given our contemporary society. However, Sr. Pat explains, “It is not that unusual for a single Catholic women to find the question of becoming a nun raised within herself. It happens more frequently than you might imagine.” That said, it can happen at any age. When allowing God into one’s life through prayer or pondering one’s life, the thought of religious life could surface.
Dealing with the Question of Becoming a Nun
Taking steps to deal with the question of whether God is calling one to be a sister probably seems a bit overwhelming or even scary. But according to Sr. Pat, its natural to at first be quite surprised and even want to bury the thought. Finding someone to talk about it is helpful. Today, we may not have direct contact with a sister so finding some one to talk with might feel a bit of a challenge. Start with your parish priest. Tell him what you are thinking and feeling and ask for direction and for someone to talk with. Many women out of curiosity search online today and Google Search using words like religious life, becoming a nun, Catholic sister, vocation, discernment, community, order.
Resources for Exploring and Putting your Toe in the Water
Sr. Pat started Sisters Chat Room – an online resource for single Catholic women to discuss and ask questions about becoming a nun and religious life five years ago. Individuals find that they can ask questions and offer opinions, or share feelings with others who are also exploring God’s call. Sr. Pat offers guidance and experience on topics raised by the women. “It helps that someone with experience as a sister, and a vocation director, facilitates the conversation, like Sr. Pat,” says Mary Wexler, one of the online Sisters Chat Room participants.
Sisters Chat Room
So, if you are a single Catholic woman and searching for help in answering your questions about becoming a nun, give Sisters Chat Room a try. Held monthly, a calendar of events on both http://LifeAsASister.org and http://BonSecoursVocations.org list dates and times to sign on. The next Sisters Chat Room in on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm. Registering is easily done right on the web page from the calendar link.