The glorious past of religious orders and the great things they have yet to accomplish.
Modeling God’s Love
Together let us thank the Father, who called us to follow Jesus by fully embracing the Gospel and serving the Church, and poured into our hearts the Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and our witness to God’s love and mercy before the world.” – Pope Francis
Pope Francis has declared 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The sixth chapter of Lumen Gentium (Light of the Nations), one of the main documents produced during the 1963-65 council, addressed those called to religious life. Throughout this special year, the Pope wants to emphasize the glorious past of religious orders as well as the great things they have yet to accomplish.
The goals for the Year of Consecrated Life are threefold:
- Shine a bright light on the rich history of those who “follow Christ closely and respond creatively to the needs of the Church”.
- Live in the present with passion and “listen attentively to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today”.
- Embrace the future with hope amid so many uncertainties because vowed religious are “called to practice the virtue of hope, the fruit of our faith in the Lord who tell us to “Be not afraid…for I am with you” (Jer 1:8).
Thoughts from Our Sisters
Thoughts from Sister Patricia Hejna
Sister Patricia entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1960 from St. Anthony Parish in Toledo. Sister is currently the activity supervisor at the St. Leonard Franciscan Living Community, Centerville, Ohio, where she has ministered since 2005 .
Thoughts from Sister Laureen Marie Painter
Sister Laureen entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1965 from SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Sandusky, Ohio. Sister is currently the Vice President of Mission Integration and Ministry Formation at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Granger, Indiana. She is the Board Vice Chair of Hope Ministries, which serves homeless families and individuals and volunteers with groups that enhance human dignity and provide easy access to services.
Thoughts from Sister Kathleen Skog
Times are changing, but I believe that religious life will still be a form of life where people will dedicate themselves to prayer and service and works of the church. My hope is there will be more women and men who will dedicate themselves totally to the Lord. That is what consecrated life is—total dedication to the Lord and the church.”
Sister Kathleen entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1954 from Immaculate Conception Parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since 1983, she has ministered in various capacities in Brenham, Texas. From 1983 to 1989, she was at St. Jude Hospital and from 1989 to 2000 at Trinity Health Care. In 2001, she went to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she is currently the Director of Religious Education. St. Mary’s, established in 1870, is one of the oldest churches in the Dioceses of Austin. Located 75 miles northwest of Houston, it serves 1,000 families.
Thoughts from Sister Rebecca Ann Rutkowski
Sister Rebecca entered the Sylvania Franciscans in 1975 from St. Pius Parish in Southgate, Michigan. Since 1993, Sister has ministered as the Chancellor and Executive Director for the Diocese of Biloxi, serving 70,000 Catholics living along the gulf coast of Mississippi.