Monday, May 14, 2012

Proud to Be a Woman Religious

Easter time is a joyful season of hope. This week I experienced a profound sense of hope as I participated in a couple gatherings that celebrated gratitude for women religious.

A Chicago parish invited women religious and laity to gather and give thanks for the legacy and work of women religious. The pastor began with a story of a BVM sister who was humped backed. She taught at Our Lady of the Angels at the time of the great fire. She stretched out between her classroom window and a window to safety, becoming a human bridge to safety and life. He likened the role of women religious as being a bridge in our society. With the scripture of the beatitudes and the last judgment the parishioners shared moving stories of how sisters give living witness to these gospel passages. Tears, laughter, applause, and a standing- room- only church expressed overwhelming gratitude. The celebration profoundly touched all who were present. Hope is tangible!

My week was crowned with a celebration of the 150th jubilee of the Dominican Sisters of Racine, WI. In music, song, stories, pictures, gracious dining and in the joyous community of people, I knew hope in a tangible way. The bishop highlighted the Sunday gospel message “remain in my love.” These sisters continually, throughout their history, are living signs of this gospel challenge.

I am proud to be a woman religious. God’s call is filled with promise. I look forward in hope to the many more women who will choose to become women religious. What about you?

Mary Therese Johnson, OP
Westchester, Illinois

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