Religious Sisters Plan Ahead

On September 26-28. a beautiful fall weekend, sisters from the futuring group spent time in contemplation, prayer, shared meals and fun. Sister Louise Alff welcomed us and the leadership team joined us at our table discussions.

We read two articles to prepare for the program: Nuns and Nones: Unlikely partners tackle the big questions by Soli Salgado and the Testament of Saint Clare.

We welcomed students from Le Moyne College who shared their experience of spirituality, knowledge and connections with sisters, prayer, and service as well as their goals and future plans in college and after. The sisters enjoyed the conversations with these young adults, and they all credited their experiences to Sister Ann Kenyon as a positive role model.  Ann in her gentle way extended the invitation to these young adults to stay for the evening. We were happy they said yes.

Friday, Sister Caryn Crook led us in a reflection on the ministry of vocations. After morning prayer led by S. Laura Hackenberg, Caryn shared many new insights and what is happening and what is current. She is using new and creative ways to foster vocations to continue this ministry. Her insights gave us hope for the future.

  1. Sister Pam Conte concluded our day with an activity similar to one LCWR employed. It used the game Jenga as a visual aid to re-structure religious life and have it look differently without collapsing.

Saturday, S. Margaret Carney joined us and presented an all-day reflection entitled Mirrors of Grace: Clare’s vision of sisterhood and leadership. S. Martha Torbik led a beautiful reflective prayer that reminded us how sacred creation is. Based on the Canticle of Creation, sisters placed the elements on the prayer table as sisters chanted “Sacred the land, sacred the water, sacred sky, holy and true. Sacred life, sacred each other, all reflect God who is good.”

  1. Sister Margaret used the image of water and waterfalls to begin her talk. She had us recall what our experience was from our COO (Community of Origin) and how we were formed. Each sister shared her experiences. This included the sisters who joined after the merger. Margaret continued her reflection on what graces we hold in our common heart, and what we should encourage and what we should avoid as we seek to create this common pathway to renew our sense of Franciscan charism/mission. She ended with St. Clare speaks: From the Testament of St. Clare.

The three days also included: ask the leadership, Mass with the parish, what we would like to recommend to the new leadership and planning for the next futuring meeting in October 2020. The leadership blessed us as each sister re-committed themselves for the next two years in a beautiful closing prayer service led by S. Anne Bremmer.

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