At the Italian fundraiser dinner last night a 7th grade girl from the public school came up to me and asked," I am a Christian so why can't I wear what is on your head? Why must it be only the Catholics who get to wear that? I think all Christians should be able to wear that!" So I replied to her, "This is called a veil. I am allowed to wear it because I am a religious Sister in the Roman Catholic faith. I am a member of the Consecrated Life." Then she said, "Oh!!!" She understood then. But I am sure to many people when they see me in my black and white and with a black veil on my head they are as puzzled as she is as - Who is that? With so few religious Sisters in the United States these days compared to the 1950's when almost all Catholic Schools were staffed by Religious Sisters, many people do not encounter a religious Sister.
Sunday, February 8, Sr. Joellen and I held an open house at our convent for both parishes-Our Lady of the Mountains and St. Andrew's Parish and also families attending All Saints Catholic School. About 50 people came between 4:00-6:00pm to see our convent. One of the 1st grade girls who attends All Saints Catholic School told her mom as she was ready to ring our doorbell, " Mom, be ready to see lots of Green Bay Packer items because Sr. Carol is a Packer fan!" I had to smile and laugh when the mom told me this and she said, "It is true! As soon as we walk in the door there is a Packer bear!"
Pope Francis has declared this year the Year of the Consecrated Life. With the focus this year on the men and women who have professed vows to a religious order, the spotlight is on us-Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
We are an apostolic religious order with our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, Wisconsin about 40 miles outside of Green Bay. A Motherhouse is where young women go who have a desire to be a religious sister and it is also our home. We serve in many states but during the summertime and when we retire we come home to our Motherhouse.
As young women discern whether God is calling them to religious life here is a prayer attributed to St. Basil of Caesarea (ca. 329-379) that can be used for discerning one's calling in life.
Prayer for Discernment
Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbor,
where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage
to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough
and the waves are high, knowing that through
enduring hardship and danger we shall find comfort and peace.