Thursday, July 2, 2015

25 Years a Daughter of Charity

by Sister Nora Sweeney, D.C.

Sister Nora Sweeney (second row from top, third from left)
surrounded by members of her community during
her 25th jubilee celebration.
My story begins with my parents, whose love and own vocation inspired me in my call. My mom stayed home and sacrificed her life for each of her children–Billy, Tommy, Joseph, Jimmy, Bobby, Kathy, John, Patricia, Mary and Michael–while my dad worked to support the family, but rolled up his sleeves at night to help each of us. My parents guided my brothers and sisters from the day we were born through childhood as young adults and into adulthood.

Sister Nora Sweeney, D.C.
These past 25 years as a Daughter of Charity have presented me more joys, challenges and discoveries than I could have ever imagined. I was inspired and deeply touched by the personal gifts of the Daughters of Charity who celebrated with me this jubilee and those who have been called home. Each one of them was compassionate, took the time to listen, understood, shared reflections and challenged me on a personal level. Their life-giving presence truly made me aware of God's presence in my own life. I became more reflective, hungering for a life that was meaningful in service to others.

Prayer, especially community prayer, is my source of power and energy. As Daughters of Charity, we are "doers," but without being grounded in prayer, I could not share God's love with those I serve and with my co-workers. My ministry has provided countless opportunities to daily experience God at work in the lives of people of all backgrounds. In my ministries, I have had the opportunity of seeing, listening and touching the face of God. I have learned there is no limit to God's creativity, love and ability to bring good out of even the most tragic of circumstances.

When I said "yes" to Jesus' invitation, I could not imagine being anywhere else. I love my life as a Daughter of Charity. The Congregation of the Mission together with the Daughters of Charity are known as "the Double Family." We each are united by our charism of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac. Our lives are ultimately committed to the service of the poor. We are dedicated to daily celebration of communal prayer, Eucharist and community life. In my experience with the Vincentians, I have felt the growth in the Vincentian charism and witnessed a deeper desire of the Double Family to live this charism in service to those most in need.

Twenty-one years ago, I made vows for the first time and Sister Mary Fran Martin gave the reflection. She said, at that time, speaking of my parents Alice and Fred, that they were still in love after 50 years of life together. And when I celebrate my Golden Jubilee it will still be obvious I am still in love with God, with my community and with the poor I have the privilege to serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment