How the Franciscan Sisters in Greenwood, Ms celebrated Consecrated Life Sunday

“Come follow Me and at the crossroads of your life and Mine and you will find the Kingdom of Joy.”

“Almighty and eternal God, I renew and confirm with all my heart the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which I made at my profession and I implore your grace to accomplish them perfectly. Amen”

Franciscan Sisters Mary Ann, Elena, Kathleen and Annette vow Renewal

Franciscan Sisters Mary Ann, Elena, Kathleen and Annette at vow renewal

“Sisters, if you remain faithful to these vows, I promise you in the name of God, eternal life. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

 

After each mass the Sisters warmly welcomed the parishioners to their Convent home for an Open House.

Sister Mary Ann welcomed everyone in  and they were shown into chapel. Here, Sister Kathleen gathered with our English speaking guests and Sister Elena with our Hispanic guests. The Sisters shared a bit about the gift of our Consecrated Life and prayed with the group a prayer for vocations;

“…Speak to me Lord. Plant your Word within me so that whatever you call me to be or do I may say Yes.  Here I am Lord. Lord here I am! What would you like me to do with my life?…”

In our chapel is a”Book of Prayer” in which any and all intentions are written down. The Sisters explained our practice of remembering the intentions in our prayers. Our guests quickly formed a line wanting to  add their own intentions and needs and valuing our prayers for them.

On the side Sister Kathleen privately asked one young woman whom she knows well if she had ever considered Religious life for herself. The conversation was brief but a beautiful response lingers in our prayers, “Sister, you made my day!”

A short tour of our convent home was followed by refreshments, a looping slide show of the Sisters in various activities, enjoyable conversation, questions, and laughter. Several scrap books were out for our guest to enjoy. These contained pictures and printed material about our community’s presence here since our arrival in July 1997.

Before our guests left we asked them to sign our guest book. The first entry in our book was July 28, 1997. It contains many memories and the names of many of our Sisters’ friends here at St. Francis of Assisi.

As we enjoyed the day with our guests  we heard many comments; “Thank you for inviting us into your home” was said many times.  “We drive by here all the time and never think of what is here.” Two men shared that; “It has been 52 years since we have been here. We used to come and serve early mass here.” After seeing our home and some reflection one young man asked, “Tell me more about the Vow of Poverty?” So Sister Mary Ann had the opportunity to explain that this home is not ours, but it is here for our use and when we leave,  it stays for the next Sisters’ use. Another woman had questions for two of us about our life and our Community, “How many Sisters are there? Don’t you want a cell phone? How many vocations do you have?” All of our guests seemed happy, respectfully comfortable and appreciative. We were told that our Convent is a “peaceful house.” This touched us and at the end of the day we were grateful we had made this event in the year of Consecrated Life a possibility here at St. Francis of Assisi Greenwood, MS.

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