consecrated life

Religious sisters seek to promote consecrated life in new project

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sister Carolyn Puccio, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, said it's unfortunate there's not a line of women wrapping around the block waiting to enter religious life.

"It's meaningful to be part of a group of women who are bright, articulate, engaged, educated, dedicated (and) generous," said Sister Carolyn, the delegate for religious for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. "To be a part of that is a tremendous gift for me, personally, and an honor. And it humbles me."

Sisters of the Good Shepherd to hold open house

With a little less than four months remaining in the Year of Consecrated Life, Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis still have time to peek inside religious communities and observe how they live their charisms.

After a hiatus for summer-vacation season, open houses resume with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd up first. They will open the doors of their convent in Normandy for an open house 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Contempletive sisters remind us that Jesus loves us

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

"The Year for Consecrated Life concerns not only consecrated persons, but the entire Church. Consequently, I ask the whole Christian people to be increasingly aware of the gift which is the presence of our many consecrated men and women, heirs of the great saints who have written the history of Christianity." (Pope Francis, "Apostolic Letter to All Consecrated People")

Religious communities open doors to show off their charisms

St. Louis is home to 88 religious communities, many which have had discernment days or open houses -- or will have them -- to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life.

Open houses provide opportunities for neighbors and St. Louis Catholics to peek at communities living their charisms, or similar to the discernment days, for young men and women considering a call to religious life.

Joy and beauty in religious life

Sister Mary Elizabeth Riesser, a Carmelite of the Divine Heart of Jesus, cares for the people living at the order’s St. Agnes Home in Kirkwood. She visited with Dolores Zitzmann in her room. Zitzmann, a retired tour guide, was looking at a book on cities and recalling the places she had visited in her life.

Two letters in a word allow Sister Mary Elizabeth, DCJ, to tell her vocation story, a roughly four-year, back-and-forth journey of wanting to be a sister vs. wanting to be married with children.

The letters allow her to work with families at St. Agnes Home in Kirkwood, to be a companion to fellow Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus and to pursue a vibrant prayer life with the Eucharist and Mary at the center.

In short, they mark the difference between life and death.

Finding peace and joy in the Lord

Sister Cordia Marie McKenzie, FSGM, a certified nursing assistant at the Mother of Good Counsel Home run by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, shared a moment with 101-year-old resident Clare Kotta.

Monica McKenzie intended only to get away and relax for a few days, to enjoy a little peace and quiet, and to pray.

No biggie.

But that weekend retreat led her into religious formation with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.

"I just wanted a retreat, not a discernment or anything," said Sister Cordia Marie, 24, now a junior-professed sister in her sixth year in the community. "I felt spiritually dry, and I just wanted something spiritual. I thought a convent would be a great place to start."

Syndicate content