Membership: Empowering Others Called to SNJM Life
By Judy Ryan, SNJM
Membership is a high priority for me as one way we can continue to "give away" as gift our SNJM Charism to others who may be called to keep it alive with us. When I entered our community in 1958, it was the witness and relationships with SNJMs at St. Anne's School and Holy Names Academy, Seattle that moved me to recognize a vocation to religious life and to SNJMS. What a gift that has been all my life! Today's world is such a contrast, in that women religious are almost "invisible" and fewer are available to assist children, youth and young adults in formal education.
It is my hope and dream that our Mission Centres will come up with creative ways to make ourselves available to youth, high school students and young adults: through our parishes, ministries or "sites that offer hospitality of the heart," etc. (See the SNJM Congregational website for Sr. Crystal Clark's "vision" for us: "At the heart is hospitality...") We have been given so much!
Regardless of our age or limitations, we do have gifts of prayer, time and energy to be present as witnesses to the joy of the Gospel! In my ministry with Associates, I see the hope in others to find viable community, faith and prayer, ministry and service that match their heart's desire. Let's put our heads and hearts together to create opportunities to invite folks to get to know us and our charism: as volunteers, colleagues, Associates, Lay Consecrated or vowed religious. (These aren't limited to "young people"!) To carry on our mission and charism, we need to empower others who are called to SNJM life in whatever ways God moves them.