A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SISTER OF ST. MARY OF NAMUR

It has been said, "If you've met one Sister of St. Mary...you've met ONE Sister of St. Mary." We have found that our ministries stretch far and wide, giving each Sister a unique role to fulfill. A few of the Sisters decided to share their stories of a typical day in the life of a Sister of St. Mary of Namur.

     

SISTER GINNY VISSING

I have now retired so I am not in active ministry!!!!!!

I live in a community with two other sisters, and our convent is called “Marian House”. A common day for me normally begins with a time of personal prayer, and then I join my community in the Chapel where we pray Lauds together. This is followed by a shared breakfast before we each go our separate ways to begin our “ministry day”. I find the time and place to attend a daily Mass as do the other members of my community. Our life needs to be grounded in prayer in order to receive the strength and direction that we need daily.

Since June, my life in parish ministry has come to a close with complete retirement from employment as parish DRE. It has brought me into a new realm of letting go of all that went into 51 years of involvement in the lives of children and adults; the daily responsibilities in planning and organizing programs for the sake of forming others as caring disciples of Jesus. Retirement means freedom to serve others in whatever way God calls; it means availability; being willing to be flexible and open to a variety of services. I am often the chauffeur par excellence to help friends get to doctors’ visits at various distances.

Each day is different but without the worry and stress of multitasking and trying hard to meet a multitude of others’ needs and ministry goals!

Retirement has brought a whole new ministry of reaching out to others in support of their spiritual life without a structure but definitely with the guidance of the Spirit. It is a new day and, as God is showing, a new way.

SISTER MIRIAM NESMITH

Having retired after 23 grace-filled years at St Rita parish in Ft Worth as Social Outreach Coordinator, I moved to join the OLV Center SSM community of committed women of all ages, sizes, and talents!

My simple talent is to offer a helping hand when needed at the Center, or with Sr Rita Claire's ESL school for 100+ students desirous of learning English.

Social justice issues are ones that I support and follow closely. Here at OLV Intercessory prayer is very important to all of us praying for the needs of our world.

Planning Oasis retreats for women with Srs Mary Fran, Charles Marie, and Oblate Diane Murray is a joy.

SISTER YOLANDA

I open my eyes, usually before the alarm clock rings and begin my day with a short grateful prayer to God for the gift of being alive!

I live in a community with two other sisters, and our convent is called “Marian House”. A common day for me normally begins with a time of personal prayer, and then I join my community in the Chapel where we pray Lauds together. This is followed by a shared breakfast before we each go our separate ways to begin our “ministry day”. I find the time and place to attend a daily Mass as do the other members of my community. Our life needs to be grounded in prayer in order to receive the strength and direction that we need daily.

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My ministry at present takes me in several directions; actually it is threefold.

    1. My main ministry is as an Affiliate Instructor at the University Of Dallas School Of Ministry on the Faculty for classes of Continuing Education Students.

    2. I also serve part time as Bishop’s Delegate for Women Religious in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

    3. What brings me most hope today is the ministry that I share with the other two sisters of my community. We recently moved into this convent with extra bedrooms for a specific purpose. We have been asked by our Province to work together to develop a plan to be able to invite young women who would like to discern a vocation to the religious life, to join us some evenings for prayers, meals, or on weekends, and/or to have live-in experiences with us to help them in a discernment to a religious life vocation. This is a work in progress, and will take shape as things evolve and women come to join us!

In the evenings, depending on our schedules, we may join together again to share a meal, prayer and conversation before we retire to our rooms for the night.

I live grateful to God for the gift of my vocation, and pray each day to be able to remain faithful to Him and willing to say “YES” each day, following in the steps of our Blessed Virgin Mary’s Magnificat! It is with great joy in my heart that I experience God’s love and call to me to serve Him in others always.

SISTER INES DIAZ

My day starts at 6:30 a.m. I wake up and thank God for the day, and get ready for my new day.

I have been selected as the new Director of Formation for the Sisters of Saint Mary’s Western Province. At this time I am attending many conferences; workshops that will help me receive my own formation and training for my new position.

I am also working on learning English as a Second Language, which has been a challenge for me, especially the speaking part.

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Currently we do not have any young women interested in formation and that concerns me at times. Someone asked me the other day what I was doing if I didn’t have anyone in formation? Sometimes I feel I am not working enough to bring in more young women to decide on a vocation. Sr. Cecile told me a story about two Sisters that were hungry and they did not even have any potatoes to cook. So one of the Sisters asked the other one to put a pot of water on the stove to boil and she said, “They will come.” As soon as she did that there was a knock on the door and there was a young woman with a bag of potatoes. So I know they will come.

When I am at home I work with my community and fulfill my community’s duties, and sometimes it can be a little challenging, but with God’s help I seem to work things in. What keeps me going is my faith, and the support of Sisters who are always praying for me. I share my day and get advice on how to handle some of the challenges I encounter. For instance, the culture and language here can be difficult at times; however, I manage to work things out and pray to God for His strength to help me overcome these challenges.

God, Prayer and Community are my Strength.

Sr. Ines Diaz