Belonging

Called By Wisdom

“Let me tell you of Wisdom, who she is and from whence she comes.  I will not hide God’s mysteries, but will seek her who is mystery and bring to light what was in shadow and share with you knowledge…I do not seek Wisdom for myself…I desire only to share Her, for the welfare of the world depends upon a growing community of the wise.”
(Revisioning of Love of the Eternal Wisdom, Rabbi Shapiro, p. 4)

 

In the following reflections by Sisters who were called by Wisdom, we see in concrete stories and experiences how they encountered the Wisdom of God in life’s everyday happenings, in people, and in creation.  It was an encounter that, in the words of Augustine, “…made our hearts restless, O God, until they rest in you.” What flowed from that divine encounter led to a passion for the welfare of the world and its suffering peoples that is so evident in these stories of being called by Wisdom.  

 

 

Sr. Agnes Bracken, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

I was inspired to be a religious in my early years by way of the Faith and values of respect and caring for others that were transmitted to me by my extended family. As a teenager I was influenced by the DWs who were my teachers. They were always joyful and caring for each other and for all the students in the high school.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of Joy?  

Over the years I have had the privilege to minister with other health care workers in delivering services most often to the elderly, often alone and sick, in Brooklyn. The joy in their faces, and knowing that someone cared about them was joy for me.

Now I am with student nurses, some who struggle with finances, violence and family responsibilities and yet want to further their future.  Some mentoring and encouragement is often all these young and not so young men and women need to continue on their journey. There are also those prospective students who need advocacy with the college to be accepted into the program and have shown they can achieve becoming a Registered Nurse. 

 

What is your hope for the future of ministry?

My experience with the Millennium Generation, tells me that they are persons who hear God's call to relationship with a higher being - with themselves, each other and the environment and they are asking for a listener to help them discern what God is asking of them. 

I believe I will never retire from ministry but will always be responsive to where the spirit will lead me as a women committed to Wisdom and the world.

10/15

 

 

Sr. Veronica Byrne, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

I went to Our Lady of Wisdom Academy in Ozone Park, New York, where I was inspired by the joy, happiness and concerns of the Sisters for us students,  I had been a public school student so the concern of the Sisters really touched me.  Working as a counselor at St. Vincent de Paul Camp for poor children in Commack Long Island, I was especially touched by the concern of the Sisters for the children at the camp as well as their support of the students, teachers and parents as well.  Their joy and service never ceased to inspire me.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of Joy? 

 My elementary public school principal inspired me.  When I told her I was becoming a religious her response was that I would help others to praise God in song.  That is what brought me great joy.  I  was the choir director for the children of At St. Mary Gate of Heaven School in Ozone Park, and we sang  at Mass on Sundays.  I am still in contact with some of the choir members. At St. Agatha High School in Maine, I was the music director of the boys and girls in the glee club and we put on performances to entertain the parents and townspeople. When I was at Christ the King High School in Middle Village, NY, we had a glee club which performed in many musicals for the public.  I also had a folk group which sang at our Masses in the chapel.  All these brought me great joy as I was helping others to use their talents to praise God.

 

Is there a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart? 

 Of the many pressing concerns in our world today, that of young people who need help to direct their lives in a positive direction and the plight of refugees touch my heart in particular. 

 

How do you respond to the needs you see?

Because our lives of prayer and service have brought us joy, our assisted living community at Sound Beach, NY, pray that the youth of today will consider a vocation to religious life.

 

 

Sr. Joan Canfield, DW                                                                               

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

 As I sat at a desk, in the fall of 1949, taking the entrance test for Our Lady of

Wisdom Academy, I glanced out the window.  What did I see?  It was a little old nun, in slippers and the habit of a Daughter of Wisdom shaking out a dust mop and looking at the flowers at the grotto.  It was this scene that I think planted in me the seed of my vocation and it blossomed through the next four years as I learned more about the Daughters of Wisdom – their simplicity, approachability and love of what they were doing.

 

What in your life, as a consecrated religious, has brought you a sense of joy?

 This year is my 60th Jubilee and I have asked myself this question.  Over the years there have been many times that I experienced a sense of joy. The outstanding one was going to the beatification of Marie Louise Trichet. Being among so many Daughters of Wisdom from all over the world helped me to be aware of the blessing of belonging to an international congregation.  Another blessing is the knowledge that the charism of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort is experienced all over the world.  How grateful I am to Wisdom-Sophia for this and for meeting and sharing with so many Daughters of Wisdom from different countries.  Deo Gratias!

 

What do you consider a pressing need in our world today?

 There are so many needs that it is hard to choose one.  This stage of my life helps me to realize that I am limited in what I can do.  The best that I can do is pray and use email to respond to some needs.  I am the daughter of an Irish immigrant, as many of us are so the area that I feel called to respond to is immigration.   We need to be open to their needs and respond as we best we can and by prayer.

8/15

 

SR. Rosemary Connelly, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

My family was an average American family not overly religious but insistent on our religious formation, e.g. sacraments, Mass, Catholic school, and prayers. Their actions of kindness toward others are things I remember. I lived in Brooklyn in a very active parish and we participated in many parish activities. Our parish priests were excellent and interested in our activities. We were helpful in many ways in the parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

High School brought me to Our Lady of Wisdom Academy where I met the Daughters of Wisdom. At first I thought them strange, especially their habits. Once you were in contact with them on a day to day basis, however, the habit no longer mattered and the real person came through. I especially appreciated the before school visits to chapel. The whole experience was so new that I needed some help – divine or otherwise. I developed a special attachment to Our Lady which I still have to this day. The atmosphere at the school was so welcoming and inclusive that I  always felt at home. I attribute this to the Sisters who taught me.

Deciding to become a religious was not an easy decision. And then – where to go? I decided that, I would ask God for a sign as to where to go. So I prayed!  Somehow the Daughters of Wisdom hit the top of my list and so here I am.

 

Is there anything in particular about religious life that stands out for you?

During these years of retirement from teaching, I have had time to think and pray about my past. I have a great sense of gratitude for the path God has chosen for me. I cannot say that I thought of religious life from an early age, but I can say that God placed me in many places which nourished a religious vocation.  Sometimes I stop and think, “How come I’m here?” Somehow or other, the doors to Religious Life opened for me and I find myself eternally grateful.

 

What in ministry has brought you the most joy?

One of the most satisfying ministries I was engaged in was preparing children for their First Holy Communion. I consider it a privilege to have been able to help form young minds to know and love Jesus.

Now in retirement, I feel privileged to spend time in praying for the needs of our society and the world and to serve as a Hospice Volunteer.

9/15

 

SR. Edna English, DW

 

What inspired you to become a daughter of Wisdom?

I was born and raised in the rural deep south. My religious upbringing was as a Methodist.  In this setting I rarely met any Catholics and I never met a priest or woman religious. After a series of what seemed to be random events, which I now see as the providential hand of God, I applied to several schools of nursing for admission. The response from Maryview Hospital in Portsmouth, VA was hand written and addressed me personally. Among other reasons, this influenced my decision to enroll there.

 

The first people to impress me were the students. Many of them were Catholic and went to daily 6:00 am Mass in the convent chapel before going on duty at 7:00 am.  They seemed to live the values that they had learned in Catholic school. This really impressed me and at the end of my second year, I decided to became a Catholic. As I was taught by and worked with the Daughters of Wisdom, I became more and more impressed and inspired by them. Whatever the job was, they did it. I never heard one of them complain. They were open and friendly and were always ready to share.

 

I was particularly impressed by Sr. Mary Pfeifer, who was Head Nurse of the segregated “black” unit. This unit housed patients with any and all ailments as well as maternity patients and newborns.  I was accustomed to the local cultural norms of dealing with black people. They were normally assigned to the least attractive accommodations and never addressed by any title of respect such as “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Miss”. I quickly learned from Sr. Mary that all persons, no matter their color or ethnicity, were to be treated with dignity and respect. She would tolerate nothing less. Her example was one of the things that led me to want to be a Daughter of Wisdom. I have tried to live by this principle all my religious life.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of joy?

As I have lived consecrated religious life, I really haven’t thought much about a sense of joy. First I would say it has been prayer both communal and private that has brought a sense of peace and joy. Then I would say it has been the people, both the sisters and those with whom I worked.  I feel that they were and are a very real source of joy. They are a living presence of God for me.

 

I am reminded of Sr. Vitalin at St. Charles Hospital in Brooklyn. She would watch out and when things got bad, would call me into her office, give me a talking to plus a bar of chocolate.  Somehow I always felt better.  It is only as I look back over the years that I realize the joy that has been and still is in my life.

 

What do you consider pressing concerns in our world today?

There are so many concerns.  War! Nuclear arms! Terrorists! Environmental pollution! Illegal drugs! Human trafficking! Hunger! Poverty! The list seems endless and overwhelming!!

 

SR. Rita Finnen, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

In the late 1940s, in the aftermath of a polio epidemic, I volunteered at St. Charles Hospital for Crippled Children in Brooklyn, NY. Although I was familiar with the spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort from the Legion of Mary, I had never had any contact with the Daughters of Wisdom. I was immediately impressed by the open, friendly, welcoming attitude of the Sisters. I was accustomed to being around “nuns” since I was taught by them in both grade school and high school and had two aunts who were members of a missionary congregation. I soon sensed something very different about these Daughters of Wisdom.

 

Since many of the children-patients were hospitalized for long periods of time, some of them for years or as frequent readmissions to the hospital for treatment, they related to the Sisters as family. I noticed that the Sisters related to their patients in a way I had never experienced in my contacts with other sisters. They were obviously very personally dedicated to each child, and it seemed that no task was beneath them when it needed to be done. They operated the elevator, assisted the children to eat, mopped the floors, calmed fears, wiped away tears, and even climbed into the bed to straddle a patient when necessary to give treatments or exercise a paralyzed or weak limb.

 

I had known for some years that I was called to become a religious, and although I had become friends with some of the religious I had previously known, I was never attracted to membership in their congregations. The Daughters of Wisdom were DIFFERENT! I knew instinctively this was where I belonged. There were many objections from my family and friends: the DWs are foreign; they dress strangely—they don’t even wear real shoes; they are “semi-cloistered”; they do not visit family; they do not use gifts often given to nuns (silk stockings, silk gloves, umbrellas, etc.). My mother was the only one to defend my choice and encourage me. She remembered from her younger days the Daughters of Wisdom who came to her church in Brooklyn to beg for money to support their work at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson. She was impressed by their dedication, simplicity, and humility. And so was I.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of joy?

This question really brought me up short. I realized I had never thought seriously about it until now.  As I pondered more deeply, I became more aware of the strength that comes from prayer and the grace found in special relationships with my sisters. The wonderful companions I have met along the way are easy to take for granted as life unfolds, but in hindsight I see that they are indeed the way God became present to me and helped me remain faithful. The memories and awareness of the many wonderful women, who always seem to be there when I needed them, have been and are still a source of much joy and courage. As I look back, I realize that this is precisely the thing that attracted me to the Daughters of Wisdom in the first place--the love and support of individuals for each other and for those they are serving—a clear manifestation of the presence and love of God for each of us.

 

[These next question is the response of both Srs.Edna English and Rita Finnen from their communal experience.]

 

How are you and your community responding to the needs you see in our world today?

Edna English and I have lived in community in Greenville, NC for 37 years. Currently we are both dealing with issues of advancing age and physical disabilities. Together and individually we pray and seek guidance about how we can continue to be a presence of Wisdom in our world.

 

We have come to the realization that for us, the larger world issues are most effectively dealt with by prayer.  Some things we are also able to address through political and social means such as petitions and letter writing.  Gradually we have come to realize that our mission is comforting and supporting those whom we come in contact with on a regular basis: the people in our parish community who suffered for five years under a pastor who is mentally ill and verbally abusive; neighbors and friends (many of whom are “nones”—unchurched or “retired” Catholics) who visit us at home and share with us their burdens, concerns, fears, hopes and joys.  They let us know that they experience peace and a sense of hope in these interactions.  They are comforted knowing that we live among them and pray for them.

 

This has been quite a transition for us since we both spent our active years of ministry in health care where we dealt mostly with concrete, tangible issues. We are grateful to our Wisdom God who sustains us and allows us to continue to serve and comfort our fellow travelers in this world.

 

Sr. Maureen Hurley, DW

 

What inspired me to become a Daughter of Wisdom?
I became a Daughter of Wisdom in my early thirties after 10 year as a music teacher in the public schools and a percussionist in various bands and orchestras. I sought to fill my life with love and excitement.  But, after a trip to Europe, I found myself praying before a crucifix and became aware that Jesus would have accepted the cross for me alone. I realized then, that the love I was intensely searching for could only be found in Jesus and I was inspired to offer my life in return by joining a Religious Congregation.  I chose the Daughters of Wisdom after reading some of the works of St. Louis de Montfort, co-founder of the Daughters of Wisdom, and discovering his great love of the cross, which led him to say “No cross, what a cross.”

 

What in my life as a consecrated religious has brought me a sense of joy?
I have never regretted becoming a Daughter of Wisdom.  My life in the congregation has been a time of maturing into the person God has called me to be – a time of developing a relationship with Jesus and experiencing “God is Love” – a time to  be privileged to share my gifts and talents in serving and caring for God’s people, my brothers and sisters.  It  has been a time of sharing life in community with others who have the same goal:  to live a gospel life following Jesus.  These have been, still are, and will continue to be the joys I have received in my life as a consecrated Religious - a Sister.

 

What is a pressing concern in the world today?
The News in the paper and on the TV constantly bring to my attention that in the world today there is a total disregard for human life through abortion, random violence and systematic killing of human beings. The reasons for this tragic lack of respect for other human beings created by God, are many but I believe with Pope Francis, that one reason is the lack of equal sharing of the earth’s goods among all people.  We, in my local religious community, constantly bring these issues to prayer, sign petitions on the internet and call our representatives. We share our gifts both material and spiritual with others.  To counteract the anger, hatred, lack of honesty and selfishness that permeate the atmosphere in which we live, and energized by sharing gospel faith in our community and joining with others to receive Eucharist and create communion every day,  I try to bring the loving presence of Jesus to every person I meet in my daily rounds.  If we can surfeit the atmosphere with vibrations of love, perhaps we can make a difference.

 

Sr. EVELYN LAMOUREUX, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

When I reflect back to my childhood, I realize that the prime motivation for my entering religious life was the faith of my parents and the example of the many religious that are in my extended family

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of Joy?

As a Daughter of Wisdom, I have been pursued by Lady Wisdom, a personification of God in the Hebrew scriptures.  She has drawn me to share the love that I experience in many areas of my life.  I am saddened by the many people who have been victimized through the greed of others, especially women, children and men who suffer from human trafficking.

 

Name a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart?  How are you or your community responding?

I think we need a genuine concern for the planet and for the poor in today’s world.  It seems to me that the divide between the rich and poor is widening and we need to wake up the world to minimize that gap.

It has been a joy to me to serve the poor in my ministry.  I have been privileged to minister to them through the parish outreach.  Many parishioners have entrusted me with the goods of the earth to distribute to those most in need.

 

SR. Christina Grace Malonzo, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

I was drawn to the Daughters of Wisdom at the age of fifteen when I was working on the surgical ward under Sister Florence, DW.  I could feel the joy in the lives of the Sisters who served the sick.  I joined them in 1953 and am happy to be serving with them for sixty years.

 

Name a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart? 

The present state of our earth needs so many people to be aware and act on the critical issues that face us. Pope Francis has issued an excellent encyclical on the Care of our Common Home. I am sure our founder St. Louis Marie de Montfort would totally agree with the urgency of the needs he names.  I believe he would thrust himself into action for the Love of his God and the good of all creation, as should we.

 

I was very touched by the true story of a whale caught in lines and wires near the San Francisco bridge. Three capable men came to try and rescue her. As one was cutting the lines out of her mouth, he said her eye never left him.  After a time, she was freed and swam in circles. Then she returned to each one and gently nudged them before she set out into the deep!!  One gentleman said he would never be the same!  Does it not touch your heart to see the intelligence of this grateful creature?  Blessed be God in all His creation!

 
Sr. Eileen McGowan, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

When I was ten years old our family visited my cousin, Sr. Catherine Curtin, at Our Lady of Wisdom Academy.  When I came home, I told my family that I would like to be a Sister like her.  As a high-school student, I was a boarder at Our Lady of Wisdom Academy.  I admired my teachers who were Daughters of Wisdom, including my cousin. I found my teachers to be holy and thought that if I joined them they would teach me how to be holy.  After graduation I became the third of four women in my family to choose a vocation as a consecrated religious and as a Daughter of Wisdom.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of Joy? 

I find joy in living in community with other Daughters of Wisdom who also desire holiness. I was a teacher for 48 years, teaching youth from first grade to the college level and greatly valued shaping the lives of young people.

 

Is there a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart? 

I am saddened by the fact that so many people no longer experience the benefit of belonging to a religion.  I believe this has led to a breakdown of faith and morals in our society.

 

How do you respond to the needs you see?

In our religious community we strive by our life and our relationships with others to give witness, to the best of our ability, to right conduct and to the joy that comes with following Jesus, as the way, the truth and the light.

 

Sr. Emma Rohn, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

During my teenage years, attending Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY, I felt called to attend daily Mass before starting my day of travel and classes. Attending Mass and receiving Communion gave me a feeling of peace and strength that God was with me, helping and protecting me.  As part of a class assignment I read a book entitled, The Man Who Got Even with God. It deeply influenced me and I began to think of the contemplative life.  But I soon had doubts. I couldn't think of leaving my mother, perhaps, forever. (She had been a window since I was six.) Also, I didn't think my health would be good enough to withstand the austere style of life practiced by contemplative orders.  Five religious orders taught at Bishop McDonnell; one of them was the Daughters of Wisdom.  I felt drawn to them by their simplicity, kindness and the fact that their rule included a contemplative stance and an almost semi-cloistered "detachment from the world." (This has changed to a contemplative service in the world.) I consecrated myself to Mary according to the spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort on December 8th, 1944 and entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom July, 1945

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you Joy? 

The opportunity to be of service to others is what has brought me the most joy.  In high school, as a member of the Legion of Mary, I visited a home for the aged run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. Although I did mundane tasks, such as giving out Communion bonnets and shawls and emptying the garbage, I always felt a sense of joy, that I was doing something worthwhile.  In religious life I have had the occasion of reaching out to family and friends at their time of pain and suffering. For ten years I was a facilitator for Rachel's Helpers, a program for women suffering from post-abortion traumatic syndrome. Although our society denies the existence of such a condition, many women suffer intense pain from the effects of having aborted their child.  It is most rewarding to see that, at the end of the program, most of the participants are able to forgive themselves as well as others, and are ready to start a new life in Christ.

 

Is there a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart? 

I am particularly concerned about the almost total lack of respect for human life in our society, from violence against the unborn to the taking advantage of the elderly.

 

How do you respond to the needs you see?

As a community we pray and also take action by contacting our legislators, making them aware of the issues that concern us.

 

SR. Patricia schmidt, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom 

I first encountered the Daughters of Wisdom in high school. My mother said the Sisters were different.  I think she meant their grey andwhite habits. I found that they were different but in another sense.  The sisters were simple, kind and unpretentious. They gave us a wonderful education as well as a safe place to grow in our formative teen years. I worked with them two summers at a camp for needy children and saw them at work and prayer and decided that was the life I wanted.

 

What has brought you joy as a consecrated religious? 

As a Daughter of Wisdom, I began my ministry as a high school teacher.  It was hard work but I enjoyed the students. They shared their concerns, and eventually I felt it would be more helpful to them if I had a counseling degree. The needs of the times, however, led me to a new ministry with clergy and religious. I experience much joy and wonder in using my gifts to enhance the life of others by teaching and by being a loving presence to them and I felt enriched as well by the relationships.

 

Do you have any particular concern for our world today?

It seems to me that the world is in conflict at multiple levels - person with person, group with group and nation with nation.  At a personal level I pray every day for peace in our world.  It seems to me a continuation of my ministry to help people regain peace in their lives.  Our community also gathers with other women and men in what we call Wisdom Circles where we reflect on and pray for the needs of our world.

 
SR. MARY STUART, DW

MY JOURNEY WITH WISDOM

The search, knowledge and experience of Beloved Wisdom has been the most primary, abiding, and challenging force in the journey of my life and most clearly what has brought me the most joy in mission and ministry as a Daughter of Wisdom. Religious Life has supported my desire to live a life full of meaning, purpose and support and opened me to the feminine face of God.

 

I have known Wisdom by many names.  I came first to know a Grandmother God when, after a terrifying dream, my Grandmother put her warm and wonderful arms around me, put Rosary Beads around my neck, and assured me that God would always be with me and take care of me.  From then on conversations with this loving and protecting God filled my childhood. God was also a caring Father as my Dad and I often went to morning Mass together, followed by breakfast together.

 

My choice for Religious Life seemed clear to me.  God had given me life and everything that was most precious and I felt called to respond with a total commitment of my life in response.  (Mt 13:44-46)  Like Mary, who said her "Yes" and set out to be with Elizabeth, I wanted to birth Christ in my life and to share the joy of his presence with others.  The Daughters of Wisdom taught me in High School and nurtured this desire by their teaching and by the way they related to us as students.

 

I loved teaching children in my 20's, and they taught me that what they were experiencing was more important that what I taught them. As a result, I moved into ministries that allowed me the gift of companioning others in their life-search for healing, caring relationships, and ultimate meaning.  As a school psychologist, pastoral counselor, spiritual director, retreat director, and hospital chaplain my experiences challenged me to become more aware of the light and shadow in the world and in my own life. I questioned if God could be with me in my "dark places."  I prayed Ps 139:  "Lord you probe me and you know me . . . As I risked sharing the vulnerable places within me, with others and in prayer, I experienced God "ever ancient ever new" reminding me time and again, "Mary, you are "fearfully, wonderfully made.” . . .  "You are my beloved "Daughter" in whom I am well pleased." (Lk 3: 21-22) This was the "good news" I was searching for and wanted to bring to others. 

 

As I live the sageing years of my life, I know that the "pearls of great price" that have guided my life's journey are the experiences of God as the Source of all life and love beyond my understanding and that others, creation, and the cosmos are reflections of God and therefore to be held as sacred.

 

The gift of family, friends, and community are important relational influences in my life, as are those with whom I’ve ministered. They have "shaped me," embodied Wisdom's tenderness, and added marvelous harmony to the song my heart now echoes: "I will sing of the Lord, he has been good to me."  The Good News is always good and always new and so I "journey still." "For all that has been, THANKS!  For all that will be YES!"

 

Sr. Claire Sullivan, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

I was interested in becoming a religious as a youth. I met the Daughters of Wisdom in high-school.  They reached out to students with care, love and attention.  Their spirit attracted and inspired me to join them and I have never regretted it.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of Joy? 

What brought me a sense of joy as a consecrated religious was the care and encouragement I was able to give to children at Maryhaven, a home for special needs children in Port Jefferson, NY.   I had the pleasure of working with them for many years.

 

Is there a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart? 

Of the many pressing concerns in our world today I feel most moved by those who have been forced from their homes and homeland and seek a place of peace where they can settle.

 

How do you and your community respond to the needs you see?

Our Community at Sound Beach pray for those who are displaced by war and seek sanctuary in a new land where they can find caring and peace.

 
Sr. Pat Torre, DW

 

What inspired you to become a Daughter of Wisdom?

I was older - 30 years of age - when I entered the Daughters of Wisdom. I did not go to a DW school, nor did I know the sisters in a formal sense. I knew them as welcoming and open- hearted community, who invited me in, offered hospitality and a listening heart. They were 'real' people who were in touch with life and had a great sense of humor. They lived their founders' wisdom, "to be in the midst of all God's people the good news of Christ". There was one sister in particular who had such a deep peace that it flowed through her. Whatever it was that she had, I desired it. And so I followed this call to become a Daughter of Wisdom.

 

What in your life as a consecrated religious has brought you a sense of Joy? 

Discovering a 'peace that surpasses all understanding' is what has brought me great joy. Today as I accompany people on their journey, meeting them where they are and learning to listen with an open heart, I know that this is the inspiration of Wisdom and the women who follow Her. I share Her peace, Her joy, with all I meet.

 

Name a particular concern in our world today that moves your heart? 

A particular concern that I have for our time is the number of people that are not at peace, that suffer from anxiety, or from what I call 'a hole in the soul'. It is almost as if they are lost.

 

How do you and your community respond to the needs you see?

We have begun two programs in our parish, Stephen Ministry and Friendly Visitors, to be with people in their need, in their grief, in their loneliness, and in their illness. To know that more than 70 people in our parish now have someone to speak with and to see the way that our Stephen Ministers and Friendly Visitors are listening with open hearts and deepening in their own faith moves my heart to overflowing!

 

 


Reflections on Consecrated Life

The Year of Consecrated Life occured between November 30, 2014, the first Sunday of Advent, and ended on February 2, 2016, the World Day for Consecrated Life. This year of recognition took place within the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. Documents on the important place that consecrated life has in the Church were first published in 1965.

Churches and various institutions all over the world have thrived through the ministries of consecrated women who have served as administrators, educators, healthcare practitioners, social workers, chaplains, spiritual directors, and pastoral leaders, among many other professions. In the instance of the Daughters of Wisdom, who arrived in the United States in 1904, and similarly in other congregations of women religious, they were very often the ones who established, laid the foundations and staffed the institutions for which the people in need were served. From Maine to Florida, and as far west as California- and in states in between, the Daughters have worked in and established educational institutions, hospitals, and various other organizations to serve the most vulnerable members of society.

During the course of this celebratory year some of our sisters shared reflections on their journeys as consecrated women religious. Read their reflections by clicking the links below.

 

Sr. Aurelie Michaud, D.W., 75 Years

Sr. Margaret McPeak, D.W., 70 Years

Sr. Grace Malonzo, D.W., 6o Years

Sr. Ann Gray, D.W., 60 Years

 

 

Provincial Leader, Sr. Catherine Sheehan, DW Shares about her Journey as a Women Religious in Recent Radio Interview

Sr. Catherine Sheehan, Provincial of the Daughters of Wisdom, US Province was interviewed on radio by Frère Buteau and Bishop Guy Sansaricq in recognition of the Year of Consecrated life. In this interview she reflects on her decision to enter religious life and expresses the spirituality and heart of the mission of the Daughters of Wisdom. Click here to read some excerpts from that interview.

 

 

An Undivided Heart - A Year of Consecrated Life
" A Grateful Heart"

Sr. Evelyn Eckhardt, DW was the November 2015 presenter in the monthly series of retreat days given for all consecrated persons at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. Coordinated by the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the Vincentian Family and St. John's University the series celebrated the Year of Consecrated Life. In the link you’ll find Sr. Evelyn’s presentation,
“A Grateful Heart.”

Reflections by Sr. Mary Stuart, DW
February 2016
The articles below were the final two of a year-long series written by Sr. Mary Stuart, DW in celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life. During this year-long observation of consecrated religious, Pope Francis encouraged religious to "wake up the world" by the prophetic form of religious life, and laid out three desires for consecrated people: to look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion, and to embrace the future with hope.
Part 2- The Wisdom Quest

Part 1- The Wisdom Call