Franciscans share their thoughts

Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of Consecrated Life that began the first Sunday in Advent and will conclude Feb. 2, 2016. Based on aims and expectations the pope identified for this designated year, The Catholic Messenger asked members of religious communities in the Davenport Diocese to reflect on those aims and expectations. Responses from members of the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, appear this week and next week:

Sister William McCue, OSF: “I daily express my gratitude for all events of my past because they are centered in God’s goodness and constant love for me.”

Sister Martinelle Bonnell, OSF: “I look to the past with gratitude because our sisters faced many hardships and doubt about where and how they should minister but they trusted God and forged ahead.  We have had marvelous administrators who built at the right times, invested in the right places and sent our sisters to get great educations at universities where the sisters would be exposed to progressive ideas. Our leaders were able to embrace change and help us through the challenges presented over the years.”

Sister Barbara Rosener OSF: “I believe I am being called to live the present with passion by being loving, caring and helpful to all the older seniors I attend to on a daily basis. God and the people today are asking religious to be compassionate, caring and a witness of goodness to all those I encounter on a daily basis.”

Sister Mary Lou Carlson, OSF: “Over these 50 years as a Clinton Franciscan I have had so many enriching experiences that have helped me to answer the call to serve God. I have been so blessed to journey with many people from seven different states as we live the Gospel and use our gifts to spread the Kingdom of God.”

Sister Ida Green, OSF: “When I think of the past, there is much for which to be grateful. First of all, I am grateful to my family for nurturing my faith especially through family prayer and Sunday Eucharist. They en­couraged me in my vocation to religious life. Orig­inally I wanted to be a medical missionary and go to foreign countries and heal the sick. My mother was not too happy with that choice but would not stand in the way. She said that the first time I saw a spider I’d probably be back on the first boat! She was right. I decided to join the Clinton Franciscans and have been very happy with that choice. I have grown in my relationship with God in ways that are only perceptible in retrospect. The example of community members, family and friends has been an inspiration to me. Instead of ministering in a foreign country, I have ministered in the Chicago area for many years as a nursing instructor. The nursing students have taught me much about healing and compassion. When I meet those people years later, it is a joy to see how they care for their patients in both body and spirit. This is only a small part of what fills me with gratitude.”

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