Gratitude. Passion. Hope.

Posted on: February 1, 2016 9:00 am
Tags: Blog,

Sr. Marla Monahan (far left) with her fellow formation trainees.

by Sr. Marla Monahan
Novitiate Director, Sisters of Notre Dame in the U.S.

I recently returned from a week-long training with more than twenty women and men religious formation directors from the U.S. and Canada. The commitment and vibrancy of those involved in this ministry is a sign to me of God’s faithfulness.

During the training, one of the speakers began listing examples of "truths" related to his topic. One "truth" he stated is that religious life will always be there. He went on to explain that there will always be a need for people whose sole focus is to mediate God, and therefore the charism of religious life will always be in the service of the world.

In the meetings I attend about religious life, there is the realization that God is making something new. My interactions with men and women religious convince me that we want to be faithful. Pope Francis’ message to us for the Year of Consecrated Life was to have gratitude for the past, live the present with passion, and keep hope for the future. I feel that by living the present with passion, we are able to go into the future ready for whatever God calls us to do and be. 

The Year of Consecrated Life reminded me strongly the importance for us to read the signs of the times and discern how we are called to respond. We are called to be a part of the reign of God by going to the margins of society.

The two women who are entering the novitiate of the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States have a deep spirituality, a love for God, a love for people, and a commitment to the mission of Jesus. Their desire to serve those most in need and at the margins gives me great hope for the future of the Church.

In Pope Francis' message to consecrated men and women, I love the part where he also addressed our lay brothers and sisters. It has become so clear to me that none of us does our work in isolation. We are all called to be partners in Jesus’ mission. That is how we are able to become the people of love that God needs each of us to be on this journey of life.

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