Collaborative Vocation Service Experience
Women who are considering religious life as a Presentation Sister at any level, from first questions to more serious commitment, are invited to participate in the Collaborative Vocation Service Experience held each March for one week in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sponsored by the congregations’ Vocation Directors of the Conference, the program is a great way for women discerning to get to know one another and to know that there are other women pursuing Presentation religious life.
The third annual Collaborative Vocation Service Experience took place March 14-19, 2010 in New Orleans. Sr. Shawna Foley, along with Catherine Miyamoto and Natalie Lies, attended from Fargo, ND. Vocation directors from San Francisco, CA, Sister Stephanie Still; New Windsor, NY, Sister Mary Cahterine Redmond; Dubuque, IA, Sister Carla Popes, and the Vocation Outreach Coordinator from Aberdeen, SD, Joni Brezina also participated, truly making it a Presentation collaboration in service.
Participants in the experience had the opportunity to work alongside others at Lantern Light, Inc., the collaborative ministry experieinc of the Presentation Sisters of North America, Cafe Reconcile, a culinary arts training center and restaurant for troubled or at-risk youth, whose director is a Presentation Sister from Dubuque, and Operation Helping Hands, a program sponsored by the Archdiocese of New Orleans' Catholic Charities that has been helping people rebuild their homes since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On a daily basis the participants divided into groups, two going to Cafe Reconcile, two going to the Lantern Light, and three working with Operation Helping Hands. Operation Helping Hands group needed more than three for the painting task so they joined the students from the Newman Center of Arizona State University. It was a great way to meet new people and tell others about Nano Nagle and the Presentation Sisters.
After working all day, the group gathered for supper with the Presentation Sisters living in New Orleans. In the evening they prayed together and shared their experiences of the day. The prayer themes reflected Presentation spirituality and the individual's call to mission and ministry.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be on this service experience. This is my third year of traveling to New Orleans; every year just a little different. I am always impressed with the people that we have worked with, both the homeowners through Operation Helping Hands and the workers, as well as the people we have come into contact with through Lantern Light and Cafe Reconcile. They impress me with their lack of complaining about how long it is taking to get New Orleans back to the way it was. Rather, they are proud of what has been accomplished and are hopeful for the future.
I am proud to be a Presentation Sister and am glad to share that fact with other Presentation sisters, women who may be intrested in Presentation religious life, and others whom I have come into contact with through this experience.
Sr. Shawna Foley
If you are interested in this program, please conatact the Vocation Director geographically nearest you.