Margaret Anna Fridays: Vocation Awareness Week Edition

Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)
Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack)

Periodically on Fridays I will share some words of wisdom from the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Known in religion as Mother Francis Clare, Margaret Anna Cusack was a prolific writer in her day. Happily, thanks to public domain and the many internet book projects, much of her writing is now available online.  She was a woman of her time and yet, ahead of her time in many ways. In this quote, for example, she writes about the type of Sisters she wanted to join her new community. She recognized that the mission to promote peace in family life, in church, and in society required a certain type of person.

We are beginning a new Order. We want brave, noble, large-minded, courageous souls…”
~Mother Francis Clare to the new community, 1887

She wrote those words in 1887, and our history tells us that this is who God called to our Congregation. At our most recent Chapter in September, we responded anew to her call in our Chapter Call:

Disturbed by the Spirit, we recommit ourselves to Jesus’ way of radical hospitality. 

We are called to a deeper and wider living of community for mission in company with poor and marginalized people. 

Our contemplative discernment pushes us, individually and as Congregation, to action; deeper mutual support enables us to take risks for justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

As disciples of Jesus, we respond anew to the call of Mother Clare to be “brave, noble, large-minded courageous souls.”

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week here in the U.S., and I happen to be attending the 25th anniversary convocation of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago with three of my CSJP Sisters.

Please join me, us, in praying for women (and men) who might be hearing God’s call to be brave, noble, and large-minded, especially those who might be called to live out this call as Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace or Associates.

If this was who was needed to promote peace in Mother Francis Clare’s time, it certainly seems true today in 2014.

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