Article by Sister Maxine Kollasch, IHM, Executive Director at A Nun’s Life Ministry
As you might imagine at a ministry called A Nun’s Life, we look forward to the annual celebration of Catholic Sisters Week! It’s a time to recognize Catholic sisters for their witness of God’s love for the world. It’s also a celebration of the centuries-old tradition of religious life, which offers food for the spiritual journey to everyone.
At A Nun’s Life Ministry, we’re on that journey with people from 175 countries and all walks of life. Our ministry is based on the internet, and our mission is to help people discover and grow in their vocation, wherever God is calling. While most people who connect with us online aren’t Catholic sisters, they’ll meet lots of sisters at A Nun’s Life. Together, our online community explores life and meaning through the eyes of faith.
As part of this community, Catholic sisters share their stories through podcasts, videos, blogs, livestreaming events and social media. Through their stories, people hear echoes of their own spiritual journey: the ups and downs along the way, the joys and disappointments, the unexpected adventure of it all.
Early in the ministry, we discovered that something else was happening, too. There was another story, one much older and deeper, that people were embracing. It was about the tradition of religious life, shaped by sisters over hundreds of years and lived anew by sisters today. It’s a tradition rich in wisdom in areas such as prayer, spirituality, service, community, contemplation, perseverance and hope. These things speak to all people on the journey with God.
At A Nun’s Life, Catholic sisters bring the tradition of religious life into conversation with people’s everyday lives. The online community, along with the sisters, raise questions and share experiences from life in this century. Religious life a living tradition, made ever more expansive by encounters with each new generation.
During Catholic Sisters Week here at A Nun’s Life, we celebrate the tradition of religious life that speaks to all people of faith, including Catholic sisters. We also join in the celebration of Catholic sisters around the world. At places where sisters live and minister, there will be many events that honor their tireless efforts to improve the lives of individuals experiencing disadvantage and heal our fragile planet. There will be stories in the news about Catholic sisters and, of course, there will be podcasts, blogs and videos at A Nun’s Life!
For me personally, I’ll be reflecting this week on Catholic sisters who have recently shared their stories with me. Among them are Sister Celia, a Carmelite nun who prays with her sisters throughout each day for the needs of the world. There’s also Sister Rita from Australia, who spoke about her ministry as a Catholic school teacher and her service of 17 years with asylum seekers who fled their homelands due to violence. Sister Ann here in the U.S. continues to work with human rights organizations to abolish human trafficking worldwide
During Catholic Sisters Week, I’ll also celebrate the new generations that are encountering the tradition of religious life. Maybe some of them will become sisters! But for all of them, I pray that they’ll be enriched by the tradition of religious life, and that they’ll bring to the tradition the unique questions and experiences of their generation.