Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm in; are you?

By Sr. Paris Slapikas 
December 1st of every year, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth celebrate our foundation day.  This marks the day our community started in 1812.  How wonderful that this year, not only are members of our SCN family celebrating, but all religious as we begin the year of consecrated life.

The Nazareth SC's come from humble beginnings on the frontier in Bardstown, Kentucky, when a few young women arrived to start a religious community in response to the bishop's request.  I imagine they had some of the same questions I had when I entered:  is this really what God wants from me and for me?  Can I commit to this?  Where am I being called?  I'm here, now what?  
While I can't know for sure what their thoughts were during those early days, I am certain that they couldn't have imagined how their numbers would grow or the diverse ministries that the community would become engaged in. They couldn't have predicted the places we would go within the U.S. or that we would start missions in India, Belize, Nepal and Botswana.  As SCN's and associates celebrate our founding, we remember special moments in our history where we responded to God in the pioneering spirit of our foundress.  We also know that our founding continues and will go wherever we are as we continue to creatively respond to God's call.

Similar to our early sisters, I don't know what the future of religious life holds.  However, I am confident that if we continue to walk in the footsteps of the sisters who have gone before us, 
if we continue to build on their wisdom, 
if we continue to respond in faithfulness and love, 
and above all, if we trust in our God, 
we will help to bring about the reign of God in ways and in places far beyond our imagination.  
I'm in, are you?

Name: Sr. Paris Slapikas
Congregation: Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Stage in vows: Temporary professed
Hometown: Tuscaloosa, AL
Ministry: Supervisor of domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Louisville, KY


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