Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ordinary Extraordinary Faith

By Alice Ann O’Neill

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is my inspiration for becoming a Sister of Charity. When I first began waking up to a possible call to religious life, what captured my heart was Elizabeth's deep faith in God and the way she seemed to me like an ordinary, everyday person. I feel like I can be like her because she was an ordinary person but with extraordinary faith. Some of the other saints who are like mystics can seem to have unreachable levels of faith, impossible for me to attain in my life. When I read Elizabeth's writings, I understand that her faith was a great source of comfort in her times of trials and that it continued to develop and deepen as she moved through her life. This inspires me. Elizabeth is my mother and friend and, now that I am a Sister of Charity,…my sister in community.

I like this painting of her because all of the extant portraits we have of Elizabeth are a side view. This painting is Elizabeth facing me with a look of love in her brown eyes. Something awakens in me when I meet her gaze...

Name: Sr. Alice Ann O'Neill, PhD
Congregation: Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Stage in vows: Professed Final Vows in 2009
Hometown: Quispamsis, New Brunswick, Canada
Current Ministry: Professional cellist; trainer of Suzuki Cello teachers; director of Mount St. Joseph Talent Education in Cincinnati.

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