Friday, September 16, 2016

A Present for Presence

By Sr. Meg Kymes

My current mission is in a small rural town, so everyone knows everyone fairly well.  The Daughters of Charity have been here since the 1800s.  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton began my ministry, now known as Mother Seton School, when she came to Emmitsburg.  The Daughters have continued this school ever since because of countless prayers and the generosity of others.  

During the summer, the Development Director visited me in my classroom to tell me one of the lay people who come to the Daughters’ house for daily Mass had given a generous donation in my name.  I was shocked since my only contact with this man was smiling and saying hi to him before or after Mass, so I did not know him well, but I was deeply touched. Many weeks later on I had the chance to thank him in person and tell him how much his gift meant for me and my students.  He had a tearful smile on his face as he explained to me his reasons.  He told me how much the Daughters did for his family when he was raising his children and putting them through school.  He told me he knew how much we do for the children at Mother Seton and how much he appreciates all that we do for others in Emmitsburg.  I realized after I spoke to him that even though I didn’t visit him or have a chance to talk to him for a long period of time, the Daughters simply being present to the people of Emmitsburg meant so much to him that he was willing to give back to help others.

When I was in my first stages of formation, my directress talked about being a ministry of presence.  She taught us it wasn’t about what our ministry was as a Daughter of Charity, but about being a living sign of God’s presence in our all too often suffering world.  A very generous man reminded me about how important this is to so many people.

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