Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Congratulations, Sr. Hyeon!

By Sr. Judy Donohue, SC Federation Temporary Professed

      Click HERE to learn more about Judy

      Click HERE to learn more about the SC Federation

program of the vow ceremony
Sr. Hyeon Lee made her first vows into the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill at a 2pm Mass on February 23 at their Chapel of the Assumption. We Congratulate Hyeon Lee, our Future of Charity Sister, for making her commitment to Religious Life! Members of the Future of Charity traveled far and wide to be there with her in Greensburg, PA! Andrea Koverman from El Paso, TX, Tracy Kemme from Chicago, IL, Whitney Schieltz and Annie Klapheke from Cincinnati, OH, Romina Sapinoso from New York, Paris Slapikas and Judy Donohue from Louisville, KY. What a joy it was for all of us to celebrate with Hyeon, who exudes simplicity and gratitude. Her family came from South Korea and Canada to witness her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

In formation for religious life, we have all moved through various transitions of living in different states/countries with a wide variety of local communities and ministry experiences. The presence of others in formation adds needed support during our common struggles. We each have made a commitment to a life of service through living out our vows. 

Sr. Hyeon (center) signing her vows

“When we walk together, we walk farther.” - African saying

Sr. Hyeon with members of the Future of Charity and other young women religious

Hyeon was born in South Korea. She has her Ph.D. In Psychology from Brandeis University in Boston. She loves ministering with the elderly and having fun. It has been a joyful adventure getting to know Hyeon through our Future of Charity events. She has a great sense of humor and is very excited about traveling the spiritual journey with others.

May God continue to bless Hyeon as she learns to live and share charity each and every day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fog and Silhouettes

By S. Romina Sapinoso, S.C.

SC Federation Temporary Professed

Click HERE to learn more about Romina
Click HERE to learn more about the SC Federation

El Nido, Palawan in the early morning
Back in 2012 on a trip home to visit my family in the Philippines, we went to a beautiful part of the country towards the south called El Nido, Palawan. If you are familiar with the screen savers that flash on your desktop of exquisite crystal blue waters and various rock formations creating beautiful lagoons, that’s exactly what El Nido looks like. Needless to say, it was a good time to be together in a paradise-like place. However, on one of our island hopping days, we had quite an experience as a family that none of us would ever forget.

The day started out with beautiful weather albeit with some clouds in the sky. Tourists usually contract with businesses that arrange for activities and transportation between the islands. Our family was being helped by four young men who cooked, provided equipment and navigated the groups of islands with a small wooden motor boat that fit about 20 people, just the size of our extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles. As we started wrapping up a day of snorkeling, swimming, building castles on the beach and eating, the skies darkened and a storm started brewing. Thinking it was still safe and we can reach our resort before the worst of the weather came, we all packed into the boat and headed out into open ocean. That’s when the fog descended and the waters became so choppy that without saying a word, we all started praying silently. Our small wooden boat powered by the increasingly struggling small motor was tossed helplessly by the waves. We couldn’t see more than five feet ahead of us and the motor sounded like it could barely keep going. At that point, turning back wasn’t an option anymore either.

After what seemed like an eternity of part keeping faith and part managing our fears, we slowly saw the silhouette of hills and mountains that signaled we were close to land. It didn’t even matter to any of us at that time which part of the island we were heading towards or if it was even the right one. We just wanted to be on land, any land, and out of the scary waves and deep fog. We collectively breathed a sigh of relief as we got to the beach. Only when we were safely on solid ground did our boatman tell us that for the most part, engulfed in the fog, he didn’t know which direction we were going. He just knew where we came from and that we needed to keep heading north. He hoped that the waves didn’t move us too far out of course. It worked.

Discussions during our Journeying Together gathering for our SC Cincinnati community last Super Bowl weekend made me reminisce this experience and how it felt. Our own community is preparing
for chapter this year. I think it is safe to say that just like many other communities in religious life, there are many unknowns and uncertainties for us. However, we are certain that there is a future for our congregation and it is a future of life and hope. In a world that is fast changing, we continue to ask ourselves the deeper "why" questions of our individual and communal religious life. What direction is our own congregation called towards as we reflect on our role as women religious, the needs we feel called to answer and the margins we are called to be present to? What do we do now so we can answer what is ours to respond to?

During the weekend gathering, one of the analogies offered for this time is being in a fog. There is
Journeying Together participants last February 2nd
something beyond the limits of what we can see. There is a place we are journeying towards and we know it is there though we have very little vision of it at this time. It is a future that might look very different but no less full of promise and hope. However, it is but natural that we as humans want to have as little time as possible in the fog just like my family and I longed to be back on solid ground ASAP. The fog makes it difficult to see. It’s scary. The choppy waters of uncertainty make us want to turn around to the safety of where we came from and what we know. But we know there is no turning back. So we sit tight and we wait in the quiet. We look around at those who are there with us. We pray and become vulnerable together as the fog calls forth feelings from deep within. There might be fear and discomfort at first. But hopefully, as we move forward through the haze, there arises openness and freedom to hold on to one another as well. And because we are people of faith, we latch on to the hope that somehow, we will get there.

May our memories of individual and collective journeys when God’s grace has held us through major changes and shifts in our own lives strengthen this conviction. May we trust that our Navigator, the Holy Spirit, knows and is with us all the way. May we stay the course with faith and openness and be assured that with every nudge forward, we will start to notice the silhouettes of the future taking shape before our very eyes.