This week we have a guest post from Sister Mary Keefe, OP. Mary currently serves in the Siena House of Discernment where she lives with two other sisters, our candidate, and three young women from Siena Heights University. She recently received the Good Samaritan award from the National Catholic Development Conference for her work in establishing Nun’s Build in New Orleans, where she facilitated many sisters and their friends in helping to rebuild that city. Originally from Oakland, California, Mary has served in Michigan, Nevada, and California. She is an avid crocheter and belongs to the Crochet Ole group, which makes items for sale at the Motherhouse Christmas bazaar. The proceeds from the sales are given to local charities.
I have had the blessing of knowing when it was time to move from one ministry to another, although I have rarely had a good idea of where I was going as I turned in my resignation. At those times I have wondered if I would ever find a new ministry that excited me, a place where I knew I could make a difference.
In early 2007 I decided that it was time to move on. I knew that in response to the devastation of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, our sisters in leadership invited sisters who were retired or between jobs to go to New Orleans and help in any way they could. During this time the sisters from New Orleans invited our sisters to move there on a more permanent basis and establish a house.
One of our leadership councilors called and said she had heard I was leaving my current ministry and asked if I would be interested in checking out New Orleans. I have learned that when one is looking for a position one checks out all possibilities.
Soon after receiving the phone call I was at a retreat center and met my spiritual director. Because I was looking at the possibility of making a radical change in my life I asked her, “How do you know when you are doing the will of God?” She said, “Oh Mary, that’s the easiest question to answer. What do you want to do?”
I understood what she meant. Finding the answer to that question may take time or it may come in a flash. The answer may be, “Go for it,” or it may be, “This is not for you.” I have had both experiences. What this means for me is that, after praying, talking with people, expressing my thoughts, feelings, hopes, and desires; listening carefully to others and trusting them, an answer will come. If not right away then eventually. I think that most importantly we need to trust ourselves and be completely honest with ourselves, then, I believe, the answer will come. My answer was, “Go to New Orleans,” and it was the right choice.
Mary, You did such a super ministry in NOLA and I have been blessed by your care and concern for all. It has been (and is) a privilege to be there and experience your enthusiasm. Thank you for your love.
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Get out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes, because DISCO is here!
Okay, so it's a little less dancing, a little more talking... Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP, have a new video series called DISCO (Discernment Conversations): Dancing with the questions of life!