Great excitement and lots of energy were evident during the recent Come and SeeWeekend at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent held in Rio Rancho, NM, the weekend of April 19-21.
Four women participated in the entire weekend while two younger students spent Saturday learning more about religious life and in particular, the Felician Congregation.
The women traveled from New York, California and Texas. One of the younger girls who came to learn more about becoming a sister is a student at St. Pius High School in Albuquerquewhere S Rena Marie Romero teaches. For some of the women it was their very first discernment experience; for others, it was a second or third experience that provided them with the opportunity to enter more deeply into their discernment process with the Felician Congregation.
On Saturday following prayers, Mass and breakfast, S Carol Marie Wiatrek presented Call, Blessed Mary Angela and Ministry. Following her talk, the women visited St. Felix Pantry to see firsthand this wonderful Felician outreach ministry that provides a wide spectrum of services for the needy.
During the afternoon, thanks to the use of modern technology and the provincial website, the participating women were able to hear the vocation stories of second-year novice S Desiré Anne-Marie Findlay and first-year novice S Maria Louise Edwards as well as S Grace Marie DelPriore and S Nancy Marie Piecewicz. All of the women had received a special rosary made for them by Sister Desiré, so they were happy to see her on the computer.
Throughout the weekend, the women participated in common prayers and meals with the sisters of the central convent. Their schedule also included time for adoration, personal prayer and reflection. In addition, they had the opportunity to view the Felician Services, Inc., DVD on Felician Mission and Felician sponsored-ministries and to engage in a discussion about them and about the various other ministries in which Felician Sisters are involved.
“Story time,” when sisters of the central convent shared their own vocation stories with the group, was a special treat. Also present at dinner and at the sharing of the sisters’ vocation stories were the parents and siblings of both of the young girls who had spent the day with the group. At this time, S Mary Beth Bromer, director of vocations expressed appreciation to the parents for their openness and willingness to allow their daughters to begin thinking about a religious vocation. Saturday ended with a rousing game of cards with master card player S Julianna Francis Marie Vagnozzi.
SM Estelle Waclawczyk shares her story with SM Dorothy Young.
SM Dorothy said she wanted to become a sister because of S Estelle
who was her first grade teacher.
On Sunday morning, the women joined the choir for Morning Prayer and Mass. The days concluded with an opportunity to process the weekend and ask any additional questions that they might have. According to Sister Mary Beth, all of the participants felt the weekend went by too quickly and look forward to future vocation events.
S Mary Beth paid a huge note of gratitude to SM Dorothy Young, local minister, and each of the sisters at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent. “God bless you, sisters, for your warm and welcoming Felician hospitality, for seeing that everything was perfectly arranged for the Come and SeeWeekend, and for all of the kindness and support shown to the participants and to all of us during the entire weekend. Thank you again to Sister Dorothy and to S Juanella Maria Pereyra, S Angela Marie Ybarra and S Rena Marie Romero for their willingness to drive participants to and from the central convent. Special thanks to S Carol Marie Wiatrek and S Jane Mary Gawlik who not only brought someone to the event but also contributed to the weekend by their presence and shared wisdom during the weekend.”
Sister Mary Beth asks for continued remembrance in prayer for all those young women who are currently discerning a call to religious life as a Felician Sister. “Continue to invite and encourage vocations – open your convent doors for common prayers and meals. Young women are actively looking for where it is that God is calling them to serve Him, and we Felician Sisters have so much to offer them. Perhaps your invitation to our next Come and See Weekend is just what a young woman needs in order to find the courage to begin or continue her search.”
Mark Your Calendars!
The next two scheduled discernment opportunities are week-long Come, See,Experiences and will take place May 19-24 at St. Felix Center in Toronto, Canada, and June 16-21 in Mooncrest, PA. If you know of someone who may have a religious vocation, please encourage her and invite her, and then have her contact S Mary Beth Bromer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone at 815-200-2393.