By Barbara Kennedy, Associate

A day of renewal for Associates was held on October 25th in Benedict’s Place at Mount Saint Vincent. In attendance were Associates, 12 professed Sisters, and six prospective Associates. The program for the day consisted of two parts: a presentation by Sharon Browning JD, a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Commitment Ceremony for new and renewing Associates.

During her portion of the program Sharon used a PowerPoint presentation titled, Harmony in the Heart, as a very effective, attention-capturing, visual reinforcement for her central message: the importance of being intentional, i.e. of not allowing yourself to be carried away into a state of frenzy—loss of your capacity for inner peace—by a multitude of conflicting concerns, demands, and projects. To avoid frenzy and pathological altruism, Sharon emphasized the importance of reflection and contemplation in our lives, for unless we deepen our own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, we will not have anything to give others.” Sharon allowed time for small group refection and discussion on key points or her presentation, and her warm and engaging manner created a relaxed atmosphere in which to raise questions. In closing, Sharon reminded us of the mission of the Sisters of Charity and urged each of us to reflect on what gives us joy, what dreams we have for a better world, and how our joys and dreams can intersect with those of others in discerning the needs of the times and revealing the Father’s love to the world.

The commitment ceremony was held in the Assembly Room. Lisa Shay made her initial commitment as an Associate, and Associates Elena Miranda and Diane Valek renewed their commitments. Two other Associates, Robert Williams and Maureen Russell, could not be present but renewed their commitments privately.