advent-prayer-service2014Congregation day in December, a day that ends with the renewal of commitments made by Sisters and Associates, this year featured guest speaker Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, who challenged the Congregation to look at religious life in an engaging, thoughtful, and “radical” new light.

The Sisters of Charity’s Feast Day is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. At this year’s annual celebration, almost two hundred Sisters and Associates came together on Saturday, December 6, at Mount Saint Vincent, for a day of prayer, reflection, and commitment renewal. The day opened with a prayer service prepared by Sister Mary Mc Cormick that included a procession, prayers, songs, and the lighting of candles. (Click here to view/download the prayer service.)

Sister Simone’s talk, Catholic Social Teaching & the Vows, challenged all to reflect on the vows taken upon entry into the Congregation in the context of Catholic social teaching. The first part of the day focused on Chastity: Radical Availability. Among the topics discussed in relation to this vow was, “How to live my commitment to shape our society.”

The second topic focused on Obedience: Radical Willingness. The Congregation discussed solidarity of the human family, the common good, and standing with the poor. The third discussion focused on Poverty: Radical Awareness of our Need. In the context of poverty, the Sister Simone challenged all to think about the dignity of work, material things available for all, and ecological responsibility. Among the questions discussed was, “How do I show others that I need them and respect their work?”

After a full day of prayer, reflection, lively discussion, and lunch, the Congregation celebrated Mass in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception; Rev. Michael Marigliano, OFM, was the presider. Sister Jean Flannelly shared a reflection during the Mass, after which Sister Jane invited all Sisters to be reminded of their call and to stand and renew their commitment. Sister Jane then invited Associates to renew their commitments as well.

In a day when all were challenged by Sr. Simone to live their commitments in a “radical” light and in a keen awareness of the gospel message that impels us to live the mission of Jesus together with the people of God, the renewal of promises in 2014 was truly a joyful event.