I pleased to present my latest guest blogger, Sister Christina Neumann, who writes a semi-weekly blog of her own for her Franciscan community (and you know how I love Franciscans, of every variety!) out in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Her blog is titled “The Franciscan Fiat” and here’s the link: http://ourfranciscanfiat.wordpress.com Enjoy!
Niches, Old and New
I’ve been a Franciscan Sister now for over ten years. Before I entered the convent in Hankinson, North Dakota, I had graduated with a BA in written communication.
Having perceived a call to religious life during my college years, I had visited several communities, had graduated and done a bit of work. Finally, I found the Franciscan Sisters in Hankinson and, when visiting the provincial house in Hankinson, I felt like I had found “my niche.”
I visited and stayed with the Sisters, and entered the formation process to join them.
Over time, our Sisters have filled various niches. Our Congregation, officially the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen, dates back to 1241 in Dillingen, Germany when the count and his son the bishop gave a group of women a house near the parish church and with it one lot of land, a cabbage patch and a meadow where they could live a life of work and prayer. Since that time, our Sisters have been involved in any number of activities, including healthcare, education, social work, pastoral care, etc. The main intention, though, was to “serve God, their Creator, peacefully, devoutly, and zealously for the benefit of all the faithful, giving praise and honor to the Blessed Trinity.”
Actually, when exploring communities of Sisters, a variety in apostolates was something that definitely attracted me. I was not a nurse or a teacher explicitly. It seemed that my interests and gifts would better correspond with a community that did not have a narrow focus. During the course of time, I’ve done various things “in the convent,” from housekeeping to library work to receptionist duties. The list goes on…
Having a background in communications and some computer knowledge, I was asked to set up a webpage for the assisted living facility where I serve. This has lead into my involvement in public relations using email, our website, and social media. Thus it was that, late in 2014, I suggested to our home’s administrator the idea of starting a blog. With her “go-ahead,” I launched “The St. Anne’s Scoop,” covering topics related to our facility and of interest to seniors. A couple of months later, after consultation with our Sister Superior, I began “Our Franciscan Fiat,” chronicling daily life and offer faith-filled reflections from the perspective of a Franciscan Sister serving in the 21st century Midwest.
It is interesting to me that, although I’d stepped back some from writing for a while, I have returned to this “niche.” Maybe my background in communications was just part of God’s plan for where He wants me to serve today. Beyond the writing, I very much enjoy my other work here, including receptionist duties, sacristy work, and filling in as a care aide.