Novices from Sisters of Charity Visit Christian Spirituality Classes
By Katie Lehan
On Monday, February 24 two Novices from the Sisters of Charity, Sister Tracy Kemme and Sister Andrea Koverman, came to Seton to talk to Sister Teresa’s Christian Spirituality classes about discernment. After a woman is accepted into the religious community, she then enters what is called the novitiate, which is the formal preparation for the religious life. A Novice begins to live the life and vows of the community by studying the charism and withdrawing from active ministry to concentrate more on prayer and God. Discernment literally means to distinguish between things, but with the talk, discernment was meant to be taught so that it can help us choose between goods, for example, our vocations.
The Sisters shared what their daily lives as being in the first year of their Novitiate is like, but the talk revolved mostly around figuring out the vocation God is calling us to have in life. The three vocations one can have are those who are called to the married life, which is the most popular, the single life and the religious life. Sister Tracy and Sister Andrea compared discernment to sifting through sand on the beach in order to find the gold that is covered up by that sand. The sand represented the obstacles we face in life that get in the way of us finding our purpose in life and the gold represented finding that purpose and the sense of clarity in finding that purpose. They also shared personal background stories about how they came to the decision to join the religious life as a way to show that not every path one thinks they will follow is absolute. They emphasized that God wants us to be the happiest people we can be and that the question of our vocation is not meant to be a trick. Their talk centered around discovering joy, constantly reminding the seniors, along with teenagers everywhere, that they are still early in their life’s journey. The adolescent years are about finding oneself and exploring the different directions one can take to find that ultimate joy. When asked about the talk, Senior Ashley O’Brien said, “I thought it was really interesting to hear the sisters’ personal stories and learn about how they live out their daily lives. I received loads of new information that was both unexpected and refreshing because I feel as if I’ve only been exposed to the stereotypes of religious life.”
Sister Tracy and Sister Andrea are in their first year of a two year Novitiate process. They were welcomed into the Canonical Novitiate during a ceremony June 26, 2013 and therefore are expected to make their final vows in June or July of next year, 2015.