Monday 10.23.2017

Sisters of Charity Federation Turns 70

Friday, October 27 is 70th anniversary of the Establishment of the Federation of the Sisters of Charity in 1947. Rather than focus on the history of the Federation, interesting as that may be, let’s look at their way of living out the Vincentian Charism today.

In a recent article on the Federation’s blog, Melissa Gibilaro, a lay Coordinator for the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, was asked: “What are your hopes going forward for the congregation?” Her answer:

“I believe our activism can become more visible – are we going to those marches or protests with our Halifax banner? Are we making public statements around key peace and justice issues? … We need to articulate the connection between our advocacy and our spirituality, our Catholic faith, our Vincentian charism. My hope is that our sisters are more visible witnesses in the community. People will see what the sisters do because of their faith, and see the connection between the faith and justice … In that visibility, you make a statement about not only about human and environmental rights, but about what Catholics and Christians believe.”

A brief exploration of the Federation’s website reveals quite vividly that the Sisters’ charism is embracing today’s challenges in many ways.

“Sister Joan, now Executive Director of Lifeway Network, remembers the first woman who came to stay at Lifeway House 1, a student who was foreign-born and labor trafficked.” Read the rest.

“Throughout her time in prison ministry, Sister Kathy has listened, learned, and continued to advocate for those who have no voice outside the walls of the prison.” Read the rest.

“We’re focusing on the idea of looking at racial injustice, and looking at white privilege. How can we facilitate conversations in our community, and then be agents in our community to create spaces for those people to come together?” – Melissa Gibilaro, Coordinator of Justice, Peace and Care of our Common Home, SC Halifax. Read the rest.

“Whether it was abuse or neglect, something was done to these children, and as a society, we have the responsibility to care for and raise these kids.” – Sister Michael Delores, foster mom to 65 children over 18 years. Read the rest.

What she names as her most important role, however, is “being present, accompanying the women.” “They have taught me so much about living in the moment and being grateful for each moment no matter what it holds.” Sr. Peggy, serving on the U.S.-Mexico border. Read the rest.

In a country rocked by civil war, Sister Virginia continues to this day to bring hope and healing to the local population through the Center’s four strong programs: integrated health, human rights, opportunities for youth, and agriculture. (Sister is the co-founder of the Barbara Ford Peacebuilding Center in Guatemala.) Read the rest.

Originally published on FamVin.