What does my experience in ministry have in common with – a yoga instructor for seniors? A parish priest? Someone working with trafficked persons?

In Phase 4 of the Building Bridges project, members of the province were asked to initiate conversations with “someone who works in a different field,” sharing motivations, searching for common ground, and exploring ways of strengthening bonds in mission. From what has been reported, finding connections and common concerns was not difficult. The ‘conversation partners’ were happy to talk about their motivations and their experiences. Given below is a sampling of those with whom RJM’s have been dialoguing.

Our sisters in Marillac took advantage of their inter-community setting to invite a Marist Mission Sister to speak about her missionary work in Lima, Peru. They also spoke with a Sister of Charity about her part in the creation of a woman’s center in Brooklyn, New York. Similarly, because two of our Haitian missionaries (Srs. Pat Dillon and Farzana Philip) were in the DC/MD area, together with Sr. Rosa Mejia (border ministry) from San Diego/Mexico, they joined members of the region for a rich sharing of experiences.

In conversations with a para-legal, day-care director, plumber and housekeeping maids, the sisters in California found many common values that informed and shaped the different service of each one. A New York gathering included a school speech therapist, someone working with seniors, and a Mercy sister teaching ESL to immigrants in a fruitful exchange. Highland Mills RJM’s got together to share their own diverse ministry experiences: Catechetical Formation, Catholic School teaching and administration on local and diocesan levels, Montessori teaching and administration.

Sisters in Warwick invited their parish priest to an exchange that began with each one sharing what role faith had played in her/his upbringing, conversations that resulted in an increase in mutual understanding.

Thanks to all who initiated, facilitated and took part in these enriching gatherings!

– Sr. Rosemary Mangan, RJM

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