Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

Sister Clarene Kennedy

Concordia, Kan.

I was born in McCook, Neb., the fourth and last progeny of James and Marie Meyers Kennedy.

Once or maybe twice in a life time I have met a solitary soul who has heard of Red Willow Consolidated Grade and High School, where I received my first 12 years of education.

During my high school years, it was my good fortune to work after school and weekends as a nurse’s aide at St. Catherine’s Hospital in McCook. Immersed in the Catholic Hospital milieu, I was profoundly attracted to the mystery and beauty of the church, and to the Dominican Sister’s way of life.

Occasionally, life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans, and following my nursing education in Great Bend, Kan., I embarked on a fulfilling career, gaining in age and wisdom. Religious life seemed one option among many, something far in the future, rarely given serious thought.

Providentially, one of my “career moves” landed me in Concordia, Kan., and once again association with the sisters rekindled my interest in their way of life. However, interest didn’t easily translate into commitment. It was relationships with Sisters of St. Joseph over the course of many years that helped focus and clarify my attraction to religious life.

Ours is a patient God, persistently luring us, never forcing or coercing; thus in 1989 I was accepted into the CSJ Congregation in Concordia.

Following a few years of introduction into community life, I have ministered as a Pastoral Associate in several parishes in the Salina Diocese. Currently, my primary ministry is nursing in a nursing home setting.

To anyone thinking about religious life today, I would say, “I know a wonderful community of vowed women in Concordia, Kan. — come and see!”

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