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 Rosie Dwyer

(Published Feb. 13, 2009)

The seeds of the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1650 in France to present-day Kansas are like the seeds of Kansas wheat waving in the wind, planted and watered by the Holy Spirit and nurtured in the soil of family life, which was part of parish life in the Salina diocese.

This was the gift of a CSJ vocation that was breathed into me on a farm west of New Almelo, KS. I was the second child of John and Florence Bates Dwyer. There were ten of us siblings who learned to work hard to help the family. Dad raised and sold hogs. Mom and we kids milked cows, raised chickens and sold eggs, milk and cream. This hard work was part of the soil that nurtured a vocation to the simplicity and humility of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

My folks made sure we learned our catechism by attending class on Saturdays and vacation Bible school in the summer. To get there, we rode horses along the dusty country roads. Later, our little country school closed and a bus took us to New Almelo. We did chores before and after school and fell to our knees every night for a family rosary. Sunday Mass was a must. We all crowded into an old, white Ford. The parish community was a delightful family who stayed around after Mass visiting with one another.

My life as a Sister of St. Joseph began in 1951. After the novitiate and classes at Marymount I began my ministry by teaching in Salina for ten years. Then I was invited to join our Sisters in Brazil in 1965 where I spent almost 40 years. This was more deep soil that nourished the CSJ charism of simplicity and humility. The spirit and love of the Brazilians was a continuation of God’s love flowing through us in poverty and sharing in communities.

God allowed me these great experiences from 1965-2005. Then I suffered a stroke, which was to me the sign that this same Spirit was calling me to Plainville. Here I find the same God present through a loving CSJ community and wonderful people of Plainville who want the Spirit of God’s love.

God’s presence, like the winds of waving wheat, continues to shine through these families who are grateful to share their lives of simplicity and humility. Let us trust the God who loves and calls all of us.

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