Sisters honored at annual Religious Sisters Mass in Salina

May 16, 2019 by

 
  
  By Karen Bonar, The Register
Salina — About three dozen religious sisters gathered May 14 at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the annual Religious Sisters Mass.
 
“Do you remember your calling?” Bishop Jerry Vincke asked the sisters during his homily. “How old were you when you heard that voice from your beloved in the depths of your heart and you responded, ‘Jesus, do you really want me to be a religious sister?’ And you heard the voice in your heart ‘Yes, I have called you.’ “
Sister Jean Befort was 18 years old when she entered the community 60 years ago.
 
“I never realized it would go so fast,” she said of her six decades as a religious sister. “Sixty years seems like an old number.”
 
She currently lives in Concordia and is semi-retired; she works part time with the order’s Neighbor to Neighbor program.
 
Likewise, Sister Doris Flax answered the call at a young age. She entered the community at 16 years of age, and was formally received into the community at age 17.
 
She has been the pastoral associate at St. Mary Parish in Ellis for 25 years.
 
“I enjoy doing communion service at the nursing home and visiting the homebound,” Sister Doris said of her parish work.
 
The annual Mass and luncheon is always a highlight of the year for her.
 
“I get to see the sisters I haven’t seen all year,” Sister Doris said. “It’s also nice to see the clergy. Otherwise, I wouldn’t see them.”

Bishop Vincke reflected on the religious sisters who influenced his life: his four aunts who were religious sisters.

“They played a huge part in my own vocation,” he said. “One of them, Sister Josephine, wrote the story of her life. What I remember most is that even though she was always happy and joyful when I saw her, life wasn’t always easy as a religious. She talked about the long hours of work, the times when she felt like the sisters did all the work, but the priests got all the credit. And through it all, she said she would do it all over again.”

The celebration was held on the feast of St. Matthias, who was added to the 12 Apostles after the death of Judas. The bishop reflected on the life of the saint, and compared it to the life of the sisters.
 
“You impacted life in Kansas and beyond because you were a witness to the resurrection,” Bishop Vincke said. “When you taught in our schools, you were a witness to the resurrection. When you served in our children’s homes, you were a witness to the resurrection. When you served in our hospitals, you were a witness to the resurrection. Thank you for continuing to be witnesses to the resurrection — even now.”

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