Sisters take dream program on the road

(Published April 17, 2009)
By Sister Carmel Garcia

The Sisters of St. Joseph’s Diocesan Tour is an idea conceived by a dream team of Sisters whose goal was to explore opportunities to talk about religious life. Based on an assumption that young people may not be knocking at the doors of religious communities asking to become Sisters due to a lack of experiences with Sisters, a tour throughout the Salina Diocese surfaced as the format.

The very first stop was a visit with Bishop Paul Coakley. He eagerly endorsed and blessed the idea. Bishop Coakley joined the journey by writing a letter to the parish priests and administrators announcing the diocesan tour. Sister Jean Rosemarynoski followed with a call to confirm a date for the tour in each parish. The Salina Register featured the diocesan tour.

A half hour program is the dream that carries the Diocesan Tour. The program is inspired by Joseph dreams—Joseph, in the old Testament, using the song “Any Dream Will Do” from the stage play; Joseph, the husband of Mary; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. The common thread is that these three Josephs experience dreams as their call to God. After Mass, the parish invites all to the parish hall for the Diocesan Tour and provides coffee and doughnuts. Complementary to the PowerPoint dream presentation, are story board displays and brochures featuring works of the Sisters of St. Joseph and information about becoming a Sister of St. Joseph and newer forms of membership–Associates or Agrégées

Were we to re-name the tour, we might call it the Diocesan Pilgrimage. As is true of any pilgrimage, we come home transformed by the experience and share the stories.

The most significant outcome is re-connecting with folks, re-igniting relationships and finding new partners and friends. Young girls decide to come to the discover camp, become camp counselors and author a teen newspaper. Women and men chose to attend a retreat at Manna House or ask Manna House to provide a retreat day in their parish. Many call to schedule a tour at the Motherhouse, sign up to receive the CSJ Newspaper now (The Messenger). The spirit of the faithful in the Salina Diocese and your relationship with the Sisters of St. Joseph is as vibrant and full of zeal as ever! Thank you for hosting us in your parishes and hosting our Motherhouse within the diocese! Our lives are enriched by you!

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