Congregation names two sisters as vocations ‘co-directors’

May 13, 2014 by

Two women have been appointed to share the duties of reaching out to women who may feel called to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

Sisters Jan McCormick and Dian Hall were named co-directors of vocations last week.

They succeed Sister Beverly Carlin, who has been the congregation’s vocations director for four years. Beginning in July, Sister Beverly will be attending Creighton University in Omaha to complete her master’s degree in Christian spirituality.

Sister Jan McCormick

Sister Jan McCormick

McCormick grew up in Chapman, Kan., and continues to live there. She attended Cloud County Community College in Concordia and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree from Marymount College, Salina. She worked in Salina for several years, and after moving back to Chapman in 1999, she met Sister Carolyn Juenemann who was starting a CSJ Associates program. “I joined it, and it was life-giving and there was a real connectedness,” she recalls.

She went to work in the Army’s substance abuse program where she is now the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator at Fort Riley, yet her real passion was her deepening commitment to her CSJ Associates group.

Then, in 2006, the Concordia sisters reintroduced agrégée membership, a distinct type of “religious sister” that had been part of the order’s foundations in France in the 17th century.

An agrégée — pronounced ah-greh-ZHEY — was a woman who undertook the same work and mission as the original Sisters of St. Joseph in Le Puy, France, but for various circumstances could not take the traditional three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Instead, she made a single vow to be faithful to the congregation and to God.

McCormick became an agrégée candidate and in June 2011 professed her vow as a Sister of St. Joseph.

Sister Dian Hall

Sister Dian Hall

Sister Dian Hall was born and raised in Cedartown, Ga., and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of West Georgia. By the early 1990s she was teaching in a migrant education program in Cartersville, Ga.

It was during that time that she stepped in to help raise one of her teenage students when the girl’s parents were killed. When Juana — now 34 — was in her 20s, she and Hall decided they wanted to “formalize” the family feeling they had had for years, so Hall adopted her.

Juana is now a married mother of three sons, and lives in Cartersville.

That’s where Hall was living and working in 1994, when she met three Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia who live in the Greater Atlanta area. That began a “conversation” with sisters that continued until November 2009 when Hall came to Concordia and was received as a candidate for agrégée membership. She spent two and a half years studying and praying with her mentors in Georgia — Sisters Jodi Creten and Helen Mick — before realizing that she was being called to canonical membership. She became a canonical novice in June 2012, and has been the last year living and serving in at Manna House of Prayer in Concordia.

She will profess her first vows during a special ceremony at the Motherhouse June 7. Then she’ll return to Georgia this summer to continue in the work she did before coming to Concordia, as a special education inclusion teacher for the Cartersville schools.

Both McCormick and Hall will keep their current positions while adding vocational duties to their schedules.

“Since 2006 we have realized that both forms of membership are calls of a true vocation to religious life,” said Sister Marcia Allen, president of the Sisters of St. Joseph. “Having a canonically vowed and agrégée sister working together will allow them to provide broader information to women who feel called to religious life.”

 

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