Most of you know that I was elected to leadership in my religious community, the Sisters of Divine Providence. That means that I am moving to another part of town, to 603 SW 24th St., in the zip code that is the poorest in San Antonio. I would like to think of this as moving, not leaving! I anticipate many changes and challenges in my way of living and in my way of being. And I look forward to new areas of ministry in the care of my Sisters, in collaboration with our sponsored ministries, Our Lady of the Lake University, Providence Catholic School as well as Moye Retreat Center. I will be working more closely with other religious women in the diocese, in the U.S. and in places throughout the world where religious are following the initial call of Providence as their charism. For me, the ministry is about continuing the leadership among persons who actively live the Prayer of St. Francis.
My new ministry was announced on February 3 and since then I have been working to make transitions in both locations, in the parish and in the congregation. Many of you have experienced my deep desire for continuity, my sense of urgency, and my continued efforts at building the kinds of relationships that will continue all that makes St. Francis the vibrant parish community that it is.
I have learned so much about you and from you. In my 14 years of ministry here, I have discovered over and over again the leadership and generosity of so many who contribute their gifts in working together for the common good of the parish. Our listening sessions for the synodal process identified so many needs in the parish and I trust that having heard each other speak, in accompanying each other, you have come to new understandings of what it means to be “the people of God” responding to needs in service. Many of us have grown in our capacity to understand the complexity of issues facing our parishioners and the church of San Antonio. And more of us are accepting the challenge to ACT to make change, to make a difference in the lives of all of our neighbors.
So, how do you say good-by to people you love? You don’t. You simply say thanks for the wonderful experiences and memories, thanks for the privilege of sharing your life—the joys and sorrows, and thanks for the profound and meaningful lessons you have taught me by the kind of persons you are.francis-prayer-for-peace (1)