Although it’s partly now a community joke, I say it in all sincerity. Whenever I catch someone leaving home for an apostolic activity- a challenge meeting, a women’s morning of reflection, a retreat, etc- I make sure to let them know they’re sent forth.
I promise it’s not just something I made up. Back in formation, I read it in some Church document, and it stuck with me.
And it’s on our statutes too: “Consecrated women…live missionary communion with the profound awareness of being sent by Christ and from Him, by the Movement and by their own community” (31).
This experience of journeying towards final vows has been exactly this.
First I was sent forth by Christ: invited to continue following Him by taking this step in prayer, vocational consolidation, and formation these 3 months so my heart can be more fully His.
Also, I was sent forth by my community. I can’t articulate the experience of feeling LIFTED UP by others’ prayer. It’s incredible. And amidst the particular situations surrounding the past two weeks before leaving for Rome, it’s been even more meaningful and needed. And not only by their prayer, but by their presence, their help, their listening ears, their sisterly care. It’s humbling, because it’s been so abundant, so genuine, so real. My consecrated sisters are happy for me and commit to bringing me closer to God and who he is calling me to be. What an experience.
And I was sent forth by the people I’ve been accompanying at Northwoods Catholic School these past two years. Fr. Matthew lead a special blessing at all-school mass my last day there, and Fr. Michael lead the whole school in extending their hands and praying/singing an old Irish-blessing. Looking around in that moment into all those eyes, at all the kids and families, knowing their stories, their joys, and their struggles, my heart melted and I couldn’t help but give thanks to God for the gift they have been in my life.
Finally, I was sent forth by my family. Stopping over for the weekend in Ohio before heading to Rome, I got to share my joy and excitement of the journey with them.
For me, being sent forth means being backed by prayers, thought, concern, support, and committed to. Thank you to all those who have sent me forth. I am so thankful to God for each one of you. Count on my prayers during my time in Rome.