Our last summer vocation event was at St. Joseph’s Home as we were given the chance to participate in a “Nun Run.” Deacon Brian Park from Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault, Minnesota and Fr. Erik Lundgren brought a group of seven young women and two chaperones to our Home as part of their “Nun Run.” Both Deacon and Fr. Erik knew of the Little Sisters through volunteering as seminarians at our Home in St. Paul. The girls just graduated from high school and were seriously discerning the possibility of a religious vocation.
They arrived in time to have a tour before going to the dining rooms to meet the Residents. Going from table to table, they had the opportunity to meet Eva who just recently turned 100 and won the gold for going the distance on the NuStep bike – 30 to 40 minutes a day! They also met Julia, who is now 101 years old.
After meeting most of the Residents the young women asked if they could sing for them. They sang a Magnificat that was absolutely beautiful. We were happy to have them join us for Evening Prayer in the Chapel before dinner. The Sisters “mixed in” with our visitors so that there was plenty of time to share and answer questions as we ate. After dinner we showed them two videos that gave a good overall view of our life and on St. Jeanne Jugan.
The girls wanted to know about our time in France. They asked about how we would be affected by the HHS mandate. Fr. Erik asked more questions about our Congregation and our spirituality. Then Mother had the Sisters introduce themselves with each one telling from which country or state they entered from. We are blessed with a very international community and they were pretty amazed.
Listening to the young women, one could tell that they really felt the Lord was calling them to religious life and were sincerely seeking to discover which Congregation was for them. When we finished we went up to the chapel for adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and closing the day with Night Prayer.
The next morning at Mass Fr. Erik had Deacon Brian, who will be ordained next year, give the homily. He encouraged the young women as they return home to pray, put their confidence in the Lord, and not to be afraid. The most important thing, he emphasized, is to follow God’s will no matter where it leads. Speaking from his own experience, he shared that becoming involved in the NET – the National Evangelization Team –led him to follow a call to the priesthood.
The young women expressed their appreciation for being able to stay here and remarked that they were struck by the joy and love they saw and felt. Once again God had blessed our Home. The Lord indeed is very much at work and alive and well in the Church. We pray that He will inspire many young women with the love and courage needed to love and serve Him in the elderly poor in the footsteps of St. Jeanne Jugan.
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