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Reflections

Preaching and Praying for Vocation

Preaching and Praying for Vocation

On Sunday, September 19, 2021, several Dominican Sisters of San Rafael joined other women religious for the Jubilee Celebration for the Archdiocese at Saint Pius Catholic Church Redwood City for a special Mass with Archbishop Cordileone presiding.

Sr. Patricia Bruno, a long-time friend of  Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVM, Director of the Office for Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and organizer of the special Mass, was honored to be invited to preach. Sr. Patricia said, “the preaching is really a vocation preaching and a chance to acknowledge the important work on Sr. Rosina in the diocese. It’s celebrating God‘s work in our lives and also an invitation to pray about your own vocation.”

It was a special celebration and time together. Here is the text of Sr. Patricia’s remarks. A link to the video can be found below.

“I appreciate being asked to preach today especially because I have not lived in the San Francisco Diocese for a long time.  However, I was born at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in the city, baptized at Saint Vincent de Paul Church, and raised in San Anselmo Parish in Marin, but one of my strongest connections with the diocese throughout all my years as a religious is with Sister Rosina who is the Vicar for the women and men religious in the diocese.  She is also the one who worked with our Archbishop, Laura, and many others to organize today’s celebration. Rosina and I go back over 60 years to San Jose State College where we were both discerning our vocations.  Who could have imagined that 60 years later we would still be good friends and co-ministers in the same diocese!

Now I live in San Rafael right next to Dominican University.  The other day I overheard two students as they were leaving our athletic complex say, I can’t believe it. I’m so out of shape.  I could hardly lift those fifteen pounds weights. Her friend responded.  Be careful.  Remember to lift from your core otherwise, you are going to ruin your back.

Well, no matter what age we are we have heard those words. “Lift from your core.”  That’s the same advice we hear in the Letter of James, the second reading at Mass.  James reminds us to lift from our core.  He’s not talking about weights or moving heavy boxes he’s talking about our Christian life and where our spiritual strength comes from.  At the center of our being, James says, is Holy Wisdom who guides, directs and helps us make wise choices.   We know that Wisdom in scripture is another name for God.  So, James reminds us that God, Holy Wisdom lives at the center of being and directs our spirits.

Today we are remembering the commitment that we women and men religious made many years ago and we’re celebrating God’s faithfulness: God who continues to nourish us through our community lives, ministries and prayer life.  We celebrate Holy Wisdom who in the past -now – and in the future will continue to direct our choices and decisions.

But James is not just talking to us professed religious.  He is speaking to each of us here: faithful women and men, young adults, children, and family members reminding you -encouraging you- to lift from your core.  Draw from the strength of Holy Wisdom who lives within each of you guiding your daily choices and your long-range decisions.

Now, here comes the commercial.

For those of you who are still thinking about life choices, ask Holy Wisdom to enlighten you with her wisdom and direct your life choices.  Listen carefully to the Wise One who dwells within the center of your being and perhaps- perhaps – because of this mass and celebration today Holy Wisdom might nudge your conscience or deepen your curiosity about the possibility of you becoming a sister or a religious brother or a priest. That’s how Holy Wisdom works. We pray.  Listen quietly for guidance.  We meet someone whom we like and ask significant questions about their life and lifestyle.  We talk to family and friends and slowly something begins to change. Something opens up for us and we hear Holy Wisdom saying, “Follow your curiosity. Try it.”  And if you do, you might be surprised where Holy Wisdom will lead you, as Wisdom has led Sister Rosina and me.  But wherever it is when we draw from Wisdom’s strength, we will become people of integrity, full of mercy, joyful people, people of peace and nonviolence.

That’s what we’re celebrating today.  We’re remembering our years of ministry, but we are celebrating God’s faithfulness to us.  For God is a promise keeper and Holy Wisdom is our strength.”

The Mass was recorded. You will find Sr. Patricia’s preaching at the 1:19 marker.

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