February 22, 2017 A Day in the Religious Life

“What does a sister do all day?” This question often comes up when I am giving vocation talks. It is as though a great mystery is to be revealed as all ears are attentive to the words I will speak next. Why wouldn’t it be something intriguing? After all, if one is not living that vocation then a day in that life may seem foreign. I even have to laugh when I talk with my mom and she says that she had something she wanted to tell me. As I mention to her that all she has to do is call me, she immediately responds that she doesn’t want to bother me because I might be in prayer. In a futile attempt to encourage her call, I remind her that if she tries to contact me and I am at prayer then she can leave a message and I will get back with her. What is important to remember is that although my mom may not know the rhythm of my day, she does know that prayer is essential in the life of a religious.

Here at our Ursuline motherhouse (the main convent where our sisters live) we gather in the chapel at 6:55 a.m. each day to communally pray morning prayer. Many of the sisters have already been up and about long before that and engaged in private prayer and other morning tasks. After prayer, we attend Mass together at 7:15 a.m. We gather for breakfast and then go our separate ways to our specific ministry. Last week in my blog, I explained that sisters are apostolic and they go out and minister among the people. Therefore, the daily activities of the sisters will vary depending on their ministry.

At the motherhouse, we are blessed to have our chapel where the sisters can spend time in prayer throughout the day. We have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Fridays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and on the second Sunday of each month from 4:00-5:00 p.m. Know that you are invited to come and pray with us at Mass or adoration!

When our ministry responsibilities are finished for the day (although many of the ministries keep our sisters active in the evening as well) we gather again for communal evening prayer. After our evening meal, the sisters gather together for various recreational activities such as watching the news, playing games, quilting, or just enjoying one another’s company.

One day is different from another, but those main components of prayer and community are constants. The expression of our daily life can best be summed up in the words of our mission:

We, the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, sustained by prayer and vowed life in community, proclaim Jesus through education and Christian formation in the spirit of our founder, Saint Angela Merici.